The Elf has left the building.
Please come see me at my new home……
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Yesterday, I took the nephew and his best mate to Dublin for the day. We had planned to see the Big Blue Hand in the ARK. Last year I really wanted to take him to “Beware of the Story-Book Wolves” but what with moving to Amsterdam, and tickets being more popular than I thought it never came to be.
This year I was a bit more organised, and on hearing the adverts on the radio I decided to book the tickets fast. With a bit of to-ing and fro-ing we got the dates sorted and told the boys.
It was good timing all the same (depending on your idea of good) as the Denny Family Day Out was on Sunday too.
Anyhow, after a train ride, where the boys were amazed at a teen aged girl applying eye makeup, who they proclaimed to be a Rockstar, we were on our way to the ARK in Temple Bar. Cue: many many questions on the route, I’m glad it was almost our saints day, cause two 6yr olds would try the patience of many saints.
Finally at the ARK and after a short wait, we get seated in the round. I have to say the theatre is fantastic, as are the staff. The play began and it was everything I had hoped it would be. There were many levels of the play, and some things went over the heads of younger kids, but kept the parents and older kids entertained in a family friendly way.
The play is dark, and being a play, with real children that the younger audience can relate to and believe in it packs a solid punch. The themes of love and loss and fear and triumph, were well treated with the addition of with a good laugh thanks to some toilet humour and an action packed sword fight to round it all off. It is aimed at the over 7’s and while I brought two 6yr olds, I do think that any younger than 6 would find the play a bit too much.
The cast were amazing, and as predicted Aunt Farticus Fume was both the most impressive and almost the scariest character after the eponymous Giant Hand. The younger cast members were the real stars, and very believable as they carried the majority of the story.
If you have a chance to beg, borrow, steal or just bring a child to this do. Tickets are selling fast and with good reason. The ARK plays are always a treat and this one is no exception.
Things to do….
The Lives of others has a cunning plan for all your secret rants and wishes…
Try it, I’m sure you’ll like it….
Things not to do…..
Or at least not to replicate on *your* scanner…
Scanwiches, an archive of scanned sandwiches, as you do!
What a wonderful day today.
It was a real pleasure to cycle to work this morning, and I promised myself that I will take a morning/day off and do my route to work with a camera soon. There are so many cool shots to be had in the morning bike rush, if I can get my hands on a decent camera I know I’ll make some of the photo-bloggers mouths water.
All topped of with plenty of stops along the way… I especially want to go back here for breakfast on that day!
(Of course this day off can be scheduled with anyone’s visit, just pick a weekday morning and bring nerves of corrugated iron, if not steel, and we will have a blast)
So imagine my delight when the sun was still shining at 5.30pm, I took this as a sign I was not to work late and quickly donned my very glamorous cycling gear (Trackie bottoms and a sweatshirt) and hit the streets to cycle home. It wasn’t as much fun as this morning, obviously people we no longer “sunshine happy” after a day at the office, and the good will and smiling of the morning commute had petered out.
All strains petered away as I cornered onto my street and heard the first Westerkerk Evening Carillon of 2009!
I haven’t heard it since October, at which point I did video it with the aim of sharing it here, but like many blog posts at the time it gathered dust.
So now I’d like to share this magical thing with you. It might be the memories of the notes flowing across the summer warmed canal that makes it so special to me but still I’d like to share.
To me it rings out in such a way that if you sit and listen you can imagine living here in another time, I think of all the historical figures that would have listened to its melodies, Anne Frank and Rembrandt van Rijn as examples.
Of course this is where the “beauty” of single glazed wood frame windows come into their own, it plays throughout my 3rd floor apartment, as if only for me
The Westerkerk stands pretty much at the top of my street (if you don’t count the Prinsengracht separating the two) and as I got off my bike and chained it up was beaming listening to the tune. I looked down toward the the end of the street and noted I wasn’t the only person enjoying it. Many of the patrons of one of the local bars, Cafe Chris were out with their beertjes listening too.
I quickly went upstairs and tried to capture it on my rubbish camera phone, so forgive the orientation of the video, and the sub par picture, but the sound really does work! 🙂 Had to take it several times as it picked up every conversation had on the street.
And here is an inside view of what is going on when a carillon is played
And last but not least, a little clip of Tulips from Amsterdam, taken from the top of the Westertoren when it was being repaired in 2007.
I want to climb the tower soon, its 85 metres high and was completed in 1638. In fact the local bar I mentioned earlier played a part in its construction, and was reputed not only to be the local bar of Rembrandt, who stopped there for a tipple or many on rout from his studio, but it was also used as the payroll office of the workers building the tower.
There is a unique gents restroom in the premises which I am happy to show you when we go for a beertje sometime! 🙂
See you there, hopefully the bells will be chiming!
Design is a BIG thing here in Amsterdam. More than in any other city I’ve experienced Amsterdam prides itself on its creative community. Its great to have a policy that really cherishes small companies that want to create new and inventive ways of looking at the world and doing business.
Outdoor design is also really promoted, and in the suburbs there is the space to try out new things, from cool bike shelters to crazy parks and walls. Recently unveiled the Mood wall is just that, a 24-meter long mood wall consists of 2,500 led lamps and a video system.
The standard urban wallpaper video program on the wall is alternated with an interactive program that responds to passing pedestrians. the project was initiated to increase the sense of security in obscure passageways in Amsterdam’s bijlmermeer area. Its located on the okkermanviaduct, adjacent to bijlmerplein 395 [bijlmermeer].
Talk about concrete enhancement of ones living environment, the mood wall, a concept concocted by Urban Alliance, a network of industries specialized in lighting solutions for public spaces. Urban Alliance is a collaboration of designers and developers – Studio Klink which does architecture and design; Illuminate, specializing in interactive lighting and video content; and Cube Architects that specializes in building design and development.
The tunnel’s screen is stretched out horizontally so that the images are better viewed from the side, and outside the tunnel, which makes people want to view it from the outside, and also prevents the tunnel from becoming a loitering spot (at least in theory).
The official statement from Urban Alliance “The Moodwall is located in a pedestrian tunnel and interacts with people passing by, improving the atmosphere in the tunnel and making people feel happier and safer. The interactive urban wallpaper is made from 2500 LEDs behind a ribbed semi-transparent wall. The curves in the wall make it less vulnerable to graffiti and improve visibility.”