Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Lay of the Land

Now then. Where are we when we're in Amsterdam! And where are YOU in relation to us here?

I have already told/shown you that our apartment is on Elandsgracht ("Moose Canal") street which just happens to be only two blocks long, in between 2 canals.

On the sidewalk of our side of Elandsgracht street is this "map" of distances between us and you. Well, not you in the States but just about everywhere else (click to enlarge). Remember the one similar to this in Hannover? That one was approximtely 12 feet in diameter. This one is about 2 feet.

Now if you want, look at this map of the Jordaan area of Amsterdam (where Elandsgracht street is) and scroll down till you find Elandsgracht with a #26 on the right end of the street. See the marker that says "Johnny Jordaan Plein?" That's this pic above, which is the back side of that square-looking stall. If you continue down the one-way street on its right, you'll come to our apartment, just before the Lijnbaangracht canal on the other end.

So, if I haven't totally confused you (c'mon, stay with me!), in the pic above, the Prinsengracht canal is behind me. In the pic below, I'm facing the canal while standing in the wee plaza. (That's one of the 2 canals bookending our street. You can't see it but, trust me, it's there)

This tiny little plaza is named after Johnny Jordaan, a pseudonym for Johannes Hendricus van Musscher (1924-1989). His is the bust on the right (above) and below.

So, I came home and looked him up in Wiki: he was a Dutch folk singer "well known for his songs about the city of Amsterdam, especially the Jordaan district." I'm guessing it's safe to say he was well-loved if an entire district of A'dam (ours) is named after him! And if there's a little plaza with his bust that just happens to be on our street!

So now we know! I'm just passing on what I'm learning about where we will now spend half our time each year. Inquiring minds and all!

Guess what! Everything above I wrote and took pics of yesterday. Today when I was out-n-about, there was this crazy man (below) and a TV crew doing something at the Johnny Jordaan plaza. The 3 men statues had these HUGE red wigs (and a couple cardboard busts). The lady had none. What was THAT about??? If I find out, I'll let you know.


  1. What fun! This has been a nice walk. What a beautiful neighborhood!

    I have no idea about the wigs, but at first I thought they were Beethoven hairdos.

  2. Very curious, those red wigs!

    I'm enjoying the travels thru your new neighborhood. You and Donica are such worldly travelers!

  3. Everything looks so alive and vibrant there. Looks like you chose a great neighbourhood. :-)

  4. Right now I'm around the corner from our apt. at an Internet Cafe because I don't have the free-loading wireless at the apt. today nor an Internet connection. Donica has been able to connect HER laptop but not mine yet. And since she is gone all day to Basel, I've had to resort to this cafe.


    Ruth: It's been fun to show y'all the neighborhood. :)

    Tim: YES, indeed! :)

    Mad: We were just talking about all our travels last night as we celebrated 9 years of "I Do!" We never dreamed in a million years back then that we'd be here in A'dam right now!

    Christina: That's what everyone has told us--that the entire Jordaan district is THE place to live. We're very lucky!

  5. This looks like a lively neighbourhood, you are so lucky.... and adventurous!
    In answer to your question on my blog, yes, of course you can become a Canadian, just fill out the forms and I'll see what I can do. But you'll have to move away from Amsterdam....

  6. Nice to see the statues and busts. I lived close to the area about 20 years ago. Then the statues weren't there yet. I lived on the Rozengracht (between the canals Herengracht and Singel). I had a great few on the back of the old Royal Palace from there. I don't know when the statues were put up, nor do I know exactly who are there. Tante Leen and Johnny Jordaan I recognise. If I'm not mistaken the other 2 are Manke Nelis and Johnie Hoes, right? All local legends with a passion for the Dutch folk songs. Yes, it is a great neighborhood. You two are so lucky!

  7. You have a unique ability to present and show (photos) what people mostly oversee. Thanks so much for sharing.

    btw. Sorry that tech's have not been on my side lately. I feel kind of ashamed, when not follow up blogfriends - but without connection...

    I'm in Vence.France. Posted something. Both my blogs.

  8. trying this again..

    you are going to be an expert tourist of the area before we know it. ;-)

    Yes and I know this is a great area. I've only been there once in 2002.

  9. Ex-S: HA! As long as I can be an honorary Canadian and still live in the States AND A'dam, I'll feel like I've got it made! And yes, I feel very lucky!

    O-X: What a small world! I'm not sure who everyone is in the plaza but I DO know who Johhny and Tante Leen are! Yes. I can hardly wait to have you and CS here. I hope it'll bring back old AND new times.

    Tor: You need never be ashamed. You are such a brilliant blogger! And I love it when I find you here...or there.

    ET: I feel like I have combed one whole section of the city in one week! But I have a feeling I've missed more than I've seen. I can hardly wait to come back again and again!

  10. What a great place to live! Those red wigs are crazy. ;)

  11. They sure are, aren't they, Karen!