Monthly Archives: August 2010

A Place to Live

Ah, I want to live here. Most rental apartments in Amsterdam – like mine – come completely furnished, down to the teaspoons and bathroom towels. Kind of weird, eh? The sense of impermanence for foreigners in this city makes it hard to get the motivation to do a redesign. But if I did, this would be it (image via spaceships).

Cosas mínimas (little things)

Fall has arrived in Amsterdam and it’s time to write a few letters delayed by the summer weather. I posted the first one to my grandfather in Oregon yesterday – I hope the ink survived the rainy trip from my jacket pocket to the mailbox.

Plans for this weekend include helping a friend move to a new apartment (my first chance at the Dutch system of moving through the front window with a rope hanging from the rooftop – very exciting!), trying a new recipe with the fresh fish bought at Noordermarkt, Café Brecht tonight for ‘a trip through German music history’ and some Czech beer, reading from Dreaming in Hindi, camera shopping (Sarah recommended the Panasonic LX3. Any thoughts?) and writing a few letters, of course.

I’m loving the postcards and images by Blanca Gómez, a graphic designer and illustrator from Madrid, from her project cosas mínimas, which means ‘little things’ in Spanish (via elephantine).

Back to Dresden

When I came to Europe for the first time in 2004, I stayed in Dresden for two weeks, en route to Rome. I had friends studying there – translation: a free place to crash – which made Germany the perfect place to start and end my trip. Little did I know that the time I spent in Dresden would spark a love of Germany that continues today. While living in Amsterdam for the past four years, I have spent a fair amount of time exploring other parts of Germany, especially my Lieblingsstadt Berlin, but I always venture back to Dresden at some point. Even for just a day.

On the recent trip to Berlin, etc. Herr Pfeiffer and I spent two days in Dresden, getting reacquainted with the city I once knew quite well. Our lovely hosts Bill and Jule took us around the city and introduced us to Loschwitz, a neighborhood teeming with aging houses and rustic color. We spent the evening in Neustadt, ‘new city’, for drinks and dinner, which allowed us a peek at the graffiti blossoming in the vibrant neighborhood.

Eine Frau, graffiti in Neustadt, Dresden, Germany.

Mural in Neustadt, Dresden, Germany.

A beautiful house in the Loschwitz neighborhood of Dresden, Germany.

A lovely building with a word puzzle. Laden (store) Galerie (gallery), Ausstellung (exhibition) Verkauf (sales). I’m not sure the purpose of the repetition: store-sales, gallery-exhibition. Confusion reigns no matter how long I study. Any ideas?

A blue gate leading to house number 20. How I would love to walk through it at the end of each day.

Peeks of Summer

It was a great summer and I didn’t post nearly as many photos as I had hoped. Here is a short collection of the best moments. The photo above was taken in Münster, a colorful row of boats floating in the Aasee. Marcus and I went there at the beginning of June to see The Knife’s opera.

The ceiling of the opera house glowed with small lanterns.

Lounging at NDSM, a wharf area in North Amsterdam known as a place for underground culture and accessible via a lovely little ferry ride.

A translucent onion cut in preparation for a BBQ in the park.

A drink to go along with the BBQ.

A cold, but beautiful day at the beach. Summers in Amsterdam are reliably fickle.

Waiting for the film to start at the open air film festival Pluk de Nacht.

Color Berlin

Getting in the mood to head to Berlin on Wednesday with Matthias Heiderich‘s photo series Color Berlin. Soon, very soon.

Out In the Open

The annual open air film festival Pluk de Nacht begins today – seize the night! On screen will be a selection of international films that didn’t quite make it to the mainstream, kicked off by short films as the sun goes down. The atmosphere is wonderful with campfires, beach chairs, music and blankets to stay cozy. Rain or shine, I’ll be there on Friday for Bibliothèque Pascal, a Hungarian film by Szabolcs Hajdu.

Biking in the Rain

I’m loving the photography by @amsterdamized of the bicycle culture in Amsterdam. It’s by far my favorite thing about this city and what I always focus on when other aspects of life here seem less favorable. Like when it’s summertime, but the weather has reverted to spring with sporadic rain, wind, and occasional moments of sunny warmth with a chill in the air.

Despite all threats of a drizzle, I have still been hopping on my bike to do summery things. Up this weekend, my favorite festival of the year. More on that to come. Photo by Amsterdamize

Rope and Summit

Just bought tix to see Junip in October. They’re playing at Trouw in Amsterdam, but also have a lot of UK dates on tour. I saw José González play a solo show in Amsterdam about two years ago. Looking forward to see him with his old band. Here is ‘Rope and Summit’ from their EP of the same name, to be released in the fall. Enjoy*