Portuguese sailors launched the Age of Discovery (Euro-centric globalization) when they reached the Atlantic islands of Madeira in 1420 and the Azores in 1427. Explorations of Africa, India, southeast Asia, and the European discovery of Brazil followed.
Portugal had an indirect but important role in making New York an open city. A community of 23 Sephardic Jews fleeing the Inquisition in Portuguese Brazil came to New Amsterdam (New York) in 1654.
The town’s Director-General Peter Stuyvesant sought to expel them, but his bosses in the Dutch West India Company insisted they be allowed to remain as long as they were willing to be governed. That community founded Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. New York City has prospered from the dreams and labors of all peoples ever since.
Portuguese Celebrations in New York City
Portugal’s national day is Portugal Day on June 10. It celebrates the death of of Luís Vaz de Camões, the great poet of the Portuguese language. There is usually a celebration in Central Park.
Portuguese Restaurants in New York City
Aldea is New York City’s best Portuguese restaurant. It is the creation of chef George Mendes.