On my way to the grocery store this morning I took some photos of this year’s Christmas tree in the Passage:
A new detail this year is the plants down the middle, to help remind people to stay on the right side while walking. It will be interesting to see if the plants are still around next year at this time, or if they really were just temporary during the Covid-19 crisis…
And here is a close up look. I found it a bit weird to be walking past stores today. For the most part everything was closed, but it felt more like a Sunday rather than closed for five weeks. Most of the stores had their lights on and there were not many signs in the windows saying they would be closed for a longer period of time.
Strangely enough when I walked past Peek & Cloppenburg (a clothing store), they did seem to be open. However maybe I saw incorrectly. The lights were on, the doors were wide open, and there were a few people going through the sweaters… so who knows.
And now for some cute news: The panda cub born in the Netherlands earlier this year will be 100 days old on Friday. It is tradition that its name is revealed on the 100th day. The possible choices are: He Kang, He Shun, Fan Xing, Dan Qing, and Zing He. And for your one minute of cuteness, here is a video made by zoo:
If all goes well, vistors can view it sometime in October.
Above is a look at The Passage, which has improved its one way traffic markers in the last month or so. When I last blogged about them in mid-May there were only tiny arrows at the entrance, much smaller than those you see above. So there have definitely been some improvements in The Passage.
In other news – after many months of sunshine and mockingly good weather, it has finally begun to rain. Technically parts of The Netherlands are experiencing drought-like conditions (nltimes.nl), so I suppose it’s probably a good thing. Even though we’d need more than a few days to fix that.
Last week Marco and I went through The Passage, which serves as both a passage between shopping areas in the city centre as well as being a shopping area in its own right.
There were stickers in the ground reminding visitors to keep appropriate distance from one another:
These signs weren’t that big, but they were big enough to catch your eye for sure. What I was less impressed with was the attempt to create one-way walking areas near the entrances to The Passage, as the arrows were tiny, hard to see and easily ignored. In fact, I watched two people walk right over them in the wrong direction, not a care in the world.
I do think the one way arrows will need to be ‘improved’ in the coming weeks as this part only gets busier and busier. They should have been more of them, with clearer lines in the floor. Also perhaps a dividing line that went straight down the middle for the entirety of the shopping area. But we will see how it works out in the coming weeks and months.
Four working days into the new reality: a look at De Passage (“The Passage“), the oldest shopping centre in The Netherlands.
This was taken yesterday morning around 10:00. Quite empty, considering shops would normally start opening around then. In the far distance, not quite viewable, is the entrance to Bijenkorf. Yesterday they announced that they would be closing all stores in The Netherlands for the foreseeable future (article – scroll for English). The day before that, Ikea closed all of their physical stores. They did this out of necessity, since so many customers were coming to the stores due to everything else being closed (article in Dutch).
The prime minister announced during an evening press conference that visitors would no longer be welcome at nursing homes (article in Dutch). Exceptions would be made for residents who are expected to pass away soon. There are also warnings from the Dutch healthcare system expects at least 500 to 1,000 patients in the ICU next week. As of today there are 210 in the ICU. Therefore they have begun moving some of those patients to other hospitals, freeing up beds in the harder hit parts of the country (article in Dutch).
A group of students have also begun providing unofficial translations of the Dutch public broadcast NOS, in an aptly named Facebook group NOS in English.
And here we are in 2016! (This year I heard from someone that it wasn’t that Apple wanted to ban the Christmas tree so it didn’t ruin the store view, but that they wanted to decorate it themselves but the other stores were against that. Makes sense, but probably just another rumor.)