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severalog

Amsterdam - Day two, part two

J. Harry Caufield

There's that museum again.
The Rijksmuseum contains all manner of Dutch treasures, collections of artifacts which just happened to show up in the Netherlands, and an interpretive series titled Art Is Therapy. The last of these took the form of Post-it-styled notes stuck near some of the exhibits. Rather than just offering more information about the piece, each note asked probing questions about the feelings the piece may evoke or the relationship between art and a balanced life. This is a seethingly negative review from The Guardian. Invert that opinion and you have mine.*

This is where they keep the Rembrants, the Vermeers, and the like. That's the Night Watch at the end of the hall.
Pieces by the Golden Age Dutch painters often make me think of the group scenes used to promote TV shows with ensemble casts. Compare:
The cast of Law and Order: SVU.
The Meagre Company by Frans Hals and Pieter Codde, finished 1636.
Neither of those assemblages is Rembrandt's Night Watch, seen below.
It's difficult to get close.
Most museum patrons were busily attempting to photograph the whole thing. It's a challenge.
It's easy to understand the painting's popularity. It's rich in personality and fancy dress. It evokes an age and an aesthetic while leaving most contextual details (namely, whether this citizens' militia ever really had to post like that during their nightly patrols**) to the imagination.

The remainder of the Rijksmuseum contains items like 17th century dollhouses and exotic firearms.

Above the atrium of the Rijksmuseum.
The entranceway of the Rijksmuseum.
We followed the museum visit with a traditional Dutch dinner at The Pantry. It was quite respectable for its location in the middle of a tourist district (that is, just a block or so from both a McDonald's and a Hard Rock Cafe). In this context, "traditional Dutch" means meatballs and mashed potatoes, also known as stamppot. It goes nicely with a tasty Tripel.

Searching for dinner. Many choice's were available so we weighed our option's. 
Finally: a visit to the BeerTemple! D. was here on a previous Amsterdam visit and enjoyed its extensive variety of beer offerings, especially as she prefers sour Belgian styles over the ales commonly found in the US. On this visit, the Temple featured a multitude of the palest ales. That isn't D.'s cup of tea so she had an UWE cider instead. I had a Mikkeller Peter, Pale and Mary and a Brewdog Clown King. The former is a calm pale ale but the latter is a bare-fisted punch in the nose (in a good way, I think).

Not shown - several empty cases of Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot.
The lady considers the cider.
A bonus church panorama courtesy of Google. Their photo-stitching algorithms do not account for passing streetcars.

Next time: breakfast, boats, and trains.

*I'd like to think there's room for banality in an institution based around placing objects on pedestals, often literally.
**Let's imagine that they did spend the bulk of each night in dramatic poses but found it embarrassing to be painted while doing anything other than standing or banqueting.