Bijenkorf is a high-end department store comparable to Macy’s in the US. Every year they hang up some gorgeous holiday lights and they decorate their store front windows for Sinterklaas (5 December holiday) and Christmas. The lights went up in early November this year, even before we left for New Year City. Here’s a look at a few of their Sinterklaas themed windows.
You can tell it is Sinterklaas because the child in the middle is holding the staff of Sinterklaas. What’s a Sinterklaas party without fashionable clothes and lots of gifts? Speaking of which, if you want to make sure kids in The Hague and Amsterdam area have gifts to open on 5 December, consider donating to Sintvoorieder1 (official website in Dutch). During their latest toy drive they received about 47,000 gifts for 22,500 children which is just awesome. The link is from omroepwest.nl in Dutch.
Here is a quick look at the Christmas decorations at Bijenkorf, a high-end store here in The Hague. They are also the store with the beautiful Christmas window displays each year; see also this year’s post about those.
First off, the very tall Christmas tree (spanning about 4 floors) which changes every year. They usually put it up before Sinterklaas and decorate it for that December 5 holiday first, but I didn’t get any pictures of those decorations this year. Also, sorry about the not getting closer to take the photo :), but times like this bring out my slight fear of heights!
Here is a look at the outdoor decorations at Bijenkorf here in The Hague (Bijenkorf is a high-end retail store). These lights and decorations go up every year. Actually the lights were already up when Marco and returned from the United States back in late October, although the window displays weren’t ready for a few more weeks.
And here is a look at some of the window displays. They change every year and usually draw a crowd (though less of a crowd this year and last year, of course).
It is hard to believe that it is almost December…
In the meantime, the current corona wave is still going strong, with intensive care units filling up. There was another press conference tonight, a week earlier than originally planned. Here is a look at the measures that go into effect Sunday morning, in English at government.nl.
There was another “noise” demonstration near Central Station this evening; the press conference is held in that area so the people outside try to make as much noise as possible to get heard on television. See also some images at regio.15 (text in Dutch). There were some pretty grim demonstrations last week so this time the military was present instead of the police. This demonstration went rather peacefully though, especially in comparison to the riots last week in Rotterdam (theguardian.com).
This morning I took a photo of the line to enter Bijenkorf, a high-end department store. There weren’t too many people in line yet – it was only 11:00 – but there was a large amount of space roped off on the Grote Markt shopping street.
The not-quite-readable sign says “Welcome! Access only allowed with appointment. Scan the QR-code to make an appointment.” (QR codes have definitely become more popular during the corona crisis.) In the Netherlands you need to make an appointment at least 4 hours in advance. Non-essential stores can have 1 person per 25 square meters, with a maximum of 50 shoppers in the store at one time.
The sculpture is called “Veelhoofd” (Many heads) and it was created by Joep van Lieshout. The art in The Hague’s city centre moves around a lot – the sculpture was initially installed on the Spui (stroom.nl, in English) around the corner back in 2010.
Marco and I decided to risk it and go to Xenos and Bijenkorf (a high end department store) today. It was probably the first time I stepped foot in Bijenkorf this year. And actually it wasn’t too bad. I thought it it would be really busy, especially on a Sunday afternoon, but Xenos was actually busier.
Bijenkorf had an interesting setup for the escalators: pieces of cardboard taped to the side of the escalator which reminded you to stand on the other side (as far away as possible from the opposite escalator). While they are taped securely to the elevator it was done in such a way that someone standing on the wrong side won’t rip them out. I didn’t take a photo, however.
The good news is that the Christmas section isn’t that busy on November 1st. Who knew?
The only problem – which you can see coming with the date of March 10, 2020 in the article from thehagueonline.com – is the corona crisis rearing its ugly head. The carefully scheduled events and tours now read tijdelijk niet beschikbaar or temporarily not available.
In other news:
The Dutch corona app will be called CoronaMelder (nltimes.nl) and will use Bluetooth. CoronaMelder translates to Corona Reporter.
Kuikentjes bevrijd op de Oude Trambaan from regio15.nl – baby chicks fell through a pedestrian bridge and couldn’t get out on their own. They were ultimately freed by firemen who removed a few of the bridge planks to reach the chicks.
The Guardian has a very interesting article called ‘Landscape of fear’: what a mass of rotting reindeer carcasses taught scientists although that topic admittedly isn’t for everyone. But there’s an informative tie-in with the Dutch Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve (where thousands of animals ended up starving due to a lack of predators in the area) and the ultimate changes to the ecosystem which occurred because of the abandoned carcasses. This caused a great amount of controversy in The Netherlands because it was a conscious choice not to feed the animals to help them survive the winter.