Posted by: rbbadger | September 18, 2011

Dutch New York

New York’s Dutch heritage still manages to make itself known from time to time.  I am descended on my mother’s side from some Dutch settlers who came to these shores and settled in Long Island and the Hamptons back in the seventeenth century, back before real estate was atrociously expensive and New York was a much less crowded place to live. 

One of our oldest Protestant denominations is the Reformed Church in America.  Founded in the 17th century, it has as some of its most notable churches the famed Collegiate Churches of New York.  The most famous of them, Marble Collegiate, was lead by the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale whose version of “Christianity Lite” attracted a wide following for a time.  There are also Middle Collegiate and West End Collegiate.  One of the most splendid, St. Nicholas Collegiate, is no more.  Bad financial decisions forced them to close their doors in 1947.  The beautiful building, once known as New York’s “Dutch Cathedral” is no more, having long since been demolished.  Andrew Cusack, who has an excellent blog, has some pictures of New York’s old Dutch Cathedral.  You can see them by clicking here.

He also has some nice photos of TRH Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima of Orange.  The Netherlands is unique in that all of heads of state in the 20th century have been female.  When he acedes to the throne, Prince Willem-Alexander will be the first king The Netherlands has seen in over a hundred years.  Currently, Queen Beatrix rules over The Netherlands.  She may decide, as her mother and grandmother before her did, to retire. You can see the celebrations of 400 years of the Dutch presence in New York by clicking here.

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