As the sea-battered ships finally entered the harbor, the passengers gazed out onto a wholly new landscape, stranger and more complex than the flat land they had left. Sailing silently into the inner harbor, approaching the southern tip of Manhattan Island, the ships glided into a reedy, marshy expanse of tidal wetland (the Mohawk name for Manhattan--Ganono- -translates as "reeds" or "place of reeds", a complicated crowwover region of freshwater and marine species, where bay, swamp forest, and serpentine barrens bred skying, cawing shore birds--plovers, sandpipers, dowitchers, yellowlegs--as well as think populations of hemebody mallards, and also drew migrating flocks of oldsquaws, mergansers, and wigeons that blackened the gray November sky....Rising up above the island's reedy shoreline were forested hills: the best guess on the origin of the Indian name that would stick is the Delaware Mannahata, "hilly island," though some have suggested that simply "the island" or "the small island" is a more accurate translation.
The Island at the Center of the World, Russel Shorto (2005)
For people who would like to catch a glimpse of the view the new settlers experienced, the New Jersey bank of the Hudson, upstream the George Washington Bridge presents a good resemblance to the first impression of this new land according to scientists.
Visiting this location, one can envision Hudson’s ship, De Halve Maen, sailing up the Hudson. One can only feel deep respect for the crew, their endurance and bravery to undertake such a journey (over 3500 Miles of open ocean) on such a small vessel. It makes me proud to be of Dutch heritage and a descendant of those who laid the base for this magnificent city. Do turn around however and look land inwards. Try to imagine the view of untouched Manhattan, or Mannahatta as it was then called.
Especially during Spring and Summer this place forms an ideal place to either sit down and watch the ships go by or take part in the vibrant 'Summer on the Hudson' festivities on this pier.