De Bijenkorf sells everything from fresh, non-boxed bonbons (strategically located by the front doors so you see and smell the decadence when you walk in) to clothes, home accessories, and lots more. In the store, my mom found a nice grey wallet to replace the black one she's had for at least 10 years, which was falling apart. She also bought a designer cheese grater — no, that's not a joke. It's made by Alessi and looks really cool:
I found two blue-and-white Dutch potholders and matching oven mitts, and I was very happy with my purchase.
We then had a nice lunch at a restaurant's outdoor patio with Nancy. Rotterdam is a bustling city during the week, and I'm sure in the evenings and weekends as well. The area by the Stadhuis has wide plazas of gray stone, with lots of shops and restaurants, and a tram line running through it. When I was there I imagined what it would be like to live and work there, taking the train to work and walking in my heels or boots to an office, then walking around the city to grab lunch and run errands during my break, perhaps meeting friends for a drink at an outdoor patio after work sometime.
Of course, it's easy to idealize a place when you're a visitor and don't have to deal with any of the inevitable daily annoyances that plague all places. But still, there's something just a tiny bit magical about a place where you see a beautiful couple getting married on a Wednesday, across from a store with chocolates and sweets piled high in enticing displays, as multitudes of pedestrians make their way from one place to another.