Foto’s

Blocks of color (Or: Mondriaan inspired art at The Hague’s train station)

Last month a group of friends and I went to Rotterdam for a WWE wrestling show at Ahoy in Rotterdam (I always have to resist the subconscious urge to call the the place ‘Chips Ahoy‘ after the cookie).

While waiting for a few friends getting coffee at Starbucks I took a photo of the Mondriaan inspired art at the train station; Den Haag Centraal.

Mondriaan colors at Den Haag Centraal (train station in The Hague)

And I still love the roof. Which looks even more awesome on a cloudy day.

Categories: Culture, The Hague, Transportation | Tags: | Leave a comment

Where are you? (Or: Grandcafé Haagse Bluf)

Here’s a random photo I took while out walking early one morning last month:

Grandcafe Haagse Bluf in The Hague The text reads “Where are you?? At the most beautiful terrace in The Hague!” This is Grandcafé Haagse Bluf, part of the Haagse Bluf upscale shopping area.

And, yet another iced cappuccino and iced chai latte at Hometown coffee.

Iced coffee at Hometown coffee The Hague

What can I say… except that they are delicious!

 

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Stroopwafels in Indy (Or: At least my parents have a backup plan!)

Another post about “things that remind me of home in America” – this time Belgian stroopwafels (syrup waffles). This was spotted at a local Walmart I believe. Stroopwafels! Take your pick from original on the left or chocolate covered on the right.

Belgian boys mini Dutch stroopwafels

As always, in their original form stroopwafels are great to place over your coffee cup to slowly heat them. Although these minis would probably only fit over an expresso cup… If you don’t drink coffee, try heating them in the microwave in 5 second bursts.

And the chocolate ones are just good all the time.

My last three posts including this one have definitely had a very Belgian theme (the Wafels & Dinges stand in Central Park, the Lotus cookies, which is headquartered in Belgium, and this post). Although at least these bags do label them as “Dutch caramel waffles”.

Check out the story of the founding of the Belgian boys company.

But as the title of this blog post suggests, at least my parents have a backup plan if their stroopwafel supply runs lower. (They were on the lowest shelf in the granola bars section, guys!)

Categories: The Hague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

De Bieb! (Or: Not a library, but a bar)

Near where the old central library used to be you can find a bar that goes by the name “De Bieb“. Bieb is a shortened, slang version of bibliotheek, or library in English. I knew I had to go there when a colleague told me that the bar had black cherry beer!

De Bieb bar in The Hague

My black cherry beer is on the left (Liefmans Kriek). It’s a beer from Belgium, and awesomely sour. Not something you would normally associate with a beer. Marco had a “Funky Falcon” which combines lemongrass, lemon, caramel and more. He let me have a sip – it was quite tasty.

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Flowers at Hobbemaplein (Or: A hint of summer)

Hobbemaplein in May – an area of The Hague known for its market (one of the largest open air markets in Europe, so they say!).

Flowers by Hobbemaplein, The Hague

And a close up of the flowers:

Close up of flowers at Hobbemaplein, The Hague

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Self-serve! (Or: Starbucks at the movie theatre)

Earlier in the month we saw Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. Great movie! While there I was able to check out the new coffee options, as the Pathé movie theatre by Spui now has self-service Starbucks coffee.

Self-serve Starbucks at Pathe Spui, The Hague

Apparently it’s been around for a few months but this is the first movie I had seen since they installed it.

Starbucks in Pathe Spui, The Hague

Of course you don’t have all of the options you would with a full-service Starbucks, but it is still some nice coffee, especially when viewing a movie in the morning!

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Removing temptation (Or: Bus and tram benches being replaced in The Hague)

Back in March 2015 The Hague replaced the shelters at bus and tram stops. The best part of the new design in my opinion was the much prettier glass on the sides and top. The design also included new benches which have since become an issue for curious kids. Have a look and see if you can guess what the issue is:

Holes in the bus and tram shelter benches in The Hague

Yep. The holes (which are used to drain off rainwater) are just the right size for a curious kid to stick their finger in. It took around a year (August 2016) for the first curious kid to get a few fingers stuck in the bench but after that the incidents just kept coming this year. With the first child they decided to administer anesthesia on the spot and cut out the bench around the finger, but since then they have removed an entire section of the bench and transported the child to the hospital (with part of the bench still around his finger) to remove it there.

Last month it was decided that the benches would be replaced using the advertising money the shelter generates, but it was still at a cost of more than half a million. The benches now use slits rather than holes to let the rainwater escape. The replacement of the benches began on May 2nd and will take until mid-July. And guess what happened on May 2nd? Yep, another kid got his fingers caught!

Speaking of trams, a friend and I went to the remise or depot in Scheveningen to see (one of the places) where the trams are stored overnight. This is also where the workers start and end their shifts.

HTM remise in Scheveningen.jpg

Tram remise in Scheveningen

The tram above is being driven backwards into the remise. There’s a small grey box at the back of these older trams which tram drivers can use to “back the tram in”. That way they are facing the right direction when they need to leave in the morning. It’s only needed for the older types – the two types that have come since then are made to be driven from either direction during normal operation.

Categories: Scheveningen, The Hague, Transportation | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Stirrings of spring (Or: Flowers by the Buitenhof)

Spring is probably here already, but some days it feels so cold. At least there are beautiful flowers to enjoy!

Flowers by Buitenhof, The Hague

This is by the Buitenhof in The Hague.

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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.

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

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

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