I went to New York City for a side event of the UN-Water Conference, in Harlem Stage, on 20 March 2023. Together with many participants, we shared our experiences and research about Water and Heritage. We tried to put heritage on the agenda of the UN. This event was a follow-up event in Tokyo, in 2018, in which I participated, too. The ICOMOS Netherlands was and is the leading power behind this idea. It has been a long journey and the journey is not ended yet. 

I shared my involvement in the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) Quick Scan Method Workshops in two water-based cities Muntok and Banjarmasin, Indonesia. It was a humble contribution but I was grateful that I could share it on behalf of the HUL Quick Scan Method team.

The week was in the atmosphere of water, planned and not planned. The venue was Harlem Stage, a former water-processing building that is adapted into a cultural stage for colored artists, not far from the Hudson River.

My homestay was on the 31 floors in Harlem with views of the Hudson River and the skyscape of New York City. Sunrise and sunset were always beautiful seen from the living room. Surprisingly, the homestay was in the neighborhood of Harlem Stage. My first jackpot!

From New York City, I went o Washington DC to meet my senior, Donovan Rypkema from Place Economics, and Bill McLeod, the Director of Dupont Circle Business Improvement District.  We had a site visit to the Dupont Circle area where Bill met with the local shops, restaurants, and gallery owners. It was great to see how he worked in the field. My second jackpot!

From Washington DC, I took the Amtrak train to Niagara Falls. It was about 10 hour trip but it was worth doing. Basically, I took the Dutch related-history trail of New York State along the Hudson River until the Mohawk River at the border of the USA and Canada. I didn't know this but happy to find this out. My third jackpot!

When I checked into my accommodation in Niagara Falls USA, I found out that I could see the Mohawk River from my window. Wow! I didn't expect this. My fourth jackpot!

After admiring Niagara Falls, I went to do five days of voluntary work in Camp Benjamin, Boonville, New York State. It was part of the WWOOF USA program (World Wide Opportunities of Organic Farms). Benjamin and Ashley were my hosts and they introduced me to their friends and networks, too. I learned a lot about the local tradition (making maple syrup, for example), taking care of chickens and plants, and observing the local dynamics in terms of economic, social, and political development.  

I have met Helen (mother of Ben) and Theo, too, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Human Rights Advocacy at Utica University. They hosted a lovely dinner in their house in Barneveld (how Dutch could it be?) and Theo has guided me to the historical places of Mohawk Valley and Utica town. My fifth jackpot!

I visited the USA, the NY State to be precise, on 19 March-3 April 2023, for a relatively short visit but the impressions I gained were abundant. I was overwhelmed by all the unplanned jackpot experiences I humbly received. #

Harlem Stage, NYC

Hudson River, NYC

Donovan Rypkema, Bill McLeod, and me

Mohawk River

My WWOOF place

Old square of Utica, NYS


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