A Gayer better Paris

April 23, 2009

We checked in to Mark and Tim’s Gay B&B today. It is perfect, they are incredibly sweet and hospitalable. The walls and bathroom are bright pink, and our bedspread is purple, how fabulous! We also have the best bed we have slept on through out our entire stay. It actually resembles the feel of ours at home! Tre bon. We think we have better Karma or something because of all the buddha and Zen paraphenalia here. Paris has been nice. Well Nicer to us.img_2985Remember that amazing deli  we told you about in the St. Germain Des Prix, well we had to have it the last two days we were here. We got into Paris at around 6pm and then took a metro over. There we had procuitto italiano baguettes and prosciutto wraped goat cheese. img_2988I don’t want to sound crazy, but people, these are hands down some of the best food I have had in my life. Those tomatoes. Were burstings with the most flavor. It was a bit of magical on the Seine that night.

img_2994img_3011img_3013I wondered what people meant when they said paris is romantic. This is what they must have meant. It was 10 times more beuaitful in person. I wish you could really see the gold from the eiffel tower and the blue green in the water. Just superb.

img_3018img_3027We walked around very late. Then we came upon a small restaurant that was tiny and all dark wood. We sat down and noticed all of the older parisians around us, very well dressed parisiens. You know something. I am so impressed with the women here who dressed their age. I enjoy seeing a women in her 40’s or 50’s who is not wearing something from the store her teenage daughter shops at. Its so classy and appropriate. At the restaurant we drank half a bottle of red wine, and let me tell you, I think I had just about had it, I was almost asleep! I don’t know what came over me. Maybe it was all the beer that I only consumed in Holland and the wine was a one way ticket to dreamsville. But I practically could not finish my last glass and had to whine to Michael about needing to leave before I yawned all over paris. 

img_3028img_3030img_3064img_3037img_3050Look at the beautiful jewelry we bought our moms! Just joking. This is the Museum of Decorative Art. It was such a cool museum! I loved it. It is part of the Louvre. We spent the morning here for around 3 hours. We also got to take part in the Antoine+Manuel exhibit. Pretty neat.img_30421img_3070img_3072img_3074img_3080img_3083img_3085img_3087Doesnt this look alive. I started singing beauty and the beast after I saw this.Or Alice in Wonderland. I just could not stop thinking of the clock guy with the mustache.

img_3088img_3089img_3090img_3091img_3092We had such magnificent views. And the weather! It was amazing! Ah such nice days before we leave.img_3114img_3115img_3109img_3100img_3104img_3108boobie chair, and michael in the weird hanging chair. I dislike these chairs.  The bubble chair was quite loud.

img_3120Back to St. Germain ( just across the park in the Louvre) to the place we had dinner, we knew it opened briefly for lunch so we got there in the nick of time.

This is ham, cheese, apples, pickles, celery,capers type of salad. it was so yummy.

Then we had Chicken Ratatoille 

img_3125Thi tasted like a good home cooked meal. The place that makes this food is a husband and wife, and the food is just exceptional. We took pictures of it the first day we got to paris, do you rememeber the pictures of the salmon in the window? This is that place.

Lovey shmovey pictures, sorry!

img_3153img_3146img_3154Okay promise thats it!

Now on for bigger and better things, like the Pompidou and my god is it big!

img_3159Ha sorry. We had a rhubard tart. Also big, also great. Okay sorry… err pompidou.

 

img_3183img_3163Okay bear with me. The Kandinsky exhibit was beautiful and huge. We were not allowed photos so these are pretty bad but I snuck them for you! See how much I love you. These were two of my favorites.img_3165img_3171Then off to the Calder portion. So interesting, I loved watching his circus movies. He made everything himself, and was a true child at heart.

img_3182Sculpture, Michael snapped this one, Antoine Pevsner was the artist.  Cool texture.img_3168

Okidokie.

Oh yeah for dinner we went back to eat Senegalese food. that place is amazing. I need to find some of that in LA.

 

We fly home tomorrow. I am not looking forward to the long plane ride. 

This trip was a good thing, over all I loved it. There are many things I will do differently on another trip.

Oh yes I forgot to say!

Michael was accepted to the school upon his arrival. They loved his work that much. He was taken on a tour of the campus by the head of the architecture department and was very pleased with his day there. It is very exciting news. Now all we need is one more acceptance and we can begin to work on our plans at living in Amsterdam. I am very in love with Holland. It was like being at home. Not our home, but just the sense and feeling of a home. We will miss many things, but above all, the adventure. It was quite an adventure. I know the blog was all food and love, but there were some pretty interesting moments. Running after trains, runnign away from scary men who want to steal your stuff, getting in fights with french people who have filthy apartments and want you to pay them money. Ah, the joy. We will tell many of you these stories once we see you. Which reminds me, we cant wait to see our family and friends. We have thought of all of you on the trip and there is so much that makes you remember and cherish the people in your life while you are in new and different places.

I know I can be glad to say that I spent this trip with Michael. I love him dearly, and he is the best companion to be with when traveling. We are a perfect team, and I will always think of this trip fondly with him. 

So I leave you and myself with memories on this blog, and hopefully some new out looks on tasty treats to try and taking a trip overseas. Next trip…Thailand?!

Farewell.

love aimee and mike

Well it’s true. Michael and I have offically had our, “we love this place, it has to be our home” talk. This place is so charming we can’t even believe it. We love the people. The streets, the parks, the food, the school, the designs, the fonts everywhere, the colors, the canals. Ah so much we love. I was out later last night and as I walked through the streets lined with chritmas lights on the canals, I though to myself, how much my family would love to visit me here. How proud I would be to walk them around here. How much they would love it. We are crossing our fingers so tightly that we can make this happen. Speaking of happening, Michael’s interview is tomorrow! Wish him Luck!

 

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img_2925You know those flowers you make when you are in 2nd grade in the field with your girlfriends on lunchbreak. Okay sorry ( if you are a girl) Well I still remember how to make them! And I made a big one! I was proud. I realize those small gatherings with girlfriends in the park in a circle are like big girl bar dates. When you all sit around a table hang out drink wine, and talk about boys!

Well I found my boy and he liked it when I dress him up!

img_2929Okay maybe not!

img_2922Work it, work it!

img_2917Whatever dude, it looks better on me.

img_2897Aw, he hates me…

img_2905No just teasing. How could he hate me! I make him such yummy breakfasts, not every women does this!

img_2933working hard on portfolio!

img_2878img_2885img_2934I could not resist. It was funny.

Now on for more childlike memories!

Okay so this flower braiding reminded me of what I did in fields long ago. And then I SAW ANOTHER PLANT! a plant I had remembered playing with when I was younge. Ah like old times. I will show you the way to do it!

img_2935img_2936This is the plant, does it look familiar to anyone. Okay I am aware this is a completely irrelevant post to anything going on with traveling, but it meant a lot to me so please, bear with me.

You then get this when you pick the plant from the ground

img_2939img_2940So then I use to pull the pieces off like this, It looked pretty cool when I did it. I think that if I found someone that did this too, maybe her and I or him and I would have so many more things in common! Wishful thinking Im sure.

img_2942Wa La! Complete!

Okay So today we did nothing but laundry, booking tickets to stupid france, and then grocery shopping, and park time. Now I am home about to take a bath.

 

By the way! I hated the place I stayed in while in France, so I found another place for the last two days we are there. It is a Gay B&B! Ha, what do you think of that. It is called Tim and Marks Gay B&B hahahaha. Oh god I love myself. I love that name, How could someone not say, Yes, tim and mark I want to be at your gay B&B.

I will show you pictures when I arrive. One more day left in Amsterdam, So SO sad. I will miss it so much. I hope I get to come back!

img_2951img_2954Goodnight! Love you all, thank you for the comments, it keeps me blogging!  I can’t wait to see everyone when I get home. Except for the Metz. I am planning an attack where I kidnap them cover there heads and whisk them away to my home. 

Love Aimee and Mike!

Halo! Sorry late on updating. It is getting to the end of our trip, so we are getting lazy. Or maybe it is Amsterdam that makes me lazy. I am starting to catch on to the way of life here, the laid back, take life as it comes type of lifestyle.

Yesterday we went to Rotterdam! It is an hour away, and it is a big city, kind of like if Amsterdam was brooklyn and Rotterdam was New York City, but a bit smaller, about the same size as Amsterdam.

Rotterdam was bombed in World War 2 so they lost a lot of buildings. Most of the dutch’s modern masterpieces in Architecture are popping up there since there is so much need for new buildings. It was quite fascinating to see all the gigantic massive buildings that are going up.

We went there mostly because Michael wanted to skateboard. He met a friend name Ricardo Paterno while he was in Paris a couple years back, and RIcardo lives in Rotterdam. So I tagged along sadly, and kind of just hung out while Michael got in his one entire full day of skating in.

img_2857Train ride!

img_2855Ah HA! See hannah and landon! You must have been mistaken! You have the wrong Brooklyn, I know you must have meant this one! This one is better! Come to US! We will feed you cheese and ice cream all day long.

img_2868That is exactly what it looks like. A gnome with a butt plug. I swear it. I asked Ricardo, I said that looks like a butt plug he said, it is. The dutch did it on purpose, he said ” what do you guys call the little people” I said gnomes? He said yes, a gnome with a butt plug. There you have it.

Skate- a – boardin’ time

img_2864img_2865img_2871Look at these kids. A hahahaha. I felt so bad for them. They were on a horrible day trip with over stimulated parents, and they all wore this funny hat. It was bright orange and said Holland. I said, I need to take a picture of these poor kids. Look how cute they are though!

And then this. Michael fell on this thumb. bummer.

img_2872I wanted to make this large so you could see it up close. That is disgusting isnt it. gross.

Okidokie I am skipping around a bunch, actually the day before this we went shopping!

Oh joy! Michael likes shopping more than me. So we really go for him. He loves it. He could spend hours trying on clothes and looking at books. We went to this really weird but fun store right by our house called Mooi.

img_2817Life size entertainment

img_2818img_2806img_2809img_2814img_2822img_2816He had had enough I think. You know when parents just stay and stay at stores and you are like, enough already. This kid was thinking that I’m sure.

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I saw this in a book and I wished it was my backyard! oh the joy I would love to have wild giraffes in my backyard. I would play with them all day.

img_2824Went for a stroll through the neighborhood. I love this neighborhood. The best in Amsterdam. Jordaan.

img_2825The best thing to come back as in another life.

img_2826It does not surprise me the amount of flower shops. Amsterdam keeps all of the planters filled within its neighborhoods. So many flowers along the canals,waterways,homes,sidewalks. They are everywhere. It really makes for a beautiful spring time.

img_2829img_2830What we see normally. Almost every person on a beautiful day is out enjoying the sunshine with a friend over wine, a chess game, or a good book.

 

Bookstore front, it was closed but I liked the image.

img_2831img_2832img_2833

Draw bridge on our way to the park.

img_2834We picked up the olives and THE BEST perppercini’s with goat cheese inside oh my god it was perfect. Spicy, and crnchy but since dairy kills the spicyness in things, it made it the perfect smooth combination. I have since been craving these for the past two days.

img_2836img_2838Adequate beer holder in park. You are allowed to have beer in open places like this. It is much nicer than hiding it at all times. Who does not like a good beer, or chardonnay in the park on a sunny afternoon?

Now for the most perfect park photograph. 

img_2841Ah sweet park days, I will miss you so much.

img_2843img_2847img_2848Sweet dessert cheese atop apples. Yum.img_2799Im being messy. Sorry. This was a market right around the corner from our house, a little organic market outside, they had a long stretch of them on Sundays and Mondays. Cheese was abundant.

img_2797This is a huge buffet of pickles and olive treats. This is actually an exit you take before getting to heaven. Just before hand. Just before cheese land.

img_2802Store fronts worth mentioning.

img_2805Bike shop.img_2793Hometime!img_2794img_27831Our home place gives us bigh puffy bathrobes, and the wine I drink gives me very rosy cheeks!

 

Nighty night!

You’re an Animal

April 17, 2009

It has become obvious, I officially miss cooking. I woke up and knew it… I was asking Michael if he wanted fried eggs inside of french bread. I never do that. I usually say, ” make it yourself”.

 

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I have not been to the Zoo since I was Id say maybe 13 or 14. So almost 10 years! Going to the Amsterdam zoo is different than American Zoo, as far as I can remember.  There are no special security gates, special access zones, and you can pretty much get really close to all of the animals, except the ones that would like eat you. Like panthers. But it’s very less strict, and I had a good time. The lay out of the zoo was beautiful, very laid back with little parks to eat sandwiches. You know what, in Europe there are a lot less rules. A lot less DO NOT DO THIS signs. You can pretty much do whatever you like. I think they trust people more, maybe they just realize we are not that stupid after all. Or maybe America thinks it’s citizens have little to no common sense. Here we are treated like yes, obviously I know the tiger would bite my hand off, I best not be sticking it in there.

On with the animals!

img_2544Ex Cure member, made it into the Alpaca section.

img_2553img_2575img_2680He was chewing a nut, I watched him dig it up!

Oh by the way you are able to get very close to the animals here. Very close like this close!

img_2664

Look at the monkey/Leemur friends I made! he loved me! Let me scratch him forever until my hand hurt. He was like a little kitty.

img_2666img_2621

I told you I was eating a lot o cheese. I know I know, how they hell am I going to fit on the plane back home, I am just going to have to go cargo is all.

( I had never been this close to a hippo, seriously massive. We watched the guy who worked there rub its little eyes and ears, the hppo was in love with this man he closed his eyes just like a kitty does when it is happy, so cute)

img_2638

This is me saying, ” Michael no… not me.. the peacock, take a bloody picture of the peacock.”

img_2642They just walk around… like pigeons or something.

img_2602We were able to get super close to these guys too! Close enough to see them…. eat there own feces. Did you know they do this? News to me. I watched her put her hand down by her bum, she kept it there for a while and pulled out, well, yes. I was quite fascinated with this actually. So I sort of just stood there and watched, a bit amazed. She seemed quite content. 

Alrighty then.. movin on.

img_2600butterfly area. Reminded me of Montreal.

img_2659

img_2651img_2667img_2685See baby! 

img_2682now you see him, what a cutie pie.

img_2703Blonde haired babe.

img_2709This my friends, is the cat that stays a kitten it’s entire life. It is by far the cutest thing. I have a video of this, but only people who can hang out with me when I get back get to see this. Since I cannot post videos of this. On top of the cute kitty cat, all those who get to see me when I get home also get to see me dancing to jazz music provided by Will and Jaime, also monkeys swinging on swings. 

img_2722img_2747Dead stuff in Jars and me making a ooh ahh face to scare you with the tenticles behind me.

img_2749Meow kitty meow.img_2752img_2753Multi Headed lizard. I asked how much this would cost and that I would clean elephant poo for 2 whole months if I could take this home. No dice.

img_2760img_2761img_2764Lots of dead owls and birds. I told them I could clean every animals poo pen for an entire year if I could have this. Again, it was a no go.

After the Zoo I went and bought a bottle of wine and made a meal at home for diner.

img_2773img_2770img_2774Salmon and greens with roasted garlic, michael had linguine with meatballs greens and garlic bread. Mmm mm.

Michael is drawing some plans for a vacation cabin for his portfolio. I am kind of sleepy and I will probably go out and get ice cream later. 

That is the end. 

Love aimee and mike

Vondel Park

April 16, 2009

Halo again. So after my story of the interview I took an hour to decompress. Mike and I went grocery shopping, and hung out at home for a bit.

I have missed cooking at home, it’s odd to have meals made for you for 3 weeks. So we bought some dinner supplies. I made a menu for the next two nights and we bought dinner items.

When we go up to the check out, I can’t help but feel oddly American. Everyone else is buying 2-6 items as where we have around 15 items. Americans with our huge big refridgerators and our bulk buying store like costco and smart and final we alway sbuy for the future of things. In Europe everyone is buying for there needs for that day or the next day. A friend of mine named Rebecca uses public transportation daily, and she tells me that she has to live with this European mind set of buying ” what you need, when you need it” since she does not have a huge mini van or Escalade to put all of her mountains of food into. So she not only buys what she needs for the time being, she has to be conscious of how much she can buy and when, so she can be prepared to bring it home with her using the metro. Thats why there are more markets, with fresh produce from that day, in Europe. Thought I would point that out. I quite like the plan Michael and I are on. groceries every 2 days. we plan for two days at a time. Believe it or not, it keeps things more interesting, we plan out our meals more, and we get creative with it.

 

We made lunch and took the bus downtown to Vondel Park. Vondel park is amazing. It is what Central park is to new york. It huge and beautiful, houses, rich housing, surounds the amazing landscape. People running, walking there dogs, so many lovers laying in the park, and families having picnics. It’s a great atmosphere to be in.

img_2445img_24491img_2451img_2462Pictures while Im eating Michael stop! Guess what Im eating, a hammy sammy.

img_2473img_2507FACE TIME! showmewhatchagot

img_2494img_2484Its very pretty isn’t it. I had a friend tell me today he use to live in a room by this park. He said he awoke every morning to birds chirping outside. Its very lovely.

After this we went home, michael went skateboarding at some local skate parks. I stayed inside and took a nap.

When I awoke I had a hungry man begging for dinner. So off I went! Tonights dinner was good! In Aimee’s kitchen!

img_2515Im like a cat! I move quick when dishing!

Wa la- I made a plate of smoked salmon on a bed of Arugula with lemon and capers. A top are two over easy eggs, with a dash of pepper and extra capers. We are caper people, i love salty additions. Mike had toasted french bread as well, and we toasted with two glasses of white wine from Africa.img_2528It’s a bit blurry pardon… The light was getting low.

It started to drizzle tonight. I am interested to see what tomorrow brings. For tonight, we are watching BBC and Animal Planet.

love us.

xo

Interview

April 16, 2009

Just got home from my interview. 

It was… one of the more nerve racking experiences of my life. I am usually quite good on the spot.With questions that is. I am very good at talking about myself, ha, can you tell? I usually have many answers when it comes to things of and about myself, and I can expres them in clear thorough sentences.

Not today. Today was a different kind of Aimee. As I turned the corner and saw the Gerrit Rietveld, I smiled. I thought to myself I remember when this was just some crazy idea I had. To go back to school, abroad. I remember seeing this exact sign on the internet 8 months ago and thinking… cool. Here I am walking up to it. I was really excited and happy at that exact moment. 

Then something hit me. As I climbed those stairs I tried to remember answers I had thought of to some of the questions they were going to ask me. I went blank. I could not remember things. Things about my own work! I thought, what will I tel them when they ask me ” Why do you choose the Rietveld” All I could think of was…” I have a hundred reasons as to why this will make me a better photographer to go here… but I cant think of them right at this second.” ” And tell us Aimee, how would you describe the body of work you have before us” “Uhm. It’s pretty to me?” ” I like the way I feel when I take photographs”  No No aimee those are not proper answers get some guts say something you really feel.

I have not been able to be too philisophical with my work, or in general lately. How philisocphical can one be about the photographs they take? I take them because I like them, I love what I see in front of me. There… that answer I could build from. What is it in front ofme that I actually like? Then I started to think of suitable answers to my questions. All of this inside my head mind you.

There stood 3 other students. Younge, my age I would presume. Cute too. A cute danish girl, and a boy, he looked british. He said to me” Are you here for photography interview?” I said yes, and we all sat and waited patiently.

My fingers were moving rapidly. I have never been so nervous! I could not hold still. I was taking deep breaths. I was a wreck, I thought.” I can’t do this, I cant, I have to go, maybe I could jsut walk out now, no one wil really notice Im sure this kind of things happns all the time, you know people missing the interview. I could say my plane never landed, I was stuck on the wrong bus for 2 days. No no… I would do it. Then it seemed like 100 people came up the stairs. In reality it was like 10. All tall, handsome looking people, well dressed, carrying notebooks. AH. It was well dressed scary monsters to me. They asked out names. I let out a ” yes” after Aimee was called. They said. You first. Oh joy, perfect.

So in a walked. It was well lit with natural light, and there were three rooms all laid out parellel to each other. we all stood in the middle room then they said Put your portfolios on that table for us to see. I said okay. And walked over. They took the room farthest from me and they all went in and closed the door. 

I saw this huge black table. it was so long. I thought wow, so much space for two small portfolios. Shit, what if I put them in a place they don’t want them. Do they want them open or closed. Should I start at the table of contents or the first photograph? So many choices, so many decision for such a small request. Again, thinking, Im a bloody wreck. So I set it up right in the middle, then pulled them to the edge so that they could reach them and not have to reach across the table. I must have opened the book 4 different times before settling on keeping it at the table of contents. 

What were they talking about in there? It was taking them forever. I paced the floor. Looked out the window. I tried to have a zen moment. Anything right now please something inside of me pull it together. Thank god I was wearing a jacket Im sure I had armpit sweat the size of texas. Then I noticed I was staring at the corner of the room. Like a child who has pulled up a girls skirt  upand was now paying the consequence. Ah, dont look like that Aimee, turn around be presentable! You are strong fierce lady women with impeccable work, and might I add I love the outfit I am wearing.  This was my mantra I chanted. 

They piled in all of them into the tiny room, me even tinier. 

They had known a bit about me. One man started out with saying ” You are from America” Yes I said. ” You are 23, yes I said. Then I remembered I had written a long letter to them to go in the front of my portfolio with all of the right things I wanted to say in the letter! AH! Justice! They have re-read my letter, that is what they must have been doing. Oh letter… I love thee. I love how you are not nervous letter! You said everything correct in that letter. Then they asked me several questions, which I think I sid something correct too. They all took turns flipping through my book rapidly. They asked me what series I liked best. I did not really have a certain answer for that. NOTHING was certain for me at these moments let me tell you! I was a mixture of words, and smiles, and eye brows lifted. I think i said correct things. I made some of them smile, thats good eh? Some of the dutch words are different in english. One of them, he was very close to me when he asked me this question. I remember this moment clearly. This man with big glasses, staring at me while touching my portfolio. Saying, ” How would you like this work displayed? If you could display it any way you like.” I thought um? Displayed? Like what format, what paper? foam? Cardboard? on a wall? in a gallery? in a house? what if my photographs made the walls of a house, ! Ah&^$^$#@. I was confused. I said, Uhm I do not understand? Displayed? like in a gallery? I believe i said this exactly, then eh said yes, I said, probably side by side the way they are here. Dumb, probably a dumb answer. I do not know. Whatever he moved on, that was enough for him. Then the man who had smile at me kindly said,” Well I think I have a good feeling.” This in dutch terms means I get a good understandment of what you and your work are about. He asked if everyone else did. They nodded looked at my book for 10 seconds more, and I smiled and he said. “We will send you a letter in 2 weeks letting you know of our decision.” ” Great, I said… Thank you.”

I picked up my belongings, headed for the door, and thought to myself, ” Now I remember why people take up smoking cigarettes”

!

April 15, 2009

i hate you michael barker. ggrrrrr.