Archive for July, 2007

Ratatat

Dutch Word of the Day
favoriet: favorite
Dit is een van mijn favoriet dingen.
This is one of my favorite things.


If you like the Postal Service, but are ok without/don’t like the front man’s voice, you might like Ratatat. They’re totally instrumental and synth, but it’s great study music. I’m still mad that I missed them at the Paradiso. Then again, they came to Amsterdam two days after I did.

As for the Lohan drama: I’ll leave the Herbie Fully Loaded jokes to someone else.

Gone a- Potterin’


I normally wouldn’t want to rush through the final book of the series, but if I don’t finish this by Wednesday, some idiot will spoil it for me. Wish me luck!

And no, I won’t torture you with
countless Harry Potter entries after this. We’re in a bit of a deluge right now and everyone needs a break.

Konijn Eiland

Dutch Word of the Day
konijn: rabbit
Ik ben naar het eiland van konijnen geweest.
I have been to the island of rabbits.

Coney Island is actually named for the little critters that used to live there. It was a Dutch territory (like everything else) called “Rabbit Island.” “Coney” is the anglicized. As for “Eiland”…it’s not even a real island. Whatever.

Today was Siren Fest, a huge music what to do on the boardwalk. It was kind of spur of the moment cause I was wiped after LSAT class, but I’m glad I went. I saw M.I.A. in concert for the second time. It wasn’t as easy as the first time I saw M.I.A../Diplo/DJ Rekha all at the same time at Summerstage two years ago. For one thing, she wasn’t as famous and it was a larger space. Not to mention that it was the only time the opening acts were amazing. Diplo and Rekha were amazing. But today was still really good.

Apparently, she was having visa problems coming from Sri Lanka to America. Well, with lyrics like:

“Down there in my garden/I keep my shit hidden like Bin Laden”
“I be wilder than Tim McVeigh”
“Like PLO I don’t surrend-o!”

… is it any wonder why they gave her issues? Listen to the rest of the CD– everything has its context.

That said, she’s really amazing and I’m a huge fan. Too bad she’s not still with Diplo, I’d love a remix.

Wooo, no, baby please don’t go

Dutch Word of the Day
teleurstelling: disappointment
Leven is vol van teleurstelling.
Life is full if disappointment.


Sorry for the downer sentence. It’s not that bad, really. Here, I’ll show you:

My elementary school, St. Charles Borromeo, was shut down in the winter due to a lack of enrollment. Today I found out that the shoe store where we used to get school shoes was turned into a comic book store. Look at the Johnnie’s Bootery Since 1939 sign above. Yeah, that’s misnomer now.

However, I wasn’t entirely disappointed. It’s a really awesome comic book store called Rocketship. Some of the shoe mirrors by the floor are still on the walls. There was an event there tonight and I got my book signed by Ariel Schrag, who’s kind of my new personal hero in terms of writing. Not for drawing, though. I can barely draw. (Now that we have a scanner, I may or may not subject you to the awfulness. Stay tuned.)

I wonder if St. Charles will turn into something awesome…

Eendracht

Dutch Word of the Day
eendracht: harmony, concord (old word)
Eendracht maakt macht.
Harmony makes power.

The church near my house has some of the best signs ever. There was “Who’s Your Daddy”, “The Beloved People, Part 7” and now they randomly threw some Dutch on me with “Eendracht maakt macht”. At first I thought it was German, but my dad said it was Dutch. Unforunately, you can see the typo (sign-o?) that takes out the first “e.” There are too many vowels in Dutch. I’m shocked that they didn’t run out of a’s.

Transformers and Transformers

Dutch Word of the Day
week: week
Ik heb de beste week ooit.
I am having the best week ever.

No, I’m not. But it could be worse. I had to walk 30 blocks to the train home today because of Grand Central problems. I was in an info session near the UN, when these helicopters started buzzing around. Then someone came in and told us a transformer exploded by Grand Central. Immediately I thought it was a plug for the movie, Transformers, that went horribly wrong. (Hey, you may call it stupidity. I call it an active imagination.)

So the info session went on and there were helicopters and sirens all over. It felt like 9-11 all over again. That happened when I was in 10th grade, very soon after my grandmother died. They told us what happened in art class. Since we weren’t too sure what happened, we just stayed calm and kept drawing. I just got this really horrible feeling all over again, because I’ve had a few family deaths lately and it’s a very unpleasant coincidence. Here I was six years later, in a class room just staying calm and ignoring the sirens.

This was a terrible thing that happened. I am extremely lucky that I was where I had to be at 6, a few minutes after it happened. I was in an very dangerous area. I feel so terrible for the family of the person who died. I really hope they fix these pipes in a timely fashion before someone else has to die.

Victor & Rolf

Dutch Word of the Day
vers: fresh
Ik ben verslaafd aan vers.
I’m addicted to fresh.

I look forward to the fall for the most ridiculous and temporarily enjoyable reasons. Briefly comfortable temperatures, New England foliage, and crisp new clothing. I also like 10 pound copies of fashion magazines, like Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. They make make me so happy. Harpers, however, didn’t wait until fall to be amazing. Since the Simpsons the Movie is coming up soon, they did this lovely spread of different designers with Matt Groening’s characters. This Viktor & Rolf/Patty & Selma picture struck me as particularly delightful. Check ’em all out here.

And it goes on and on, my friend…

Dutch Word of the Day
feest: party
De feest nooit eindigt!
The party never ends!

I finally went out on the town last night and 21-ed it up on Hudson street. Good times. I like New York a lot, although we lack the liberal wackiness of Amsterdam, and the duty free liquor of the Antilles (as seen above).

I have a ton of family between Aruba and St. Maarten. Consequently, I have a ton of Dutch stuff around my house, including delft and Vermeer/ Rembrandt prints. It’s one of the things you take for granted growing up. Who doesn’t have 3-4 delft dutch boys and girls kissing randomly placed throughout the house? Then you realize that there aren’t that many Antillean kids in the neighborhood. Oh, there are tons of West Indians because it’s Brooklyn. But not Antilleans.

In fact, aside from my brother, I haven’t met that many other Antillean American kids. I think they all just stay between the islands and Holland. It’s a pretty smart move.

Dutch Word of the Day verjaardag:birthday Er was …


Dutch Word of the Day
verjaardag:birthday
Er was mijn verjaardag aan dinsdag!
It was my birthday on Tuesday!

Sorry for the vacation. I’ve been quite busy. It was my 21st birthday on Tuesday. Tons of fun a food. Speaking of which, American Burger Co. near Herald Square serves fries with mayo. It’s amazing. I missed that so much.

71 Down, 1 to go.


Dutch Word of the Day
prestaties: performance
Dit is een lang werk van prestaties art.
This is a long work of performance art.

I went to see the 72 hour performance art piece in Union Square. You can read more about it in this Times article. Basically, this woman is getting ready for a date over the course of 72 hours, while it is all being filmed. The final cut will be fast forwarded and her actions will resemble real time, while everything else looks like a blur. Fortunately for her, she’ll be done in less than an hour. She’ll be fully ready for her date by midnight tonight.

Normally, I don’t like the way my camera phone takes pictures. But I really how like this one turned out. The colors make it look like a Wyeth painting. Sometimes the Razr phone surprises me.

By the time she’s ready to go, I’ll be 21.

Breakfast Suite, Part III: The Coffee Entry


Dutch Word of the Day
overal: everywhere
Er zijn overal!
They’re everywhere!

Reunited and it feels so good. Bye-bye coffeeshops, hello Starbucks. And this Escher-like* take on New York is pretty accurate. As an unofficial LSAT study center for Summer 2007, (Official being New York Public Lie-berry) I love la ‘bucks. But the Manhattan omnipresence is a bit over done.

By the way, Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. I was expecting there to be an Escher Museum nearby, but it’s in Den Haag, not Amsterdam. Like the lack of Rem Koolhaus buildings, this was a little artistic disappointment. So was the Rijksmuseum’s partially open state due to renovation. I’ve always liked Netherlandish art. Maybe it’s time for a trip to the Met.

Breakfast Suite II:Molen Groen


Dutch Word of the Day
molen: mill, windmill
Er staan molens in mijn melk!
There are windmills in my milk!

It seems fitting to follow a cereal entry with a milk entry. I was delighted to see windmills on my soy milk carton; I love finding random Netherlandsness, in case you haven’t noticed. This is some kind of sweepstakes from Silk that involves an extra green incentive. Check it out if you want. I like trying to eat/live healthily. I’m going back to gym for the first time since Holland. FINALLY.

On a more windmill oriented note, I didn’t see a ton of old school ones when I was in Holland. And there weren’t many modern ones in the city, even on streets with the word “molen” in them. But there were many outside of the city. Not as cute as their kitschy older predecessors, but apparently very effective. They were originally there to keep to water pumped off the land. I wish we’d catch onto wind power a bit more over here.

Breakfast Suite: Kashi Cereal

Dutch Word of the day
ontbijt: breakfast
Ontbijt is een prachtig ding.
Breakfast is a wonderful thing.

While I was in Amsterdam, I actually dreamed about this cereal. It wasn’t sold in Amsterdam so I had to replace it with Cruesli which doesn’t even compare. I don’t like Kashi Go Lean plain, I definitely prefer Crunch. It’s amazing. I think this will have to replace Cracktella and the Ferraro empire for me… at least for the time being.

There are still different food I miss, particularly Komijn Kaas, which is this amazing cheese with cumin seeds. It’s very expensive here, but bearable over there. I miss that a lot. I had an amazing toaster that would make grilled ham and cheese. Too bad I had to leave it there. I need to find the American equivalent and drag it to Amherst in the fall. In addition too a pancakes and booze party revival, there will be a grilled cheese soirĂ©e. Be there.

In order to find new addictive things to eat, I’ll need to stay out of my comfort zone and eat my way through strange and foreign lands. I’ve been trying to figure out where I should go next, international adventure wise. But I don’t want to change the name of the blog if I do. Brazilherst? Japamherst? Amhartica? That ain’t cute.

Sidenote:


So glad they let Alan Johnston free. I don’t think any words, Dutch or English, can express the relief his family’s feeling today. At this point, it was beginning to look like a similar situation to Daniel Pearl’s again. I’m so glad Hamas stepped in before it got to that.

Between the 2 Ians and the 2 Amsterdams

Dutch Word of the Day
stem: vote
Stem voor een boek.
Vote for a book.

For the sake of continued Dutch- themed ridiculousness, I’ve decided that I will read either A Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Baruma or Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. The fact that these two are both named Ian is completely coincidental, but it adds to the fun. I just want some feedback on which one. Here are the descriptions from strandbooks.com:

A Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Baruma
Returning to his homeland of the Netherlands, acclaimed author Ian Buruma brings readers the enigmatic story of the death of Theo van Gogh. Great-grandnephew of the famed artist and a European film provocateur, Theo would be murdered by an angry young Muslim man striking out against the director’s latest political documentary. A vocal proponent of free speech, van Gogh would make many enemies, but his death would send a shock wave across Europe’s artistic and political community. Ian Buruma investigates the event in this ‘true crime’ narrative that explores the crime and its larger context in the cultural battle with the secular West.

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a London crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both had been her lovers in the days before they reached their current eminence: Clive Linley is Britain’s most successful modern composer, and Vernon Halliday is editor of the newspaper, The Judge. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had had other lovers, too, notably, Julian Garmony, Foreign Secretary, a notorious right-winger tipped to be the next prime minister. In the days that follow Molly’s funeral, Clive and Vernon make a pact with consequences that neither could have forseen. Winner of the Booker Prize.

As you can see, these are completely different options. One is non-fiction, the other’s fiction. One’s written by a Dutchman, the other by an Englishman. One has everything to do with Amsterdam, the other definitely does not. You can give an opinion based on the reviews or if you’ve read them before. I’ll have the results later this week. Happy voting!


July 2007
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