From the desk of The Irrational Library, Joshua calls out to you Haarlemtown. For the last 16 years he has been among you, seen you and has gotten to know you. And now from the depths of Haerlemse Bodem he will rise to meet you, Haarlemtown. To once a month share and deal with you a little slice of life here in Haarlemtown. A slice of life taken from our communal feast. One for all of us to be nourished upon as we go about our Haarlemtown days.
Antigrippine. Raw ginger tea. Honey. Orange Juice. A Dopper I stole from the Patronaat. Sleeping when my daughter allows me to.
Ok. So I missed my last deadline for HB by two weeks but to my defense I have been crazy busy here in Haarlemtown. Which is great, a gift to have so much to do and even more to give. And then yesterday my right hand sax playing man, Stadsdominee Tom de Haan unleashes a column of pure power and integrity, calling out freedom for hiding out in the disguise of comfort here in Haarlemtown. After reading Tom’s column all I could do was wipe my running nose and say, wow, respect. Then in the middle of a sweat drenched night it gets me thinking: what the hell am I going to write about? Not that I feel in anyway competition with my Dominee but I want to represent just as much as him, too. So what did I come up with… well let’s just call it the difference between Haarlem and Haarlemtown.
Haarlem is where I live, Haarlemtown is where I exist. Haarlem is a beautiful city, Haarlemtown has got beautiful scars. Haarlem is being overrun by affluent white men. Lawyers who buy properties and raise rents so only other affluent white men with law degrees can afford to buy or rent in Haarlem or shopowners selling overpriced nonsense to people who need nonsense to feel better about all the nonsense in their lives. Haarlemtown is a cultural “baarmoeder”, nurturing endless amounts of homegrown creativity that is then forced to scramble to find affordable locations where the creators can gestate and give birth to the art and sounds that make Haarlemtown vibe.
Haarlem is a great alternative destination for tourists done with Amsterdam. Haarlemtown is where those in “the know” come to get down. Haarlem is the lifestyle choice city for yuppies fleeing overcrowded Amsterdam, with their Happiness children and Linda face painted looks packed into fat assed bakfietsen, buying up overpriced houses in the 5hoek, Leidsebuurt, Kleverpark, Haarlem North and even the Rozenprieel. Haarlemtown, will my own children be able to afford to live in this fucking town, where the streets on Saturdays are filled with mobs of uniform consumers stinking like haring and kibbeling? Haarlem I do love but I love my Haarlemtown even more. Haarlem and Haarlemtown are parrallel universes, running criss cross through one another. Overlapping when you need something to eat or in the middle of the day when you need to run into the Hema to take a shit. Haarlem is a city I know and one that knows me.
Haarlem is also a city I have no idea about and in some regards just doesn’t interest me that much anymore. Like crepes’ or fancy yoghurts or who will be playing on Haarlem Jazz and More this summer. Or like going to Sumo on a Saturday night. I will never do that shit again. Back to Tom’s point, freedom. I feel free in Haarlem because I choose to live in Haarlemtown. So simple is it. The rest I can give or take. I have lived here long enough to make that sort of statement. Sorry it took me a page and a half to do it. Forgive me, this is not my best piece. I have a bad cold and am a bit tired. The sun is shinning today though and I am fortunate enough to have a garden in Haarlemtown.