A Quick Catch Up

So yes, I did end up having one my photos from the M31 demonstration used to illustrate an article in duic.nl yesterday. It’s all quite thrilling, somehow, even though it’s not the first time I’ve had a photo credit. Still, I’m more used to bylines than photo credits, so I guess that’s why it’s so nice. Plus, for the topic, it makes me feel like I’m involved in life here in Utrecht, even though I wasn’t actually at the full demonstration. But hey, I did get my coverage of the Occupy Wall Street event here in Utrecht covered/verified by CNN, so I guess my “photojournalist” tag isn’t completely facetious.

After photographing the peaceful protest, I went out later in the evening and photographed the lights at Neude that were part of the Tweetakt Festival. Inadvertently, I took part in the Earth Hour, since we were gone from the house and had the lights off. On the other hand, I was photographing a fantastical light display, so I’m not sure if it really counts. Balanced out? Anyway, here’s one of the photos I took. I’m sure I’ll be posting more of my favourites when I get a chance.
Tweetakt Festival

America Where You Least Expect It

American Bear
Yes, more talk of the carnival from last week. It has served me well with fodder, especially considering the rain we’ve had this week that has kept us indoors. I was surprised to see the American flag popping up in spots I least expected it. There were a lot of very nice stuffed animal toys to be won at the games, and many were more typically Dutch, such as the cows and of course, Nijntje. But I also saw these teddy bears sporting an American flag on their shirt.
Later in the day, we saw this pink caravan flying both the Dutch and American flags. It was a candy van of sorts, although the only American treat seemed to be popcorn. Still, I did hear one little boy catch sight of the caravan and exclaim, “Popcorn!”, so I guess there’s some demand for it.

The US wasn’t the only foreign nation represented. We also saw a couple of stands offering verse Spaanse Churros (fresh Spanish churros). I was tempted by the churros, but in the end decided to make the most of the olibollenkraam to get a mid-year olibollen treat. They’re usually only available around the winter holidays, and they’ve become one of my favorite Dutch treats.
Spanish Churros ... in Utrecht
Keeping with the foreigners in the Netherlands theme, I headed out yesterday to meet up with a large group of expat ladies. In all, there were 12 or 13 of us, with some coming and going at different times. The US was represented by a few of us, but Canada, the UK, Australia and Peru were all represented, as well. It was a truly fun day spent indoors at the Muntkelder pannenkoek restaurant on the Oudegracht. The frequent rain and the friendly staff that didn’t seem to mind us taking up the back room meant we spent four hours talking and laughing and having a good time.

Marching Band

Music on Nachtegaalstraat
Sunday, while enjoying the street festival on Nachtegaalstraat, we suddenly heard a band start up nearby. Drums in the lead, there was a tuba and various horns, all approaching us at a fairly quick pace. It turns out they’re the Blaaskinkels, and they seem to be fairly popular, particularly for carnival season and maybe other festivals. After a quick bit of Googling, I’m still not quite clear on who/what they are, but they do have a website. It seems they’ve been around in one form or another since 1973.
Bang a Drum
Ultimately, though, I fully admit that it was the fact that they were wearing klompen (clogs) that truly got my attention. It’s not something you see very often here, despite what you may think, so it’s still a bit of a “foreign” thrill.
Clangs and Klompen

Marching Band

I Love A Parade

Everyone Loves Frites

Patat Met Goth
It’s that time of year when all the Goth kids converge on Utrecht for the Summer Darkness festival. I love this festival, because it means that the streets of Utrecht get that little bit more interesting as you see some fantastically dressed people out and about. It also takes me back to my younger days when I had a certain fondness for all things goth, myself. I still have my favorite Bauhaus T-shirt and various albums by The Damned and Misfits and Christian Death.

Today, G and I headed over to the Domplein to see one of the fashion shows and to check out all the other people checking out the market. There were some good looks, but no one stood out to me as much as a couple of the people from last year. I might go back again tomorrow to take some more photos. I’ll certainly post more of the photos I took today.

I had to post this one, though. We rounded the corner from Servietstraat onto the Oudegracht and when I saw this couple, sitting there eating their patat met and seated next to the colorful big ice cream cone, I couldn’t resist. I did ask first if I could take their photo and they graciously agreed. I enjoyed getting shots of normal looking people contrasted with the Goths, or pictures of Goths doing normal things, but this was the piece de resistance. Love it!

As G said, “Even Goths like frites“.