Culture

Oliebollen (Or: It must be October)

Last year it was a huge decision to let the oliebollen stands open a month earlier, on 1 October, due to missed income (no festivals were being held, etc.). This year they also opened a month earlier, from yesterday. But this was more of a surprise as it wasn’t splashed everywhere on the news. The stands are usually allowed to be open between 1 November and mid-to-late January as oliebollen is a treat for Christmas and New Years.

But it is good news to see that the stand is back in the city centre, at the end of the Grote Markt shopping street (across from the public library). And perhaps they will be allowed to stay here; they moved to this spot some years back due to the construction around the Amare building. But construction of the Amare building is complete (previous blog post) so that is a good sign for the oliebollen stand.

In case you have no clue what oliebollen are, here is the page on English Wikipedia. Just try and read that without drooling.

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Open house by Amare (Or: Also, new greenery)

This weekend was an open house at The Hague’s newest building, the Amare cultural complex (Amare.nl, in English). It was part of the UIT Festival (uitfestivaldenhaag.nl, in English), a festival which kicks off the 2021-22 cultural season in The Hague. Some of the events are in person, some of the events are virtual. The first events at Amare are planned for later this month, including events by Nederland dans theater’s “Skin of the mind” (ndt.nl, in English).

They have planted new (temporary) plants in front of the complex, opening up the space a bit for the opening day and removed part of the gates. It is so nice to have more space in this area again! The construction zone was taking up a lot of it (and still is, on the left side of the building).

Last week Marco took a few photos of the plants being added:

And an hour later it already looked like this:

Quick work! And even a radio for some tunes.

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Upcoming clouds (Or: Plein 1813)

Here is a photo of the Plein 1813 monument just outside of The Hague’s city centre. If you take tram 1 to the Scheveningen beach you will ride past it, as the tram lines pass by on either side.

The slightly darkening clouds are a bit of a warning for the weather this week, although this photo is from a few weeks ago. It rained and thundered so long yesterday that I delayed my near-daily trip to the grocery store until after work. There was one moment of thunder – hitting right as I stood by a slightly ajar kitchen window – that made me jump. In a good way. Today it poured while Marco and I were making dinner, and it provided a lovely backdrop of noise. But there is more rain than not this week, with cooler temperatures hanging on for a while. It’s a bit crazy to realize when parts of the US are experiencing temperatures closer to 36C (100F). We are lucky if we hit 20C (68F).

In other news, all from the English site dutchnews.nl this time:

Panamanian ship carries massive dead whale to port of Terneuzen. The sperm whale was so large the ship didn’t even notice until they pulled into port. Yikes.

Dyke breach in Zuid Holland, was it cows or crayfish? American crayfish are definitely turning into a huge pest in the Netherlands. With no natural predators, their population is growing quickly.

Two more Dutch sites added to Unesco cultural heritage list. The Hollands Waterlinie defence lines were also recently added to the list.

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World Peace Flame (Or: Monument by the Peace Palace in The Hague)

Here is a photo I took of the World Peace Flame and the World Peace Pathway (around the flame) by the Peace Palace in The Hague:

(if you look closely, you can just see the flame within the blue stone)

The flame was created by seven nations and brought together in Wales, before being returned to the original countries. In that way there is more than one world peace flame. Here is a list of monuments at the official website.

The pathway was created by every country and region of the world (each one donated stones to create the pathway.

The plaque reads: The World Peace Flame: In July 1999 seven flames from five continents were united to create the World Peace Flame. The World Peace Pathway: 196 nations joined together in cooperation and unity to create the World Peace Path. Opened 27 April 2004. Please add your prayer for peace as you walk around.

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Through the fences (Or: Amare cultural complex)

The Amare cultural complex is looking pretty good indeed. Most of the construction walls are down, making it much easier to see the progress. Here is a photo I took last weekend:

Officially the building was supposed to be turned over to its tenants on 1 July, however the tenants refused to receive it yet (article from omroepwest.nl in Dutch). However, the following day they clarified and said there was no panic and that they just needed to get the final details ready (also from omroepwest.nl).

Almost there…

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A sea of orange (Or: Orange fever creeping up your street)

It is almost time for the European football championship 2020 (Wikipedia). No – you are not going back in time; it’s the European football championship that was supposed to be held last year but was delayed by corona.

This of course means the streets are turning orange all over the country. Here is a look at the Marktweg (denhaagfm.nl). Apparently this is a completely crazy street because here is another article about the Marktweg from omroepwest.nl, also in Dutch. Or here is a tweet with a photo of the Markstraat.

Companies are of course also cashing in. Here is an m&m’s display at a local Albert Heijn:

All orange!

Read more about Oranjegekte (Orange fever) over at English Wikipedia. Or see this commercial for a “cheer cape” from another Dutch grocery store over at YouTube.

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Sculptures on the Lange Voorhout (Or: 2021 exhibition from Pulchri Studio)

Marco and I checked out the exhibition that it is going on right now over on the Lange Voorhout. The exhibition, from Pulchri Studio (official website in Dutch), will be available through 14 September. Since it is on public ground you can visit it whenever you want, day or night.

This sculpture is near the beginning of the exhibition (depending on where you enter the Lange Voorhout, of course).

This sculpture is topical – it is someone balancing upside down on a coronavirus.

Continue reading
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Fridays and lattes (Or: Turmeric in your coffee?)

Today’s photo is of a turmeric latte that Marco ordered last week at FOAM restaurant in The Hague. Check out the vibrant colors:

And of course I had to be boring and order a sparkling water. Next time I will look at the menu faster, but I was busy taking a photo of the “this table is reserved” spoon!

In other news: Naturalis (a museum in Leiden) was named as the European museum of the year for 2021 (naturalis.nl, in English). I have never been there, but considering Leiden is only 15-20 minutes away by train, perhaps I should consider it. Once things calm down a bit, of course… One of their most prized assets is the T-Rex skeleton named Trix.

Netherlands in 9th for EU Covid vaccines; 6.1 million shots estimated from notices.nl. But keep in mind the Dutch minister of health wants to be administering 2.5 million vaccinations per week by the end of this month (!). Hospitals will be responsible for up to 500,000 shots per week (article from nos.nl in Dutch). This was always part of the plan but it will be interesting to see if they get enough workers to be able to pull this off.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Plein 1813 (Or: A lovely view from tram 1)

Plein 1813 is a monument commemorating the victory over Napoleon (denhaag.com, in English) and the end of the French era in the Netherlands. It’s a beautiful monument, surrounded by seasonal flowers that are replanted throughout the year in different colors. Traffic flows around both sides of the monument, providing a lovely view if you are taking tram 1 to Scheveningen.

Here is how it looks from Google Maps:

You have to love the symmetry.

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King’s Day 2021 (Or: A sea of orange)

When Marco and I took a walk this afternoon we spotted these flowers by the Hofvijver (English Wikipedia):

Fitting, since today is King’s Day (also Wikipedia), a Dutch national holiday.

Who else remembers that Koningsdag (=King’s Day) was called Woningsdag last year? Woning = home, so it was a play on King’s Day reminding people to celebrate from home due to the pandemic.

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