The inimitable Jennifer Hopelezz presiding over the 2016 Drag Queen Olympics celebrating Gay Pride in Amsterdam

2016 Drag Queen Olympics in Amsterdam

I’d been looking forward to this event all year. I missed out on the Drag Queen Olympics in 2015, arriving too late and with the wrong crowd to enjoy it. This time around I was eager to fully soak in all the rhinestones and sequins, so I got there early, parked myself in a good spot near the stage and […]

Read more...

Tipping culture in Amsterdam

Regardless of what you think of tipping culture in the United States, one of its clear advantages is that the rules are pretty consistent. Expensive, yes, but consistent. Service workers in the Netherlands get paid a livable wage so, in theory, tipping isn’t required. Perhaps if you’re particularly wowed by extraordinary service, you might be moved […]

Read more...
enjoying some frieten at the Amsterdam Craft Beer Festival at Bret Bar in Sloterdijk

Fighting FOMO with festivals

Living in Amsterdam necessarily means reckoning with FOMO in one form or another. There is so much that you could be doing that you cannot, within the limitations of space-time, do it all. Some weekends, Trenton and I cope with FOMO by resisting the pressure to experience life and deploying a willfully ignorant response, buckling down with the Xbox […]

Read more...

The Hard Rock Café of Dutch-Indonesian cuisine

Indonesian food is prevalent in Amsterdam (Indonesia having been colonized by the Dutch), and one of the most popular Indonesian restaurants in town is Tempo Doeloe. According to their website, “Tempo Doeloe” roughly translates from Indonesian to “the good old days” and they are known particularly for their rijsttafels. A rijsttafel is a bit like Indonesian […]

Read more...
after a trip to the library, I dumped the contents of my bag on to the table. Pictured here: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun, Charles Yu's How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Nikon camera, proofreading pens, Grolsch, sandwich

Joining the library when you don’t speak the language

As I’ve mentioned before, checking out books from the Amsterdam public library isn’t free. Considering how otherwise literate and progressive the Netherlands is (with a few notable exceptions), this came as quite a surprise to me. But, like the efficient and functional infrastructure, the beautiful parks and the low crime rate that we presumably pay […]

Read more...

Minibieb tour of Amsterdam

A lot of things have changed about my reading habits since moving to Amsterdam. The biggest shift came when I had to divest myself of most of the books that I’ve been accumulating more or less since middle school. This has had the obvious result of chopping down my TBR pile into a measly slim stack. […]

Read more...

Stuff I ate in #Amsterdam – Authentic India grocery store

It’s a damn shame, but the Indian restaurants in Amsterdam are all pretty crap. Honestly, you can get better Indian food in Louisville. The Dutch have Indonesian food as their go-to takeaway and that, plus Holland’s fairly bland palate and intolerance of spicy foods, means that good Indian food is tough to find. I’ve tried dozens of […]

Read more...

Stuff I did in #Amsterdam – Urban Sports Week

Over the weekend Amsterdam was host to a huge variety of urban sports demos and tournaments as part of Urban Sports Week Amsterdam. As an old, I was pretty unfamiliar to the world of urban sports (beyond skateboarding and tourist bashing) and it was delightful to wander around the city watching the kids do their flips. […]

Read more...