Een Amerikaanse in Amsterdam

AmsterdamVia een Amerikaanse Facebook / blog-vriendin (de kunstenares Carol Douglas) kreeg ik een mail van Toby Gowing. Zij schreef: ‘My friend Carol Douglas thought you might like to see my trip reports, and would enjoy the photos.’ En dat klopt, want ik vind het inderdaad leuk om eens met de ogen van een buitenlandse gast naar onze eigen hoofdstad te kijken. Ik geef haar foto’s en observaties onbewerkt en onvertaald door – het spreekt allemaal voor zich. En er komt nog meer – stay tuned.

Dan and I recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam, followed by a voyage through the Highlands of Scotland by rail. This was my third trip to Amsterdam and Dan’s second time there. I love this city. It was the home of my favorite artist, Rembrandt, and remains a uniquely intriguing city. Here are a few images of the city and also a couple of works in the Rijksmuseum which recently re-opened only a few days before we arrived.

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On the bridge. We are just a few doors down the block on the right hand side. This was a very convenient location.
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We lived on the second floor just over Antoine’s, a fancy restaurant. We entered the staircase through the door on the right. If you look near the top of the building you will see a beam with a pulley. These are hoisting beams and they are on almost all houses in Amsterdam. The houses are narrow and almost anything large must be hoisted up, then it comes through the window.
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This is a real life canal scene. People live on the houseboats moored in the canal. The normal routine of housekeeping is displayed for all to see. Our rental apartment lies just beyond the white bridge which is a famous draw bridge in Amsterdam.
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This is not a toy.
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Everyone likes this painting and I enjoy it myself. I even like the frame.
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Here are the Vermeers. We came back to the Rijksmuseum the next morning shortly after the opening to see the Vermeers with no one else there. We also were able to stand in front of the Night Watch with only a few other people who were quietly absorbing it. The museum had been closed for about twelve years being renovated and the collection was housed in another building in Amsterdam. Since it was only open four days before we came to it, I could hardly resent the large crowds, of which I was one. They did a beautiful job on the renovation, and it amazed me that the huge place was running like clockwork even after such a short time open to the public.
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This is a detail of the famous Rembrandt painting, The Night Watch. As I studied the painting I became aware for the first time what a large role hands play in the composition.
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Here is a close up of the hand holding the glove. I wish you could see it in person.
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Canal scene. We wondered how many cars fell into the canals while parking. In Delft, which also has canals, you have to parallel park with no railing. We later learned via a museum display that horses used to fall into the canals regularly, and an apparatus was available to lift them out.
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A window full of books. The bikes have nerve-jangling bells.

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