Amsterdam: World Press Photo Exhibition 2012

When in Amsterdam...visit the World Press Photo Exhibition at the Old Church. For 55 years this competition has highlighted world events and style in photo journalism. Considered internationally as the premiere competition for photojournalists the World Press Photo Foundation is based in Amsterdam and operates as an independent non-profit organisation. Judging is done over two weeks by a jury who discuss and evaluate anonymous entries.

World Press Photo Exhibition 2012 - Amsterdam
The jury gave prizes in 9 themed categories to 54 photographers.

Photo of the year went to Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda for an image of a veiled woman comforting her wounded son. The photo was taken in a mosque in Jordan. The mosque was temporarily a field hospital during the violent protests in Saana, Jordan, 2012. Aranda was on assignment for the New York Times.

World Press Photo 2012 - Amsterdam

The Press Photo Exhibition always challenges viewers and their sense of self. On viewing we found ourselves moved, shocked and enlightened. The Exhibition runs April to June 17 June.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam's Cafe Batavia 1920 Beer of the Week: Maredsous Blonde

When in Amsterdam....drink a beer that is not pilsner. Happy Queen's Day Weekend everyone. Amsterdam  is set for a long weekend of celebration. Therefore we need a beer that is not to heavy, a beer that is different to earlier weeks. This week's beer is to help you enjoy the freshness and excitement of Spring and the Amsterdam party atmosphere.

With the help of Cafe Batavia 1920 the beer of the week is Maredsous Blonde 6 Ale.

This was the first beer to be produced by the Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous in Denee, Belgium. This Blonde 6 is now brewed by the well renowned Duvel Moortgat Brewery.

On pouring the Maredsous Blonde there was a large sticky head with wheat citrus aroma. The taste is a little tart to start with a dry finish. Citrus, spice, fruit and biscuit flavors burst through and disappear on the palate. The 6 stands for 6% alcohol. This 6 is an easy to drink blonde Belgium beer.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy Queen's Weekend!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Queen's Day 30 April 2012:

When in Amsterdam....enjoy Queen's Day or Koninginnedag (as it's called). The largest street party in the country is held on April 30th throughout the streets of Amsterdam. The annual festival of Orange is a national holiday in the Netherlands. It is a day to celebrate the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands. 30 April is actually the Queen's mother's birthday but Beatrix, the current Queen, has her birthday in January. Winter is not the time to have a party outside so April 30th is it.

Queens Night (the night before April 30)

The party begins the night before April 30. Many places, bars and clubs have special events for the evening. Many Amsterdammers enjoy Queen's Night with friends and family getting ready for the free market that is held the next day.

2012 Queen's Night will be different

This year Amsterdam's premiere football (soccer) team Ajax may turn national champion on Queen's night. This sernario has not occured in memory and is sure to complicate Queen's night and day celebrations. Regional football rivalry is known to out-weigh national affliction.

Prepare everything Orange

If you are visiting for 30 April bring an orange outfit. Amsterdam an historically republican city of the Netherlands goes Orange for a day. It is a day when the normally reserved Dutch let their hair down and kick up their heels, all in an orange fever.

Amsterdam's Largest Free Market

Not only in Amsterdam but all over the Netherlands Queen's Day provides the opportunity for all to test their inner capitalist and entrepreneur.The walkways of the county are covered with the largest flea or free market. This is the opportunity to get rid of old or new goods and get paid. Many with imagination create games or entertainment to raise funds for further party. Few take the money making seriously. On a day when most things are able to be sold, a fortune or at least a bargain can be found.

Amsterdam Street Dance Party

Each Amsterdam neighborhood will have music stages so that you can dance the evening away. Music will operate on the stages from 1200hrs until 2000hrs. Favorite spots are around Rembrandtplein, Leidseplein and Nieuwmarkt. If you haven't danced enough all of the night clubs will continue to 0300hrs or 0500hrs.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Friday Beer of the Week: Barbar

When in Amsterdam...drink a beer that is not pilsner.

The basics of Beer on Friday have been stipulated. Beer of the week is the wonderful Barbar.

Barbar is a honey ale produced by the Brasserie Lefebvre.  This Brewery is situated in a small village south of Brussels and has been a family owned since 1876.

On tasting it is not as sweet as we expected. There is a malty sweetness. Honey and vanilla flavors are present but not over powering. The finish is dry spicy and slightly tart. This is the beer for those who are tempted to move from the safety of pilsner for the first time. With an alcohol content of 8% Barbar should be enjoyed slowly.


With the help of Cafe Batavia 1920 we are slowly working our way through their 42 beers for your reading pleasure. Bar Batavia is named after the former Dutch flagship of the Dutch East India Company which was wreaked on its maiden voyage and the surviving crew mutinied and started killing one another.

When in Amsterdam.....have a great weekend!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Canal House Museums Part 2: Geelvinck Hinlopen House

When in Amsterdam......visit a Canal House Museum. Set on Amsterdam's UNESCO World Heritage Canals you step back into the existence of the city's social and merchant elite. These museums are away from the crowds and let you wander the rooms and gardens of valuable canal mansions. Value for money if  used with the museum card or IAmsterdam card

The Geelvinck Hinlopen Family

The Geelvinck Family were a regent merchant family who made their fortune shipping in Spain, Africa and the West Indies. Five of the Geelvinck family became lord mayors of Amsterdam and their name was given to the ship that explored Western Australian and New Guinea.

Albert Geelvinck was a lawyer and an involved businessman in Suriname. He married the rich orphan Sara Hinlopen. Sara's father was a wealthy flemish cloth merchant, was an initial investor in the Dutch East Indies Company and also a great patron of the arts. Sara was orphaned at the age of six after her father died aged 40 years old.

Entrance Geelvink Hinlopen House Museum

The House

The house was compelted in 1687. It was purchased by the Geelvinck family to entertain guests. Built on the newly developed Herengracht near the Amstel. In the late 1600s this was the area of rich Amsterdam families.

The museum's entrance is through the Coach House on the Keizersgracht just down the road from Foam (photography museum). After dropping off bags in the lockers provided we exit the Coach House and enter a wonderful quiet garden. The rear of the garden is designed in Renaissance style while the front section is of symmetrical French style.

Garden - Geelvink Hinlopen House Museum

On entering the rear of the house you are greeted by a volunteer tour guide. The guide takes you through the first floor. We did the tour in English. This tour distinguishes the Geelvinck Hinlopen House from the other Canal House museums of merchant Amsterdam families. The guide's insight brings the richly decorated house alive.

In the foyer hangs a 400 year old tapestry. Designed by Felmish Michiel Coxie. The tapestry depicts Cyrus the Great of Persia (550 BC) and and Croesus the Rich of Lydia. Despite Cyrus capturing Croesus he did not kill him by rather made him a prinicple minister.

There are four period rooms that are decrorated in late 18th century styles. Rococo and neo classical styles are prominent. From May until June the museum is celebrating 400 years of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands. The downstairs area houses the exhibition.
Every Sunday there are chamber concerts in the neighboring downstairs room. Musicians use antique musical instruments that are part of the house collection. For more information regarding the house visit their website

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!
When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Friday Beer of the Week at Amsterdam's Cafe Batavia 1920

When in Amsterdam....drink beer that is not pilsner.

Amsterdam has approximately 1 200 bars for a population of around 780 000 people. Many bars in Amsterdam serve only one tap beer normally a pilsner, which is a type of lager. The most famous Dutch pilsner is Heineken, other brands include Grolsch, Bavaria and Amstel. 90% of the beer sold in the Netherlands is pilsner.

When in Amsterdam is a fan of small. Over the next weeks we bring attention to the small 10% of beer consumed in the Netherlands. We do this with the assistance of Cafe Batavia 1920. Cafe Batavia has 42 beers on its list. Its central location, good pub food, comfortable smoking quarter and private function room make this bar an easy option when near Amsterdam's Centraal Station.

This week's beer of the week is Delirium Nocturnum. A triple fermented Belgium dark ale.The beer is brewed by the 350 year old family owned Belgian Brouwerij Huyghe.   

The Delirium Nocturnum (translated from Latin as Night Madness) is made using 3 different yeasts and 5 different malts. This results in a complex taste that changes with age. On drinking we found chocolate smoothness with a long finish that had a hint of spice. An alcohol rating of 8.5% provides plenty of body. With the temperature of Amsterdam spring nights just above freezing this Belgian dark ale will add some warmth to your own Amsterdam night of madness.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Canal House Museums: Van Loon Museum exhibit Michiel van Musscher

When in Amsterdam......visit an Amsterdam Canal House Museum. Set on Amsterdam's UNESCO World Heritage Canals you step into the existence of the city's merchant elite. With the museum card or IAmsterdam card these museums are great value. These museums are away from the crowds and let you wander the rooms and gardens of valued real estate.

The Van Loon Family

The Van Loon Family is a patrician family of Amsterdam. The family moved to Amsterdam from South Holland in the 17th century. In 1602, Willem Van Loon was one of the founding members of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) and Willem's grandson was Lord Mayor of Amsterdam. The Van Loons were raised to the position of peerage in the 1800s. The  the house was bought by the family in 1886 as a wedding present for a younger Van Loon.

The Van Loon Museum is still owned by the family today.

The House
Van Loon Museum - Amsterdam

Built in 1672, its first resident was Ferdinand Bol, pupil of Rembandt, and master artist in his own name. The house next door was owned by Jeremias van Raey, a Flemish merchant who made his money by selling weapons and grain. Van Raey rented the yet to be named Van Loon House to Bol. The architect of the house was Adriaen Dortsman who also designed the Dome Lutheran Church in Amsterdam, the now named Descartes House and the fortifications at Naarden, just outside of Amsterdam.

Van Loon Museum - Amsterdam
The Van Loon Museum is a chance to step behind the facade of a grand canal house in Amsterdam's heritage listed canals. The house is like stepping back in time. Bread is still on the kitchen table. The beds are dressed in linen. The house looks like the 17th century owners have just stepped out.

At the back of the house is wonderful garden and a coach house. The garden is beautiful and a moment of peace away from the noise of Amsterdam's streets. The newly renovated coach house is currently housing an exhibition by painter Michiel van Musscher.

Van Loon Museum Garden and Coach House - Amsterdam

Coach House Exhibition of Michiel van Musscher

In the Coach House is the first exhibition of Michiel van Musscher (1645 - 1705)  who painted during the time of Rembrandt. Van Musscher was born into a Mennonite family and was first commissioned by the Van Loon family in 1679. He was one of the most successful portrait painters in Amsterdam at the end of the 1600s. His most famous subject is Tsar Peter the Great.

Michiel showed talent for painting early in life and excelled after a few months of training.  Van Musscher's special talent was detail especially tapestry, oriental carpets and fine fabrics. His ability to paint realistically is what made the elite of Amsterdam commission him for paintings.

Our favorite painting of the exhibition was that of the painter's family. The skill of detail was evident. What was more amazing was that the painting was done months after the death of van Musscher's first wife. The painting was a memory. The artist also added a peacock, that symbolizes immortality, and a finch that symbolised resurrection.

For those who enjoy Dutch Golden Age art the Michiel van Musscher exhibition is well worth a visit. The exhibition runs from March until June. For more information regarding entrance prices and times visit the museum website.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Photography Museum exhibits New York Times Magazine

When in Amsterdam....visit Foam. One of Amsterdam's premiere Photography Muesum, Foam is currently showing photos from the last 15 years of the 30 year old NY Times Magazine in an exhibition titled The New York Times Magazine - Photographs.
Foam - Amsterdam

The exhibition places photography as an important part of storytelling. Compiled into 11 projects that range in topic from politics to Hollywood celebrities and positioning photographs differently. Portraiture, reportage and fine art photographs demonstrate the diversity of photographs in print.

Photos from Gilles Peress taken in Iran in 1979 and 1980 position politics as timeless. The project of Sebastiao Salgado, 'Kuwait Inferno, 1991' show oil wells on fire during the first Gulf War. Anticipation of being in the right place at the right moment must be weighed against danger. Salgado, a Brazilian, is considered to be by some one of the most important photographers of the early 21st century. Salgado described the Kuwait assignment as the difference between danger and devastation. The photos have a depth that goes beyond fear.

The New York Times Magazine - Photographs provides layers to interest all. The photography enthusiast will marvel at amazing shots of portraits and war zones. The historian will appreciate the role of images in documenting an historic moment. The fashionable learn about trends and images of style constructions. There is something for all.

NY Times Magazine exhibition- Foam, Amsterdam

The exhibition is compiled under the guidance of Kathy Ryan, award winning Director of Photography at the New York Times Magazine and Lesley A. Martin, publisher of the Aperture Foundation's book program. The exhibition runs 23 March to 30 May 2012. Click on the Foam link for open time and admission prices.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged