Foto’s

Crunch crunch crunch (Or: Snow!!!)

Snow!

Snow!

Snow!

In the last two days we’ve received more snow than I’ve probably seen in the almost 5 years I’ve been here (and wow, next Monday is officially 5 years!) Yesterday wasn’t too bad – most people did not have to work. Indeed, Marco and I went outside yesterday and took some pictures.

HTM bus 22 and December snow fall, The Hague city hall.jpg

snowfall yesterday. bus 22, with the oliebollen stand behind

But today would prove to be slightly more chaotic. Schiphol is currently trying to decide if they put out bedding for stranded travellers; about one third of the flights are cancelled and buses and trains aren’t running there. No trains to or from Amsterdam or Utrecht (in the heart of the Netherlands) at the moment. For a while the HTM buses here in The Hague stopped riding, but some lines are riding again.

I knew I had to go into work – my work computer was there! – but Marco was kind enough to walk me to my tram stop. It started snowing again in the late morning, so I stuck around until just after 1pm, and then went home to finish off my work there.

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Categories: The Hague | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Anyone for a creme brûlée latee? (Or: Urban cafe)

Urban Cafe

is a cafe across from the central library, near the city hall. Marco and I went there a few months back. At that time I snapped this photo:

Urban Cafe in The Hague

As usual: I have a black coffee and Marco has a cappuccino 

It was quite tasty, with an interesting concept (it is part of a furniture store). There is also upstairs seating.

But what I want to try the next time we go there? That would be the creme brûlée latte. It sounds delicious…

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MingleMush (Or: A food hall in The Hague)

MingleMush is an indoor food hall that opened behind The Hague’s Central Station in June of this year. Marco and I have been going for the last few months. It’s a very interesting concept – there are about 15 food stands in this indoor food hall, with centralized seating around them. Ideal when you go with a group of friends — each person can order from a different food stand.

Some of the choices include paninis (my favorite!), Thai, Lebanese, Mexican, Italian (pizza and gelato), burgers&fries and more. They also have a few drink stands for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

MingleMush has a website, but I do not find it that informative. The main thing to know is that you can’t use cash, you can only pin. Which is fine, cash is so last century…

During our visit to MingleMush yesterday, I took a picture of the Christmas tree that was recently added:

Christmas tree at MingleMush

Yes, the lights twinkle. And check out the wall in the background.

Don Brulee and Pierogies stands at MingleMush, The Hague

Two of the food stalls – Don Brûlée and Pierogies.

Chess cow art piece at MingleMush, The Hague

Awesome cow at the panini stand!

I definitely love this place and hope it succeeds. It’s not perfect but the main complaint is that there are times when half of the stands can be closed. For instance, when Marco and I visited on Saturday around 1pm, half of the stands were closed. That is fine, but why don’t they put up a sign saying they are either closed for the day or the time when they do expect to open? Just give us a bit more information.

Arcane at MingleMush, The Hague

Upstairs they have a small arcade (free bathrooms as well)

Also, depending on when you go it can be very crowded and loud, but I think that is just a sign I am getting old!

Food stands at MingleMush, The Hague

A view of some of the stands from above. The brightly lit windows on the other side are where the trams 2, 3, 4 and 6 pass by on the way to and from Central Station.

Definitely give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Categories: Food, The Hague | Tags: | 1 Comment

Last days of summer (Or: A walk through the Haagse Bos and Benoordenhout)

A few weeks ago – the last decent warm day, really – Marco and I took a walk from Central Station through the Haagse Bos (The Hague forest) towards Benoordenhout, a district of The Hague.

Monument to Queen Consort Emma of the Netherlands

Monument to Emma, Queen consort of the Netherlands

Above is a monument to Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the mother of Queen Wilhema. After the death of her husband, King Willem III, Emma became the Queen Consort of the Netherlands in 1890. This lasted until 1898 when Wilhema came of age.

(Huh. There’s a tram stop/street called Waldeck Pyrmontkade. And now I know why.)

Scouting Stnaley 55 building in The Hague

Building for Scouting Stanley 55.

Above is a building for the scouting group Scouting Stanley 55

Statue of Marie Gravin van Bylandt, The Hague

Statue of Maria Gravin van Bylandt

It is a bit hard to tell in this photo but the woman is holding a dog in her lap. This is Maria Gravin van Bylandt, whose organization promotes projects which help people as well as animals.

MAOC Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, The Hague

The Gravin van Bylandt Stichting

Old school Albert Heijn logo

Albert Heijn of yesteryear

And the last photo is of an Albert Heijn (local supermarket) which still has the older, golden logo. Cool!

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Soccer? Football? (Or: My first ADO Den Haag game)

Of course – it is called football (or voetbal) over here. Roger bought some tickets for the ADO Den Haag game a few weeks back, against Sparta Rotterdam. So Marco and I met up with Roger and his mother – although our first stop was the Rrrollend Foodtruck festival. The last one of the year in The Hague! We are already looking forward to the return of the festival in 2018.

Here is the ADO Den Haag stadium – reachable by tram 3 or 4 from the city centre (Forepark station).

ADO Den Haag football stadium

Unfortunately it is about a 10 minute walk from the station, but at least you don’t have to take the train.

Before the ADO Den Haag football game

Before the game – people filing in and the grass being watered. It is hard to tell from this photo, but the seats are elevated, with fans needing to climb a flight of metal stairs to get to this level. The field is separated by a high wall to prevent rioters from reaching the field.

The section on the other side with the team logo is where the fans with season cards sit.

More flag waving before ADO Den Haag football game

At the beginning of the game they passed out a lot of large flags to our section. If you sit here your flag waving skills better be good!

Flag waving before the ADO Den Haag game

Above is one very energetic fan. He first passed this flag to another spectator, asking if the man wanted to wave the flag. When this didn’t really happen (the guy just held it in his hands), the guy took it back and began to wave it frantically. And note the back of his shirt – 070 is the area code of The Hague.

1-0 score between ADO Den Haag and Sparta

We ended up winning the game 1-0. It would have been 2-0 but there was a goal called off for being offside.

The best part: we were sitting right behind the goal so we had a great view.

Blue Army graffiti by the stands at ADO Den Haag football game

Here’s a look at the graffiti-filled wall that separates the fans from the field. The stairs to go up to the stands are off to the left.

All in all it was a fun game. Though I have to admit that my favorite moment was when ADO Den Haag had a goal chance that the Sparta goalkeeper blocked – four times! The ball kept being hit back to the ADO Den Haag player, who had little choice but to kick it back in the same direction. it was like a game of pong.

Categories: Friends&Family, Sports, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Dunkin’ Donuts in Amsterdam (Or: Mmmmmm, donuts)

“Doughnuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” — Homer Simpson (from “Marge vs. the Monorail“, season 4, episode 12). So much of my childhood was based around the Simpsons!

Here are a few more photos from Marco and I’s trip to Amsterdam a few weeks back – this time from the local Dunkin’ Donuts on Damstraat. Dunkin’ Donuts opened stores in the Netherlands at the beginning of this year. So far they have 5 locations across Amsterdam with plans to move into other cities by the end of the year, including nearby Zoetermeer.

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 2

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 1

And of course Dunkin’ Donuts is looking to open a location in The Hague in 2018 (article in Dutch).

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 4

It isn’t without controversy – Dutch political party PvdA was against Dunkin’ Donuts coming here due to the food being unhealthy (article also in Dutch). PvdA is Partij voor de Arbeid, or Labour party. Understandable, but I do not believe fast food should be banned purely for health reasons.

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 3

In an attempt to cater to local audience you also have locally inspired donuts like Dutch blue (far left), Tulip (middle) and a donut with the logo of Amsterdam (far right)…

Stroopwafel donuts by Dunkin Donuts, Amsterdam

and a stroopwafel inspired donut, with a piece of stroopwafel cookie on top and caramel filling. Sounds heavy! 

Six donuts from Dunkin Donuts in AmsterdamOur six choices are above. Top row, left to right: apple crumble, toasted coconut and Dutch blue (Delft blauw pattern). Bottom row, left to right: chocolate rainbow, maple drizzle, and lemon.

I don’t like donuts with filling (I know – sacrilegious!), so the two donuts for me were the chocolate rainbow and the lemon donut. 🙂 Yum!

Categories: Amsterdam, Food | Tags: | 4 Comments

Eye-catching (Or: Photos from Amsterdam)

As mentioned in my previous blog post, Marco and I were in Amsterdam last week to celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. And I have more photos to share! Here is a look at the EYE Film Museum, taken from across the river IJ.

EYE Film museum in Amsterdam, from across the river, Sept 2017

It is the national museum of film, containing over 40,000 films, from classics to modern film. Their website states that there are four cinemas, an exhibition space, a floor reserved for educational activities, a store and a bar-restaurant. They also host film-related programs and debates.

Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Sept 2017

A look at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, also in the heart of the city

Royal Palace Amsterdam - other side, Sept 2017

The lesser photographed “back side” of the building, including a 6 meter tall statue of Atlas carrying the globe on his shoulders

What are you reading board in American Book Center in Amsterdam, Sept 2017

And finally, the “What are you reading?” board in the American Book Center.

What am I reading right now? Open kaart, by Brenno de Winter. It’s a book about the OV-chipkaart system in the Netherlands, or the card used to travel on public transportation throughout the country. Specifically the book covers the historical security issues as detailed on Wikipedia, mostly related to how easy the card was to hack in the beginning. It sounds dry but it is a fun read… if you’re into that sort of thing, of course!

Categories: Amsterdam, Marco&Niki, Reading | Tags: | Leave a comment

Beurspassage in Amsterdam (Or: A beautiful shortcut)

Earlier this week Marco and I were in Amsterdam to celebrate our wedding anniversary (four years!). One of the places we visited was the Beurspassage, a small passage which connects two well-known Amsterdam streets (Damrak and Nieuwendijk). The passage itself is only a 5 minute walk from the central station. The top and sides are covered in art – including a giant fish!

Beurspassage in Amsterdam - fish sculpture - Sept 2017

A giant fish, just like I said!

Beurspassage in Amsterdam, Sept 2017

Towards Nieuwendijk

Beurspassage in Amsterdam 2, Sept 2017

Towards Damrak

Beurspassage in Amsterdam, Primark entrance, Sept 2017

Giant green shoes hang on the wall by Primark…

The only thing I would have wanted was that it was longer. But it was very pretty nonetheless!

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Metallica at Ziggo Dome (Or: A view from any seat)

Earlier in the month, Metallica came to the Netherlands for their Hardwired… to self-destruct European tour. Here’s a nifty photo that Marco took:

Metallica at Ziggo Dome, 2017

And yes, the stage is in the middle for this concert. Interesting setup!

Categories: The Hague | Tags: | 2 Comments

Wednesday evenings (Or: Food and fun by Milu)

Last Wednesday I went out for dinner and cocktails with a friend of mine. We went to Milu, a restaurant in the centre of The Hague near the Grote Kerk (literally “the big church”). It was my second time visiting – the first time was with coworkers. The restaurant’s premise is sharing dishes; we ended up having three “rounds” of food and drink.

Round #1:

Bruschetta bread and beef teriyaki with Chinese pancakes. With a green tea mojito for me.

Bruschetta bread, Milu, The Hague

Beef teriyaki and Chinese pancakes, Milu, The Hague

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Categories: Food, Friends&Family, The Hague | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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