Mosaic above the door (Or: Local Catholic church)

During one of my walks I noticed a Catholic church; the deep red door drew my eye first before I noticed the mosaic above it. (And no Dutch photo is complete without a random sighting of a bike as well.)

According to Google Maps this is the Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua. Here’s a close up of the mosaic pattern (a priest wearing brown robes and holding a staff):

In other news, imagine my surprise yesterday when a coworker sent along a meeting invite for next week Monday. The meeting is actually a social invite to mark 150 days of lockdown. I was so shocked that I googled it – yes, next Monday will be 150 days since we were last in the office. Crazy!

In unfortunate news: Coronavirus weekly figures worst than expected; up 95% versus last week. While the problem areas are Amsterdam and Rotterdam, if they list a third problem area it is usually The Hague. There’s a press conference scheduled for Thursday but the media doesn’t expect any countrywide changes.

Oh, and the small island in the Hofvijver (by the Buitenhof) was taken over by four Extinction Rebellion activists yesterday. See also regio15.nl’s article: Actievoerders Extinction Rebellion bezetten eilandje Hofvijver. Even if you don’t speak Dutch it is fun to look through the photos.

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Something for the tourists (Or: Escher museum)

Today’s photo is of the Escher museum in The Hague. The building looks a bit rundown (on both the outside and the inside), but I definitely enjoyed the exhibits when I visited.

There was talk that the Escher museum could move to the old American embassy, but those plans fell through a few years back (dutchnews.nl). It’s a bit of a pity since I think they could do so much more with a larger building.

The front of the building is adorned with a classic Escher drawing:

One day I will finish that Escher jigsaw puzzle that Marco got me for Christmas…

One day.

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Police presence at Lange Voorhout (Or: Staging area?)

Today’s photos are of the Lange Voorhout in The Hague. I usually end up showing off photos of this area during food festivals (either Rrrollend food truck festival or the Haagse Wereld Hapjes festival). I took a few photos yesterday:

I’m not sure, but I think the police were using the Lange Voorhout as a sort of “staging area” for yesterday’s anti-corona measures demonstration at the Malieveld (article in Dutch over at omroepwest.nl). There are even a few horses, although you can barely see them in the photo. Everyone in the area could smell them, though…

And here’s a photo for your computer background:

It’s a lovely area, not far from the city centre.

And you thought you hated face masks: Face mask brawl on KLM flight to Ibiza, two arrests from nltimes.nl. Yikes. That is the complete opposite of social distancing.

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Hat’s off (Or: Artwork on a restaurant wall)

Today’s picture is of art on the side of a small restaurant:

Chapeau is the word for hat in French. Hat’s off! (petje eraf in Dutch)

Interestingly this artwork is on the side of a restaurant which sells Italian pizza and Turkish food like shoarma. Not French food.

Looking for your feel good article of the day? I really enjoyed this article from The Guardian: Taiwan grandparents go viral on Instagram modelling abandoned clothes. It’s exactly as it sounds. It’s the perfect article to forget about the rest of the craziness going on these days.

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A different view of the skyline (Or: Centraal Park)

You learn something new every day. Marco and I took a short walk before dinner and I took a few photos of The Hague’s skyline, not far from Centraal Station. I’m a fan of Malieveld, but apparently the small park on the other side of the street is called “Centraal Park”. At least, that’s what Google Maps calls it.

Here’s a look at The Hague’s skyline from this angle.

The weather is good, as predicted. There is a lot of sun. Of course, that means: Traffic jams and road closures as the heat drives Dutch to the sea (dutchnews.nl).

The Dutch city of Arnhem also made the news with their plan to tackle global warming: Dutch city redraws its layout to prepare for global heating effects (from theguardian.com). The city plans to replace 10% of they asphalt with grass. I can get behind that – cities can use a bit more green these days.

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Keeping an eye out (Or: Alleyway in The Hague)

Today’s photo comes from Oog in ‘t Zeilstraat which literally translates to “Eye in the sail street”. A lot of Dutch phrases find their origin in the sea. Eye in the sail refers to the sailor up in the crow’s nest – their job is to “keep an eye out” for any trouble.

According to indebuurt.nl, though, the street is named after a house in 1654 which had the name Oog in ‘t Zeilstraat. Perhaps the house was named after the phrase? And of course it is partially hidden, but you do see a least one bicycle in the photo.

After the press conference yesterday, Amsterdam and Rotterdam decided to require face masks in parts of the city (article at nltimes.nl) from 5 August. Local intervention does seem more useful than country-wide intervention – Amsterdam and Rotterdam reported 76 and 68 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, while there were almost no cases reported in other parts of the country.

On to the weekend (and great temperatures tomorrow)!

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Gray clouds above, flowers below (Or: Buitenhof scenes)

Earlier this week Marco took this photo of the Buitenhof for me. What do you think?

Of course you probably notice the flowers first, but the clouds above do deserve a glance as well. A touch of gray.

There was a press conference earlier this evening. The main topic was whether or not there be a country-wide requirement to wear a face mask at all times when outside. At the moment you are only required to wear a face mask when using public transportation.

The government announced that there will no national requirement to wear one, although regions will have more power to take action locally (article from nltimes.nl). The government also looked into whether or not the quarantine policy for holiday travellers should be strengthened if they were returning from an area with a high number of coronavirus cases.

And another article, this one from Omroep West: Terrassen mogen uur langer open tijdens warme Haagse nachten. It’s an article about how terraces can stay open longer during the summer if the temperature is over 25C/77F Thursday through Sunday. The city government will look at the upcoming weekend’s temperature every Thursday and announce if terraces can be open longer that weekend. ☀️

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Bring out your gold (Or: Inspection house in the Binnenhof)

One or the lesser known sites of the Binnenhof is the Goudsmids Keurhuis, which is a fancy way of saying Goldsmith inspection house.

The building was built in the first part of the 17th century (Dutch Wikipedia). All that remains is the facade you see in the photo; behind is office spaces. There is a bit of an embarrassment from centuries ago: the gold text has a typo. it reads t’ Goutsmits Keur Huys but even back then the apostrophe should come before the t, as an abbreviation for het or “the”. If you look at the photo on the linked Wikipedia page you can see just how cramped this building is, surrounded by buildings constructed in the 20th century.

In other news: if all goes well there will be a brief feeling of sun on your skin this weekend. Temperatures on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be between 25-29C or 77-84F. I know, I know, that sounds positively cool compared to some cities out there. But we take what we can get.

I also received an email from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (the National Library) that they have released a beta version of their new e-book/audio book app. Some of the main improvements over the old app are:

  • you can check out a book directly from within the app
  • the same app is contains both e-books and audio books
  • other advantages are listed on their website (note: page is in Dutch)

Google Play link: online Bibliotheek BETA

Apple app store link: online Bibliotheek

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Stone work (Or: A socially distanced Turfmarkt)

Today’s photo is of the newly installed social distancing measures in the Turfmarkt area. It extends from The Hague Centraal Station, down the Turfmarkt, to the beginning of the Spuiplein.

Keep in mind this photo was taken on Sunday morning when it is relatively quiet. Normally this place is bustling with visitors walking from the train station to the city centre and back. However since the corona crisis most of the ministry workers in the nearby buildings are working from home, so that has helped a bit with limiting the foot traffic.

What are your thoughts on the stone work in general? I personally like the diagonal lines. So much of The Hague is covered in brick – it is weird going to vacation in the United States and coming back to this. But I like it.

Did you hear about the red Ferrari that was salvaged from the bottom of the IJ? (article from dutchnews.nl). The IJ, pronounced “Eye”, is a major body of water in Amsterdam (Wikipedia). It’s right outside Amsterdam Centraal Station, so it’s hard to miss… if you take the right exit, that is.

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Skateboarders and muses (Or: Muzentoren in The Hague)

Today’s photo is of the Muzentoren in The Hague, about a five minute walk from The Hague’s Centraal Station. Muzentoren translates roughly to “Muses’ Tower”. It’s a relatively new building, made in 2001 according to the Dutch Wikipedia page.

The statue in front also has an interesting meaning, although my photo only shows half of it. It is called “Light and darkness”. The side you see is the light – standing up straight, looking straight ahead. On the other side is darkness (see this image from indebuurt.nl) where the other half sags down, looking dejected.

In other news… did you know it was a year ago yesterday that the Netherlands broke the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded? A city in the south of the Netherlands reached 40.7C or 105F. Yikes! Yesterday the average was around 17C or 63F. That’s a bit of a difference…

I still remember La Salle, a local French restaurant, putting out free water for anyone (including pets) that week.

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