I didn’t take pictures this year, but the photos you’re about to see were taken by a Dutch Press Agency and a Police helicopter. Enjoy!
Just click on one for a larger format.
… during the Canal Parade? See Pridestream and be part of the float when it goes down the Prinsengracht canal and Amstel river. It’s a live full 360º Amsterdam Pride 2015 experience !
I do love the time I’ve had visiting all those Pride places, meeting new people, connecting with old friends again and networking the crowd.
Last Friday I helped a friend out at an ‘old age pensioners home’ (OAP), pumping up balloons for the big show event on Tuesday.
On Saturday I cancelled a viewing of an exhibit and a ‘baptism’ of a new magazine, due to the summer storm we had.
On Sunday the storm died down a bit but was replaced with a monsoon.
Monday came soon enough, the opening of Senior Pride at OBA (Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam aka Public Library). This was held in the Theater of the Word on the seventh floor, of course afterwards we all went for a drink or two, three, fou… in the bars on Zeedijk.
Without much sleep Tuesday arrived soon afterwards… Drag-queen friends would perform at OAP, with songs from the past but also some of the present. It was a fun day out not only for those old folk but for me aswell.
Wednesday was showtime for our team of artists at the Palace of Melancholy (Paleis van de Weemoed) a small theater we use in the heart of the Red Light district. Again I didn’t sleep in bed, but fell asleep in my comfy chair while the TV was still on and the lights were burning.
Thursday came and another event was planned at the Palace, but this time in front of it, the stage was floating in the canal and so was the green room (which was pink btw), my workplace. I only had to keep the audience at bay. A nice security officer kept an eye on it too, from accross the road. They told him in advance I had problems with walking and running. I only met the crew last week, I felt like I fell into a hot bath, the warmth and camaraderie of the staff was great. Another night in the comfy chair was enjoyed.
Just an hour ago it was Friday, which started for me with the CockTail Party in the forecourt at Legend The Grand Hotel in the former Prinsenhof (Princes Court). At last we had dry weather, and even the sun was shining. Upon arrival we got a mini bottle of Rosé Imperial by Moët & Chandon, delicious bitterballen (small veal croquettes) but also a choice of cheeses and meats. The waiting staff included. :wink:
Several performances were planned, like Lady Felice & The Rozettes (we already have tickets for the next show) and Grand Diva Karin Bloemen who sang a song with a new text on a famous melody, many wondered if they heard her right when she sang about fucking, blow-jobs and rimming. (Yeah, you heard her right!)
My friends and I won in the raffle a big bottle of Pink Champagne by M&C and two crystal flutes, of the three of us only two drink alcohol and the date is already set when this consuming will happen. Afterwards we went to hear Ms Victory False sing at the Getto bar on Warmoesstraat, but also her special guest Pete Statham, both are communal friends of ours.
It’s already Saturday, and the main event is the Canal Parade. Our floats really float! But more of that later. There are only two days left of Amsterdam Pride 2015. I must admit, I look forward to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because I have nothing planned but a good book and sleep, lots of sleep.
Having heard Monique Krüs sing (Lucia di Lammermoor) is something totally different than hearing the composition she wrote for the youth opera ‘Anna & Zef’. Next to the invited guests several school classes were invited, it’s their age group (12 to 15) this opera is written for. Even the age difference of seventy years between someone who died in 1945 or 2015 didn’t matter, in heaven you keep your own age. (good to know) The Dutch-Iranian soprano Lilian Farahani (24) gave a wonderful performance, so did Dutch baritone Benjamin de Wilde (20). It’s so good to hear not everyone who can sing wants to do it in a band or musical. Photo: Jan Swinkels (from Facebook)
Left to right: Conductor David Niemann, composer Monique Krüs, baritone Benjamin de Wilde, soprano Lilian Farahani.
15 minutes before the opera started the AMC hospital called, and we did the trial talk by phone. It saved me to travel to the outskirts of the South-East region of the city and I still could see and talk to my brother before he went back home after his Easter visit. No nap was taken before the final event of the day.
At eight it was Showtime!, the final Siorée Frivolette hosted by Luna Lunettes @ café ‘t Mandje on Zeedijk. With “Want Not Waist Not” in mind she distributed left over chocolate easter eggs. I’m not sure that’s a good combination with a glass of wine or beer, so I (with my chocolate addiction) stayed away from that.
It was a pity not many people turned up to see the final show, but even with a small audience we had a great night out, or was it because we all know each other that well? Okay, I could catch the last ferry home and fell asleep in front of the telly, waking up at six. Next stop the shower and after being dressed a trip to the supermarket to get some milk and other stuff. I have a lunch meeting with Luna.
Sometimes life takes us in different directions. A few weeks ago I met a woman in a bar, we got talking about living in Amsterdam and other things. We talked about what we did for a living and how we spend our off time. After that evening we kept in touch via email and Facebook. You should have seen my surprise when I got an invitation to her latest project.
Later this morning I’m going to listen and see the World Premiere of ‘Anne and Zef’ a youth opera, based on the diaries of Anne Frank. The music is written by the woman I met at the bar, Monique Krüs.
In ‘Anne en Zef’ 10 musicians and 2 singers/actors are involved. The opera is based on the successful play ‘Anne en Zef’ by Dutchman Ad de Bont, who used parts of Anne Frank’s diary as a starting point. The story in short: Everybody knows the story of Anne Frank and knows how her life ended. Zef is an Albanian boy, victim of a feud between two families. Anne and Zef meet in heaven and find out they have a lot in common.
After the opera I hope I have some time to congratulate Monique with “the birth of her latest project”, knowing two other projects are already set in motion for 2016.
Next stop, AMC hospital! Nothing is wrong with me or my feet. A new trial will start in a few weeks and my specialists Tessa and Sicco thought I was a good ‘specimen’ to contribute to it. So first we have the talks before the trials really start. Afterwards home for a short nap, the day isn’t over yet.
In Café ‘t Mandje, the same bar I met Monique, is the final episode of Siorée Frivolette by Luna Lunettes at eight. It all started two years ago and time has gone by very fast. I got to learn, and met, a lot of people because of that show, making my world a bit bigger than the four walls of my home I normally was working in.
Of course my physicians are part of it, I haven’t seen them this much this year and I hope to keep it that way, unless they need me one way or an other. Because of them I can walk again, short distances, and without crutches! But also the friends I gained over the years, some of them I’ve met, others who give advice over the internet, I thank all of you. Just to name a few, Anne-Marie near Philadelphia (who I met thru a shrink in Phoenix AZ), Wayne in Delaware struggling to stay alive with his form of blood-cancer and Josh in Podunk, Indiana, an online pastor. (still a good friend after i lost “the Faith”).
But also the people who gave me will power, see my inner strength while they showed me theirs. Just to name a few, Charl Bakker (links to FB), Pete Statham, Luna Lunettes and Tom de Jong. (sorry some sites are in Dutch only), a big ‘Thank You’ to all of you!
But also my sisters (big and small), younger brother and Dad, who were a big support after Mum died on November 1, 2014.
Thanks for keeping me sane, enriching my life, looking forward to a bright future. See you all, online or in real life, next year!