A quick walk in the middle of the day. In between tasks. From the hotel toward the city center. Architecture, canals, flowers, tourists, markets, parks, plazas, barges, bicycles, cafes, cobblestone, pigeons, beer glasses with condensation backlit in the patches of afternoon sun. You will know precisely what I mean. A street photographer I am not, so I just make postcards. And I record sound, or at least attempt to, but let me say this. Amsterdam is quiet. At one point in a plaza I stop to close my eyes, the best way to really hear what is around you, and the only sound I hear is that of fellow human beings. No cars, trucks, airplanes, machinery, construction (Although there is a lot going on.) There is little to record, and I must seek the sound. How wonderful. In most major cities there is so much noise the difficult part is filtering, shotgunning for the details I need or want, but not here. A lesson for all cities, but one I fear already lost. My friend’s walk is analog in nature. He stops to tie his shoe with Polaroid and Pentax. By the way, listen below for the Pentax being reloaded.
Last night was our first event here in Amsterdam. A chance to be in front of customers. Let me explain what goes down. We choose a very cool location, have great food and drinks, bring tons of samples and spend the entire night talking with people. This is my main job at Blurb. Luckily we have a talented staff of people who design the event, so my only required heavy lifting is actually heavy lifting. Books, carrying books. Every single person I spoke with last night brought one or two of their own books, some brought even more. Blurb users are typically driven, focused and passionate, regardless of skill level. Last night I met a guy who does street work who was pretty darn good. And there was an 80-year man who had lived an incredible life as a fashion and advertising mogul who was also a well respected photographer. At 80 he is making books. The other thing that typically happens is someone asks me something I can’t answer. Yes, it happens after all these years. There is SO MUCH to know about print-on-demand publishing.
Amsterdam is the one place I have family, that I’ve yet to visit. There are never enough Schengen days.
The one thing I love about going back to Copenhagen, especially after Singapore/Malaysia/elsewhere in SE Asia, is the quiet. In Flemming’s sister’s flat, there’s oodles of it. In the morning, I can hear our breaths, the occasional door shutting on another level, the muffled diesel howl of a regional train from the station down the road, and a laptop whirring to life. Occasionally, people talking if they pass by close enough under the balconey.
On Friday nights, 80s parties in the ‘hood.