Posts tagged “rijksmuseum


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Here’s to a Happy New Year 2022. This is probably me signing off for a while despite a remaining queue of lovely canal and urban-garden images. Look forward to them once 2022 has shown us more of itself. 🙂

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At 8:22 on the morning of the solstice, the streets were nearly empty because the new corona measures included an early start to school holidays. (So no kids and parents biking to school together – there’ll be a post about that at some point; family values here in NL mean that commuting to work on school days for me means seeing all the parents biking their kids to school before they bike themselves to work.) A good thing, because standing while waiting for the lights to change and the usual backup of bikes at the main intersections would have made me even colder than I already was. On this shortest day of the year there were something like 7 hours and 44 minutes during which the sun was actually above the horizon: when this photo and the one in tomorrow’s post were taken, it has not yet graced us with its rays. But as you’ll see in our final post of the year (it’ll go up on my Friday morning), although its visit was very short on this particular day, the sun was very generous and kind to Amsterdam on the solstice this year. We’ll close out this funky year on the blog with three odes to a lovely city on a clear day :-).


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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.

Angles on Amsterdam

Museumplein & RijksmuseumStreet LampOne thing I’ve loved in my current work is the chance to pass through Amsterdam once or twice a year, depending on length of assignment and timing of planning meetings, etc. Seeing a city regularly over several years, for visits ranging from one or two days to longer than a week, gives a sense of familiarity that also causes me to dig down and try to find details and nuances in buildings, streets, canals, that I might not have noticed before. On my most recent visit, in mid September, I sadly didn’t take my camera out with me on the two or three sunniest days, and many of the others I was just too tired after a long working day to capture much. Still, I did get out and note a new element or two in obscure corners and famous landmarks that might interest my loyal friends and readers here at smw, slt… It’s an endlessly wonderful walking city when the weather’s at least reasonable, and rewards careful slow enjoyment in the quiet side streets and unusual corners.House Detail Boat-Filled Canal Brick BuildingsCanal View
Rijksmusum FacadeCanalside House

Intersections in Amsterdam

Morning in Flevopark

smw, slt has been back in Europe for a bit more than a week, first for a week+ of intensive, big-idea, stimluating meetings with colleagues from around the world – the kinds of meetings that renew one’s pride in the organization one works for, and one’s respect for the colleagues pursuing that work all over everywhere. Mornings I went running a few times, evenings I enjoyed the longer evening daylight to take in some concerts and enjoy the freedom to roam the streets at will. Amsterdam: a city I’ve come to know better each time I’ve visited it since starting to work with the operational centre based there, back in 2009. I’ve shown some views of it before, but this time I’m caputirng a few new areas I don’t think I’ve shown you before. Hope you enjoy. 🙂Museum Plein PanoramaRijksmuseum & Museum PleinAt the very top is a morning-run shot from Flevopark on the eastern edge of the main city part of Amsterdam; the others above here are of the newly-reopened (after major renovation; haven’t yet been inside…) Rijksmuseum and museum plein park of which it and the Van Gogh Museum are cornerstones.

Nieuwe Keizersgracht & Hermitage AmsterdamRijksmuseum & Sunflowers

Amsterdam Street CornerAmsterdam Canal & Street Corner

This sequence of shots is trying to illustrate the range of different kinds of intersections one encounters, constantly, in Amsterdam – canal with canal, canal with street, street with strangely angled (due to canal) street, canal with street with buliding with canal…it’s quite amazing, really.Amsterdam Canal-Corner

Museum Plein…this is the southern edge of Museum Plein, across from which is the Royal Concertgebouw about which more below.
On Niuewe Keizersgracht Public Art Amsterdam…Amsterdam can be a quirky city, from its interesting street art and sculputre scattered here and there to bikes, which its inhabitants take v e r y seriously: the bike is king in Amsterdam as the car is king in LA.
Dutch Bike
Rose-Hedge-House Flevopark WestergasfabrikAbove and below, more examples of gorgeous Dutch brick building works. (The one above is the first central prodessing facility for pressurized natural gas pipelines, if I understood correctly – i.e. the first time gas came into homes not in bottles but the way most developed-worlders know it now.) 
Brick Decorations in Westerpark Bridges by the Amstel Canal Boat Hiden by PlantsIf you look closely you will note that there’s a house boat hidden behind those plants. It was hard to capture in the shot but I decided to show it anyway – I assume the plantings all around it mean it’s pretty much never moved any more but I could be dead wrong. And below, my ode to the nature that crops up surprisingly around Amsterdam.

Heron in Flevopark

Concert HallCgebouw Interior & Organ Cgebouw InteriorAbout the Concertgebouw: after college I lived in NYC and felt very grown up listening to classical music on WNYC, back when they had more music programming. For the life of me I can’t remember the lady’s name b/c Sarah Vowell of more-contemporary public-radio fame has drowned her out, but I do think it was a Sarah someone or other and she’d often play things recorded by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Hearing it on the radio and not knowing anything about Dutch I didn’t understand it just means royal concert hall…but I loved my monring radio, and had never been inside the building until this visit where I went wild with three concerts including one by the eponymous orchestra itself. It’s a lovely building so I got carried away with the shots in different weather conditions hehe.
Concertgebouw Capital w Clouds Concertgebouw Capital