Amsterdam

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Yes, you hoped they’d gone away. But rather like the disease they’re meant to help us avoid, these reminders can still be found on streets, in gutters, and elsewhere any place I’ve gone since March of last year. So though they’ve lost their novelty, now and then I still feel it right to reflect on this new, seemingly enduring addition to the human impact on our surroundings…


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Hmmm. Or maybe it should be “urban jungle?”

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This atmospheric and lovely sculpture, composed of blue glass beads from the Caribbean-Island Dutch territory of St Eustatius, is part of an exhibit entitled Sklavernij (in English, Slavery) at the Rijksmuseum. Many layers to such a lovely museum, initially constructed I would assume with a good contribution of the wealth that came from the trade in sugar, spices … and humans. About the blue glass beads, two different stories about them can be found here and here; the latter burying past pain, current racism and discrimination, and their meaning for all of us now; the former exploring the them more. The museum tells a story similar to the first link, fyi.

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Remarkably, yes, this is well within the city limits of Amsterdam, just off the western edge of Westerpark, north and east of Sloterdijk Station.

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At last I made it back to a concert hall: the first time since 29 February 2020 :-). Sitting in that hall I actually cried a bit to realize how much I’d missed this, then spent a good part of the concert thinking how much Covid has taken from us all.

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