National Geographic : 1918 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Paul Thompson KEEPING A TUNNEL SECTION OF THE CATSKILL AQUEDUCT FREE OF WATER In excavating the tunnels for this aqueduct, thousands of underground springs were encountered, and electric pumps had to be installed to prevent accumulated water from inter fering with the progress of the work. influential people were born outside its limits. THE NIAGARA OF AMERICAN LIFE New York is indeed the Niagara of American life. As over the great falls the waters of the continental basin rush down to the Atlantic Ocean, so through this city passes the vast river of human ity that seeks the sea of opportunity in the world beyond. It has been said that standing at 42d street and Fifth avenue long enough one will see every American who does a worth-while thing pass that busy corner. Certain it is that all the currents of human achievement in Amer ica do flow in that direction. Below the falls is the whirlpool. As one stands above Niagara's gorge and watches the swirling waters, seemingly bereft of all sense of the direction where lies the sea, he wonders whether they will ever break the spell of the moment and find the channel they seek. So, also, standing at the vantage point of Times Square and watching the confusion of the rush hour, with its swirl, its eddy, and its drift, the onlooker marvels that in every drop in this whirlpool of humanity there is purpose. Any story of New York begins with its people, and in its vast aggregation of hu manity there is a wealth of interest. Let those who have been pessimistic about our immigration study New York. It seems unbelievable; but if every resi dent whose parents were born in America were to leave the city its standing as the second most populous center in the world would not be affected. In other words, the number of immigrants and their chil dren resident in New York is almost equal to the combined populations of Paris and Philadelphia and greater than the combined populations of Chicago and Berlin.