Posts Tagged With: Centrum

Flowers (Or: A bit of color, up close and from afar)

Happy King’s Day, everyone! First, a picture of a mural in the city centre:

This mural is found at the entrance of what used to be one of the Amazing Oriental franchises until a few months ago. It’s in the Markthof, a small shopping area, at the entrance across from Momiji sushi. This one shouldn’t be confused with the larger Amazing Oriental franchise that is underground on the Grote Markt street. This store still exists but without the Amazing Oriental branding.

Not the best picture I’ve taken, but I needed to adhere to social distancing rules. This picture shows about 2/3rds of the mural.

Are you interested in seeing a short time lapse of tulip fields blooming, taken from a European Space Agency satellite? Check out the view at www.esa.int.

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Spiegel, spiegel aan de wand (Or: Poetry about the coronavirus)

Marco spotted this poem on the side of a building in The Hague city centre. It’s across from the MediaMarkt (to the left of the photo is the Rootz restaurant).

In English it reads:

Mirror, mirror on the wall
I want to walk on the beach, hand in hand

I want to greet people on the street
and give a hug to the neighbor
with whom I talk

I want to eat something with others
without having to measure 1.5 meters

I want to look at how the tulips bloom
and stand in line for a party

I want to enjoy the spring sun
and walk with friends around the block

But for now we need to call each other
and be nice, even if it is with a small gesture

And then—before we know it—
we’ll be with each other again…

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Musical graffiti (Or: Spotted by the Spui)

A few weeks back I snapped some photos of musical graffiti by the Spui here in The Hague. Someone was definitely feeling creative:

This area is just outside the city hall. In the background (on the other side of the construction walls) you have what used to be the Dr. Anton Philipszaal (Dutch Wikipedia link) which was torn down in late 2015. The building housed both concert and theatre events.

A larger cultural building is currently being constructed in this spot and will hopefully be finished in 2021. Earlier it was announced that the name would be “Amare”, which is Italian for “to love” or “by the sea”. Even if I never step foot inside, I’ll still be glad to get the area in front of it back – the construction site takes up a huge chunk of the plaza (see also the photo I posted back in 2012 of the Spuiplein).

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Art in the city centre (Or: Heaven holds a sense of wonder)

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 close up of the crown:

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Milka chocolate stand (Or: Vote for your favorite cow)

Traveling through the city centre of The Hague means you always see interesting promotions, especially on the Grote Markstraat (in Dutch), one of the larger shopping areas of the city.

Today’s promotion: Milka. Milka is a German company specializing in chocolate confections. You can vote on which of the four cows you like the best (link also in Dutch). The top prize is a trip to the Alps, with smaller prizes including chocolate packages or Milka-branded mugs.

The most interesting thing about the photo is on the left: one worker is helping another put on their cow head for the costume.

And no, I didn’t vote. They were still setting up and there’s no way I could choose who was my favorite cow: Marisa, Lotta, Lola or Katja (heh).

I will also mention that all of the names end in a… is there no love for a Sophie or Zoe?

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Time shadows (Or: Grote Kerk clock)

Here’s a look at the Grote Kerk’s clock tower at night:

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No bikes allowed (Or: Christmas shopping in The Hague city centre)

Okay, I’ll admit – I don’t have a bike in the Netherlands so I am a bit biased with this post. However I was thrilled to hear that the shopping street on the Grote Markt would be closed to bikes this weekend+Monday and next weekend+Monday (article in Dutch). On a normal day it is dangerous trying to cross the street to get to the shops, but during Christmas…? Forget about it.

I’ll be honest – tourists and those not from The Hague have no clue where they should walk, which just angers cyclists even more. And I don’t think most cyclists know that there’s no official bike path on that street and that they should be adjusting their biking based on the movements of the pedestrian, and not vice versa.

If you’re interested, you can watch a time lapse of them re-doing Grote Marktstraat back in 2015. I will admit the street is much more beautiful now than it was, but the old street made it much more obvious that you were crossing a bike path.

“Through traffic obstructed”

Oh, and it’s still extremely busy in the city centre even without the cyclists!

Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Don’t forget to drink your Oatly (Or: A Christmas Story reference)

The reference in the title is from the movie A Christmas Story where the main character finally gets a decoder ring and can finally decode this week’s secret message – and it turns out to be as boring as “Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine.” That’s a childhood shattered…

For the past few months The Hague and other Dutch cities have been inundated with lots and lots of advertisements for an oat drink called Oatly It is supposed to be a replacement for milk. I haven’t tried it yet.

The Randstad building in The Hague city centre, with the advertisement as cover for the scaffolding

But I did get a cool picture last month of a building-high advertisement for their product. One thing the company is known for is their catchy advertisements. For instance there’s a similarly large one elsewhere in The Netherlands with the line “Only the best oat drink ads get to hang out on this corner”. It feels like most of the advertisements are unique, as there are many different ones to spot throughout the city.

Another smart thing they did? Advertisement everywhere in the city for a few weeks and then go on discount at the local supermarkt to get everyone to try it. It’ll be interesting to see if the product sticks around.

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Festival tip (Or: The Streets of Chuck Deely)

This afternoon the city centre will be hosting a festival in honor of the street musician Chuck Deely who passed away in January 2017 (where has the time gone, really?).

The festival will be held from 12:00-18:00 in the Grote Markt street. The description says “musicians will be at every street corner”. From 18:00 the musical arts will move to the big stage at the Grote Markt, ending around midnight.

Download the schedule (PDF)

More information at chuckdeely.nl or visit the Facebook page The Streets of Chuck Deely.

Flowers left in memoriam outside of Bijenkorf after his death
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Day of Remembrance (Or: Jewish monument of The Hague)

Today was a Holocaust Day of Remembrance in The Hague for the Jewish population. There was a small ceremony held in the city centre in the afternoon to remember those who were lost during WWII.

The Jewish monument in The Hague – at Rabbijn Maarsenplein, a Jewish neighborhood prior to WWII

You can read more about the monument at the official website (nl | en). Also something interesting: some of the flowers came from various embassies, including Germany, Austria, and Israel. Others came from citizens.

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