September 28, 2008

the other way

Like in Prague, I decided yesterday to wander away from the central tourist area and see a different side of Amsterdam. I took a friends advice and wandered to and through the Eastern Docklands area of town (where he lives). Its an area that used to be shipyards and railyards, but since the 90's has been turned into a really thriving neighborhood of mostly residential space and a great collection of architecture. The weather was nice and everyone - I mean everyone - was out. I always find it nice how much Europeans find ways to enjoy the outside rather than staying in, as it seems we are inclined to do in the States. Life here always seems to focus toward the street rather than the living room. I met up at one point with Jan-Willem and Ben for a beer on a dockside, and they treated me to a home-cooked Dutch meal. While in Berlin, my friend Allen asked me if my travel inspired me design-wise. I couldn't really answer him, because the historic and beauty of Europe fascinates me, and anything visual surely goes into the brain and you may never know exactly how it is coming back out in your work; but walking through such a modern neighborhood I found that I really did feel inspired in a way that felt more related to my design. All in all, it was a great day - and another proof of the rewards of going the other way.

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