The Dutch & the English Part 4: Invasion?

In late August 1664 the Burgomasters & Schepens (mayors and aldermen) of New Amsterdam were faced with “four King’s frigates from England, sent hither by his Majesty and his brother, the Duke of York, with commission to reduce not only this place, but also the whole N. Netherland under his Majesty’s authority…”

Dispatches from the Urban Heartland, Part 1: Welcome

A bit of an introduction. I was born in 1964 and live in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I walk the same streets my family did when they lived here decades ago. Having moved here in 1997, I’ve now been walking in the footsteps of my elders for twenty years...

Doomed Guests: Faisal II, The “Boy King” Of Iraq

The City of New York has hosted hundreds of distinguished individuals and groups, from heads of state to accomplished athletes. The art of a New York City reception was the brainchild of public relations guru Grover A. Whalen...

The Dutch & the English, Part 3: Construction of the Wall (1653-1663)

Soon after the colony of New Amsterdam was established, work began on Fort Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, completed sometime around 1625. Over time, this earth and sod fort was hardened with stone...

The Dutch & the English, Part 2: A Wall by Any Other Name

In 1653, the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam built a fortification along the northern edge of the town, running from the Hudson River (today's Greenwich Street) to the East River (then lapping at Pearl Street). Eventually the English captured the city, and named the street that ran along that old fortification Wall Street. But what did the Dutch call it?

Hall of Records: Where Brilliancy Is Necessary

It’s a fairly regular occurrence for me to walk out of our Municipal Archives offices on the first floor and see a group of people standing in the vestibule of the building, craning their necks as they point to the ceiling, mouths agape.  I’m not surprised when this happens; after over five years of working at 31 Chambers Street, I still find myself doing exactly the same thing...