National Geographic : 1960 Oct
stroll along the Lijnbaan's half mile of store frontage with never a thought to oncoming traffic, for vehicles are excluded. Overhangs fringing the "two-story buildings shelter the walkways. At intervals canopied crossovers from one side to the other partition the street into a series of courts. Down the center island of the promenade I walked, past dahlias and marigolds banked in geometric beds. The urge to buy was almost irresistible. Display windows were bright with blue-and-white tiles, vases, and pitchers of Delft ware. There were fine leather goods, smocked dresses for children, gleaming arrays of watches. Exer cising considerable restraint, I bought my modest bottle of ink, then decided it was time for coffee. Should I climb upstairs to the terrace cafe atop the pastry and confectionery shop? Its window held a sugary temptation of petits fours, babas au rhum, thin choco lates edged with orange and grape fruit peel, and square, hard coffee candies called hopjes. Or should I sit at one of the small tables in the center of the Lijnbaan, where plate-glass screens hold off the wind but leave the eye free to rove? I settled for mid promenade, and watched the neat, good-humored Rotterdammers Traffic stroll confidently through this new tunnel hub of their lovely little world. View fr Later I joined the rush-hour surge to the suburbs with the clerks from the stores, the workers from the docks, the typists from the offices. Many went home by bicycle or by motor scooter, but the bus I hopped aboard was nevertheless jam-packed. I rode to the end of the line. Along the winding route we made frequent stops in new garden villages. Breadwinners dismounted a few steps from their doors. Children and dogs dashed out noisily in a fluster of home coming. Yet even with constant building, Rotter dam's postwar demand for housing has not been filled. "To get one of these apartments," a worker explained to me, "you first must have papers showing that you are employed in the city. Then you wait your turn. Even KODACHROMEBY JAMES BLAIR© N.G.S. leaps an avenue leading to the New Maas River which links the city's southern and northern halves. om Euromast overlooks new city hospital (right). though rents are controlled, they make a big hole in your earnings. We pay 22 guilders a week; I earn 70." (A guilder is currently worth some 26 cents, though its local buying power is about twice that amount.) Suburban homes vary in style and price. The lake at Kralingen, northeast of the city, is white with sailboats on a summer afternoon. Bridle paths lace its bordering woods. There and to the northwest, by the lakes in the Hille gersberg district, modern homes cost up to 200,000 guilders ($52,000); for row houses owners pay from 35,000 to 45,000 guilders. These homes, of course, are exceptions; they accommodate the ranking families in the life of the city.