Knock softly on my window. If the red light shines bright and the curtains are drawn, you are most welcome. Come in: do not judge.
My official name is Willy II, built in 1972. Before I landed at the Nijverheidskade, my berth place was at the Zandpad in Overvecht (Utrecht). Notorious for my feminine beauty, paid by the hour. I am not one of the first boats. After World War II the celebrating commenced. Soldiers looking for a fine pair of breasts far away from home, to share with either victory or defeat. In 1945, Utrecht catered in their needs, offering the ladies of pleasure residency in boats just outside of town.
The tumult started in the eighties. Ever more often women could not communicate with one another, women with homesickness, women marked black and blue… Inspections followed, petitions, arguments and diseases. Yet nonetheless – please trust me on my word – there were equally as many women with a strong nose for entrepeneurship. Women taking pleasure in earning money with the beauty of their bodies. Despite all, in 2013 our boats are shut down, every single one of us. It wasn’t until 2017, that I was awoken by a gentle kiss. Together with two fellow Zandpad boats, a few artists lifted me on the quay of the free port they call De Nijverheid. My windows still displaying the words ‘abusievelijk gesloten’ (mistakenly concluded), my infamous red stools still standing tall: ready to be used.
Can you hear that? Restless knocking at my window. True beauty is always in demand.
In the summer of 2018, once again the artists ignite my red light, as a lighthouse, a beacon in the night. Two of my cribs transformed for new purposes: one as Zandpad museum, in which I will share my illustruous history. Another as an exhibition area for upcoming talent. Once again my floor groans and my walls moan. This time it is due to hard labor for the purpose of new and remarkable art. Anew, every month.
In the past I was a boat displaying fine women, but from this moment on I will display fine arts. My name is: EXboot.