I don't know exactly what to think about Anne. She was a talented young writer whose life - and career - were cut off by extreme State violence and racism. And Gandhi as well as King were also murdered, but as adults, moreover Mandela was long jailed by an officially racist régime. I know it can seem exploitative, but I'll have to think it over some more.
It seems that Anne Frank has been made into such a part of the Amsterdam tourist experience that seeing her picture in that "alternative" area is rather odd. I'm not convinced that putting her face in such a place would encourage anyone to think of the reason she has become famous.
I can add that the first time I went to Amsterdam, there was no lineup and no charge to get into Anne Frank House.
As for those rosa rugosa bushes (with the rosehips on them), I was impressed to see them used as city plantings in sandy soil in Amsterdam. I have one here in Toulouse and it is indeed hardy. Good hedges if you don't want trespassers!
Interesting feedback from everyone! What doesn't show in my picture nor in the link are the words, "Let me be myself" at the top of the mural.
Anyway, moving on now to something that intrigues many people: houseboats. I visited the Hendrika Maria and found it cozily interesting, although houseboat living is less complicated than regular boat living. Do look at the link, which is a good, spare presentation.
One of the many excellent models to be seen onboard ~
The inviting sitting room ~
That's a documentary video playing on the tv set ~
For those of you contemplating a life on the water, I snagged this ad for the cheapest boat offered. There was one for under 300,000 and a docking fee of 800, but it had been sold ~
This is in the bow. I never quite figured it out, due to a yakking family sitting in front of it who would not budge. It must be some kind of re-creation of the old days, as the bucket was swinging although the boat itself wasn't moving ~
The present-day galley. This is the second room after the entry room and where the tickets are sold ~
And this is the entry room and what must be the original galley ~
Looking into the stern and what seem to be very short bunks ~
Thanks for this. Whenever I read Simenon's Maigret books where the case involves barges on the river in Paris, the barges were often from Belgium or Holland. Now I can imagine what they looked like. I like the comment above: "The Dutch were smaller then."
One of my sisters-in-law lived on a houseboat in Paris for about a year, many years ago. She only had the little cabin (9 sq metres if I remember correctly). She lived for free in return for taking the owner's kid to school and back every day. They were moored just below the Eiffel Tower!
Where I live here, there are quite a few houseboats moored on the Canal du Midi. There is occasionally one for sale: about 250,000 to 300,000€, I think.
I used to go to Amsterdam a few times a year with friends and after our walk in the centre, we took the free ferry across the river Ij for dinner at one of the few restaurants ('few', at the time). This is many years ago and, as I can see from your pictures, that part of Amsterdam has become equally busy than the centre.
Nijntje: our son grew up with Nijntje. I still have all the books and I hope our grandson will enjoy them asmuch as our son did.
There are several boats transformed into theatres or bars in Paris - i had a (disgusting) mojito in one of those.
Anne Frank was mandatory reading at school when I was a kid. I merged her memory with some of my mum's whose neighbors hid a Jewish family for 4 years until one month of the libération when they were betrayed and never heard of again.
I've been in a few houseboats in France, all of which were in the suburbs of Paris. None of them were as tidy as the showcase you visited. As far as I know, anyone who wants to buy a barge in France, already converted or not, heads straight to Belgium.
I once met some Brits who were living in a barge here. They told me it had be used near the Atlantic coast to carry freight but when they bought it, it was too long to pass through the canal. So it was cut into 3 pieces and the back and front were soldered together.
Many thanks for the tour of the canal barge/houseboat, we have several in this area but I have never been inside one. Until the advent of motorways and large lorries they were, along with the railways, the main means of transporting bulk goods about the country.
We planted rosa rugosa in the side of our front garden to stop the kids cutting across, now it is wild and has spread all over the place.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jul 24, 2018 19:08:30 GMT
Such a lot to see...you are giving us a glorious report of your experiences Bixa. I'm impressed with your annotation as well as your splendid photographs. You are a very talented travel correspondent x
Thank you, Bjd! I had no idea about Simenon and the barges from Belgium and the Netherlands in Paris. The detail about your sister-in-law's stint in a houseboat beneath the Eiffel Tower belongs in a novel, too. And that is hardly a threadjack about the houseboats on the Canal du Midi. Your information, with the price range, the detail about chopping & channeling an oversize vessel, and the super photo all add greatly to the overall picture of living on the water.
Speaking of prices, this site says that the cost of buying an apartment in the city center is 6,579.31€ per square meter. Outside the center it would be 4,352.38€ per square meter. That sort of puts the houseboat prices in perspective, in terms of people wanting to own their homes. Some houseboats manage to carve out decent-sized porches on the water side. Seeing those in the area where I am, with good transportation, location, shopping, etc. makes me understand the desirability of a floating home around here. And no skinny flights of stairs to maneuver!
Oh, thank you so much, Amboseli! I don't think the other side of the river is nearly as busy as the city, but of course I'm seeing the city at its most crowded. That is so wonderful that you've kept the Nijntje books for your grandson -- what a treasure. I was crushed that the Barbie Peep Show wasn't open for viewing, since you just know it has to be fabulous.
Not just the Dutchies would feel crammed in those things, LaGatta!
Memo to self: don't order mojitos on boat bars. Whatagain, how powerful to have the Diary merged in your mind with something from living memory. Apparently it's still mandatory reading in some places and at risk of being banned in others (for sexual content!).
I find it interesting that all the men who've commented on the big mural are for it, but the women are more on the fence about it.
Kerouac, I guess it stands to reason that Belgium, partly because of its proximity to the Netherlands, would have more barges available to the non-commercial buyer. As far as tidiness -- yeah, not having a couple of people living on a boat would keep it far tidier.
Hey, thank you, Mossie! Your comment about the history of bulk goods transportation goes far to explain why there are so many unused barges in the world. Rosa rugosa definitely is a successful colonizer, helped no doubt by birds, who must love those fat hips.
Ahhh, Cheery ~ thank you! On a report like this, which goes on and on and on, I'm afraid of boring the pants off of everyone, so I really appreciate the encouragement.
Thank you, thank you, Amboseli! That means the world to me, especially since I'm a clueless tourist and you really know the area.
I have noticed in this city and the towns around that people really like putting things in their windows, usually a collection of some sort. This may be an antique shop, but I've never seen it open. They definitely have a specialty, as there are even more Napoleon-themed items than I'm showing ~
Such subtle advertising
On the street where I live ~
As you can probably tell, many of these photos were taken on my evening strolls. I love these long, long northern European days, which are starting to dwindle ~
This was a surprise to the eyes. My immediate thought was "Hagia Sofia" ~
Around the back, it was still equally large and impressive ~
And hey, look at this! See how good I am ~
While gazing down this canal, I realized that square arch at the end is the building I saw on my first ferry ride across the Ij ~
Staying in Amsterdam Oost, I often wondered why I never saw any mosques in the area, not even the storefront kind, when there were many peoples of Muslim religion or culture living or working in the area; Turks, Middle-Eastern Arabs, Maghrebi Arabo-Berbers, South Asians from Pakistan, India or Bangladesh (I knew some of those to be Muslim because they were displaying "Islamic goods"), Indonesians etc. Ironically I discovered the reason on my way back from exploring the former Jewish neighbourhood of Transvaalbuurt. I took a path reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, near the railway track, a pleasant route with a lot of greenery. It ended at Muiderpoort station, a major station in the East End, and there was a huge mosque. A very pleasant Moroccan gentleman of a certain age explained that it was the major mosque in the area. He courteously invited me to visit his family, which of course I refused, as I knew he expected me to do as a supposedly respectable lady.
and amboseli, that is exactly how people from other cities in nearby Québec and eastern Ontario towns visit Montréal, as well as our US neighbours from the north of New York State and Vermont. Girls' or Boys' day out...
Here is another site on the social history of Transvaalbuurt, which didn't exist when I opened the earlier thread:
Nice calm pictures, Bixa. When are you leaving? Are you flying directly back to Mexico from Amsterdam?
Thanks, Bjd. I thought about you last night on my walk. I went deeper into Oud West and looped around coming out near the Old Masters/Guernica mural. That got me away from the thronged hipster eateries and into areas where people were going about their business in ways that seemed more organically Amsterdamish. This included glimpses of small ethnic areas, street art, community gardens -- all natural, un-gentrified,and peacefully uncrowded. You would love it. I'm leaving the night of the 31st, flying directly from Amsterdam to Mexico City. I'm ready to go, as I have some tourist fatigue, need to be more with other people, and miss my dogs.
The cloud with the sun behind it ... magical. FYI, I don't know Amsterdam very well. I've been there often but with the girlfriends all we did was shopping, eating and drinking. Oops.
Aw, thank you, Amboseli! Amsterdam is a great place for shopping, eating, and drinking from what I've seen. As far as your not knowing it well ... Really, you do, in the sense that you have a great deal of cultural insight and knowledge of history. Also, I didn't realize that you also spoke Dutch. Impressive!
Excellent wanderings. Have you not yet been to see one of the newer attractions?
Must put that on my list, Kerouac. Actually, your link prompted me to look that place up and I found this blog written by an Amsterdam window prostitute. That also reminded me of your thread on the legalized sex trade in Zürich.
I found the mention of Transvaalbuurt I had made some years ago on this forum
LaGatta, I so much wish I'd seen that thread earlier! Before leaving home I read what I thought were all the threads on Amsterdam, but completely missed yours, probably because of the title. At any rate, looking at it now it explains and puts quite a few things I see on a daily basis into perspective -- thanks so much for that!
I'll second the encouragement, I'm enjoying this hugely.
Awwww, you're a doll, Fumobici ~ thank you!
And again, thanks to all of you for your attention to this thread. There will be more of it, plus there's an onslaught of museum and side trip threads waiting in the wings of my tiny mind and in the much larger capacity of my computer.
Dutch and Flemish are basically the same language. Differences such as differences between different varieties of English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and other internationally-spoken languages.
Bixa, surely you've observed the very high quality of English spoken in Amsterdam. That is not as universal in other parts of the Dutch-language-area, but very common. I have friends in Ghent who speak beautiful French, English and German.
lagatta It's pretty 'normal' in Belgium Flanders to speak more than just Flemish/Dutch. We have French at school from age 10 (with upto 8 hrs a week in secondary school), English from age 12. Most people my age (who took a language degree) also had German and Spanish classes.