October 30, 2005

Hogewoerd favourites

I am moving into my new house next week. Can't wait!
These are some things I'm looking forward to (the proximity to these things, at least):
  • Italian restaurant Sorrento. I haven't been there often myself yet, except for some take out pizza and a dinner with friends a few weeks ago. However, it is surprisingly nice. Very simple interior, with good decent food. Nothing fancy, but that's not always necessary to make things taste good! Will definitely try to be back here more often in the future. In any case, it beats Odessa, next door, for pasta. Not surprising really. Odessa is good for cheap microwaved pasta meals. If that's what you want it's fine, but definitely not haute cuisine. It's also a popular hang-out to have a drink at night.

  • Van Manen aan Tafel: a gorgeous shop with tableware and more. Very cool things, can't wait to start filling my house with this :)

Besides these two places that come to mind immediately, there are a bunch of cute cafe's and other shops in the street that I'm quite happy to be closer to. Also looking forward to be close to the Saturday market. I never really made an effort to get my groceries at the market, but while leaving in this street for two months a while back I realized that it really is much nicer than just the boring things in the supermarket.
Plus, now that I have a proper personal kitchen I can actually use all that stuff as well!

October 9, 2005


Let's finally get this blog going for a bit.
Although this blog should be about the area of the Hogewoerd and surroundings I'm not technically living there at the moment. Which makes it a bit complicated to actually be writing about this area, but that situation should be corrected in about three weeks.

However, maybe it would be nice to have a bit of an introduction of Leiden first.
Leiden, yes well ... I actually think I've been living here for too long already (about 8 years, with bits away in between) and it's time to move somewhere else. It looks like I'll be here for a few more years though, which is okay as it is a nice city.

Leiden: old, historical with beautiful buildings, the oldest university of the city, lots of good museums etcetera. But, it's pretty small, not a lot of good shopping (although I read recently that Leiden is an up-and-coming shopping mecca...), no good cinema's nor much of a night life. But, the almost-perfect solution to those problems: Amsterdam, Den Haag and Rotterdam are within 30 minutes of public transport.

I love the city most in summer, or any day that the sun is out and it's nice and warm. The outdoor cafes are immediately packed with people. Especially the boat terraces on the Nieuwe Rijn are favourites.
The fact that this is a student city does help a lot. Although it's pretty conservative in the kind of students that come here. It can be hard to find slightly alternative-thinking people. They're not so visible as the jasje-dasje students, members of the student corps. Leiden is well known for this arrogant, stuck-up attitude. It has an old reputation, mostly because of the history of the university. Traditionally this university was where the country's politicians and policy makers would come from. To an extent this is still true. The name of Leiden University actually does open doors if you're knocking on the right ones.

Hmm, what more can I say at the moment. Ow, one cool thing that they've done in the city are the wall poems. All across the city poems have been painted on buildings in different languages (Swahili, Japanese, Spanish, you name it). There are now apparently 101 poems and new ones are added regularly. I'll see if I can find some in the Hogewoerd area. I keep discovering new ones myself so that shouldn't be too hard.

Alright, this is all for now, for more links and history have a look at Leiden's wikipedia entry.