vendredi 4 juillet 2008

Oh, Rotterdam.

Catching up on la centaine again...

I think I've talked about this before, but it's a theme in my life - an ongoing theme at that. It's this - life takes us to some places that we never would have thought of. It makes seemingly random places important to us and seemingly important places become random. My life is as much about the place as the event. You'll have gathered as much by now, no doubt.

Rotterdam is a special place in my life, and the Hotel New York is exceptionally special to me.

The HNY started out life as the European terminal for the Holland America Line, who would transport folks across the sea, next stop Ellis Island. It's a great old building and has been lovingly put back into service as a hotel.

Much as those amazing people set out on new lives in the new world all those years ago, so today does the hotel play host to more modern dramas. And she does so in the way that any 'Grande Dame' would - elegantly, discreetly and with great class.

My own dramas have played out there over the years.

I've met colleagues, friends and lovers there. Sometimes they were colleagues that turned out to be friends and, later, lovers. I've loved and lost, and loved and won at the hotel.

At the hotel, I've hosted my own birthday party, with a dozen friends from around Europe. And I've hidden in a room there for three days when I was feeling desperate. There's nothing like eating room service lamb curry in a bed with three-hundred count sheets when you are feeling down.

I've drunk myself silly, and drunk myself sad within her walls. Hangovers always feel better, sat at the window with a koffie verkeerd in my hand, looking out at the grey Maas.

She's given me memories galore, some devastatingly sad, some gloriously happy, all memories that I cherish and that make me feel alive. My life has taken turns for the worse and turns for the better and still she welcomes me.

When the next Mr TBNIL shows up, I know where we'll be headed. We'll take the water taxi across the river into town. Get some food and cocktails on Witte de Withstraat. Walk back across the Erasmusbrug. Stroll together along the waterfront in the moonlight.

We'll imagine the new lives that started on this stretch of water - the people who bravely left behind their families, homelands and traditions to make homes far, far across the ocean.

And when we get to our room, we'll close the curtains and retreat into our own world.

As I say, with me it's as much about the place as it is the event.

And boy, this is some place.

10 commentaires:

Breezy a dit…

Evocative post, really well written. I can see why this place made your list.

aims a dit…

Book me a room sweetie - I'll be there Thursday!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hey Breezy, it's a fabulopus place. Highly recommended!

And Aims, I'd like nothing more than to meet you there....but next thursday I'm all booked up. How about friday?

Anonyme a dit…

I completely understand. :)

I think it's a shame though that HNY is dwarfed now by the montevideo tower next to it and other sky scrapers. They should have reserved a special place in city planning for the hotel, make it an eye catcher even more.

By the way, Bazaar on the Witte de With has really good food, also for lunch.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Marjolein, I love Bazaar. Great food, good vibe too.

And I kind of agree about the montevideo tower...but I think we'll not see if it works before the whole Wilhelminapier project is completed. I just love the Rotterdam attitude to architecure...

Daryl a dit…

Boy that was some post .. I want to come and see it and join you for drinks there .. it sounds so romantic and elegant .. a grand dame indeed... some day .. hopefully before I am a grand dame


Anonyme a dit…

I've never stayed there but I have eaten there many a time. We will definitely have to share a few drinks there some time - and then I can show you where to get the best cocktails in the city ;-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hey Daryl - anytime you like, head over to these shores....and the hotel is really interesting for a new yorker - the history of the two places is very linked.....

Conortje, you name the date. i'll be there, cocktail shaker in hand...;-)

Will a dit…

What a sweet love note to a home away from home. Sorry for the breakage and frustrations of moving into your new place in Paris--but having these contretemps IN Paris must make them seem a bit more bearable, n'est-ce pas? :-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Will, much more bearable. I'd be crying anywhere else!