It all started on Friday evening at the opening of the ilovenoord HQ in the former canteen of the Stork machine factory, along the IJ waterway. It was cold, and inside the building it felt even colder. Did someone forgot to turn on the heat.? Or is the rent so low that heating is not included? The reason I was there was… a free poster of the ‘Cloud Factory’ and next to that because I know two contributors of the ilovenoord website.
Next to that I met several interesting people, including Frida who was promoting a museum she volunteers for. I didn’t know we had a museum in this part of town, but even I am eager to learn something new. On Saturday evening she would host a dinner/movie evening with a theme, and the ‘clouds factory’ fitted in that theme too. Here it was smoke, a different type of cloud. At six we started with a drink at Museum ‘De Noord’. The museum is situated in the former public baths of one of these garden cities, the Bird Village [Vogeldorp]. Some 30 people turned up, people who live just around the corner, a couple all the way from Rotterdam and I, a single guy from the new part of town. [How long does a part of the city stay new, I've lived in this home 30 years, and this part of town 35].
During the aperitif Pascal walked in, a guy I saw the evening before, but not really talked to then. Now we had a bit more time to get to know each other, we even shared a table during dinner. Frida had made a couscous dish, with celery, parsley, and feta cheese which was served with smoked mackerel, smoked chicken and a Turkish pide bread. After dinner the movie started and to stay in style it was titled: Smoke  with Harvey Keitel en William Hurt.
The plot of this movie, like smoke itself, drifts and swirls etherealy. Characters and subplots are deftly woven into a tapestry of stories and pictures which only slowly emerges to our view. This film tries to convince us that reality doesn’t matter so much as aesthetic satisfaction. In Auggie’s New York smoke shop, day by day passes, seemingly unchanging until he teaches us to notice the little details of life. Paul Benjamin, a disheartened and broken writer, has a brush with death that is pivotal and sets up an unlikely series of events that afford him a novel glimpse into the life on the street which he saw, but did not truly perceive, every day. Finally, it’s Auggie’s turn to spin a tale…
Around 10.30 the evening was over and we all went our separate ways, but you never know when people meet again, we do still call this part of town ‘our village’.