Well, you know you’ve been outta the game for a while when your Mom has to tell you where the new graffiti yards are. Located on a old train yard inbetween the Schiedamseweg and Marconistraat, this one is literally across the road from where I grew up in Rotterdam, a solid 3 min bike ride up and over a dijk. Locals are currently in the process of trying to preserve the building and make it into a arts and culture center, power to them. All these pics were taken on my last day in Holland, I was set to fly via Moscow back to Shanghai later that evening, so we took the bike and passed by the new graf yard on our way to Schiedam to do my last minute food shopping (basically deodorant, chocolate and mayonnaise).
Schiedam is the next town over, to the west of Rotterdam, although now completely intertwined it has more the more classic Holland look that Rotterdam certainly doesn’t have because of the WWII bombardments (see last post). Home to Kettel One spirits, it certainly has changed since the 90′s when I lived nearby, with a brand new train station, extended tram lines, a subway stop, and a completely revamped main street. My mom gave me a slight tour, but I could only tell you that those last two images or of the Old City Hall.
Tot ziens Nederland!
On my bike ride into Rotterdam city center to meet some friends I stopped off at Delfshaven (map) for a quick shoot. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been here, but had never taken any pictures. Which is partly to blame on the fact that this is less than a 10min bike ride from where I grew up.
Delfshaven (“Port of Delft“) was a harbor built in 1389 some 10km away from the town Delft as to surpass the high tax that merchants had to pay for mooring in the city of Rotterdam. In 1886, Delfshaven became part of the city of Rotterdam, and was extremely lucky to have been left intact after the mass bombings (1150 x 50kg & 158 x 250kg) that levelled the entire city center of Rotterdam on May 14, 1940. The Dutch surrendered to the Nazi forces shortly after only to endure 128 more known air raids by Allied forces, the second largest of which carried out by the US Air Force on March 31, 1943. It is fair to say that Rotterdam was completely demolished by the fighting of World War II (more info here). My great-grandfather, a captain himself, was moored in Rotterdam during one of these bombings, and was forced to flee back to our family in Antwerp, some 120km to the south, partly by bike, but mostly on foot.
The newest edition to the Antwerp skyline is this new museum building located between the old docks and Antwerp city center. Museum Aan de Stroom (map), which loosely translates to “museum on the river/flow/current” opens its doors in about 3 weeks to this post (May 17, 2011). The 62m structure is made up of corrugated glass and a computer generated pattern of red sandstone, which twists a quarter turn at each floor, creating a giant spiral staircase, and will tell the story of the city, its harbor and its inhabitants.