Friday, September 21, 2012


There is this place that has been in my mind for years, but I often wondered if I imagined it. When I was 20 and here with my mom I remember a peaceful green grass courtyard somewhere in the middle of this hectic, jumbled, leaning city.

I've looked for it again and again every time but can never place it. I've mentioned it to locals and family and people aren't sure. A bit like a secret garden.

Well, today while in the Amsterdam Museum I happened to look out a window at the end of a room and I saw without a doubt- a sliver of lush green grass. In a courtyard. But still on the other side of a wall and a gate and no clear way to get there.

I made my way out of the museum on the back side which seemed more like a dead end, but there, with it's own little brick gate was the entrance to my secret garden!

The Begijnhof was a small gated community for single catholic women who served the church and their community but were not nuns. They even had their own little church and were protected. People live there now- their own little oasis in a very busy city.

In some ways that space is like a bubble where you can't imagine it's changed much in the last 400 years. But then again, now I can tell you without a doubt- to find it: walk down the shopping street, turn right when you hit the FootLocker.

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