I’ve always wanted to write a blog post about this street!
Every time I walk past this street I have to laugh, but it seems so silly. The name of the street is Koediefstraat, which translates to Cow thief street. Hahaha. I’ll admit I had images of someone dragging an unwilling cow down this street while being chased by an unhappy army of Dutchies wielding pitchforks. But alas, the reason is a bit different.
If you go to the Haags Gemeentearchief website (The Hague city archive) and search for Koediefstraat, you’ll get two results for from the Straatnamencollectie, or the street name collection. The street had a few different names in the last 500+ years. One was Kromme Poten or Crooked legs but I’m not sure why. It was also named Wijnstraat or Wine street for a while due to the winery in the area. Another name was Burenstraat which was a reference to someone living in the area in the 1650s: Jacob van Buuren.
But the current name, Koediefstraat is likely a reference to Adriaan Janszoon Colijn whose nickname was Coedyff, which had a similar pronunciation to Koedief.
Also interesting to note: the painting on the side of the wall appeared recently; I don’t remember seeing it before. It caught my eye and reminded me that I wanted to do a blog post over the street name. There was no trace of it on Google Maps, whose most recent image was from June 2018.
As I’ve noted previously, Haagse Harry is a comic book character created by Marnix Rueb. Here’s a statue of the character unveiled in 2014 after Rueb’s untimely death. Remember most of the text you see below is phonetically spelled in The Hague’s own dialect. I have a lot of trouble reading it, which always makes Marco laugh.
In these corona times, banners have appeared throughout the city centre from the Dutch group Fan Support Den Haag (Instagram | Facebook).
It says in the middle:
Stay strong Hagenen (The Hague residents). Anderhalve meter = 1.5 meters
The shirt on the left says Mijn hart behoort aan Den Haag = My heart belongs to The Hague
The shirt on the right says 1 team, 1 taak = 1 team, 1 task
And a banner above the Bleyenberg restaurant.
Ik wil mijn bier en vreten, dus laten we de horeca niet vergeten! = I want my beer and food, so let’s not forget the restaurants and cafés! Although ‘vreten’ is more a verb for eating, but you get the idea.
As noted last month, I love the dutch word horeca which is simply a shortened form of ‘hotels, restaurants and cafés’ (ho-re-ca).
As with most places in the world, beauty is blooming and yet there is no one around to see it. But this is where technology can help – be it cameras or drones. The first example is Clingendael, a Japanese garden situated in The Hague. I actually haven’t visited yet, partially because it is only open for a short time in the spring.
The second place is Keukenhof, not too far outside of The Hague. I mentioned it a few weeks ago in this blog already. It is a large tulip park, open for a few months in the year. Last year they had 1.5 million visitors. This year they weren’t even able to open before the crisis took hold.
The latest video they posted was of the violinist Rosanne Philippens playing during a sunrise:
They post videos of Keukenhof every few days – check out their YouTube channel for more.
The Hague is home to many pieces of art, especially in the city centre. One of those is is called Heaven holds a sense of wonder by the artist Femke van Wijk.
It is a bronze sculpture created in 2011. You can find it on the Kalvermarkt – to the right is the Kalvermarkt-Stadhuis tram stop and in the background is the Primark retail store. In the distance is the Grote Marktstraat, a large shopping area.
On Friday Roger, Marco and I went to Amsterdam to see a performance of The Book of Mormon musical. Along the way we spotted a building that definitely wanted to be noticed:
“Kraken” is the Dutch translation of squatting, or taking over a building or residence currently not in use. Squatting in the Netherlands goes back to the 60s (Wikipedia). “Kraken gaat door” means that the squatting hasn’t stopped, regardless of the action the government takes against them.
The musical was held at Amsterdam’s Carré theatre. It’s a beautiful theatre, though a bit disconcerting if you have a fear of heights.
I was thinking about how cool that backdrop would be as a background on my iPhone.
And above is a look at the seating, although I have been at places with even steeper seating arrangements. The best part was that the row in front of you was rather far down, so you don’t have to worry about someone tall in sitting in front of you.
Last Sunday Marco and I were enjoying coffee at the central library when we saw a commotion outside the window. The police were practicing with the royal horses in advance of Prinsjesdag (held last Tuesday), with the route going past the library.
Today it was announced that Rotterdam had won the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest (Eurovisie Songfestival in Dutch) next year in May. This is because the Netherlands won the 2019 version of the song contest with Duncan Lawrence’s Arcade (YouTube) in May. It was their first win in 44 years.
Now, if I am being honest – this whole concept of a European song contest seems polarizing at best (you either love it or hate it) and political at worst. There are two components to the voting – each country has a panel of five judges which cast their vote for other countries using a points system, and each country also has votes coming from televoting from the fans. You are prevented from voting for your other country. Whomever gets the most points from the two combined voting areas wins.
Next year the song contest will be held at the convention centre Ahoy in Rotterdam (Wikipedia) after it was announced that Rotterdam had beaten Maastricht for the right to host the event. I’ve been there a few times for concerts and WWE wrestling events – it is a nice venue. The only annoying thing is that you need to use special tokens to buy food and drink, so we usually don’t buy anything.
Hotel prices in both Rotterdam and The Hague are skyrocketing (article in Dutch). The Netherlands will have a busy month in May 2020, as it was also recently announced that the newly-granted F1 race will happen on May 3 in Zandvoort (in the area of Amsterdam). That’s actually one of the reasons Amsterdam dropped out of the race to host the Eurovision song contest rather quickly – there was already going to be issues with having enough hotel rooms in the area, especially as a lot of press and groups arrive about two weeks early for the song contest.
This photo was taken last weekend while Marco and I were visiting Scheveningen with a few friends. It shows the outdoor portion of Museum Beelden aan Zee, with an oversized statue eating herring. That is a well-known tradition in these parts called “Hollandse Nieuwe” where people look forward to the traditional start date of the herring season.
Of course, if you look really closely you can see that his feet are stomping on much smaller statues, but okay… we’ll ignore that.
After the usual visit to the statues part we headed down to the beach, even getting our feet wet (and in my case gingerly stepping over seashells). The sea water was a bit cold, but we got used to it after a while. Most interesting were the little ponds that were left behind further inland from the tides – a lot of kids were playing in those as they were only an inch or two deep. I don’t have any pictures of those, since I figured with my luck I’d try to take a picture and just end up dropping my telephone into the water… haha.
In the other Scheveningen new, the annual fireworks festival won’t be coming back this year. Why is that you ask? It’s actually too popular! No, seriously – the event was attracting around 400,000 people for four days total (across two weekends) and the beach just wasn’t large enough to support that. Most of the problems came after the event ended, since everyone wanted to go home at the same time.
This DHC article from last year has a great overhead photo showing you just how crowded it was trying to get home with public transportation after the event ended. Although HTM (the public transportation company) did say the buses were not riding at that moment and were being used as a buffer to prevent people from climbing over the fences leading to the stop. You can see the road is clear where the buses would actually be driving. There’s a security guy in yellow standing in the road to keep everyone off it. Additionally, HTM had 71 tram rides that night instead of the normal 31, and 54 bus rides as opposed to the normal 15. Still, the wait for some folks was over 90 minutes even with that extra capacity.
I do hope they can figure something out for next year though. The fireworks festival was a lot of fun, if too crowded for me in the end.
Like everywhere else in the world, The Hague has its own dialect. The comic Haagse Harry exclusively uses this dialect (Dutch Wikipedia). It gives me a bit of a headache to try to read that one, but of course Marco can do it fairly easily.
Last month we spotted this cotton candy truck, written phonetically in the Haags dialect. The actual Dutch is “Genoeg suikerspin voor weinig” or “Enough cotton candy for little” (cheaply). But as you can see, the letters don’t look anything like that!
Not far from the Peace Palace you can find a lady sitting on a bench, watching the world go by. And not just any lady, but Anna Pavlovna of Russia, Queen Consort to the Netherlands back in the 18th century. She married Willam the II in 1816 and had five children. If you read the Wikipedia page you’ll notice how odd it is to have a statue here – apparently she wasn’t a fan of the Netherlands and preferred instead to be in what is now Belgium (or better yet, Russia). But okay, the statue itself is still very beautiful.
A bit further along the path you come across the Peace Palace. I had a bit of luck that day in terms of weather – no grey skies that day. (Unlike today!)