The architecture of Amsterdam is one of its most unique features. Tall, narrow houses lean forward into the streets, over streets paved with small, ochre bricks. The houses are built this way partly because, at the time many of these houses were built, their owners were taxed on the amount … Continue reading
Today’s little entry in the cabinet of curiosities comes from the royal palace in Amsterdam. The palace squats at the edge of the Dam – the large central plein of Amsterdam. It was built in the mid-seventeenth century as a town hall, and its history as a centre of bureaucracy … Continue reading
At the risk of being terribly self-centred, today’s object is not one I discovered in a museum, street or gallery. Instead, it arrived by post from the United Kingdom. A box of books. My books. Not just books I own, but books I wrote. I wonder if there any moments … Continue reading
Natura Artis Magistra, founded in 1838, is a miniature zoo in the heart of Amsterdam’s Plantage district. It includes an aquarium, butterfly pavilion, planetarium and various other animal exhibits. The zoo is also the site of a range of beautiful old buildings, including Wolf House, which was once The Oak … Continue reading
It’s surprisingly difficult to get good food in Amsterdam. There are oodles of cafes and coffee shops, but the cafes often aren’t really focused on food (but booze and coffee), whereas coffee shops are often places that serve coffee, but are mostly famous for serving various types of cannabis. Gartine … Continue reading
The foam photography museum is on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. Recently, I went there to see an exhibition of photography by Diane Arbus, the American photographer. The exhibition is laid out over several floors, with narrow stairways leading up and down between rooms. This is not a museum for anyone … Continue reading
I’m working on a long, wordy post about my first couple of weeks in Amsterdam. There has been so much to take in; so much beauty and kindness, and sadness, too. In the meanwhile, here are some pictures (yes, I finally got the little red camera working!).