Rewriters 010: Crooswijk Route & Instameet

by - 3:00 PM


Ever since I started obsessing over street art I've jumped at every chance to join a tour. I went to Utrecht, walked the Rewriters 010 route in the centre of Rotterdam and joined Frank's tour a couple of weeks ago. Then I got the most exciting news so far: Rewriters would open a new route, in Crooswijk this time, a part of the city where very few tourists ever go. It only got better when I read online that they'd organize an Instameet the weekend of the new route's launch. I absolutely had to go. I'd already missed the previous one because I was in Scotland at the time and didn't want to miss out again. Camera in hand I went to Rotterdam on a sunny Sunday in October, ready for a morning full of photography and street art.

I arrived early at Croos, a coffee shop that also has some great art on display. I was freaking nervous, so I walked about three times around the block before joining the Instameet. To be honest, I felt like I was the odd one out. Most people who joined were a lot older than me. All of them were very professional with their cameras and lenses. And then there was me, depending on lucky shots as usual. I know it shouldn't have bothered me, but it did. People were talking about follower counts up in the thousands while I can only say I do have an Instagram account. Which I've pretty much neglected since the day of the meet. Oops.

The meetup officially started at 11am, when one of the guys from Rewriters took out a megaphone and started tour guiding. Our first stop was right across the street. The first wall of the new route won't be there much longer (if it's still there by the time my lazy ass finishes this post), but the Rewriters app with both the Crooswijk and the city centre route always gets updated and lets you see pieces that have disappeared as well. Now I still don't have a phone that can handle the app, so I was glad we had a real Rewriters guide to tell us more about the art we were photographing. Which he did, like I said, with a megaphone. Genius.


After walking a few blocks I was getting into street art fangirl mode, not just looking at the pieces marked on the route, but also quietly losing my shit when I spotted the Me Like Painting Gallery and Studio, owned and operated by one of the legends of the Rotterdam scene. Then, I think about halfway through, we got to the part of the route that wasn't finished yet. This meant that the Lastplak crew was there, live painting walls, and I got to see it from up close and take pictures and be too excited and loud. Note to self: don't pretend to know things about street art, you'll only embarras yourself.
Lucky for me some of the other people at the Instameet seemed to know even less about street art and Lastplak than me, so I seemed like an expert. Despite my embarrassing fangirling I am still so freaking happy I got to see Lastplak live paint a wall. Their work is amazing without exception. I'll have to go back soon to see this finished piece.


We spent a long time at this Lastplak work in progress. If it'd been up to me I would have stayed there until I'd passed out from spray can gasses. We continued walking through Crooswijk before that could happen though, and soon found ourselves at the building where I'd seen the Bushwick Collective collab with Dutch artists wat back in March. I hadn't seen it since May and it felt amazing to see this entire housing block of art back. This basically saved me from getting stuck in a very dark place. Street art kept me going in those difficult first few months of 2017. I'll be sad when the building finally gets demolished, but at that moment it was like meeting up with an old friend. My laptop is already full of pictures of this place, so I let the others do their things and enjoyed the moment.


If we'd taken less pictures we probably would have walked the full 3 kilometres, but when you combine photography with street art things tend to take a little more time. That's why we cut some corners and went back to Schuttersveld, where even more live painting took place in/on the Hall of Fame. It was one of the sunniest days in October, so I hung around for a little while. There's something about live painting that motivates me, that makes me feel creative even though I'm actually doing nothing at all. While enjoying the sun and looking at the artists at work I opened the goody bad everyone got at the end of the Instameet. I'm now the proud owner of a Bier en Brood button (which I almost lost at a friend's place last week because I'm not too careful with the bag I put it on), two other buttons and a sticker I'm tempted to put on the one and only thing in my hometown (a garbage can, by the way) where street artists have ever put stickers on. But that's just a plan, and I kind of hope to come up with a better one.


Early in the afternoon I decided to go home. I had mixed feelings, as my inferiority complex had been bothering me all morning and prevented me from fully enjoying the experience, but still I'd had a great time. Up until then I'd only been in Crooswijk two, maybe three times, and I love discovering new parts of Rotterdam through their art. Soon I'll have to go back to Crooswijk and look at the finished pieces. Because Instameets are fun, but I now know I need to do these routes without feeling like my Instagram account is the most important thing to think about when looking at street art.

x Envy

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10 Fellow Ramblers

  1. This sounds like an amazing experience and tour. I am fascinated by street are tbh, but I don't have a clue where to find it so someone offering a tour is a good idea.

    The photos you shared are very good and I hope when you take part in another tour you're going to share the experience again :)

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    1. You don't really need a tour, I promise you street art is everywhere! You just have to open your eyes and really look at your surroundings:)

      I'll definitely share my experience of my next tour - just need to find a good one now!

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  2. I ADORE street art and got really excited reading there was a Bushwick Collective collabe (I live in Brooklyn!) Sounds like a fab meetup - you may inspire me to attenc one myself!

    Mary Lane @newyorkcliche
    http://newyorkcliche.com

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    1. I wish I lived in New York, it's a strert art paradise over there!

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  3. Posts like this always remind me I should appreciate street art much more. Seeing your pictures it definitely highlights that there are beautiful pieces out there. It definitely sounds great that you got to expereince it all through a tour as well! x

    acupofwonderland.wordpress.com

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    1. I hope I opened your eyes a little for street art. Sometimes we walk past the most beautiful pieces without even noticing.

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  4. This sound great - I would love to go on a street art tour, I didn't know they existed (although that must be really useful, rather than going hunting for street art yourself).

    Just the other day I was thinking how I reckon street art is one of my all-time favourite favourite favourite forms of art, I really do love it and think it's so interesting and fun (although sometimes they have really beautiful stories behind them as well).

    Loved this post
    Lexie x
    www.whatlexieloves.blogspot.com

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    1. Street art tours are still a bit of a new thing, but I'm sure you can find one near you with a little help from Google.
      Personally I love street art because there's no rules, no limits, no genre. Pure freedom.

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  5. Wow, that sounds like quite an experience! And I have to echo Lexie above - I didn't know street art tours existed, but they sound like a great thing to experience. Thanks for letting us come along with you! xx

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    1. I'm glad I could take you guys along, if it weren't for you I probably wouldn't have dared to go!

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