Noilly Prattle: Haarlem

Monday, September 16, 2013


       I guess many people know Duke Ellington's jazz song Take the A-Train. The piece is about the New York City subway's A train that goes through Harlem. But, I wonder how many people know that New York's Harlem is named after Haarlem, a city that lies about 15 kilometers on A train from Amsterdam Centraal station up to Haarlem and beyond. For the non-History buff, New York was known as New Amsterdam before the British took it over and the name of Harlem (only one 'a') stuck. For those people who've asked me what and where is Haarlem, I've already answered the where and here are a few pictures to show a little of what Haarlem, an old Medieval city, looks like. We took a day trip on a partly sunny partly cloudy morning with big white cotton clouds floating across the sky to go and have a look and walkabout of what turned out to be a rather charming town. 

      There was some kind of festival going on in the town square with lots of people strolling and sitting around sidewalk cafes. There was a carousel set up in the middle of the square and a huge carpet or tapestry made of flowers nearby. The crowd was mostly locals out for a Sunday afternoon. Haarlem is not as big a tourist draw as Amsterdam and the feel of a local crowd is quite different from that of the tourist crowds ambling around the Amsterdam red-light district ogling the scantily clad working girls sitting in their windows and displaying their wares; and looking at some of the odd window displays. 

      Without further adieu, here are a few impressions of our little day excursion to Haarlem and back to Amsterdam today, Sunday, September 15, 2013.

Haarlem Station
rather rusty but photogenic canal boat

windmill and excursion boat

lamppost and steeple


laid back lady
old man and a carousel
unusual design feature -
two sailing ship type masts
with yardarms 
on the drawbridge

penguin chess pieces on a chessboard?

floral carpet with cathedral and carousel
windmill and canal

No comments: