Off the Path from New York to Boston

An historical reconstruction of Inwood Hill Park and the Bronx as it is believed to have looked centuries ago, left, and an aerial photo of the area today.

There’s a place in Manhattan that makes you feel like you just took a trip on the Wayback Machine — to the 1600s, when European settlers first arrived. And you can find it all the way up on the northern tip of Manhattan Island in Inwood Hill Park.

Tiffany glass lampshades
Corrado Serra / New York Historical Society

Tiffany lampshades — made of leaded glass — are icons of American art. Louis Comfort Tiffany showed them to the public for the first time in the 1890s. It was always assumed Tiffany designed all his lamps. But it took a century to recognize the contributions of the women who designed many of them — thanks to some long-lost letters.

Ilene Frank holds one of the few surviving copies of “American Cookery” by Amelia Simmons, complete with egg white stains.
Davis Dunavin / WSHU Public Radio

The tradition of American cooking can trace its origin to a single cookbook — published less than a decade after the U.S. Constitution. It was the first to present recipes of the new world, instead of just copying English and French dishes. And it’s called — simply — American Cookery.

Historical Marker for the first Vanderbilt Cup race on Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park, Nassau County, New York.
Terry Sheridan / WSHU Public Radio

A dashing young heir to one of America’s most famous families had a dream. He loved to race expensive cars, and he wanted a road tailor-made to do it. He built his speedway on Long Island in 1908. It was the first road in the country designed just for cars. He called it the Long Island Motor Parkway — also known as the Vanderbilt Parkway. For more information on the Vanderbilt Cup races and the Long Island Motor Parkway — and to read Vanderbilt's wild speech in its entirety — visit

Stefan Nicolescu displays the meteorite during a Zoom call with WSHU reporter Davis Dunavin.
Davis Dunavin / WSHU Public Radio

A meteorite fell from the sky into a field in rural Connecticut more than 200 years ago. It didn’t cause much damage, but it did put American science on the map. And it's preserved at Yale University’s Peabody Museum.