What are the odds of that? As many of yall know, I was just in Amsterdam as part of the Pioneers program (http://pioneersny400nl.blogspot.com/) which itself is part of the celebration marking Henry Hudson's 400-year-old sailing from Amsterdam in Holland to New Amsterdam (aka NYC).

So minutes ago, I went to my local dry cleaners in Inwood, aka Upstate Manhattan, and saw a bunch of folks with orange vests on. I almost ignored the group but decided to be nosy, as a good neighbor should be. When I saw that the group had a large number of smokers all speaking with a distinct throat-clearing accent, I knew I was among Dutch brethren. Then I saw the website on their vests (http://newyorkfriendship400.nl) and the "I Amsterdam" caps that I recognized from signs in the Netherlands.

Apparently this group was about to take a 3 hour bike tour. One man I spoke with asked "How many New Yorker's know about the connection between our cities and this year's celebration?" I had to confess that most wouldn't know. As I explained, "there's a lot going on in New York on any given day," but as the year progresses, we'll help spread the word.

In that spirit, here are a few sites to help you get acquainted with the history and the festivities/events

Henry Hudson 400: http://www.henryhudson400.com/home.php
Holland On The Hudson website: http://www.ny400.org/
NY Times Article: http://bit.ly/6BrFf
I Amsterdam website: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en

Get ready to drink a lot of Heineken.

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