Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Amsterdam and the July Paris Letter

Last Wednesday morning, while madly trying to finish the July Paris Letter (I did not)I ran to catch the train to Urban Sketchers Amsterdam symposium.
What I ran into was a huge heatwave that messed up lots of my plans.
Here is your classic Dutch cat napping amongst the Edam. Did you know the Dutch are the tallest people in Europe?
Chalk it up to drinking tremendous amounts of melk. And kass/cheese. And ice cream. Evidently they are also very fond of  Pindakaas/ peanut butter. Be prepared to look up when you ask directions. You'll be doing this many times over. If you're shy go somewhere less confusing.
I found what I think is the best apple pie in Amsterdam. I know...its really a cake but if they insist on calling it pie, let them. You must try it. Or try several as I did to get a broader perspective. And a broader something else. I loved the home-made pie at Broodbar at the end of Koestraat close to Metro station Nieuw Markt. This pie is neither too moist nor too dry and the crust is like hardened crumble. True a sledgehammer would help cut the crust but one mustn't grumble.
I had the famous Patisserie Holtkamp pie at the Rijks museum restaurant and it didn't co
me close. By the way hanging out at the Rijks is a good idea. They have AC and stay open till 6. Def a fun, chic spot for watching the Dutch and easy to get to at Museumplein.
Here I discovered the joys of 'verse munt thee' or mint tea. What I thought was a mojito is one of Amsterdam's popular drinks if you're not imbibing Amstel or other beers. Simply a bunch of fresh mint jammed in a glass mug (I'm getting one tomorrow). Then pour hot water over it. Voila. Honey can be added. Terrifically refreshing and you don't have to go to the Netherlands to find the ingredients either.
I became obsessed with sketching and painting it. So much for my Urban Sketcher ambitions. Almost all trams seem stop there.
Hanging out in Amsterdam's very cool new metro stations is highly recommended in a heatwave. Imagine the Branly museum. Space is vast. New York MTA should visit. Escalators
 as long as city blocks.
And so breezy. I bought a 4-day transit card for around 24€ 
I moved the last 2 nights to the rather unusual Lloyd'sHotel near the docks. All the rooms are different. It was formerly a way station for emigrants going to America. Then a prison. My 1st room was prison-like. They upgraded me to this lovely room with AC.
The last morning I happily painted like a maniac. Only mint tea of course. The July Paris letter is done and will hit the post tomorrow. I'm sorry for the delay. July has been problematic with sciatic etc. The Paris map is coming SOON! Thanks for your patience PBers ❤️ And thanks for reading Parisbreakfasts. Feel free to share. If you'd like an Amsterdam mint tea watercolor or Paris letters let me know🥂🍾🍒. Love❤️ from Carolg ☕️ in Paris


  1. Looks like an interesting trip - despite the heat, which would probably have been unbearable in your apt.

    1. I would love to go back when the weather is milder.
      Netherland rules say do not sit on home owner's steps. I did it. It was either that or the emercency room. Shade trees line the canals and protect motorbikes and cars. Walkers get no such coverage. At all. Listen up Amsterdam.

  2. Your July Summer Picnic letter is lovely, Carol ! How did you manage to look cool-as-a-cucumber in your selfie ? All of that refreshing mint tea ? Another wonderful adventure...

    1. Thanks Bonnie. I was stting in the breezy Rokin metro station. Gives you courage. I'm so new at selfies....maybe I'll get a stick and damage a valuable paining somewhere ;))

  3. Carolyn1:54 AM

    OMG you are a painting machine!!! These are wonderful!!!

  4. Beautiful, Carol! Your July Paris Letter is exceptional. And...love your mint tea watercolors. Looks like you made the most of your Amsterdam adventure despite the heat.

  5. Mirjam in A'dam6:49 AM

    Thanks, I will send your review on Apple pie to Broodbar!
    I think the crumble-like crust is a must for Dutch Apple pie. We call the dough zandgebak (Sand pie)

    1. 'Sand' pie !
      What's not to love ❤️

  6. I agree the July letter is just so ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥!!en
    And I do drink mint tea..and will today..and love your green tea renditions.
    Sooo many peeps at those symposiums! I have been looking at the pics..maybe in my youth not for me at all now..

  7. Kathleen H10:14 AM

    Is that a picture of you in this post????

    1. Yes !
      None other..gettimg more and daring!
      I am fearless in another country

  8. Bonnie D11:26 PM

    Your sunglasses are FAB!
    Paris agrees with you.
    Loved seeing Amsterdam and hoping the Sketch group was a lot of fun.
    Hoping your back is recovering. And that heat waves leave!

  9. You are so beautiful.

  10. Barbara12:17 AM

    I love your post on the mint tea
    in Amsterdam as that is our “go to drink”
    as soon as we arrive there! It’s refreshing
    but extremely comforting in the cold weather!

  11. Inspired by your description and paintings of mint tea, I just tried it. Wonderful! Thanks so much.

    1. Everyone is trying it!
      You can't go wrong. So simple too

  12. Sympathies with the heat wave - a summer to remember!
    Wonderful paintings ... mint tea, mmm ...
    Looks like your palette needs a refill


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