New Amsterdam Village

September 9, 2009

Why is a full sized windmill turning right in the middle of Broadway?

It is part of the celebration of the Dutch arriving in New York 400 years ago, New Amsterdam Village was temporarily constructed, just below Bowling Green Park, at Broadway and Beaver Streets. The village contains booths designed to resemble traditional Dutch canal houses. Some sell traditional foods and products, including cheese, herring, stroopwafels (sweet waffle cookies), flowers and wooden shoes – and yes, even a windmill.

In an open area, intended to represent the village square, a variety of musical acts performed for passersby. The highlights were the raucous numbers from Dynamo, a colorfully costumed youth marching / dancing / percussion / kazoo group, the unexpectedly diverse and humorous repertoire of Kleintje Pils, a brass band clad in traditional striped smocks and wooden shoes and Jan David performing “Miss Sunshine,” the song he composed in honor of NY400.

The windmill dwarfed by skyscrapers

Dynamp reaches skyward

Dynamp drummers

Trying to play the kazoo while giggling

Dynamp member dancing

Dynamp and the bandleader

Dynamp member performing

Dynamp member with triangle

Blue drumsticks and blue kazoo

The traditional method of making wooden shoes

Kleintje Pils
Jan David: Miss Sunshine
NY400 Week: New Amsterdam Village

Zoni Brothers Auto Repair

September 1, 2009

Although New York City has the lowest rate of car ownership in the US (42 percent of New Yorkers don’t have access to a car, versus the national average of eight percent), the city still contains a sizable population of motor vehicle owners.

For those who consider their cars and motorcycles more than just mere transportation, this colorful shop, covered inside and out with signs, flags and banners, is a mecca. ┬áNo ordinary neighborhood repair place, this is home of Zoni Brothers Auto Repair/Zoni Customs on 56th Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. Zoni’s is so revered by car lovers that they even sell a line of t-shirts emblazoned with their skull and spade logo. And yes, the shirts are available online.


The view from 56th Street

The sign says “Autos” but there are more motorcycles than cars in sight

Zoni Brothers Auto Repair Inc.
New York Times: The Costs of Owning a Car
Berkeley University: Study explores metro car ownership


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