This morning I took a photo of the line to enter Bijenkorf, a high-end department store. There weren’t too many people in line yet – it was only 11:00 – but there was a large amount of space roped off on the Grote Markt shopping street.
The not-quite-readable sign says “Welcome! Access only allowed with appointment. Scan the QR-code to make an appointment.” (QR codes have definitely become more popular during the corona crisis.) In the Netherlands you need to make an appointment at least 4 hours in advance. Non-essential stores can have 1 person per 25 square meters, with a maximum of 50 shoppers in the store at one time.
The sculpture is called “Veelhoofd” (Many heads) and it was created by Joep van Lieshout. The art in The Hague’s city centre moves around a lot – the sculpture was initially installed on the Spui (stroom.nl, in English) around the corner back in 2010.
I noticed a “We miss you” sign at Hema (English Wikipedia) recently and decided to snap a quick picture:
Non-essential stores are still closed in the Netherlands, although click-and-collect options will be available from 10 February (see my previous blog post).
In other news, for those of us in The Hague: the yearly sculpture event will be returning to the Lange Voorhout this summer! (Official link from pulchri.nl in Dutch). The exhibition will run from 21 May to 14 September and will feature sculptures from 20 artists. The event is free and open to the public at any point of the day (provided there isn’t an evening curfew… ugh).
In 2018 (blog post) and 2019 the event was sand sculptures. Unfortunately the 2020 event was cancelled due to the corona crisis, so it is nice to see it return this year.
Have you read about this one yet? I have never seen something so cool (which I only feel comfortable saying because no one was injured):
This happened late on Sunday night into Monday, just after midnight. The metro went straight through the stop blocks at the final stop, crashing off the platform, landing on a whale’s tail. (Don’t believe the rumor that the artwork is called “Saved by the Whale’s Tail”, as cool as that would be. The actual name is “Whale tails”.) The artwork was installed in 2002 and is a reference to the metro’s tail track.
I give the dismount a perfect 10. More news articles:
The artist also says in this article that he wanted to go a different direction, however he decided to stick with the whale tail because residents in the area reminded him that he had promised them a whale tail (or two).
And because of that the driver is still alive today.
If you are looking for something to do in The Hague this summer, check out the sand sculptures at the Lange Voorhout. The World Championship Sand Sculpting 2018 is going on at the moment, with judging happening tomorrow. After that, the sculptures can be seen until 19 August! It will also be lighted at night, making it easy to visit at any moment.
The competition is held every three years. This year the Netherlands is the host country, with Japan, Singapore, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic competing. The theme is ‘200 years of sea, sand and …’ which also highlights Scheveningen’s Feest aan zeecelebration.
Here’s a peek at how the sculptures look so far. First a look at the sculpture from the Netherlands (as the host country, they cannot enter the judging):
200 years ago: The wife looks back at the past longingly, while the husband looks forward to the future and what Scheveningen can be
Yesterday Marco made soft baked pretzels. The recipe called for baking soda; you dip the pretzels in it before they are put in to bake. We knew that you could get baking soda at the local expat store (Kelly’s) but I was curious to see if it was available at any Dutch stores. While doing some Google searches I came across this article from Kiwidutch. I found out that baking soda is zuiveringszout in Dutch and it is more likely to be found at drug stores rather than the local grocery store. Oddly it is cheaper as an import item than at the local Dutch store…
On the way to the expat store we came across an interesting metal sculpture depicting two bicyclists in the rain (note the umbrellas).
click for a larger size
I just noticed the bicycle shop across the street (Top bikes), too. How Dutch!
A few days ago I came across another opportunity to do a sand-related post! The Hague has been celebrating Prinsjesdagthis summer. One way they have been doing this is by creating a temporary sand art tourist attraction (read more in Dutch). This is quite similar to the photos I was able to grab in 2010 while here on vacation.
This year there were three sculptures done:
a sculpture capturing the arrival (“aankomst”) of William I in Scheveningen in 1813.
a sculpture of Willem I, with the older look on the left and a slightly more modern full body view on the right
sand sculpture about Prinsjesdag 2014, with the golden carriage in the front and the modern skyline of The Hague behind (words below are “200 jaar koninkrijk” or a celebration of the Netherlands being a kingdom for 200 years).
A few days ago I took a walk to a different library in The Hague — Transvaalkwartier library in Hobbemaplein. I needed to check out a audio book (luisterboek) that was not available in the Central Library. It was recommended to me by a friend. Of course, I downloaded the tracks onto my computer but still need to put them into iTunes and transfer them to my iPhone. I always need to take that extra step due to not having a CD drive in my netbook. So I can’t tell you how interesting the story is quite yet.
But on the way there I did come across an odd looking sculpture. I am not quite sure what the meaning is behind it but it was colorful enough.
Things have been going well since my last blog post. It’s only a few more weeks until Marco and I’s honeymoon (yay) and it is almost time to start planning holiday events and dinners. And of course we have to figure out when we are going to watch the new Thor movie coming out (cool), although I am definitely more excited for the next Hobbit movie in December.
I enjoyed my week off school (due to herfstvakantie/fall vacation) but tomorrow it is back to a normal week. The best part about not having classes was not having to quickly make dinner and then rush off. But now it’s back to the grind, it seems! Just kidding.
During my first trip to Den Haag (The Hague) in the summer of 2010, possibly even on the first day, we came across sand art nearBuitenhof (lit: Outer Court, as it is lies outside the Binnenhof, or Inner Court).
Notice the hand beneath the boat...
The sand art was designed by the World Sand Sculpting Academy.
He looks a bit too stern. Perhaps he is the father of the daughter, and does not approve of either of her suitors?
If you would like to see the above sculpture in the middle of being created, check out this Wikimedia Commons photo. The rough texture of the nearest figure is especially noteworthy.