Flying back into New York City last Friday I had one of the best views one can have of the metropolis when the plane flew directly up the harbor and passed over the city on its way to LaGuardia. We were so low it was like getting a helicopter-view of what was below. The buildings were cool, but my favorite part were the islands in the harbor. It gets lost on many New Yorkers that they live and work on an archipelago. Manhattan Island. Long Island. Staten Island. Roosevelt Island. Ellis Island. Liberty Island. Governors Island. Randall’s Island. So on and so forth.

Flying in I could see the outline of Fort Jay on Governors Island, which was all the more dramatic for being covered in snow. I tell people during my tours of the island to think of everything that has happened in the world over the past two centuries and to think that Fort Jay and Castle Williams have been standing watch in New York Harbor all that time. From above, one also sees how exposed the islands are there in the water. National Geographic has a fascinating piece about how Ellis and Liberty Islands were effected by Superstorm Sandy and what might happen to them and the other islands in the future with global warming.