A little piece of Camden in Rotterdam
Swan Market is a coming and going of a new bohemian and creative class
Last week saw the third edition of the highly succesful Swan Market. Located at the heavily restructured Zwaanshals-area (Swan neck-area), it was a coming and going of a new bohemian and creative class: D.I.Y. was the word, buying knick-knacks, the game. But what remains of the good vibes, after shopping hours?
The Zwaanhals-area is an interesting part of Rotterdam: built after the war with cheap (and often ugly) houses, the area has become one of the most run-down and undesirable places to live or work in the city.
Luckily, municipality started restructuring this area over five years ago and decided that the creative class was the one thing that would change this neighbourhood: unique, crafty shops could rent a space for half of the original price for a year. In a former municipial sanitation building, a style center, called Rotabs, erected.
photo's by Kirsty Nagel.
It was a nifty construction for creatives to rent a small workplace combined with a shop and is set out to be the new hotspot of the town for the coming years.
Opened for nearly two years now, Rotabs is seemingly dead quiet on work days and gives the feeling of a downright monastery on regular weekends, with a handful of brave shoppers daring to walk through the silent centre, whispering their admirations for knitted brooches and felt shoes.
On those eventdays however, the centre and its surrounding creative area is well found. A real bustle can be felt and the plans of the municipality come to life, but only during the time of the shopping hours that is.
After a tiring marketday and a bag full of second hand and hand made, my stomach was ready for action. Yours truly was unfortunately unable to find a restaurant above the snackbar standards and was forced to resort to the city centre. With the closing of the stalls, the liveliness had disappeared and the streets of the Zwaanhals-area once again seemed old and colourless. Perhaps a new opportunity for the municipal strategies to take on?