Local Heart, Global Soul

September 21, 2020

Beauty Further Than Glass…

Apologies for the messy posts of late, I put some half finished stuff in the WordPress Schedule, put in the photographs, added partial text in some cases and then forgot to go back and finish them after going further and loading more things into the schedule.

In this third post about windows, this one is also in the Art Deco style, yet completely different to the other two. The centre of Leiden boasts many beautiful buildings, and this beauty goes far further than the glass windows too.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 20, 2020

Déco Too, But Cleaner And Less Fussy…

This  next set of shop windows in Leiden is also of an Art Déco style, but (in my opinion) cleaner and less fussy in execution than the other ones in yesterday’s post. I have to confess that this one is a favourite of mine… love it!

Primera” is the actual name of the shop here, I’m guessing that there may be a conservation law that protects the original “P.J. van Kampenhout” name across the top, since it is part of the entire Art Déco frontage, and I’m delighted that it’s being kept in such good shape, not just left to fade out like I have seen on some other buildings. The owner of this building clearly values the heritage of the building here.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 19, 2020

Art Déco: Strong And Bold…

If ever you needed an example of Art Déco architecture in it’s strongest form, this building would be it. None of the Art Nouveau / Jugendstil style of natural flowing shapes, floral motifs and sensual figure forms here. From around 1910 Art Deco had started to make it’s appearance known. Motifs were strong, geometric, colourful, and even clothes fashion changed from the curves of the turn of the turn of the 1900’s into the straight, strong and long rectangular lines of the 1920’s flapper era. This shop glass is a beautiful example of everything Art Déco. It may have been a rebellion to the curves and flowers, but it was just as beautiful.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 18, 2020

The Strong Masculine Style Of Fussy…

Sitting on top of a very normal shop in the centre of Leiden, the uppermost portion of this building exhibits all of the details of the 18th or 19th Century. A “Step” gable and beautiful contrasting white stone and red brickwork.  Attention to detail, and plenty of detail without being overly fussy. I don’t find that these buildings are very feminine at all, there are for instance no wooden fretwork, floral tiles or abundance of carved faces. Instead this is more of strong masculine style of fussy, and it’s just as beautiful as it’s more feminist fussy counterparts.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

 

September 17, 2020

Oude Stadhuis little figure on the wall (PICS in needs text)

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)
(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 16, 2020

Messing With Their Heads…

This Leiden side street looks rather nondescript, plenty of bikes, not really anything interesting going on… but between the bicycles, a little graffiti that is quite an interesting artwork. One funny side point thought, I accidentally clicked the wrong button when I was sorting my photographs and ended up with the last photograph as my computer’s background photo.

My kids were shocked, perplexed that I had something of this style as screen saver… and a bit annoyed in that typical teenage fashion: “Ugh, mam, that’s sooo ugly, what are YOU doing with THAT as your screen saver? you are too old for that! take it off! Now! ” Naturally that was my cue to keep it as my screen saver for some months and it made me smile every time the computer started and it popped up as my background image. “Down with the kids?!” err, Ha ha ! maybe not at all, but I can still have some fun winding them up and messing with their heads.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 15, 2020

Student Flats? Not Necessarily…

I’ve been to Leiden a heap of times for medical appointments and a few times to visit friends, (since relocated for work) but until now, never just explored the city, getting to know it better. If you are a lover of architectural detail, old buildings and materials, the character of an old city then this is a gem of a place, one that often gets overlooked by the tourist schedules.

Himself dropped me off with my wheelchair and camera and I’m busy having some fun and fresh air before the pain gets too crazy and the mass of shoppers start to appear. It’s late Spring of 2020 and due to Covid19 I’ve been cooped up at home for weeks now, avoiding crowds like… for want of a better expression, “like the plague”. This simple view down a tiny side street/alleyway is what this trip is all about.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Above): Here I zoomed in so the view is vastly foreshortened, I was trying to get a sense of the narrowness, the bikes leaning in from every direction..This is the back side of the Marekerk, but it’s the alleyway that’s also interesting for me.

Leiden is a major university town so naturally there is a ton of student accommodation. Maybe that accounts for all of the bicycles? Ha! This is the Netherlands and I don’t know of any family who doesn’t have more than one bike, so these are not necessarily student flats. (Flat = accommodation shared with others to split the costs).

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below): the actual length of the street, where I also waited until the lady dressed in bright red moved away. I think this emphasises the bikes better.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below): Zoom lens doing it’s thing…  The “W”,”ZW” and “Z” stand for “West” (West), “Zuid-West” (South West) and, “Zuid” (South).

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 14, 2020

A Real Eye Test…

It’s probably a little ironic that the shop next door to this Eye Fashion shop is called “Going Nuts“, because I thought I was for a moment when I came across this sign in one of the central shopping streets in Leiden in Spring 2020.

People in the western world are used to reading from left to right, so vertical street signs sometimes present a problem if they are placed in close proximity with other vertical signs with no clear boundaries. This was one of these occasions.

These signs read: “Brillen” (Glasses), Oogzorg” (Eyecare) and “Lenzen” (Lenses). The trouble is that in the initial seconds of seeing these signs my brain was trying to make sense of words I thought read; ” Bol /Roe /Ign “etc. I quickly realised my mistake and wondered how many other people had also been caught out by this.

I get that space on the shop frontage is tight and they want to stand out from the crowd, but somehow I feel that they missed the mark. It would probably have worked of they had reduced the letters in size from top to bottom so that it looked more like the eye chart of their trade, or reduced the size of the letters enough, or used colours and borders could more easily used to differentiate the signs from one another. Or is it just me who sees this as a set of jumbled letters at first glance? My fail or theirs? Or do I just need glasses?

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 13, 2020

Reading The Signs Correctly,… Or Not.

Following the mural/poem by Hans Lodeizen of yesterday’s post, my attention was caught by the interesting name of this small Leiden side street.

Called “vrouwenkerkkoorstraat” (literally:women church choir street or Ladies Church choir street),  apparently according to the subtext there was a church close to here between 1300-1820, and by the looks of it, was this possibly a female only church?

This leaves questions, so I looked into it further…

Wikipedia tells me: The Vrouwenkerk (“Ladies’ Church”), originally known as the “Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk” (“Church of Our Lady”),  and was a 14th-Century church in the Dutch city of Leiden.

In the early 17th Century, the church was attended by the Pilgrims (who left Leiden to settle in Plymouth Colony, USA) as well as by the first colonists to settle on Manhattan.

The ruined remains of this Gothic church are located on the Vrouwenkerkhof square opposite Museum Boerhaave, just north of the busy shopping street Haarlemmerstraat. The alley Vrouwenkerksteeg, which runs from the Haarlemmerstraat to the Vrouwenkerkhof, is also named after the Vrouwekerk church.

The church remains have rijksmonument (national monument) status. In 2008-2009 the church underwent restoration.

Carolus Clusius  (Artois doctor and pioneering botanist, perhaps the most influential of all 16th-century scientific horticulturists) and Joseph Justus Scaliger (French religious leader and scholar) were buried in the Vrouwekerk.

Stupidly, I was just around the corner from visiting what is left from the church, and apparently, the beautiful little square where it is located. However I didn’t realise this at the time because I failed to look properly at the other signs next to the street sign, turned the chair around and went back to the main shopping street instead.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 12, 2020

The Tragedy Of A Short Life…

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

This poem is by Hans Lodeizen and translates into English as:

We will treat life seriously

like we deal with a murderer among us.

I don’t like art that dies

in the mouth of a much beloved poet

now that Nijinsky is dead we have

to put flowers in all windows, because

beauty only survives that way

we want a handful of children, wine and

a playground well worn by the sun.

HANS LODEIZEN (1924-1950)

Wikipedia tells us that Hans Lodeizen  ”

Born “Johannes August Frederik Lodeizen” into an influential family, and raised in great privilege as the son of the director of Müller & Company.

He was the author of one book of poems (The Wallpaper Within, 1949) and a quantity of miscellaneous work. Despite his very short life and modest output, his minimalist lyrics, which are generally constituted of short, unrhymed lines without capitals or punctuation, strongly influenced a post-war generation of Dutch poets, including Gerard Reve.

(Reve being, together with Willem Frederik Hermans and Harry Mulisch, considered one of the “Great Three” (De Grote Drie) of Dutch post-war literature.)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

Lodeizen had what seems to be a troubled and turbulent life, attended Het Haagsche Lyceum, and when he failed the fifth form, ran away.

Gone for two days, he stayed in Amsterdam and Ede, and wrote sonnets. He graduated in 1943 but went in hiding to escape the “Arbeitseinsatz”.

(German conscription of mostly young men of slave or forced labour in munitions factories, the German war industry, repairing bombed railroads and bridges, or work on farms, general manual labour).

Starting in 1946, Lodeizen studied law briefly in Leiden, but took an interest in biology and pursued graduate study at Amherst College in the United States in 1947-1948.

There he befriended the poet James Merrill who, after becoming “smitten” with Lodeizen, would describe him many years later as “clever, good natured, solitary, blond, / all to a disquieting degree”.

Lodeizen lost interest in his graduate biology program and returned to Europe to work (reluctantly) for his father’s firm.

Either gay or bisexual; as a young man he had proposed marriage to a woman, but his poetry speaks of his love and desire for other men.

In 1948 he was arrested for having had sex with another man, but his father’s money and influence likely prevented a trial.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

His father disapproved of his life in many ways: Lodeizen wanted to write poetry, to not study law, didn’t want to enter the family business, but at the same time desperately wanted his father’s approval, while his father refused to accept his sexuality.

This tension is, besides lost romantic love and the ephemeral nature of the world, the most important theme in his poetry.

Lodeizen’s “ben ik nu werkelijk zo slecht” (am I really this bad) cites the disapproving words of his father: “wat jij me al niet in mijn leven / hebt aangedaan kan ik niet vergeten“, (all the things you’ve done to me in my life, I cannot forget them).

After his death, when his remaining poetry was to be published, his father wanted thirteen of his son’s poems scrapped, though the editors did include them.

After his diagnosis with leukemia, he spent his last months sustained by blood transfusions in a Swiss sanatorium. He was 26 when he died.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

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