Rudy Kouwenberg is my new hairdresser and I love him and I will never leave him. He listens. He's friendly and warm and after my horrible hair experiences here in Amsterdam I am sticking to him like glue.
You'll find Rudy at Spuistraat 224 not far from the Dam (020 423 3733). He also runs a B&B, the Palace, which appears to be quite nice from the site's photos.
The weather the past few days has been unbelieveably gorgeous. I just can't get off my bicycle. I find wisteria to be one of the most enchanting flowers, and it's blooming all over the place here now. I went a bit further than Brouwersgracht yesterday, and explored the Westerdok area. What a great place to catch some sun.
This interesting scene I saw over at the west end of Brouwersgracht. A nice example of new and old Dutch architecture, and I love the wooden boat.
On Saturday I checked out the WesterGasfabriek and marveled at the huge open sunny space there, with a water dipping thingy for the kids even! It's so nice to see people enjoying public spaces, and here they do. The Dutch are mad for sunlight, and you will find them in any sunbeam, no matter how public.
City residents set up little tables with wine and cheese right out on the public sidewalk. They sit there reading the paper, doing paperwork, visiting with friends as if they are in their own living room, and nobody blinks an eye. I'm dying to get a snapshot of this activity, but perhaps a bit paradoxically, Amsterdammers are private folk, and I sense they would be none too keen to be photographed as though they were a zoo exhibit. Still, it's a goal of mine to snag a shot of this sun-madness.
There is even a humorous ad campaign at the moment where a young man taking a driving lesson curses the sun as it blinds his view. Cut to the shocked expression of his instructor, cut to neighbors gossiping in a coffeeshop, cut to his family stricken in shame, trying to explain themselves. The instructor reprimands the youth and demands that he apologize...to the sun. The startled youth murmurs, "sorry, zonne" and everyone in the ad breathes a huge sigh of relief. This is the rainy dark cold cloudy Netherlands. There will be no cursing of the sun here, by God.