Archive for the 'New York' Category

Damn, Damn, Damn

metrocard bike

Subway fare at home in New York might go up from $2 to  $2.50. Monthly cards might go up from $81 to $104.

Boo-urns. You know things are rough in America when strippenkaarten could look good. I just bought my train discount card for here, (55 euros), and I’m still pissed that I’m only get 40% off for the year to travel across an country which, according to the CIA factbook, is “slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey.”

Well, maybe will still have it good back home. Let’s hope it lasts.

Night Train by James Brown

OK, konijntje, het is je dag vandaag

My friend Ashley sent me an article yesterday, and I meant to mention it. Apparently, a bunch of Dutch people (including the Prime Minister and heir to the throne) went over to New York to celebrate the 400th birthday of New York City. Way to trade places with me, guys. I’m guessing they went shopping, too.

I think the Dutch are still kicking themselves for selling New York for $24. (Stupid, stupid, stupid.) This explains why they constantly remind me that Harlem is named after Haarlem and Brooklyn, my hometown, is named after Breukelen. Oh, well.

Anyway, today’s song was a hit in Holland earlier this year. I still love it. It gts good after 0:15. And if anyone can recommend some new Dutch techno/nederrap, I’d appreciate it!

Download Konijntje (Remix) by AKA The Junkies


I’m a little slow to post this, but here goes. I love Olafur Eliasson‘s Waterfalls that are all over New York. I first saw one while taking the B and thought it was a desperate attempt at oil drilling in New York. Mistaken identity aside, they’re absolutely delightful. They totally kick The Gates’ ass. And it’s around until October. That’s longer than the Gates measly two week run which had been in the works since 1979.

I’d like to get some pictures of it as I take the water taxi to Ikea. Which means that I’d viewing the work of a Danish- Icelandic artist while on my way to shop at a Swedish super-chain that is located in a former Dutch colony (Rood Hoek.) I sense a northern European summer!

Duane Green!

Love it. I’d “tree” NY, too, if I didn’t have these horrible allergies. For those who don’t know (aka non- New Yorkers) Duane Reade is a ubiquitous drug store chain that’s on every street corner in the city. It’s ugly and overpriced, but we go anyway. Now it’ll feel better to go because they have an “eco tote”! I’ve been collecting these 99 cent wonders from various establishments; they remind me of my Albert Heijn days. I’ve got them from Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and even Walmart. The Walmart one is my favorite. Too bad I never remember to use them while I shop. Continue reading ‘Duane Green!’

So exciting!

As a New Yorker who’s writing about hookers, I can’t tell
you how exciting this is. (Granted, I’m writing about Dutch hookers in 1992.) I have nothing against Spitzer, and I don’t take any joy in his demise, but this is still a very satisfying time for this to happen.

So here’s a roughest of rough sketch of what I’m writing about: two prostitutes. A is female, in her thirties, works in a window. B is male, in his teens and works on the street. Both of them either live in or have family in the Bijlmermeer district, right around the 1992 crash. There’s lots of sex, a sprinkling of drugs, and somber lack of rock and roll. It’s very fun to write.

In Case You Haven’t Heard:

Rent, the musical that too many high school girls “relate to”, is going out of theaters. Thank God. It was overdue. It’s one of my youthful pop culture memories which, unlike Roald Dahl books and Batman, has aged terribly. Sad times.

I read an article stating that Rent’s sound has got progressively louder over the years. I wasn’t surprised; they needed something to cover up the smell of being around too long.

Rent would have been better had it a.) ended earlier than it’s 12 year run and b.) not had a crappy movie. They should do musicals like British sitcoms: kick them out after two years before the fanatics over quote and ruin it for everyone.

Mooi Vrowen: Lucia Rijker

Ladies and Gentlemen,
meet Lucia Rijker (foreground.) She looks very capable of completely fucking you up, doesn’t she? She is a boxer from Amsterdam. Her mother’s Dutch, her father’s from Suriname. She is virtually undefeated. After, she retired from boxing, she went into showbiz. She was in Million Dollar Baby, and was a minor character on the L Word’s second season. Curiously, she’s back this season as a completely different minor character, specifically a prison inmate. I guess we’re supposed to assume that Dana’s personal trainer fell on some hard times. Yeeeeaaaah. Anyway, she’s absolutely lovely and deadly. Great combination.

I also love that she’s playing an prison inmate at her last name sounds a lot like “Rikers.” In fact, Rikers Island Prison in New York is named after Dutch settler Abraham Rycken. Not spelled the same, but it still works.


Dutch Word of the Day
Onze infrastructuur is zwak.

Our infrastructure is weak.

As much as I enjoyed accidentally stumbling upon the Broken Angel House while I was lost during the subway flooding, I’m really getting concerned about all of these instances of weak infrastructure that we’re having. When you think of the Minneapolis Bridge collapse, the Lexington pipe explosion and levies breaking because of Hurricane Katrina together as a group you realize that these are all failures of infrastructure that should have been prevented long before these things broke and lives were lost.

But since repairs provide more drama and sound bites than preemptive construction, I have a feeling that we’ll just let things rot away. Safeguards need to be put in place.

But you know what gets built instead? Stupid crap like this friggin “Cube of Temptation” from Showtime. I’m not kidding. One of the walls said “Cube of Temptation.” It was in Union Square Park for a day or two, and meant to promote the shows Weeds and Californication. As much as I like what I’ve seen of Weeds and, well, the X-Files, this structure irritated me. For one thing, it wasn’t a cube. A cube is equidistant on all sides. This was more of a rectangular prism. It’s also lasted for four minutes. I only got there to witness it being taken apart. What was in it? Were they giving out weed and porn to promote the respective shows? I’d like to think it was a mini “gedogen zone.” Maybe that’s why they closed up so soon. Too much Amsterdam for one small, rectangular New York space.

Transformers and Transformers

Dutch Word of the Day
week: week
Ik heb de beste week ooit.
I am having the best week ever.

No, I’m not. But it could be worse. I had to walk 30 blocks to the train home today because of Grand Central problems. I was in an info session near the UN, when these helicopters started buzzing around. Then someone came in and told us a transformer exploded by Grand Central. Immediately I thought it was a plug for the movie, Transformers, that went horribly wrong. (Hey, you may call it stupidity. I call it an active imagination.)

So the info session went on and there were helicopters and sirens all over. It felt like 9-11 all over again. That happened when I was in 10th grade, very soon after my grandmother died. They told us what happened in art class. Since we weren’t too sure what happened, we just stayed calm and kept drawing. I just got this really horrible feeling all over again, because I’ve had a few family deaths lately and it’s a very unpleasant coincidence. Here I was six years later, in a class room just staying calm and ignoring the sirens.

This was a terrible thing that happened. I am extremely lucky that I was where I had to be at 6, a few minutes after it happened. I was in an very dangerous area. I feel so terrible for the family of the person who died. I really hope they fix these pipes in a timely fashion before someone else has to die.

Victor & Rolf

Dutch Word of the Day
vers: fresh
Ik ben verslaafd aan vers.
I’m addicted to fresh.

I look forward to the fall for the most ridiculous and temporarily enjoyable reasons. Briefly comfortable temperatures, New England foliage, and crisp new clothing. I also like 10 pound copies of fashion magazines, like Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. They make make me so happy. Harpers, however, didn’t wait until fall to be amazing. Since the Simpsons the Movie is coming up soon, they did this lovely spread of different designers with Matt Groening’s characters. This Viktor & Rolf/Patty & Selma picture struck me as particularly delightful. Check ’em all out here.

And it goes on and on, my friend…

Dutch Word of the Day
feest: party
De feest nooit eindigt!
The party never ends!

I finally went out on the town last night and 21-ed it up on Hudson street. Good times. I like New York a lot, although we lack the liberal wackiness of Amsterdam, and the duty free liquor of the Antilles (as seen above).

I have a ton of family between Aruba and St. Maarten. Consequently, I have a ton of Dutch stuff around my house, including delft and Vermeer/ Rembrandt prints. It’s one of the things you take for granted growing up. Who doesn’t have 3-4 delft dutch boys and girls kissing randomly placed throughout the house? Then you realize that there aren’t that many Antillean kids in the neighborhood. Oh, there are tons of West Indians because it’s Brooklyn. But not Antilleans.

In fact, aside from my brother, I haven’t met that many other Antillean American kids. I think they all just stay between the islands and Holland. It’s a pretty smart move.

Haardy har

Dutch Word of the Day
haar: hair, but also means “her”
Haar haar!
Her hair!

Well, mine is a mess as usual. Between just jumping between the job and LSAT practice, I haven’t had the time do get it done. New York has stolen Holland’s weather, windy and rain-ish. That doesn’t make it much better.

I’m watching Party Monster, which is a good-bad movie, and shows the New York 90s madness that I was too young to witness or appreciate. I’ve been walking around a lot lately. It doesn’t look as rough as it used to, but there’s still a comforting layer of grime.

Why does Wilson Cruz star in everything gay related?

Four Days

Dutch Word of the Day
beducht: apprehensive
Ik ben beetje beducht.
I am a little apprehensive.

I’m definately ready to go home now. But I’m not terribly pleased about those plans to blow up Kennedy, which is the airport I’m flying into on Friday. I doubt that anything would happen the instant I’m flying in, but it was just like a little reminder that I’m going back to the place where 9/11 happened. It really hasn’t felt quite the same since then. But everything will be OK.

Being in Amsterdam has made it difficult for me to tell how much people are worried about this. Sure, I’ve got the New York Times website I don’t get to see how many times news anchor’s mention it and use the “emphasis voice.” Whether or not people are actually concerned…it’s a tough call.

As for the lovely New York graffiti Delft in the picture, that is from Demian Repucci and Nicholas Lovegrove’s collection. I love it. You can find more of their stuff at

The More You Know: New York Edition

Here’s a list of places in New York with Anglicized Dutch Names:

Boerum Hill
Lefferts Manor
Coney Island
Gerritsen Beach
New Utrecht (duh)
Red Hook

Bed- Stuy, Boerum, Lefferts, and Gerritsen are all family names, but the rest are from words.
I haven’t even begun to look at Manhattan.

Just thought I’d share this

Hell yeah…

November 2021
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