It’s almost impossible to take a photo at street level here in Utrecht without a bicycle in it. And on the rare occasion that there is no bicycle and you want one, you only have to wait a few seconds for one to go by. But for all the bicycles around, it’s not so common to see one proudly displayed in a window that isn’t part of a bicycle shop. This is just a residential street, with a great selection of bicycles on display, both inside and out. I must say that the window bicycle is certainly a change from the typical cats and plants I usually see in a front window.
While I was out the other day dodging hail, the weather took a breather long enough for me to notice the window display at the bookstore on the Stadhuisbrug. (Polaris? Selexy & Broese? Something else completely?) Of course, a window display full of cat books would catch my attention. I’m a sucker for cats in windows, whether they’re real or photos. However, I might not have taken a photo of the display if it weren’t for the fact that I had a little moment of pride when I saw this display. It includes the Amsterdam Pub Cats book that I edited!
The weather is still cold and grey, although the rain has held off for most of the day. Small blessings. However, I did notice this colourful window near the Stadhuis this afternoon, featuring Nijntje (AKA Miffy), the little rabbit created by Utrechter Dick Bruna. The weather may not be smile-inducing, but this window display above a children’s book/toy store certainly was.
Whether you’re religious or not, Fridays are generally pretty good. I still have work to do this weekend, but I’m still happy that it’s Friday for some reason. Sadly, our weather isn’t so good. It’s been overcast much of today and looks to be the coldest Easter in at least 50 years. Though a White Christmas may be charming, a White Easter, not so much; yet there’s the possibility of snow in some areas. We’re also doing the time change this weekend, although if lots of people are getting Monday off, that might help with the adjustment. I’m not sure what it will do to my own frequently screwy ability to sleep; I’ll have to wait and see.
All of this is a rambling way of wishing you a Vrolijke Paasdagen (Happy Easter). Don’t forget, you’ve got through Sunday to leave an awesome comment for me at the Expats Blog writing contest. I’d send you chocolate eggs as a thanks, but I think I’ve eaten them all.
ETA: Moments after posting this, it began to snow here. Still coming down. Is this an early April Fool’s joke?
The World Cup starts this Friday! The Netherlands is slowly turning orange as everyone starts decorating for the festivities. Shops, cafés, houses … Everyone is getting into the spirit and showing their orange. This is one of the window displays at a café on Voorstraat. It’s the same place that had the cute bunny display at Easter. I’ve yet to go inside the café, but I always enjoy their window displays.
I have a handful of countries I cheer for at the World Cup, with varying degrees of success. I can’t help but cheer for the US, of course, but I never expect them to do particularly well. Still, they’ve improved over the years, so hopefully they’ll have a decent showing this year. Because of family, I also cheer for England/Scotland (on the rare occasion Scotland makes it to the WC). I’ve been a fan of Italy for a while now, even before meeting my boyfriend. I started cheering for them in the ’94 WC (poor Baggio!). Italy is the current reigning WC champion, but I don’t see them doing well this year at all. Lippi has made some lousy choices. Fortunately, Holland has a good team this year, at least in theory. They’ve got some excellent players like Robben (please let the hamstring injury not be an issue!), Sneijder, and Van Persie, just to name a few. I’d love to see Holland go far in the tournament, even better if they finally win!
Easter is coming up and one of the newer cafés on Voorstraat has a fun window display that I thought I’d share. Here’s a bit of mildly curious trivia for my American readers. The Dutch word for easter is paas, just like the brand of dye sold for coloring easter eggs. For what it’s worth, the Palm sign in the window refers to a beer, not the easter palms.
While walking home from the Hoog Catharijne shopping center today, I passed by this window display for a menswear store. At first, I thought nothing of it really. I fully support gay rights and certainly don’t see why same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry. The fact that the Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage makes me happy to be here. What made me stop to take the picture was the fact that this kind of window display would be considered outrageous, political and daring just about anywhere in the United States. How sad. I look forward to the day when this kind of window display could show up anywhere and not turn heads or raise tempers. Same-sex marriages should be viewed as normal and as commonplace as heterosexual marriages.
Plus, the embroidered “Just Married” on the shirt collar is kind of cool.