Today is my last day in Amsterdam. It is hard to believe, but this afternoon I will be leaving for Rome.
Today is my last day in Amsterdam. It is hard to believe, but this afternoon I will be leaving for Rome.
Wednesday was my last full day in Amsterdam. I spent much of the morning walking around the centrum getting last minute pictures of the city. It was overcast, so I don’t think many of the pictures turned out any good.
After getting tired of walking around so much, I went to a local café to sit outside and have a beer and read a magazine. It was nice way to spend an hour.
With the rest of the daylight I had left I went exploring the south and western parts of the city on my bike. It is mostly residential and not that interesting, but it was still nice to be in new areas.
In the evening, I had drinks with my neighbor Monika. It was a really nice way to spend my last night in Amsterdam.
I went to three museums on Tuesday. I started at the Tropenmuseum which is an anthropology museum. It was interesting to see the objects from the Dutch East Indies and see the Dutch explorers in Ethiopia, but overall the museum was rather boring. I went to the Dutch Resistance museum after the Tropenmuseum. It was very cool, but unfortunately a lot of the displays were only in Dutch. It was very eerie to see pictures of the city during the war. After the Dutch Resistance museum I went to the Hermitage to check out the Van Goh exhibit. The Van Goh Museum is currently closed for renovations, so they moved some of his works to the Hermitage. It was a great exhibit. I think the hermitage did a better job curating the exhibit than the Vah Goh museum. I guess that is probably why the Van Goh Museum is being renovated.
I started my last Monday in Amsterdam by going for a long bike ride. I rode around the Vondelpark neighborhood and enjoyed the rare sunshine. I was hoping to check out a museum, but I forgot most are closed on Mondays.
In the afternoon, I worked a large sketch of the Amstel hotel. The sketch took me most of the day, but turned out pretty well. It will likely be one of my last sketches from Amsterdam.
I woke up very early on Sunday and could not fall back asleep. I sat in bed and read the rest of Kerb 19. The journal dealt with the future of nature. It was bizarre read, but very interesting.
The rest of the day I worked on my weekly letter and sketchbook. I only have a couple of days left in Amsterdam and I want to make sure I sketch all my favorite spots in the city before I head to Rome.
I did not have much energy on Saturday. I think it was the crummy weather that made me not want to do anything. I spent much of the day working on a couple of sketches. I was working hard at being quicker with my sketching and less rigid with my hand. I think the sketches came out pretty well.
In the evening, the whole group met up for dinner. We went to an Ethiopian restaurant near Saraphtipark. It was delicious. I even had a mango beer. I never would have guessed that existed before last night. It was good though.
After dinner, we went to a bar Rachel had wanted to check out. It was on the Amstel and was nice and relaxed. We didn’t stay too long because everyone wanted to get back to doing work.
I did not feel great on Friday morning. I probably just didn’t sleep well because it was nothing serious. It appears that the fridge was working again when I woke up. I have no idea what the problem was, but it was incredibly inconvenient.
I sent a large package back to the states. It was pretty expensive, but will save me a huge hassle when I am traveling to Rome. I should be able to pack up all my things really easily now.
I got two sketches done on Friday. The sketches came out well and my sketchbook is starting to really fill up.
In the afternoon I went on a bike ride around the city with Andrew. We got to a couple of new places, but nothing that remarkable. We did see the southern train station and world trade center which were very modern and cool.
We went out for pizza for dinner. The pizza place is known for its pizza and presecco. I got a presecco, small salad, and a sausage and mushroom pizza. It was all very delicious.
The rest of the night I relaxed because I was pretty exhausted from the long bike ride.
On Thursday morning I worked on making a collage of the maps I have used while in Europe. I also completed a couple of sketches on various buildings in Amsterdam. I wanted to go exploring, but it the days are getting so short hear I basically ran out of time. I did have time to walk around the centrum a bit, but there wasn’t much going on.
Our fridge seemed to have stopped working on Thursday. I don’t know what the issue could be, but the freezer has melted and we had to run all our food up to Andrew’s tiny fridge. This not something I needed to happen during my last week. Just my luck though. Fortunately I have been lazy and haven’t done a shop in a while, so I didn’t lose to much food.
I started Wednesday making a collage of the music pamphlets in Amsterdam. The pamphlets all have unique designs and can be found all over the city. The collage came out okay, but I don’t think I have much talent for them. They are a good exercise for me though as I rely on grids when I do other page layouts.
The rest of the day I spent sketching. I finished two elaborate streetscape profiles, but each took me a couple hours. I am getting better and more detailed with each profile I draw, but I should probably try a different style of sketching for my last couple days.
In the evening I rode over to the other group’s apartment to print my ticket for Rome and directions on how to get to my hostel. I leave Amsterdam I week from Thursday, but wanted to get my ticket taken care of early. I don’t like to mess with that kind of stuff at the last minute.
I am running out of time in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, the weather has kept me inside a lot lately. It leaves me with a lot of time to work on my main study and sketchbook though.
Tuesday was a somewhat uneventful day. I went to Centraal Station and Dam Square in the morning to take pictures for my photographic field study, but was not happy with how they were turning out. I think I am now going to modify the study. My methods are just not working over here. The main issue is not having a printer to manually compose the photomontages because it is a real pain to do digitally.
The rest of the day I spent on some elaborate sketching. I went and got a latte at westerpark and sketched there for a bit, but finished my sketches at home. The days are getting really short here and I feel like I am running out of time before I come home.
Monday was another rainy day in Amsterdam. I spent most of my morning inside working on some sketches and other minor things. In the afternoon, I decided to ride all the way over to Amstelpark which is one of the farthest points in the city away from my apartment. I am not even sure that it is even technically in Amsterdam, but just outside the southern limits of the city. It rained off and on while I was riding to the park, but only my legs got soaked. There were two amazing rainbows over the centrum as I was riding. I stopped to try and get a few pictures of them and I think a couple turned out okay.
The park was really nice, but it was already getting dark by the time I got there so I didn’t see as much as I hoped. It was the best landscaped park I have been to in Amsterdam. It was very lush. There was an amazing rhododendron garden that would have been absolutely amazing when they were in bloom. They were easily the biggest rhododendrons I have ever seen.
On the way back from my apartment I kept passing makeshift pastry stands, so I decided to check one out. I think they are meant to be a holiday treat because the stands started to appear around the same time as the holiday lights. They were serving different kinds of fried dough that was very similar to a funnel cake or a donut. I got an almond flavored dough ball for after dinner.
In the evening, I worked on the page layout of my main study. I am constantly changing my mind about the layout, but I think it is getting better with time. I redid some of my introductory maps to make them more consistent with my other graphics, so my book should transition more fluidly between each section now.
I did not feel great on Sunday. I spent most of the day sketching and writing my weekly letter. In between sketches, I went to the Sunday Market at Westerpark. The market is every first Sunday of the month and sells a combination of food and art. The market was a lot larger then we expected and had a lot of great things. I got a pulled pork wrap for lunch. After the wrap, I got a cup of Swedish glögg which is basically mulled wine. It was delicious. I want to try and make it when I am back stateside.
In the evening, I got a great pizza and watched the Ravens game. Starting on Monday, I really need to buckle down and get my design going, so it was nice to have a relaxing Sunday even though I did not feel great most of the day.
Saturday started out awful. I had planned on running to the market early before really getting my day going, but as soon as I shut the door behind me I realized that I left my keys in my room. I was locked out without my keys or phone. I ended up skipping the market and waited outside for a half hour to see if Andrew would come out. No such luck, so I decided to get on with my day and walked over to the ferry terminal that takes people to the north. It was a cold and rainy day and I was underdressed so I was freezing most of the ride over. I was taking the ferry to the NDSM wharf which was hosting a monthly flea market. I had heard about the NDSM on some architecture blogs, so I wanted to see it for myself. Unfortunately, when I got there I discovered you had to pay just to get into the flea market. That was incredibly annoying, but since I went all the way across the harbor I wasn’t turning around. The flea market was mostly junk, but I wasn’t there to shop. The buildings were incredible. The market was inside two massive former industrial buildings.
After the market, I took the ferry to Centraal Station and caught a tram towards the other group’s apartment. I was hoping to use one of their phones to try and call Andrew to let me in. The tram took a while, but it was nice to be out of the rain. When I got to the apartment only Rachel was home, so I borrowed her phone and rang Andrew a couple times, but I couldn’t get a hold of him. I decided to turn around and head back to the place and just wait for him outside.
When I got back to my place I still couldn’t get Andrew’s attention, so I ended up waiting outside for over an hour. Finally, Andrew heard me yelling up and he went and let me in. I came inside and spent the rest of the afternoon warming up.
In the evening, we met up with Josh, Rachel, and Josh’s friend to grab a drink and some apple pie at a place around the corner from my apartment. Josh’s friend lives in the western part of the Netherlands and was visiting for the weekend. After finishing the pie and talking for a while, Rachel went home and we decided to grab a couple more drinks at the café across the street.