Monday, February 12, 2007

Amsterdam part2

this is a continuation, of my adventures in Amsterdam, that i started writing in October.
yes my middle name is procrastinator.

donderdag,May 11th
I'm liking it here, as the days pass. We are now alert to the fact that those wide cobblestone pathways are for bikes, and just as we wouldn't be walking down the center of the street, we also do the same for the bike paths, and use the was pretty seamless, and the weather is perfect, nice and warm. So we walk around everywhere and eat .
A visit to the Rembrandthuis,(Rembrandt's house) which I find very interesting with my printmaking background,the printing press, the tarlatan and his etching are wonderful crisp focused lines, which contrast his dark velvety drypoints.
The only strangeness is the fellow American we run into who, as she's standing at the front step, asks us nervously if we know where the Rembrandt house is. Her friend gives her a double take , as I believe they just found it, and knew where they were, but her friend is acting like she's in the depth of the wilds instead, the easily maneuvered city of Amsterdam.
We quietly tell her yes she's here, and leave promptly, to head off to The Green House, and try the skunk, which the host tells us is mild and sweet, and perfect for a day at the museum, which is true.
I'm noticing after one day on the house boat , when i stand still everything, gently rocks back and forth, like I'm still on it, some of my friends, aren't keen on that feeling but I really like it.(perhaps the skunk, has helped me form this opinion)
We journey on, to decide between Rijksmuseum, or the VanGogh museum, we decide on the Van Gogh museum, and we buy a two day pass there, so we can see the Van Gogh's one day ,and return to see the Rembrandt and Caravaggio exhibit, the other.
As we walk through the museumplein, it is very warm and sunny,we notice all the locals sitting and soaking their feet in the oval pond/ice rink that is there...ahhhhh the water is a little on the cold side, but feels so wonderful after walking everywhere, and with the increasingly warm day, we stop have an ice cream, soak up some sun, before we head to the Van Gogh museum refreshed and ready to see his wonderful paintings.The range from his earlier darker paintings to the beautiful full of light painting he did at Arles, the almond blossom is by far one of my favorites. after viewing them, we return to the warm afternoon, and the different sales booths, in the museumplein, I find a shirt for Zack, and have a frosty cold drinks, and take the opportunity to soak my feet again.
we are off again to wander the streets, we come up on another lovely coffee house the Bombay Chai House, I recommend it for more than it's selection, the owner Tika, is so generous, and sweet, and make the most delicious chai,foamy and sweet and laced with warm honey.I also use a vaporizer, which removes , any little cough, you could ever have, from your green selection. with a vaporizer there is no smoke, no cough, just a wonderful grin.

one of things I enjoy with my travel mates, is we all enjoy the explore aspect of Amsterdam, we find a small market, that has better produce, then even Whole Foods, and is run by one family, who knows his neighbor by name. I witness him giving a young man from the neighborhood, and bag of 2nd day fruit, which benefits him in two ways, he doesn't have to throw it a way, and his neighbor get some great produce for mere euros. We score some lovely strawberries, figs, apricots,juicy cherries there.
we also happen upon Dirk Van de Broek grocery chain, there we stock up on jenever, yogurt, milk and beauty items. I am impressed with how it's common place to bring your own bags,I notice this after I wonder about the line of tables set up, I figure there for people to eat at, if they are hungry, where really it's for you to pack your groceries in said recycled bags, and head on your way.
From we head back to the house boat, as we pass buy our local shops in our neighborhood, we stop in the deli and the cheese shop , and pick up the rest of our things for our houseboat nosh,
which consists of white asparagus , chicory salad, grated celeriac salad with capers , snow peas with hariticot verts, potato salad, we also have some wonderful crusty bread from the cheese shop,some sweet pecan bars, and spiced carrot cake, all reasonably priced, and soo delicious.The rest of the afternoon is spent planning our next day, we're off to Keukenhof to see all the flowers. that night we go to dinner at Solenda Kalapa, which is just down the street on Utrechtsestraat, we have the rice table, which is delicious the food is fresh, the meat tender, the veggies cooked perfectly, all of it satisfying.
Two charming girls greet us and serve us, they were new but happy and not afraid to show there inexperience, they didn't get stressed , just continued to smile. the best part of the meal is we could just walk down the street and return home. it still make me pleased, this is our neighborhood, we live here (temporarily).