Er is iemand die wel van veel regen houdt en het hoog op zoek !
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Looking after a garden in the middle of the busiest part of a very busy city has its interesting moments. There you are, bum in the air, nose to the earth while a horde of tourists and Amsterdammers dawdle or rush by.
There is a bike hire shop in the alley, and two cafés. And the alley is quite a nice place to walk through now that there is no longer a steaming heap of rubbish that you have to sidle past. It is, in any case, a very visited area, and we get our fair share of traffic through our little alley now.
Sometimes a big tour group (30+ big) comes through. There you are: kneeling over the gardens (bum => air, nose => earth). Occupying space. And they don’t see you until the very last moment (groups of people are very stupid), and you wonder when you will be trodden upon.
And because you seem to be an obvious part of the furniture, you often get asked the way to such-and-such: Central Station, the nearest pizza joint, the Red Light District, the closest Smart Shop, a specific street.
I had a rather surreal experience recently: a sweet looking young woman with long brown hair asked me the way to the Prostitute Information Centre (PIC). She called it something else, but I figured that’s what she meant.
I vaguely pointed a few streets further up. But she insisted on showing me her map. As she spread it out on the ground in front of me she explained, rather apologetically, that it was in Hebrew.
Mmm. Interesting. A map that you recognise but with funny little squiggles for street names. I puzzled it out, and found the PIC. I said triumphantly, “That’s where it is!” And very enthusiastically she agreed, “Yes, that’s what it says!”, pointing to some curly characters near my finger.
Oh. So what are you actually asking me?
I decided that she needed clearer instructions. “Look, you are here [stabbing at the Oudezijds Armsteeg]. Just keep walking up here [pointing left to the Warmoesstraat], and keep looking to the left. It’s only a few streets further. When you see the church, go into that alley. That’s where the PIC is.”
She looked at me rather doubtfully.
I was a bit confused by her reaction.
I explained it again, and added, “You can’t miss the church. It’s really big. Look for a garden.” (Gardens are sparse in this part of the city.) I repeated everything again…maybe it would make sense the fourth time.
She nodded, thanked me, and started to go. Then she turned back and smiled, and said, “It’s nice that you are doing this!”, waving an arm at the gardens.
I’m not sure she did understand my instructions, but by the time that she had turned the corner I had already put my nose back to the earth.
The opening went well, and everyone enjoyed themselves! Sorry, it took a little while to get these photos up. Most of them were posted to the ClusterARM Facebook page.
Erwin and Herman installed the display cabinets on the weekend. We’re almost ready for tomorrow’s opening!
We were having problems keeping a couple of plants alive. They are in a corner, under a roof, near a rain pipe. We suspect that they suffer from a surplus of human, male, urine (<insert irritated comment here>). We decided to stop pushing excrement up hill and opted for artificial plants, at least for now.
The very pretty little yellow rose bush, the little lavender bush and the purple flowers in amongst the climbing plant are all fake.
The plastic flowers are quite realistic. The rose bush doesn’t only have perfect flowers, but also ones that are in various stages of “growth”. In fact the roses are so realistic that somebody tried to pick them, obviously throwing it back in disgust when all was revealed (<insert evil laugh here>).
The first three posters have been printed and mounted in the display cabinets. They are ready for the Gallery Armoeshuis Opening on Thursday!
After many months of preparation we are finally ready to open Galerie Armoehuis, the outdoor art gallery in the Oudezijds Armsteeg! The official opening will be on Thursday, August 1 at 17:00. Check out the Art Gallery section of our website to find out more information about the gallery.
While wandering around the city one evening we found our “sister” alley, the Nieuwezijds Armsteeg. On one of the buildings is a wonderful optical illusion created with strips of light. A true work of art, transforming a dark alley into a fascinating play of light.