A long time ago (November 2008), I was tagged by myyear for my first ever meme: my secret city. Now, I'm finally getting around to it. I believe proper meme etiquette is to tag someone else... but to be honest I seem to have lost any readership I had, so I'll hold off on that for now and just work on getting some blogging done again!
Haarlem has been my city since July 2004 and it has been a delight to discover. One of Haarlem's biggest secrets is that it's next to the Kennemerduinen, a natural park area that's great for biking and walking. On the other side of them is Parnassia (which I posted about a while back), where you can stop for a drink or a meal. They've undergone a renovation in the past year and it's pretty fun for looking at inside, too.
Then there are the food secrets. The best burger in town is at Dikjers. Best place for a good beer and a cheap dinner is Bruxelles. Favorite lunch place and great name story would be de Overkant (no website, just good food!). The husband's favorite is Applause, which has a pretty interior and yummy pasta. I always order a soup and half order of pasta.
My happy little treasures include the Filmschuur, which is an independent movie theater. The Adriaans windmill, which is open for tours on Saturdays, has nifty models inside. From the top of the V&D downtown, you can see a great view of the city. The Schalm is a great thrift store and organization that helps people who've been out of work for a while. They've added a furniture workshop and sewing project in recent years. These folks are the source of almost all the English language fiction I've bought in the past five years. There's also the public library, which has a surprisingly big collection of English language books. Every spring and fall, the staatstuin near my house has a plant sale where they sell off extra plants from the botanical garden. They're a steal and they grow like crazy with very little attention. And last, but not least, the 300 bus, which is my direct connection to Schiphol!