An Early Birthday Gift…

I’ve still got 49 days to go, before I turn 60, but my birthday gift to myself arrived today. It was love at first sight when I saw it hanging in Museum Jan van der Togt in Amstelveen, during the opening of the Retrospective of Jan van Breda‘s work as a photographer. There was another one there too called ‘Amstel Hotel’ with Willink-like skies.

Then and now it still looks like a fine oil painting, in which Jan has put all his craft to get it in one shot. Most people know this view from when they arrive in Amsterdam, traveling by train from Amersfoort or Utrecht. Jan calls this masterpiece “Homecoming”, and to me it is homecoming too.

And the best thing is of course, when the clouds are gray, I’ve still a sunny view on Amsterdam.

Unique Location, Extremely Normal Exhibition

okerk_1-wooden-roofThe red light district of town is not an area I normally frequent, but by visiting the 800 year old Oude Kerk [“old church”] which is Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church, I like to make a change to my habits. It was founded ca. 1213 and finally consecrated in 1306 by the bishop of Utrecht with Saint Nicolas as its patron saint. After the Reformation in 1578 it became a Calvinist church, which it remains today.

I wasn’t here for the building, which is a looker by the way, but the opening of the Pride Photo Award 2013 exhibition. I’m glad to live in a city where Freedom of Speech is normal, where a unique location can be used to show tourists, this is the red light district after all, not only the gravesite of Saskia van Uylenburgh [wife of Rembrandt], but also a unique photo expo.

logo210This years theme is: Extremely Normal, and it shows GLBT people from around the world in their normal habitat. From 48 different nations some 3,300 photos were send in on this subject, and an international jury made a selection out of them. After several speeches, Councillor Andree van Es, who manages portfolios of Work, Income and Participation, Citizenship and Diversity and Administrative System for the City of Amsterdam, opened the expo.

For all those Amsterdam people who don’t visit this location in the Oude Kerk, several of the photos can be seen around town on squares, in shopping malls and other places that attract many people.

Amsterdam Gay Pride 2013

Below you can see the photos I took during the Canal Parade and afterwards on Zeedijk, near the oldest Gay bar [1927] in Amsterdam!
There were floats from the Dutch government, including ministers, the Defense Department, the boys and girls in Blue [police], but also the Royal Dutch Soccer Association with players and officials. Next to them big companies, advertisers, bars, political parties and many, many people who had just fun. Over half a million visitors saw the 80 floats passing along the canal and river Amstel. Two of the last photos are from the Skinny Bridge over the river and a seal, who took a wrong turn, swimming in that Amstel river. But of course the first one is of the Westertoren [tower] part of the Westerkerk [church] showing its True Colors.


Saw these photos on The Disciples Of Design site, these incredible images of waves were taken by the number one photographer of ‘surf’ Clark Little, he grew up on the north shore of the Hawaiian island Oahu.

Now I even more long for spring and summer. Btw I’m not a beach person, so you’ll not find me sitting in the sand or splashing through the waves. [They’ve pushed me to often back to the water thinking I was a stranded whale] ;-)