The Blauwe loper (‘Blue carpet’) is a 800-metre-long bike bridge that will connect Winschoten to Blauwestad (‘Blue City’, a new village being built on reclaimed land) Groningen, making it Europe’s longest bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. It might also end up being a whole kilometre long if they connect it to the middle of the new town, and should be completed in late 2020.
It will be painted ‘bat-friendly’ green, with LED lighting designed to help the bats commute from the nearby nature reserve to the Oldambtmeer (‘Oldambt lake’). The bridge has been designed to last for at least 80 years and is made from wood sourced from Gabon, Africa. The wood has some sort of venting system rather than being pressed together, explains project leader Reinder Lanting.
Europe’s current longest bike bridge is 756 metres long and is located in Sölvesborg, Sweden, extending across the Sölvesborg Bay. However, the Xiamen Bicycle Skyway in China, designed by the Danish design firm Dissing + Weitling, is a whopping 7.6km long.
Although there’s not always something to see, there’s a webcam link if you like to watch Dutch motorway traffic when there’s no bridge construction.
(Link: theguardian.com, Photo blauwestad.nl)
Tags: bicycle bridges, bikes, bridge, bridges, China, Denmark, Groningen, Sweden
Dutch artist Dagmar Stap of Groningen is fascinated by packaging and likes to create embroidery with said packaging, which is pretty cool. Until 30 December her work can be found at This Art Fair at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, as well as on her instagram account.
Stap embroiders things such as noodle packages, sweets and tins, all with much attention to detail. “Embroidery takes a lot of time and effort [some 10 days for one piece], but that gives the works more value.” She tends to pick colourful products and products from various countries, especially those she cannot read because of the language. She evens checks with Google translate to see what it is, although many products are from well-known international corporations.
Having studied illustration at the Academie Minerva in Groningen, she would draw and paint packaging she had lying around, out of boredom. Eventually, she began to embroider in order to make the art more tangible.
At this point, she has a whole shelf of embroidered art on display.
(Link and photo: vice.com)
Tags: Amsterdam, embroidery, Groningen
Twelve-year-old Bas Schipper from Veendam, Groningen did a one-day tour of Dutch train stations on December 22, playing all 16 train station pianos in the country. Bas started playing Maastricht and finished in Groningen, in a South to North kind of way.
His goal was to collect about 5,000 euro for diabetes, but as I write this, he’s collected 54,382 euro and counting. He decided to do this for his sister and others who have diabetes.
Feel free to click the link below to donate or find out more.
Tags: Groningen, piano, Veendam
Dutch designer Tjeerd Veenhoven makes rugs made from sustainable palm leather, a vegan alternative to traditional leather. Interested in nature fibres, Veenhoven started experimenting with palm leather about eight years ago, and asked someone he knew in India to send him some palm leather to research it.
“In my material research I found out that the material was super brittle and not very useful, but if you soften it with a special material of glycerin and water, and some other materials you can make it nice and soft,” explains Veenhoven.
Besides producing and selling rugs, Veenhoven’s studio in Groningen hopes to sell palm leather to demanding automotive companies that have recently become increasingly interested in vegan alternatives to leather car interiors.
(Link and photo: dezeen.com)
Tags: Groningen, palm leather, vegan
Called the ‘Dutch disease’ by both the Dutch and foreigners, it’s terribly irritating when concertgoers talk through a concert. I can’t say there’s nothing worse than that because they are also morons who let their phones ring or block your view while filming, and a few other annoyances of that category. In any case, it’s disrespectful and a big problem.
Luckily, The Hague pop venue Paard had already introduced in February the ‘lul-niet-lolly’ (roughly, ‘don’t-blabble-lollypop’) and it’s now caught on at another 22 pop venues, including 013 in Tilburg, de Oosterpoort in Groningen, Doornroosje in Nijmegen, Rotown in Rotterdam, and de Effenaar in Eindhoven.
You suck on a lolly and you’re not ruining the concert experience for someone who actually cares about the money and time they spent to get to the show. It’s so bad sometimes that bands from other countries are warned this might happen and that it’s a shameful cultural phenomenon. I’ve even seen acts stop playing and tell the persons talking if they are enjoying the show and then tell them to shut the hell up or even leave.
If people want to act like children, they might as well suck on a lollypop to keep quiet.
(Link: nos.nl, Photo of South African rapper Jack Parow by Orangemaster)
Tags: concerts, Eindhoven, Groningen, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Tilburg
A group of four middle school friends who call themselves the Doggerland team is launching their first cider made from leftover apples from gardens and orchards in the Groningen area. At the end of last year, people could donate their leftover apples for the cider and it’s now time to taste the results. In April, two ciders were launched: Gembergloed (with ginger) and Honinghout (with honey).
Doggerland explains that people with apple trees sometimes experience the harvest as a problem: they make apple pie and some compote, and then they are stuck with hundreds of kilos of apples that fall on the grass, get jammed in the lawn mower or attract wasps. “We wanted to do something about the unwanted apples and decided to make cider”, explains Marleen, one of the founders of Doggerland.
If you live in the Groningen area and donate a minimum of 10 kilos of apples to them, Doggerland will hook you up with some cider in return. There’s even a Facebook group for this very transaction. The cider is being made in the Biotoop, a former biomedical centre of the University of Groningen in the town of Haren, aptly being brewed in the old chemisty laboratory.
Tags: apples, cider, Groningen, Haren
On March 29, in the town of Stadskanaal, Groningen, Gert-Jan Boels, a former councillor of the local government became the mayor for all of 15 minutes, with the bling like in the picture and a gavel. He may have even broken the record for the shortest term in office, but that hasn’t been verified.
When the local government installed the new council, it didn’t have a mayor. Mayors are not elected in the Netherlands (there’s a lot of discussion on that front nowadays), they are appointed. Without a mayor, the new councillors couldn’t be appointed. Amusingly enough, the law doesn’t have a provision in case this happens.
After a discussion with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the city appointed former councillor Boels as acting mayor for 15 minutes, the time it took to appoint Goedhart Borgesius, the longest serving councillor, as mayor.
Boels told the press it was “15 lovely minutes”.
(Link: binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo of the former mayor of Haarlem and former mayor of Bloemendaal, Bernt Schneiders)
Tags: Groningen, mayor, Stadskanaal
A European first for Domino’s pizza, in Eindhoven you will be able to pull pizzas out of the wall from Europe’s first Domino’s pizza branch… in 2018. However, grabbing a hot pizza out of the wall is definitely not a European or even a Dutch first this time around, as there has been pizza from vending machines in Groningen since November 2015.
Domino’s claims to have been inspired by Amsterdam’s fast food chain FEBO, synonymous with pulling food out of the wall, while the guy in Groningen was inspired by France and actual pizzas coming out of the wall. It’s interesting to see a student think internationally, while an entrepreneur only looks within their borders in this case.
The bosses at Domino’s said they chose Eindhoven to showcase the wall pizzas because of the city’s reputation for all things technical, while the pizza vending machines in Groningen were designed by a student, which also reflects the reputation of Groningen as a student city.
True, Domino’s will surely offer more types of pizzas than in Groningen, but for now patrons will have to wait until 2018 for a proper working version of the vending machine showcased this week that if successful, will be introduced to the rest of the country.
Real pizza trumps virtual pizza for now. And Groningen is quite a train ride from Eindhoven.
(Link: ed.nl, Photo of Pizza pie by Adam Kuban, some rights reserved)
Tags: Eindhoven, FEBO, Groningen, pizza
Yesterday’s Remembrance of the Dead commemorated in the Netherlands on May 4 remembers all kinds of civilians and soldiers who died in WWII, Dutch or foreign, and nowadays also includes the fallen from other wars and major conflicts.
And then there’s this guy, a pizza delivery cyclist who stopped rushing around Groningen and joined in on the traditional, nation-wide two minutes of silence, taken at 20:00 on May 4.
After seeing the picture on Facebook, his boss said of his employee that ‘he did what he thought was normal’. The employer had told the staff of its 220 branches to honour the two minutes of silence, but didn’t expect someone to snap a picture of it.
(Link: www.pzc.nl, Photo of Pizza pie by Adam Kuban, some rights reserved)
Tags: Groningen, pizza, Remembrance of the Dead, war, WWII
In Groningen, some 112 failed asylum seekers and asylum seekers waiting on answers who are homeless will soon be housed in an old hotel ship, explains John van Tilborg, Director of the Inlia Foundation in Groningen that works with asylum seekers. They all have a right to a place to stay during the night as well as a shower and a meal according to the Dutch government, but that same government isn’t doing what’s needed to ensure they have an actual place to say, Van Tilborg explains in a recent radio interview in Amsterdam on BNR.
“The State decides whether someone can stay here or not. If someone can stay, they get a resident’s permit from the State and if they have to go, the State has to kick them out of the country or make sure they leave. If that doesn’t happen, then the city is saddled with the problem, like it is now […]. The city has to pay for a problem created by the State and the city has no influence on the situation”.
And the rest is all about cities not getting the money they need from the State to deal with these people who end up on the street. Elections are coming up in March and the outgoing Dutch government has stopped all funding to new housing projects for asylum seekers, leaving cities to figure it out for themselves.
(Links: bnr.nl, dvhn.nl, Photo of the Vluchtkerk church in Amsterdam that housed many asylum seekers)
Tags: asylum seekers, Groningen, ship