June 22, 2019 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

It’s interesting how very old buildings smell. You might experience scent memory just from reading that sentence, and if you didn’t, I’m a bit sorry for you.

First morning of summer, morning spent in Lord in the Attic Museum (lots of photos attached) in Amsterdam (only remaining “house church” from the days when Catholics and other religions were not allowed to practice openly, also one of the best preserved 17th century homes in the Netherlands), then walking through suffocating crowds of tourists to find the Van Gogh museum. Photos were not allowed there, but I am not ashamed to say I choked up when I walked into the first gallery of his self-portraits… completely star-struck and moved to see the actual brush strokes of someone who has been such a tragic, creative, and iconic figure.

Besides confirming the commonly held truth about bicycle ubiquity in The Netherlands, I was also struck dumb by a rack of unlocked bicycles. Unlocked bicycles. Where I am from, even locked bicycles are fair plunder.

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