A happy synchronicity: Two receptions and a book

25 Jun
Exploring Historic Dutch New York - book cover

Exploring Historic Dutch New York, edited by Gajus Scheltema and Heleen Westerhuijs

Tonight (June 24, that is) is/was the opening reception, in Kerkrade, Netherlands, of the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams which continues through June 28. Having attended every other IASD annual conference since 1997, I’m sorely disappointed about not being there.

So it was a happy surprise and exciting synchronicity when I received an email announcement yesterday of a reception tonight at The Netherlands Club, 3 West 51st Street in Manhattan. The occasion was twofold: a farewell to the current consul general, Gajus Scheltema (who’s headed for a new assignment in Islamabad), and a book signing for the newly released travel guide Exploring Historic Dutch New York, which he co-edited with Heleen Westerhuijs.

Wow, this book would have been helpful when I was starting my own exploration of New York’s Dutch heritage in November, in anticipation of Kerkrade. (Use the Topics drop-down list in the right column of this blog to find the Dutch-related posts, which have covered topics such as the Dutch language, the Dutch version of Santa Claus, and Dutch psychotherapist Robbie Bosnak’s talk here about an alchemical perspective on Nieuw Amsterdam [that’s New York now!] and the Dutch Golden Age.)

Well, I’m certainly looking forward to using the book now that I have it. It covers the five boroughs plus parts of New Jersey and the Hudson Valley. It’s a handy size, it’s beautifully illustrated with photos and simple maps, it has text descriptions of scores of sites, and it includes close to twenty short essays on topics from cooking to architecture to Dutch words in American English. It’s also thoroughly indexed; I like that in a book (and book indexes are becoming rare these days).

Shamelessly fishing for sympathy at the book signing for not being at the IASD conference’s opening reception tonight, I also had the great pleasure of several conversations with people deeply interested in dreams. So it was the perfect can’t-be-in-Kerkrade-but-I-love (Dutch) New York night.

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