$14 registration fee for ESTA applications


U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that effective September 8, 2010 a fee of $14 will be charged for Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applications.

An approved ESTA application is required to use the Visa Waiver Program. This program allows visitors from several countries, including the Netherlands, to travel to the United States for up to 90 day without applying for a visa under certain conditions. The ESTA registration does not apply to holders of a U.S. visa and permanent residents (green card holders).

All new registrations or renewals on or after that date will require a $14.00 fee payment by credit or debit card. Existing ESTA registrations remain valid through their expiration date. $4 of the fee goes to administrative costs; $10 will go towards funding the activities of the Corporation for Travel Promotion.


A valid ESTA approval has been required since January 2009 for all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to travel to the United States but up to now it has been free of charge. The Department of Homeland Security, Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the VWP. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers fill out en route to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin making travel plans.

More information at the Department of State.

Vandaag -- genever and bitterballen in New York


Tomorrow Vandaag, a genever bar with a Dutch theme, will open in the East Village in New York City.

Vandaag will serve Dutch snacks and food such as bitterballen and hete bliksem and will carry a large selection of genever cocktails and other drinks.

Dutch-inspired dishes
'Vandaag' is a Dutch word that means 'today'. Manager Brendan Spiro describes this a reference to the seasonality of the ingredients that are used on the menu.

Mr Spiro: "Nothing is fully traditional Dutch, but the food is inspired by Dutch and Danish dishes using a profile of locally sourced ingredients." An example of this is the burger, which is modeled after the Dutch slavink. Other Dutch items on the menu include stroopwafels and Frisian suikerbrood.

Genever has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. In September 2008 Bols, a Dutch genever producer, launched a new a marketing campaign targeting bartenders across the USA to establish Bols as an innovator in cocktail-making and to promote the genever drink.

Robert Simonson, a wine and spirits journalist, wrote for the New York Times Diner's Journal about genever:

Genevers (also spelled jenever) — from which the English word “gin” derives — are often aged. They are typically headier, more malty and sweeter than London dry style gins. Mixologists have recently embraced genever as a style of gin closer to the ones used by their storied 19th-century predecessors like Jerry Thomas. At Vandaag, the genevers will be served chilled and in the traditional tulip-shaped glasses found in Amsterdam’s genever bars. Filled to the lip, one traditionally bends over the glass for the first sip before taking the drink in hand.

This is the first Dutch bar to open in New York City after the closure of Danku in January this year (see our list with all restaurants, bakeries and stores in the United States).

103 Second Avenue (Sixth Street), East Village
New York, NY

Watching the World Cup final in the USA (2)


Here is a selection of articles and videos about Dutch fans in the USA watching the final World Cup game between Spain and the Netherlands.

  • New York Times, about the event by NLBorrels.com in Tonic, "...a bar in Midtown that has become a center for Dutch events. Hundreds of people crammed every square foot of the bar on Sunday, craning their necks to watch the action on the wall-to-wall overhead screens. There were orange hats, orange shirts, orange balloons, and giant soccer balls suspended in nets from the ceiling"
  • Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, slideshow
  • San Francisco Chronicle: "The traffic-cone orange of Dutch fans dominated the crowd gathered in front of two giant screens across from City Hall, with red Spanish jerseys sprinkled in between."
  • KUSI News: World Cup finals at Shakespeare Pub & Grille, San Diego
  • Washington Post, about Mackey's Pub: "At the pub in Northwest, more than 250 yelling, foot-stomping, orange-wearing fans crammed in to cheer on their beloved Dutch. They wrapped themselves in flags, blared vuvuzelas and bit their nails. They cheered every movement toward Spain's goal and screamed obscenities at every foul, the volume increasing with each newly poured cup of beer".
  • ABC 15.com: "Hundreds of orange clad fans gathered Sunday in Scottsdale to cheer on the Netherlands in the World Cup finale."

Watching the World Cup final in the USA


For the first time since 1978 the Dutch soccer team has made it to the finals at the FIFA World Cup. The Dutch have never won the title... will Sunday be different?

The game starts at 2:30 pm EST/11:30 am PT and will be watched by Dutch-American communities throughout the United States. Here is a list of entries as collected on our Facebook page. Many of these are organized by NLBorrels.com and local Dutch clubs.

Most events have limited capacity, so come early, and some bars are for 21 years and older only. The dress code for all events is orange.

West Coast

  • Los Angeles, CA - The Happy Ending in LA (7038 West Sunset Boulevard) Facebook invite In cooperation with the Netherlands Consulate, NLBorrels.com, EUROFRIENDSLA.COM, DBCLA.COM
  • Orange, CA - Danny's Cafe & Billiards, 1096 N. Main St, Orange, CA 92867, 1-714-771-9706 (through Petra)
  • Orange, CA - Dutch in the OC Club is hosting at Danny K's in Orange, CA (great city, great color!) (through Julia)
  • The Holland Soccer Club will be watching the game
  • San Francisco, CA - Civic Center Plaza - http://sanfrancisco.the-netherlands.org/News/News_Flashes/Holland_in_the.... The City of San Francisco is expecting more than 8,000 viewers
  • San Francisco, CA - Kezar Pub, 770 Stanyan St (through Menno)
  • Seattle, WA - Dutch Seattle: http://dutchseattle.ning.com/events/finals-hollandspain-live
  • San Leandro, CA - The Englander Sports Pub & Restaurant, 101 Parrott St (through Kroepoek)

Central US

  • Austin, TX - Fado's at 4th and Lavaca. The place will rock, many many Dutch. (through Dirk)
  • Chicago, IL - Sedgwick's Bar and Grill, 1935 N. Sedgwick, Dutch Club Chicago
  • Detroit, MI - Beverly Hills, MI (Detroit Metro Area). About 30 Dutch people. It's at a private residence. If you're interested contact rvanderputte@gmail.com
  • Grand Rapids, MI - Vander Veen's Dutch store organizes an event at Celebration Cinema, 2121 Celebration Dr. NE #425 Knapp St. & East Beltline
  • Houston, TX - Intercontinental Hotel Houston, Netherlands Texas Business Association
  • Louisville, KY - Molly Malone 933 Baxter Avenue (through Hanane)
  • Scottsdale, AZ - local Dutch Club "The Dutch Connection" will be meeting up at a sports bar called "Versus Sports Grill" on 9030 East Via Linda at 11:30 local time to watch The World Cup. At least 50 Hollanders are expected to come, children more than welcome.
  • Tucson, AZ - Trident Grill, 2033 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson AZ, 520-795-5755 ...Next to Buffalo Exchange on Speedway & Campbell, NW corner. Everyone welcome, under 21 also (through Sybelle)
    • East Coast

      • Atlanta, GA - FADO aka HOLLAND HEINEKEN HOUSE, 273 Buckhead Ave - with Dutch DJ, live music, bitterballen and orange colored building :) (Atlanta Holland Club, NLBorrels.com)
      • Cary, NC - About 30 Dutch people at a private residence. If you're interested contact jvanderham@att.net de Wieken
      • Fairfax, VA - public event in Fairfax, VA: http://www.destinationfairfax.com/worldcup.php Not sure how "orange" this is (through Margareta)
      • Laurel, MD - Maple Lawn "I'm guessing about 10 oranje fans; the rest soccer fanatics, both Spain and Holland supporters; always a good crowd for the WC games so far." (through John)
      • Philadelphia, PA - Fado Irish pub. NAADV and NLBorrels.com - "Huge World Cup party at Fado starting at 10am, Sunday - they will be closing off the entire block - 15th and Locust. It may not be the Museumplein but expect a sea of orange!"
      • Margate, FL - O'Malley's in Margate (Miami/Ft Lauderdale area) organized by the Netherlands Association of South Florida
      • Miami, FL - Crazy Pianos in Coconut Grove (South Miami area) (through Mischa)
      • New York, NY - Tonic Bar Time Square, 48th Street & 7th ave & Mars 2112 Best places to go in the New York area. Superb event organized by NLBorrels.com (read their announcement).
      • Scotch Plains, NJ - Stage House Tavern. This sports bar has a Dutch owner
      • Stamford CT - Irish Pub Tigin, 175 Bedford Street, http://www.tiginirishpub.com (through Nicole)
      • Tallahassee, FL - Finnegan's Wake. Not so much a "Dutch" or "Dutch Fans-only" event, but yours truly is working hard to turn the entire place Orange! (Steven)
      • Washington, DC - James Mackey's Pub (DC Dutch, NLBorrels.com): "Mackey's Pub will open specially for us Sunday at 12:30 pm and show the match LIVE on their many screens all around the place. NL Borrels also replenished the supply of kroketten! Mackey's is at 1823 L Street NW, Washington DC."
      • Winterpark, FL (near Orlando) - Fiddlers Green in Winterpark, Fl courtesy of Club Holland Orlando, usually a large turnout of Expats; Still looking for a place in Cocoa Beach, Fl.(through Arnold)

      Click on 'Read more' to see some pictures of previous soccer watching events in San Francisco, New York and Washington D.C.

Dutch assistance in the Gulf of Mexico


The Dutch government and Dutch businesses are assisting with the cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After the spill began the Dutch offered several oil skimming arms. These sweeping arms, created by Koseq, were shipped to the U.S. Coast Guard in Louisiana by the Dutch counterpart of the Army Corps of Engineers, Rijkswaterstaat. The arms can be attached to ships and have a maximum pumping capacity of 350 m3 (metric tons per hour) to remove oil from the water. Two sets are operating at the moment in the Gulf.

In addition, the State of Louisiana is adopting a sand berm plan created by Dutch knowledge institutions and the dredging industry. Sand berms will be built to prevent the oil reaching the marshes, enlarging the existing islands in front of the coast with an estimated 40 to 45 miles of sand berm.

The Dutch embassy writes today in a press release:

"The Dutch are ready to share [water management] knowledge with those who need it. Such Dutch assistance consists of a wide-ranging network of research institutions, private companies and the public sector. Already Dutch companies are actively involved in helping clean up the damage from the oil spill and in protecting the fragile wetlands along the coast of Louisiana. The Dutch involvement has evolved naturally from the trustworthy relationship between the Netherlands and Louisiana which deepened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Dutch are increasingly becoming an active partner for Americans in water-related crises."

BP has agreed to pay for the implementation of the sand berms (up to $360 million); the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a permit for the project to begin. The State of Louisiana has mandated a state contractor to implement the plan. The Dutch dredging industry is leading in the world and stands ready to partner with the Americans to execute the plan quickly. The estimate is that adding the dredging capacity of Dutch companies would increase the capacity significantly, thus shortening the time needed to implement the plan.

Mr. Eurlings, Dutch Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, stated, "The Dutch offered assistance to the U.S. as soon as the disaster occurred. We have been working closely on water related issues with the Louisiana region since Hurricane Katrina. It seems no more than natural that now again; we stand together with the people of Louisiana."

C-SPAN visit to Dutch skimmer ship

Election results Washington DC


Today was election day in the Netherlands, and the Embassy in Washington DC has released the results of Dutch votes in the United States. Four designated four poll workers counted the votes, sent in orange envelopes, at the Embassy.

There were 1,767 valid votes counted (87 blank or invalid); here are the results:

  • VVD 557
  • PvdA 372
  • D66 316
  • GroenLinks 195
  • CDA 109
  • PVV 100
  • ChristenUnie 41
  • SP 35
  • Partij voor de Dieren 25
  • SGP 8
  • Partij voor Mens en Spirit 2
  • Piratenpartij 3
  • Trots op Nederland 3
  • Een NL 1

Worldwide there are 46.396 Dutch citizens who live outside the Netherlands and have registered to vote; about 2,000 of them in the United States.

With 96.5 percent of all votes counted Thursday night, the VVD led the PvdA to become the largest party, with 31 seats.

Update 6/10: vote count has been adjusted after release of final results by the Dutch Embassy.

Joran van der Sloot suspected of murder and extortion


Joran van der Sloot, the longtime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway on Aruba, was arrested today in Chile on murder charges. Also, in a separate criminal complaint filed today the U.S. Attorney in Birmingham, Alabama accuses Van der Sloot of extortion and wire fraud.

Van der Sloot, a Dutch national, is accused of killing 21-year old Stephany Flores in a hotel on Sunday in Lima, Peru. This was five years to the day after Holloway disappeared. He fled Peru and was arrested today in Chile.

Hours later, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama held a press conference discussing a separate criminal complaint against him. Allegedly, he asked for $250,000 in exchange for the whereabouts of Natalee Holloway. An advance amount of $15,000 had been wired from Alabama to the Netherlands on May 10, 2010.

In February 2008, an undercover video made by reporter Dutch reported Peter R. de Vries was aired on Dutch television purporting to show Van der Sloot smoking marijuana and admitting to being present during Natalee's death. He said he believed she was dead and asked a friend to dump her body in the sea.

Watching World Cup soccer in the USA


2010 FIFA World Cup.The 2010 FIFA World Cup will start on June 11 in South Africa. The Dutch team starts the first round with games against Japan, Cameroon and Denmark.

The World Cup games will be broadcasted by ESPN and ABC. Check with your local Dutch club or NLBorrels.com to find other Dutch soccer fans watching the game.

Schedule for Group E:

  • June 14, 2010 @ 7:30 AM ET: Netherlands vs. Denmark
  • June 19, 2010 @ 7:30 AM ET: Netherlands vs. Japan
  • June 24, 2010 @ 2:30 PM ET: Cameroon vs. Netherlands

The timezone difference means that West Coast viewers will have to get up really early -- some of the games start at 4.30 am Pacific Time.

"A long history of self-destruction"

Not everybody is convinced that the Dutch will become World Champions this year. The Los Angeles Times writes: "The Netherlands has the personnel to make a serious run at the world championship, but Coach Bert van Marwijk's team will have to overcome the Oranje's long history of self-destruction in the biggest matches". ESPN has the following to say: "The same way Germany can be relied upon to overachieve, the Dutch can be trusted to eventually implode. They always do, without fail. Whether they succumb to penalties, arrogance, bad luck or simply run into a better opponent while having a bad day, things will end unhappily. Like death and taxes. The Netherlands will be loaded with offensive talent but find a way to screw it up".

Thousands of Dutch lilies at Lilytopia


The Lilytopia exhibition next week will feature tens of thousands of lilies grown by Dutch and American companies. Longwood Gardens, a large display garden in Kennett Square, PA, will host the event.

Many Dutch lily growers are participating. Dutch newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad writes that 500 cases with lilies were sent to the United States for the event. Dutch Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos will open the exhibition on May 21.

Inspired by the Keukenhof
The exhibition, which is open to the general public, is inspired by the Dutch Keukenhof. According to the organizers it will be the largest display of lilies in North America. In celebration of Lilytopia Netherlands carillonneur Gerard de Waardt will play Longwood's 62-bell carillon. De Waardt is the city carillonneur of Rotterdam, Schiedam, Maassluis, Tholen and St. Maartensdijk in the Netherlands; he will play on May 22, 23 and 24th.

The logistics are impressive. From the press release:

"At this point, the plan is completed and implementation of the show is well under way! We are using an estimated 50,000 stems of display-grade lilies. Display-grade lilies are the highest quality grade flowers—a grade rarely seen outside of the Netherlands. These flowers are grown every year for the Keukenhof “Lily Show” and starting this year the tradition includes Longwood Garden’s Lilytopia.

Lilies slated for a show need to be harvested at just the right time. Certainly lilies can be stored in refrigerated coolers, however longevity of the cut flower may be reduced. Therefore we are planning on installing lilies that were harvested just hours before in Holland. An extensive logistical network of breeding houses, warehouse and shipping facilities, airports, export agents, import and shipping companies, government agencies, and trucking companies have been lined up to ensure a safe and speedy transportation of the flowers."

Symposium for lily professionals
Professionals from North America and the Netherlands will conduct a symposium on May 24. Design demonstrations will focus on everything from proper handling to cutting-edge design trends. Growing seminars will explore the latest cultivation techniques, including pest and disease management, on lilies. Marketing seminars will offer techniques to boost consumer awareness and demand of lilies.

Lilytopia 2010
Longwood Gardens, Kennet Square, PA
May 21 through May 31, 2010

First Dutch school in South Florida


When Marleen and Bart immigrated to the United States in 2005, Marleen was pregnant of their eldest son. Little did she know that 5 years later he would be her inspiration to start a new Dutch school in South Florida. With a team of 10 volunteers she plans to open a new Dutch language and culture school in September 2010.

Marleen and Bart speak Dutch at home, though some English will occasionally slip in. In the early years in the States they had limited contact with other Dutch people but when their kids became of ‘Sinterklaas age’ they got in touch with other Dutch people to maintain the traditions. There's an active Dutch club in Florida with many young families. Marleen realized there's a need for a school where children can improve their Dutch and she started an initiative group,

Setting up a Dutch school
The Saturday-morning school will target children of Dutch expats and immigrants. "A relatively large part of the Dutch American community in Florida is staying permanently", says Marleen. The school expects children of different ages. "We're aiming for kids from 4 to 12 years old. They will be divided into smaller groups during the lessons, probably three levels, and the teacher will teach them with help of volunteers". The school will provide classes on Saturday mornings; each two to four hours per week.

A list of children that is interested has been drawn up. "We have about 30 families that are seriously interested and the registration will start soon", says Marleen. The initiative group is working out various details. The school will cover Broward County, Miami Dade County and West Palm Beach County. The school will be located in Davie in Broward County, right in the middle of the three counties.

The fee for the school is $600 per child per year. The second child in the family will get a 25% discount; the third 50%. There's a one-time registration fee of $100. A website for the school is in the works, as well as a Facebook page and a Hyves page.

Commitment is required
Marleen explains the required commitment: "The kids have to be between 4 and 12 years old. Beside that, at least one of the parents has to speak Dutch at home. It is impossible to learn or keep up the Dutch language with only a few hours in class. The kids have to speak Dutch actively at home to see progress in their language skills".

The initiative has received a lot of positive responses, from students as well as volunteers. Marleen is looking forward to a bright future for the first Dutch language and culture school in South Florida. Marleen: "We have a great initiative group and great families so all ingredients are here for a successful result!"

If you're interested in the school contact Marleen via email or phone. The school is also still looking for a qualified teacher in Nederlandse Taal en Cultuur (NTC).

Marleen Ariens-Tessel
954 389 1704


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