July 23, 2019

Coloured flats for students ready to rent in August

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 9:50 pm

Pointed out to us on Twitter and for rent on Funda.nl, these colourful flats in Almere are meant for students. They consist of one room of 18 square metres of living space with everything in it and rent is 398 euro a month, excluding service costs.

The flats are nicknamed ‘space boxes’, a fitting name for housing in general these days, and should be ready to rent mid August. Students can only rent a flat for a maximum of eight years and need to get out six months after you finish your studies.

In the meantime, from various sources, international students are still flatly being discriminated against because they don’t speak Dutch, are not Dutch or people renting out rooms to them are bigots. Here’s what we wrote about that back in 2018.

(Link and photo: funda.nl)

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December 24, 2018

Reverse tower in Hilversum has more units on top

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 12:18 pm

Dutch architect René van Zuuk of Almere, North Holland has completed an apartment building in Hilversum, North Holland called The Belvedere Tower, featuring top-heavy apartment blocks arranged in a cross.

A maximum building height of 11 storeys means that a conventional tower would have yielded only 44 units, whereas at least 55 units were required to make the project financially viable due to the high cost of land.

Hilversum is the Dutch media and broadcast centre of the country, and a lot of people want to live in this town that is not only kind of posh (they have their own special letter ‘r’ when they speak), but also close to Amsterdam.

Van Zuuk is known for having designed a property for himself in an experimental housing district in Almere featuring geometric volumes arranged less than a metre from the waterfront. Van Zuuk’s studio also created the design of a fire station in Dordrecht, South Holland featuring an industrial material palette, and a pavilion down the street in Roosendaal that houses shops and offices under a series of timber terraces.

(Link and photo: dezeen.com)

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February 20, 2017

Fun stories about Dutch street names

Filed under: History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 1:35 pm

From the old box, as the Dutch say, a photo of the Amsterdam street name that nobody checked, which should have read Groenburgwal.

Then again, the country has that neighbourhood named after Lord of the Rings characters and Fart street, and many more stories and fun facts that author René Dings is compiling for a book about street names in the Netherlands.

The longest street name is Ir. Mr. Dr. van Waterschoot van der Grachtstraat in Heerlen, which deserves an English explanation. The Dutch have a title for engineers, ‘Ir.’, Mr. is for ‘Mister’ and ‘Dr.’ is for Doctor and yes, you can compound them. ‘Ir.’ is fading because having taking over the Bachelor’s-Master’s system from the English-speaking world in recent history means dropping titles that are not used in English.

And then there’s more modern day funny names like Mickey Mousestraat in Almere or Eendekotsweg (‘Duck Vomit Street’), Poepershoek (‘Shitters’ Corner’) and Windgat (‘Wind Hole’) in other places, to name a few.

Dings tells the story of a street in Schiedam named after a mayor who got caught doing something wrong, and then you’re stuck with a controversial street name that you have to wait 10 years to change. He also tells about how older cities like Delft deserve more classic names than a relatively new city like Almere. The book is called ‘Over straatnamen met name’ for the Dutch fans.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of a misspelled street name in Amsterdam by Herenlunch)

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December 14, 2016

Almere misspells historical Dutch street sign

Filed under: General,History by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am

This street sign is from Amsterdam in 2007, with an extra ‘r’, wavering between ‘brug’ and ‘burg’.

A lot of people don’t care about spelling unless it’s their name being butchered. The city of Almere messed up the last name of former Dutch Prime Minister from 1973-1977 Joop Den Uyl by going with ‘Uil’. It was noticed by a politician of the Labour Party, of which Den Uyl was a member – he’s now deceased.

The park where the ‘path’ (‘pad’) actually is, is called ‘Den Uylpark’ where there’s a statue of Joop Den Uyl with what I’m sure is a plaque with his name also written as ‘Joop Den Uyl’.

Almere apparently has a reputation of messing up its colourful street names. In 2011 it took the city three tries to get ‘Chicagostraat’ right: first it was ‘Chigacostraat’, then ‘Chigagostraat’ and finally ‘Chicagostraat’. In 2008 ‘Popeyestraat’, named after the American cartoon character Popeye was ‘Popeystraat’, and the character ‘Marsipulami’ from the Belgian Gaston Lagaffe comic strips was first ‘Marsipulamihof’ instead of ‘Marsupilamihof’.

(Links: nos.nl, nu.nl, Photo of a misspelled street name in Amsterdam by Herenlunch)

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December 5, 2014

Dutch-American company to make marijuana gum

Filed under: Health,Science by Orangemaster @ 10:53 am

Dutch-American company Axim is working on the world’s first medicinal marijuana chewing gum, which will be produced in Almere, Flevoland. It should be on the market in two years and it is currently being tested on Dutch patients who have chronic pain due to multiple sclerosis. This special chewing gum will work like nicotine gum, with the cannabis being absorbed slowly by the body in some 20 minutes.

You can easily buy ‘nutraceutical’ chewing gum that contains cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of pot, but Axim plans to make chewing gum with THC in it, the psychoactive ingredient of pot for patients who suffer chronic pain from many different medical conditions.

(Links: www.foodlog.nl, www.in-pharmatechnologist.com)

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June 4, 2012

Colourful balloons ‘floating’ on and over water

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 11:56 am

Artists Merijn Hos and René Reijnders from Utrecht worked together to create this Florentijn Hofman-like installation called Bubblegum for the Cultural Night in Almere (2010).

The balloons had LED lights inside, so that they could be lit up at night.

Link: The Pop-Up City. Photo: Merijn Hos.

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August 5, 2011

‘Four nights in the slammer for no bike lights’

Filed under: Bicycles,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:16 pm

A man who spent four nights in jail after failing to pay a € 40 fine for not having lights on his bike has been given € 345 in compensation. I thought the fine was € 25, but OK, it must have gone up. And having learnt how to drive in Amsterdam, those lights on bikes are very important since there are so many cyclists.

The police discovered the man still owed fines after giving him one. They took him down to a police station, but when a friend came later to pay the fine, the friend was told to go away. That part I do not get at all.

The next day, the man was moved to Almere from wherever he was stopped because it was the weekend and apparently, the police there have a serious 9 to 5 mentality and don’t deal with fines on weekends. A cell mate even offered to pay the fine in cash, but this was not accepted either. I just don’t get it.

I guess the police were out for bad publicity and they got it: the man spent four nights in jail before he was released and the cops had to fork out more money that it was worth, courtesy of the national ombudsman (!).

(Link: www.dutchnews.nl, Photo by Flickr user heliosphan, some rights reserved)

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March 29, 2008

Anything is possible in Almere

Filed under: Architecture,Design by Orangemaster @ 11:36 am

Friday, March 28, an interesting exhibition was opened at the Casla in Almere, Flevoland. It features the winning projects of the third edition of the ‘Eenvoud’ (‘Simplicity’) competition for an experimental neighbourhood in Almere. The previous editions, ‘De Fantasie’ (‘Fantasy’) and ‘De Realiteit’ (‘Reality’) were kept in the 1980s and their results are still worth seeing.

The goal of the Eenvoud competition which started in 2006 was to design a freestanding and simple low-cost house, expressing living desires and ideas. The winners were given the opportunity to build their design on a beautiful open spot in the woodlands of Noorderplassen-West. The houses have to have a permanent character, with a minimum of building regulations.

That last bit is quite ironic, considering the plethora of building regulations imposed throughout the country and the fact that Almere, a city built moslty on reclaimed land, is literally sinking. The photo shows the Ornithologist’s house, birds and all.

(Link: dysturb.net, Photo ‘Het Huis van de Vogelaar’ by Anouk Vogel and Johan Selbing)

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August 16, 2007

Women’s toilets in stereo to foil rules

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:35 am

Brasserie De Jongens van Almere in Almere, Flevoland has made the news with their toilets. The brasserie has installed two women’s toilets in one space. Owner René Josso was forced to do so to follow rules imposed by the city. “We already had separate women’s and men’s toilets when the city came up with an additional requirement. To save space, we squeezed two ladies’ toilets together,” Josso explains. Apparently, the toilets are a hit, as women think they are “fun”.

(Link: zibb.nl)

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February 26, 2007

Grease musical car drives into orchestra pit

Filed under: Shows by Orangemaster @ 10:11 pm

Two actors from the musical Grease were injured Sunday night during a performance in Almere. The car drove off the podium right into the orchestra pit. Idols star Jim Bakkum, who plays Danny Zuko and was in the car at the time, ended up with a concussion, while his co-star Bettina Holwerda broke her arm. Both were brought to the hospital. The cause of the accident is as yet unknown.

(Link and photo: fok.nl)

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