68,759 people have been tested for the corona virus so far under The Netherlands’ policy of now testing any resident who requests it. This period is from 1 June to 9 June (yesterday). Most test results come back in 48 hours, although the original promise was to have test results within 24 hours. About 2.1% of the tests have come back positive. See also the NOS live blog from today.
Last week Marco and I noticed another poem hanging on the wall of one of the buildings in the city centre:
It’s also on the Grote Markt, across the street from MediaMarkt at the Lust poffertjes restaurant (Instagram | Facebook). In English it reads:
A while ago there was war and occupation here
Even so peace, freedom and joy returned
The sun always came back from behind the clouds
This will happen again now, we don’t know when
but it will happen for sure
We live in the now
With the joy from before
And the hope for tomorrow
The sun will come again
Here is another random piece of art which I spotted at the end of a side street in The Hague:
And of course since it is the Netherlands you get to see a lot of bikes on each side of the alleyway. This is Bagijnestraat, a small side street off of the popular Lange Poten street, which includes stores, cafés and even the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives).
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.
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.
A few weeks ago Marco and I went to Utrecht for half a day. It’s about a 45 minute train ride – when the trains ride properly anyway. There were some issues that day, so I think it took about an hour and a half to get there. Opps! It’s a city in the middle of the Netherlands with about 350,000 residents.
The main reason for this trip was to visit the Hoog Catharijne mall, which has probably been under renovation for years. At least it seemed that way. I don’t think it is completely done, but the parts that are done look really good. Check it out:
And just outside the mall in one of the canals is a piece of art: a whale made of plastic. Of course, a statement on plastic in the oceans.
And a close-up look at the whale from the front:
It’s a nice day trip, especially when you a combine it with a tour of the older parts of the city (which we did a few years back).
From now through April 1st, there is an exhibition (De Raaf, de Vos en Kornuiten) going on at the Central Library. That translates as The raven, the fox, and his mates. The exhibition covers the work of Jean de la Fontaine, a French fabulist.
The fables shown in the library were translated by Rob Scholten while Carlijn van Vlijmen worked on the illustrations.
As mentioned, the exhibit runs through April 1st and can be seen on the first floor of the Central Library, next to the escalators.