Archive for November, 2012

more about Glow

Monday, November 19th, 2012

I’d promised to write more about the Glow, but didn’t get to it over the weekend. There are two things you have to knot about Eindhoven to understand Glow:

1) Eindhoven got to be a city basically because Phillips Electronics was founded there – it’s a company town, really. There’s a statue of Frits Phillips in the central market square, the stadium, football (soccer) team and music center all have Phillips in their name, there’s an art museum centered around electric lighting and a factory tour, and so on.

2) Eindhoven goes back to the 1100s, but was only a villiage until the 1900s (see above) and was heavily bombed in WWII. Therefore, there isn’t much of a historic area in the Centrum like other cities have, so the Powers That Be in the city have been trying to foster the municipal identity with a lot of festivals around the year, some new and some traditional. (There are also new takes on traditional holidays – all Dutch cities celebrate Queen’s Day, but Eindhoven is becoming famous for all the concerts it puts up on that day.) There are Carnival, Queen’s Day, extra celebrations like the ones they had a few years ago for the World Cup, Liberation Day, and a design festival in October because the local university and thus the city specialize in industrial design.

Combine the points above and you get Glow: a week-long occasion in November, sponsored by the city, when artists are invited to put up installations celebrating light. HUndreds of thousands of people come to the festival and follow the tour route to see all the art works and drink gluhwein (which many of the sellers spell as “glow-wine”).

This year’s festival was smaller than last year both in terms of the length of the route and the number of exhibits, but there were a bunch of exhibits I liked a lot. In particular, every year there is something to do with lights projected on the Catharinakerk (big church in the Centrum, and I think this year’s was the best yet – you can see it in the last several photos below.

In other news, we are definitely coming back to the US for good in mid-December. Our plans are not completely set in stone, but we are assuming that we’ll be taking some time off and traveling around the US< unless someone tells us differently.

2012 Eindhoven Glow

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

More later.