Queen's Day in the United States


Queen's Day 2010.Dutch immigrants and expats will celebrate Queen’s Day, or Koninginnedag, throughout the United States next week.

From New York to L.A.
Queen's Day will be celebrated in major cities in the U.S.; New York and San Francisco will host multiple events. The festivities in New York kick off with a reception at the Netherland Club of New York at 6.00 pm on Friday followed by an afterparty with an Indonesian rijsttafel and music.

A few blocks away, in Mars 2112, NLBorrels organizes one of the largest Koninginnedag celebrations outside of the Netherlands; last year more than 900 people attended.

San Francisco also hosts two events. The Dutch Consulate General, NLBorrels and Eurocircle organize a party at Apartment 24; the San Francisco Supperclub organizes a Queen's Day event. In Los Angeles a party will take place on May 1.

All around the country
Our page with Dutch-American events lists over 25 Queen's Day celebrations. Many of the events are organized in collaboration with NLBorrels.com.

Queen's Day is the national holiday in the Netherlands. Last year many festivities were canceled or reduced in scope due to the attack on the Dutch Royal Family in Apeldoorn.

On May 4th, Dutch Remembrance Day, there will be a ceremony at the Netherlands Carillon in Washington D.C., followed by Liberation Concerts in Los Angeles and Grand Rapids, MI the next day, Dutch Liberation Day.

List with Dutch-American events

Movie premiere "Riding Bikes with the Dutch"


Riding Bikes with the Dutch.American filmmaker Michael Bauch fell in love with the Dutch bicycling lifestyle. His movie Riding Bikes with the Dutch, created while he lived in Amsterdam for a while, premieres May 9 at the Bicycle Film Festival in Long Beach, California.

Riding Bikes with the Dutch compares the bicycling culture of Holland with the car-centered lifestyle in Southern California and provides a twist of optimism in the urban seaside location of Long Beach, California. Amsterdam streetscapes and bicycle parking structures; Los Angeles freeways and Long Beach bike paths serve as scenic backdrop for the filmmaker’s dream to create more livable communities here in the United States.

Bike riding was a favorite activity for Michael Bauch, a Long Beach resident and independent filmmaker, who noticed that many of his local errands involved short rides which were less than three miles. After installing a simple basket, Bauch’s bicycle was now equipped for runs to the grocery store, bank and post office, and cross-town meetings. Integrating the bike into his everyday life seemed effortless and often quicker than taking a car, fighting traffic congestion and finding a place to park.

"A bike is the ultimate multi-task tool. Get your local errands done, your exercise, and do your share for the environment all in one fell swoop. I didn't understand why my neighbors weren’t integrating them into their everyday lives," said Michael Bauch. "In the U.S., bicycles are perceived either as high-performance sports machines, toys for children, or a last resort. This cultural perception intrigued me as it was in direct contrast to the values shared by my family living in Europe who use bikes as daily transport—and one of my inspirations for this project."

Living in Amsterdam

Riding Bikes with the Dutch.An early short documentary entitled Amsterdam: the Bicycling Capital of Europe captivated him to further the endeavor. In the fall of 2007, Bauch together with his wife and 7-month old son exchanged their home in Long Beach, California for a canal-apartment near the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. The experience allowed the filmmaker to live and film on location in the picturesque bike-filled city.

Bauch: "The first time I stepped off the train in Amsterdam I was literally speechless. As soon as I set foot on the ground I was almost run over by a mob of bikes. I turned to look up and to my amazement there was a 3 level structure dedicated to just parking bicycles. Everyone from three years old to 93 seemed to be tooling around the city on two wheels. This was too much to take in with just my own eyes. I needed to share this with everyone I could and this is why I made my film: Riding Bikes with the Dutch."

Riding Bikes with the Dutch
May 9, 2010 at the Bicycle Film Festival, Long Beach, CA
Trailer of the film (YouTube)

Dutch Embassy to receive votes by mail


The Royal Dutch Embassy announced today that votes for the Dutch parliamentary election can now also be sent to Washington D.C., instead of only to The Hague, the Netherlands.

Votes need to be received by the Dutch Embassy before June 9, 3.00 pm EST.

This is important for Dutch citizens in the United States who plan to participate via mail. Due to the short time between receiving the ballot and the deadline for it to be returned there was a significant chance that votes would not make it to the Netherlands on time.

As we wrote earlier registration is required for voting.

Dutch Dialogues in New Orleans


New Orleans.The New Orleans newspaper Times-Picayune writes today about the Dutch Dialogues, conversations about water management in New Orleans.

The Dutch Dialogues workshops are interactions between Dutch experts and their Louisiana counterparts that started in March 2008; this is the third workshop in the series. David Waggonner, a local New Orleans architect, initiated the dialogues with the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC and the American Planning Association.

When Dutch planners and designers came to New Orleans for the first time their initial reaction was “Where is the water and why is it hidden?”. The philosophy of the dialogues;

South Louisiana, like the Netherlands, must adapt to the threats inherent to living in a subsiding delta. This is not an either/or proposition -- it is an ordering principle. Safety First” is the key organizing water management principle in the Netherlands. History repeatedly shows the folly of living in a delta: disasters are common there. To ignore, however, the water’s magic – the unique, abundant opportunities that can and should be exploited for economic, societal and cultural gain —is equally foolhardy

“Living with the water” has recently become an ordering, corollary principle of Dutch policy. Dutch Dialogues participants believe that adapting a Living with the Water principle is necessary in post-Katrina New Orleans; they likewise reject the false choice posited by those who see only a choice between safety or amenity from water in the Louisiana delta. Indeed, Dutch Dialogues posits that both safety and amenity from water are crucial to a future in which New Orleans is robust, vibrant and secure.

This Sunday there will be a public presentation by the project in New Orleans. More information is available at http://dutchdialogues.com. (Source: Royal Netherlands Embassy).

Mayor of Nijmegen & actors in New York City


On Sunday February 28 there was a reception in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York to celebrate the exposition “Demons and Devotion: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves”. Several presentations provided a background to the historical book and presented the city of Nijmegen.

Thomas de Graaf, Mayor of Nijmegen, attended and he was joined by a large cast of actors who portrayed characters from the book's era. As the Roger Wieck, curator of The Morgan Library said: "The museum has never seen a more well-dressed crowd!"

Thomas de Graaf: "Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands"
After we wrote about the exhibition earlier, several of our readers stated on our Facebook page that Dordrecht and Maastricht are older than Nijmegen. We asked Mr. de Graaf about the claim that Nijmegen is the oldest city of the Netherlands.

Mr. de Graaf clearly enjoyed the subject and was quite clear: "Well, certainly not Dordrecht. They didn't get city rights until the Middle Ages. Maastricht may have a somewhat better claim, but in fact the city archeologist of Maastricht has proclaimed that indeed Nijmegen is older". An import piece of evidence is the godenpijler, a monument to Roman Emperor Tiberius which was found in Nijmegen. It dated to 8 BCE or 5 CE, and points out the importance of Nijmegen at that time.

Thomas de Graaf."People from Maastricht will challenge us and ask whether Nijmegen been inhabited continuously since then. However, we have archeological proof that indeed it has been, such as cemeteries and other archeological finds."

Actors from Nijmegen
A group of 30 actors from the Netherlands was in the museum to illustrate the costumes people wore at that time. Mr. Pool, one of the actors who helped check in guests, explained that the group of actors has been performing around in Zutphen, Nijmegen and other cities in the Netherlands. In 2005 Nijmegen celebrated its 2000 years of existence.

Mr. Brown and Mr. van der Haargh are court announcers, who were enjoying their work and being in New York. "We arrived yesterday". Mr. van der Haargh explained his shoes -- they are made from leather and have sheep wool to soften them. "The more pointy your shoe's nose, the higher your status". The outside of the shoe is made of linen.

Mrs. Van Thiel, who was portraying Catherine of Cleves, was excited to be in New York City. "Tomorrow we'll do a photo shoot on Times Square, 5th Avenue etc. I've been in the costume for 10 hours already today but Tuesday we'll have some time off; I hope to be able to see Ellis Island".

Mr. de Graaf spoke about the history of the city, and its relevance today. "Founded by Romans in the year 5, the Emperor gave us city charter less than 100 years later". "Nijmegen is not only the oldest city in the Netherlands, but also the youngest and most vibrant. The Rolling Stones and Coldplay, when they come to the Netherlands they choose Nijmegen."

The U.S. 82nd Airborn Division and paratroopers liberated Nijmegen in World War II in what Mr. de Graaf called "one of the most heroic operations of the war". He also mentioned the connection with Albany, NY, which helped Nijmegen during and after the war.

Ruud Priem, Curator of Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, explained why the book of Cleves is so popular. The three main reasons are the elaborate stories in the book, the attention to detail of every day level scenes ("baby Jezus with a wooden walker") and the book's inventiveness -- it's very creative and has lovely minute details. Mr. Priem explained that the exhibition shows nearly a hundred of the 150 pages of the book; after the show the pages will be rebound.

Roger Wieck, Curator of The Morgan Library & Museum, was very excited about the exhibition. "Our collection is the finest in the country, and this is one of the collection's finest works."

The exhibition will be on display for several more weeks.

Demons and Devotion: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves
Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY
January 22 through May 2, 2010

General apologizes for comments Dutch army


The Royal Netherlands Embassy wrote today that General John J. Sheehan has apologized to former Dutch Chief of Defence General Van den Breemen about his remarks on March 18 that related the Srebrenica massacre to gays serving in the Dutch armed forces.

Sheehan, a former NATO commander who retired from the military in 1997, was speaking at a public hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee in opposition to a proposal to allow gays to serve openly in the U.S. military. An opinion article in the Los Angeles Times by Borris Dittrich, Dutch born director of Human Rights Watch described the exchange:

Homosexuals in the Dutch military had depleted the forces' morale, he argued to the senators, and made them "ill-equipped to go to war." And that was in part why they failed to prevent Bosnian Serbs from massacring more than 8,000 civilians in the former haven of Srebrenica in July 1995.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) seemed incredulous at the testimony. "Did the Dutch leaders tell you it was because there were gay soldiers there?" he asked.

"Yes," Sheehan said. "They included that as part of the problem." He even claimed that the former Dutch commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force had told him this was true.

Earlier, Dutch prime minister Balkenende denounced the comments as “irresponsible” and said “these remarks should never have been made.” Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos issued a statement: "I heard the statements made by retired US General Sheehan in today's public hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee, in which he suggests a causal relationship between gays serving in the Dutch military forces and the massacre of Srebrenica. I couldn't disagree more.

I take pride in the fact that lesbians and gays have served openly and with distinction in the Dutch military forces for decades, such as in Afghanistan at the moment.

The military mission of Dutch UN soldiers at Srebrenica has been exhaustively studied and evaluated, nationally and internationally. There is nothing in these reports that suggests any relationship between gays serving in the military and the mass murder of Bosnian Muslims."

In today's letter, Sheehan wrote: "I am sorry that my recent public recollection ... 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social issues in the military".

Gays have been allowed to serve in the Dutch army since 1974.

Dutch designers in Washington DC gallery


Remy and Veenhuizen.The Washington Post writes today about an exhibition by Dutch designers Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen in the Industry Gallery in Washington DC.

This is the first American solo exhibition for Mr. Remy, 20 years after he launched the radical idea of recycling-as-fine-design. Since 2000, all of Remy's works have been done in collaboration with Mr. Veenhuizen.

The Washington Post:

People often use words like "whimsical," "comic" or "witty" to describe the works of Remy and Veenhuizen, but the laughter they provoke is usually nervous, more like a response to Lenny Bruce than to Mickey Mouse. "For us, it's dead serious," Veenhuizen says, smiling. "It's not humor for humor's sake," says Remy, more soberly. "Good humor is very intellectual."

Almost all of us still associate design with "comfort" -- if not physical, then at least intellectual or aesthetic. Even if a Bauhaus armchair in chrome and leather may not be easy on the bottom, it is easy on the eyes and has such a get-able gestalt that we can learn to be at ease with it. Even most avant-garde designers have come up with new models for comfort and ease -- turning away from Victorian velvet-on-oak, for instance, to embrace Bauhaus, then Danish modern. What few designers have done is work to abolish comfort itself as a design principle, in favor of objects that disconcert. That's the Remy and Veenhuizen model.

Exhibition Tejo Remy & Rene Veenhuizen
March 20 through May 8
Industry Gallery, Washington, DC

New paintings in Holland, MI


Adriaen Brouwer.The Holland Museum in Holland, Michigan, houses an extensive collection of Dutch paintings. The Dutch Galleries of the Museum showcases many 17th to 20th century Dutch paintings and more than one hundred and seventy other cultural objects, from fine furniture, Delftware and silver to original Dutch costumes

Tomorrow, March 27th, two new paintings will added to the Galleries. One is a Willem Kalf kitchen still life, and the other is an untitled work, referred to internally as ‘The Drinking Man’, attributed to Adriaen Brouwer.

To celebrate the addition of the paintings a local author created a brief play inspired by these and other paintings in the Gallery. The play and “Dutch Art Comes Alive” event make up the ceremony around these two paintings being added to the gallery. The museum will have a a reception that day as well. Thea Grigsby, the Executive Director, is the resident Dutch art expert and will provide some insight into the paintings in the form of a short talk.

The Adriaen Brouwer was donated to the Museum by Eleanor DeKruif from Zeeland (wife of noted microbiologist Paul DeKruif); the Willem Kalf was donated by the Beekhuis Foundation. The paintings are not new to the museum -- the Adriaen Brouwer was donated in 1979 -- but this is the first time the works go on display.

Holland Museum
Holland, Michigan

Frans Hals reunited in Connecticut


An art exhibition in Hartford, Connecticut temporary reunites two works of Frans Hals and other pairs of paintings. The show, "Reunited Masterpieces", displays 10 pairs of paintings that were originally created together but over time were sold to different collectors and museums. The intimate exhibition is worth a visit to the Wadsworth Atheneum. Three of the pairs on display are by Dutch painters.

The works by Frans Hals are portraits of Joseph Coymans and his wife, Dorothea Berck; he was 52, she 51 when works were created in 1644. His portrait belongs to the Wadsworth, while her's traveled north from the Baltimore Museum of Art to join him. The two have been reunited only once before, in a show in Hals' hometown, Haarlem, the Netherlands, in 1962.

The Wadsworth Atheneum acquired a painting of Adam by Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) in 2004. The corresponding Eve belongs to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Strasbourg, France. A New York Times review describes the differences between the two paintings:

"Some of the paintings in the pairs appear extremely different, partly because of different conservation methods, Dr. Zafran, the curator, explained. The portrait of Adam remains fresh, pink and luminous, while Eve appears older and more weathered, with a light coating of grime and crackling on the surface."

A third pair of Dutch paintings, with very elaborate frames, is of the hand of Johannes Verkolje de Elder. His 1674 portraits of Johan de la Faille and his wife Margaretha Delff both belong to the Wadsworth. Shortly after the museum bought Johan's portrait in 1982 it became aware of the accompanying painting of his wife and purchased it a year later.

The permanent collection of Wadsforth Atheneum contains several other Dutch works including a Rembrandt and Ruysdael's "View on Bloemendaal".

Reunited Masterpieces
February 14 through May 30, 2010
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

Registration form Dutch elections now available


Voting registration form.The registration form for Dutch citizens abroad who want to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Netherlands is now available.

The completed voter registration form should be sent to the municipality of The Hague, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. or one of the Dutch Consulates General (New York, Chicago, Miami or San Francisco). A proof of Dutch citizenship needs be included. All materials need to be received by April 27th.

The actual voting can be done via mail, by proxy, or, if you happen to be visiting the Netherlands, in person. There won't be any voting via internet. Note that the voting documents may not be sent until May 21st and votes need to be received in the Netherlands on June 9. Since 19 days for a round-trip via mail is rather short, voting by proxy may be the safest approach to get your vote counted.

The Royal Netherlands Embassy has the most recent information. More details on the procedure can be found here (in Dutch), by phone at +31 70 353 4488 or via e-mail at verkiezingen@dbz.denhaag.nl.

Elections for Dutch parliament (Tweede Kamer) will be held on June 9. The previous cabinet fell when the Labor Party (PvdA) quit the government because it could not agree with the Christian Democrats (CDA) to extend the service of 2,000 Dutch troops in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province.


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