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Sunday, October 23, 2016

MEN'S FASHION: classy wool = cool

Last week Mitchell took me out shopping with him for a winter coat, as he hoped to both please me and himself: we tend to differ in what he likes to wear and what I like to see him wearing at times. His style is surprisingly fashionable, or at least he has an above average interest in fashion for men, or maybe he's just very vain and too worried about his looks....Although annoying sometimes, vain is a characteristic some guys will benefit from when adopting it. I would describe his style as innovative, trendy, tough, often rather long T-shirts and usually a lot of zippers (this sounds way more punk-ish than it's supposed to be). Most of the time I like his clothing, but now and then he's considering buying something so utterly disgusting that I beg the Lord that he may abandon the idea. 

What I most like on guys is anything as classy as can get. To the point of British men. Even men in the 50s. In my opinion it doesn't get any manlier than that, and what's sexier than men who dress like men? I love them wearing woolen jumpers on cotton shirts, and sometimes I love those woolen jumpers even in a hipster-kinda way, but my man would unfortunately never ever wear those, simply because he doesn't even come close to being a hipster! I can live with that though. When it comes to classy clothing, I know he secretly likes it on him but he needs a little push in that direction. He often rejects my suggestions on something classier at first, but when I say "oh please put it on! I just want to see it on you, you don't have to buy it if you don't like it!" he would put it on (protesting under his breath) and then you would see him looking at himself in the fitting room mirror with mild surprise, slowly admitting that it does indeed look good on him. So, through this way, he's been mixing up his original style with a classier and more mature one, something I'm only happy to encourage!

So it's no wonder that I was pleading for a trench coat or something alike when we were discussing potential winter coats for the upcoming season. But the trench coat belt disgusted him. I was worried that he would rather buy something too similar to his last winter coat, one that had faux fur around the hood, something that we both agreed on was rather ugly. So when we went shopping, he did indeed try on some similar coats (without faux fur, thank god) that were only slightly better, but I didn't say so, as when he likes something, he doesn't really care about my opinion anyways. Thankfully he wasn't very fond of those coats either, so we moved on to some other stores, and eventually ended up at H&M, where I got him to try on this woolen coat, saying "Look, David Beckham is wearing the same one" while pointing at the campaign picture on the shelf. Must have been very convincing. He did like the coat on him and liked it even more as it was the cheapest one we had seen so far, something very decisive to my money-concerned boyfriend. So he went with it! And we were both very pleased.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Autumn and People in Amsterdam

Last week I was in Amsterdam for a (free!) photography course that I had signed up for, and as it was mostly a practical course, all of us were in the streets after only 10 minutes of class. After some quick says on the technical part of photography, we mainly practiced composition, movement and photographing people. The teacher was more like a "practice a bit and just ask if you need help" kinda teacher so I didn't learn too much new stuff, but it was fun to photograph around a bit. Here's the result.

Walking around in Amsterdam makes me feel astonished about the variety of people in the world. In this city all kinds of people, cultures and ethnicities are mixed up and living together in a beautiful capital. When looking more closely at these people when photographing, I wonder about their different stories and their lives, their hopes and dreams and histories.  People are small, and indistinguishable from a crowd like ants most of the time. We look at other people we don't personally know much in the same way as we look at those ants. They are just creatures with no personal background of importance filling up the earth like film extras. That's what I love about photographing people: it's like highlighting one person in a crowd, making this person in the picture important for an instant. Suddenly we realize this specific person has had a life full of all kinds  of events, a complicated personality, opinions, believes, desires. Although a photo alone doesn't hold any facts about all these things, we can think of them in our own way, which is most importantly: that they are thought of.

I love photographing people, but I love photographing lifeless objects and details as well. Photographing doesn't only make you look closer to people, it also makes you notice details you wouldn't have noticed otherwise. I know the world is so much more than us human notice in our daily lives as our build-in filter filters out a lot of the details surrounding us, so I like that photographing forces you to pay a closer look at your surroundings. Besides, when scanning a photo that you took afterwards, you may notice even more details.

I may want to say that I like the world better through a camera. Some people say that sometimes you need to put away your camera and look at the world through your very own eyes, but I believe photography is a way that may enrich the way you're seeing the world. A photographer may see things other people don't. At least I know that I do see things differently when I'm walking around with my camera, looking for beautiful things and happenings to photograph. But perhaps this is only because I tend to look at my feet when walking around with no camera in my hand.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Grand Afternoon Tea @ Bridges Amsterdam

At the end of summer, my mom and I had a High Tea afternoon together (it was my belated Mother's Day gift to her) at the Bridges restaurant in Amsterdam. As the weather was bright but mild that day, we could sit in their courtyard garden. Even though Bridges is located in the middle of busy and crowded Amsterdam, when stepping into this courtyard it was hard to imagine that behind those buildings honking cars and chattering crowds could be heard all the time - the inner garden was calming and peaceful, perfect for some tea-drinking and delicacies eating.

Bridges' "Grand Afternoon Tea" consists out of several courses, each with a different type of matching tea (several tea varieties from exotic corners of the earth from Newby Teas). At first the amuses were served: poached egg with crème fraîche and salmon caviar, and an oriental bonbon made of watermelon, served with wasabi) - and our expectations were elevated. Then an étagère was put in front of us, every level containing a different type of culinary delights, supposed to be consumed from top to bottom:
  • A selection of crostini
    • Crostini with cold smoked mackerel and tomato
    • Crostini with Dutch shrimps, cocktail sauce and garniture of Granny Smith
    • Crostini with smoked eel with cream of basil
    • Crostini with smoked salmon with Cicon pearls and furikake (Japanese seasoning)
  • Warm classic and raisin scones from their own bakery served with marmelade, Devonshire clotted cream and lemon curd
  • Delicate desserts: a selection of hand made pastries (apricot and rosemary square)
It was a delicious afternoon! 

I love hanging out with my mom! She's not only my mom, but she's my best friend as well! So I was happy to share this high tea with her. But I guess high tea at Bridges would be perfect for an afternoon with friends or even a work meeting as well. And not only when the weather is nice: inside the restaurant it looked just as neat!

Would you like to have a High Tea at Bridges?

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