Meeting Points

Considering that the Venserpolder is an urban neighborhood, there’s a surprisingly small amount of communal spaces for people to meet and socially engage with one other. From what I’ve been able to see, there’s the stores and snack bars in the ‘shopping district’, the Spinnewiel, and Boeninhuis, and the odd Apotheek.

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It seems that the Super deBoer supermarket is the most vital meeting point in the neighborhood. Using such objective data as my eyeballs, it appears that the supermarket is the one meeting point that everyone in the neighborhood goes to.

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While the residents can take the daily opportunity to meet, and chat, at the Super deBoer, they also have the occasional chance to meet up at the Spinnewiel on Dickenslaan, or the Boeninhuis, inside the courtyard on Barbusselaan.

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I suppose I know a little bit more about the Spinnewiel, simply because of the fact that I’ve spent a fair amount of time with An and Art and that’s where their main office is. The Spinnewiel hosts ‘spreekuur’, or visiting hour, on Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday. The spreekuur gives the residents the opportunity to pay a visit, inform the Wijkmeesters about any particular problems that they may be having, or just pass by for a cup of coffee.

Apart from the home base for the Wijkmeesters, the Spinnewiel hosts various initiatives and get togethers for the community, like drinks/borrels (of which there will be one tomorrow night, at 19:00), or on Wednesday afternoons, where Emmy Wijngaard, one of the more active residents of the Venserpolder, runs a kind of daycare program for kids in the neighborhood.

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The Boeninhuis hosts spreekuuren on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have yet to spend much time there, so my knowledge of what happens there is still pretty limited. Once I get the keys to the ‘studio’ space, I hope to spend some time between 4-7 PM, when Gilbert Hamel runs his workshop with the kids in the Neighborhood.

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