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The Peach Tree War

My blogging has been sporadic during the past several months, and my attention has wandered far afield from my original subject of Jersey City. This post marks an intellectual return to the forgotten Dutch empire on the banks of the Hudson River. Following the Pavonia Massacre, hostilities between Dutch colonists and the surrounding Native American…

Self and Soul … More Thoughts

When I launched this blog, I envisioned it as venue to explore the history and culture of Jersey City, my adopted hometown. However, the blog is evolving into  a sounding board for my musings on culture, literature, the humanities, and other topics within and without my homestead in the Garden State. Never fear, Jersey City…

Book Review: Self and Soul: a Defense of Ideals

Several weeks ago, I heard a remarkable conversation with author and academic, Mark Edmundson, about his new book Self and Soul: a Defense of Ideals, on the always engaging and entertaining Art of Manliness podcast. During this past weekend’s snowstorm here on the Eastern seaboard, I found myself sitting in my parlor and enjoying a…

Merry Christmas

With its music, food, films, television specials, and assorted festivities, Christmas remains a special season. This will sound cliched and sappy, but I always feel a charge or a spell in the air in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day. Dear readers, I wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope that…

Returning to the (Virtual) World …

After several months of silence, dear reader, I am returning my attention to Another Town on the Hudson. Since the summer, I’ve been working on a manuscript and teaching. Both efforts have demanded all my creativity and intelligence. In my free moments, I’ve been fixing up my wife’s and my home and puttering around my…

On Hiatus …

Another writing project demands my attention for the next several weeks. Never fear. I shall return.

Don Quixote: Initial Thoughts

The subject of this piece has no relationship with Jersey City. No relationship with New Jersey. Except the subject might be found in a bookstore, a library, or a dusty bookcase and that many New Jerseyans speak the tongue of the author. A few times every year, I try to tackle one of the great,…

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

My main summer goal is taking more advantage of the cultural and recreational offerings in Jersey City and the New York City region. After writing my post on Washington Irving’s relationship with Jersey City, I decided to visit Irving’s estate, Sunnyside, a National Historic Landmark in Irvington, New York.

From the Pen of Washington Irving

Best known for his classic short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” Washington Irving was America’s first man of letters. Being the first American writer to gain a European audience, Irving elevated not only his professional stature but that of American literature.  His position allowed Irving to advocate for emerging authors,…

Happy Fourth of July!

While enjoying food, drink, friends, and family, take a moment to ponder the history of our country. Better yet, visit a park, museum, or historic site and experience it for yourself. Just finish before the fireworks begin.

New Netherland in the Public Schools … in New York

A fellow history blogger (follow link for the story) reported that the New York State Social Studies curriculum is placing a greater emphasis on the period of Dutch colonial history in that state. A three-day workshop will be offered for educators at the New York State Museum (a fun place, by the way) in Albany,…

John Quidor

While leafing through Dutch New York: the Roots of Hudson Valley Culture, I discovered the artist John Quidor (See a previous blog post on the book itself). Many historic and literary types likely have seen reproductions of Quidor’s paintings inspired by Washington Irving’s two more popular short stories, Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of…

Book Review: Dutch New York

2009 marked the 400th anniversary of the explorer Henry Hudson sailing the Hudson River. In that year, the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York organized an exhibition on the Dutch colonial experience in the Hudson River Valley and the lasting influence of the Dutch on economics, politics, and culture in the region.

The Pavonia Massacre

A little-known but bloody episode on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River enraged and united the rival Native American tribes throughout New Netherland against the Dutch colonists and their corporate governorship. This war nearly ended the Dutch East India Company’s colonial experiment in North America. Today, historians call this event Kieft’s War.

Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy 15th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony

On Thursday night—yes, this Thursday May 28, 2015 from 6:00 to 9:00—the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy is hosting its annual preservation awards ceremony at the splendid and magical Loew’s Jersey Theatre. The JCLC will be handing out awards to homeowners, developers, and architects who have renovated or preserved historic property throughout Jersey City and to…

Preservation Month

May is Preservation Month! Celebrate the month by visiting a church, a historic home, a park, a museum, or a cultural institution. Enjoy a space that makes your town or city beautiful, interesting, and worth caring about. Everywhere and everyone in this storied country should have one special place. Find yours. The National Trust for…

Pavonia

The name Pavonia appears throughout eastern Jersey City. Pavonia Avenue runs through the downtown and past the Journal Square section. There is a Pavonia branch of the Jersey City Free Public Library. Most residents associate the name with a robotic voice announcing the Pavonia-Newport stop on the PATH ride from Manhattan into Jersey City. The…

What and Where was New Netherland?

What was New Netherland? Where was it? Before delving into the promised exploration of Jersey City’s Dutch heritage, I’ll try to answer these crucial geographical questions with a gorgeous map.

Independent Bookstore Day! Visit Your Favorite Store!

May 2—today—is Independent Bookstore Day. Visit your favorite bookstore and buy a book or two.  Local bookstores are key to a cultured, vibrant, and rewarding community. For some local history, check out this great blog post on the legendary and vanished Book Row in Manhattan published by the Museum of the City of New York.…

When Jersey City was (Briefly) Dutch

The next few several posts (final and exact number to be determined) initiate the first historical project here at Another Town on the Hudson.  Over the next several weeks, Another Town on the Hudson will explore a fascinating but largely forgotten chapter of early American history: New Netherland. Specifically, the forthcoming writings will linger on…

(Not Quite) Random Quote about History

“To me history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn’t just part of our civic responsibility. To me it’s an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is.” -David McCullough in a conversation with former Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities Bruce Cole…

Why Jersey City?

About ten years ago, I moved to Jersey City, following a girl (now my smart, sophisticated, and stylish wife) and needing cheap rent. The second reason likely sounds familiar to many of the newer residents discovering and building their households in Jersey City since its “rebirth” in the 1990s. I immediately fell in love with…

Coming Soon …

Still conceiving and yet to write first post … I hope that it won’t disappoint.