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The Atlantic Monthly, 1868, Vol. 22

Excerpt from The Atlantic Monthly, 1868, Vol. 22: A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics Very rural and tranquil is the vicinity of Spuyten Duyvel Creek, at the head of the island of Manhattan. Standing on the bridge here, it is difficult to realize the fact that one is within three hours' walk of a great city. The din of it, and the smoke, and the smells, are shut out from this quiet valley by the intervening ridge of Washington Heights. But to and fro on the blue Hudson go the toiling steamers and the white-sailed river craft, linking the gazer to the city by their commercial associations. The inhabitants near this bridge appear to be unsophisticated and primitive in their ways, but they are only superficially so. They dredge their own oysters, which lends an air of self-support and independence to the place; but then they charge New York prices for them, which shows that with them rural simplicity is but skin-deep. One of the two boys who sit there on the stone-faced bank of the creek, fishing, has no clothes on, which heightens the idea of the primitive, certainly; but then the other wears the traditional red shirt of the New York rowdy, and his expletives just now, when he accidentally baited his hook with his ear, were couched in the choicest profanity of Mackerelville. A rustic damsel comes tripping along a lane that leads to the main road. She is not so rustic on a near view. In size and shape her chignon resembles a two-hundred pound conical shell. She wears enormous red ear-rings, and her broad, serviceable feet are bursting through tan-colored French boots. Disgusted with the inconsistencies of the place, I leave it, and, turning cityward, take the road that leads by Washington Heights to New York. This is the most picturesque route to the city from the land side. It winds past villas that stand on sloping lawns, or, like amateur Rhenish castles, frown from lofty peaks down upon the unresenting river. Evidences of wealth and culture meet the eye everywhere. Gate lodges give an air of European aristocracy to the locality. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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