Thursday, August 19, 2010

Europe...

Europe: A continent that has been forcing trees, shrubbery, and flowers into the most unnatural positions and arrangements, for centuries. But beautiful it is. Paleis Het Loo (Engligh: The Woods Palace), in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Holiday!

The other and I leave for the US of A next weekend. I am so excited. I have not been to America since May 2009. And that was only to NYC, and no where else. (And NYC is not really the USA–in the same way that Amsterdam differs dramatically from the rest of the Netherlands. It's just a different world there, and here.) We are flying into NYC and staying for a few days; Taking the train to New Haven, CT (to see Yale!) ; Then taking the train to Boston; Flying to Chicago; Then flying to Cincinnati; Driving to Nashville, and staying put for a bit; Driving back to Cincinnati; And then flying back to Amsterdam. A visualization of the trip is below. It will be perfect.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Let's all look down at our shoes...

When I first moved to Amsterdam, life was grand. (It still is by the way.) I would write all day at work (perfect), and when I wasn't writing, I would be lying in the park (or running through it), and occasionally taking off on (seemingly) never-ending 'bike rides to no-where' throughout the city's tiny streets. It was summer, and the sun would set at 22:30. I had very few friends, and knew no one upon landing on Dutch soil. But I couldn't have been more happy. I really thought I had found my version of utopia. I instantly fell in love with Amsterdam; everything about it. And more importantly, I really felt like I belonged; like I had finally a place where I was accepted for being me. When I would lay under sunny skies, that summer, 'Saturday's = Youth' by M83 was always playing in my ears. I would listen to it from beginning to end (because it's that damn good). Over, and over. (No seriously, it's really that good). It's a CD that can fit any mood: from ontspannen, to laughter, to pure bliss. Little did I know, it (loosely) fits into the genre (as aren't we all, always trying to classify and categorize everything in our lives) called 'shoegaze'. Couleurs might possibly be my favorite song off the album. But coming close is the lead track, 'You Appearing'. The whole album is haunting, and I mean that with only a positive connotation. Morgan Kibby's enchanting voice adds layers of wonder to the tracks. And when her's combines with that of Anthony Gonzalez; the mixture is splendid. I could get lost within this album any day. It makes my mind swirl. It's the perfect album for dreaming the day away. Or dreaming of far away places. Or the future. It really makes my heart skip a beat. And I highly recommend it to anyone. Earlier this summer I told a friend that would perfectly content living inside a postcard of a park... But what I've never told anyone, is that I want this park to look like the cover of this album... With people basking in the sunlight in over-sized dresses, wearing fur hats, and skeleton suits; frolicking about while rays of sunlight are abound... A park full of make-believe and endless happiness.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Fascinating City:

An aerial shot of Amsterdam and the North Sea Canal, which connects the city to the world. Quite literally. The opening to the left is IJmuiden, and Amsterdam is slightly off center, to the lower right. The canal was built between 1865 and 1876 to connect the port of Amsterdam with the North Sea, enabling trade (which is historically the cities forté, and source of wealth) to occur on a large scale with ships from all over the world. Fascinating.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Indische Buurt:

The Indische Buurt (which loosely translates to 'Indian District'), is my neighborhood in the city. And I love it. Diversity is in abundance; the streets are freshly-refreshed, with new pavers and lighting, and Javastraat is so far proving to be a source of endless inspiration. Amsterdam East: my new home.







Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Budapest, Hungary:

I've just returned back to the land of tiny on Monday, after visiting Budapest (and the Hungarian countryside) for a little over a week. What an interesting city. And as far into central/eastern Europe as I have ever been. Faded blue metros, draping bridges, busy intersections, thermal baths, and baroque castles. It some ways it felt like walking into a time-warp, in others, not.