Friday, September 28, 2012


Summer 2012 - Naarden

Naarden. In order to understand what is so cool about Naarden you should probably click on the link. Did you see it? Yup. The first photo is of that impressive earth works/mote. Apparently in the last 20 years they actually went back and restored it, as some of the pieces were collapsing. 

You can basically walk the whole length of the old town in about an hour, and that is what we did.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Up for a Challenge

Summer 2012 - The Hague

This is something different. For about a year I have been hearing about the amazing-ness of macarons. I had a few back when I was in Houston this summer, and was intrigued. Would it actually be possible for me, someone who is essentially a novice at baking, to pull off this difficult cookie?

Well, I baked three batches over the summer. The first ones looked perfect but were not the right consistency/hardness. The second batch was completely cracked, so the photo record I had taken was abandoned half way through as I dimly watched the cookies in the oven. 

About a week ago, I decided to try again, in our new kitchen. These were to be Earl Grey Tea Honey macarons, and they were to be wonderful. 

The meringue - it has to be super stiff before you can incorporate the dry ingredients.

The macaron batter - this is the tricky bit. Too stiff, cookies crack, too runny, they don't bake up with their signature little feet. Full disclosure, this is not mixed well enough. After piping the first tray (below) I could tell it needed a mix or two more. 

Do you see how these are not flowing into little circles? That's the problem there. 

Well they puffed up like little sheep. You can see the cracks and everything. 

The second batch came out perfectly! Ok, so my piping skills could use work... but hey! 

Here they are ready to be given as a gift :) Again you can tell the piping is not the best, especially on the filling (honey buttercream, by the way) but they still tasted great!

Anyway, that was that. Baking was definitely fun to attempt to photograph. 

ps. When I edited these photos, I was actually finally up to date on all things photography! However, today we went out to Naarden, a very pretty Dutch city, so as of posting this, I am unfortunately not up to date. Darn. And, of course as I write this, I am not yet in Edinburgh (though when you read this I'll have been there for a month! (head spinning yet?)) where I am sure I will be taking many more photos. le sigh.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On the Streets

Summer 2012 - Utrecht

Utrecht's streets are full of many combinations of art - illegal, legal and Medieval all coexist. 
Illegal - the classiest stencil I've ever seen.
Legal - The Letters of Utrecht, an endless poem that began lining the streets of the Oudegracht (Old Canal) this June - every Sunday a new letter is laid. 
Medieval - A rock chained to a building. Why? The rock was originally placed on the corner so that carriages would not run into the building. Sometime in the middle ages it was decided that evil spirits congregated around it, so to keep them from taking it away, it was chained to the building. And, you know, it just stayed there. 

I absolutely loved the day that I spent in Utrecht - I can't thank Chris enough for showing me around and sharing with me all it's fascinating history. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Door to the Sky

Summer 2012 - Utrecht

A door to the sky, a rainbow bicycle, and a horse hitch hiding in ivy. 

Monday, September 24, 2012


Summer 2012 - Utrecht

Even though I've called Holland my home base for a little over seven years, before this summer I had never been to Utrecht. Luckily, my friend Chris lived in Utrecht, and he is a Medieval historian, so he knew quite a few interesting places to visit. 

One of the most famous sights in Utrecht is the Dom Tower. The tower is the tallest church tower in Holland, but it's not actually connected to the church. The construction for the church and tower began in the 1300s, but the church was never completed. A few hundred years later, a tornado (seriously) swept through Utrecht, and through the church, separating the tower from the nave. Eventually the nave was reconstructed but not reconnected to the tower. If you visit now, look at the church - there are still pieces of the broken wall visible on the outside. Also look at the ground in the square between the church and the tower - there are gravestones, like one would normally see on the floor in a church.

Just peeking out from behind the building on the left in the second photo is the Catholic Cathedral. 

And in the bottom photo is what looks like another church - but also a bar. Yup. It is an old church converted into a pub! It looks like just a normal restaurant from outside, and that is because it was a hidden Catholic church - built inside a normal house but hidden from the Protestant officials.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Den Haag Sculpture

Summer 2012 - The Hague

Every Summer, the median of the Korte Voorhout in The Hague is lined with sculptures - every year a different theme. This year's was called The Rainbow Nation and all the sculptures were done by South Africans. 

The sculptures included an elephant made entirely of recycled strips of tyres (pictured), Granite slabs with tally marks for the number of days POWs were imprisoned, metal sheets with reflections of the words "LOVE" and "HATE," a kneeling man made of South African dirt, straw and rocks (pictured), and a bus made out of plastic hangers. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Amsterdam Garden Days

Summer 2012 - Amsterdam

Every summer private gardens all over Amsterdam open up to the public for a weekend. Last time we went, it poured rain for the first half of the day, and stayed cloudy and grey for the rest. This time, the sun was out the whole time. We went to about eighteen of the forty gardens, over about three hours. I can't imagine doing them all in one day! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Flying Home

Summer 2012 - Suzanne's Garden, Houston

I was back at Suzanne's this past summer, (see last year) where I discovered a few new additions as well as visiting one of my old friends - the flying pig.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunset on the Sound

Summer (Gasp!) 2012 - Five Islands Park, New Rochelle

As of this post, I am only about three months behind! 

Moving forward - Last summer, while google mapsing something, my mother saw our driving route passing Five Islands Park. Last time we went the sun was setting too (here).

Monday, September 17, 2012


Spring 2012 - New York

For my friend Monica's birthday in April, a bunch of us went into NY for the day. We spent the day meandering through a flea market, down the High Line, and eventually to an all you can eat Sushi restaurant. It was a Successful day.

ps. Until I have caught up with my posts, I'm posting every weekday. Let's see if I can get there! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Spring 2012 - The Bronx

Details of the day spent at The Cloisters.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Cloisters

Spring 2012 - The Bronx

Last Spring I was taking a class called Art and the Sacred in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Or Art and the Sacred for short(er). Seeing as though I went to school just outside of New York, we were lucky enough to go on a field trip to The Cloisters. If you ever have the opportunity to go, go. 
These photos are from the largest cloister - I couldn't get enough of the capitals, but I suppose that's the point!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Purple Light

Spring 2012 - Leiden

All of these photos from my trip to Leiden have this lovely glow of purple - not something that usually happens. 

Safely Above

Spring 2012 - Leiden

Rising above the flat landscape of Leiden, the Burcht van Leiden (Hill of Leiden) still stands at the top of the hill as a reminder of a time when the city just encircled it's walls. Today, it's a public park and a great vantage point to see the rest of the city. 

Quite well framed through the red doorway of the Burcht is the Hooglandse Kerk, a church I've tried to go into many times, only to find that it's never actually open. On the other side of that doorway are what I can only assume are the Coats of Armour of influential families in Leiden. And then, there's me. Sometimes I attempt to take self portraits. Sometimes, I even like them!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Free Love

Spring 2012 - Leiden

Ah Leiden. Since we've moved to The Hague this summer, we haven't been as much as usual. Leiden is a beautiful city - hands down. Actually it reminds me a lot of Edinburgh, in some ways.* I think for a photographer, Leiden is a perfect city. Lots of historical, picturesque buildings, while at the same time the city vibes off of the many students who call the town home. 

First shot is of the St. Pieterskerk, which can be seen in almost every post I've done about Leiden. We always walk by it on the way into town. Another regular on the blog are photos of Leiden's street poetry, but for some reason, I can't stop taking photos of it. Then there's the other, less determinant street art - the QR code for Free Love and the least happy green light I've ever seen. 

*I'm writing this on August 25th - yes, my posts are time delayed, but that's really the only way I can publish regularly, especially with my erratic schedule. In a week from today I will be flying to Edinburgh so one could certainly say I am excited.  
when you read this, it will be September 9th, and I will have just moved into my housing in Edinburgh. Crazy, right?