Friday, May 27, 2011

A whirlwind library & museum tour of the Netherlands, Leiden, Amsterdam, Den Haag

"In the port of Amsterdam
There's a sailor who sings
Of the dreams that he brings
From the wide open sea
In the port of Amsterdam
There's a sailor who sleeps
While the river bank weeps
To the old willow tree"
That, of course, is Jacques Brel, I'm afraid I could only come up with a brief haiku for my trip to Amsterdam:
Data flows in rings
In the port of Amsterdam
Bridges, links, people

Overall, a very successful trip. Met many new people, caught up with some old friends, and got to know some people much better. Flickr pictures here.

Friday, May 13, 2011
2011.05.14-IMG_2555Took the WMATA bus from Rosslyn to IAD. Easy trip, checked in, stopped in at the lounge for a bit. Flight delayed about an hour waiting for a connecting flight from Florida. Uneventful flight, in-flight map was broken and only showed a flight from LHR to ORD.

Had a chicken and rice dish and then later, a light breakfast.

Saturday, May 14, 2011
Landed at AMS and zipped through immigration and customs. A bit confused in the station for a bit, but soon found the train station and figured out how to buy a ticket. Found the train platform and soon on my way to Leiden.

2011.05.14-IMG_2571Got to the train station there, but took the wrong exit and wandered out and around the station. Soon found the Marienpoel Hotel. The desk staff were there and I was checked in and up the lift to Room 9. Unpacked and then headed out to find some lunch.

Wandered around for a bit and saw some sites. Bought a juice and carry out oude kaas sandwich to walk around with. Walked over to Naturalis and saw the exhibitions, including their dodo collection. Spent a while there and then did a little more touring, including the Pieterskerk (the Pilgrim Church) which is now a events hall and was being used to set up for the Leiden Marathon.

2011.05.14-IMG_2622Headed back to the hotel and found Chris who'd arrived a bit earlier (sans luggage). We did some touring, including the Hooglandes Kerch and climbing up to the De Burcht (the Citadel). Went to diner at a nice spot called "Fresh and Fast" (had a good lamb curry); stopped off for a glass of wine on the way back to the hotel.

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Woke up late, but had a lot of free time built in. Headed to a cafe for breakfast with Chris. Had a long, slow, European style breakfast at De Bruine Boon, coffee, bread, cheese. Finished up an walked over to Hortus Botanicus, the oldest botanical garden in Europe. A very nice garden, and greenhouse with carnivorous plants. A number of the plants were brought back or cultivated by the famed botanist, Clusius.
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Finished up at the Hort. Bot. and went to the V&D department store so Chris could pick up some clothes (no luggage yet). Left, and ran into the Leiden Marathon (or half marathon?) and walked slowly back to the hotel, grabbed our bags and back to Leiden Central Station for the train to Amsterdam.

We thought we had the right train, but for whatever reason, the train stopped in Haarlem. And stayed there. The couple across from us told us the train was stopped and that we'd have to take a bus. Grabbed out stuff and out the statio to the bus. On the bus, drove past a windmill, and off to Amsterdam. Or not, bus stopped at Amsterdam Sloterdijk (South station?) and we were back on a train. Minutes later, we pulled into Amsterdam Central.
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Light rain, but we walked the few blocks down to the Inntel Hotel and checked in. Dropped off bags (Chris' luggage had arrived) and headed to lounge. In a few minutes, most of the DPLA group arrived and we had drinks and made witty and highly intellectual conversation.
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After a bit, we headed out for our group dinner at Cote Ouest Cafe Restaurant. More witty and intellectual discussion while we had goat cheese and other things; since it's May in Europe, it was asperagus season and hence, I needed to have the asperagus, ham, potatoes, and grated egg. Quite good!
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Left the restaurant and a few of us peeled off to stop in at one of the many English/Irish pubs that seem to dot Amsterdam. Conversation was more technical now, but still witty.

Took a turn around the neighborhood a bit before heading back to the hotel for bed.

Monday, May 16, 2011
Rainy, rainy day. Had breakfast in the hotel with various combinations of the DPLA group and then we re-grouped for a walk to the main library of the University of Amsterdam for our meeting. Had a bit of a cat-herding adventure, but soon hit the road for the 15 minute walk to the meeting. See blog post for the report of the meeting.
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After the meeting, a small group, spearheaded by the Harvard Innovation Lab team, led us towards the night's dinner spot, with a strategic stop first at the Cafe Otten. We celebrated the Amsterdam win over Liverpool, but headed out to make another stop at a place with outdoor seating and wifi.

Over a platter of meats, cheese, and spring rolls, everyone pulled out a tablet or laptop and started doing work or showing projects to the group.
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Shut down the gadgets and headed over to the dinner spot, Flo Brassierie. Again, since it is aperagus season, I had the same Flemish Asperagus (but it wasn't quite as good). Table talk was, of course, witty, intellectual, and focused on important issues such as captive panda breeding programs. Notes from the meetings here.

A long day, so back to the hotel and to bed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Again, breakfast at the hotel with DPLA folk and then a much drier walk to the meeting (see day two blog post). Meeting adjourned after some good wrap up and then a smaller group of us caught a tram to Amsterdam Central for the train to Den Haag. Breezed right into Den Haag and across th street to the National Library (the KB) for meetings with staff from the Europeana project (see Europeana report).
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After the meetings, the group got split up, but most of us made the same train and we were soon back in Amsterdam. Took a break to rest up at the hotel and then headed for Indrapura for a huge and tasty rice table (Indonesian tapas). After dinner, grabbed another tram to head back towards the Central Station where we had a canal tour boat waiting for us. The boat for just for our hardy band of 10 or so (we lost one classicist to geography) and captained by a non-Enlish speaker. Everyone was beat by then and it was getting late and dark. As we motored through the canals, we would be shaken from our nodding by a shouted "Koffeehuis!" or "Bags for the ladies!" or more commonly, rapid-fire Dutch (see blog post). An hour later, the weary group headed back to the hotel.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Another breakfast with the diminishing group at the hotel before heading out with Chris for an appointment at the Stedlijk Museum Library (in its temporary quarters in the Sloternijk part of town). We cabbed over and had a great tour/visit to the facility (see blog post on library visit). Left my key in the electrical slot, so I had to get a new one at the front desk.
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We walked back to the Amsterdam Sloternijk station, pas the Reed-Elsevier headquarters (see blog post). Jumped on the train (after a Starbucks to go) and were soon back in Amsterdam.
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Did a bit of sightseeing, going past the packed Anne Frank House, and then headed to an outdoor cafe (yet another Irish pub) for some beers, a Dutch Snack Platter (meats and cheese and spring rolls) to do some grant writing and catch up on some other work.
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Finished up and then strolled up to the museum district, past the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Stopped in at the gift shop of the House of Bols (gin and other liquors) and picked up some gifts. Strolled back to the Centrum through the antiques district. Chris and I were planning on meeting up with Maura and Rebekah at their new hotel, and after some wandering around found them. We headed to the lobby bar and spent an hour or so working on planning and agenda building for the next meeting. Rebekah retired and we three went to dinner at a fine Italian spot, Bussia (see blog post).

Said our farewells and back to various hotels and bed for flights the next day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011
AMS to IAD. Up early, already packed the night before. Stopped in for the hotel breakfast, no one else from the group around. Took a short walk around the neighborhood in a light rain and then back to get my bag.

Walked to the Central Station, got a ticket, found my train and zipped to Schipol. Made my way to and through the airport, checked in, droppped back, through immigration and found the gate. Made a short stop at the lounge for some coffee and wifi; did a litle bit of duty free shopping and then to the gate. Through security and onto the plane.

Had an emtpy seat for a bit, but some switching was done to accomodate a small child.
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Flying over England and near Ireland, the first meal was served. I went with the pasta and it was fine. Worked for a while on some odds and ends and then read.

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