Infotrue Educational Experiences by Rick Landman


Ross School 9th graders 2017 and 5 Dutch Days

Want to book a 1.5 hour Walking Tour exploring life in New Amsterdam while waking on the streets where the history occurred?

General Consul
Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, (Gajus Scheltema and Rick Landman)
- During the 5 Dutch Days Tour in 2008.

This tour is given by Rick Landman, a Native New Yorker, living for 30+ years below Chambers Street, and is the quintessential New Amsterdamer; but is not Dutch. Back in 2008, Rick was asked to create a NewAmsterdam Walking Tour for "5 Dutch Days", and then again for the "Henry Hudson 400" program in 2009. This Tour grew into a program which incorporated much of Russell Shorto's book, (based on Charles Gehring's translations), "Dutch New York Histories, Connecting African, Native American and Slavery Heritage", by along with other sources.

Did you know that:
  • Our city was called "New Orange" in 1674?
  • 17 languages were spoken?
  • The slave auctions were held on Wall Street?
  • Why Wall Street was erected?
  • Jews and Quakers were eventually accepted?
  • Juan Rodriguez greeted the first Dutch settlers?
  • Capital punishment was for "gay"men?
  • Native Americans were slaughtered under Governor Kieft?
  • Native Americans had no concept of land ownership?
  • Many of the streets, and street and town names are still being used?
  • There were Mayors and Presidents with Dutch origins?
  • NYC still uses the Dutch concept for tax lot shapes?

Past Groups

Here is a sample of some photos of the groups who took the Tour.

These groups are not only from public and private schools, but include Dutch social groups, colleges, a Law School from Utrecht, as well as family reunions who wanted to walk around the land that they ancestors actually owned. The Talk on the Tour can be individualized down to a simple tour called "BISCUITS OR COOKIES" for elementary school students, or expanded to explore the legal issues dealing with land ownership.

P.S. 334 - Second Grade Class
The Anderson School - P.S. 334 - Second Grade Class
P.S. 334 - Second Grade Class
The Anderson School - P.S. 334 - Second Grade Class
Private Group
Private Group from Amsterdam
University of Utrecht Law School
University of Utrecht Law School - 2009
"On behalf of all the 'people from the U of Utrecht' thanks for the great tour!!
We really enjoyed our stay in New York and especially your tour with the splendid weather.
Your enthusiasm is fantastic."
5 Dutch Days Tour
5 Dutch Days Tour
Private Family
Homeschooling Family
This family wanted a New Amsterdam/Revolutionary War Talk
Private Family - 2017
Private Family - 2017
Private Family - 2018
Private Family - 2018
The Ross School of East Hampton
This class was from the Ross School of East Hampton - 9th graders- 2017.
"Thanks again for such a great tour this afternoon. The kids couldn't stop talking about it on the bus ride home. All of the teachers really appreciated how accessible you made the information. It was a really special experience for our kids. I hope you can make time for us again because we'd love to come back next year around the same time for the program. It fit in so well with what we were learning - and now knowing what information you go through I can definitely better prepare my students a bit better." KS."


�asiastatue�If it is not raining, we will meet at the base of Asia in front of the former U.S. Customs House on Bowling Green. (Current site of the Museum of the American Indian and former site of Fort Amsterdam.) rain If there is a slight drizzle, we can meet here on the stairs and I will conduct a quick lecture and see if the weather changes. Heavy rain will cancel the tour.
�statue�Look up at the top of the former U.S. Customs House and you can see a Dutchman, Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp (b. 1598 Holland d. At Sea 1653), a famous Dutch admiral. At age 9, he became a sailor and at he joined the Dutch navy as a lieutenant in 1621. He became known in 1628 when as Piet Hein's flag captain, he helped capture the Spanish treasure fleet. In 1639, he blockaded and crushed a Spanish fleet in the Downs of the English Channel. This victory ended Spanish sea power. In June, 1652, he refused to lower his flag in deference to the English Admiral Robert Blake, and started the first of the Dutch Wars. That same year, he won control of the English Channel when he beat the English off Dungeness, but he was forced to withdraw. His inferior fleet lost 20 ships in a battle near Gabbard Shoal in 1653. He then joined with his rival Witte de Witt and attacked the English off Scheveningenin in August of 1653. They were defeated and Tromp was killed in the battle by a sharpshooter. It was the last major conflict of the war. Tromp's death hurt the Dutch navy and hurt the Orange cause, which had sought to defeat England and restore the Stuart monarchy. One of his sons, Cornelis Tromp, became a Rear Admiral in the Dutch navy. The sculpture is by Louis Saint-Gaudens. �flagpole�Flagpole honoring the 350th anniversary of New Amsterdam in Battery Park.

�sidewalk�Be careful where you step... We will see the sidewalk with the engraving over the ticker tape parade for Queen Juliana of the Netherlands' visit to NYC in 1952.
�base�Wording on the base of the flagpole about the "purchase" of Manhattan Island. �sculpture�Also on the base of the flagpole, commemorating the real property transaction of the Native Americans and Peter Minuit. We will discuss whether an actual contract or deed was ever contemplated and if a "meeting of the minds" actually occurred. Was the Native American advised by counsel as to what the Dutch man saying? What if the Native American thought that he was getting a gift of trinkets in order to welcome a new tribe into his community or to become a trading partner, etc.?
�signs�The current Street Names still reflect the activities of New Amsterdam. Stone Street (where the brewery was built and the street was paved with cobble stones) was made of stone, and Bridge Street passed over a creek, Bowling Green was the public area, Beaver was one of the major economic products, Pearl Street was the waterfront at the time and was where people went pearling. Words like cookies or boss, places like Brooklyn, Bronx, Yonkers, Gansevoort, Harlem, Utrecht, Staten Island, and characters like Santa Claus all have Dutch roots, let alone family names like Vanderbilt, Roosevelt, Van Buren, etc. mapcurrentThis is a map located in Battery Park which shows the original boundaries of New Amsterdam. Pearl Street was the southern boundary and Greenwich Street up to Wall Street made up the rest of the boundaries.
De Peyster

The Statue of Mayor Abraham De Peyster is finally out of the Closet in December 2013!
For more information Click Here-- About the Warehousing of the New Amsterdam born Mayor of New York City.The Statue of Mayor De Peyster was originally where King George's Statue stood in Bowling Green and then was moved to Hannover Square. But when Hannover Square was planned for renovation as an English themed square, the Statue was moved into storage and was approved to be placed in City Hall Park. The statue was finally re-installed near Foley Square in December 2013.

1626The following three murals are located in the NYS Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street on the 4th floor Jury Room by Robert K. Ryland during the WPA. This mural represents the pre-European view of the island. cityhallThis mural represents the "City Hall" of New Amsterdam.
stathusThis is another representation of the same building. You will be able to see the dimensions of the footprint of this building at the Goldman Sachs plaza near Stone Street. mapThis mural represents a map of the early New Amsterdam colony street patterns.
sidewalkWhen the Goldman Sachs Building was excavated they discovered the foundations and cisterns from the early era of New York City. But Lovelace Tavern was built in 1670, which would be after New Amsterdam, but was there during the Dutch period of New Orange. �subway�Anything that looks Dutch is not from New Amsterdam, but constructed years or centuries later to be reminiscent of the Dutch presence. Peter Minuit never took the subway.
�Hainaut� This nearly ten-foot-tall granite stele at the northwest corner of Battery Park by the Castle Clinton National Monument was designed by noted architect Henry Bacon. The monument and its gilded inscription commemorates the Walloon Settlers, a group of 32 Belgian Huguenot families who joined the Dutch in 1624 on the ship Nieu Nederland ("New Netherland") to colonize New Amsterdam. Bacon also designed Washington's Lincoln Memorial and Williamsburg's Metropolitan Pool. The Walloons were natives of the County of Hainaut in Belgium who had fled to nearby Holland to escape religious persecution. Made to feel unwelcome in Holland, the Walloons, led by Jesse de Forest, first appealed to the British in 1621 for permission to settle in Virginia. When was denied, they petitioned the Dutch West India Company to allow them to settle in the Dutch-controlled colony of New Amsterdam. Their application was granted and the Walloons left Holland in March 1624, landing in New York on May 20, 1624. One should also know that other groups fled to Holland before coming to the New World, such as the Pilgrims. Mill Street SynagogueWe will discuss the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews that came to New Amsterdam in the summer 1654 and how differently they were treated. While Peter Stuyvesant would not grant the Jews the right to build a synagogue, they met in a building on Mill Street (South William Street) until the first synagogue was built under the English rule in 1730 in the location of this present day garage. For more information about the early Jewish history from 1654 on, click here
In 1657 a group of Dutch settlers fought to permit Quakers to reside in New Netherlands. For more information about the Flushing Remonstrance, click here.
The date was changed on the official seal and flag of the City of New York. It used to be 1664 and now it is 1625 to reflect New Amsterdam as its European origins.
You can see the dutch influence in our official city flag. Notice the 1625 date.
Notice the 1626 Date on the Municipal Building.
�120bwy�When elevators and steel allowed 120 Broadway to rise so tall that it blocked the sunlight on the sidewalks of the narrow streets in Lower Manhattan, NYC created Zoning Laws (set backs, sky exposure plane, etc.) in 1916 which then spread across the country.
tax map
This is part of a NYC tax map showing how the deep and narrow 25 foot lots still remain since the Dutch used this concept on the canals in Amsterdam.
Weather permitting, the tour will wind its way up to Pine Street (one block north of the northern boundary of New Amsterdam at Wall Street), and over to Broadway. Topics discussed on the walk will include the origins of America's Zoning laws such as the need for set backs, narrow and winding street patterns, taxation laws based on narrow 25 foot lots, as well as America's basis for religious freedom and where the Jews and African-Americans are buried. This tour ends at Trinity Church, but I will walk up to the World Trade Center after the tour and continue my talk if anyone so desires.
Pine Street
saint nicholas
Image of Saint Nicholas

Originally called "Saint Nicholas" by the Dutch, the pronunciation sounded more like "Sint Nikolass". The name was reshaped for non-Dutch tongues, and evolved into "Sinterklass", and finally into "Santa Claus".

Did you ever wonder how the U.S. Congress created Christmas as a secular national holiday in 1870 and how Santa Claus came into being the American symbol of Christmas?
We will discuss the life of Harmen van den Bogaert, a doctor and married man with 4 children, who helped the colony by negotiating with the Native Indians, but who was caught with his male African servant Tobias in an intimate situation and was arrested and died for that act. Homophobia was alive and well in the New World too. We will also discuss some heroes of the New World that are left out of our English centric text books such as Adriaen van der Donck a real hero for our civil rights.

In addition to discussing how the inhabitants of New Amsterdam (Dutch, English, French, Jews, Quakers, Finns, Germans, Africans, Native Americans, etc.) convinced their Governor Peter Stuyvesant to surrender to the English rather than have their city destroyed, we will also discuss how in August 1673, the English Governor and the inhabitants of New York City, saw Dutch war ships enter New York Harbor and stood by and watched the English flag come down as the city was returned to Dutch rule and called New Orange for a year, until it once again became English, years before the American Revolution.

  • Rick Landman, Esq., a Native New Yorker, has been an AICP Certified Planner for over 30 years, and an Attorney since 1988.

  • He is an adjunct Professor of Planning at NYU's Wagner School and teaches a Land Use law class since 2003. His class is a required core class for the Urban Planning Masters students.

  • Rick has 3 Masters Degrees (M.C.R.P. in City and Regional Planning, Ed.M. in Curriculum Development, M.S. in Civil (Socio) Engineering) and a J.D. in law (cum laude). His B.A. was in Sociology. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988, and is now an Attorney Emeritus.

  • He was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for the City of New York for 5 years and was the Director of Real Estate Development at NYU for 19 years.

  • One of Professor Landman's Masters Degrees was an Ed.M. in Curriculum Planning, so if you want a "Tour in the Classroom" lecture that can also be arranged. The lectures will be age appropriate to your needs. He also has a permanent certification as a Social Studies Teacher (grades 7-12) since 1974.

  • Rick was the chair of several committees of Community Board #1 Manhattan, including the chair of the Planning & Community Infrastructure Committee, the Tribeca Committee and chaired what is now called the Landmarks Committee when Tribeca was first designated in 1992.

  • He moved into a Lower Manhattan converted apartment in the 1970's, that is approximately 1,000 feet from the World Trade Center.

  • He is a licensed NYC Sightseeing Tour Guide. License No.: 1281818 exp. 3/31/26.

  • He also has dual citizenship between the USA and Germany. He is the son of two Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and is active in several Second Generation programs.

Each Tour is approximately one and a half hours long.

Clients assume all liability and risks during the walks. Please be vigilant when crossing the streets.

The tours are given in English or German (Deutsch).

To make a reservation, please click the email icon below and supply the following in the email. Make sure that you get a written confirmation from me before considering the reservation confirmed:
  • The time and days that you are interested in having a tour
  • How many people are expected in your group
  • The location that you are interested in seeing
  • Any special interests, such as historical, cultural, religious, architectural, etc. that you would like me to research for your tour.
  • Your name, phone, address and email address
  • Means of payment

First Lady Patterson
A bike tour by New York's First Lady Michelle Patterson, from Battery Park City to Harlem sponsored by Henry Hudson 400,
where I gave a mini-lecture on "New Amsterdam". June 19, 2009

Photos from 2010 and 2009, when the Royal Family Visited New York and the New Amsterdam Exhibition was built.
HanekeJob Swap
The first group was from the NRC Handelsblad; and the second photo of the Jobswap Group.
Holland Society1 Holland Society2
Two Groups from the Holland Society and National Genealogical Society.
From Holland Society: We had a great time! Thanks a lot for your interesting stories!
Thanks and till next time?
INBO Group
Blaauvelt Blaauvelt
Blauvelt Family Association
Many thanks for the photos and especially the tour. You were fabulous and everyone in our Blauvelt group was thrilled with the tour and your commentary. A perfect job well done and a perfect morning in New Amsterdam. Many thanks from All The Blauvelts !

Netherlands Atlantic
This photo is of the Netherlands Atlantic Association from October 2009.

Netherlands Atlantic
This photo is of the Netherlands Atlantic Association from October 2010.

St. Nicholas Society
This photo is of the St. Nicholas Society from the 5 Dutch Days in November 2009.
Comments from a "Small Group" Personalized Tour in July 2009 Tour with a mother and son from the Netherlands.

Dearest Rick,
Just wanted to let you know that we had a great tour yesterday.
Your energy and enthusiasm was contagious. My son Nicolas really has learned a lot about Dutch- but also about American-history.
Your tour made our visit to NYC unforgettable.
I wish you a lot of success with your tours. You really make people happy with them.

Comments from the April 2009 Tour with the Law Students from the University of Utrecht.

Utrecht University 2009
Dear Richard,
On behalf of all the 'people from the U of Utrecht' thanks for the great tour!! We really enjoyed our stay in New York and especially your tour with the splendid weather. Your enthusiasm is fantastic.
Also thanks for the picture. I'll forward it to the other people.

Dear Mr. Landman,
Thank you again for the tour and I am sorry for the rain. It certainly did not stop you! If I get any request for tours I will immediately refer to you, don't worry. We may want to solicit your local expertise next year when we will host a number of special visitors! Greetings,
Gajus Scheltema
Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Hello Mr. Landman,
Thanks again for letting me film the New Amsterdam walking tour. You were right about the weather, it wasn�t the best circumstance for videotaping.

But I made the best of it. You can find the video on my website: Click here to watch a short video clip of the 2008 tour. I hope you like it.

By the way: I saw a brochure of 5 Dutch Days today, and funny enough - well at least for me - I am standing next to you on the photo of the New Amsterdam Tour. Yes, I did follow the tour last year as well. So, now you can consider me as your biggest fan.

Being that, I might come back next year, since I am working the Dutch TV news outlet of NOS ( is my hobby-project). We are planning to pay attention to the whole Hudson Celebration, and I am hoping to work on it as well. I will recommend your tour to my editor-in-chief, because it was a good story, and with more time and better weather we could make a beautiful TV-item.

Best regards,
Harrie van Veen
Prof. Rick,
I would like to thank you for the New Amsterdam tour. It was informative and hearing you was great as ever. I don't know if you remember me, but I took your class 2 years ago at Wagner and couldn't miss the opportunity to hear you again. I came with a friend and in fact also convinced two tourists on the subway who were on their way to Statue of Liberty that they should come and hear you.

Even with the rains, it was fun.

Best regards,
Hi Rick
Thank you for a very interesting and fun tour! (in weather familiar for a Dutchman) learned a lot and enjoyed your stories and expertise.


One annual highlight of the 2007 and 2008 Dutch Week was the tour of �New Amsterdam� put together by Rick Landman, Esq., AICP, a longtime member of the NY Metro Chapter, which is sponsored by the NY Metro Chapter of the APA.

Rick Landman gave a tour to relate how early Dutch roots had an impact on New York City's physical form as well as its taxation procedures, zoning regulations and religious freedoms.

Over 50 people showed up for the 2007 tour (83 made reservations for the 2008 tour) which not only included the usual stop to see the outline of the old Dutch City Hall near Stone Street, but included a walk around the borders of old New Amsterdam, seeing the Dutch memorials (most of which are on land-fill that didn't exist back then) and discussion of Dutch history and its impacts. Landman noted that the narrow tax lots and the subsequent sky-blocking towers were a direct result from our Dutch origins...

"I am part of Dutch Week each year to show my respect for all that the early settlers of New Amsterdam did for our country and to show how the Metro Chapter of the APA is part of today's urban scene."

Rick Landman, Esq. AICP