Local Heart, Global Soul

March 30, 2014

A View Out Of The Window, Looking Out On My City…

Everyone has sections of their cities that they visit often:  neighbourhoods where friends and family live, where appointments take place and places we like to explore because we are recommended somewhere new or we discover by accident (usually en route to somewhere else). I like to keep my camera with me in the car, one bonus of not being mobile enough to drive is that at least I get to take photographs from the passenger seat instead. This post is a photographic essay of  just  few of the sights I have seen during my car travels … another glimpse of the city I live in: The Hague.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes the interesting stuff is literally at your feet…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 22, 2011

Living la Buena Vida… an Establishment Full of the “Good Life”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last year I saw an article in one of the ex-pat newspapers that caught my eye.

A new gift shop opened in 2010 in the Fahrenheitstraat in The Hague (just a little more than a block away from our  favourite cheese shop)

Called ” Living la buena vida” (Living the good life), it’s a very international gift shop, with the additional bonus that you can also get a very good cup of tea or coffee on the premises if you fancy.

I only read of their existence  some months after they opened and “meant” to get there for  several weeks, but  “Life”  got in the way  in the form of a zillion other things needing doing … urgently,  and then my infamous  “encounter with a staircase”  happened and put paid to going out in most forms, for many many months.

Recently though, Himself had driven me to  hospital appointment and then I had a physiotherapy appointment a short time later. The problem was that we had about 40 minutes to kill, too little time for me to favourably consider getting back up and down our double staircases on crutches, and too long a time to sit waiting in a waiting room.

Himself needed to pick up few things and by co-insidence we found ourselves parking almost directly outside  “Living la Buena Vida”,  so why not make use of the opportunity to sit with a cup of tea or coffee whilst we waited?

We went inside and I mentioned to the owner Ginny Mees that I had seen the article written about them and that I was a blogger who would be happy to write about their new establishment.

They had a limited food menu (there’s a greater range  on Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturdays when  muffins and other delectables are delivered to the shop by some apparently wonderful bakers) but we were there earlier in the week, and missed out of these delicious treats.

We hadn’t had lunch and so I ordered a camomile tea with a pain au chocolate and Himself a coffee with two croissants, and I managed a few photos before my camera battery died.  At home I basically drink only rooibos, mint or camomile teas and nothing  else so I  think  I might know a good brew from an inferior one.

The specialist selection of  teas here were not run-of-the-mill supermarket brands and clearly more expensive  so I was prepared to judge it strictly to see if  these were  “quality” or  “hype”.  I needn’t have worried, my camomile was definiately a high quality tea and my taste buds were very happy indeed.

I’m vowing that as soon as I am properly mobile again that I will be going back so that I can take more photos of the wonderful interior of the shop and the fabulous glassware etc on offer.  I love the fact  that many of the objects have been sourced from small artisan producers, are made from recycled or green materials and are quality, practical objects.

One day I will do a  “proper”  interview session with Ginny and find out more background information on her, the shop and the items she sells in it.

In the meantime if you are a Den Haag (The Hague) Local Soul,  I can recommend a visit in person and/or a look at their website: http://www.livinglabuenavida.com/lang/en/about/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 21, 2011

Flats aan de Vlaskamp, Gone or Just Gone into Hiding?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Haags Gemeentearchief  (the Hague City Council Archive) put up billboards around the city  to celebrate their 125th Anniversary  a few years ago and Himself and I made it our mission to try and photograph them all.

The Gemeente (Council) placed the billboards which depicted historical city photos as close as possible to where the photos had been originally taken and they made a page on their website (Dutch language only)  that showed where their physical locations were etc.

But nowhere were there any “new” photos  of the areas where the billboards stood to show the changes (or not) that have taken place over the years.

Since this is the bit that caught the interest of  Himself and I, we were spurred  into action and I tried to capture not only photos of the billboards themselves but also of as much of what can be seen in the locations today.

This billboard is an interesting one, and a bit of a mystery:  when visiting the locations of all of the other billboards in the series we discovered that they really were  placed amazingly close to the original spots where the photos were taken.

When that was no longer possible due to construction of new buildings etc. then a note was added to the billboard in question, usually with a small map to outline where the original spot had been.

Therefore I don’t get why this billboard is placed in the middle of the median strip in the centre of the road. Why isn’t it over on the grass closer to the buildings and flats in the background? Does this mean that the flats in the billboard photograph don’t actually exist any more because the road had been built in it’s place in the intervening years?

The flats in the background are very similar but didn’t seem to be  the same building (unless it’s been renovated a lot and it’s appearance has been changed enough to give me doubt)  so in the absence of any other information I have to assume that maybe it’s actually been demolished so that they could build the road.

Here are the views of the billboard and the surrounding area as it looks today…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 30, 2011

Boerderij aan de Houtweg, The City Runneth Over…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My “Billboard” series of  photographs is back!

These are  billboards that the Haags Gemeentearchief (the Hague City Council Archive) put up to celebrate their 125th Anniversary  a few years ago.

The  Haags Gemeentearchief  did feature the billboard photos with their historic views of the city on their own (Dutch language) website, but to my surprise there were no  “Now”  photos to go with them.

I have to confess that that our inner-local-history buff  got a little out of hand during the time that these boards were up and  Himself and I got rather competitive when it came to capturing all the billboards in the temporary display before they were all removed.

It was excellent fun though, finding them all and ticking them off the list.

One of the biggest advantages of our game of  “find and photograph”  is that I photographed  not only the billboards in situ but also the immediate area surrounding them so that my series gives both the  ‘Old” and “New” views.

The caption on the billboard reads:  “Boerderij aan de Houtweg later Kapelaan Meereboerweg. Foto: W.F. Duunk, circa 1900.” which translates as: “Farmhouse on the Houtweg (later to be called)  the Kapelaan Meereboerweg,  Photo: W.F. Duunk, circa 1900”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the Haags Gemeentearchief  website there was space provided for people to add any additional information about the billboards whilst they were on display and on this one someone wrote in the following (Dutch language  text only so I’ve added a translation):

“Geboortehuis


Het huis op de foto is het geboortehuis van mijn grootvader Willem Kortekaas. In de familie bestaat nog een schilderijtje van het huis, dat altijd bij mijn grootouders in de woonkamer heeft gehangen.

Ik kan me het huis nog goed herinneren, omdat mijn ouders er vlakbij in de v.d. Gaagstraat woonden. Het huis werd toen (plm. jaren vijftig) bewoond door de fam. in ‘t Veld.”

Birthplace.
The house in the photo is the birthplace of my  grandfather Willem Kortekaas. Our family still has a painting of the house, which  used to hang in my grandfather’s living room.

I remember the house well, because my parents lived very close by in the van der Gaagstraat. Later on the  t’ Veld family moved into the house (around the 1950’s).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 30, 2011

May I have This Dance Please Madam…?

Today’s post is a simple photographic post. I was out on one of my ‘walking tours”  summer before last, camera in my pocket as usual, when this little pair  of frogs in a shop window caught my eye and then, naturally enough, my camera lens.

They stand in a ballroom dancing pose… a Foxtrot? a Quickstep? … a Tango maybe?

I’ve just finished watching “Strictly Come Dancing” on the BBC, (The UK version of “Dancing with the Stars“)… I don’t even believe in or celebrate Halloween, but I do believe that these two dancing beauties have bewitched me completely…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 27, 2011

Room for a Bit More? Go On, Squeeze It In!

Living in a European city, you think you have probably seen it all when it comes to leaning or odd shaped buildings. I was looking though a folder of previous year’s walking tour photos  and this one caught my eye… talk about squeezing in an extra room or two at the top… talk about skinny rooms… makes for an extraordinary roof line  though doesn’t it?  The two streets meet at an angle here so so could get a view of the “back side” a little bit too.

These buildings can be found on the corner of Anna Paulownastraat and Piet Heinstraat and it’s not really clear if it’s all one building  (or as I think it is, two buildings) Either way, it’s quirky… I like quirky, How about you?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 26, 2011

The Blessed Lady who stands in Elandstraat…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Catholic Church known by it’s official and less official names”  “De kerk Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Onbevlekt-Ontvangen”  (Our Blessed Lady of the Immaculate Conception)   “Elandstraatkerk” (Eland Street church)  or “Elandkerk” (Eland Church) is situated opposite the Elandplein (Eland Square) in The Hague’s  Zeeheldenkwartier.

I found several websites that had information on the church,  but only in the Dutch language, so I’ve made a translation of some of the Dutch language Wiki information and put the link to the website below if anyone is interested in reading the origonal.

It was built in 1891-92 by architect  Nicolaas Molenaar because the smaller, ” Teresia van Avilakerk”( Teresia of Avila Church) had grown too small due to rapid population growth in The Hague during the 1800’s.

The city was growing  outwards in the direction of the Zeeheldenkwartier, so this is where it was decided that the new church should be built. The area being built on was a former peat polder  (low-lying, reclaimed land) that had Paleis Noordeinde to the Laan Van Meerdervoort, The Beeklaan and Noordwal as it’s perimeters.

in 1877  Father Marijnen of the Teresia van Avilakerk bought the site from Sophie van Sachsen-Weimar, the only daughter of King William II. In 1878  a tempory church and vicarage were built and on the 5th June 1978, the tempory church became an independent parish church.

In 1890 there were plans to build a new church designed by the same architect. The new church, designed by  Nicolaas Molenaar (Sr.)  is in the Neo-Gothic style and inspired by the Notre Dame  in Paris.

The two western towers are 72 metres high  each and the church is 60 m long. There are 66 stained glass windows dating from the end of the 19th century and on the outside of the western entrance there’s  a staue of Maria of Immaculate conception, donated in 1893 by the conference of  church women.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Huge clocks were placed in each tower and in 1892 a parishioner donated an angelusklokje ( a special clock that rings twice a day to bring Catholics to mass)  In 1928 these were replaced by four other clocks but the Protestant people living in in close proximity to the church didn’t like the bells, so after complaints it was decided not to ring them during the singing of  the Te Deum.

The Rose window broke in a severe storm,   a bomb falling  in Da Costastraat  broke a few windows, but happily this was the only World War II damage that the church sustained.  The angelusklok was replaced in 1949.

After the war the building needed repairs and the klockstoelen (clock seats?) were in such bad shape that artificial sound of bells were played until 1992 when they were repaired.

The Franssen organ was installed in 1906

The organ is encased  in  a Neo-Gothic sculpted housing against the west wall and is about  10 metres high (about 30 feet) . The organ was restored in 1973 back to functional playing order and again repaired in 1986 but  underwent  full restoration in 2010-2011.  Since 2004 the organ has been listed as a National Monument.

Elandstraat 194 —  2513GX  — Den Haag.
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elandkerk

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 22, 2011

How much has changed at the High End of Prins Willemstraat?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another post from my archive series of Billboard photos.

I took these when the Haags Gemeentearchief (the Hague City Council Archive) put up billboards around the city to celebrate their 125th anniversary a few years ago.

The billboards were placed as close as possible to the locations depicted so that people could compare the “old” and the “new” surroundings.

The text reads “Hoge Prins Willemstraat met rechts de Badhuisstaat, foto P. Oosterhuis, circa 1865”  (translation: High end of Prins Willemstraat with Badhuisstaat at right, photo P. Oosterhuis, circa 1865″

From what I can make out, all the buildings on the right hand side of the photo appear to be gone.

It’s difficult to make out the buildings on the left because the trees obscure the view,sadly the old trees are also gone, but a few newer younger ones are dotted around further up in the street in the present view.

Let’s compare the present day view from the same spot. The corners of the Badhuisstraat is now dominated by some boxy soulless concrete square buildings, there’s a tram-line on the Prins Willemstraat,  and a flower stall on the intersection of the two streets.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

View on the opposite side of the street (behind the billboard view)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 10, 2011

Fabulous Wheels of Yellow Gold…and the Rest…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sigh, sometimes it’s hard to have such nice things on your doorstep… but someone’s gotta do it, right?

Here is the Kiwidutch guide to one of The Netherlands best Specialist Cheese Shops:

Ed Boele’s in the Fahrenheitstraat in The Hague.

This is my final post in this virtual tour… lets just take a quick look around the rest of the shop as it was before the big 2011 renovation.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I haven’t been mobile enough to see the new shop yet, so that just means that as soon as I am,  I will be forced to go there so that you may have an updated version of this treasure trove of cheese.

(A blogger’s work is tough some days, I might have to buy a serious quantity of cheese there to sustain me in this task).

Here is a last look around the rest of the shop before we leave… after all no cheeseboard would be complete without a few olives,  some other yummies from the deli section and a nice bottle of port (or other delectable) to wash it down with. Yes, Ed has those on hand too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 4, 2011

The Dutch Kaaswinkel …Smile and Say “Cheese!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I have grand ideas and dreams of living back in New Zealand when we retire. We like the idea of a more relaxed lifestyle in a smaller city or town and a lot more space. Who knows what life will bring and if we will ever get there, but if we do, then there is is a list of typically Dutch things I will certainly painfully  miss.

Near the top of this list will be some of the fabulous speciality cheese shops.  You’ll find a kaaswinkel  (cheese shop) in most  neighbourhoods and they are well used because  Dutch families have grow up with ready access and a plentiful supply of cheese… … and not content with a large cheese section of the supermarkets, the Dutch therefore expect not just average cheeses, but brilliant cheeses.

Cheeses to choose from come from approximately 200 dairy farms in the Netherlands who keep cows and make their own farmhouse cheeses on site,  plus the added bonus of having  the  “back yard called Europe”  with each members countries amazing specialist cheeses too.

Even the boring common garden supermarket can give me a selection of  seven or eight feta cheeses, all Greek, all different, all good (and cheap!)

Not all Specialist cheese shops are created equal…  good ones there are aplenty, but great ones have customers who come from further afield just to stock up on wares that are not just good, but divine. This is why I’m taking you on a photo tour of  one of the Hague’s best Specialist cheese shops.

Located at Fahrenheitstraat 625,  owner Ed Boele has built up an amazing range of cheeses.  I talked to him and his staff last year and took photos in the shop… and if you think it looks fabulous in these photos I have to warn you that he had recently had the entire shop refitted and everyone who’s been says that it’s now even better.

Sadly my lack of mobility has prevented me from seeing the new shop yet for myself,  but I will get there eventually. In the meantime let’s take a look around at various parts of  the old version of Ed’s shop and smile as we say “cheese!””.

Fahrenheitstraat 625    /   2561 DC DEN HAAG   /   Tel.: 070 – 3631819     /    http://www.kaasspeciaalzaak.nl/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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