Posts Tagged With: Centrum

Horse-drawn carriage rides (Or: Another sign of Spring)

I returned to the Malieveld for a long walk for the first time in months. It is a large grass field just outside of The Hague’s Central station where events are held. It reminds me of last fall when they were setting up for the carnival. Apparently that was in September – time really does fly, it seems.

On the way to Malieveld I spotted a horse-drawn carriage:

While you do have the opportunity to take horse-drawn carriage rides, it is not something you see every day. I only see them a few times of the year. I am also pleased to report that I walk at the speed of a slow horse-drawn carriage, apparently. Or actually I was slightly faster. I think they turned right before entering the Malieveld to go into the Koekamp, probably to let the tourists take pictures of the deer. (Feel free to click the link again if you want to see cute pictures of deer.)

In other news: Dutch clubbers hit the dancefloor for study into easing lockdown from theguardian.com. If I remember correctly this is one of the events where the tickets were gone in 20 minutes. You have to have a negative test to enter the event, and there is also random “fast” testing at the door as well. In theory you also need to get yourself tested within 5 days after the event, but not everyone does. During the event you are divided into groups, each group with a different level of corona measures (face mask, no face mask, concessions at seat, you can get concessions yourself, etc.) Each visitor has to wear a device as well to track their movements. It will be interesting to see what data comes out of it.

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Still a construction zone (Or: Amare in The Hague)

Last week I mentioned the new building they are constructing on the Spuiplein: Amare, a new cultural complex that will house various establishments: Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Zuiderstrandtheater, Nederlands Dans Theater and the Royal Conservatory (so an orchestra, two theaters and a music school). At the moment the planned opening is September 2021.

As I mentioned last week, I’m also looking forward to having the space in front of the building back – it has been a construction site since 2014 I think. Time flies…

And here is something a bit crazy (but in the end, similar to a desert mirage):

It was exactly a really interesting article with a diagram explaining how it was possible. If you have a moment, go check it out.

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Former Hudson’s Bay building (Or: The name is still there)

Generally the name of a former store does not disappear until the new store moves in. Here is a look at the old Hudson’s Bay building on the Grote Marktstraat (large pedestrian street for shopping):

Hudson’s Bay is a previously Canadian, now American company which opened locations in former V&D buildings (English Wikipedia) back in 2017. Unfortunately Hudson’s Bay only lasted about two years, having closed all of their locations around the end of 2019. The stores just did not take off in the Netherlands, having lost 184 million euros in the Netherlands (article from nos.nl in Dutch). No one knows what will come next for these locations, unfortunately.

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Spring flowers at the Lange Voorhout (Or: A burst of color)

First we had snow at the Lange Voorhout, and now a few weeks later we have beautiful spring flowers.

Or a close up:

The purple, yellow and white flowers bloom every year for a few weeks and always bring a bit of color to the area. Check out where Lange Voorhout is on Google Maps. It is around the corner from the Binnenhof, Tweede Kamer, and the Hofvijver (pond).

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A stone opinion poll (Or: New look for the Spuiplein)

At some point in the future “Amare” at the Spuiplein will be complete. That is the name of the new educational and cultural complex at the Spui (amare.nl, mostly in English with some Dutch) which should hopefully open its doors in September of this year. I’m mostly rooting for it to open so that we get the plaza in front of it back, although the new building will encroach on that space a bit. Here is a photo I took of the plaza fountain way back in 2012. The Spuiplein is right next to city hall.

Last month the city put in some stones near one of the entrances to city hall and held a poll: which stone do you like better for the Spuiplein? (twitter.com). The stones will also be used for the nearby Turfmarkt street and the city hall atrium. I was glad to see that at least half of the responses on Twitter shared my opinion: we don’t care, just give us whatever stone is the least slippery. That is my #1 concern.

And here is a look at the general area that will get the new stone (the atrium in front of city hall, Spuiplein and Turfmarkt):

Here is to a less slippery stone!

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Activity at the Binnenhof (Or: Walking past the Tweede Kamer)

First off, the Dutch court of appeals have ruled that the curfew is indeed legal (article from nltimes.nl in English). Not that it mattered, since the Dutch government also pushed through a curfew law “the legal way” while waiting for the appeal to be heard. For the moment the curfew lasts until 15 March, though the number of cases has been going up for over a week so it might not be lifted at that time.

Today I decided to take a walk past the Tweede Kamer (Dutch House of Representatives). This is actually a very ordinary action to do, as the Tweede Kamer is right in the centre of the city and a lot of it is publicly accessible.

At the moment I’m standing on the Plein, with the statue of Willem of Orange behind me to the right (I wrote a blog post about him last week), looking at the one of the entrances to the Tweede Kamer. You can see a few military police agents and vehicles – this is perfectly normal. There are always military police if the Tweede Kamer is in session.

For the photo above I zoomed in. I assume you are allowed to take pictures but it is seems kind of rude. At least this way you get a sense of how they look without being able to recognize them. Normally I (and everyone, really) walk right past them, with the only difference being in corona times I try to keep my distance a bit more to be polite. But it is a public area and a public street, so it is fine to be there.

I also noticed that there was going to be a press conference in the Binnenhof, although I didn’t stick around to hear what it was about. There were gates set up and public waiting.

Normally I would walk from left to right (through the pictured gate) but since there was a potential press conference about to start I took a rarely used entrance instead to avoid people. I blogged about it some time ago.

Press conferences happen pretty frequently, so I don’t pay much attention. I do try to keep my distance and make sure I am behind the cameras, since it is possible to accidentally end up on the 20:00 national news in the background of a shot if you are walking around The Hague’s city centre.

My suspicions about a possible press conference were confirmed when a Red Bee media van pulled up. Although to be honest I have never heard of that company.

While browsing through NOS when I got back I saw that the press conference was with the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, reminding restaurant owners that they would not be able to open terraces and would be fined €4,000 if they did so. They are closed under the current corona measures (article on nos.nl in Dutch). The original image of the minister giving the press conference was replaced with a more generic image later, however.

And that’s a normal walk through The Hague’s city centre. Happy Friday, all.

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Lange Voorhout under snow (Or: Before it all melted, of course)


Quick update on where we stand with the curfew: it is still in place until a new court session this Friday. In the meantime the government is also working on an emergency law (done the proper way this time) which they hope to have passed on Friday. That way even if they lose the court case, which said the original curfew law was not legal, the curfew itself is still active. It was a crazy day yesterday, that’s for sure!

In happier news: I have a few remaining pictures from last week of a snowy Lange Voorhout. Taken by Marco, of course. He braves the snow and ice better than I do!

The Lange Voorhout is an L-shaped path in the city centre (article from denhaag.com in English).

Beautiful, isn’t it?

And a photo of the Escher museum, with snow. Of course, by now all the snow and ice has melted away. If you’re lucky you might find a pile here or there. But I am not complaining – I had my fun last Sunday (blog post). I am looking forward to the Spring-like temperatures this weekend as well. It should be nice!

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Cat and mice graffiti, Achterom (Or: Awww, cute)

Marco was kind enough to take a few pictures for me this week. He found some more graffiti. This time in the Achterom, a small side street which cuts through the Passage shopping area.

And this one:

Yarn is definitely a theme in this graffiti. And check out the ice in the next photo:

There’s also a white cat above the string of yarn, balancing precariously on his bike. Cute, right?

Happy Friday, everyone.

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Last day for oliebollen! (Or: The end of January awaits)

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the last day you can buy oliebollen and krentebollen (=oliebollen with raisins) from the oliebollen stand at the end of the Grote Marktstraat next to the Blokker and Xenos stores.

This is our Marco, Roger and I’s favorite place to get oliebollen and apple beignets. Usually they close every year by 15 January, however this year the city granted them a permit extension through the end of January. They were also able to open a month earlier due to most carnivals not being able to open during 2020 (the same was true for all oliebollen stands in the area).

Check out their official website.

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Road construction for “Plaats” (Or: That might cause some accidents)

Today I took a walk in the area of Buitenhof and Plaats (English Wikipedia and Dutch Wikipedia, respectively). The city is currently in the middle of a two year redesign of the “Plaats” area (which literally translates to “Place”).

I must admit I was slightly confused by new stone walkway area extending from the pedestrian area into the road (and bike path):

It’s a bit hard to see with the wet stone, but the entire area is now the same height, with the road and bike path disappearing. Here is a look from a bit further away:

But that is the city’s plan for the area. The official page which mentions the work that is going on and how long it lasts (denhaag.nl, in Dutch) states: “Hiervoor wordt het straatniveau overal gelijkgemaakt en […] de route langs de Hofvijver blijft wel te gebruiken voor taxi’s en bestemmingsverkeer (bijvoorbeeld om winkels te bevoorraden, parkeergarages te bereiken of te laden en te lossen).” Or, in English: The street will be made the same height in all places and the street pictured above will only be opened to taxis or local traffic (to supply stores, to reach parking garages or to unload or load supplies).”

Therefore at some point there will be fewer cars in the area so it will be less of an issue. But it looks a bit weird at the moment.

However, why do they have to use stones that don’t dry as quickly? You can see the difference in the second photo, with the old stones already drying after the latest rainfall (which makes them less slippery).

It will be interesting to see how it looks once the construction finally finishes later this spring.

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