We spent Thanksgiving in Amsterdam this year with the Rooijens, Meg and Jake. It was a wonderful holiday. We were fortunate to spend this uniquely U.S. holiday with our Dutch family. We did not know it would be the last holiday we would share with Rudy. But it gives us quite special family memories.
Amsterdam is a city of great beauty. the historic center represents elegance and power.
Even during Amsterdam’s winter season, flowers are in abundance. The varieties are endless and the prices are quite modest.
Laura, Michel and Sophia live in a lovely urban apartment, with restaurants, markets and retail shopping to rival New York or Paris.
In the center of town, adjacent to the canals, we came upon this wonderful caravan which is, or could be, a home for a Roma/gypsy family.
While nothing like the kind of housing we have come to expect in the states. It is quite lovely in its uniqueness.
Nothing reflects the personality of Amsterdam more than the canals in the heart of the historic city. Built during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, the canals of Amsterdam are a tourist wonder and a local delight. The canals are also a constant reminder that in a city that sits below sea level, the sea and the land are intertwined.
The canals were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List effective 2010. Neighborhoods surround the canals. Swans swim on the canals. House boats on the canals are the homes of some Dutch residents.
Many of the homes surrounding the canals predate the canals themselves. This photo reflects the elegance of one Dutch neighborhood.
The canals extend through Amsterdam’s cultural center.
They reflect the history of the city for locals and tourists alike.
There are few more scenic regions of the United States than Northern California. Meg and I spent 3 glorious days driving through and photographing the California Coastline, visiting Carmel and driving along Big Sur. As a mother, life doesn’t get much sweeter. As an amateur photographer, even my limited skills are bound to capture some of the beauty of the area.
This photograph of the bluffs, the water and the sky , is my favorite photograph from the trip.
Evening in Carmel has its own beauty. The softer colors of the sun and sky at dusk are worth experiencing.
The Green Lantern was a bed and breakfast located an easy walking distance from the ocean and the downtown restaurants. Definitely a great place for mother-daughter bonding.
Say it isn’t so! Seriously, Meg just doesn’t have time for a birthday. She is way too busy saving the world. Her life is in constant motion, working on Deb’s exciting campaign, protecting the environment and in all ways using her energy to make the world better, happier and more fun.
Meg In Overdrive
Her life is in constant motion. Meg celebrates life, not just on her birthday, but everyday. When she has free time she loves to:
Photograph her beloved California coast.
Hike with Jake and their beloved greyhounds.
And search for “made in the USA” clothing.
On your special day, Meg, relax and reflect on the great year you have had and the great years to come.
Westport has an extensive variety of graffiti, focused on Broadway, extending from Westport Road North. Our next destination is 39th and Central. Here, for the first time, I discovered a building where two walls are currently being painted with colorful murals. Hopefully, you will immediately recognize our friend, Scribe. Each painter has a unique style. Many can be found in Westport, along Broadway, Oak, and even in the West Bottoms.
As I have driven throughout the city, I have become acquainted with many of the artists. Many identify themselves with names like “Scribe”, “Saron”, “Storm”, “Frost” and “feminine”. Some artists use initials “SKY ZNK” and “TCTW”. Their styles are also becoming familiar.
Cartoon characters, dogs, cats, dragons and birds and even insects, are common themes.
This great bull dog is identified as the work of “GEAR”.
For those not yet weary of graffiti, still to be explored is art from outside the Mid-town corridors.
On the East side of Broadway, at 40th Street, there is a significant stretch of wonderful graffiti. Begin at the Open Fire Wood Burning Pizza shop. The front and South sides of the building have a wonderful mural identified as “GATS Coast to Coast 2013”. The reference to GATS sent me to the internet. GATS (Graffiti Against the System) identifies a California street artist whose paintings are found throughout the country as well as European countries including Portugal, Germany, Italy and England. While s/he claims to paint illegally, I cannot imagine many of these murals would be in existence without the approval of the property owners.
Follow the mural into the adjacent parking lot behind the Highway 420 Smoke Shop. There you will discover another series of panels created by different artists.
Much to my surprise, graffiti continues beyond the South edge of the parking lot through a stretch of alley that extends East to Central.
More to come: Graffiti under construction on 39th East of Broadway.