It was lovely returning to The New York Hotel for a coffee and tompoes on Saturday. Situated on the River Maas and built in 1917, it was the former head office of the Holland America Line and the last spot for many Dutch immigrants who set sail for North America. It’s now surrounded by skyscapers and has been converted into a cafe restaurant and hotel and still retains much of it’s original charm. I walked over the Rijnhavenbrug to the Kop Van Zuid. The harbour district has been regenerated since I was last in Rotterdam. It’s a great spot to hang out and draw the New York hotel. I included some of the water taxis that travel to and from the centre of town (and to Veerhaven). I later sat in a cafe on a mezzanine and watched the visitors having lunch and drinks outside with The New York hotel in the background.
Took a quick trip to the Euromast (tower) in Rotterdam. I was excited to go on the euroscoop that rotates to the top (185m high). I sat down and as it rotated I could feel the clunky movement beneath my feet and looking downwards, I instantly became frozen to the spot yet again. There was an audio guide but I can’t say I heard a word of it. Relieved to get off!
Fortunately, I had no anxiety on the main viewing platforms and so I did a few sketches looking towards the Erasmus bridge. Fantastic view! It was a fine day and you can see out towards Antwerp. I could just make out the New York hotel, dwarfed by all the surrounding skyscrapers. (See May 9th 2011)
Took a trip to Rotterdam on sunday. It was pouring down so took shelter in museum Boijmans like most of the population of Rotterdam! It’s currently holding a Kees Van Dongen exhibition. Can’t say I was very familiar with his work previously so it was an eye opener seeing a retrospective of his work. He was associated with the Fauvists and clearly influenced by Matisse in his early years. In the 1920s he shared a studio with Picasso in Paris which is when he developed his distinctive style. I particularly liked his strong, colourful portraits of women and dancers. There’s also a number of his posters on display.
Boijmans is a large museum and there’s alot to pack in. There’s also an exhibition of dutch designer, Hella Jongerius work. It was great to see a designer exhibiting in this space. Fantastic work! She has an amazing sense of colour and her colour combinations are beautiful. On display are ceramics, furniture, textiles and shoe designs that she has done for a number of clients including Vitra, Ikea and Camper.
There is an amazing show of 300 vases arranged in different colour ways. I’ve never seen anyone move so fast when an exhibition warden spotted a young boy trying to pick up one of the vases. Fortunately all vases stayed in tact!