Mover Donny Zwennes from The Hague offers a very special moving service to the elderly with dementia: he makes sure their new surroundings are exactly the same as they were in their home. Some of his clients have no idea that they’ve moved, and that’s exactly what Zwennes wants to offer. He calls it ‘duplicating’.
Zwennes takes pictures and notes all the things that need to be moved and where they were. Once he gets to the nursing home, he ignores the best place to put people’s belongings and puts things back exactly as they were, which is excellent for dementia sufferers. He also listens to their stories about that one lamp and that painting above the bed, allowing him to know what objects clients are most attached to.
According to the AD newspaper, the country’s first Alzheimer’s café was opened in The Hague, a place where Zwennes’ father handled the sound installation. It is also where he learnt about the specific problems of dementia sufferers and their families. Zwennes quickly realised that moving the elderly with dementia was a specific problem as well as a niche market. To this day, he’s the only mover in the country that offers such a personalised service.
(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo by Frank Mayne, some rights reserved)
Tags: Alzheimer's, dementia, elderly, The Hague
In 2013 marketing geniuses in Amsterdam decided to call the coastal cities of IJmuiden, Bloemendaal and Zandvoort ‘Amsterdam Beach’, and nobody calls it that because it doesn’t make any sense, geographically or otherwise.
Another bunch of marketing geniuses are contemplating calling the historical beach of Scheveningen ‘The Hague Beach’ to attract more tourists, a change already implemented on the district’s English Wikipedia page. They argue that The Hague has 11 kilometres of beach that ‘nobody knows about’, as if pronouncing ‘Scheveningen’, admittedly not easy, was the problem. The Hague is really called ‘s-Gravenhage’ and was simplified in Dutch to Den Haag, but that hasn’t stopped anybody ever.
Not far from The Hague, but way closer to Rotterdam is Rotterdam The Hague Airport, which was historical called Zestienhoven because that’s where the airport actually is. It was later renamed Rotterdam Airport and finally Rotterdam The Hague Airport to give it more international appeal. Nobody cares.
According to AD.nl, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ronal Plasterk, born and raised in Scheveningen said in a tweet: “Slippery slope: I was born in Scheveningen, not at The Hague Beach”, to which the city marketing spinners retorted that The Hague Beach is just what we’ll tell tourists, which is as condescending as sounds. Foreign nationals, historians and locals hate the idea. The city’s website still calls it The beach of Scheveningen, which almost sounds like painting by Adriaen van de Velde.
(Link: www.ad.nl, Twitter @ShakeAtOrion)
Tags: Amsterdam, beach, city marketing, Rotterdam, Scheveningen, The Hague
In July a vegetarian Palestinian restaurant opened its doors on the Weimarstraat in the Hague called Love & Peas.
The pun refers to the fact that the two men running the place hail from opposite sides in a war. The manager, Muawi Shehadeh, is Palestinian and the chef, Yuval Gal, is Israeli.
“When we met three years ago we immediately started cracking politically incorrect jokes about our backgrounds”, Gal told AD, “and that created a bond.”
The paper notes that this isn’t the first joint Palestinian-Israeli restaurant in Europe — London has its Ottolenghi chain.
Ynet quotes the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, Haim Divon: “My wife Linda discovered the place on a social network site. The idea of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation got around and became the talk of the day here because everyone likes this new venture. […] It’s truly hard to believe we’re sitting in a restaurant in The Hague. The hummus is really tasty.”
(Photo by Personal Creations, some rights reserved)
Tags: Israel, Palestine, restaurants, The Hague, vegetarian, vegetarianism, vegetarians
The Power of Art House collective have placed some 10,000 mini-refugee figurines in all kinds of places in Amsterdam and The Hague to draw attention to refugees and their plight. This guerrilla street art project is called ‘Moving People’.
The miniatures represent 10 actual people and their stories, giving a face to all the figures quoted by the media on refugees. These refugees from various countries wanted to tell their stories and were then scanned in 3D and turned into little works of art. The pose they strike are like the ‘title’ of their personal stories.
If you’re in Amsterdam or The Hague and have spotted a mini-refugee, share your photo with the hastag #MovingPeople on social media.
Tags: Amsterdam, figurines, refugees, The Hague
A very small watercolour painting by ninteenth century Dutch painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag was recently discovered at the national archive in The Hague. An employee looking for a work to exhibit on the occasion of the artist’s date of death on 10 July found the 5 centimetre by 3 centimetre painting. On the back of the watercolour Mesdag wrote a poem for his then fiancee and later wife Sina van Houten, also a painter. The words of the poem read: “Thoughts are not subject to laws; therefore; think of the maker of this; as often as thou will take up this sheet. Gron[ingen], July 1854, H W Mesdag.”
Experts say it is one of the first ever Mesdags and the first with boats on it. And because the poem is signed, they know it’s the real deal. Born in Groningen, studied in Brussels and eventually moved to The Hague, Mesdag’s best know work is the Panorama Mesdag, a cylindrical painting (‘cyclorama’) more than 14 metres high and about 40 metres in diameter (120 metres in circumference) that he completed with his wife and some assistants.
(Links and photo: dearkitty1, nos.nl)
Tags: Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Panorama, The Hague
Bert Kreuk, an art collector and ‘art flipper’, someone who buys art and resells it sooner rather than later to turn a quick profit, has won a lawsuit to the tune of € 898,000 against Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vō.
A Rotterdam court ruled in favour of Kreuk who had entered into an agreement with Vō to be promised an installation that was to be “large and impressive” and “fill an entire room”, but instead Vō presented him with an existing sculpture, ‘Fiat Veritas’, a cardboard box covered in gold leaf that was on loan to Kreuk’s exhibition ‘Transforming the Known’ at The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum. As Vō only loaned the existing artwork, which meant that it was not be sold as well as not being anything “large and impressive”, Kreuk decide to sue.
The Rotterdam court upheld Kreuk’s claim that Vō had agreed back in January 2013 to produce one or more new pieces for his exhibition and that had not been honoured. Kreuk had also taken out an injunction to prevent Fiat Veritas to be returned to Vō, but that was not upheld. The court has ordered Vō to produce the promised artwork and Kreuk will pay the € 350,000 agreed upon at the time, even though Vō’s pieces today sell for much more than that.
While Kreuk claims that justice has been served, Vō is appealing the decision claiming that his “artistic integrity has been violated by the court” by asking him to produce a “large and impressive” work.
For anyone who wants to read the background of this entire imbroglio that started about a year ago, grab a beverage and dig in here.
(Links and photo: www.theartnewspaper.com, news.artnet.com)
Tags: Bert Kreuk, Rotterdam, The Hague
It didn’t take a million likes on Facebook to get the Dutch band Kane to stop producing music, only 17,000.
On December 27, the English-singing rock band from The Hague decided they had nothing more to say, which according to many pundits was the problem from the get-go back in 1998. “As someone who was on the Kane shit list earlier on and stayed on it permanently, I would like to say, ‘good fucking riddance’. […] Kane never wrote, I repeat, never wrote a single song that has any hint of staying power,” music columnist and friend Guuz Hoogaerts wrote recently on Facebook. Another friend in the music business, Marco Kalnenek, said that
Kane’s Kane’s frontman, Dinand Woesthoff’s voice sounds fake and that his accent doesn’t help the music either.
The dislike of Kane can be compared to that of Canada’s Nickelback or Britain’s Coldplay: sappy, devoid of real emotion and uses clichés that sound like other music. If a radio station plays something often enough, the general consensus is that it must be good. To paraphrase famous Dutch band Doe Maar, ‘Hey, there’s a switch on your TV’, as in, if you don’t like it, turn it off.
Of course there are fans who were sad that the band stopped, like with any act. Personally, I’ve managed to ignore Nickelback (I can’t name a single song), but I know my co-blogger gets hives when he hears it. I get a rash when I hear Coldplay and I wouldn’t recognise Kane because I don’t listen to Dutch commercial radio.
Have a listen to Kane for yourself with ‘Shot of the Gun’. Why it’s not called ‘Gun shot’ I don’t know, but it has a Dunglish ring to it.
(Link: www.nu.nl, Photo: ‘CD rack for your Kane collection’, anonymous)
Tags: Dunglish, Kane, The Hague
The Historical Museum of The Hague is currently holding an exhibition entitled ‘Courtly Rivals: Elizabeth Stuart and Amalia van Solms’ that features locked letters of the 17th century. The letters have been brought to life thanks to some videos made by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT Libraries’ conservator, Jana Dambrogio and others helped film six videos on the science of 17th century letterlocking.
‘Courtly Rivals’ is based on Dutch professor Nadine Akkerman’s publication by the same name, exploring the tense relationship between two of the most influential women in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century – Elizabeth Stuart, sometime Queen of Bohemia and her former lady-in-waiting Amalia von Solms, who became Princess of Orange in 1625. Elizabeth’s corpus of over 2,000 letters shows she was an astute politician, with a vast network of kings, queens, generals, ministers, church leaders, courtiers, and spies. Amalia’s correspondence has just come to light, but it appears she was no different. Both ladies, their secretaries, and their correspondents resorted to intricate methods to lock their letters shut.
(Links: www.haagshistorischmuseum.nl, libraries.mit.edu)
Tags: 17th century, letter writing, museum, The Hague
A trampoline centre in The Hague is the latest in a long list of businesses in the Netherlands to open in a former church building.
Planet Jump opened in the Martelaren van Gorcum church in The Hague earlier this month. Cheekily dubbed a ‘trampoline paradise’ by Den Haag Direct, they are open seven days a week. Have a look at the photos on their website.
Repurposing a ‘holy’ building may seem a little irreverent, but as we wrote earlier, it seems that people prefer repurposing over tearing down. These buildings have memories of baptisms, weddings and funerals attached to them, after all.
Also, in what other church could you achieve so many instant ascensions in an hour?
The name Martelaren van Gorcum means martyrs of Gorcum and refers to 19 catholic officials who were killed in 1572 by Dutch Protestant freedom fighters.
See also: The man who sells church interiors
(Photo of a trampoline park in Memphis by Memphis CVB, some rights reserved)
Tags: churches, exercise, exercising, Gorcum, Gorkum, jumping, martyrs, The Hague, trampolines
In February Amsterdam’s new
‘hit the return key’ logo upset quite a few taxpayers, and now it’s The Hague’s turn to weather the outrage about their new logo as it is already dangling in failure.
The new logo was unveiled last month, cost 250,000 euro and pissed off taxpayers. The city says it will repair the logo soon enough. In the meantime maybe we should take bets on the ‘e’ falling off.
(Linsk: www.omroepwest.nl, www.rtlnieuws.nl, Image: Twitter @ShakeAtOrion)
Tags: logo, The Hague