Manhattan Schist


My favorite rock is Manhattan Schist, of course. There's mica in it, which makes it slightly sparkly. It forms a big part of the fabric of the city. If you've ever noticed the sparkly-ness of many Manhattan sidewalks, it's because the concrete is mixed with schist. There are large deposits in lower and northern Manhattan. If you walk from the bottom to the top of Central park, you see it gradually asserting itself more and more. It's a solid base for massive skyscrapers, that's one reason why so many tall buildings are downtown. (Something called the 'Hartland Formation' forms the base for Midtown skyscrapers.)

Every once in a while, for whatever reason, you see a piece of property where the schist has been left undisturbed. I always wonder why, with property rates so high, it wasn't worthwhile to remove it. The one above is on 114th near Columbia University, and it's called 'Rat Rock' by people in the neighborhood, because for years, hundreds of rats nested here.





This is in Hamilton Heights, Colonel Robert Magaw Place I think. Schist is much in evidence in this part of town.






Nearing Inwood, the deposits of schist break through the surface, and the terrain gets more severe. You see a lot of buildings like this, where the front is at street level, and the back is dangling over a steep incline.


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