Saturday, November 14, 2009

Windows without bars

Apartments in Leiden have giant clear glass windows directly up against the streets and alleys. There are no bars, no protective devices. As a former Brooklynite, this seems just plain wrong. How do they deter theft? Are there no cat burglars in Leiden? Isn't is dangerous to make your life completely visible and barrier free? When I go out running at night, I can see directly into most ground level apartments. It's not terribly exciting, most people are watching TV, but still. Come on! Criminals and perverts are everywhere! It's crazy to live without fear!
Long after nightfall, people will shut their curtains... and keep them shut for a long portion of the morning... which destroys my theory that the Dutch have traded a moderate amount of security against thieves and peeping Toms to accomodate their desperate need for Light (guess what, it's raining again today).
Nope, they just like to have giant unprotected windows.
And they like to make them attractive to curious strangers even when the curtains are shut!

Here are some home window displays:

This kind of display is the most common. Dutch pottery, flowers, weird figurines and something slightly odd, like a soccer ball on a string.

 This is far more eccentric. A vase with twigs covered in costume jewelry. Hmmm. Maybe this is theft deterrence. 

This display is quite beautiful. There are walnuts in champagne flutes and  a few simple flowers. These people have good taste, robbers, especially if you're an aspiring Jean Valjean. The apartment appears to be part of the church behind it.

Ahh! I hate gnomes! Gnomes are creepy. I will avoid this street.


  1. Yeah, I live on the first floor here in my building in Denver and coming from Brooklyn, I was also a bit "worried" about not having bars. Strange how living in one place can affect your sense of security.

  2. Love Dutch window displays! In my bit of the Netherlands, I see a lot of flowers and the occasional battleship. No gnomes yet.