Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: May 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What's Been Going On?

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You've probably been wondering what's been going on. Or maybe not?

It's been a while since we last spoke, so I will catch you up anyway. 

Leyla A in the dining room at Canal House
Sitting in the dining room at Canal House in Amsterdam

I haven't had any time to write as the days go by, instead I've written a short recap of what's been happening. I'll start with a recent trip to Amsterdam and try to write another catch-up later. No promises, of course.  

I visited Amsterdam at the end of February, here are highlights from that trip. Feel free to read more about my travels of yesteryear in my nostalgic travel post about Amsterdam. On this trip, we stayed at The Canal House Hotel - a boutique hotel in the Jordaan, on the Keizersgracht.

Amsterdam Boutique Hotel - Canal House
Someone was getting room service next door - Canal House Amsterdam

Main Room at Canal House Amsterdam
Canal House Amsterdam - main sitting room

Dali & Banksy & Ren Hang
As per usual, we visited many museums (if you don't like museums, you would not like traveling with me). Hit all the mainstays, including MoCa where we saw the Banksy and Dali exhibits.

MoCa Banksy Exhibit

Dorothy in Amsterdam via Banksy

Dali in Amsterdam MoCa

You may, or may not, know that I'm a Dali fan. I've been to multiple Dali his exhibits around the world but my favorite always remains his museum in Figueres, Spain. It's so impressive and I hope to one day go back. 

We also visited some lesser popular museums, like Foam photography museum. We were fortunate enough to stumble upon the Ren Hang exhibit - on the day he died, by happenstance. 

House of Bols 
In between museums we made a stop to the House of Bols (imagine a Chicago accent while saying it, "Bols", now say it again and hold the "s" for a second longer than you should). 

leyla in Amsterdam - House of Bols
House of Bols - Cocktail & Genever Experience in Amsterdam

House of Bols - Cocktail and Genever Experience - an interactive tour that explains the history of the product how to make a great cocktail. When you enter, they hand you a vile of booze and ask you to hold onto it until the sensory booth. Once inside the booth, you're exposed to music, lights, and then different fragrances. The audio tells you when to sip from your vile.

The lights, sound, and smell change the way your booze tastes - significantly. You're drinking the same fluid but each sip tastes different from the previous sip. 

This video is my favorite part of my trip to Amsterdam. It's from the sensory booth at the House of Bols

While inside, you know you're being recorded, but it's a small booth and feels very private. When you exit, your video is displayed on the wall, along with everyone else's. 

As you can see above, I look completely lost. I look downright frightened. However, my companion had quite the opposite experience, as demonstrated in the video immediately to my right. 

One Last Coffee Shop Stop 
On our last day, I visited one of the coffee shops I had written about in my journal (and in a blog post) when I was in Amsterdam last - 20 years ago! 

Take a look at the bathroom situation at Hill Street Blues Coffee Shop...  

Very Leyla circa '90s
Very un-Leyla circa now

Red Light District Amsterdam 
On our last night, we had dinner at Blauw aan de wal -- a fancy schmancy place smack in the middle of the Red Light District. "Discreet d├ęcor, simple and tasty modern cuisine, good wine selection..." as described by Michelin. Thanks to my friend Chico for the recommendation. 

Walking back I took some random photos of the Red Light District on my EZVIZ Five Plus... I just let the camera go, here are some highlights. 

Red Light District in Amsterdam

(Disclosure: EZVIZ supplied me with this camera some time ago, however, I use it and post about it because I like the camera.)

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