A green line: the High Line. Jesse Chehak/www.thehighline.org
The first Manhattan hero on record was Henry Hudson, who explored North America 400 years ago and gave Hudson Bay and the river flowing through New York their names. But his heroism was short-lived, as he angered the native population, who gave the next wave of Europeans a very hard time.
The next heroes were the many people who made New York City into the culturally diverse place it is. These include the immigrants, workers, writers, bankers, artists and musicians who have given the city class, power, wealth and style. We also mustn't forget the firemen who held its spirit together during and after 9/11.
But the city has new heroes: its bees. "What?" you ask. No, I'm serious. Think about what a bee must do as it goes about its tireless job, pollinating flowers, in a concrete city like New York. Manhattan may once have been one of the most biodiverse habitats in North America, as an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York shows, but today in many parts of the city bees live off of flowerpots.
Then there's the High Line, a conservation project to restore an old elevated rail line and turn it into a park. The middle section of the High Line is currently under construction, but for it to become a public park all the way up to the rail yards in Hell's Kitchen, the
city must acquire the rest of it from the railroad. In any case, things are looking up for sustainable heroism in New York.
Watch a short film to learn more about the history of the High Line, and study the vocabulary of greening a remnant of the Industrial Revolution, in our listening comprehension exercise on the next page.
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