What remains of the Dutch history of NYC?

Everyone knows that New York City was settled by the Dutch (people from the Netherlands), and that it was later taken over by the British and then later formed part of the original US.

What remains, culturally, of the Dutch settlement of NYC? I assume that there are no remaining Dutch-speaking neighborhoods that have spoken Dutch since the 1600’s. Do current residents have an overall higher level of Dutch ancestry as compared to, say, Boston, Philly, or Baltimore?

Their names remain. The Bronx is named after a Mr. Bronck, Brooklyn comes from Breukelen (don’t know what that means), and you’ll find many places named ___ Kill or Kills, which means water. Thus the amusingly-named Fresh Kills (a landfill) and Fish Kill. I’m sure there are other names from the Dutch, those are what comes to mind.

The city is filthy with Dutch influence: just one example is “Flatbush,” originally a Dutch word. Neighborhoods, streets, waterways–all Dutch, Dutch, Dutch. Brownstones all have “stoops” instead of “steps.” Everywhere you go, you can’t escape the Dutch around here. I hate two types of people, those who are prejudiced against other nationalities, and the Dutch!

Breukelen is a town in the Netherlands, as are Haarlem (Harlem) and Vlissingen (Flushing). Kill does not mean water, but once upon a time it did refer to a type of river; of course, many rivers in the North East end in -kill, not just in NY. Another fun one: apparently Coney Island comes from the Dutch konijn, which may once have been spelled Coneyn, and means rabbit.

Other than some words here and there, though, there’s nothing about NYC that strikes me as particularly Dutch.

Nah, for Caucasians it would probably be a high level of Irish, Italian, Polish and other Eastern Europeans, and also Russian with occasional pools of WASP’s here and there - oh, and UKians (at least Brits seem to be everywhere in Manhattan)

Maybe it’s time to wander around on Kevin Walsh’s Forgotten NY site; searching for Dutch brought up a lot of his fascinating tour pages…

Like the New York Knickerbockers.

I think there’s probably more people of partial Dutch ancestry in and around New York than elsewhere in the country, though. (I’m one of them. Wholly Dutch ancestry stemming from that time must be more or less non-existent; it’s been too long.)

When what was then New Amsterdam was sold and became New York, there was a period of time during which the Dutch culture and language were suppressed in a fairly focused sort of way, and the architecture of the time is also long gone in the city itself. There are some old farmhouses scattered around the suburbs and countryside that are distinctly Dutch if you know what you’re looking at. Dutch forms of Protestantism still exist. But almost everything by now is very well mixed.

May I mention ING’s sponsorship of the New York City Marathon? :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, the windmill and beaver on the city’s flag.

And :

Finding Traces of Manhattan’s Dutch Heritage.
Mevrouw’s Manatthan.

By the way, a very good read about the city’s history going back to the Dutch is Edward Rutherfurd’s New York.

Does anyone know when the Dutch language finally died out as a working community language in any NYC neighborhood, or in any nearby area? By “working community language”, I mean that the language is widely understood and used in the community for practical, non-trivial reasons outside of cultural events (e.g. people might use it in the grocery store, in the schoolyard, asking for directions, etc.), even if the official language of the local government is something else such as English? I would consider Spanish to be a working community language in many areas of the US. I.e. what was the approximate last year in which you could wander down a NYC street and expect to hear people chattering in Dutch?

Not exactly Dutch, but an ancestor of mine was one of the English residents that the Dutch allowed to settle in Gravesend, Brooklyn as a buffer against attcks by natives. Lady Deborah Moody defined a settlement with a town layout that can still be seen on modern maps.

I was amazed to find that the street my ancestor lived on in the 1640’s is still there. (Village Ave defines the town square crossed by McDonald Ave. and Gravesend Neck Rd.)

As far as I remember (from reading, I’m not that old), Dutch wasn’t even that prevalent when it was New Amsterdam. It was really a trading post with people from many different backgrounds. According to Russel Shorto in The island at the center of the world this is were the whole idea of the ‘melting pot’ started. I think that’sa bit too much credit for a trading post that stuck around for such a limited amount of time. A fun read though.

There are many others. “Flatbush”, for instance, is supposed to come from 't vlack bos, meaning “a wooded plain”

“Knickerbockers”, cited by Alessan, is only a secondhand reference. Washington Irving created a Dutch character, Dietrich Knickerbocker, who wrote about the old Dutch Colonial Days, and attributed several stories (and a fictional History of New York) to him – but Dietrich knickerbocker never actually existed. This didn’t stop him from giving his name to several New York City institutions.

Bowling alleys?

Well, Wall Street certainly goes back to that time, as does The Bowery, whose name comes from the Dutch boewerij (sp?) (“farm”). The farm in question was the farm owned by the Dutch West India Company.

Pearl Street is another example of a street from the Dutch period that still exists.

If you go further upstate, to the upper reaches of Dutch influence, there’s not only the place names, but descendants. There’s a very heavy concentration of Dutch Reformed churches in the Albany area and down the Hudson River Valley compared to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. It’s not going to be in-your-face like western Michigan, but it’s quite evident.

The NYC flag and official colors for the New York Metsand Knicks are the same colors of the flag of the Dutch East India Company – Blue, white, and orange.

For place names, there’s Spuyten Duyvil

And let us not forget the Van Buren Boys. :wink:

“van Something-or-Other” as a “society” name dates back to the days of Dutch settlers (many of them successful traders) looking down on the British newcomers.

Many still-prominent New York area (including Hudson Valley and New Jersey) families had Dutch ancestry (van Buren, Roosevelt, Rensselaer, Katzenbach).

Plenty of Dutch Reformed Churches, of course (denomination merged with others, ending up c. 1957 as the United Church of Christ).

New York City folklore holds that the black and white cookie is of New Amsterdam origin.

Roosevelt Drive? :slight_smile:

There’s plenty of Dutch influence in the Hudson Valley, with places like Rennselaer, Rotterdam, Orange County, Coeymans, Watervliet, Kinderhook, and Stuyvesant.