Weekend Special: Report From the New New Amsterdam
A fake windmall with vanes that really rotate has sprung up a mere hundred yards from where the original stood 400 years ago.
In an event that was part trade show, part Epcot Center exhibit, a Dutch village sprang up for a 10-day run right in front of the Old Customs House at Bowling Green Park, across the street from Battery Park. The event was staged to promote Dutch products and to renew ties between the Netherlands and the City of New York, which was originally called New Amsterdam. It was part of a more extensive citywide celebration to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's appearance in the Upper Bay. "He was working for us," reminded one of the announcers from the stage.
A herring sandwich ($5) was one of the better eats at New Amsterdam Village. The herring came, not from Holland, but from Russ & Daughters.
Though billed as a reconstruction, the village was really a series of booths with hokey facades attached.
New Amsterdam Village continues through Monday, September 14, until 7 p.m., and includes booths that sell cheese, tulips, candies, waffles, wooden-shoe keychains, and greenhouse grown produce (of which free samples of miniature plum tomatoes and midget orange peppers are provided), among other things.
Bulbous little donut holes called poffertjes, hot from the indented contraption, sold eight for $4, and came heaped with powdered sugar. They were a little gooey in the middle.
An artisan carves the wooden shoes called 'klompen.'
The Danku chain of Dutch fast food restaurants (there's one in New York at 47 West 57th Street, which Sarah DiGregorio wrote about) vended krokets, fries, and mediocre coffee.
The creamy filling of the beef kroket was a little dodgy looking, but didn't taste bad, mainly bland.
Plastic-wrapped Dutch children in traditional costume cavort before a 19th-century calliope.
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