Art on the streets (Or: The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague)

Thursday was King’s Day in the Netherlands, a holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. Or to just enjoy a nice day off…

But the real fun happens the night before, as The Hague organises a festival called The Life I Live. I have written a few blog posts about it, including last year’s rainy celebration and the 2013 celebration (back when it was Queen’s night; the last one as Queen Beatrix addicted the throne the next day).

The Life I live festival 2017, Kerkplein in The Hague

One of the many stages, set up at the Kerkplein (by the Grote Kerk)

Like last year, there was also an area set up for street art. This year’s theme must have been Mondriaan-inspired as there was a lot of primary colors in block formation.

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

A look at another side, which had just been started:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (2)The third side:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (3)

And the last side – Marco’s favorite – a Mondriaan-inspired Transformer!:

Transformers street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

Luckily the rain held off this year. It was cold – colder then even Christmas! – but bearable.

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Fit for a monkey? (Or: Bossche bollen and Oreo doughnuts)

Another fun place Marco and I found while visiting Den Bosch last week was Monkey Coffee. At the time we were actually looking for the local Bagels & Beans (which we also like and I’ve posted about more than once) but we were glad we found this one instead.

Bossche bol, coffee and a donut by Monkey Coffee in Den Bosch

Bossche bol at left, Oreo doughnut above. I was also a fan of the pretty coffee glasses.

Like almost every cafe in Den Bosch, you can order a Bossche bol. These are large profiteroles, a bit bigger then a tennis ball. They are covered in chocolate (usually dark) and filled with whip cream. Best served with coffee.

Bossche bol - on the inside

Dissection of a Bossche bol

That was for Marco – I decided to go with a doughnut covered in Oreo bits. It was delicious and very light, just like a typical American doughnut would be. Speaking of that – Marco and I spoke with the owner (?) and he joked that he was glad Dunkin’ Donuts was finally arriving in the Netherlands. At long last, Monkey Coffee will have good competition for doughnuts!

Categories: Den Bosch | Tags: | 1 Comment

Den Bosch (Or: Dragon statues and gothic cathedrals)

Continuing my Den Bosch post from last week, here are some more pictures. First of a dragon statue on the way from the main train station to the downtown area:

Dragon statue in Den Bosch

The money for this statue apparently came from a grieving father who donated money in 1881 for a memorial for his 17-year-old twin daughters.

Dragon statue in Den Bosch - bottom

The father did not specify a dragon as the memorial, though. One theory for why it was a dragon was that it was a reference to the king’s commissioner Jhr. Mr. P.J. Bosch van Drakestein who lived around that time (“Drake” is a type of dragon). The dragon is holding his family’s crest, so this seems most likely:

Dragon statue in Den Bosch - top

Another theory is that the city of Den Bosch is built around a swamp, and was considered a swamp fortress. The dragon is named the “swamp dragon” in honor of the city.

And here are a few more pictures of St. John’s Cathedral that Marco took:

Saint John's cathedral in Den Bosch

And a close up: Saint John's cathedral in Den Bosch - close up

Unfortunately we weren’t able to find the statue wearing jeans and holding a cell phone (which was added not that long ago, the last time the church was being restored).

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A visit to Den Bosch (Or: Poetry amidst half statues)

For my birthday last week Marco and I visited Den Bosch. The official name of the city is ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Duke’s forest) but it is almost always shortened to Den Bosch (The forest). The first day we walked around the city using a walking guide from the local VVV office (tourism office).

St John's church in Den Bosch

One of the main attractions of the city is St. John’s church, which shows off the height of Gothic architecture in the Netherlands

Also some curious art can be seen:

The half pear statue in Den Bosch

De Halve Peer (The Half Pear)

The half-a-statue above came from a dispute – two parties were tasked with creating this memorial / remembrance piece, but only one invested the money. And here is the result – half a statue!

I also took a picture of this lovely farmers plaque on the side of a brick house:

Plaque to a farmer, Den Bosch

Continue reading

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Tables outside Irodion, Greek restaurant (Or: Shadows and sunlight)

More and more tables are being set up outside in anticipation of the warming weather:
Irodion Greek restaurant in The Hague - tables outside

The best part is not having to grab the heavy winter jacket anymore!

This was taken by the Greek restaurant “Irodion” which is right next to the Grote Markt tram stop and the statue of Haagse Harry, both of which I’ve blogged about recently.

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Bus 72 in The Hague (Or: An outdated sign)

Just a sign I came across while wandering around The Hague:

Outdated bus 72 sign in The Hague

Let op! spelende kinderen = Caution! Children playing

It looks like the kids spent their entire time outside throwing a ball at that particular sign, considering how dented it is…

Underneath you have a sign for bus 72, a temporary bus stop. It goes on to say that bus 72 replaces tram 6 and tram 12 for certain areas of the city during ‘wintery conditions’. Luckily we are now in April, so I assume we won’t be having any more ‘wintery conditions’.

Take down the sign and bring on spring!

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Jamie Oliver is coming to The Hague (Well: His restaurant is coming…)

Last week while wandering around the city centre I saw an advertisement for a still-under-construction Jamie Oliver restaurant. It’s almost ready, having first been announced back in November of last year. The date of opening is set as “this spring”.

Jamie Oliver restaurant in The Hague

There are also two photos on Facebook of what the restaurant looks like from the inside. This would actually be his second restaurant in the Netherlands, and shockingly the first was not opened in Amsterdam but in Rotterdam. It can be found in the Markthal (Market hall) which I blogged about previously

The restaurant will be by MediaMarkt (which would be just right of the bikes if the photo  zoomed out more). I definitely won’t be eating in this restaurant on day one, but I suspect that I will end up there sometime in 2017 just to see what the fuss is about.

Categories: The Hague | Tags: | 3 Comments

The stirrings of spring (Or: Flowers to photograph)

On Thursday evening Marco and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful weather and walk outside after dinner. One thing that caught my eye was a beautiful bank of flowers that the city had placed around the ‘De Plaats’ plaza:

Flower bank in The Hague at De Plaats

This plaza is well known for the statue of Johan de Witt. He and his brother Cornelis were executed at the plaza in 1672. Wikipedia has a nice photograph of the unveiling of the statue by Queen Wilhelmina in 1918. Almost 100 years ago!

Close up of flowers in The Hague

And one more close up:

Close up of flowers in The Hague, spring 2017

Curious where De Plaats is in The Hague? It’s across the street from the Hofvijver, in the city center. It is also really close to the Dutch parliament.

De Plaats, The Hague - Spring time flowers

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Coffee and apple pie (Or: Bagels & Beans)

I was looking through my phone recently and I came across a few photos that I had taken earlier in the year when Marco and I went to Bagels & Beans here in The Hague. The first time I had ever had a mochaccino… it was pretty tasty! I generally go for black coffee, but this choice was not to be ignored.

Cappuccino, mochaccino and apple pie at Bagels and Beans, The Hague

Marco’s cappuccino above and my mochaccino below

And a look at the apple crumble:

Apple crumble at Bagels & Beans, The Hague

 

Categories: Food, The Hague | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Picnic tables (Or: Springtime in The Hague)

Just an interesting photo I took of a picnic table outside Chinny, a small takeout restaurant that specialises in Suriname sandwiches. Haven’t been there yet, but I was in the area taking pictures of The Ballgown.

Table outside of Chinny - Kettingstraat, The Hague

Spring is just around the corner…

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