Winning with Rietveld

Rietveld Facade
Waar in Utrecht, in conjunction with Centraal Museum, has been hosting a Rietveld in Utrecht competition, in which snippets of photos of Rietveld’s buildings in the Utrecht region were posted, and you had to guess which building it was. I entered quite a few (okay, most) of the nine rounds of the competition, but didn’t win until the very last round. I was thrilled to win, because I get free tickets to the Rietveldjaar exhibition, along with some sort of extra goodies. The exhibit is over soon, ending at the end of January, so I’ll be going sometime in the next few weeks.

I’ve been celebrating the Rietveldjaar in my own way, going to look more closely at the various building facades he designed here in the city center. One of them is the one seen here, which is located right on the Oudegracht. It’s the office supply store, Mado, which went through an interior and facade redesign. Particularly of note is the way the window displays are a bit more free-floating and creating an encompassing entrance to the store. Rietveld also designed the lettering for the sign, although it has shrunk at some point over the years. The basic design of the lettering seems to be the same, though. The construction took place in 1961, and if you want to see it for yourself if you visit Utrecht, it’s located at Oudegracht 119.

If you like Rietveld and have an iPhone, I highly recommend the Rietveld Architecture app. It has current and old photos of 200+ of Rietveld’s buildings, along with information about each building and even maps and GPS coordinates to help you find the closest building to your location. It has been an eye-opener for me to realize just how many of his buildings I’ve passed on a regular basis. It also helped me win those last tickets!

Music Giveaway

The Phoenix Foundation
I’ve mentioned them here before, and it’s time to mention them again, because they’re awesomesauce. The Phoenix Foundation, a wonderful band from New Zealand, is going to be invading Europe in the beginning of the new year. Between now and then, I will be doing my best to win them new fans and acolytes, as they so richly deserve. You can find the full list of tour dates on their website.

I was lucky to see them for three shows in New York during their first mini American tour back in 2006, and I’m thrilled to finally get to see them again. They’re opening their European tour here in the Netherlands with a show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Sure, I was hoping for a gig here in Utrecht, but considering I had to take a plane to see them in New York, just taking a short train ride (weather permitting!) to Amsterdam is nothing! If you’re in the general Netherlands region on January 27, you too should go see them. I insist!

To get you more interested and exposed to their music, I thought I’d post a few of their videos from their four albums and give you a chance to win a free download of their latest album, Buffalo. Free, excellent music! Think of it as a Christmas gift from your favorite Utrecht Flamingo.

To enter, just leave a comment and tell me which song/video you liked best. Entrants must be from Europe (since it’s a European tour). I’ll do a random drawing Wednesday and post the winner. I’ll then e-mail a link and download code to the lucky recipient.

Let Me Die A Woman from the album Horsepower

Damn The River from the album Pegasus

Bleaching Sun from the album Happy Ending

Buffalo, from their latest album of the same name

Bonus video for the song 40 Years, on the Happy Ending album. The video was directed by, and stars, Taika Waititi, and was all done in one shot. Impressive and entertaining! Waititi wrote and directed Eagle vs Shark, as well as an episode of the Flight of the Conchords tv series.


Do you know where this is in Utrecht? I do, and as a result, I won today’s round of Waar In Utrecht (Where In Utrecht), a daily game to see who can recognize random spots around town. If you know the day’s location, and have a Twitter account, you can send in your answer. I won for being the first person to send in the correct answer, but there will be another drawing today from the other correct entries. The prize is a Waar In Utrecht calendar for 2010.

I took this photo last year, but happened to be by the spot again this past Sunday on the way home from the kerstmarkt. As a winner of the contest, I had to send in my own submission. It was hard choosing. Would the one I chose be too hard or would it be too easy? I narrowed my choice down to two or three pictures, and debated the merits of each, before finally choosing one. Hopefully, it’s not too easy. Of course, what I think is easy, others may find hard (I said hard), and vice versa. I’m just happy to have finally recognized a spot!

Wow! It turns out that not only was I the fastest to answer, I was the only one to answer today (at least correctly).

WaarInUtrecht#WiU-54 De snelste goede inzender is ook de enige goede inzender! @AliBess wint op alle fronten. Juiste antwoord: Korte/Lange Nieuwstraat.

The funny thing is that it actually ties in with one of my recent Foto Vrijdag entries. This carving is right there next to De Rechtebank. In this photo, you can just see the carving on the far left, while the fence is the same fence the Rechtebank terrace sits behind.