AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND, July 9 — Almost 400 years to the day after Henry Hudson discovered the river that would eventually bear his name, three intrepid reporters from The Brooklyn Paper have landed in Holland in a reverse commemmoration, if you will.
Hudson sailed from this Dutch port in 1609, and both Holland and the state of New York are marking the quadricentennial with a slate of lectures, exhibits and events — but reporters Gersh Kuntzman, Mike McLauhglin and Ben Muessig left the friendly confines of Brooklyn to dig deeper and explore the roots of our borough’s greatness in its ancestral home.
But this is no mere all-expenses-paid junket for a trio of pleasure-seeking scribes, no; The Brooklyn Paper team will be maintaining a blistering schedule of fact-finding, research and bike riding.
Here’s what the team will be doing in the days to come:
On Friday, the team landed in Amsterdam and was set to immediately join officials from the Dienst Infrastructuur, Verkeer en Vervoer, which, we’re told, translates to the local Department of Transportation. There’ll be intense discussions about how Amsterdam has become a cycling Mecca — and what Brooklyn can learn.
As always, Ben Muessig will be anchoring the “Mean Streets” coverage, while Mike McLaughlin, our Gowanus Canal beat reporter, conducts his own investigation of which is dirtier: Amsterdam’s miles of waterways or its Red Light District.
Meanwhile, Gersh Kuntzman will travel to nearby Breukelen to meet — and spend the night with — Mayor Geer Mik. That’s a story you’ll see only in this week’s Breukelen Paper (“Your buurt, your nieuws”).
McLaughlin, also known as the Butcher of Flatbush Avenue Extension for his criticism of the Brooklyn art scene, will devour four centuries of art and culture and file a hard-hitting report, tentitively titled, “The Dutch Masters: Great Artists or Total Hacks.”
Meanwhile, Muessig and Kuntzman will explore the city’s restaurant, cafe and coffeehouse culture.
While Muessig and McLaughlin reach out to the descendents of Brooklyn’s Dutch founders, Kuntzman will travel again to Breukelen for a full day of cultural exploits. Mayor Mik will lead him on a bike tour of the town, complete with a stop at the Breukelen Bridge, the exhibit, “Breukelen-Brooklyn 400,” and “American Day” festivities at Parkpodium.
There’ll also be a hard-hitting sit-down with Mayor Mik in the Boom and Bosch (the mayor’s room).
It’ll be a jam-packed three days of journalism that you won’t find anywhere else.
©2009 Community News Group