Friday, March 30, 2012

If today were like yesterday...


If today were like yesterday, the sun would be shining. 
If today were like yesterday, spring would still be here.

As expected and to the surprise of no-one, the warm-snap that Western Europe has been experiencing has decided to take a brief pause. And today, Amsterdam is, once again, cold and damp and not at all conducive to laying in the park or sitting on the terrace. That's ok though, because with spring, comes spring cleaning, and hopefully that will be happening at this household this weekend. I'm totally ready to 'throw away everything I haven't touched in a year', wipe the walls, floors and windows impeccably–and afterwards, sit back and revel in the fact that our eagle's nest high-above the Indische Buurt has flowers and greenery exploding from freshly-planted pots on the terrace, the interior is uncluttered and clean, and that the whole package–inside and out–is more than prepared for the warm weather ahead. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Door knockers in Madrid:

Lions abound on the door knockers in the center of the city of Madrid. Easy to overlook, as fierce as they are, the wooden walls that await visitors standing outside Madrid's grand housing blocks intrigue and delight, as they stare and protect, yet encourage the use of the choker resting in their semi-open mouth. Strong, yet kind and more then welcoming–like the city of Madrid itself.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Oude Kerk in the Red Light District:

Today, while getting lost in the city, weaving in and out of tiny brick-paved alleyways and streets alongside grand canals in the city center, I found myself on Warmoesstraat, directly in front of Oude Kerk. While looking up, I listened, abruptly realizing that the church's centuries old-bells were chiming their hourly tune. While standing still and looking up, I took pleasure in the green-hued blossoms on the tiny-tips of the adjacent looming tree, patiently waiting to burst into bloom in the wondrous spring-time sun that's currently inhabiting Amsterdam. I hope that the sun, and spring, are here to stay. There's not a rain cloud in sight. And in North Holland, that, is very rare.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Madrid, Spain:

I went to Madrid recently. For four days I ran in this beautiful park, a lot. Went shopping. I found two pair of supercool pants and they're prefect. It was sunny and 27C almost every day; I really liked that. Oh yes, and I also ate quite a few tapas. That cheese, wine, bread... I love tapas, it turns out. But, to note, I only love the dish-es, that exclude meat. And that's not very Spanish.













Friday, March 23, 2012

The annual return of Vondelpark:


Today I resumed my weekday lunches in Vondelpark, alongside Pablo Picasso's wonderful statue, 'The Fish'. Sitting in the park while listening to Debbie Millman's 'Design Matters', makes me very very happy. As does the spring-time sun, and along with it, the musical melodies of the city's avian friends perched high above the blossoming tree-tops.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Amsterdam & New York:

I often wonder what it is–if anything–that I'm missing by not being in the United States of America with my fellow similar-aged friends, prancing around Manhattan... and what–if anything–they have developed by doing so, that I have not. Are they more in-step with what's happening in the cultural worlds of fashion, art, and design? I'm not sure and my intuitive reaction says: 'No'. Besides, these days the world's information is readily communicated across distances, space, and time in ways that seem to make the world shrink–our world is more connected than ever. But what am I missing–if anything–that would add to the development and layers of my personality by being surrounded by others who have never known the experience of having a royal family play a role in their state? I'm convinced that Europe has shaped and remolded who I am, where I'm going, and what it is I'm setting out to do in the world. And at the end of all my pondering, I'm convinced that many aspects of my life would be different should I have never moved to Amsterdam. Sometimes I miss the hustle and bustle of America, but most always, I do not.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The first day of spring:

Today officially marks the first day of spring in the Netherlands. This week it is forecasted to be sunny, until Friday that is. Which is perfect. It means that for the next few days, Amsterdam will shine. I couldn't anticipate spring any more than I already do. I'm looking forward to bringing my blanket to the park, and looking up at the sky, for countless hours on end.






Monday, March 19, 2012

Growing older...


This afternoon, while lunching at Renzo's under the most fabulous rays of sun, I started to ponder my future. While sipping a piping-hot double-espresso, I noticed an older-aged man–perhaps in his mid-60s–laying back against a bench at the opposite side of the terrace I found myself perched upon. In this man's hand was a white wine, in mine, an espresso. It was mid-afternoon, and I couldn't help but think how similar yet different our lives could have been. Maybe this man was only visiting Amsterdam on a week-long holiday from somewhere far away; maybe he plopped down in Amsterdam for the day; or perhaps he lived around the corner, this white wine being his weekly Monday afternoon ritual. I imagine I will never know what brought this man to this tiny sun-soaked terrace in Amsterdam. But what I do know is that one day I too will have my afternoons free; free from work, free from troubles, free from cares. It will just be me, my white wine, and David–basking under the warmth of the spring-time sun. 

Spring, is nearly here...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Floating away, on Rozengracht:


This past Sunday, while cycling through the city, sun-rays pierced the cumulus clouds that seem to always loom above Dutch skies. Lost in the moment; Debbie Millman's newest podcast on curatorial curiosity whispered through my ears, glorious gables of Lauriergracht peppered my view, and the spring-time sun warmed my face. In a rabbit-hole of my own making, my thoughts tumbling and summersaulting in franticly focussed ways, I reached for my camera, hoping to to translate those thoughts into a physical manifestation by means of the oh-so-gratifying medium of photography. While chasing the white rabbit, I began to wonder what it is exactly that makes my connection to this dramatically layered city so strong; many experiences contribute to why Amsterdam has so profoundly impacted my life. But what makes the city itself so special, beyond the countless gables, bikes, bridges, and canals, I realized, is not the city itself, but the movement that occurs within it. Grounded and strong, yet gleefully light-hearted and welcoming–Amsterdam's streets are fully of mystery, intrigue, and the everyday. Just around the corner will be yet another unexpected treasure, ready to sweep you off your feet–if you reach for it–assisting in allowing you to just... float away...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rembrandtplein:

Nightfall at Rembrandtplein looks fabulous these days. And because of the square's recent 'refresh', it looks even better. The 'Times Square' of Amsterdam, or so I call it.