A Nieuw Yorke Sojourn {In Six Parts} Part, The Second: 'A CITY OF GHOSTS'

Hello again!

{Passing through the lichyard of TRINITY CHURCH, holding a LANTERN in One Hand.}

To begin the second part of our Sojourn together, I thought I'd reflect on my first Nieuw Yorke memory. And this be the perfect spot. Ah yes the first time I felt the awe of this unflappably brutal place. The first time I felt the awe of N'Yorke...

I remember seeing it from my flight window, a crow's view of the MASSIVE CEMETERIES. Larger than any lichyard I had ever seen or could have possibly imagined, THESE LICHYARDS seemed like small Townes in themselves. Indeed I shan't soon disremember that. Every possible space in there seemed taken up by an eternally placed individual. Perhaps ye can imagine such inference of vast human history as all this was a mite overwhelming to my eyes... And 'twas terrifying too. It were as though the city were a great and patient BEAST, waiting my whole measly life for me to come just a little closer and then snatch me up and add me to another plot in its WEBBED BANQUET OF CLAIMED SOULS. But I did survive that day... {looking aloft} Or... did I?

After all, I...wasted no time moving there. And... in the years that followed, I saw many mates stow aboard the next ship leaving the N'Yorke harbor much sooner than was expected and without looking back. Lucky them. They were not cursed. When asked to join them however, my mind was firmly set sure as my feet planted, thus my tenure, far from over.

Aye 'tis a morose state of affairs when a man is possessed to walk the deserted lamp-lit streets to his living quarters, his classes, or place of employment, as perversely content to stalk alone as he be to avoid the sad sight of a tumbler's bottom at Witchin' Time.

Many a night, he has caught his reflection in the windows of the many merchant shops and assorted department stores; his face reflected like a spectre cast over the empty face of a mannequin wearing a nice suit, a warm hat, and a comely womanniquin on his arm that seemed to say,

"PICTURE YOURSELF HERE".And it whispered further, "Just give it a COUPLE YEARS." And as the years went on, and my conundrum festered- and it finally occurred to me to ask, "A couple more years...for what?""Why to...to... CONQUER THIS TOWNE!", the womanniquin retorted desperately. And somehow, in that fleeting stillness in which street light and moonlight matrimoniously join with steaming manholes, I had a VISION.

...And the cracked pavement of Whitehall street 'devolved' with a backward time lapse into a nieuwly beaten road of mud and horseshit, marked on the sides by uneven stones and buildings made of wood. That is when I realized- it were NOT N'Yorke I sought but the Ghost of an unruly city long DEAD. A ghostly CITY OF TRADE, EXPLORATION and ADVENTURE:

It was NIEUW AMSTERDAMM: The City of Ghosts.


{AYE NIEUW AMSTERDAMM was her FIRST name insomuch as realizing her potential as a global city of commerse and thus, I believe- her TRUE NAME.}

The womanniquin now whispered with renieuwed confidence:

"...And that gentle wind on the back of your neck is but an affirmation that her ghosts are now your own."

My charge now was that I must grapple with lingering phantoms of the past. I was but a haunted man from this moment onwards.

{ A Guide for the MATERIAL MAN or 'he who HAS NOTHING OF REAL VALUe'}:

HOW TO FIND HER: Aye yes, this Ghostly First City of Centuries Past, she is eerily ever-present beneath the cobble stones inland from Wall Street. This Ghostly First City, her soul moves throughout Broadway at night and washes her face by the South Street Sea Port. Ye shall see her guise revealed to you as I did- just between the city's sleeping and waking- 'Witchin' Time that is. At that time, you will witness N'Yorke's mask fall and beneath it- the protected sadness of Nieuw Amsterdamm.

And she will call to ye...

--Just as she first beckoned Henry Hudson into her perfect and eerily quiet harbor in the year of their Lord, One Thousand, Six Hundred and Nine.

{It is now time I gave a sickeningly short and subjective herstory lecture to join the dots in Time which leads us to this moment.}

Like Hudson, I docked there seeking a 'North West Passage' or some other contrived glory. Like him I didn't find it- instead, I found a whole hullabaloo of unfinished business. And in some roundabout way- a balance was restored to me. And I rested my head on her bosom, knowing that I, like so many spectres come before, experienced part of The Greatest Modern Experiment  In History.

Ahhh to be tested by what is UNKNOWN- same as Henry Hudson and the Dutch, for to them, founding Nieuw Netherland was the GREAT BEYOND OF THE NEXT AGE. That is the call of Lady Amsterdamm or as she was first monikered, 'MANAHATTA' {which is Injun for "Mountainous Island"-I know this because a pretty smile in a bar once told me so- actually, speaking of bars- Manahatta's other possible Injun meaning is 'Place Of General Inebriation- I kid ye not therefore chide me not.}

This Colony, this Babylon of many strange religious and ethnic bedfellows in trade was in full swing by the time the very Imperial, very Protestant Britains came and violated a peace time, usurping the Island from the Dutch's clutches. Though the Britains successfully wrested her away from The Era bookended by Hudson and first Nieuw Netherland Hard Ass overseer, Peter Stuyvesant, the miraculous beginning was accomplished:

The FIRST COLONY IN THE NIEUW WORLD had been FOUNDED PURELY FOR PRAGMA and CAPITOL and without ANY RELIGIOUS HARNESS. The Dutch did NOT come here to escape religious persecution or to foist their own spiritual assertions on one-another- they came for STERLING in all it's blunt forms! ZOUNDS Hudson wasn't even Dutch! The cheeky beggar- He was ENGLISH! The Dutch HIRED him! It would seem the fate of N'Yorke was predestined for a flawless zeal toward the almighty Gilder! Alas, the 'Monied-Centric' model was not perfect. The peculiar thing about money- while it proves time and time again to be above racism or religion it seems paradoxically time and time again to favor SLAVERY in all it's blunt forms.


Indeed hers is a thesis which eventually bypasses race and religion in the pursuit of making money through her painfully PERFECT N'YORKE HARBOR {but she is still well versed in the heretofore mentioned R&R but we'll deal with that matter later- come Hell, Hudson or High Water.} Back to the heretofore mentioned THESIS wherein' GOLD and STERLING were the bottom line' which, even the Britain's- though disgusted by it- could not deny the exquisite trading beauty of her strategic-miracle of a harbor and it's choice location right in the middle of the Colonies. Though the al-mighty Britains fell upon her with intent to possess her soul, marrying her off to the Duke of Yorke, she eventually broke their spirit with a staunch REFUSAL of Good Christian oaths, never losing site of whom she truly was: THE ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD where ALL The RACES And RELIGIONS Can LIVE TOGETHER...




I am happy to report that her faith in herself during those hard early years was eventually rewarded for though this willful Lady Amsterdamm was forcibly married and changed her name to the comparatively crude, 'N'Yorke'- she eventually found her man...

Ah yes and here he is!

{Removes hat, pats a lichstone}

The brash, ambitious "MISTER TEN DOLLARS" himself. The original understander of the almighty dollar, ALEXANDER HAMILTON. How could N'Yorke NOT find him irresistible? After all he was an IMMIGRANT and a BASTARD and he was YOUNG! {Aside} Actually she robbed the cradle on this one- he was aged but sixteen years when he stepped onto her bountiful soil for the first time. O but she knew what she wanted! Here at last was a BOLD MAN OF SENSITIVITY to her indomitable obsession with the fiscal bottom line over religious and aristocratic naivety that race and class were one and the same. He only understood one thing: The Way of the COIN. Indeed he was a Demigogue as he once demonstrated by snapping his fingers and soon after... A BANK APPEARED OUT OF THIN AIR COMPLETE WITH PRINTED MONIES.

He didn't have time for petty grudges against the poor,  and the have nots. Though he may or may not have kept slaves- both sides are disputed. He was in fact a staunch abolitionist. And O how he wooed Lady Amsterdamm by way of vanity going on about what good people the two of them were...

"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power." ~Alexander {The First Hamiltonian}.

Well it was a start. Aye but I used to spot Lady N'Yorke in the crowd nodding her head along with this and nudging her lady Friends saying, "Yep girlfriends- that's my man!" Actually she said it all the time {SO I AM TOLD}.

And when the Revolutionary War was accomplished- he, The First Hamiltonian convinced Jefferson and Friends to forgive N'Yorke's crushing debt and was instrumental in hoisting the Capitol center off and away to the aptly Mosquito-ridden swamps of Virginia, forever securing N'Yorke Towne as a place apart from centralized political and military skew, keeping COMMERCE FRONT and CENTRE and that my friends forever gave us a FORWARD-MOVING CITY for the Ages. Though just as powerful is the backward time lapse of this Gotham's looming SHADOWS of the past...

HER LEGACY, AN INFINITE MUDDIED STREET OF ABOMINATIONS. Aye yes there are legions of ghostly buildings here and they are BUILT of closets numbering the BILLIONS plum full of SKELETONS- what with DRAFT RIOTS and MOBS and LYNCHINGS EN MASS and other such murder sprees and ORPHANAGES BURNED, TAMINY HALL {need I say more!} unparalleled industrial SQUALOR of a Global Scale in it's mere SLUMS, AN IGNORANT UPPER ECHELON and My Lady's ceaseless RUTHLESS BOTTOM LINE {for it were after all N'Yorke who tried to SECEDE from the UNION so that she might still collect on the humongous debt owed her by the CONFEDERACY. GOODNESS M'LADY- Is that last part real? REALLY?! REALLY?!}

Ah but looking back on the happy couple in that Revolutionary time..."Fie on those oppressive Britains" Hamilton might have said as I am told he put his hand in hers. Indeed Alexander, FIE on those silly Britains {whom we later fought away only to keep their name of the city... because deep down... we weren't that different from them...our parents,} THE USURPERS.

I came to N'Yorke a USURPER as well. I see now we all do.

For just as the Artists take from the Natives So too do the Hipsters steal from the Artists Only to be worn down by the Yuppies Who are bluntly elbowed out by the Bankers...

...who are soundly defeated by the Rats.

Usurpers every one- I'm sorry- the nice word is 'transplants'.

Why use the nice word? Since part of N'Yorke's characteristic attitude towards immigrants has always been rudeness, compartmentalizations and racism. Such behavior towards overwhelming foreign influx is irresistibly contagious. It can feel like a vast playground at times replete with adult children who make up epithets and clubs to stay separate and hierarchical together.

...And I freely admit it is irresistibly contagious.

{Smites ground with hat}

Blast!I absolutely did not survive did I! Confound it all ye wily wily woman of Dutch and Native Persuasion. Miss Manahatta inebriated me after all.

{Looks about, whispers}

I am yours and I was from day, the first in that accursed Crow's view beholding to thee as I beheld your body in the sunset!} Aye I see the cruelty of it now that I am a million miles away. Cursed with mere fists as these to be my crude weaponry against such... insidious ghosts. I see how you tricked me all those centuries ago.

...and I shall take my place among your City Of Phantoms now that my tenure is extinguished.


And yet My decade-long blood bath yielded a person, oddly reflective and... Well that much I do know. And it is surprisingly of high value. MY OWN REFLECTIVE STATE IS ALL I OWN AGAINST A MIGHTY CITY WHOSE GREATEST POWER MAY BE TO GROW FASTER THAN THE ABILITIES OF MANKIND TO COMPREHEND IT.

What in Sinatra's name do we CHASE there? I used to think the answer lay in Tony Bennet's twinkle. Now I think it is merely a chance to stake our claim on a most hidden part of herstory- but we should heed Britainnia's dirty little secret: 'THE DUTCH HITHERED HERE FIRST'. They stole it FIRST from the Natives. Fair and Square. I could never possess her. She was married away...many times. First to Yorke, then Hamilton then to Dewitt Clinton, Rockefeller, Morgan, Bloomy with some legendary flings like Jacob Reese and Lou Reed. But on the whole, She has always been attracted to ENTRENCHED LIFERS of POWER and SINGLE- MINDEDNESS {though she allures the downtrodden by the numerous boatloads}. No I cannot possess her unless... the only thing to do is leave. And it was in leaving I recognized mine own experience as MINE. And I hold it close. I caress it.

And once I realized such-after that- my centuries were up. I was free.

{Notices he is becoming transparent and starting to disappear. }

*sigh* I am now a perminent resident among the GHOSTIES Here in Nieuw Amsterdamm. I can feel it. 'Twere as though I were ne'er There in N'Yorke. Whatever is left of her for YE, my ENNOBLED BRETHREN is shrinking away every year, steadily USURPED by powerful forces in the lofty offices above. She will not be won easily. It HAS BEEN, IS and ALWAYS WILL BE a BLOODY WAR...


~We await your return to this accursed place next week for...

'Part, The Third: BATTLE ROYALE!'~