When I stepped onto my plane, I was worried that I would be turned away from the Hostel Van Gogh for being over 40. I had failed to read the fine print on Hostelworld’s website until the day before arrival so I had little recourse or the chance for a refund. I had been bounced in Prague in May due to this same, unfortunate, ageist policy.
Happy day, I gained access to my Amsterdam accommodations without resistance. Of course, I don’t look my age but there’s no way I look under forty so I’m happy they decided to let me gain access to the place. In fact, the staff has been very agreeable.
A trip here has been well overdue after ten years, but I was a little concerned with the reports of tourist overcrowding. Granted, there are a few of them clogging the streets and bridges. Actually, my timing is excellent since it’s holiday time for the locals and so many of them are out of town. Based on the diminished numbers, I would be a little afraid to see what it’s like when the town is at peak capacity.
For those of you planning a visit, come during the August holiday time or the shoulder seasons to avoid the Mongol hordes.
It’s good to see the canals of bridges of this exquisite city once again after over a decade.
Houseboats are often personalized in an amusing fashion.
A special awning protects the business cards of this four-star restaurant.
Cyclists are ubiquitous in Amsterdam, and you are more likely to be hit by a two-wheeler than a motorist. Bike lanes are also everywhere and often hard to identify, and you really have to keep your eyes open so you don’t end up looking like a clueless tourist by blocking bike traffic.
HOLLAND CASINO – Remember people, the house inevitably always wins! Best to opt for a little retail therapy like myself. That way you have some gifts and toys for yourself and family to show for your money.
THE BULLDOG – AMSTERDAM’S BEST KNOWN SMOKING CAFE
COKE ZERO, BULLDOG HERB CONTAINER, BULLDOG LIGHTER
HERMES – This magnificent, glass-brick, retail space was once occupied by Chanel, but Hermes has clearly adapted it beautifully for their brand. In fact, I think it better suits Hermes, and am fortunate to walk past the building every night as I return to my hostel.
This is the apex of the art of retail window dressing, and combined with beauty of the crystalline bricks that makes it a synergistic tour de force.
FANNY PACK CRAB – You’ve got to have a lot of money to waste on a tacky Hermes fanny pack.
Conveyance smaller than a Smart Car finds a spot between the bikes.
His mind is clearly not on his cards.
My Former Horological Colleague, Danika.
Danika launched a very successful luxury travel blog after bailing on San Francisco with her husband. They now have a little boy and have settled here in Amsterdam. We shared a tasty dinner here, and some incredible pancakes a few days later.
WOMEN SWARMING DUTCH SAILORS
WIFE SHOPPING – POOR BUGGER PERCHED ON A CURB
BANKSY – Banksy’s at the MOCO!
PRIDE DECORATED TRAM CROSSES THE BRIDGE
AMSTERDAM PIPE SHOP
THE RUBBER DUCK STORE
My granddaughter would wet herself in this store.
UNICORN RUBBER DUCK – Another plastic waterfowl for my granddaughter Mia’s collection.
BANKSY COMING LATER
STIK – Little Friend – 2013
Daniel ARSHAM – FALLING CLOCK – 2018
Daniel ARSHAM – CORNER KNOT – 2018
Daniel ARSHAM – ERODED LAPTOP – 2013
Daniel ARSHAM – CALCIFIED ROOM
Daniel ARSHAM – HOURGLASS IX – 2018
BANKSY – Rude Copper – 2009
BANKSY – Christ with Shopping Bags – 2004
BANKSY – Girl with Balloon – 2003
BANKSY – Laugh Now Panel A – 2002 (left)
BANKSY – David Bullet Hole Buste – 2006 (right)
BANKSY – Love is in the Air (Flower Thrower) – 2006
I was fortunate to see the original in Palestinian Bethlehem.
BANKSY – Beanfield – 2009
BANKSY – Smiling Coppers – 2002/2003
BANKSY – Cardinal Sin – 2006
Wrath, sloth, gluttony, greed, envy, pride, and lust. The seven deadly sins as taught by Christian tradition, which are often referred to as cardinal sins.
Banksy, a master of wordplay within titles of artworks, made this sculpture, consisting of a bust of a cardinal, with a face that is blurred like that of a criminal. The work reflects the news of the numerous sex offenses committed by members of the church against children.
BANKSY – Crude Oil Jerry – 2004
BANKSY – Di Faced Tenner – 2004
The artist printed one million pounds worth of his Di Faced Tenner. The play on the term ‘defaced’ (di-faced) comes from the fact that Banksy substituted the Queen’s face with that of Princess Diana.
The altered bill, which also features the words “Banksy of England,” were dropped into a crowd at the 2004 Notting Hill Carnival and later that year, The Reading Festival. This lead to the work’s being misused as actual payment in London.
STEDELIJK MUSEUM AMSTERDAM
Marc CHAGALL – Self Portrait with Seven Fingers – 1912/13
Vincent VAN GOGH – Two Peasants Digging – 1889
Vincent VAN GOGH – Kitchen Gardens on Montmartre – 1887
Created during a period of financial struggle, this light and colorful landscape indicates Van Gogh’s Parisian style, one which he imagined would be appealing to many buyers. Unfortunately, those buyers failed to materialize during his sad and unrequited existence. Why is it that suffering seems to produce the greatest art? Though he even wrote to his brother Theo that it would be a nice “decoration for a dining room,” today this painting indicates the emergence of Van Gogh’s expressive brushstrokes and the use of complementary colors he developed in this period, characteristics later associated with his emergence as an influential modern painter.
Piet MONDRIAN – Tableau No. 3: Composition in Oval – 1913
Gerrit RIETVELD – Red and Blue Chair – 1919-1923
Wassily KANDINSKY – Two Surroundings – 1934
Wassily KANDINSKY – Improvisation 33 – 1913
Jackson POLLACK – The Water Bull – 1946
Diego RIVERA – Still Life with Green House – 1917
Gino SEVERINI – Hospital Train – 1915
Pol BURY – 107 Balls in 6 Different Sizes – 1964 (Left)
Jean TINGUELY – Méta-Malevich – 1954 (Right)
Jean TINGUELY – Élément Détaché III – 1954
Lee BONTECOU – Untitled – 1961
Roy LICHTENSTEIN – As I Opened Fire – 1964 (Left)
Claes OLDENBURG – Saw (Hard Version II) – 1971 (Right)
Yayoi – KUSAMA – Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show – 1963
Niki de SAINT PHALLE – Shooting Altar – 1970
SIXTIES POP ART PRODUCTS
VALENTINE – Portable Typewriter – 1969A
ARMANDO – 2 x 7 Bolts on Red – 1961
Yves KLEIN – L’Accord Bleu – 1960El
Elaine STURTEVANT – Raysse High Voltage Painting – 1969
Keith EDMIER – Cycas Orogeny – 2003-2004
Marc BIJL – Suicide Machine – 2003
Jeff KOONS – Mound of Flowers – 1991
Open top pinball machines with adjustable bumpers enable you to create your own game.
PERFECT REPLICAS OF DOROTHY’S RUBY SLIPPERS