The Hague as seen by Danella Smith

danellasmithband2A short introduction, who are you and where did you live before you moved to The Hague, what’s the biggest difference so far?
Before moving to the Hague I lived in a small town in the north of Namibia, Otjiwarongo. Otjiwarongo is so small if you close your eyes as you arrive by car you will miss it when you exit before having glimpsed it. There is not much to do as it’s really a town that supports the farmers in the region. There are shops, bistros and a great community however, it’s not the ideal place to work on your music career (though it does offer inspiration for song lyrics).Compared to the Hague, which is culturally so rich with theatres, museums, festivals and music, it’s absolutely two different worlds.

Which location is the best kept secret for relaxing?
I take my dog for his morning walk in the Scheveningen Bos and it has become my place where I let my thoughts wander, and have my head cleared. There I witness all the seasons change which has become something dear to me, seeing from one day to the next the bos explode with spring. In Namibia, seasonal change is from drought to dry to rain.

danellasmithband1The Hague is known for its extensive list of events & happenings throughout the year, which is your favourite?
Parkpop, it’s the biggest festival in Europe right here in The Hague with great international artists playing.

Where do you go to get the most tasty meal?
My favourite little restaurant is called Ruen Thai in The Hague. It’s very small and intimate and feels like your mother is cooking a delicious meal for you.

Which bars are the best places to meet new people without feeling an outsider?
Cafe de Bieb and Cafe de Libertijn are my favourite hang outs, one can have a beer and snack and meet people from all over the world in a “gezellige” environment.

danellasmithband3Obviously you are a music buff, which place in The Hague is the most inspirational for you as a musician and why?
Paard van Troje, is the ultimate performance venue, where I would like to play. It’s the place for musicians who want to make a mark. With its immense history and 40 years of existence it’s the ultimate venue for musicians here in the Hague.

Where is the next gig in The Hague? 
Our next gig in the Hague will be on July 18th where Danella Smith Band and Friends are performing at Cafe de Bieb a midsummer’s night fest. Please join us for this for a great, song-filled evening!
Continue reading “The Hague as seen by Danella Smith”

Few places left for the 070 Twitterlunch on April 24, 2012

My First Twaartup

Few places left for the 070 Twitterlunch on April 24, 2012

The highest time to revive this blog. As it aims to bring foreign language The Hague lovers, -workers and -inhabitants together with the locals we (i.e. Me) should put more effort in keeping it a bit more up to date.

Now there is an excellent opportunity to mix with Dutch Locals from The Hague and abroad: Amsterdam Based Event Queen @Puur, together with the The Hague based @filosoof and @1espresso are organizing a 070 Twitterlunch in Pavlov on April 24, 2012.

Have a look at this Page of @Puur and leave a note if you want to participate. Cost is € 8.- for a typical Dutch “Sandwich” Lunch (you know how we Dutch are. Don’t you?)

85 rections as of the moment of publishing this post. Because as always people will not show up, the organizers believe some 30 more can be accommodated.

The above photo is from the first #twaartup I was able to attend some time ago. A twaartup is a tweetup with coffee or tea and cake rather than sandwiches. A new 070 #twaartup is in the works. I will keep you posted.

The bike with my name

The day before yesterday a FaceBook friend, Sam, posted a picture on my wall of a bicycle bearing my name.
My last name Burgers also is the name of the oldest bicycle factory in The Netherlands (not related), so that wasn’t the surprise. The funny thing was that it also had my firstname in big letters on the rear: MAUP.
Maup being short for Maurits.

Where to dine in The Hague on Mondays? (2)

Who is this Gentlemen biking through the Hague in deep thought?

He’s parking his bike in front of Smulwereld (i.e. Good Food World). Would he eat there?

No this Gentlemen is here in an official capacity. He is underway to Mandarin Palace

Where Jason Yip (from Hong Kong) and his charming wife May Lye (from Shanghai) anxiously are awaiting his arrival .

To reopen Mandarin Palace officially.

After having operated this very good Chinese Restaurant successfully for over 12 1/2 years Jason and May Lye had decided to give the restaurant a major make over. In the words of the Mayor of The Hague, Jozias van Aartsen: “If you are planning to travel to Shanghai, you have to first come and taste all what the Shanghai kitchen has to offer you here with May Lye and Jason ”

Jason and May Lye are very proud having been featured in the Dutch gourmet glossy “Lekker” for all 12 Years they have been operating Mandarin Palace and yes, and you can eat here on Mondays, because they close on Tuesdays.

Dutch version on Hofstijl

Meet our new Prime Minister and Vice Prime Minister

Today Yesterday the CDA party conference said yes (68% for and 32% against) to a coalition forged between two political parties CDA (Christian Democrats) and VVD (Liberal Party) to form a minority government that will be “tolerated” by Geert Wilders’ PVV (Ban the criminals Party?).

On your Left Mark Rutten and on your right Maxime Verhagen. Both nicely coiffured with Geert’s hairdo. I believe this is one of the best political photoshops I’ve seen in ages. I found it at FB

Our regular readers will know that The Hague is the center of Dutch Government. So from time to time we will feature some of the Dutch political idiosyncrasies. I predicted already that Rutte needs his life vest to keep this government afloat. Today it is still uncertain that there will be a government, because the 3 parties have 76 of the 150 seats in Parliament and 2 members of the CDA faction still hesitate whether they will condone the tolerating …. Sigh politics ain’t easy.

Typical Coffee Candies from The Hague: Haagsche Hopjes

If you say “Hopje” or “Hopjes” in plural, a Dutchman will associate it with The Hague immediately. Foreigners may associate it with a typical Dutch candy.

As the Dutch words “Haags” or “Haagsch” and “Haagse” or “Haagsche” mean “something or someone from The Hague”, a Haagsch Hopje is a coffy candy from the Hague.

Wikipedia has an English Language and a Dutch language lemma on Hopje. Former links with The Hague Daily Photo Blog, a blog sadly discontinued by its author Lezard, but still worth while a visit. I took the second photo from it.

Hopje’s History is also Typically Haags
It is named after baron Hendrik Hop who used to live in The Hague. His doctor advised him not to drink coffee, but he craved coffee like many of us. According to some sources it happened entirely by accident as Hop left a mixture of coffee and sugar simmer too long on his stove so that a heavily caramelized substance was left in the cup. He asked baker Theodorus van Haaren, who lived on the ground floor, to create coffee lumps that he could dissolve in water as a coffee alike drink. After some experimenting, van Haaren created a sweet made of coffee, caramel, cream and butter.

Where else than in The Hague could a Baron cause the invention of a candy?

Noteworthy is the hopje became so popular as a candy that there were many brands, each claiming being the producer of the original hopje. Rademaker’s is one of the brands that still survive, but Haagsche Hopjes are being made in Breda nowadays.

The Hague used to have a Museum dedicated to its Hopje, but that has been closed since 1998.

2010 Shoot Me Film Festival Teaser

Especially now that Anton Corbijn has agreed to give an overview of his work in a Q&A on October 12, while his second feature film “The American” With Mr “Nespresso” Clooney drew many well visited opening screens in the USA, this 6th edition of the 2010 Shoot Me Film Festival in The Hague will be a promising one.

BTW did you know that Anton lives in The Hague from time to time?

And did you know he designed the Logo of The Hague Marketing? Here you see him together with Frits Huffnagels and another stand up comedian on a cold First of November evening at the occasion of the unveiling of that logo (I won’t show it in this post though).

Also posted on Hofstijl in Dutch (there you can see the logo if you want:-)

Gerrit from Barcelona is Oranje boven

Gerrit is Oranje boven.

Today at Prinsjesdag I acquainted Gerrit because I asked him if I could take his picture. He didn’t understand my Dutch so switching to English, assuming him to be British,  Irish or American I asked him where he was from. Barcelona was his answer, and the rest of our chat followed in Catalan.

Meet Gerrit, a pretty cool Barcelona youngster with that Dutch name. Why?

I asked: ‘ Puc preguntar per què té un nom holandès?’

Aha. His father being a Dutchman also explains his strawberry blond hair and the lovely freckles. Or is that racist, as was my former more celtic remark?
I explained ‘Oranje boven’ to him [taronja d’alt] and he was very amused and turned visibly proud.

Great chap, nice conversation.
We live in international times and I love it.

photo: Maurits Burgers – CC-BY-SA

The Hague says: “Good bye Manolo Valdes”

Opening The Hague Sculpture 2010 _MG_5745Lady in Green

Opening The Hague Sculpture 2010 _MG_5876
Queen Beatrix looking at a Regina Statue of Manolo Valdes
Opening The Hague Sculpture 2010 _MG_5839
Two Regina Statues by Manolo Valdes

In summer there is an open air sculpture exhibition at the “Lange Voorhout”, The Hague Sculpture. Melinda posted about it already. When the exhibition was opened by Dutch Queen Beatrix, I took this lady in green’s portrait while entering the Klooster Church for the opening ceremony. Hats are en vogue during such official venues. I believe such classic ladies with chic outfits are typical for The Hague.

Today the statues of Manolo Valdes will be taken away. The Kim Ruysenaar sculptures will be on display until September 12.

I really wondered whether Manolo was inspired by Beatrix, who is a sculptor herself, time permitting, or whether his Regina series that could reflect Beatrix caused the organizing committee to invite Manolo for this year’s exhibition and to ensure Beatrix would do the opening ceremony.

For those of you interested in the actual sculptures featured in The Hague: I’ve uploaded several sets of photos to my Flickr account: 2010, 2009, 2009 opening, 2008 and 2007.

This post was featured at the Carnival of Cities hosted by Family Travel Logue of September 22, 2010

Last edited by Happy Hotelier on October 4, 2010 at 5.40 pm

Rain Rain Rain Today – We’re in dire need of Flipping High Heels

Morgen weer naar zwemles

The reason for choosing this photo is threefold:

  1. It is really rainy in The Hague today
  2. I like you to meet the very nice man Roel Wijnands who made this photo and to induce you to check his impressive and amazing photo portfolio on Flickr
  3. As a reminder to self to find out where you can buy these flippant high heels