Hear this right …. Here!
EXIT 6 I-678s ; off Van Wyck Expressway to Atlantic Ave
At the nearby Aqueduct Racetrack the world's most noble Race Horse was honored by his low class fans in a final farewell. Ain’t America great!
Operating near the site of a former aqueduct that sent water from Long Island to the Ridgewood Reservoir, Aqueduct Racetrack opened over 125 years ago in 1894 by the Queens County Jockey Club. Until the 1950's this area was virgin farmland; today that farmland is middle class urban sprawl.
In 1973, despite Aqueduct traditionally being considered a track frequented by blue collar fans — in contrast to Belmont Park which has a more upscale reputation — the Champion racehorse Secretariat was retired here. As always responding to huge applause, Secretariat pranced before his adoring public. The Virginia born winner of the Triple Crown was paraded for the last time and took his last steps on a public racetrack before he was then sent to stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.
Aqueduct Race Course has suffered from a general diminishment in interest in the Sport of Kings. Regardless of the site being a mecca to gamblers, John Paul II celebrated Mass in front of a crowd of 75,000 at Aqueduct on October 6, 1995.
Other efforts have been made to increase business. A casino was built in 2011. Aside from it being the first legal casino in New York City, Resorts World Casino is the only casino located in the five boroughs. In an effort to reduce labor costs, it features automated machine dealt poker, craps and thousands of slot machines.
Still, the continued success of Aqueduct is up for debate. At least the owners are trying everything. Mixing the sport of kings, with High Holy Popes, and low-brow gambling illustrates they will try anything to bring in the crowds.
Ain’t America great?
#AqueductRaceTrackandCasino #Secretariat #horseracing #SportofKings #OzonePark #ResortsWorldCasino #PopeJohnPaul2
Forget the Pilgrims... the Dutch Founded Our Democracy
Hear this here: I-87n: Westchester, Nr Bronxville, Yonkers, mm 16.5 south of EXIT 6A
Ok Roadtrippers, you now can see the sign to Stew Leonard Drive. Mister Leonard must have powerful friends to get a road right from the highway to his super market. Your tax dollars at work!
You also see Tuckahoe Road. Fast Fact: Its name, tuckahoe, means corn-bread in the Lenape Indian language. Perhaps this was a place where Native Americans traded corn bread or grew corn. Maybe you, dear Road Tripper, will write a roadspoke about why it is called Tuckahoe Road for this place and we can place it here for all to hear!
On the right you now see that we are entering the town of Yonkers.
The story of Yonkers' namesake is the story about a founder of liberal capitalism in America.
In fact, the life of a certain young man -- who died at age 37 -- and Yonkers should be what we celebrate during Thanksgiving instead of the Pilgrims' first harvest feast at Plymouth Rock. What happened right here in ancient New Holland impacted America much more than what occurred in Massachusetts. That's because our legacy is more Dutch than English. Had we skewed more British instead of Dutch, we would have set up a feudal society led by Lords and Ladies and vested a landed aristocracy of first born sons, instead of encouraging a fluid society of entrepreneurs and capitalists.
In the 1640’s —several decades before the British would arrive in New York — a young Dutch settler, Adrien Vander Donck received a grant of land from the Dutch East India Company. Adrien then built one of the first mills in the New World. He built the mill to cut lumber. It was situated not far from here at the junction of the Hudson River and a smaller river. That small river and a modern day parkway beside it are now named Saw Mill River for Adrien's ancient saw mill.
Now for the name of Yonkers. Adrien was referred to in the Dutch language as a “Jung Herr” or in English, a "young Gentleman”. This name evolved to become the present Yonkers.
Adrien Vander Donck's lost story was uncovered recently in forgotten archives in Albany. The story of Adrien essentially tells the story of the Dutch influence on the founding and evolution of the United States.
Dutch capitalistic democracy, the book claims, was much different from British feudal intentions. The Best Selling Book, ISLAND AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD, by Russell Shorto tells this story:
“When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, multilingual society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor.
"But the story of the Dutch colony was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Drawing on this archive, author Russell Shorto has created a gripping narrative; a story of global sweep centered on a wilderness called Manhattan–that transforms our understanding of early America.
"The Dutch colony pre-dated the “original” thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive young lawyer named Adrian VanderDonck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant the autocratic director of the Dutch colony.
"The struggle between liberalism and autocracy laid the foundation for New York City which then helped shape American culture. "The Island at the Center of the World" uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own modern American culture.”
No surprise: that struggle between autocracy and liberalism continues very much to this day, many hundreds of Thanksgivings after Britain and Holland first came to America.
So perhaps, next November, we should cancel Thanksgiving, right? No Thanksgiving you say?
Ok. OK… then maybe we should just change the honored culture of Thanksgiving. So instead of greeting each other in English with, "Happy Thanksgiving," instead and in honor of the Dutch we should say, “Vrolijke Thanksgiving”.
And then we raise a toast to Yonkers and Adrien van der Donck.
#Dutch #Thanksgiving #Islandatthecenteroftheworld #RussellShorto #NewAmsterdam #NewYork #AdrienVanderdonck #nationaltreasure #Strugglebetweendemocracyandautocracy
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