Monthly Archives: November 2011

an international Thanksgiving

On Saturday evening, a group of friends gathered in my home for a Thanksgiving celebration, to reflect on the last year, give thanks together, and indulge in one fantastic meal.

The menu: pumpkin soup, mushroom bruschetta, roasted root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, black salsify, and leek), dried fig, cranberry, and walnut stuffing, onion, celery, and dried tomato stuffing, mashed potatoes, lamb stew, pumpkin mousse, and pear, ricotta, and honey tart.

Being the only American at the table, amongst a mix of Germans and Dutch, I gave a short history of the holiday and its roots. Inspired by our common residence of the Netherlands, I also told about some of the history of the pilgrims’ travels through Leiden and their Dutch neighbors that founded a colony at Manhattan. Celebrating away from home has never been sweeter.


street art in Barcelona

A few years ago, a random chain of events led to me standing in front of a group of German students answering questions about ‘America’. One student asked if there was much graffiti in the States. Unless you live in a city, the answer is not really. Outside of the cities, instead of being seen as an art form, it falls into more of the ‘act of vandalism’ category. Living in Europe for the past years, I have become a fan of street art that is part of the city. Rather than defacing a structure, it enhances it.

When I had the chance to go to Barcelona for a few days, I knew I would be on the lookout for some of the street art for which the city is famous. While I didn’t have enough time to seek out great works, I did happen to come across these interesting pieces in the neighborhood of my hotel.

weekend links #44

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.

A few things I enjoyed over the last week:
1. Watching this video about translucent tape art in Amsterdam
2. Preparing menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas with inspiration from Sweet Paul (pictured above)
3. Feeling a bit cozier after spotting these socks and this sweater
4. Viewing this infographic comparing education with incarceration in the US
5. Being awed by 2,000 suspended dandelions by Swiss artist Regine Ramseier (pictured below, via colossal)
6. Seeing images of foraging for truffles in Umbria
7. Eating a meal at Proef with Liz, Jenn, Lauren, and Ellen
8. Finding the new digital magazine Contents, with insights about my field of work

de krat 19 November

In this week’s crate: tomatoes, bread, assorted paprikas, winter lettuce, red potatoes, broccoli, parsnips, a green pumpkin, endive, pears, a rutabaga, sausages (for the German), and rosemary olive oil.

the people of Afghanistan

My thoughts again returned to the people of (and in) Afghanistan with this beautiful video by Lukas and Salome Augustin, looking beyond the images of conflict and occupation to the people and their lives (via).

Some of the footage makes an appearance in the recently-published MediaStorm production A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan by photographer Seamus Murphy.

All images are stills from the video.

Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

A Saturday afternoon bike ride along the Amstel River to the sleepy town of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. Wandering the streets, a peek at the village church, a visit to the local bakery, and a stop in a cafe for a bite to eat, a bokbier, and a bit of reading before the bike ride back.

de krat 12 november

In this week’s crate: New Zealand spinach, pear juice, cherry tomatoes, bread, Granny Smith apples, organic eggs, leek, a rosemary plant, Burdock root, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and a European plaice filet.

Did you know Brussels sprouts grew on a stalk? I had no idea.

scenes of intimacy

In Scenes of Intimacy, artist Anne-Laure Maison captures the windows of a city at night, the lit frame revealing the stories within.

Pictured above, the windows of Amsterdam. Below, New York (left) and Prague (right).

“At nightfall, the windows of the flats that are lit up attract more attention than the façade of the buildings that frame them. Lit interiors become real tableaux vivants. The interior takes precedence over the exterior, and we can glimpse moments of people’s intimate lives. I am not actually interested in their intimacy as such, but rather by the space itself – the warmth of a particular light, the twinkling of a Christmas garland or the shimmering glow of a television, the corner of a painting. All these details stir my imagination and inspire my work. When I gaze at these windows, I like to tell myself a story. I capture these intimate moments and build my own structures.” – Anne-Laure Maison

via constant wanderlust

there and back again

A cafe corner. Seattle, Washington. May 2011.

weekend links #43

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.

A few things I enjoyed over the last week:
1. Seeing Chilly Gonzales perform in Amsterdam. Fantastic, inspiring
2. Watching a video of two girls witnessing a murmuration of starlings (video above)
3. Reading Haruki Murakami’s short story ‘Town of Cats‘ in The New Yorker
4. Taking in the stories in the new photo book Next #01
5. Reading the stories of a writer’s twenties told through the project Dress, Memory (pictured below, via Jessica Stanley)

de krat 5 november

In this week’s crate: Komatsuna leaves, purple grapes, rapini, Jerusalem artichoke, salad, carrots, Savoy cabbage (the last of the season), red onions, pears, Belle de Boskoop apples, mushrooms, bread, and venison. Looking forward to a week of eating well.

autumn walk

Crisp leaves and a lingering warmth in the air. Beginning the weekend with a walk along a canal.

and then it was Friday

This week has been full of creative activity and production. Interviews with photographers, a book launch, and website updates left me with the sense of satisfaction that comes when you really get your hands dirty. Cameras rolling, publishing, producing. Today is a day for rest, to sit and think about the stories I have heard and the work that I have done.

turkish coffee and jane eyre

At the end of a beloved book, I will enjoy (re)reading the last pages of Jane Eyre today with a cup of Turkish coffee.