The city of Zaandam, North Holland has a street that is getting a name change, from Piccolo to Hobo (Oboe), both of which are musical instruments. The Zaandam neighbourhood in question already has a street called Hobo and is now going to extend it. It also has streets called Cello, and then gets into musical-related terms such as Aubade, Prelude and Mazurka, to name a few.
The people who live on Piccolo street don’t want their street to become Hobo street. In Dutch, Hobo rhymes with ‘homo’, which is used as a derogatory word for homosexual, an issue brought up back in 2016 when the area was created. And I know what some of you are thinking, ‘Hobo’ doesn’t sounds great for anybody whose first language is North American English, as that refers to a vagrant, but that’s besides the point.
There are other Hobo streets throughout the country and apparently, that’s not a problem. I’d like to think that going from Piccolo to Oboe musically is a bit of an upgrade, because – and I held back on this – in that tooty-fluity neighbourhood, there’s also a street called Fagot, the Dutch name for a bassoon, which nobody seems to complain about.
In the Netherlands, you can always live on Fart Street, but then you could also live in on a street named after Lord of The Rings characters.
Tags: Lord of the Rings, oboe, street names, streets, Zaandam
Today Rotterdam is celebrating Park(ing) Day, which sounds like a lot of pun fun. The city of Rotterdam is letting people take over a parking spot for free and camp out on it, as if it were a park. And to sweeten the deal, the rules of a park apply to the parking spot.
Park(ing)Day is part of Happy Streets, yet another let’s-use-English-rather-than-Dutch named event (where ‘happy’ often sounds like ‘hippie’ when some Dutch people pronounce it) lasting the entire weekend in order to promote ‘sustainable mobility and a better use of public spaces’.
The city will also feature yet another let’s-give-it-an-English-name-to sound-cool event called Walk’in Rotterdam, where people can take a stroll along various uncommon parts of the city with a knowledgeable guide who I bet will tell their stories in the country’s main language.
And Sunday is another why-use-Dutch-go-for-English event called Open Streets when streets will be car-free and feature other merriment.
Yes, this is a picture of Amsterdam.
Tags: parking, parks, Rotterdam, streets
Local TV station AT5 tells us that only 7% of street names in Amsterdam are named after women, and that the mayor has promised to change that in the future. Of course, Amsterdam’s streets are named after a whole bunch of other things like bridges and canals, but we do live in 2014 and it wouldn’t kill the city to make this kind of upgrade.
A Master’s thesis by Rob Koolos on Street names in Noord-Brabant and Holland — this includes Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague — explains the situation when it comes to streets named after women:
Except for the Royal Family (and the wives of William of Orange), before the Second World War, streets named after women were very, very scarce. Aagje Deken and Betje Wolff (writers) and Thérèse Schwartze (painter) were the only women that appeared in more than one of the researched cities. […] After the Second World War, with the second feminist wave and a rapidly growing list of important women, this situation did improve slightly. Leiden and Alphen aan de Rijn for example decided to use only women to name the streets in their new quarters.
I’ve seen street names in Amsterdam named after women like doctors, the wives of famous men, artists and even fictional characters. And if Leiden and Alphen aan de Rijn can do it, so can Amsterdam.
(Link: www.welingelichtekringen.nl, Photo of Warmoesstraat by Olivier Bruchez, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, streets, women
The village of Geldrop in Noord-Brabant apparently has a neighbourhood with streets named after characters from the works of JRR Tolkien. The neighbourhood has been around since 2008 back when 24oranges was just getting started because had we known we would have been all over this one like Orcs.
For anyone who likes a long read, there’s this Master’s thesis on Street names in Noord-Brabant and Holland, which mentions the LOTR streets using an exclamation point.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve told you about Fart Street in Capelle aan den IJssel near Rotterdam and a few more odd ones.
Tags: Geldrop, Lord of the Rings, Noord-Brabant, street names, streets
Artist Jurjen Semeijn says this about his Street Furniture project:
This is a series of unique pieces of furniture as art created from materials found and appropriated around the city of Amsterdam. On the spot where the materials were found these seemingly worthless road signs, fences and planters were freestyle (yes, without any plans) sawn, drilled, cut, screwed and put together as quickly as possible, turning them into extremely valuable pieces. Eventually they were left for lucky collectors to find.
Each object is accompanied by before and after photos, the time that it took to create the piece, and a list of the tools and machines involved (typically a saw, a measure, a felt pen, a screw driver, some screws, and ‘imagination’). Semeijn calls this type of forging art ‘guerilla upcycling’.
(Via: Trendbeheer. Photo: Jurjen Semeijn)
Tags: furniture, Jurjen Semeijn, streets, vandalism
During a routine check in Germany a man from Nijmegen had his driver’s license revoked and received a driving ban as he still had an outstanding ticket for going 40 kilometres over the speed limit in 2009.
Ronnie Gashi argued that he never received the ticket. The police ignored this popular excuse, but the Dutchman managed to have his driver’s license returned on the spot when he pointed out that the police officer was writing down his address incorrectly, and that this could conceivably also be what had happened the last time. The Nijmegen neighbourhoods of Dukenburg and nearby Lindenholt are numbered instead of named—rare for the Netherlands, and apparently also for Germany.
The Gelderlander reports that the police contacted a public prosecutor who advised clemency.
For some reason, the driving ban was upheld, the paper does not tell why. Gashi is still fighting the month long suspension. I am also not sure why “Lankforst 5336” instead of “Lankforst 53-36” would confuse the mail, in fact that is how I wrote my address when I lived there.
(Link: gelderlander, Photo of back of Dutch driving licence)
Tags: Germany, Nijmegen, streets
Having gotten permission from the government, KPN, the Dutch phone company, is going to reduce the number of its already less familiar green triangular phone booths, reports Blik op Nieuws (Dutch). Until now the government obliged the former state monopolist to provide one phone booth per 5,000 citizens in towns with more than 5,000 inhabitants.
Use of the KPN phone booths dropped about 76% between 2000 and 2006. A whopping 95% of the people have stopped using the booths altogether, preferring to use one of the 17 million mobile phones instead (out of a population of 16 million), according to the news site.
I remember phone booths being ubiquitous, square and something other than green (bright red or yellow, I forget—this was in the 1970s). To me it never seemed there were many of the newer models to begin with. KPN is apparently going to keep a couple of booths around, for instance where they believe the elderly still need them.
Tags: KPN, streets, telephony
I used to work at a factory that made these things, albeit not in Dutch.
The sign should read Groenburgwal, and so has an ‘r’ too many. Hope it was free.
This is akin to finding a four-leaf clover (and ‘groen’ means green).
‘Still waiting’ refers to the fact that the sign has now been removed and we’re all waiting for the corrected version (see link).
(Link: A5, Photo: Herenlunch)
Tags: signs, streets, typography
The idea of a ‘visual assault’ was taken quite literally by an action group who got rid of some of the posters and put up some of their own last night. Here, you can read ‘Amsterdam, free of adverstising’. They claim – as many people already believe, if you ask around – that “the advertising firm in question is working on the further commercialisation of the city, destroying the charactertisitc street image.” Translation: nobody really likes this stunt and everybody thinks it’s ugly.
A Labour Party politican of De Pijp neighbourhood told 24oranges that this entire incident will be discussed in the next city district council meeting.
Tags: advertising, Amsterdam, De Pijp, streets