A LETTER TO DEN HELDER FROM NEW YORK
As I sit here in New York (formerly Nieuw Amsterdam) I view from a far yet another drama of politics and politicians pitting themselves against an imaginative, creative project, that will benefit the city and its residents and, hopefully, the culture of the nation. It’s as if those politicos (one or more of them, anyway) suddenly recognized the mistake they made in negotiating an agreement to go forward with the expansion of a museum, that was created literally out of a rotting empty space. A former post office.
“Good heavens, there’s money to be made in that space and we gave it away to some guy, who doesn’t even come from our lovely little city.” Behold the classic drama of conflict between the city’s oligarchs (good men all, devoted to the welfare of the people of their city) and the visionary creator of a bold new artistic venture. From Sophocles to Ibsen the drama has been played out on the stage. These days the drama unwinds in Den Helder.
One wonders how the story slipped past the boundaries of polder and ocean to reach the USA, into this besotted Gehenna of phony dollar culture and maddening national politics. Does anyone here in New York/Nieuw Amsterdam care? Yes, there are many among us who care. We care about the attack on art and on the arts by those whose motives are clouded by something other than real concern for “the people.” As with every drama there is a subtext, the underlying motive which drives the conflict, for conflict is the heart of drama. In this case, the subtext isn’t that well hidden. The not-so-hidden reason is au fond money. It usually is. The powers-that-be suddenly sat bolt upright, when they realized that the rotting empty space was turned into a fine museum. That meant they would urgently need to take control of the situation under municipal law to allow a developer to take over the once rotting empty space – now a very attractive cultural venue.
“Development” and “developers” – loaded words to long-time residents of New York/Nieuw Amsterdam. Glitzy, smooth-talking guys with money and banks, who’ll lend to them, guys, who promise to give you quality, whatever-it-is, that will make your city proud. And they’ll all make “big bucks” together – a deal? Yes, we know all about deals and the dealers here in New York/Nieuw Amsterdam. Den Helder is facing the “Drumpfication”* of its political life. My sincere condolences, Den Helder.
Dr. Janet Wasserman, Founder Schubert Society of the USA
9 September 2017
*Drumpf; a German name, that was Americanized into Trump and which personifies the “art of the deal” and narcissistic, autocratic power-seeking.
New York Rising
New York Rising is a culmination of a series of helicopter flights and many months of filming time-lapses. What originally started off as a commissioned project to gather supporting scenes for a feature film, quickly turned into a showcase of New York’s beauty and growth. For this edit we focused solely on Manhattan. Each member of the Discover Footage team has their own personal attachments to New York, so flying high above the clouds, doors off was truly a moment we all felt lucky to experience.
The cloud footage was from an early morning helicopter flight, while a rare weather pattern grounded most in Manhattan. We flew into the city from New Jersey and ended up being the only as the only people in the sky in what’s normally a busy area for air traffic. We landed with over two terabytes of footage and memories that won’t soon be forgotten.
Shot with the Sony a7s and Atomos Shogun in 4K.
All inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Music: “Babe” by Evenings