travel, novelty, and a pinch of snark

welcome to newelty. image (c) Genna Campton

Entries Tagged as 'Obsessed with the Dutch'

KLM and Marcel Wanders’ Perfect, Practische Plates

December 7th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Obsessed with the Dutch, Transportation bliss

As a little pick-me-up, I bought a cheerful new lipstick at MAC recently, designed by Dutch wonder-designer Marcel Wanders. I liked the look of the lipstick tube itself, which resembles a turned wooden leg of a table.

Which leads me to the pleasing setup above, also from Meneer Wanders–the business-class table setting of KLM. Evidently, this has been a project of his for some time. It’s lovely, with the scalloped edges that instantly remind you that you’re not on US Airways.

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Fall Reading List

October 19th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Obsessed with Japan, Obsessed with the Dutch, Reading List

Something about fall makes me want to be surrounded by piles of beautiful books. Books are the best way to dream about places to visit, aren’t they?

My fall list includes re-reading Alledaags, which I bought in the Netherlands this summer. It’s written by a Kiwi illustrator who put an image to each day of a year in Amsterdam. Check out the samples. It’s funny, clever, and true. What could be better?

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Vlijtig: Fave Dutch Design Blog of the Day

October 15th, 2010 · No Comments · Good design, Obsessed with the Dutch

For the end of design week, I wanted to share this great homemade-design blog I recently came across, Vlijtig. As previously mentioned in this post, one of the reasons I wanted to learn Dutch this year is because I love their aesthetic and wanted to be able to read Dutch design magazines.

I’m not there yet, and so, thank heavens for blogs like Vlijtig that help me make sense of it all.

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Revolutionary (Cycling) Costume of the Day

October 13th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Dutch bikes, Euro-style cycle chic, Good design

After ignoring the internets all day, I came home to see not only was one of my favorite sites Copenhagen Cycle Chic now also on Twitter, but that this amazing artist, Genna Campton, had created the incredible illustration you see above as an homage to that site.

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Obsessed with Dutch Design

October 11th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Good design, Novelty, Obsessed with the Dutch

When I talk about loving the Dutch design aesthetic, what I mean is a spectrum that includes the crazy modern stuff like the kind Droog creates. I actually have a set of these bikes straps to use in your house. I have no idea what I’ll use them for, mind you, but I just love the idea of taking something so practical and making it a design element on the wall. Plus, hello novelty!

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The Nicest Place I’ve Ever Stayed

September 9th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Dutch language school, Good design, Obsessed with the Dutch, The gezellig (cozy) and familiar

As already mentioned in a previous post, I had a vision for my time at the Regina Coeli Language Instititute. (You can see a video of my daily Dutch commute, if you like.) I knew it was a unique opportunity, and I wanted a quiet respite for my time there. Most guidebooks that cover the [...]

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My Daily Dutch Commute

August 26th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Dutch bikes, Dutch language school, Euro-style cycle chic, Good design, Novelty, Obsessed with the Dutch, Transportation bliss

I had a vision for my time at the Regina Coeli Language Institute (a.k.a Dutch Princess School), and that vision involved biking to and from school, in order to give myself a physical break after a long, mentally challenging day. I admit that almost an Eat Pray Love-style cliche, but I don’t care. I’ll own that’s it’s something almost exactly like this European fantasy.

I searched the Google maps nearby towns looking for a B&B, and mapped out my route using Google street view. It looked like the total commute time by bike would be 30 minutes, 45 tops. After my freakout about how it would work and my test drive in Delft, I found out that the Netherlands really makes biking easy, no matter where you are.

Video of my daily ride after the jump.

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World Cup Nostalgia

August 25th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Obsessed with the Dutch

Today is a beautiful day in Seattle, and I’ll be spending some of it enjoying my Dutch bike on a day off. Hooray! This morning, I was thinking about how much fun it was to be in Holland during the World Cup, and I was feeling a little sentimental about it. So with that in [...]

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Reviewing the Citizen M: Yes, the Hotel with the Toilet in the Middle of the Room

August 11th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Good design, Novelty, Obsessed with the Dutch

If you read my previous post (How Zen Is Citizen M?), you probably want to know the answer to the following question:

OK, how was it staying in a hotel room with a toilet in the middle of the room?

But hold on a second–there’s more to the story of the Citizen M.

When I checked in to the Amsterdam branch of the hotel, it wasn’t a good first start. I had made a reservation for the previous week, but had to cancel it. Unfortunately, they canceled BOTH reservations, and had no record of me in their system when I showed up for second reservation. Things were shaping up to be a fail.

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The Really Expensive, Really Crazy Travel Plans That Actually Bring You Happiness

August 8th, 2010 · No Comments · Blog posts by Lia, Dutch language school

The night before my first day at Regina Coeli (a.k.a. Dutch Princess School), I lay awake, and not just because it was the World Cup final, and rowdy Dutchies were still filling the streets.

What the hell am I doing? Who studies Dutch…for fun?

And did I also mention it cost thousands of dollars?

I had plotted out the route to the school the night before, winding my way through a series of wrong turns and construction zones until I found a reasonable path and knew that it would take me roughly thirty minutes to get there.

But the bigger question remained: Why wasn’t I on a beach somewhere, rather than heading to a classroom at 8 in the morning?

The night before, lying in bed, I thought: Maybe I’ve hit my novelty wall. Maybe going to a town you’ve never been to, to speak a language in the most intensive immersion environment possible, is actually beyond the pale. Maybe it was actually a bad idea.

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