Spuistraat 199 has a treasure. This treasure can never be measured in a promise, a fat bankaccount, a designers dream, a flatscreen tv with perfect pictures of lizzards, faboulous fame forever, a holy day or a posh Porsche.
De Key was granted 900.000 Euros from Amsterdam city counsil to preserve the creative and dynamic environment that over time has grown out of the occupied Tabakspanden. Instead they intend to transform the properties into 69 “smashy” apartments for sale.
The logic of their calculations is rather puzzling to me, because I find it inhuman to speculate and gain on human beings’ rights to be. But I know they paid 13 million Euros for these properties in 2008 – and gave me a chronic diarrhea since they presented their plans. Let’s put it this way: There will be no room for neither rats nor hookers or even artists here.
De Key deal with moneymakers to earn money. And I suppose the moneymakers don’t want patat, art, dirt, dogs, drugs, boats, smiles, trees, bicyclewheels, intercourse, reaction or action in the way when they drive in and out of their garage.
A cardboardmodel of de Keys’ future fantasy Spuistraat was cut and glued by their architechts, exposed for three weeks at the architectcenter Arcam until March 5th 2012.
This very day two of the charming occupants from Slangenpand put on their workers’ jumpsuits and went there to “break down the expo”. They smiled with their eyes, were let right in, and took the model with.
The next day was bright.
March 6th, two minutes after the bell chimed twice, precicely 29 years after Slangenpand was squatted, the sliding yellow doors opened and everyone was welcome in the garage for sparkling champagne, snazzy speaches, tasty pumpkin soup and uplifting music, but first of all to confirm that the people in Spuistraat don’t want their street polluted by cars and men in black – where sterile housefronts would legitimate perverted profit sucked out of values with no value.
It took the people in Slangenpand over 300 hours to brush and wash away the oil and exhaust from the wonderful red brick walls. They painted the ceiling. They built sewer and a toilet. They built a bar and a kitchencorner and leased a massive fridge and got 49 chairs with yellow round pillows. They installed electricity and lighted up 200 squaremetres, here where the house shark Hendrik Tabak ended his days in the dark. He was killed 18th of January 1974 with a vision of garage after garage packed with cars generating a cashmachine from rental.
De Key wants to dig and make 37 private parkinglots under the houses in Spuistraat. It makes me wonder if they know that Spuistraat was drained from the channel Nieuwezijds Achterburgwal.
I wonder if they know the risk of digging: A golden ring might as well be the golden tooth of a sceleton. Gold fever could, as well as the driving force of affluence, be the yellow fever’s source of infection.
The cardboardmodel of Spuistraat is as sad as the last dance.
Luckily there was a surprise for de Key and their architects when they got the model back; a picture of Slangenpand glued over the house number 199 with a snaky touch written: Who needs de key when all doors are open.
This is the treasure.