Writing at the moment, in real time, from a café inside the building complex of Student Experience, at the location of The New Prairie. For the first time I’m sitting inside writing on The New Prairie, it’s warm, I’m drinking a hot coffee and from the speakers there’s a mix of radio hits including ‘Get up all night to stay lucky’. There’s an interesting blend of interiors, ranging from small eating boots, white glitter christmas trees, green tropical plants and hanging gymnastic ropes in circles. Some groups of people, that seem to be office workers from the neighbourhood, are eating lunch and drinking wine. Looking outside of the window, southwards, there’s a patio and below the same old canal running east- west. A seagull is flying in circles over the water. Arriving to The New Prairie before going inside, I took my usual walk around to see what’s happened since I was here last. Grass is now growing on the edges around the building and in the northwest corner they have planted some small trees. Inside the courtyard, the tropical garden seems ready and in the middle there’s an island with palm trees and a big buddha statue.
Gray and windy day with a bit of rain. Exactly a year ago since reporting on that the first groundwork had started at the field. The building now looks complete, on the outside it’s all covered with a white, bubbly fascade. The fence has been taken down along the north and east side, while there still seems to be some construction work by the canal on the south side. There’s a big opening in the building towards Antonio Vivaldistraat, entering through you reach a kind of courtyard where a tropical garden is in the making. There’s also a little bus offering smoothies and raw food. People (mostly young students) are going in and out of the building, some seem busy with moving in. Entering the reception a man approaches me and asks if I’m looking for something, he seems to recognize me and asks if I’ve been walking around this area before, I reply yes.
Rainy day. After a looong break from reporting from The New Prairie, I was back today to see the latest developments. A lot has happened in half a year and the building seems soon completed from the outside. A bubbly fascade has been put up on nearly half of the building covering the square windows behind. A parking lot and a road has been made just north of TNP, the road leading down to a new built daycare just beside the sportcenter. Sitting down on the bench you can no longer see the horizon as the building is blocking the view. The building is maybe 10 times as high as what was initially the highest point, making the highest point no longer the highest.
Today 48 cards painted with soil from The New Prairie were distributed in the nearby area around the field, announcing that The New Prairie is now online. Since the field is no longer accesible due to construction work and a high fence, the card tells that The New Prairie is now reachable online.
Windy and a bit of rain. Fence has been put up around the north east side of the field, closing off the road and the strip of grass north of the construction site. Talked to a couple of construction workers and got access to the field through an opening in the north east corner and walked down the new road to the western part of the field. Collected some soil from a big pile remaining from the ground work, and in the grass infront of the pile I found a very peculiar rock. As long as a forearm, the rock seemed to be a mix of flint, glass and plastic. Asked a construction worker if he knew what it was, but I had difficulty understanding his Dutch. He said something about it coming from deep down and that it was not natural and a kind of waste.
After having been away from The New Prairie for two weeks, I came back to see that spring has come. Several flowers are blooming in colors of yellow, blue, violet, white and red. Most flowers are found outside of the construction fence on strips of green grass along the edges. On the broader strip of grass on the north side, groups of daisies are blooming. Canola can be seen blooming on both sides of the fence. Chestnut shoots have sprouted from one of the logs by the benches and beside another log a couple of poppies are growing.
Sun and sun behind clouds with a bit of a breeze. The shooting of poles into the ground has continued to the middle of the field and small markers have been put down in the digged out areas. The Student Experience office has been moved from the north side to the south east corner beside the other box houses. A pale square in the grass can be found where the office used to lie, aswell as a group of doves pecking in the ground.
Shooting of a concrete pole into the ground
Sunny, warm day with a lot of activity at The New Prairie. In the western part of the field they’ve started to shoot concrete poles into the ground and a loud sound from a crane-like machine can be heard across the field. A group of men are busy in the lower east corner with stacking box houses on top of each other (3×2). Nearby, a man in a digger is digging. At the south side of the field, a group of men are putting up a billboard structure for the Student Experience sign.
Sunny and warm day. Digging has now gone deeper and spread across nearly all of the closed-off field except for a strip in the south around the flagpoles. The Student Experience billboard has been taken down and construction workers are busy beside an opening in the fence to the east, with something that seems to be the foundations of a road. Three men with papers under their arms are walking around among the piles inside of the fence. I asked a construction worker named Erik if I could collect a couple of buckets of earth from inside the fence, and he told me I should speak to Joost, who was having a meeting. After waiting awhile, Joost came out from the construction site so I went up to him and introduced myself (in Dutch) and asked if I could collect some earth from inside of the fence. Joost said, “Sure take as much as you want!” I went in through an opening in the fence at the north side and found a tuft of grass, which I collected, as well as filling both buckets with sand and soil.
Gray day with hail and rain. The ground has been dug up in the western part of the field and piles of earth have been gathered in a row along the fence line. I watched through the fence how a digger was gathering and moving earth with its shovel.
Nearly the whole field of The New Prairie has been closed off by a fence. Inside a group of doves are grazing, as well as a goose trying to reach the rest of its flock on the other side of the fence. The goose later found a way of flying over to the other side.
Sunny and windy day. Four flagpoles with flags printed with ‘Jan Snel’ have been put up in the lower east corner. Each of the flagpoles have a square concrete base. Five small yellow markers have been placed in the ground close to the big orange markers.
Sunny and warm day. Found a dead dove lying on the ground by the border where the western hillside used to lie. The dove was lying on its back and a group of other doves were flying around in the nearby area. A boy with his dog ran across the field, with his family following close behind.