All posts filed under: Lifestyle

Anonymous, France, after Gioacchino Giuseppe Serangeli, Napoleon and Alexander I Say Farewell in Tilsit in 1807, c. 1810. Oil on canvas
© State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

One woman, two men. History in the Hermitage

I had seen the posters of the Hermitage all over the city: Alexander, Napoleon & Josephine: a story of friendship, war and art. The website speaks of “Female power” and  the exhibition is at my favorite museum, the Hermitage. So I decided to visit and get inspired by these ‘three historical giants’. To start with the negatives; I hardly got any “female power” vibe. Yes, Joséphine collected her own art, and was popular with the people and the two men. So popular that even after divorcing her for not giving him children, she remained empress of France. (It was a riddle to me why he’d divorce her because of that – she did have two kids of an earlier marriage, so one could argue she should be able to deliver..?) There was no story of how they met, or what Joséphine brought him. Yes, mention was made of her beauty and intelligence, but the exhibition spoke of no real accomplishments in my opinion. That Alexander and Napoleon liked each other became clear. Also because of …

The collection of Eva Maria Hatschek

Social Design at the Temporary Fashion Museum

What is a better way to spend a saturday than the opening of the Temporary Fashion Museum? Another exhibition my sister did project management for. I have to say, it took some effort (the A16 to Rotterdam was closed and Ms. Navigation was unable to give me a decent detour) but it was an afternoon well spent. Fleece or Freak? Did you know that one fleece sweater contains the same amount of plastic as many plastic bottles? That’s a whole new approach to recycling, don’t you think. The exhibition of Conny Groenewegen made me aware of this. Thousands (8kg I heard my sister mention) of fleece sweaters were cut into one piece, tied together and used as one big thread to create a new piece of fabric. Recycling at large. It got me thinking about fashion and recycling. Hacked Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum, who organized “Hacked”, also thought of that. This exhibition told the story of how large fashion stores such as H&M and Zara, run their logistics so smooth and at large, that …


Book review: Reset, make the most of your stress

Standing at the Self Help Books area in Barnes And Nobles, New York, I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of topics one can help herself in. I was in New York for a short holiday, to get away from it all and energize, and I heard my therapist in the back of my mind, saying “recharging in NY is not a solution, Laura. It is an instrument, but it’s effects will wear out. You’ll have to make real changes”. Yeah yeah yeah. So, stressed out from all the choices in self help books, I stumbled upon this one. RESET: Make the most of your stress. Admittingly, the book appealed to me because of its positive approach towards stress. I happen to think that stress is part of life, and is quite good in some areas. Where would you be without a little adrenaline, right? Well, it took me nearly two months to read it. I have to say, just opening the book gave me an uncomfortable feeling ( But yes, I managed. And honestly, …


Hats: dare to wear

It’s Kingsday today. Besides visits to the local flea markets and being amazed by the orange stuff people dare to wear on a day like this, one of the fun parts to me is always The Hat. The Hat – of course, Maxima’s. Next to Prinsjesdag here in the Netherlands, and the Royal Ascot event in the UK, I don’t really know of a Hat Event besides the occasionally spring or summertime wedding. Frankly, I am a little bit jealous. Wearing a hat is something that I really like to do. Although, finding the actual event for it is really hard. So… when cán you wear a hat? I am the proud owner of a Fedora, a Beret, a Cloche, a Panama, a Fur hat. I even used to own a white cowboy hat with swarovski stones. (Which seemed like a good idea when I was 16 and in London. Threw it away when back in Holland and Dutch people started to ask questions about the Naked Cowboy.) But the Sun hat is actually the only …


Macarons and Manhattan

Visiting partners is always nice, especially the ones abroad. It gives you an opportunity to see what working in London / Paris / New York / etc. would be like. This time, we were in Manhattan. It was an interesting visit, where ‘a lunch together’ meant that the assistant picked up a variety of Subway sandwiched, and we could make our pick. Um, yeah….? So, finishing up the business meeting – we found ourselves at 57th street. Where, all of a sudden – I noticed the Russian Tearoom. Do you remember that Sex and the City episode? Where Carrie and the Russian have diner? Okay, I have to admit, it may sound really tacky, but ofcourse I could not go by without an experience like that. So, I told my beau we just nééded to have a high tea there. So. Imagine… Curried chicken salad with raisins and pecans, Shrimp salad with rémoulade, Smoked Scottish salmon with chive cream cheese and cucumber, Artichoke with red pepper and a sun-dried tomato goat cheese, Smoked ham and turkey with truffle croque monsieur, N.Y smoked …