The first thing I noticed was the blue wings of the bird, but the face at the top is just as stunning honestly. It never stops amazing me how graffiti (and poetry) just randomly appears in this city. Here’s some owl graffiti Marco and I found last year and here is a corona-related poem that appeared in the same area as Bristol last year.
This morning also saw a milestone in the Netherlands: First person in the Netherlands vaccinated against Covid-19 at 8:43 a.m. from nltimes.nl. The recipient was a 39-year old nursing home worker who works in Veghel, a town in the southern part of the Netherlands. Veghel was also where the first registered case of coronavirus was found last year, so the choice of where to administer the first vaccination is also symbolic.
Marco and I spotted some beautiful graffiti in the Wagenstraat in The Hague’s city centre.
Beautiful, isn’t it? if you live in The Hague and you want to check it out yourself, go to the Wagenstraat and then find the side street called Wagenstraat (no, that’s not a typo). The side street is around the corner from a Chinese restaurant, Kaa Luu Palace.
Today’s photo is of a large piece of graffiti over on the Boomsluiterskade, not far from the Bierkade:
And as I always say: it’s not a Dutch photo without a pile of bikes in front of it!
Today’s big news: A sizable portion of The Hague (the city centre, Duindorp, Scheveningen and more) has been without electricity since just after 11 in the morning – about 37,000 households. Turns out there was a fire in one of the power stations. Luckily Marco and I didn’t have any issues – I have too much to do for work! But a lot of people were trapped in elevators, a lot of stores in the city centre and the city hall were forced to close, trams were diverted, etc. It was a bit chaotic today, that’s for sure.
Some of the city centre had its electricity restored after a few hours, the rest is only starting to get electricity again within the last half hour. The good news is that it didn’t happen last week during the crazy heat wave. I can’t imagine that scenario. After two days of loud, rumbling storms and the occasional moments of pouring rain, it has finally started to cool down around here. Yay.
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).
Last month Marco and I visited Eindhoven for a short weekend as a belated anniversary trip. One of the things we saw was an area full of graffiti called “Step in the Arena”.
That’s the name of graffiti festival that has taken place for the last 10 years in the Berenkuil, which translates to bear pit in English. It’s a roundabout for cars, along with a sunken level underneath for bikes and motorcycles. 2019 was the 10th edition.
Here are some of the photos from the 2019 festival’s graffiti:
As I mentioned in my last blog post, Marco and I went to Dordrecht about a week ago to do a stadswandeling in Dordrecht (that’s a walk around the city). After that was done, we doubled back to visit Voorstraat. People say Voorstraat is the longest shopping street in the Netherlands. Of course, such an achievement does come with a price in today’s economy: there are some empty stores. Not a lot, but enough to be noticeable.
Of course, what makes it even more noticeable is when someone adds graffiti to each of the shop windows to point out that it is empty:
Here’s an idea for this empty store: a popup cafe with free wifi!
Some graffiti points out the fact that the store has been empty for over three years. But the main purpose of it is to point out what the store could be used as (apparently if the city government cared enough to do something about it – I suspect it isn’t as easy as the graffitist hopes, though). But other ideas for popup stores (always illustrated by graffiti) include music stores, bike rental stores, and a biological store.
More information about the graffiti and pictures can be found here (in Dutch).
Something cute hanging out by the door of a non-abandoned (just closed at the time) store:
A few weeks ago, Marco and I went to Ikea in Delft to see if we could buy a bookshelf for me. I originally wanted the narrow, but tall version, in dark wood – but it was way too heavy to carry back on the tram. So we settled for the shorter version which still stores a fair amount.
Of course, I still need to populate it with more than junk (there’s a lot of random papers that I threw in there simply to clear off the nightstand) but it did mean that I was able to set up the earring holder I got for Christmas. Which made me realize I have a lot of blue earrings, but could use some more of other colors…
Some other random news: I started the second half of the B2-C1 Dutch course at Volksuniversiteit. Like the last one, it is 10 weeks and should be done around the third week of March. After that, my Dutch is good enough to sign up for courses (in general, not just at this school) with native speakers. Hmmm…
I’ll leave you with a few pictures of graffiti that I took on the ride over to Ikea. The owl has already made an appearance on this blog, but this picture is a bit better. The other is new.
The graffiti is always more interesting on this side of the pond!