*Wandering through a slice of time. Amsterdam and Bruges in the Fall.

amsterdamorama2

 GM1 + PL15mm – stitched panorama

As is the case for me every Fall, life found me traversing the blue marble for work.  This year was a little different in that Mrs Squeeze was able to accompany me.  Our two not so little any more offspring spent the time being doted on by their grandparents, which enabled momma and dada to do some partying.

Full disclosure, by “partying” what I really mean to say is sleeping, maybe eating a meal in one sitting and generally being able to drink a glass of wine or beer before 8pm, and let me tell you dear friends, we partied.

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*The Dark Side of Amsterdam

follow me deeper and you shall see (Pana G3 + Lumix 25mm f/1.4)

While the title may allude to a sinister, Imperial-esque characterization of a city known for many a questionable, extra curricular activity, I mean to speak quite literally.  For anyone who’s read my blog for more than a year, you may know that I travel to Amsterdam once a year on business.  Because of said business, coupled with the late time of year and Holland’s geographical placement, I rarely get to experience it in the light of day.  With a +9 hour difference to tackle, and tiring hours spent working while there, my window for photographic opportunity normally falls within about an hour and a half between when I get done working, and the inevitable collapse into a jet lagged coma that prematurely greets the end of each day.  Luckily, this year, this window happened to open while the weather was crisp, but dry as it gave me the ability to wander around, camera in hand to document a bit of my annual stay in what has become my home away from home.

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*G-cubed in Chi-town

High above it all - G3 + FD55 f/1.2

Where else in the world would one want to be than Chicago in the depth of winter I ask you?  I know it may sound somewhat sadistic, but I’ve really come to enjoy walking around the windy city when the river is frozen over, the streets are coated with a salted crust and the wind makes your face feel like someone repeatedly smacked you with a frozen fish.  I’ve also come to realize the genius of having the largest sail show in the midwest at the same time every year.  It may hurt to go outside, but when you get into the boat show, your thoughts immediately transport you to warmer times, and you feel any potential financial inhibitions start to ease with the promise of a midsummer breeze on the lake, the water lapping against your bow and the only ice you encounter is inside your cooler.  On the business side of things, orders in January mean that you can actually get everything built before sailing season starts.

 

Read on for more shots and mumblings…

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*Amsterdam’n it.

It’s funny.  When I mention to folks that I go to Amsterdam on an annual basis, many of them get a glazed look in their eye, the corners of their mouths curl skyward which is inevitably met by a slow motion head bobbing.  I’ve gotten so used to this response that I have a pre-baked answer regarding the trade show I attend, the beauty, history and culture engrained in a city that has lived many lifetimes, survived many events, and how even though I’ve been fortunate to visit this amazing city 10 times now, I have still only been into one solitary coffee shop and I’m taking a Slick Willy on that one.  Of course Amsterdam will always spur a distinct visual to a specific demographic, which makes me realize I might be hanging out with too many mental teenagers… 😉

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*Amsterdam

bloemmarket at dawn

Sometimes a city provides you with a story of personal reflection and memory.  Remembering a certain, unrepeatable feeling, tied to an experience or some other memorable trigger lends itself as a tool with which to write these stories.  Luckily for me, Amsterdam has allowed me to add chapters to my story year after year.  It has become a second home as I’ve had to travel here each year for the last eight to conduct business (for my real job).  I count myself very fortunate that the industry I exist in professionally forces me to spend time each year in such a cool city.  Of course the obvious stereotyped assumptions make their way into the conversation whenever I mention that I travel here each year, but the history, kind nature and beauty of this city rivals any that I’ve been to.  Just make sure you look both ways before stepping foot out into the street, at least twice.

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