My hair has found its home…

Drizzly rain again today, but the Dutch go out in all weather (since, as Mettine points out, if you didn’t, you’d stay home 6 months out of the year). Subsequently, everyone gets at least a little wet and their hair gets at least a little frizzy, so there is no national obsession with super-straight hair as we have now in the States! I feel so free!

This is probably the only country I’ll visit on this trip where people think I’m a local. Especially now that I rented a bike!

On the road

Most of the bikes here are cruisers–much more comfortable and civilized than what I ride at home–and you can wear a skirt and high heels!

Mettine and Suleika on our way to a bar

Now it’s much easier to tour the city, so I spent Friday visiting the contemporary art galleries in the Jordaan. Of course the high-end galleries show many of the artists you’d see in New York, and gallery spaces themselves are, of course, fairly generic and uniform no matter the location. But I saw lots of interesting work.  This exhibition of Carlos Amorales, “Vertical Earthquake” at Annet Gelink, was my favorite of the day:

Carlos Amorales-pencil drawings created with rulers based on fault lines of buildings damaged in an earthquake.


Video--the artist working with a malleable metal spiderweb

Other galleries I visited were: (Anthony Goicolea), (Carola Ernst and Matthias Hesselbacher), and an interesting jewelry/small sculpture gallery:

Felt piece from a Silk Road shop

Toaster from the "Fifties and Sixties" store

But inspiration is usually better found in everyday places and things:

And another cool design store:

Amazing lamp!

Second amazing lamp!

Detail of lamp's underside

Saturday and Sunday were “Open Monumentendag”, during which 19th century buildings are open to the public for free. On Saturday I visited the “Manege”; horsestables in a very wealthy neighborhood. It was the perfect mix of elegant architecture and manure…aaah! An 8-year old Stephanie’s dream come true….

Fancy riding ring

Register of residents

my dream life 25 years ago....

Saturday we had gorgeous sunny weather, so after the stables I spent most of the day riding through various parks, looking at people and watching dogs play. I passed a very formal wedding with women in cocktail dresses and fancy hats and men in orange silk ties. That evening was Mettine’s housewarming party, where I got to meet her wonderful parents and friends.

Sunday Mettine and I visited more historic spots, including the “Duif” Church–initially translated to me as the Church of the Pigeon. The idea of a “holy pigeon” confused me for a bit until we realized that the Dutch use “Duif” for both Dove and Pigeon. Duif/Dove, of course…! This later prompted a discussion on why in English there are two words for these birds, since there is no real scientific difference between them. Are we separating the holy from the heinous merely by color? yikes!!

About Stephanie Beck

Exploring the international world of art.
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