Best Laid Plans …

So yeah, not much blogging this week, but that was due in part to working on a great freelance job, and in part due to a lack of inspiration. Then, today, I got some inspiration, but when I went searching through my photos, I couldn’t find any good ones to accompany the story, and it really does kind of need some pictures.

So instead you get some photos of the balloons outside the bibliotheek (library) on the Oudegracht. I took them yesterday while waiting to meet someone who is going to provide me with some more work. Yay! Balloons to celebrate! Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to get some photos to illustrate the post I wanted to write.
Bibliotheek Balloons

Random Bits and Bobs

Sometimes there’s stuff that comes up that doesn’t fit any one theme. This is one of those days. The following is a collection of various news stories, things to do, and a tiny bit of bragging.

  • It probably won’t make the news outside of the Netherlands and Germany, but we had an earthquake here in the Netherlands last night. It was a 4.5, but fairly shallow, although still supposedly felt across a fairly long distance. But no, I didn’t feel it. There was one in my part of Queens while I was living in New York, but I didn’t feel that one, either. Fortunately, there was no real damage other than the odd greenhouse getting a bit wobbly. It’s unusual in that the Netherlands doesn’t sit on the edge of any tectonic plates, so we don’t usually get earthquakes, although there was a bigger one in 1992 that caused some damage. Between the heavy rain and storms and now the earthquake, I might as well be back on the east coast of the US!
  • Tomorrow is Open Monument Day here in Utrecht. Many historic buildings in both the city center and the outer areas of the city will be open to the public. The theme is New Uses for Old Buildings, with an emphasis on buildings that have changed their purpose over the years. For example, the Louis Hartlooper Complex used to be a police station, but is now a movie theater, among other things. I think we’ll probably go explore a few buildings, like the Academiegebouw and the University Library over on the Drift.


  • And now the bragging bit. It seems my blog was included in a Greentraveller Guide to Utrecht. Considering I was the only blog specifically that was included, I’m feeling pretty chuffed. That’s enough about that, though.

Have a great weekend!

Am I Growing?

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that Dutch people are pretty darn tall. A friend of ours is 2 meters tall, which is pretty tall, but he’s hardly the only Dutch guy to measure in at that height. As a result, after a lifetime of feeling pretty tall in the US, I’ve suddenly started to feel kind of short here, despite the fact that I’m around 5’8 1/2″ (around 172 cm).

Today, however, I finally felt tall. We were in our local AH discussing roze garnalen (small pink shrimp) when a woman stopped me and asked me to get a bag of julienned carrots for her from the top shelf. Awesome! And I could reach!

Seriously, it’s the little things that amuse me. I should retitle this blog A Flamingo in Utrecht: Entertained by Inconsequential Things. Now excuse me while I go bask in my tallness. I think I’ll go hover over the cats.

Some Win and Some Fail

Yesterday, or perhaps this morning, I had a great idea for a blog post. Now? I have no idea what it was, nor even when I had the idea. Fail.

The sun is shining, the temperature is 17C, and it’s Culturele Zondag (Cultural Sunday, a monthly Utrecht event). Win!

Pippo and I went for a long walk today around the Nieuwegracht, Nieuwestraat, Oudegracht, and lots of smaller side streets. Win!

We were originally aiming for Twijnstraat, so I could get a photo of a building that has “De Olifant” painted on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up going the route I had originally planned and it got too busy with people and dogs, so that Pippo was getting overexcited. Fail.

We did get to the Domplein, which was my other goal for the walk, since I knew that there were some Culturele Zondag events going on there. Win!

I thought there was supposed to be some sort of sculpture installed for the day, but either it wasn’t up yet, or it was just a bunch of doors lying flat or propped against some stuff. Fail.

There was some music being played, though, by some people singing and playing guitar. Quite pleasant. We also came across some at Pieterskerkhof, which we passed on our way home. Win!

I didn’t get any photos of any of this, because toward the end of the walk, realizing I hadn’t taken any photos at all, I decided to at least get a shot of one of the side doors of the cathedral. When I turned on my camera, I suddenly found out that I had forgotten my memory card at home. Along with my brain, it would seem. Fail.

Pippo and I still had fun and he got a few compliments along the way and we generally had a gezellig time. That outweighs any minor failings. Win!

I hope your weekend is full of win!