joy magnetism: Happy Mannahatta Day!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Mannahatta Day!

Magnet #568 - "De Wit View" New Amsterdam, 1672

Another reason to love this town. Happy 400th, New York! Apparently, it's the week that Henry Hudson arrived in New York Harbor on his Dutch ship the Halve Maen ("Half Moon"). He was looking for Asia. He got us!

NY400 Week is a weeklong celebration to honor the city's Dutch ancestry - with supercool events and festivities all around town. Love it. Seriously. I live for extremely well-coordinated, nicely branded, multifaceted, multifacilitied events like this. What? I do!

Take for example, today. I went over to the Museum of the City of New York, where you can spend hours just looking at all the cool NYC stuff. In addition to the superfab photography installations, they've got this really well-done new multimedia presentation called Timescape, where Stanley Tucci takes you through the history of the City from when the Lenapes (Len-AH-pays, what, it was a museum, I totally learned stuff and now I'm sharing!) got hoodwinked sold the island of Mannahatta to Peter Minuit in 1626, for something like 60 guilders ($24 bucks).

There's also a smells-like-new-cuz-it-supertotally-is exhibit space about Henry Hudson's Amsterdam and New Amsterdam. Which has a model of the Halve Maen, plus some really cool stuff they dug up downtown. No, really.

And, there's the Mannahatta Project that takes you back in time (with bears and beavers and really looks-cooler-than-you'd-think-cuz-it-supertotally-is giant lightboxes) to what our little island looked like back in the day. Finally, a nod to the Dutch, where they selected a few Dutch photogs to run around the city taking pictures. Great stuff.

MCNY was just my first stop. After picking up this neat magnet of 1672 new Amsterdam in the still-too-small-for-its-space-cuz-it-supertotally-is little shop, I flew through the exhibits again to actually see it for myself.

Didn't see it, so I gave up and moved on down to the Met, to go see the Vermeer exhibit. Very crowded, but well worth the fighting. Awesome exhibit. And I'm not a big Vermeer fan - in fact, there's a part of me that's thinking he's the new Degas in my book. Great artist, a touch of the dirrrty. Don't deny it.

And then, as I was walking through one of the NYC historical imagery galleries, I found the color version of this image on this magnet!

Woot. Mystery solved: Apparently the watercolor of this thing is sitting up in The Hague, and shows New Amsterdam at about 1650, complete with natural shoreline. You can even see a small dock and crane right in the center!

What I really like about this view, is that you can see the packet ships, the cargo ships, and the little Native American ships all sharing the harbor's waterways. Kinda like now, only with the Water Taxis, scary speedboats and ferries.

It's why I can't wait until tomorrow, because apparently they're gonna do some big "Holland on the Hudson" Flotilla thing in the Harbor tomorrow for NY Harbor Day. So damn cool.

I love this town!

Although, I won't lie. The entire time I was lookin' at old-timey etchings, sketches, paintings, photos, etc., I was thinking that cuteboy Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's Nick from New Amsterdam (the Fox show that should have stayed on longer) would have totally been identifying his pals in each of those images!
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Kris Tualla said...

I loved your reference to New Amsterdam and the idea that "Johan VanderSee" would be identifying his buddies!

joy said...

Kristin, thanks for commenting - I'm just glad someone got the reference! :-)