Friday, April 29, 2016

Catwalk At The Rijks Museum

Hi Dear Folk,

One of the exhibitions at the Rijks was the Catwalk Exhibition, and other displays of Dutch fashion from 1625 to 1960.  Jean and I definitely wanted to see this so we headed straight over to this exhibit.

Chairs were positioned all around an oval, which turned with the dressed mannequins on it, a fashion show.

 If I narrowed it down to three favourites on the Catwalk they are the following and I will add a fourth choice.

Above left is my fourth choice, Edwardian Tea Gown.

First choice, Avondjapon, evening dress with mirrored floral pattern, as you can see I took front and back pictures.  Designed by the Italian  Maria Nina Ricci c 1938, who founded her own fashion house in Paris in 1932.  the gown has an underskirt and a tunic.  the draped silhouette recalls the clothing worn by women in ancient Greece, on which many 1930's evening dresses were modeled.  The abstract floral pattern lent the design a contemporary character.  It is a beautiful dress.

The black sequined dress behind is a Jeanne Lanvin 1938.

Second choice, day dress post second World War, RAF silk pilot maps of Asia.  When opened they make no noise.  By Jeanne de Loos, Indonesia C 1945.  There was a shortage of textiles after WWII so Jeanne made use of silk escape maps.  These maps were carried by Royal Air Force crew members so that they could identify their location in case of an emergency landing.

And this is my third choice.

Black dress with a tie belt - Catharina Kruys Veldt de Mare C 1951 - c 1952

Catharina started out as a seamstress, at nineteen she married and with her husband she started a Fashion House Maison C. Kruys Veldt Mare.

Catwalk behind the scenes

The only thing is I always want to see how the dresses were constructed underneath and it's a great temptation to lift a corner up and take a peek.  I think that they should do this, or at least show photos of the stitching, seams and underneath construction, especially of old garments, I would find this most interesting.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

After our toast, eggs and tea for breakfast at our digs, we set off for the Rijks Museum, which was only a couple of stops on the trolley from where we were staying.  In the morning we saw a peak of the sun, as you can see in the patches of blue sky.

The museum is considered Neo Gothic and was designed by Pierre Cuypers the son of a church painter.  He designed both the Amsterdam Central Station and the Rijks Museum and you can see the similarity.  He was Catholic and belonged to the Lay Dominicans.  After the Rijks was built many said that it was too church like and many additions were made over the years, hiding the original design concept.  In 2013 a ten year renovation was finished and took much of the structure back to the original Cuyper concept.

I did not take too many pictures of the internal architecture and should have done, I guess I was so concentrating on the art inside.  It was lovely to actually see many of the paintings that in a way you have lived with for years.

Here are Jean and I at the end of our visit, as you can see the sun disappeared.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Biggest Disappointment in Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

Yes I did have a great disappointment in Amsterdam and it involves this bakery.  We said on our way back to our digs we're buy a cake here to take back with us to have with a cup of tea, and guess what it was closed, a tragedy.  At least I have the visual and can dream about the cake that never was.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bazaar Restaurant, Jordaan Neighbourhood, Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

After checking into our digs and becoming acquainted with our host, I told you that story on a previous post, we were ready after a fun, long, quite cold day for a nice hearty meal.  This restaurant was recommended The Bazaar Restaurant, Amsterdam

We caught the trolley two stops this was about 7:00PM and by the time we got off and walked several streets over to Albert Cuypstraat, where they hold a street market every day, it was getting dark, it was a little on the quiet side, but OK.  We kept walking and couldn't believe our eyes dozens of herons were picking through the piles of trash, Eventually we found the restaurant with the big old doors.  We walked in and just soaked in the warmth and obviously very local people eating there.  The tile work and pottery all from North Africa, so wanted to buy a platter, the senses explode.

If you are ever in Amsterdam wander on out to Albert Cuypstraat 182, to the Bazaar Restaurant situated in an old church, in the Jordaan Neighborhood.  The prices are great the menu extensive with Moroccan and Turkish dishes, we were delighted with our food.

Unfortunately the only photos I have are cell phone photos, but if you go to the link above you will get the idea.  I had a lamb shank, accompanied with a side salad, and a very good fruit beer.  Jean had the stuffed peppers.  The portions are absolutely huge.

Jean's meal.

My meal.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Arriving At Our Digs

Hi Dear Folk,

Well as I said before travel is not for the faint hearted and neither is four flights of steps.

This is the entrance at the bottom, so one apartment either side on the ground floor.

Up one flight of straight steps and you are confronted with four doors.  One each to the left and right which are single apartments and then the two centre doors which you can see at the top of the stairs have three bells each.  We did not know which one to ring but eventually found out from a neighbour. So each door is locked and when you are let in, you are not buzzed in, our host had asked his sister to clean for him and she came down and let us in; there are another three apartments, one up each flight of stairs.  We climbed three flights of winding stairs to our apartment at the top.  We had a nice big bedroom at the front, overlooking this street.

Here is Jean looking at the paperwork for our digs.

Looking up and down the street.

We thought that our apartment could have possibly been built in the 1930's and I just kept thinking of Nazi soldiers and trucks going up and down and what it must have been like to look out of the windows and see that.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Out and About Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

Come with me on a pictorial walk around Amsterdam.   After our canal boat trip we wandered down to the centre of Amsterdam, and these market stalls and shops along a canal.

Lots of delicious samples of cheese and chutneys to try here.

Up to a restaurant which has good views over Amsterdam, then on to a cafe.

Coffee, tea and savory croissants at a very busy little cafe, we managed to squeeze into a corner table by the window overlooking a canal.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Beguinage (Begijnhof) Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

The Begijnhof, in about 1150 a group of women came together to live in a religious community, primarily to look after the sick.  these were, in effect, the first 'Beguines" although the name was not yet used.

The women were not nuns and nor did they live in the seclusion of a convent.  They had no founders nor did they make lifelong vows.  They did have to be unmarried, to make a vow of chastity and to promise obedience to the parish priest, but since they were not expected to make a vow of poverty, they were free to dispose of their own possessions.  They could renounce their vows at any moment and leave the Beguinage, for instance to get married.

The first time the word 'beguines' was used was in an official document of 1307 found in the accounts of the Bailiff of Amstelland.  Another document, dated 31 July 1346, speaks of the Beghijnhuis (house of the Beguines) ceded to them by one Cope van der Laene on St Peter's Eve, in 1393, on 7 August, Albrecht can Beveren (Albert of Bavaria) ratified the regulations of the Beguinage by letter, taking them under his protection and giving a number of rules for those in the Beguinage to observe.   He also stipulated that a woman could only be admitted as a Beguine after she had lived at the Beguinage for at least 18 months.

In 1421 and 1452 much of the Beguinage was destroyed by fire, but rebuilt in brick.

In 1587 almost all of Amsterdam was Roman Catholic 26 May 1578 the Orangist Calvinist took over key magistrate positions in the city and it was strictly forbidden for Roman Catholics to profess their faith, the church in the court yard was handed over to the English and has since then been called The English Church.

Here I am at the entrance to the Begijnhof, with my Vera look as my sister says, of course you know she's referring to the British TV series Vera.

It truly is a little haven in the city, and opens up to this.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Amsterdam By Canal and Trolley

Hi Dear Folk,

Amsterdam has a very interesting history.  Out of the marshlands and swamps surrounding the Amstel River, a structure of dams and dikes was made.  These settlers started exacting toll money from the passing beer and herring traders of the Eastern Sea Trade from the Baltics.  They quickly became expert boat builders and brewers.  In 1300 the town received its first charter.

After the Spaniards conquered Antwerp, many wealthy Jews fled to Amsterdam.  The money they brought with them was used to organize trips to India, which proved a huge commercial success.  Then in 1602, the famous Dutch East India Company was founded.  The city of Amsterdam had a majority share in the organization, which was to become the first multinational company in the world. All this prosperity led to being called the Golden Age, an era of urban expansion in both the canals and the Jordaan district, combining functionality and beauty.

It is an amazing sight to see.

The Amsterdam Central Station was built between 1881 - 1889 in the Neo Gothic style the Rjks Museum was built about this time, also in the Neo Gothic style.

A main bridge across a canal connecting the station with the center city of Amsterdam.

This is Dam Square with the Royal Palace in the background and a trolley going across the square,  we are standing on the steps of the War Memorial, the Nieuwe Kirk is on the right side and is now used for art exhibits.

The trolleys are so easy to travel on, we bought a 48 hour pass for 12 euro which starts at time of your first swipe,  or I should say slap, because it is not a swipe like the NYC subway system, which was totally hopeless or we were totally hopeless, one or the other, but probably the other as I was a dab hand at the slap of our tickets in Amsterdam.  The trolleys seem to come along almost every ten minutes so no problem if you missed one just catch the next one.  If only the American car industry had not bought and dismantled the trolley and bus system in Los Angeles, what a happier and easier place that would be to get around in, yes they had a whole infrastructure that was ripped out.


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