Monday, September 28, 2009

CRAFTMANSHIP

Building of the childcare de Boomspijker in area of Nieuwemarkt Amsterdam. I came here for a presentation about nomination of Amsterdam as the UNESCO World Heritage City. This nomination is an interesting story and hopefully next year we will hear the decision. But this time I just wanted to share my impressions about the glass windows of the building. Colourful, beautiful and well maintained.

Friday, September 18, 2009

TRANQUIL SEATS

Taking a walk during a Saturday afternoon in 's-Graveland, North Holland, my eyes catched the wooden chairs along the way. They were so inviting.....

This area is managed by Natuurmonumenten (Natural Heritage) organisation in the Netherlands. They do amazing works.











Thursday, September 10, 2009

SAVE THE ELEPHANTS!

These days the city centre of Amsterdam is full with art elephants. In different positions and different colours. They are beautiful and attract attentions due to their sizes. I got off from my bike to read what this is all about. They are all Asian elephants! I remember my days in Lampung, Sumatra, when I drove my car and saw wild elephants from distance. My only hope was that the locals would let them to live and stop chasing them.

I admired the initiative that they do in Amsterdam. Bring the elephants to the city centre and let people support. These art elephants are really cute. Every elephant has a name and explanation.




"Over 100 art elephants form the Elephant Parade Amsterdam 2009. November 12th, all statues will be auctioned by Christie's. Net proceed will be donated to Elephant Family, the largest Asian Elephant charity in the world. Today, there are less than 4,500 elephants living in Thailand; only 1,5oo of them live in the wild."



"Support the Asian Elephant and get a chance to win a painted replica!"









Tuesday, September 08, 2009

NEW AMSTERDAM - NEW YORK


On the way to the office this morning, radio Nederland 2 played "New York New York." The Dutch is proud to tell the history of Captain Henry Hudson who found a place in 1609 that became New York now. It means exactly 400 years ago. New York is used to be called New Amsterdam.


Today, 8 September, the commemoration takes place in New York. The Empire State Building is decorated orange (the Dutch royal colour) and people can join an orange bike tour tracing the Dutch history in New York. The royal couple, Willem Alexander and Maxima will be the host.


Most of the time I think what a history this small country has. Besides New York, Singapore is also a former colony of the Netherlands before it handed over to the British. And now look at these places, both Singapore and New York become two important trade hubs in two continents. I believe there are more places that used to belong to the Netherlands.

The glory has long become the past, but I am still curious about the adventures drive of the Dutch. It is genetic, probably. Crossing the seas, pioneering new foundlands. Almost in every corner of the world they have printed history, no matter how insignificant they are. Probably that is why I never felt that I live in such a small country due to global exposures of the Netherlands. I have to keep reminding myself of what my father used to remind me that the Netherlands is not bigger than the West Java. It is difficult sometimes to comprehend that such a small country has such a tremendous history.
(Pictures are courtesy of http://www.ny400.org/)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

AGAIN, A CITY PROMOTION

Weesp, a city with about 17,5 thousands population is a cute place for me. Everything is in human scale here, intimate and friendly. Having a lot of canals with bridges and floodgates, they know how to promote their city using these characters. Every year they organise "Sluis en Bruggenfeest" or literally translated as "Floodgate and Bridge Party." Here are some images from the party in 2009. More images can be seen through this official link of Weesp.





I saw a smiling Buddha, too, in front of a house. What a happy corner.




And they don't forget the children.

THE NETHERLANDS INSTITUTE FOR SOUND AND VISION



This "Beeld en Geluid Instituut" (The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) looks after, and releases, 70 per cent of the Dutch audio-visual heritage. In total, around 700,000 hours of television, radio, music and film, making Sound and Vision one of the largest audio-visual archives in Europe.

But the institute is more than just a collection. Sound and Vision is the business archive of the national broadcasting corporations, a cultural history institute and also a unique media experience for its visitors.

I myself have experienced it and was impressed with the creativity of this Institute to display and present its collections to the public. I could experience to be a news reader, making a television program, joining a quiz, learning about sound mixing or simply walking around and buying interesting souvenirs. One thing to consider for non-Dutch visitors that the contents is very Dutch. To be able to enjoy and appreciate it we have to have some degrees of knowledge about Dutch media, politics and history. But to enjoy the atmosphere, a lot of things to see and listen.

About the building itself, you can follow the Architecture Review of the New York Times. This magazine called it "Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, Encased in Glass." The architects, Willem Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk, mentioned as "have something as rare in architectural circles as raw talent: a sense of humor."