The Beers of Amsterdam


Here are a few beers I sampled on our recent travels in Amsterdam (not counting the six-pack of Grolsch I bought at the Albert Heijn store). Beer: Hertog Jan Pils Brewer: Hertog Jan Brouwerij Source: Draft Rating: ** (6.7 of 10) Comments: A bright gold beer with a must pilsener aroma and a crisp, dry…

Book Review: The Assault by Harry Mulisch


Author: Harry Mulisch Title: The Assault Publication Info: New York : Pantheon Books, c1985. ISBN: 0394542452 Summary/Review: On a quiet street in Haarlem a Dutch Nazi collaborator is assassinated by the Resistance.  The Germans retaliate by destroying the house in front of which the body was found and executing all of the inhabitants.  The sole…

Amsterdam: There and Back Again


Sunday morning we woke up pretty early.  Peter slept all the way through the night.  I think we finally adjusted to the European time zone.  Must be time to go home again. After packing up our stuff and straightening the apartment as best we could, there was still an hour until the bike rental shop…

Last Day in Amsterdam


A sunny Saturday in Amsterdam – our last full day in the city – and Amsterdam teems with humanity.  There are tourist by the bus, train, and bike load but there are also a great number of rowdy stag parties roaming the streets.  There are hen parties too although they seem more likely to hire…

A Tragic Artist and the Artists’ Quarter


Friday got off to a slow start after a rough night’s sleep.  By Peter’s request we visited his favorite playground so he could ride the teeter-totter and play in the sandbox.  Then we went to the Van Gogh Museum.  Apparently everyone else in the Netherlands and some surrounding countries decided to visit as well.  It…

Amsterdam by Fiets


Thursday was Ascension Day, a public holiday in Amsterdam.  Susan went out to get croissants for breakfast only to find all the patisseries closed.  Susan wept.  The bagel shop was open but their bagel oven was out of order.  So we had yogurt and coffee for breakfast. We decided to travel around the city like…

Rain and Rembrandt


The day started out cold and wet (and remained cold and wet) so it was as good a day as any to visit the Rijksmuseum and see the Dutch masterpieces of the Golden Age.  En route we saw a pair of coots building a nest with sticks and litter on a tree branch in the…

On The Canal Where You Live


On Tuesday afternoon while Peter took his nap, I took a little stroll along the Prinsengracht.  This is one of the major canals in the canal belt or Grachtengordel and the longest canal in Amsterdam.  We’re staying in a little studio apartment in the basement of a 17th-century house facing the canal.  There’s a lot…

Amsterdam Ups and Downs


Our second day in Amsterdam started off rough as Peter felt cranky and didn’t want to leave “our little compartment” as he calls our studio rental apartment.  We went for a walk over the Amstel River on the famed Magere Brug or “Skinny Bridge” to the Waterlooplein.  Here is located TunFun, a children’s play park…

Amsterdam By Foot


After a tiring day of travel we enjoyed our first full day in Amsterdam today by going a long walk through the city center. Highlights of the day: We started the day by stocking up on food from the Albert Heijn grocery store where they seem to specialize in various forms of yogurt.  It’s fun…

Book Review: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank


Author:Anne Frank Title: The Diary of a Young Girl Publication Info: Anchor (1996) [Originally published in 1947] ISBN:0385480334 Summary/Review: Like many people I thought I knew everything about Anne Frank and her diary and probably like many people I never actually read it.  I did see the movie when I was a kid.  So, of…

Book Review: My ‘Dam Life by Sean Condon


Author: Sean Condon Title: My ‘Dam Life Publication Info:  Footscray, Vic., Australia : Lonely Planet, 2003. ISBN:0864427816 Previously read: Sean & David’s Long Drive Drive Thru America Summary/Review: Condon writes about three years living abroad with his wife in Amsterdam in this mildly entertaining travel memoir.  Mildly entertaining because Condon is one of those writers…

Book Review: The Dream Room by Marcel Möring


Author:Marcel Möring Title: The Dream Room Publication Info: New York : Morrow, c2002. ISBN: 0066212405 Summary/Review: This short novel is part coming-of-age story, part family history, and part exploration of how we tell stories.  The basic is gist of the story is about a 12-year-old boy whose father is a former aviator whose life is…

Book Review: The Gathering by Anne Enright


Author: Anne Enright Title: The Gathering Publication Info: RecordedBooks (2007), Audio CD ISBN: 1436102650 Summary/Review: Dreary, overwrought, cliche-ridden, mawkish, pretentious, self-absorbed … these are just a few adjectives to describe this novel selected by my book club. Veronica Hegarty is the first-person narrator of this story who uses the suicide of her brother Liam as…

Wake Up The Earth Parade


This morning we attended the parade for Jamaica Plain’s annual Wake Up The Earth Festival.   The fun started at Ferris Wheels bike shop where I brought my bike for a tune-up and while there a woman dressed as a chicken came in to get air for her bike tires.  Only in JP. The parade was…