Put your tulips next to mine in New York



You may have heard yesterday that New York City is celebrating is 400th anniversary and Amsterdam’s Mayor Job Cohen was there to give a speech. You may also have heard about the gift the Dutch are going to build in the form of a pavilion called New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, designed by Ben van Berkel. It will be built in Battery Park, the Southern most point of Manhattan and “be shaped like a flower or a windmill, depending on your perspective.”

“Pioneers from Amsterdam settled into the Manhattan area and planted the seeds of democracy, entrepreneurial spirit, freedom of expression and freedom of religion in what we now know as New York, the unofficial capital of the world,” Mayor Cohen of Amsterdam said. “Amsterdam and New York share a commitment to quality of life. Amsterdam and New York share the same DNA.”

It doesn’t matter at all that Henry Hudson was an English explorer who just happened to be on a Dutch vessel trying to find a passage to Asia. Location, location, location.

(Link: nytimes.com)


  1. Neil says:

    True, Hudson was an Englishmen who captained a ship – Halve Maen – for the Dutch East India Company and was hired to explore in search of a better trade route, a Southwest Passage through North America in August 1608. Unless I’m mistaken, the Dutch settled in Manhattan first. Wiki has more:

    His voyage established Dutch claims to the region and the fur trade that prospered there. New Amsterdam in Manhattan became the capital of New Netherland in 1625. On his return trip to Amsterdam, he stopped in Dartmouth, England and was detained by authorities there, who wanted access to his log. He managed to pass the log to the Dutch ambassador to England who sent it, along with his report, to Amsterdam.

    Englishmen who also later settled in Manhattan referred to the Dutch as “Jan Kaas”, kind of a derogatory dig which was spelled phonetically in English as “Yankees” now considered emblematic of an early American and mascot for our famous New York professional baseball team.

    Battery Park could use more inviting sculpture and less war memorials. If you go to New York, take the ferry from Battery Park to Staten Island and back for a few bucks. The view is nice.

  2. Eric says:

    The Dutch should have decided to keep Nieuw Amsterdam and leave Suriname to the English back in 1667 ;-)

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