Friday, 28 September 2012

roze. rose. pink

bright hot pink has always been a favorite color of mine. the dutch use it everywhere, including on trains, bikes, cars...i saw this pink fiat in amsterdam last week. i was struck by the juxstaposition of the typical dutch architecture and the modern car. ( but SO VERY TYPICAL here) pink bikes are a very common sight and kids here delight in decorating their bikes with very functional pink baskets  & plastic flowers.
a welcome discovery at unseen ( already mentioned in my post BLAUW) was was the work of  Tina Berning & Michelangelo Di Battista  - their collaborative face project ( she is an artist, he a photographer) was a intriguing hybrid of fashion photography and painting/drawing/colage. The two artists met for the first time on a photo shoot for VOGUE ITALIA in the summer of 2007 and began collaborating. 
the crazy photo of brightly colored headphones on the bottom left was from a ceiling installation at MERCI in paris. an incredible "concept" store with a twist - they donate % 100 of their profits to charitable causes. ( they were the founders of Bonpoint)  there are housewares, books, fashion and lots of other goodies...the visuals & displays are worth the trek.
see here for great photos & indepth description.
do YOU see pink in your daily life? if so,..leave me a comment.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

BLAUW. bleu . Blue

a highlight of last week was my visit to the Unseen Photo Fair in the monumental Gashouder & Transformatorhuis in Amsterdam. (* see photo in center - this was exhibited outside of one of the amazing brick buildings) over fifty leading contemporary art and photography galleries from around the world ( new york, tokyo, paris...) participated.  they showcased new work by established photographers and/or work by emerging photographic talent. the "galleries" were housed in "stands" ( like pieces of a pie radiating out from the center of the round building) designed by Amsterdam-based design studio Müller Van Tol. 
it was thrilling to stumble upon the work of Jocelyn Lee, an old friend from maine, now a professor at princeton.
the fashion exhibit came from Camera Work Collection in Berlin it takes an inspiring look at fashion photography of the last from legends: Edward Steichen, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Steven Klein, Horst, Ellen Von Unswerth, Albert Watson Peter Lindbergh and many others.
i took myself out for lunch within the westergasfabriek at bakkerswinkel - a very lively, local scene...
other blauw images are:  the kitesurfers at scheveningen beach, our back alley improvised skatebaan..(H is a big fan and we spend a lot of time at the local skateboard shop inconcrete), local buidlings & signs and finally - another of the many vintage citroen around town which i keep finding and covet.

Monday, 24 September 2012


on sunday we were invited to attend the dutch polo masters in vreeland. what an exciting sport - and fascinating scene all around. it was a blustery day but it did not deter the crowds from drinking their
veuve cliquot and cheering for theirs friends, family & teams.
our host plays polo so lucky for us we had a play-by-play explanation of what was happening. i was entranced, very excited ( we sat SO close) and completely fascinated.
the ponies ( all from argentina) were gorgeous and strong.
the players hailed from argentina, new zealand but were predominantly dutch.
apparently polo has only been an organized sport in the netherlands since 1988 - at least thats when the first club began. now there are several, the largest & oldest one in our lovely town of wassenaar.
this sunday my son & i will go to see the ladies play at our local club.
if you get a chance - go see a match - you will not regret it.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


i  was recently invited to join a friend in paris, stay in her fabulous hotel 
                     and spend 2  fun-filled days walking and biking throughout the luminous city.
                      i included a pic of myself on the Velib rental bike which i think is a MUST - DO
                     a few highlights : walking in the tuileries  & place du louvre as the sun came up
                     and across a few of the ponts ( bridges) at night. biking right at the edge of the seine.
                     seeing the apairy   in the jardin de luxembourg.( bee hive & bee school that has been
                     in the garden since 1856) window shopping in the "haut marais" and the boutique merci
                     next visit : december. on the agenda - ART.


Friday, 14 September 2012

HUIS { maison} {home}

                                  HUIS   {house. home. place. family. premises}
             thinking a lot about the differences between my huis here
             in the netherlands and my home in the states. the simplicty
             of the layout & the materials within the interior ( lots of white 
             laminate!), the furnishings, the integrity of the overall design, the fact          
             that nothing is actually ours with the exception of a few personal 
             items, mostly clothes. 
             luckily i brought some small art supplies and have been
             decorating with our own artwork to try and personalize things a bit.
             but honestly i am loving the austerity and the freedom it allows us.
             and - i must be honest - I LOVE WHITE, so i lucked out (as you can
             see from my huis photos).

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

oranje. orange

     Orange is EVERYWHERE here is holland and is actually the color of the Dutch Royal

     family. The lineage of the current dynasty - the House of Oranje-Nassau - dates back to
     Willlem van Oranje, dating back to 1544. and in doing a little looking around i discovered 
     that the current Prince of Oranje lives right here in Wassenaar with his wife, the princess   
     and their three children.
     My oranje sightings will continue daily as i mentioned before - its everywhere you look - 
     cars, boats, bikes, postal boxes, at cafes, doorways, floral shops ( where all the pots &  
     flowers are color coordinated)...and once i start to see a color - i can't seem to NOT see it.
     more ORANJE soon.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

geel. jaune. yellow

the light is still late summer - early fall. bright & clear. bright yellow sun.
this week has involved a solo bike trip to leiden,  (its a mere 30 min ride) , an inspiring, very academic evening at NIAS ( the reason we are here ) a lot of kid care ( sick son home from school) and more town & beach exploration. its been relatively warm and evenings at the beach are a must while the weather holds.
one highlight of my week is the local outdoor market where i discovered a gouda type cheese with caraway seeds which we love. this was its wrapping Boerenkass - and Boer means 'farmer' and kaas means 'cheese'. Seems simple - but hidden behind that straightforward name is what holland's cheese is really all about and this one falls into the category of cheeses that have been hand-made on the farm using pure unpasterised milk from the farm's own herds. its delicious.
still taking it all in.
tonight  just home from my son's school - information for parents night ( i barely understood a word!) . trying to learn my dutch numbers, days, months, as many words as possible,  and using them daily......
ik ben blij

Monday, 3 September 2012


color. color. color - its everywhere in the netherlands. 
nautical flags, doorways, bikes, kids clothes ( oililly has always been one of my favorite childrens clothing lines), kindergartens  & nursery schools - like this one pictured above - right across from our home here.
saw this tree close to the out-door market recently. wondering if the knitta artist magda sayeg has been to this teeny town? i used one of her pieces, a knitted trailor at el cosmico for a kids photo shoot. they are magical, inspired, bright, completely original.
( make sure to comment  if YOU have a favorite artist or designer whose use of color excites you)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

strand. plage. beach

apologies for all the beach shots - but  this is one of holland best kept secrets: the beaches  that stretch from Scheveningen to Katwijk, Wassenaar being the quietest, most remote and breathtakingly beautiful...

a great quote i just read ( which does not mention the beaches..)  from smashing magazine  : The Netherlands, also known as the “Low Countries,” is a small, crowded, muddy piece of land through which a few big important rivers fortunately run. In this country, you can find coffee shops, wooden shoes, tulips, windmills and a lot of water.  
And everything is rather small! Well, at least most of the architecture is. How cute is that? But it’s also the land that brought the world many great painters, famous architects, and excellent graphic, fashion and interior designers. We all know Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mondriaan, Rietveld, Koolhaas, Escher, Droog Design and Viktor & Rolf, right?

i will go to  the Droog shop in amsterdam this week.