some first impressions

Howdy out there.

Apologies for the lack of news. The blog went ‘live’ just before I left NL for a brief trip, and I managed to catch a nasty cold just when I got back. Whatever…

What is there to tell so far? Not as much as I would hope. I’ve had some great days walking around the VP with An van Gelder, on various rondjes van venserpolder. I basically tagged along, as she did her job as Wijkmeester. It was a way to not only get a feeling for the neighborhood (I won’t be getting lost there now), but also the variety of architecture involved, or more specifically the various stairwells/storage spaces.

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Art & An at work.

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one of the sweet smelling entrances to the basement storage areas.

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i saw some interesting things, like the texts we saw on the ‘wandel’ after our first meeting.

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and some other interesting tidbits, like this stack of religious books. guess someone lost their faith?

An set up a few meetings, or brought me along when she had to see someone, which has led to some interesting chats. I’ve met Emmy, the ‘Queen of Venserpolder’, which was, not surprisingly, an experience. Of the admittedly few apartments I’ve been to in the neighborhood, Emmy’s wins the de Pijp/Jordan authenticity prize. I felt like I was on the Bloemgracht. It didn’t take long to realized how Emmy came to earn her nickname. She seems to have a grasp of most of the local politics, and is not afraid to share her opinion. She was open to the project, and we had plans to meet tomorrow (Nov 14th) with some other members of the Neighborhood Association, but unfortunately she canceled. Not quite sure why.

Through An I’ve also met Talita, who’s also another highly active member of the community. I had my dossier with me when I met Talita, and was showing her some of my work, when a past project involving shopping baskets came up. She then told me all about the hats that women in Suriname wear, and how you tie the bow in the back will reveal various thing, like whether you’re married or not.

Another one of my visits was to the studio/home of Fritz, who is an artist in a woon/werk studio in the VP. An, Fritz, and I ended up having a long talk about painting and contemporary art, as well as the neighborhood.

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So far, the one recurrent theme I’ve picked up on venserpolder is that people come, people go, and that one of the benefits of living there is how easy it is to leave. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

So, that’s a start. I’ve met more folk, and seen a few more things, but perhaps I should cut this off here.

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