The Frying Dutchman

De Adriaan windmill in HaarlemWe moved in just before my twelfth birthday

It was a two story building with an empty lot on one side and neighbourhood stores on the other.

The restaurant’s windmill sign told all that they specialized in Dutch Pannekoek. I only tried them once.

My favourite treat from the restaurant were the onion rings. I think that’s why they remain my favourite side order to a hamburger.

Our front door was in the back. They had given the alley a street name so it was paved and the apartment had its own address. I wonder how many buildings have completely different addresses for each floor.

The coolest part was the balcony. The restaurant’s facade took up most of the front of the building and the balcony made it look like it had false front. We felt invisible looking across the street and spying on the queues for the latest blockbuster.

Sometime, during the year and a half we lived there, the empty lot was replaced by a bank and a liquor store. I don’t remember the construction but I know I was using the bank before we moved away and I still have the scar on my knee from playing street hockey in the lot.

The windmill was something I used to look for every time I went home. As one of last single screen cinemas, the theater is now the last landmark from that period still marking that part of the city.

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