Archives: August2016

  • Disneyland Sketch Crawl #4 – Now With Stabilo Markers!

    An old friend and former professor suggested I try Stabilo markers next time I ventured out for a day of sketching and I’m so glad I did! I bought three tones – light gray, medium gray and black, and thus far I can only control the lightest one. It looks a lot like pencil but has the advantage of not smearing when I set my hand on it. For a first go, I think these were fairly successful despite the [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 6: Queens and Canal Tours

    Last day! Unreal how quickly time passes when you’re enjoying yourself. And when jet lag keeps you awake night after night. Nick’s work was done today so once more I had companionship for my jaunt through the city. The plan was to see the Catherine the Great exhibit at Amsterdam’s annex of the Hermitage and so we opted for a fairly quick breakfast at Bagels and Beans. I went there the day I visited the Rembrandt museum; it’s situated right [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 5: Napoleon, New Shirts and Nutella

    I write now with what’s left of my energy after six hours of walking and only four hours of sleep. Jet lag hit hard last night again and I didn’t get any sleep until around 4 am. Unwise as it is, once I’d had breakfast with Nick (A hopelessly burned pancake. They apologized but didn’t offer to take it off the bill.) and seen him off to work, I crashed out again – or tried to – until 12:45. Housekeeping [...]

  • Amsterdam Day 4: How to Die a Penniless Artist

    Before I begin, I forgot to post this before – one of the typical oddities I like to discover in strange cities: an ash tray awning. OK. Another day on my own. First on the solitary agenda, the Rembrandt House. Rembrandt bought the house for 13,000 guilders back in the day when the average person only earned 300 guilders a year. He paid for it though. Or rather, he didn’t. He financed the house and a number of years into [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 3.5: Stamppot!!

    Every day presents a new dinner dilemma. How not to waste another great opportunity for savory excellence? The evening bore witness to even more walking as we sought out traditional Dutch cuisine. We found it at a little alleyway joint near the Amsterdam museum called Tomaz. The specialty there is a bowl full of stodge called “Stamppot,” a mixture of Dutch beef stew, cabbage and mashed potatoes. It was definitely flavorful, although I prefer the Polish version of the dish [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 3: Checks Yourself Before you Rijks Yourself

    Rain! It was pouring this morning. Coming from the land of constant sun, we had no umbrellas and had to borrow one from the hotel. We walked to a little place called Omelegg, a rustic little bistro. Guess what they specialize in? I ate an omelette with Dutch spicy bacon (which it wasn’t), mushrooms and farmer’s cheese while 1920′s music played (“If you knew Susie like I know Susie…”) and Nick had a local dish called Shakira? Skapscrunch? Cap’n Crunch? [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 2: It’s pronounced “Van Hoe-gh”

    Did you know Van Gogh is pronounced “Van Hoe-gh?” Like, with as much phlegm at both ends as you can possibly muster? I didn’t know that until today. We walked to the Van Gogh–pardon me–Van Hoe-gh Museum and I’m amazed we made it alive. The bikes are out of control in Amsterdam. Thousands of bike riders all zooming along, whipping past pedestrians and one another, staring at their phones, indifferent to traffic rules. It’s like L.A. traffic without the pollution. [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 1: Fancy cabs and Fetishes

    So after thirty years of waiting and many times passing through Schipol airport, I finally get to visit the storied city of Amsterdam. We landed at 9 a.m. on a warm, humid Sunday and caught a cab – one of the “fancy cabs” you’re not supposed to take. Ours was a Tesla with futuristic pop-out door handles. For such an ultra-modern car, its radio was incredibly out of date. “Summer Lovin’” from Grease was playing when we first got in. [...]