A little writing on the wall…

I am this quasi clean-cut girl. If you see me enough you will find that I usually wear black, white, and grey and then I have fun with accessories. I love me some unique, organic, and one-of-a-kind jewelry, bags, scarves. Having said all that I am trying to branch out and wear more color. Trying yes. My closet is still 95% black, white, and grey.

For all you guys out there, don’t close the window. Keep reading, I promise this blog is not about the color of my wardrobe. Really all this babble has more to do with graffiti. If you are Facebook friends with me, you will see that at the moment (and for many months since I am too lazy to change it) my cover photo is of Amsterdam graffiti. Whenever I travel I am always on the look out for two things: good cupcakes and graffiti. If you were to ask me how I felt about graffiti on a philosophical level I would tell you that tagging a building is unacceptable. If you were to ask what I think of graffiti in regards to art, I would say it is badass. 

For my birthday this year, my sister got me (among other things) a book called: “Bay Area Graffiti” by Steve Rotman and Chris Brennan. Such a great gift, conversation piece, and coffee table book (or bathroom book depending on how you roll). On my recent trip to the Bay area I saw such great graffiti, they really make Portland graffiti look like kindergarten art.

These pictures I took were in San Francisco, where an alley was covered on both sides with graffiti. There was so much I could not decide which ones I wanted to capture. I was also not the only one in that alley, it was quite busy with different individuals who also found this alley of graffiti/artwork of interest. If you are ever in San Francisco, be sure to check out the Mission District. This particular alley was on Valencia around 21st.

#inspired

Amsterdam = Bikes, Canals, and Oliebollen

Did you have a good weekend? I hope so! Over the weekend I was going through files and photos on my computer and thought about Amsterdam.

Last November my husband and I took a trip to Amsterdam. What an experience! We were there for about 5 days and it was the perfect amount of time. It felt like a mix between Venice and a town in Germany and also a lot like Portland. When we got there it was foggy for the first few days, and rainy. It felt like being in Portland although 1000 of miles away. Maybe that is why I instantly felt comfortable, like I could so easily live there.

bike parking garage

Bikes rule in Amsterdam. They are everywhere. Cars come next and pedestrians last. So different from what I am used to in Portland, where a car tends to stop whenever someone crosses a street (even if it is not at a cross walk). The picture to the left shows a bike parking garage by the train station. Yes, that is really four levels of bikes parked. I was in awe.

I was also surprised by a few things. There was gum on the streets and sidewalks everywhere. There was also quite a bit of litter everywhere. The below picture shows the canals, with lots of trash, and on the left side of the canal the white thing is actually a refrigerator.

to the left down the canal is a refrigerator

We ate plenty of food. I found it interesting that most menus did not have many vegetable options. But, they like their cheese. We had the most amazing smoked goat cheese, and I had a salad with fried goat cheese, honey, and pears (I never would have thought to put all three together). We had traditional Dutch crepes, and my favorite of all: oliebollen.

Since we were there during Thanksgiving week, the holidays were in full swing. Between Thanksgiving and New Years they have outdoor holiday markets (which look beautiful at night with all the lights). There are an assortment of food trucks, and one had a specific holiday Dutch treat – Olibollen (or fried dough). This particular holiday market was quite a long ways from our hotel, but we make the trek each day for this amazing, warm, and sweet goodness. Who could resist!?

mmm…Oliebollen

I think I have the travel bug again. I am ready to go and explore someplace new. My heart is set on Copenhagen. I love the opportunity to try new food, explore local art, boutiques, architecture, etc. Thank you, Amsterdam for such a wonderful trip!