Archive for August, 2007

Check it out:

There’s a show featuring Dutch artist at Mass MOCCA from now until October. Full article here.


Dutch Word of the Day
Deze illustratie van een konijn is de leukste.
This illustration of a rabbit is the cutest.

I didn’t know that Miffy the Bunny was Dutch! I just assumed she was Japanese like Hello Kitty. My bad. But you must admit, they share a strong minimalistic cute resemblance. But I like the little “x” that stands in as Miffy’s nose. Or mouth? Ah, who cares! If you can create an ambiguous facial appendage on a cartoon character and not scare the kids, that’s pretty cool in my book.

Her name in Dutch is originally “Nijntje”, because the word for little rabbit in Dutch is Konijntje. Too. Cute.

There’s a Dick Bruna house in Utrecht. I kind of want to go and absorb the sappy cuteness to the fullest. The illustrator, Dick Bruna just turned 80, and Miffy herself is 50. She looks great! I guess konijn don’t crack.
Get the entire adorable story here.

Lotta racial…

Dutch Word of the Day
Niemand houdt van uitersten.

No one likes an extreme.

Apparently, the Netherlands will be taking some new measures to cut down on Islamic extremism and right wing extremism. AT THE SAME TIME. Wild, innit? I like that they are doing a double-edged approach. Religious extremism is one problem, but Lonsdale youth is another.
Quick note on the bridge: It’s an Eramus bridge in Rotterdam. Gorgeous.

Other Half of the Namesake

Dutch Word of the Day
Goede tijden.

Good times.

I seem to have forgotten to mention the other half of this blog’s namesake: Amherst. Amsterdam is a much more interesting place, let’s not kid ourselves. Amherst, like most other schools, is a blank slate that gets interesting 9 months out of the year when you throw some staff, teachers, students, and booze (not at the same time) on it and watch what happens. Very different to my four months in Am-dam.

None of the buildings, to my great and continuous disappointment, have any Dutch names attached to them. It’s all “Pratt-Pratt-Williston-Keefe-Fayerwether-Pratt.” I’d be content with a stray “Vanderbilt”, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

I didn’t bring much in the way of decoration except for a bunch of things from my time in the Netherlands, so it looks like the Dutch consulate spat up a little on my walls. I’ve got a map of the Netherlands and Belgium, an Aruban flag, and Dutch Antillean flag and a huge Amsterdam Flag.

Not on the walls: lovely delft kitsch (see above), my bottle opener from the Heineken experience, a shot glass, and a little English rugby ball. I wish the flask was from Amsterdam, that would be the only way to make it cooler. I think it’s too beautiful to be used, don’t you?

Under Armor Meisjes

Dutch Word of the Day:
Deze keus is dudelijk.

This choice is self explanatory.

So the mooi vrouwen for today have no name. They are just the cast of the best Under Armor commercial I have ever seen. The seconds between 0:47 and 1:02 make me want to join a volleyball team. Or at least be in a enough shape to pretend that I’m on one.

Because it’s true

I should add a serif publishing tag, I love them too much. But I just had to share this because it’s true:

“Don’t play music through the loudspeaker on your mobile. That does not make you cool. It makes you fucking irritating.”

OK, the last couple of words is a dead giveaway, but I’m proud of myself for getting the gist.

So tired right now

Hey all,

Sorry. Druk, druk, druk. Be back soon. Faster, stronger, better/Vaster, sterker, beter. (En minder misselijk.)

I can tell you that I’m working on a new translation feature. I might need some help since I’ve got some leaky grammar, but I think it’ll be fun.


But I like it!

Dutch Word of the Day
Deze is een ontwerp blog niet.

This is not a design blog.

But I am in love with Martin Peyper’s work, especially the poster above. I saw Points of View when saw the Dutch National Ballet. I liked the show, but I definitely liked his poster for it more.

There’s just something about Dutch spelling incorporated in art work that makes it more eye-catching and beautiful to me than any other language. Then again, I do have a little Holland fetish, if you haven’t noticed.

Back with a Bounce

Dutch Word of the Day
to do
Het is uw ding…doe wat je wil doen.

It’s your thing…do what you want to do.

We’ve got a very timely Mooi Vrouw this week: MIA is coming out with her new album, Kala, tomorrow. I strongly encourage you to buy it. (No, not rip it off Limewire as you usually would, but buy it.) She’s an extremely talented artist but she doesn’t have a lot cash. I mentioned her already in a post about Siren Fest, but she’s worth the repeat.

The video is from the new album and the song is called Boyz. I’m so excited for the whole thing to come out tomorrow.


Dutch Word of the Day
Deze huis is leeg.

This huis is empty.

At least I hope so. This is a house I found in Clinton Hill near the Broken Angel House. I think it’s had a fire. It’s too bad because the exterior is beautiful. I really hope the shell remains after they do whatever it is.

It’s also a good graphic for this program note: I will be out of blogging range from tomorrow till Sunday. I’ll be back then.

They don’t love you like I love you

Dutch Word of the Day
: maps
De kaarten zijn veranderd.

The maps have changed.

This is a subway map from the 70s (I think?) that was at the MOMA. The lack of development at that point is kind of startling. Queens and Brooklyn are practically naked. Adding more lines was one of the best things they could’ve done. They still have some work ahead of them.

Some maps and blueprints, unfortunately, don’t change. I’m watching Newport Harbor on MTV cause I’m too lazy to get up and change the channel. Ignore the Times review; this is like the poor man’s same budget regurgitation of Laguna Beach, “The Real O.C.”, a tagline which this show has, too. This even has the same horrible theme song. It’s as if MTV is doing an unfunny parody of their own show.

I didn’t really watch Laguna Beach when it came out, but for some reason I can’t get enough of The Hills. Maybe it’s because they took some years to boil down the most essential characters and refined it. It’s not like the producers have Hoop Dreams- like intuition and depth, but their focus has certainly improved with time. I don’t think anyone’s going to stick around and watch Newport Beach long enough for that to happen.


Not to re-rep the serif again, but I’m in love with this book cover redesign contest they have.

Dijken to Watch Out For

Dutch Word of the Day
Deze mouwen zijn lelijk.

These sleeves are ugly.

It’s a shame because other than that, it’s a hot shirt. It from Uniqlo, Japan’s better dressed/priced answer to the Gap. They’ve actually made a bid to purchase Barneys which blows my mind. You can read about it here.

Anyway, Uniqlo has a series of graphic tees from artists and graphic designers it looks all well and good. Most of the designers are from Japan, but there is a shirt from Toko, a Dutch group from Rotterdam. “Duik in de Dijk” means “Dive into the Dike”, and is a reference to the Oostzeedijk (east sea dike?) section of Rotterdam.

I like the font, I like the Dutchness, but dang it: I hate the sleeves.

Let’s keep this ball rolling

Dutch Word of the Day
happy, also slang for gay
Vrolijk Maandag!

Happy Monday!

I had a case of the jury duty today. I’ve mentioned this previously, but jury duty doesn’t exist in the Netherlands. Just saying.

Anyway: my mooi vrouw for today is Rachel Maddow. Sure, I’m mad at her because her eponymous Air America show is no longer a free podcast. But that’s OK because she’s just so darn smart! I’m serious. She’s got a mind like a trap. Watch her on The Situation with Tucker Carlson or when she randomly shows up on Paula Zahn Now. She’s got a great approach to arguing without putting other people down, yet still coming out on top.

She’s very left leaning, but also not afraid to criticize and point out when the left goes wrong. (see above video) Maybe I might pay for that podcast after all…


Dutch Word of the Day
Onze infrastructuur is zwak.

Our infrastructure is weak.

As much as I enjoyed accidentally stumbling upon the Broken Angel House while I was lost during the subway flooding, I’m really getting concerned about all of these instances of weak infrastructure that we’re having. When you think of the Minneapolis Bridge collapse, the Lexington pipe explosion and levies breaking because of Hurricane Katrina together as a group you realize that these are all failures of infrastructure that should have been prevented long before these things broke and lives were lost.

But since repairs provide more drama and sound bites than preemptive construction, I have a feeling that we’ll just let things rot away. Safeguards need to be put in place.

But you know what gets built instead? Stupid crap like this friggin “Cube of Temptation” from Showtime. I’m not kidding. One of the walls said “Cube of Temptation.” It was in Union Square Park for a day or two, and meant to promote the shows Weeds and Californication. As much as I like what I’ve seen of Weeds and, well, the X-Files, this structure irritated me. For one thing, it wasn’t a cube. A cube is equidistant on all sides. This was more of a rectangular prism. It’s also lasted for four minutes. I only got there to witness it being taken apart. What was in it? Were they giving out weed and porn to promote the respective shows? I’d like to think it was a mini “gedogen zone.” Maybe that’s why they closed up so soon. Too much Amsterdam for one small, rectangular New York space.

August 2007
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