Manhattan is known for it's famous skyscrapers and vibrant streetlife. Although 400 years ago Manhattan was a little known island inhabited by woodland animals and a few Indian tribes.
Here's some great renders of what Manhattan looked like back then from the New Yorker's Mapping Manhattan
Here's a 3d render of what the island looked like back then compared to now. The West Side of Manhattan in 1609 and 2009. The clearing of trees is about where times square is now.