I’m still in love with youuu booooy

I came back with no expectations. After one month in London, Oslo, Copenhagen, and last but not the least, Where The Sheep Sleep, my feelings could have changed. Moreover, we went through very difficult times, the last couple of months together. I mean, I’ve always known my feelings but, regarding love, you have to leave some space for things to evolve. It is so easy to get caught up in the routine and stagnate into boredom and nagging, but when you let things breathe and give yourself the chance to look at it from a distance, love might bloom once more. I was pretty cautious when I came back. I didn’t shed a tear of emotion when I landed (but I must admit I smiled from within when I arrived in Central Station). I was home. And my home was as beautiful as I remember it. So I basically started making a mental list of reasons why it is great to be back to this long-lasting case of love in my life, called Amsterdam.

Why is it good to be back in Amsterdam:

(If I was writing for SEO I would have made the sentence above the title for this post, right?)

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London diaries III: Celino and The Tate Modern

LONDON: MUSEUMS & FRIENDS

There were two things I absolutely loved about my trip to London. On a personal level, the reencounter with friends I have known for years and who have been very influential in my life. From an objective point of view, the museums. London is an extraordinary place when it comes to world-class art, and I believe there are few places on the planet that can rival that aspect. I have just visited four art museums + a couple of galleries, but art is everywhere in London, really. From the subway to the streets, including markets, cafes and abandoned public spaces. We can argue against the ways the British got hold of a lot of foreign art in their possession. For instance, the British Museum ought to be named after “The Museum of Culture Representation in Britain”, or “The stuff we got by means of British Imperialism”, or quite simply, “Shouldn’t we be flying to Asia, Africa, and America instead?”. But instead of focusing on the political ethics of the whole thing, the goal of this article is to tell you about moments of enlightenment I experienced in London. These are a synonym to art and friends, so I decided to combine one museum to each friend I met in the city. This is thus the first part of the series Museums & Friends.

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Sunday yoga in the park

Wake up to the Sunday morning, hop on your bike, cycle to the park, and feel the smell of the trees around you, listen to the chirping of birds, feel the wind breeze. It’s spring, and we’re at the Oosterpark. It’s 10 a.m. and unlike later on in the afternoon, it is quiet over here, and there’s SPACE. My friend Catarina from All In Yoga is about to start the class. As much as I love dancing the night out, the feeling of starting the day early, and in this fashion, is incomparable.

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The good old language struggle

Yesterday I was thinking of the downs of living “abroad”. I must say I very rarely put myself this question, but I know that this is a very relatable topic to most expats. If you are one, you might immediately have a whole spectrum of ideas on it. Things like the absence of friends and family might automatically pop into your mind, or the missing of certain foods, your hometown, the weather, or a type of human warmth very specific to where you come from. Personally, the following sentence immediately banged in my head:

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Afflictions of an urban blogger

Allow me to go straight to the point. Does Amsterdam need someone else making yet another photo of a canal house, dissecting its every inclined building, stripping off every single of the city’s hidden facets? Does the city need someone else attempting at getting hold of the essence of its people just to overly simplify everything into “Six things that annoy me about the Dutch”, slurping every of its characteristics only to digest them into a two-minute read entitled “Ten things you cannot miss in Amsterdam”? Do we really need to know all about yet another restaurant / bar of which interior recreates the hortus-botanicus with an industrial feel? I haven’t been able to avoid struggling with these questions since I started blogging.

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My all time favorite cafes in Amsterdam

I’m a cafe person, and hardly a day goes by without paying a visit to one of my hangouts of choice. Usually the process of deciding which cafe to head to is quite simple: I know my favorites, and I am well-acquainted with their dynamics, their menu, their barristas. I do happen to have conditioned myself to work in public spaces, where the cacophony of conversations and crockery, and the smell of coffee being brewed have this magical property of making me focus. I’m a sort of pavlovian dogspecialty coffee being my trigger.

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Five years, five lessons

Last month, I celebrated five years in my beloved city of Amsterdam. You don’t go past a five year anniversary just like that. After all, this is the longest relationship I have ever been in – and moving here, the best decision of my life. But like in all relationships, you have to work on it because, you guessed it, it doesn’t always come easy. So I figured LIFE LESSONS. Ha! Don’t we all love/hate that? Five years of Amsterdam, five lessons. Here are my two cents on what starting from scratch in a totally new place has taught me, on a spiritual level.

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NYE in Amsterdam – Amsterdive’s picks

Unexpectedly, I won’t be spending New Year in our beloved city of Amsterdam. I usually don’t leave the city in this time of the year, for the simple reason that, more often than not, it is a stupidly expensive season, one flooded by collective hysteria and way more glitter than I can stand. So I always choose to host a party myself, away from the city center, at a location that can host all my friends, and whoever they wish to bring. Those really are the best parties. No themes, obligations, no expectations. Just ( our own) music, good people, and enough room for surprise and improvisation. For this reason, part of me is seriously going to long for one of these self-organized festivities. To make up for eventual disappointment, I though I would redirect my dear friends to the fun parties in the city, and in the meanwhile, get all nostalgic with a couple of pictures from previous years.

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