Panorama of Leiden

City Scenes 1

Wall Poems
Scattered throughout Leiden are "Wall Poems"
This one is a classic Dutch poem by Willem Hussem translating to:
The blue of the sky
Meets the blue of the sea
And the white of the sail
Makes the wind blow
With narrow and steep "box stairs" leading to the upper floors, moving large items in and out of apartments requires some special equipment. In this photo, a new dishwasher is about to be hoisted to a top floor balcony. It will then be brought in through a sliding door.
Trash Boat
Canals can fill up with debris if not kept clean. This boat is designed specifically for skimming trash off the surface of the water.
Trash pickup for our apartment was four times a week, at 5pm. Regular trips to the market or stores is easy when you walk past them every day. On the inside of the house, this means very small refrigerators are common. Since food is not stored for a long time, it tends to have fewer preservatives. Which in turn means, it rots quickly in your small kitchen garbage bin. Getting it out to the curb often is a key part of a fast, fresh, food system. This is very different from the typical bulk purchasing, storing and disposing of food often seen in America, and one reason why "food tastes better" over there.
Recycling is done at collection points scattered throughout town. These small sorting bins sit above large underground bins that can hold massive amounts of material. They do, however, fill up...
Street Repair
With many streets paved with bricks or cobblestones, getting at buried infrastructure is easy. Instead of cutting through then patching concrete, one simply uses a pry bar to pull up the bricks and a shovel to dig up the underlying sand. Once the project is done (an electrical system repair in this photo) the sand and bricks go back to where they started.
Ice Rink
The Dutch love to ice skate, but the canals don't freeze very often. The solution? Install a floating ice-rink in the center of town. Here we see floating block being assembled. In the background the compressor and generator are already afloat and waiting to make ice.
Outdoor Seating
There's lots of outdoor seating at the market and here we see how it can be layered. Furthest from us and closest to the food stands and foot traffic sit the serious people watchers. A bit out of the fray sits a family grabbing a snack. Closest to us is an individual, alone, but nonetheless part of the scene.
Witte Singel
A father and son fishing trip... to the Witte Singel, part of the original moat around the old city walls.