home again, little bird

I have returned to my home shores. I reset the Time Zone on my Mac for the third time in 24 hours… I’m eight hours off of France and Holland now. I feel great, if a bit ear-ringy, and I slept when the natives slept, which is the most that could be asked of me jet-lagwise. It was glorious to curl up with Bill… well, beyond glorious. It’s like folding into strong tall furry heaven, like kissing Bryan Ferry, like my spirit and my restless mind sinking into the peace of a kind of home I never dreamed of.

Here are some photos from Amsterdam, starting with my train journey from Paris, and pretty much in order.

When I arrived at the station, I stuffed my suitcase into a baggage locker, found my incredibly charming (and highly recommended) Best Western Leidse Square hotel, and off I went, walking and catching a tram whenever it started raining. When it stopped, or when I got to the look of a shop or street I liked, I hopped off and started walking again.

My first stop was the Stedelijk, the contemporary art museum. I’d last seen it in temporary digs, now it was in its grand Bathtub over by the Van Gogh museum (which this time was closed for renovation.) I’m not sure what I think about the new building. It’s had a lot of mixed reviews.

I couldn’t get a good shot of it because of traffic, circumstance, time of day- I’ll let this shot by John Lewis Marshall that accompanied Justin Davidson’s not-so-great review of the new structure (entitled “There Goes the Neighborhood) in Architectural Record stand in. I hate to link to such a bad review of anything, but it’s the kind of building that is deliberately discordant with its site, and you know that is going to bring some Hell No down on the makers. Anyway, most great buildings have been roundly hated upon their construction. Maybe time will help this one make more sense.

Inside, it was roomy and clean and with a lot of room for the art to breathe. I loved the poster wall.

Their collection is stunning. They have really quite a lot of pieces from the beginning of Cubism and crazy; I was as puzzled by many of the canvases on Tuesday as people were at the time, and certainly as these schoolboys were. I stood in front of them for a long time, puzzling over the messy execution. I get that Picasso was trying to make a point with this painting. I don’t get using sloppy technique to make it. A lot of the work from that period was deliberately, jarringly ugly.

Luckily Gertrude Stein and others got it while it was happening. Because I don’t know if I would have.

The canals were sparkly and beautiful yesterday. And art is everywhere.

See the torso sculpture ont he white building? Click to enlarge (any of these, of course.)

Also, houseboats:

I missed the Internets yesterday. No WiFi on the plane, and no time to do anything but dash in the Philly and Charlotte airports. And so I couldn’t post Double Rainbow All The Way in a timely manner.

You know I love sexy cars. Imagine my delight to just be walking along, and see these noses peeking out of what turned out to be a fabulous Citroen shop. They had some real beauties in there… of course I went inside to see the shop, the cars.

Such a beautiful city…

all photos IPhone 4S.

7 thoughts on “home again, little bird

  1. Wow! Were there bouquets on top of the cars in the Citroen shop? It’s such a Dutch thing to do. Great photos, too.

  2. Someday, I would love to return to Amsterdam. I didn’t have nearly enough time when I was there in 1991. Did you notice the window sills in private apartments at street level being full of odd displays of nick nacks and interesting collections? Maybe it was a 90’s thing.

  3. nope, not a 90’s thing, they still do that, usually with a lace curtain that doesn’t go down to the sill. My first visit to Holland was in 1991, and I remember all the little curios being intriguing. Love poking in all the shops in Amsterdam. Nice to see Central station finally lose the scaffolding and be unveiled, my trip last year it was still in progress.

  4. Loved seeing your shot of your bead tin/tray on the train. FYI…if you have room, put the bead mat in the lid while beading…easier on the wrists.

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