Harlem v. Haarlem

HaArlem

The name “Harlem” conjures up images of inner city New York, crime, unemployment, and perhaps the Apollo Theater. Here in Holland, Ha(a)rlem is a very different place. 

The original Haarlem is a picture-perfect town in North Holland, just outside of Amsterdam, filled with charming cafes, pretty churches, and cozy hofjes (medieval courtyards with almshouses).

Just like New York City used to be called New Amsterdam, the borough of Harlem was originally called Nieuw Haarlem (New Haarlem) after the Dutch city when it was organized as a Dutch village in 1658.

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About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.
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