bike trip from Haarlem to Zandvoort

We started our trip, in earnest, at Haarlem Station. We bought day passes in order to take our bicycles on the train and it couldn’t have been easier. We cycled from our apartment to Amsterdam Centraal Station, hopped on an Intercity to Haarlem and were soon on our way. The Art Nouveau style at Haarlem…

women in books, bit of a mixed bag – book reviews for the week

Just finished Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood Grace Marks was a real person, a maid convicted of the murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, in 1843. She was originally sentenced to death but ended up in an insane asylum, briefly, before spending 30 years in prison and eventually being pardoned. When I was reading this book last…

off-brand classics – book reviews for the week

Just finished Augustus by John Williams Book club selection this month was an unlikely choice. I’m grateful for the diversion off our typical, contemporary path because I definitely would never have picked up this book otherwise. My knowledge of Roman history is spotty at best (largely informed by Shakespeare), so I didn’t know the story or…

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…

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…

No bikes for tourist[s]?

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought about tourists using bikes in Amsterdam, I would have been unequivocally in support of the idea. When Trenton and I first moved here, I hadn’t ridden a bike since college, and even then my skills were pretty sub-par. I was (am?) a fiercely stubborn…