Friday, December 21

Merry Christmas and Happy new year!!!!

Today a white view of the border of Westbroekpark. Many people went out to make photos of those very nice landscapes around. It has not snowed, the frost has covered everything white. It is very beautiful!

The Hague Daily Photo is going on holidays for 2 weeks. I wish you all a very nice Christmas time, and will be back on 7 January.

Thursday, December 20

The frozen Hofvijver

This main water pond in the centre was nearly frozen today as temperatures remained very cold. The birds did not have a lot of water left to be able to swim around!

Wednesday, December 19

"Sea Horse"

As the temperature did not climb above 0 degree (celsius) today, I brought the kids to the aquarium, where we found a new room dedicated to sea horses. To me, this is one of the most amazing species in the underworld. I love the way they look and move.

Did you know by the way that with pipefishes, they are notable for being the only species in which males become "pregnant"! Seahorse fishing is strictly illegal as it became an endangered species but it is still widely used in traditional Chinese herbology (they are used to treat a variety of ailments including asthma, arteriosclerosis, incontinence, impotence, thyroid disorders, skin ailments, broken bones, and heart disease...).

Tuesday, December 18

30 Boat houses

About 30 "home boats" are parked in the Soestdjiksekade in the centre. Next month, works will start to give the canal a greener look by planting extra trees. Despite the cold weather, the water on the canals is not frozen yet. We'll still have to wait for a new edition of the 11-city ice-skating marathon (200kms skating race), which took place for the last time in 1997.

Monday, December 17

Get saved....

First time I see this American school bus parked in one of the main shopping streets of the city. I find the setting quite funny, but still wonder how many people will step on the bus for this kind of journey. If you fancy it, the bus is also available for rent for wedding parties (!)) and other events (see their website).

If the main objective of the Foundation Saved is to proclaim the Word of Jesus Christ, they also want to warn people against the dangers of drugs, alcohol en (house)music, a much more pragmatic approach to religion...

Sunday, December 16

LightArt Kijkduin (2/2)

There is also a charity side I wanted to mention about this installation, organised by Right to Play, an international organization that helps children to practice sport and promote peace: 24 light balls have been painted mainly by ex-top skaters and soccer players from The Hague and will be auctioned early next year. Last year, they managed to give 15.000 euro to Unicef.

Saturday, December 15

LightArt Kijkduin (1/2)

Since 1 December (and until the end of January), you can enjoy this wonderful installation of 162 light balls of different sizes (from 0,5m to 1m) placed along the beach boulevard in Kijkduin. This is the second year it happens. I have to say, it gives the beach a bit of a lunar landscape, but is very enjoyable to see.

Friday, December 14

New sculpture?

No, this is neither a new sculpture from Tinguely, nor a Calder mobile, but only a new playground for the kids in the centre... Quite futurist.

Thursday, December 13

Out of the window

Walking in "Om en Bij", I was passing by this house when my eyes caught up this model out of the window on the top floor. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see it better! It did give me an odd feeling to see it there like he was watching the passers-by.

"Om en Bij" is a very nice string of dead end streets in the Schilderswijk district in the centre. The name comes from a a nice cottage house with a cupola, that people used to call "Om en Bij" (a bit similar to the one in Clingendael); around it, farmlands. This house was sold around 1810, and 40 years later, 120 very small working-class houses are built around inner courtyards. It looks extremely charming,

Wednesday, December 12

Nicest shopwindow of The Hague

This is the very nice shopfront of the Zwennes family business. It is since 1905 located on the Brouwersgracht. The unique glass fronts are the work of an old glazier, De Wolf (set up in 1843, bankrupt in 1966). The bricks on the facade are entirely covered with glass, advertising for stoves, heaters, cookers, kitchen articles, but also prams and buggies (see the drawings)!

Tuesday, December 11

Dirty canal

Here the bridge along the Hooftskade/Zuidwal canal in the Schilderswijk district of The Hague. Enlarge the photo and see how many plastic bottles are floating in the water....

This corner of the Hague represents a third of the city centre and was originally developed following strong demand in cheaper housing at the end of the XIX century (the population of the Hague grew between 1875 and 1900 from 100.000 to more than 200.000 inhabitants). Now, nearly 90% of the people leaving in this part are Turks, Moroccans or from Surinam and Dutch Antilles and this district is one of the poorest ones in the country...

Monday, December 10

Tree inscriptions

Walking in Clingendael again, I passed by this tree which had indecipherable inscriptions carved in its bark. One was clearly 1970, hence dating back some years already! Funny enough, I only noticed it on one tree.....Maybe it is very special!!!

Sunday, December 9

Graffiti work (2)

Here is the second part of the street mural painted in the 1e Haagpoort street opposite the main department stores in the city centre V&D and de Bijenkorf. Here earlier this month I posted the picture of the other part. It is just very colorful and actually, very nice.

Reading further into the archive of the Council House, I just found out that those street murals were in fact commissioned by the Council to a group of artists called Soulsur5 in Sept 2004, are unique by the size in the whole of the country, and should not at all be called "graffiti" .... as it is a call to keep the city walls cleared of graffitis!

Saturday, December 8

Father Christmas

Here we are!!! Sinterklaas is gone, all minds are now switched towards Father Christmas. Christmas trees are being decorated, lights are lit up everywhere, Christmas markets also open this week-end in different locations, and companies have started to organize their Christmas parties. December is really the party month!

Friday, December 7


End of the day in Zuiderpark. As often in Holland, beautiful sky. But try to count the birds!!! For a second I thought of Hitchcook's movie The birds. Those are carrion crows, not specially kind birds.

Thursday, December 6

An old car - quizz.....

I just liked the old car parked in front of an Italian icecream-maker. I'm so bad in cars... Can anybody tell me which brand this is and from which year?

Wednesday, December 5

"Open" jail

This is the entrance to a very special part of the main prison of the Hague (the same compound holds one United Nations Detention Unit where _suspected_ war criminals are detained (Charles Taylor, the late Milosevic. Do not forget that The Hague is called the "legal capital of the world" and houses many international legal organizations such as International Criminal Court, the Yugoslav Tribunal, etc...).

As you can see on that picture, the door is open!!!! This is the POI or "Penitentiair Open Inrichting", which means the "Open" prison. Prisoners with less than 5 months to go can be offered this opportunity as a way to accelerate their re-insertion into normal life: they work or study during the day, have to be back inside by 10pm, and are allowed to go home in the weekend.

Tuesday, December 4

Chinese breakfast?

Two months ago the first Chinese hotel opened in the chinese neighborhood in the centre. The 3-star Wahdo hotel has 20 rooms, is named after a Chinese city, and offers a Chinese roof garden that I still need to visit. Of course, Chinese breakfast is offered to the guests. If you want to find out what Chinese people eat for breakfast, have a look here! Enjoy it!!!!

Monday, December 3

Dutch colours

Walking along the Troelstrakade, South-west of the city, you'll find many boat houses where people permanently live. The council house is trying to regulate the number of boat houses by requiring a permit. Expect to pay around 200,000 euro for a 17m*5m boat house in this location....

Sunday, December 2

Sport fishing

That's the great thing about living next to a fishing harbour: you can do all kinds of outings with friends or colleagues such as sport fishing, on one of the pictured boats. Being on the eastside of the North Sea, the coast is exposed to the westerly winds and thus can bring some stiff offshore sailing conditions when the wind is blowing onshore with large waves due to the long stretch, the sloping rising sea bottom en the tidal influence. Great for surfing, and fishing.

Saturday, December 1

Month theme day : Bridges

This view is taken in my favourite park in The Hague, Clingendael. Not sure whether the tree was put there intentionally, but it works well for this month theme!!!

Take the time to visit any of the following cities participating in December's month theme:
Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Cape Town, South Africa - Sydney, Australia - Dunedin (FL), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Radonvilliers, France - Turin, Italy - Montpellier, France - Kansas City (MO), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Wailea (HI), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Terrell (TX), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Budapest, Hungary - Montréal (QC), Canada - Sharon (CT), USA - Le Guilvinec, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - London, UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Orlando (FL), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Paris, France - Mainz, Germany - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Darmstadt, Germany - Naples (FL), USA - Torino, Italy - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - The Hague, Netherlands