happy new year.

no party – instead great day(s) with a small crew. perfect.

couldn’t have made up that a pre-birthday-surprise that included a fantastic lunch and tickets to an island summer music festival would turn into waddling barefoot through lakes(!) of mud. craziness! spirits were up far beyond we were soaked more than through and through (char and i rinsed off -some of the- mud under a fire hydrant… and that did not make us more soaked then we already were), and luckily we called it quits right before the rest of the concerts was cancelled and the ferries stopped running due to weather conditions[1].

photo 2

complementary mud bath. health benefits unknown, but one advantage was that the mud was warm, and the rain was cold. that might explain why people were completely covered in mud! note: at this point pants were yellow. soon after they turned into a panter-like pattern of brown and yellow – unfortunately undocumented.


wet. 100%. and yes, cheers to that!

in one word: memorable.

in six words: this was not to be missed.

in eight words: pizza on the couch never tasted so good.

photo 1

tropical storm? what are you talking about?

when we woke up ten hours later, new york played nice&innocent and showed off her sunny side like no tropical storm ever happened. and so, my new year started on a prime river spot with our small crew, nice temperatures and fantastic views, sangria and appetizers and good & funny conversations.

and oh yeah: lots of nice messages, that made my day. thank you all for the birthday love!

photo 4


photo 2




photo 3_2



photo 3



photo 1_2

happy new year!


[1] as written by this new york times reporter: “I’ve seen festivalgoers party through steady drizzles and long showers, from the first Woodstock Festival through the 1992 Reading Festival in England and more than one drenched Bonnaroo. But Friday’s daylong, relentless rain, continuing from the night before, left me thinking more about drainage and soil runoff than about much of the music”

Posted in english, events, language | 8 Comments

who i am: past present future.

i’m not just who i am today
and who i’ll be tomorrow

i have a past behind me, yes
some nice, and then some sorrow

today, the here and now – and then
so often on my mind

and with that i let slip away
my memories, every kind

but just like each and all of us
that past makes me belong

those memories make me today
and who i will become

to think about my memories
the cherished ones, the sweet

even those of everyday
they make me feel complete

me and my team of memories,
some smells, some sounds, some places

above all those with people there,
to cherish all those faces

some are still here, and some are gone,
with grief and so unfair

but all of them i love so much
and will always be there

there, there in my mind and heart
and even in my bones

they make me who i am today
and who i will become

zomeravond vlieland, 2012

zomeravond vlieland, 2012

(some of my thoughts when i saw -after years- the brilliant and cherished picture on top of this post, when renske sent it to me yesterday)
Posted in daily life, english, family, language | 10 Comments

morning person.

de vroege ochtend
fris en vol verwachting
geluiden klinken nieuw
alsof de auto zijn eerste ritje rijdt
alsof de buurman zijn eerste praatje maakt.
de glorie van de ochtend
het zachte licht
geluiden die knisperend de stilte verbreken
ineens wil ik kamperen
met koffie van mijn campingsetje
wiebelend in het gras
de dauw nog op de tent
een nieuwe dag.
(2nd, 4th and last photo by the talented ben and bekah of kallima photography: www.kallimaphotography.com)
Posted in daily life, dutch, language | 8 Comments

musings & flies

this morning i woke up with butterflies. not the romantic ones. the dutch ‘kriebels’ is a better word – it includes other types of inner excitement.

creative excitement, for example. creatiflies?

i haven’t had these flies for a while. at first i didn’t even notice that they didn’t show up ever since my last post. at a later moment i did start noticing they weren’t there, but that didn’t bring them back.

they might have been numb. at the beginning of this summer, some very-important-people in my life were hurt. very hurt. and even though this hurt didn’t directly touch me – the flies must have felt it.

i learned i need these flies to write somewhat coherently. i can always write something – and writing i did. not coming from the same place within me though. my writings were harsh and all over the place. full of anger or sadness.

i sometimes struggle with this blogging-thing. my daily life in new york is not perfect. it is a privileged, but at the same time normal life looking at the daily reality.
still, on the blog it might seem my life is existing of a range of fun & light things. i want to be ‘real’ – and my life is not only ‘fun things’. then again – nagging about little things i have no desire for, and writing about the more serious things often involves others’ privacy i do not want to violate, or is too private for me to put online. i think about how to make the blog more ‘real’ every now and then. and i haven’t found the answer yet.

still, and somehow, today i woke up earlier then normal – and they were there again. the flies. not sure why. it’s not that i was down all summer and now i saw the light again. actually – my summer also existed of many really nice moments and memories. good moments without the flies, though.

and when i wake up with them, like this morning, it is the best thing ever to be in new york city. because a little fly can go a long way here, i feel like. it is so easy to ‘do something different’ here. the city is full of little different things. and flying is easy.

i couldn’t go back to sleep, so i  got out of bed, put some clothes on and went outside. i bought a coffee and read on the front of the newspaper ‘labor day approaching: the unofficial end of summer’. i felt the need to write. i felt the flies and they were alive like summer was just about to start.

i randomly took the train to the west village and walked the quiet intimate morning streets; no cars, just a person walking a dog every other corner or so. i found a breakfast place that was open, and started writing this. scrambled eggs coming up.

a feeling of being content just where i am, writing in not-my-neighborhood, on a quiet weekday morning. life is not perfect, but has little perfect moments (who said that?). and after a long summer that included sadness, but also many really beautiful and fun moments – this one was different. a moment of contentment. and a moment where writing flows (flies?). from someplace within me. a little perfect moment.

in this post some photos that picture the beautiful moments this summer – plenty of them, as you see. the hurt is not gone. it is not ‘dealt with and over’; certainly not and most of all not for the people that were directly affected. but it is also important to remember the good things.

and this morning, with the unofficial end of summer approaching and flies flying, that is just what i feel like.

*written a few days ago – typed today, from renske’s home. my family-season (aka indian summer) has started!

cycling, yangshuo: greenness and rice terraces

hiking: endless rice terraces

characteristic chinese hotel

impressive: tiger leaping gorge

great great chinese food!

cycling: entering village near dali

dali market

cycling: marketplace near dali

spiceyest student food in chengdu

last stop in china: shanghai & julia

with oma, june 2012

turning 30 in NL with an exhausted group of the best people

familyweekend and back in zoutelande after years, with rens

beach with the most childhood memories, zoutelande

blue & green eyes re-united, amsterdam

back in new york, robert moses beach

sunset beach drinks with thiago and mariana

summer fruit on nyc markets

movies on rainy days

cleveland ohio, wedding jared

homemade blueberry pie, quebec, ile d’orleans

blueberry pie with this view…

celebrating 2 years of being married! at ville de quebec

through the carwindow, our way back from quebec

drinks at the best terrace in town, 75 street, at eveline’s

boat basin, upper west side

Posted in daily life, english, language, outside of the apple | 8 Comments

time flies when you’re having spring

right before we leave the city for a bit, a quick post with a few random things from spring 2012. when we come back it’ll be summer – and spring here is just too good not to remember –

spring in west 75th street

  • waking up with smell of firewood and a fireplace… in a wooden cabin in vermont. nothing feels homey-er.

vermont march 2012: highest temperatures since the 40s. we were water skiing! and left the slopes for the ben and jerry’s factory the next day:)

  • Spending gray sundays eating meat and cheese plates and drinking home brewed beers in brooklyn… only to cycle back home in the pooring rain for over an hour; over the empty(wow!) brooklyn bridge, all the way up north back to the upper west side. for an evening of ultimate laziness. my kinda sunday.

wet cats @hudson river bike path

  • a new highlight in our life as new yorkers – and a little follow up on the last post – taping a commercial for klm on times square. i heard about this through matt’s former dutch teacher: extra $ for one night of recording? sweet! especially because we wanted to book tickets to china. minor detail was that we were selected for a horse back riding shoot. me + horse back riding = disaster. so we declined. until we got a call back that we were now put in the times square shoot! for all the people that made sweet comments about how ‘in love’ we look… really do love this crazy cat, but in all fairness, we had to act this way:). and that about fifty times in a row thankyouverymuch:-/. thank you operette in deventer, for my (minimal) acting skills. also: new respect for actors. also: little teenage kids thought we were famous, and asked whether ‘we were going to kiss’. also: i am happy i am not famous. but it was fun:)

smile for the camera! ignore you’re freezing! the hard life of an actor!(?)

  •  being faced with the question: do you dress up below your waist when you have an online (webcam) interview? or do you just stay in your underwear for the sake of ‘why not’? and: feeling so weird to dress up and then never leave the house for the actual interview – welcome to 2012!

no! somehow i didn’t have the guts to do a half-naked interview… so dressed up all the way down, which felt stupid too! of course she never asked me ‘to get up and show me where you are right now’… couldhavewouldhaveshouldhave…

  • getting the best deal ever. fresh baked chocolate cake and a song request played on guitar, all for a price you can decide yourself! wait – what, who, where? 3 neighborhoodkids (one being the guitarist) on the corner of the street. all benefits to unicef! little social entrepeneurs, me gusta!
  • picknicking@ night in riverside park. sitting in the grass under a tree, drinking wine, eating lasagna. it smells like… summer!

hudson river-side lasagna with the man who stole my nanski away! good thing this kid makes me laugh!

  • smorgasburg food market. organic self-made hippie foodfreak heaven of new york. why on earth have i never been here? and all of that goodness in the sweet company of… these kids:

  • sailing sunset @hudson river with the same crew, drinking one-too-many glasses of champagne. hey, it’s free! and i’m dutch! over he-ere!

  • no excuses for too many late nights at work. ok, well, once then… i do accept fancy dinners when i can finally try out always overpriced caviar… something off my pre-30 bucket list (self made, self imposed and seafood focused: the only other item on there was oysters; crossed off as well)

aaaah oysters!

  • coffee, tea and wine at random moments with my not-so-new-anymore neighbor eveline. friends in ny = good. friend across the street for random walks in the ‘hood = (dare i say) awesome.

the neighbor & i, queens day @ boat basin

  • bootcamp. the first sports class i actually really like. why? because i can look at the green springleaves and discover new spots in central park, while running up and down stairs and doing crab crawls. not bad, not bad.

best view when sweating!

  • being proud of this one:

…for getting himself into columbia (with a ‘u’, aka. the school – he didn’t board an airplane with a suspicious package, promise). sept. 2012 = part time back to school for matt, for 20 consecutive months.

  • girls night & reliving each year of our twenties with this ol’ friend o’mine…

known this kid since i was 3!

  • making plans to travel to china (guangxiyunnan and sichuan) – in fact, we leave in two days. it was ‘now or never not for 20 months’ because of matt’s school plans, and we chose now. have not prepared much but ready for adventure. on our way back, we’ll spend a little time with friends and family in NL. i can’t wait to see everyone and to turn 30 in a very special place.

  • and, last but not least, being so excited about my first boomstam(you know who you are)-niece, isa. and being proud of marij for being her mama! also: nervous whats-app messages about whetherthebabyisbornyet are hilarious. and a great distraction from work.

bye spring, summer’s coming!

Posted in daily life, english, language, outside of the apple | 2 Comments

new yorkers in action

life cannot be planned.

from bakery to camera? yup, indeed. latest gig of m and me right here

more soon, happy spring!

Posted in english, events, language | 13 Comments

early monday mornings

working at the bakery wasn’t just glorious, and every day was different. but there is one thing i always loved:

the early mornings.

definitely one of my favorite memories of my first working year in new york.

starting at 7 meant (for me) getting up at 6:45; washing my face, brushing my teeth, putting on my bakery t-shirt and my flour-and-dirt-covered converse and walking the quiet streets to the next block over, west 74 street.

going down the stairs into the lower-then-street-level bakery, finding 2 bakers busy baking bread, bombolocinis, muffins and scones; music playing; ovens working at full speed – a new day.

quickly putting on a bandana i start preparing the small store: making coffee, putting the baskets that hold all the goodies in place, cleaning the signs, putting away milk, butter and other groceries, and filling the racks with warm bread. of course accompanied by a big cup o’ joe – the best coffee in new york can be found at levain if you ask me.

this early morning hour i loved. chatting about the weekend with colleagues, the freshly baked goods, the small store still empty and for the rest just coffee and music to wake up with – getting everything ready for a new day at a relaxt pace.

8 o’clock – opening time. we carry the bench outside and greet the few people that are waiting. the first hours consist mostly of regulars stopping by – people who come here every day for their morning coffee on their way to work (coffee to-go is the only option), or stopping by while walking their dog. blueberry muffin, cinnamon brioche, sourcream coffee cake; most regulars know what they love & stick to it. the atmosphere still feels a little sleepy at such an early hour; a friendly place where you can start your day off on a good foot, or find a little silent comfort if you didn’t wake up feeling great that day. the ‘romantic’ image of the (or any) bakery was most true during those early hours, i think. a cappuccino, a warm scone, and a little chit-chat (or no chit-chat) to start the day – nothing better then that.

there they come: the good spirited ‘2 large coffees’ cyclist who always has some words to share; the dark-haired ‘1 black ice coffee’ woman who never says anything but sometimes -almost unnoticeably- smiles; the ‘coffee with cream’ guy who works at the metropolitan opera and is either completely quiet or witty and talkative; the mom with her baby that we see grow up just a little bit each day – and the old man who, with a glistening in his eye, orders a dark chocolate chip cookie and a small black coffee for breakfast every time he comes in. oh, and don’t forget the men-in-suit, seemingly on their way to their office, who take a slice of cake with a coffee, the regulars stop by with their dogs (or the dogs that stops by with their owners?) that are fed scones by owner connie, who knows every single dog by name, the tall handsome blond guy who orders a blueberry muffin* – and the old man who sits on the bench with his dog every single day, taking in the daily life in this neighborhood he knows so well. work at the bakery gets busy in the morning, with the coffee machine constantly running, and breakfast goodies selling quickly. but the busier moments are broken up by quieter stretches – making it all so enjoyable.

as the morning progresses, more and more cookies are being sold. school kids, (french) tourists, people who celebrate and people on their way to parties or family stop by for cookies. friends would stop by while i am baking baking, trays full of cookies, one after the other. the cookies are so big that they need to cool down a litte in order to pack them – and always having ready-to-pack cookies at hand in this little space with just two cookie ovens can be a challenge on busy days. while traying cookies in the front, constant ooh’s and aah’s over the smell of fresh baked cookies and comments over how tasty they look come my way. when people ask for recommendations, we bakery peeps hardly ever have to say something; other customers will passionately start recommending their own favorites. more colleagues arrive throughout the morning and into the afternoon – and on fridays the line starts to form outside the door.

around noon, lunch will be ready; fresh tomato-mozzarella-basil sandwiches, baked veggies with hummus, or crispy thin pizza right out of the oven. yum! as the afternoon unfolds itself, the end of my shift comes closer – and between 1:30 and 2 i take off my bandana, grab a slightly misbaked cookie from the ‘staff-only’ tray, try to shake off some of the flour that is everywhere, giving my clothes a heavy, flour-with-cookies-combined smell, say goodbye and step outside into the bright light.

on mondays an afternoon and a work week ahead of me, on fridays a whole free weekend to go. in need of a shower, and a little tired from standing up 7 hours straight, but feeling content; selling coffee, bread and cookies = a good start of the week.

i will miss the bakery, its homey atmosphere and the people. it was the best place to start my (paid&)working life in new york city! and i will keep coming back.

au revoir!

my office for the weeks to come

and, much more. to name a few…

  • myrthe was here to party help me adjust to post-bakery life. i now count on foreign affairs to send her here for a couple of years; it was just too good:). and she brought spring! cycling without a jacket, coffee on a terrace, and today (post-myrthe, unfortunately): flip flops!
  • it seemed like winter never came. so strange, after the last two winters i’ve spent here. most snow was in october, when paul and rita were here!
  • i started a (follow-up) photography course. maybe next post my pics will be slightly better then all these crappy iphone snapshots!
  • enjoying my ‘hood on the other-then-monday-and-friday-mornings; like a real american environmentally conscious person i now have a re-usable coffee cup, and on work-from-home days i take morning walks with coffee (hello park!) in the neighborhood. observing people and a city that wakes up never bores me.
  • soaking in all NY has to offer; music, street life, theater, markets, 46th floor apartments with view of manhattan, bars, restaurants, cycling paths and so–much-more
  • making -small- progress in our little apartment. last accomplishment: photo wall & desk in bed room!
  • matt and i are making plans… about work, travel, school, upcoming birthdays… not much has been decided yet, but the brainstorming / what if / can we?-stage is pretty sweet too. most likely plan for now: china-bound vacation in may, NL early june. will keep you posted!

last but not least… how you doin’?

*guess who;)

Posted in daily life, english, language | 11 Comments