Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Into the Void

So, Saturday was Museumnacht 2008! Museumnacht is one night a year, where 40 museums throughout Amsterdam open up and have all sorts of activites going on - live music, cheap beer, artwork, and a rumoured champagne fountain at the Rijksmuseum (but we never made it there, so I don't know for sure). Tickets were just 17 euros for as many museums as you could hit between 7 pm and 2 am. And considering the entrance to one museum can run you upwards of 10 euros, it's a pretty sweet deal. I went with a group of friends mainly from my Dutch class - Bernie (jazz bass player), Bernie's jazz friend Ben, Ana (pianist), Ana's boyfriend Guillaume, Simona (pianist/conductor), Takashi (chorale conductor), Niels (music theory), and Niels' brother Jens. Our first stop was the Pianola Museum in the Jordaan. They were having combiniation live + pianola performances, and I we ended up seeing a classical guitar player + pianola. Pianolas are those nifty old pianos that play a recording off a paper roll. The guitarist played some Granados, and then played a roll of Granados playing the same song recorded in like 1912 or something absurd like that. Anyways, it was the perfect place for a bunch of music geeks like us! Next stop was the Anne Frank Huis. I've been meaning and meaning to go here, but there's always a huge line and it's a private museum so my museumkaart doesn't work there. But it was surprisingly not packed, and we got to walk through the whole museum - they built it around her father's office building that held the secret annex that they lived in during the war. It was a little crazy to see how tiny the space was that they lived in for years. It was depressing, but also very interesting. Our next stop was NIMk, the Nederlands Insitute voor Mediakunst - ie. school for media art. They had all these wacky installation pieces, including a super trippy Bjork music video in 3-D. Very cool stuff. Then we went to the Huise Marseille Museum voor Fotographie - a photography museum. This venue was a little boring, but they did have a cool jazz ensemble playing in one of the rooms. Then we headed over to the Rembrandt Huis. I'd already been there in June, but it's a cool place to visit anyways. And the big attraction was the "low-cost bar" in the basement - 1 euro beer! At 1:30 we decided we had to hit one other place before the night ended, so we ended up going to the Portugese Synagogue nearby. It's the big old brick synagogue, and was lit entirely by candles. There was no electricity - so no heat and no light (other than the candles). Earlier in the night they had choirs and stuff in there, but since it was pretty much closing time we just wandered around and then left. It was pretty nifty though. So I guess the count is 6 museums in a night, which is pretty good.
After the Portugese Synagogue the group split up due to differing ideas about what to do next. Ana and Guillaume went home; Bernie, Ben, and Niels went to a pub at the Nieuwemarkt; and Simona, Jens, and I went to the Leiseplein to go clubbing. Part of museumnacht was that they had "afterparties" at certain clubs, which basically meant that by showing your ticket for museumnacht you got dicounted cover into the club. First we tried Paradiso, but they had an actual show happening and it was sold out. So we headed over to the Milkweg, and partied the night away. And I mean that literally. Amsterdam knows how to party, and when we left at 5:30 am the party was still going. Needless to say I was exhausted on Sunday and spent pretty much the whole day in bed. And no mom, I wasn't hungover. I was just really freaking tired - the kind of tired where you've been up for 23 hours, biked all over the city, and then danced for a couple hours. Today is US election day - very big news all over the world. In fact, the Milkweg is having a big election party tonight that's completely sold out, and the idea is to stay up until the results are in (which over here is expected to be about 4-5 am). It hypothetically sounds like a good idea, but I have stuff to do tomorrow! I guess I'll just find out in the morning if Obama lost. But this morning I had a Memo at a preschool run by the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and one of the little girls was wearing an Obama T-shirt. I thought it was pretty funny. In fact, on the weekend they did a poll of Dutch people and something like 80% wanted Obama to win, and only about 8% wanted McCain to win.......it's a little scary that we have to trust in the American electorate to make the right choice!!!!!

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