Itâ€™s hard to imagine that we owe our fair city â€” and state â€” to the insubordinate wanderings of a Brit in the pay of Dutch taskmasters, a sailor chasing marinersâ€™ centuries-old dream of a shorter route to the Orient.
Yet 400 years ago, Henry Hudson encountered bad weather off Norway and, despite orders to return to Amsterdam, opted for a 3,000-mile detour to America instead.
Needless to say it was one slow â€” and lost â€” boat to China. But he did chance upon â€œa very good harbor for all windes,â€ and a river that would eventually bear his name. Hudsonâ€™s happy accident gave quick rise to Nieuw Amsterdam and, ultimately, the Big Apple.
Modern New Yorkers can tip their caps to Hudsonâ€™s pluck and celebrate the quadricentennial of his epic adventure this spring, summer and fall â€” while discovering the many beautiful facets of the present-day Hudson Valley.