Thursday, 15 May 2014

Tulips from Amsterdam

Just sharing some of the photos I took while in Amsterdam. We had a wonderful few days there. It is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. Small enough to walk around and the shops are fantastic, so many specialized and authentic shops. Here are a list of my top five.
Posthumuswinkel, they have the best selection of stamps  I have ever seen.
Oker Gallery they had interesting, quirky some exclusive affordable art, and across the road we got an excellent lunch kerkstraat59.
Haarlemmerstraat  is well worth making the effort to visit, all the shops there are wonderful I especially liked
Sukha Restored. and top of my love list is Sixandsons which describes itself as a general store but the displays and shop fittings care like no other general store I've ever been in. I bought a Palomino black wing pencil there, its sooo cool. I only regret that I did not buy the pencil sharpener too, it sharpens the lead and wood separately, everyone should have one!
I never saw so many bicycles, and the rules of the road for cyclists are a mystery, we took our lives in our hands just trying to cross the street, and on de9straatjes you are crossing over all the time as there are so many delightful shops.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mobile Phones and Art Galleries

I had the pleasure of visiting the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam last week. I was really looking forward to it as it had been closed for many years due to refurbishing and it is home to so many iconic works of art. But my pleasure was ruined due mobile phones. When did it become acceptable to photograph works of art in Galleries? Is this a new think? I don't remember encountering it before. Why can't people just look and enjoy the moment and if they need a memory of the experience why cant they buy a postcard in the shop? It was especially annoying where the art work was small such as the Vermeer, you can see what I mean by the pictures below, now this may seem like a contradiction, me using my phone camera too, but I am taking pictures of those taking pictures, not photographing the art work which was almost impossible to see.
 The Gallery is beautiful and well laid out and easy to get around, I down loaded their app. before hand which is handy so that you know what you want to see and where it is. Their audio guide was also excellent although the que to pick it up was long and slow. There is an "Art is Therapy" exhibition running along side the main displays by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong which I very much enjoyed, as the name suggests it highlights the therapeutic effect of art, although it did not comment on the negativity of having to view it alongside snap happy art lovers.
How can I write a post about Amsterdam in April without including a photo of some tulips, These were in the garden outside the Rijksmuseum, this year they were early so we were lucky to catch the end of them.

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