Thursday, December 17, 2009

COSMOPOLITAN CHICKEN

Cosmopolitan Chicken Project is the work of Belgian artist, Koen Vanmechelen. This art work takes place in the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam. He wants to develop a super-hybrid chicken. Enjoy....

AMAZING BAMBOO

The Principal 2009 Prince Claus Award goes to Simón Vélez, an architect from Colombia who promotes bamboo through his works. On Wednesday he received the Award from Prince Constantijn, one of the son of Prince Claus and Queen Beatrix, in the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam. Simón Vélez has been doing an amazing works with bamboo and it doesn't look like "the wood for the poor" anymore in his hands as he called it. Check it out his works through this link.

The Queen Beatrix and her three sons and three daughters in-law were presence and many dignitaries from all over the world.

Other thing which I want to share is my impression of the philosophy of Prince Claus Fund that Culture is a Basic Need. For someone who tries to raise awareness that development is not merely about materials, I do appreciate this statement.


The Minister of Cooperation with Developing Countries, Bert Koenders.

Simón Vélez



Decorations in the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ symbolized bamboo and pumpkin which was used by one of the musician from Uzbekistan during performance.


A music performance from Uzbekistan.

Monday, December 14, 2009

WHAT FRENCH FRIES CAN DO....

Most people don't want to miss this famous "fritkot" (French fries)
when they visit Antwerpen in Belgium.
Don't mind with a long queue in winter.

.
Or for famous pastries with the famous Belgian chocolates.....



And don't miss the Belgian wafels, fresh from oven.




Public telephone as street furniture. Stylish designed. They didn't forget to give a credit to the designers.


Not everything old and grey in Antwerpen. There are shops who sell chic and colourful stuff. They are beautiful, creative and relatively expensive.


On 30 August 2009 Church Sint-Carolus Borromeus was in fire. Many volunteers in Antwerpen tried to stop the fire and they managed to limit it only to some parts of the Church. It open again to public in September but the restauration is still going on until 2010.


Cathedral in Antwerpen


Showing paintings of the famous Belgian painter, Peter Paul Rubens


Sign of protected monuments


Hidden treasures of Antwerpen with old and beautiful houses on the second row of streets


Tintin and Chocolates? Perfect combination



Old signages everywhere



Most Western European countries struggle with respect for differences at the time being, no exception with Belgium. In Antwerpen we see the campagne "Street without Hate" and "Street without Racism"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CHOCA TOUR

Saturday, 14 November, on a sunny afternoon and I am still in love with the Chocolate Festival. After attending the opening ceremony in the Amsterdam' s harbour a week before, now I am joining the Choca Tour organized by the Centre Library of Amsterdam.
The guide started with showing a cacao bean. It is something I take for granted because in Indonesia I saw it often, but not for the Dutch participants. They studied the bean carefully and probably saw it for the first time in their life.


Our first visit was one of the oldest tea and coffee importer in the Netherland. It is located in Zeedijk. They served three sort of tea and all have something to do with chocolate. Silky Oolong, pure Earl Grey Tea and one more with chocolate taste in it.






Our second visit was Metropolitan Deli, also in Zeedijk. Kees, the owner is a passionate chocolatier. He let us to taste a cacao bean, 100% processed chocolate (without sugar etc) and milk chocolate. Hhmm..now we know! When chocolate is in the hands of someone as passionate as Kees, it taste heaven!


And we visited also a pharmacy in Zeedijk because in the past they produced medicine using chocolate. The cacao beans was so expensive that the pharmacist had to mix it with biscuits. The above "De Eeuwige Caper" is someone who has fighted to save the pharmacy. This pharmacy has been surviving for about 200 years.



Zeedijk is the red light district of Amsterdam. The guide told us about this small monument with the text "Respect Sex Workers All Over the World." Connection with chocolate? Chocolate has an anti depressive effect and create a good feeling after someone tastes it. The same thing implies for the red light district. At least according the guide.







Last visit was a liqueur production place in an invisible place from the main street but when we were inside they have quite large rooms with a nice garden. They produce thousand sort of liqueurs and of course in these two weeks they created a chocolate liqueur. A fine drink for a windy early evening in Amsterdam.