Posts Tagged With: Centrum

Who has right of way? (Or: Grote Marktstraat in The Hague)

The Grote Marktstraat is a very busy shopping street in city centre of The Hague – I blog about it sometimes. It is actually somewhat contentious because the city added a lane down the middle back in 2014 when this area was re-paved. The “street” was intended for emergency vehicles or local business vehicles (re-stocking the shops), although the later is restricted to the early morning hours. The “street” is a bit lower than the rest of the area, so bikers have used it as a bike path as well. Which makes sense. On the plus side it also meant that you only had to worry about getting run over when you were crossing this “street” since bikers and vehicles would stick to this area only.

Here is a photo of the area when it was under construction back in 2014 (but after the “bike path” was finished):

Even though the lane wasn’t painted red (what usually signals that it is a bike path in the Netherlands) it was definitely used as a bike path as soon as it opened.

Flash forward to this week, when the city has decided that “yes, it is a bike path (…for now), but pedestrians still have right of way”. (Yeah right, I don’t want to risk my life seeing if that is true!)

As you can see above, the notice that pedestrians have right of way has been painted into the area where bikes ride, in at least 5 spots. It’s actually a bit of an obstacle course until the paint dries, really…

See also this article from denhaag.fm (in Dutch) which has the blue and red image in better detail.

In other news… does anyone have a clue who the cardboard cut out is? Apparently there are a few examples of them in the city centre. I thought at first it was a politician, but maybe not.

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A splash of purple, a splash of blue (Or: Graffiti in The Hague)

Are you in the mood for some flower graffiti?

And another one:

if you look closely at the window you will notice the blinds in the upper left are also spray painted… Hopefully that was with permission!

The Dutch health ministry said that the lockdown easing on 5 June–step 3 of the opening plan–will likely go ahead (article from nltimes.nl). Also from nltimes:.nl: Netherlands to host opening stages of La Vuelta in 2022. There will be a team time trial and two opening stages in Utrecht, Den Bosch and Breda. Which means more opportunities to see images of Dutch cities on tv!

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Art in The Hague (Or: She belongs to no one but herself)

Here is another piece of art found on the Achterom street:

I looked up the phrase “She belongs to no one but herself” and found this page for the “She project” at hansmahler.nl in English.

A while ago I posted about a poll that the city held to determine what stones would be used for the Spuiplein and in front of the city hall once the construction of the new cultural complex was complete. At the time I noted that most of the answers were “we don’t care, whatever is least slippery”. It is quite hard to walk there when it rains.

I did of course forget that a lot of skaters love that area because the current stones don’t have any grip. There is also a lot of echo in that area, so they might like the loud sound when their boards slam on the ground over and over again… Anyway, they are not pleased that it seems the city will be going for stones with more grip. Their wheels get stuck in the stone and the board doesn’t react the same way as before. Problem is that it is also an area a lot of people walk through to get from the city centre to the central station and vice versa, so it will be interesting to see what the city does.

The skaters will hold a “Save Spui” demonstration on Saturday, May 29 at 14:00. See also this article at omroepwest.nl in Dutch.

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Graffiti in the Achterom (Or: Woman with red hair)

This graffiti can be found at the corner of Achterom and Kissemstraat, not far from The Passage. It is the same street where you can find the adorable cat graffiti. Or try this cat graffiti post. Because we can never have enough cats, right? (Actually, I’m more of a dog person.)

I don’t know if this graffiti has a title. But it definitely draws your eye as you walk past. The red hair is cleverly painted up until the edge of the wall, forcing you to glance down this side street to see all of it. It is almost impossible to miss.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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At her feet, flowers (Or: Statue in The Hague)

Here is another photo of flowers for you, randomly placed at the feet of a statue in The Hague. Who knows why? These are quite beautiful flowers, though.

I’m partially posting this article because I like the title: The gym before breakfast on a cafe terrace: What changes today from dutchnews.nl. Today is the first day of step 2 in the government’s plan to reopen society. Some gyms opened at 00:01 this morning, and cafés are now allowed to open from 06:00. So the title makes sense.

And here is some good news for the Netherlands: Corona patient numbers down by nearly 150, cases drop 25% in a week, also from dutchnews.nl. The last time we had such a large drop in patient numbers was January 1. That feels like a lifetime ago.

The Netherlands has a long way to go in comparison to other European countries. However we are getting there, helped in part by the vaccination program speeding up (we are closing in on 150,000 vaccines given each day).

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Muzenplein (Or: Sun with a bit of shadow)

The Muzenplein is a hidden gem not far from The Hague’s Central Station. Marco and I went for a walk this afternoon after work to get a bit of fresh air and sun. The Muzenplein did not disappoint.

There is just a bit of shadow at the bottom, obscuring the flowers. The city has planted these tulips all over the city centre to give it a bit more color. Here is a closer look:

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Time to tango (Or: A mysterious door in The Hague)

I took this photo of a door on the Lange Poten street in The Hague’s city centre. It is between the KPN store (a telephone and Internet provider) and Kruidvat (a Dutch pharmacy chain).

It stood out to me because the door looked like a normal door for a residence, however the details around it suggested otherwise:

But no, it is not a residence. Tango Centro is an Argentinian dance school. Who knew. I am sure it has been around for years, but I only noticed the door while standing on the other side of the street waiting for Marco.

And in other news – remember how I mentioned a Dutch initiative to create a website to prevent corona vaccines from being thrown in the trash at the end of the day? Well. Website for left-over vaccines takes action after massive demand from dutchnews.nl. Apparently the doctor’s practice in question had a queue of over 100 people for 20 leftover vaccines. Although that isn’t a bad ratio, considering…

The website has made a few changes, including removing the practice’s phone number to prevent doctor’s offices from being overwhelmed with phone calls. That makes sense.

Anyway. We all know what day it is – happy Friday, everyone!

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More cat graffiti (Or: New photos from Achterom)

On my way to Kelly’s expat store, I walked through Achterom street and decided to take more photos of the cat graffiti. Consider it a continuation of a previous post earlier this year.

My favorite, a bit of a prism effect:

Especially the eyes.

How frustrating. It’s just like untangling Christmas lights. Sometimes it’s better to just buy a new set.

Is it just me or do those eyes above look human?

And finally, a photo taken to the left of the previous photo.

It’s a great little side street to wander down (it crosses through the Passage shopping area, from denhaag.com in English).

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Plans for het Spuiplein (Or: Lots of green)

The Hague has presented its tentative plan for how the Spuiplein will be transformed once all of the construction is complete in a few months. First, here is a reminder of how much area the construction is taking up in front of Amare, the building in the back:

It will be good once we can have all that space back. If you are less familiar with layout of The Hague, here is a look at where Spuiplein is in relation to city hall and the central library. The Hague has released an artist’s impression of how the area will look:

Translated it reads: “A plaza with green, water, sitting areas, benches and places for small events. This is how the Spuiplein will look occurring to the first proposal”. Between the green and the benches will be a long water basin (pictured above). There will also be open places to allow small events like street theatres, musical performances from university students, ballet or a movie in the open air.

Of course, the building (Amare) still needs to be delivered. Haags stadsbestuur dreigt met boete als bouwer Amare opleverdatum niet haalt from omroepwest.nl. In other words, The Hague is threatening to fine the builder of the Amare if they don’t deliver the building on time to the city (1 July 2021). …opps?

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Lazy Fridays (Or: Onward to the weekend)

Yay, we have reached the weekend! Did you know the Keukenhof, the largest garden in Europe, is now open on a limited basis? Keukenhof, cultural sites start welcoming visitors again from nltimes.nl. It is part of the government’s testing expansion (Netherlands to allow small crowds at football matches, theaters this month, also nltimes.nl). You can see the full list of participating institutions and dates at rijksoverheid.nl (in Dutch). The visitor needs to have a negative corona test that is not older than 40 hours. The tests are free but you need to go to certain locations to get tested and you must have the CoronaCheck app.

In other news: Rotterdam, The Hague announce bid to host Tour de France start from nltimes.nl. The bid would either be for 2024 or 2025. Rotterdam would host the opening stage, with an additional stage from Rotterdam to The Hague. The previous time the Netherlands hosted a few stages was back in 2015, when Utrecht was the host twice.

And Fietsers weg uit de Grote Marktstraat? Dat kan, maar gaat ten koste van parkeerplekken from omroepwest.nl. (Removing cyclists from the Grote Marktstraat? That is possible, but it will come at the cost of parking). The city has determined that it is possible to remove cyclists from the shopping area of the Grote Marktstraat, the large shopping street in The Hague’s city centre. This is because cyclists can use the parellel streets of Gedempte Gracht and Gedempte Burgwal, but 54 parking spots would need to be removed in the latter street to make sure cyclists have enough room.

Of course, the article then goes on to say that there is a possibility that cyclists can cycle tvia the Grote Markstraat before 11:30 daily, when the shops open. But that just means people won’t know the difference and will keep cycling through the area no matter the time of day. Although the city did successfully manage to ban scooters from using the Grote Markstraart so I guess anything is possible… we shall see!

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