It’s official. After nearly seven years in Amsterdam, I am heading home. The move has been in the works for a while now, but the tangible reality of it is really emotional. It hasn’t always been easy, but this little country has been good to me.
In July 2006, I arrived in the Netherlands with two suitcases in hand. It was my first time stepping foot in the country, enticed by a full scholarship for a two-year Master’s of Arts program. The first year was a rollercoaster as I adjusted to living in Europe, a mix of awe at the beauty of the city and confusion as I wondered where my place was in the world. I had lived in Seoul the year before and, although I loved my family, I didn’t want to live in America. A year into my studies, I wondered if Amsterdam was the place for me. At the height of wanderlust, I imagined moving next to Berlin or Paris. And then…
In September 2007, I met Marcus. A sweet German who had lived in Amsterdam for two years, played music, worked with technology, and is the epitome of stability and love. When I received my diploma in June 2008, I couldn’t imagine leaving him and decided to stay. I entered the Dutch workforce in August 2008, building my career and an amazing network.
Moving to a new apartment. German lessons. A job offer from World Press Photo. Traveling the world. An engagement. A wedding. And then it was 2013.
The two suitcases I arrived with in 2006 have evolved into five cubic meters to be packed in a transatlantic shipping container. I now have my MA degree, a solid professional career, friends from all parts of the world, and an amazing husband. And somehow, despite the distance, I am closer to my family than ever. I don’t mean to make it sound easy. There were moments of tears and frustration, times of loneliness and wondering if I would make it along the way. But I did.
A new life awaits in Portland and there are so many details to arrange before the end of February. But for now, I am going to enjoy these last days with the city that has brought so much to my life.
Enjoy the weekend and these links!
1. How to properly stack wood (pictured above)
2. A sleek, simple alarm clock app
3. Ten recipes that use lentils, one of my favorite sources of protein
4. A blind person’s instagram
5. Dreams of a high-speed train network across the States
6. A sobering view of the gun deaths in the US since the Newtown shooting
7. Photographs for Geolocation, a project by Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman that ‘situates virtual communication in the physical realm’ through the images taken at the location of a Tweet (pictured below)
Over the past week, I had the opportunity to watch some amazing examples of visual storytelling today and listen to conversations from its leading practitioners, thanks to the World Press Photo multimedia judging. Now in its third year, I have seen the contest grow from the inaugural year to a refined look at what’s going on in the world of multimedia. In the last days, I watched about 50 of the 287 submitted productions, observing the process as the jury narrowed it down to the final selection and interviewing judges about the winners.
Here is the list of the winners, with two of my favorites embedded below. I can also highly recommend ‘Dreams on Freewheels’ coming out of China. And all the interactive productions are worth the time to explore.
1st Into the Shadows
2nd Living with a Secret
3rd Aleppo Battleground
1st Too Young to Wed
2nd Dying for Relief: Bitter Pills
3rd Dreams on Freewheels
1st Alma: A Tale of Violence
2nd Bear 71
3rd Lost and Found
Honorable Mention UnknownSpring
And below, interviewing Samuel Bollendorff with my favorite cameraman.
Earlier this week, I was delighted to discover a delicious, simple recipe for roasted cabbage. I enjoy cooking and experimenting with the produce that appears in the weekly box of CSA, but sometimes I’m at a loss for what to do with certain vegetables. Especially in the wintertime, it can be a bit difficult to muster up the creativity to cook with yet another head of cabbage.
In my pursuit for healthy, vegetarian recipes that are also packed with flavor, I have come across food blogs that constantly inspire me in the kitchen. It also doesn’t hurt to have a husband that loves cooking and is a master with spices. Below are a number of recipes that showcase the vegetables and fruits that are at their best in winter. For a (northern hemisphere) calendar of what’s in season, visit Eat Seasonably. Do you have any favorite winter recipes?
1. Roasted cabbage wedge with rice from Casa Yellow (above left)
2. Cabbage salad from (above middle)
3. Rustic cabbage and white bean soup from 101 Cookbooks (above right)
4. Braised red cabbage from The Wednesday Chef
5. Sauerkraut and reasons to love it
1. Roasted cauliflower with cumin & coriander butter from Seven Spoons (above left)
2. Roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup from Two Peas (above middle)
3. Spicy cauliflower with sesame from 101 Cookbooks (above right)
Brussels Sprouts recipes
1. Brussels sprouts with vinegar-glazed onions from Martha Stewart (above left)
2. Braised chestnuts and Brussels sprouts from Roost (above middle)
3. Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries with barley from Cookie + Kate (above right)
1. Charred carrots with griddled goat cheese from Casa Yellow (above left)
2. Ginger-roasted carrots with miso dressing from My New Roots (above middle)
3. Roasted carrot soup from Food52 (above right)
Celery root recipes
1. Winter salad from Local Milk (above left)
2. Potato and celery root gratin from Delish (above middle)
2. Creamy curried celery root soup from The Minimalist (above right)
1. Poached pears from The Daily Serge (above left)
2. Pear soup from Sweet Paul (above middle)
3. Pear, ricotta, and honey tart from Bella Eats (above right)
4. Spiced pear muffins from The Kitchn
It’s no secret that I love to travel. I can’t imagine a life that didn’t involve packing a suitcase every few months at least. Marcus and I even have promised ourselves to visit at least one new country each year. In 2012, I traveled to ten countries outside the Netherlands. Some of these trips took me back to familiar territory, others took me to unexplored areas of countries I’d visited before.
The two new countries this year were Wales and Morocco. Wales was my favorite. The sheep dotting the rolling hills, the climb up Mount Snowdon, the shepherd’s hut we stayed in, and eating one of my favorite meals of the year. Morocco, visited on a work trip, was the most novel and much too short. And our trip to Italy, for our honeymoon, was undoubtedly the most memorable.
Read more about: Florida, Belgium (Ghent, Brugge), Italy (Rome and the Amalfi Coast), Germany (Stuttgart and the East for summer and Christmas), France (Paris, Versailles, and Lille), Spain, Canada, Oregon (summer and fall), England (Bath, The Cotswolds, The Lake District, Gloucestershire), Wales, and Morocco.
Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. I hope you enjoy them as well!
1. Reading Snow Fall, a interactive feature story by The New York Times about an avalanche at Stevens Pass, Washington. Amazing writing and multimedia components make this one of the most engaging stories I’ve seen in a while
2. Loving the hand knit merino throw from Loopy Mango (pictured above)
3. Viewing the amazing images from David Attenborough’s new BBC series (via)
4. Discovering a new collection of yoga videos, perfect for the new year
5. Reading an article on the evolving style of Michelle Obama
6. Wishing I were across the ocean on 19 January when Noma comes to Portland
7. Dreaming of Madeira (pictured below 1, 2)
It’s 2013! A rainy morning in Amsterdam, the streets lined with the evidence of last night’s firecracker extravaganza. Marcus and I are usually in Portland or Berlin for New Year’s Eve and it was our first time celebrating in Amsterdam. In lieu of a party, we had a quiet celebration with cheese fondue, champagne, and an intense game of Scrabble. As the clock struck midnight, we stood together at the window, watching the fireworks bursting above and sang along with Sufjan Stevens’ Auld Lang Syne.
And now, on to the New Year. If you’re still looking for a calendar, I would recommend this one from aprons and birds, available in English and Spanish for the northern and southern hemispheres.