All photos are of my actual Adventure
Harlem is named after the village outside the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands - Haarlem. You can still see and hear the influence of the Dutch all over Upper Manhattan, or New Amsterdam as it was first known. I took trip overseas to find out what else Haarlem and Harlem had in common.
Like Harlem, Haarlem was a land occupied many times by many people. The Vikings, the English, the French, the Spanish, and the Germans all controlled Haarlem for periods of time. The name comes from the old Dutch words, Heir and loiem, which meant forest house. Dutch explorer Peter Stuyvesant, whose name appears all over NYC, first called Upper Manhattan “Haarlem” around 1650.
You will see many architectural similarities in the two sister cities. Can you tell which of these pictures is Harlem and which is Haarlem?
The left is the Harlem Courthouse on 118th Street and Lenox Avenue. The right is a building I saw in Haarlem with Dutch words on it I do not understand.
Have you ever been to Central Park’s Harlem Meer? It is the pond on the north west side of Central Park at 110th Street and 5th Avenue.
This is the Amsterdam Proof in Haarlem, one of the few remains of the cities centuries old city walls.
Both neighborhoods are surrounded by water and are thought of as bedroom communities to an international city. Haarlem is a short train ride from the center of Amsterdam.
Top left the Harlem River. Top Right the Spaarne River.
Bottom left Haarlem. Bottom right Harlem.
And people everywhere love building cathedrals. Guess where this one is.
Now can you guess where this one is?
The first one is St. John of the Divine on 114th street and Amsterdam Avenue. The second of Groek Kerk or “Great Church,” in Haarlem.
As you can see what is new is old and what is old is new. Come up and see the new Harlem, alive with history, architecture, and culture. I've been all around the world, and I’ll tell you, no matter where you go, people always say, “I wish I lived in New York.”