Well, they aren't very far apart, and many people commute between the two! I should hurry over to the weather thread, because a heavy rain woke me up, and I had to make sure no rain came in onto the hardwood floors. Such a relief! Some farmers here had even lost strawberry crops. I was in Haarlem just for half a day, must spend more time there. Remember that I was facilitating at seminars, not a tourist above all, though of course I did as much tourism as I could. The other town Bixa must see is Utrecht, larger than Haarlem though smaller than Amsterdam. Also an easy rail journey, as many people commute between those cities as well.
I prefer people from Utrecht if I may say. Friendlier imo.
I made a mistake when I went to Utrecht, and that was to go on a Saturday. Apparently most of the known world hits Utrecht on Saturday! I'll try to go back, as people speak so well of it. Yes, people there are super nice. I got turned around and a lovely local woman walked with me back to where I wanted to be. She was originally from Puerto Rico, but loves Utrecht.
In thread time, we've arrived at July 10. On that day, I went to the ferry landing behind the Centraal to see what I could see. You go around the left-hand side of the station and through a pedestrian/cyclist tunnel gloriously ornamented in tile ~
A ferry is docking, so I join the passengers waiting to get onboard ~
And we're off ~
The taller building on the right is the A'DAM Toren, situated on in Buiksloterweg, our destination ~
And this is what is on top of that building: "a flight experience". Yikes!
This striking installation immediately drew me over ~
These envelopes were apparently meant to be taken, so I took one ~
I open it back at the apartment. It contained two accordion folded pages, each fold with a photo on one side and the person's biography on the other. There was also an introductory letter and the postmarked envelope ~
Frustratingly, I could not see inside of this little room ~
Oddly, this wiki page is in Dutch, but also in Italian. You'll probably get better results translating it on google translation with the Dutch, which is closer in structure to English (though you could translate the Italian into Spanish).
www.acitymadebypeople.com/journal/town-talk-1-vogelbuurt I also noted that there are short-term rentals there. About the only place in Amsterdam with free parking, useful for anyone taking a road trip, though it is obviously also pedestrian and cyclist-friendly. As you can see there is shopping, and that pretty blue-green mosque (there are also churches, built along with the neighbourhood).
I've been billing clients, so looking at this site as I take breaks from that difficult but necessary task. But now I have to run some errands! Happy explorations!
Thanks, LaGatta & thanks for your attention to this thread.
In thread time, we're jumping ahead to July 13, as the 11th & 12th will get separate threads. On the 13th I went to see something that I've wanted to see since arriving here, the World Press Photo exhibition. It is currently on exhibition in various places around the world. If anyone has a chance to see this, I urge them to do so: www.worldpressphoto.org
Be aware that it will be a tremendously affecting experience. I had to hide in an alcove at one point to collect myself. This is apparently a common reaction by viewers at the exhibition.
The photos are being shown in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) which, despite its name, is the second oldest church in Amsterdam, dating from 1409. Obviously there is little point in my showing photos of photos, plus I'm not sure about the legality of that. So, here are just a token few from the exhibition, plus a look at the church. The major prize-winning pictures are free-hanging and very large, making their impact even more forceful.
A quick background on the religious history of the region ~
Not the only painted images in the church. Perhaps they were uncovered later, when the building was secularized ~
One of the photos ~
A very large area was set aside to show the prize-winning documentaries. I only watched one all the way through, a reason to return to the exhibition before it closes ~
~~ More of this later. I have places to go, more pictures to take. ~~
I'm glad you went to the Press Photo exhibit. (In September I'm returning to Perpignan for the Photojournalism Exhibit. Always informative and moving.)
I wonder if the churches in the Netherlands didn't get a bit barren not just through secularization but also because of Protestantism. I was struck there by how empty they were compared to Catholic churches. Perhaps it's different in the south of the Netherlands where there are more Catholics?
Thanks, Bjd! Am looking forward to what you have to say about the Photojournalism Exhibit in Perpignan.
Oh, it was absolutely because of Protestantism that the churches were stripped of statues, etc. See the two big captions right after the first picture in #69. That little potted history plays down how vicious and drawn out the religious/political fight was. The fact that Catholicism was the religion of the hated Spanish overlords did not help its standing. www.museeprotestant.org/en/notice/protestantism-in-the-low-countries/
The following day I wanted to see the arts & crafts fair on the Museumplein, so wound up walking over the northern bridge of Vondelpark again. I wanted to cross the street, but there was so much traffic that I decided to go under the bridge in order to come up on the other side. This is the ornamentation on the bridge support which met me at the bottom of the stairs ~
I was distracted from the grotesquerie by gorgeous violin music, played with much feeling. After a moment I recognized the song as "My Way", of all things. Investigating, I found this gentleman. He said he was from Azerbaijan. Heartbreaking to find him playing for coins under a bridge ~
His side of the bridge had its own little horror show ~
Arriving at the fair, I was forced to the conclusion that the universe is telling us something via sky writing ~
She was singing "Walking on Sunshine" ~
Now I've seen everything!
I defy anyone to deny that these are messages in the sky ~
To be honest, the Diamond Museum didn't engage me that much, even though it has some interesting displays. I was amused by this room, which played diamond-themed songs from movies and was lined with angled mirrors ~
Here I am holding my mouth just right so I can take a diamond-encrusted selfie ~
I was in good company ~
Back outside, watching people enjoy Sunday as they try to beat the heat ~
I must point out the dangers of scrolling these threads and the fact that a lot of us go too fast. I just went through these pages again and discovered a number of fabulous pictures that I had missed the first time around. And I just now noticed the seagull in that last cloud photo as I was writing this!
Indeed. I try to go back to them at least once. But of course we all have different centres of interest. The Dick Bruna characters are adorable; Nintje of course, but there are also puppies, kittens and other creatures, often doing things small humans do. That "clear line" is also familiar in Low countries graphic design and comics/graphic novels from Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as several prominent "fine" artists. Many of the Nintje (and friends) books are in a small format easy for small children to handle and carry around.
Thanks, Kerouac! So true about speedy scrolling. I've gone back to threads and been ashamed that I did not give the thread-maker his/her due the first time through. That poor seagull looks as though it's been shot down.
LaGatta, there is Miffy merchandise in shops everywhere around here. Far from being turned off by the commercialization, I've been charmed by each and every item I've seen.
So ~ Now to a series of posts on a place that I enjoyed as much as any place I've been in Amsterdam and a place that I think captures the city's spirit. That is, the NDSM wharf.
I went on a very hot sunny day, a day when no events were taking place so the area was semi-deserted. That made it all the better in terms of appreciating what is there and how it's being used and re-used. It's reached from the ferry terminal at Amsterdam's central station.
This is clever: the light coming through the translucent station roof delineates the bike path ~
The ferry landing is across from the A'DAM Toren, shown earlier in this thread ~
But we're not going there today. We are going here:
Looking around as I wait for the ferry, I marvel again at the sheer number of bikes in Amsterdam ~
Here's our boat ~
So much working traffic on the river ~
Land ho! Those fat red letters say "Boatel" and it is indeed a hotel inside a boat ~
On disembarking, my first thought was how empty it seemed, with everything baking and bleaching in the sun ~
The North-South metro line has finally opened after many, many years of construction, and some disastrous collapses of buildings and streets in the old centre, especially de Pijp, as I recall. Mud - as Bixa and Casimira would be familiar with from Nola.
I have yet to take one of the ferries, but since I always arrive at the train station long before my train is due to leave, I always walk out the back side of the station to look at the ferry dock and regret not having taken a boat somewhere.
LaGatta, I don't know what the alternative to the north-south might have been, but it certainly seems like something the city needs and that might well be expanded in the future.
Keruoac, I absolutely love ferry boats since they are tied up with pleasant memories of my home town. I also find them addictive. If I were staying nearer the Centraal, I'd probably be taking them often, just for the ride
Continuing to move around the area, with some discreet snooping into living spaces & appreciating art where I find it ~
Interesting but I admit that I'm not really sure of what this place is for. Just somewhere to get away from the busy city without going too far? Is it an alternative area, a bit like Christiana was in Copenhagen?
... I'm not really sure of what this place is for.
Bjd, from what I can tell, it is a way to ensure that the shipyard history is honored at the same time that the area gets real use that benefits artists and other citizens of Amsterdam. I was happy to get to see it on a regular day, with no crowds or events. It has the feeling of a place that people live and work in a low-impact way that is part of Amsterdam, but away from the crowding and commercialism of the big city.
There isn't a clear and defined outcome for the NDSM beyond the aim of transforming it into a metropolitan cultural hub. What that will become in the coming decades remains to be seen. While the destination is unknown, the journey is based on clear cut frameworks - respect for the shipyard's history, functional spaces rooted in creative expression, re-cycled materials, and a shared lifestyle within its community. So far, the NDSM laboratory has delivered successful experiments towards establishing that sustainable cultural hub and not another isolated artsy neighborhood.source
Continuing my happy exploration of NDSM, I see that foraging creatures would not be disappointed ~
The roses that produce those hips have done their part in repurposing abandoned spaces ~
It seemed I had this section all to myself, although now and then there were glimpses of humans. I'm pretty sure the building were in use ~
Studies in blue ~
Big, big hangar ~
I take this as an indication that I should go inside ~
Looking back at NDSM. I'm deliberately including only this downplayed picture of the Anne Frank mural because honestly, it somehow doesn't sit well with me. You be the judge of whether or not her image feels well served or exploited ~