Thursday, July 21, 2011

Topography questions - Schiedam Vlaardingen walk

The walk and the questions
Last spring my wife and I walked the Jeneverpad - a well documented walk from Rotterdam to Maasluis, with it's own walking guide. The booklet gives some background information about the places we visit. But more questions are raised during the walk than can be answered.  Part 1part 2part 2b.
Schiedam train station -  Looking towards the center of Rotterdam. I was her illegally, many years ago, while the metro viaduct was under construction. Somewhere inside the overhanging roof my name is still written. See here. Why are there so few new targets for urban adventure and exploration? Is the urban infrastructure finished at last?
Broersvest - The beautiful Art Deco shopping arcade built in 1932. Unfortunately several shops are empty. Does it have too much competition from the - very boring - modern shopping arcade nearby? Why are there so few old shopping arcades in The Netherlands?
Lange Haven - Warehouses and factory buildings belonging to the gin distilleries. These have a long and complex history that connects agricultural, technological. social, economic and political trends. Summaries in Dutch can be found here and here.
Schiedam has a strange dilapidated air - that is very uncharacteristic of the Netherlands. It scores high on my "Lovecraft index". It has a lot of cheap lower-quality shops. Why is this? Is it such a poor municipality? Was it much richer in the recent past? What has happened?
Vlaardingerdijk - Former Roman Catholic graveyard with a chapel from 1853. Nowadays the graveyard is not active anymore and the chapel has been restored and is used by the Romanian Orthodox Church. How does a graveyard become "unused"? When it is full?
Simon Rijnbendepad - The futuristic emergency exits of the underground. I have been inside there illegally during the construction. Great memories. See here. Notice the rich car - is this a transplant of expensive houses and rich people into a poor neighborhood? Does this approach work?
Piet van Gentstraat - A novel and voluminous redesign of the garden shed. Most are used as shops or galleries. Interesting idea, but I could not find anything about this on the Internet.
Unnamed paths between Simon Rijnbendepad and Schiedamsedijk - An abrupt boundary between suburb, industry and transport. An interesting undefined area. Why are these "liminal zones" so interesting?
Sportlaan - Why are sport fields always located in in-between areas, in no-man's land? Why do they often go together with allotment gardens? Simply because of lower ground prices?
The A4 highway looking north. A nameless overpass. Why have some urban objects names, and some not? What determines this?
Hargapad - The standard water and greenery that is always located at the borders of semi-suburban area's from the 1960's. The pond - is it just for natural beauty or does it have a hydrologic function?
Hargapad - A fortress-like underpass under the railway. A totally modern landscape, but this has a medieval feeling. Why making such an expensive conenction between two random bodies of water? Does this have a hydrological function? Water management?
Westlandseweg as seen from the Parkweg - A huge difference in height and atmosphere. Why is such a high dike / dam is necessary here? How old is it? Some of the old dikes in the Netherlands date from the 10th century.
Oranjepark - A private estate from the 17th century converted to a public city park in 1870. The labyrinth. Vlaardingen has a strange atmosphere - some parts feel very old and others have a very European big-city atmosphere.
Westhavenkade - Looking north. The harbour has been in use since the 15th century. The history of all these small cities with their own harbours must be fascinating. How and when did they lose their independence? When did they lose their function? Was this caused by the rise of the Rotterdam harbour?
Maassluisedijk - I still know too little about the hydrology that makes such high dams necessary. The Internet is useless for such local details.
Marnixlaan - I do not know if this is an artwork or not. I have not been able to find any information on this non-functional church tower. In theory it would be climbable and it is reachable by rubber boat.
Heemtuinpad - Standard suburban architecture and nature. Since when do all Dutch places look the same? Since the 1960's? Or do all Dutch places look the same - even the old ones like Delft and Dordrecht?
Vlaardingen West train station - Looking west.

Jeneverpad - Wikipedia
Jeneverpad - Booklet

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous04 May, 2012

    Marnixlaan..The non functional church tower, the church had been taken down a few years before en later on they took the tower down too.