Hey now,

I have had numerous email querries about my trip to Europe. While I'm sure you're all just being polite, I thought I do sort of a report every few days . . . So I am in Amsterdam for the IBC (international broadcasting conference) for Adobe's After Effects 4.1 Launch and Premiere with Real Time.

Amsterdam is a city of bricked streets, dedicated bicycle lanes, a mass transit system that works, and some of the most gorgeous people I have ever seen all in one place. There may be only 15 supermodels in the world, but that is because there are only 15 supermodel agents -- and not because 70% of the Dutch population aren't qualified physically.

My colleague Bruce is in desperate need of chiropractic care after 48 hours of twisting his head to watch the "ice queens" spin by on their bikes.

So far I've eaten good Indian and average Italian, fabulous "Thai fusion" served by the gayest waiter I've ver encounterd. Breakfast is a sure thing, as all the coffee is excellent and strong and the croissants with rich European butter made from happy European cows are flakier than anything I've found stateside and dissolve on contact with your tongue. Oh my yes.

The Thai place last night, "Tom Yam" was wonderful. And the waiter loved us. All of them did. When I ordered the cosmopolitan drink he said I was the third person who'd ordered it that night and his bartender hadn't a clue how to make one. So I volunteered my services and popped downstairs to the bar and showed them all how it was done. Kettle One vodka is from Holland, he said, but they can't get it there. So Absolut sufficed beautifully. We ended up sharing bites with the people at the next table over, and it was a pretty roudy evening.

Yesterday morning I played hooky from the tradeshow and visited the Rijksmuseum in search of what turned out to be pitifully few Vermeers. Nevermind, as I discovered I love Johannes Verspronck as well. The Nightwatch is their "best seller", but I was impressed by the collection of old Delft and those carved wooden beds that seem guaranteed to give you gothic nightmares.

Next door is the Van Gogh Museum. Most of Vincent's painting were in Theo, Vincent's brother's collection. Theo's son (named for his uncle, vincent) died in 1962. Upon which the estate was bought by the State and is now housed in a very modern museum. Van Gogh was incredibly prolific, lots of the Arles paitings were there -- but mostly it's self-portraits It was amazing to see the Bedroom at Arles, upon which wall are hanging yet two more self porttraits.

Whoa -- I just found the street where they let the ugly people hang out. I know this because by contrast the two only slightly phenomenal male specimens that make Johnny Depp look like a pie plate for cheekbones stand out here like Nordic gods.

I have yet to see a prostitue in a window, or elsewhere. I did visit the Dampkrieg, a a Disney-esque "coffee shop" where I have yet to see any coffee. There is a large twisting mushroom in the center of it, and the decor is Morrocan-dreamy. Great colors on the walls and the tables. And no, I haven't partaken of the "local color", although I'm assured by those who'd know that it is quite good. Descriptives like "cerebral" are used. Whatever.

Media 100 through last night's party. It was pretty low-key. Mostly a cafe gig with wine and beer in a nice place on the street, and there was a fire dancer on the street outside who danced with her sticks (one of my favorite parts of Burning Man was the fire dancers). I helped her keep her torches lit and then passed the hat for her. . .

Lode and Melanie (he was once my Art Director at HyperPro aeons ago) and now they've since moved back to Belgium, their native country, just drove in to Amsterdam to surprise me . . . so I am off to eat Rijstofel (the Rice Table Indonesian smorgasborg of never ending dishes served over ... rice.) with them at Lode's favorite Indonesian restaurant.

Ciao for now . . .

PS anyone want tulip bulbs?

At 10:33 AM -0400 9/12/99, (someone I know) wrote:

>Hello -- it's your mother here -- wondering what you're doing . . . >

>one thing extraordinary about those Dutch is that they're >so naturally polyglot. Only one that I can remember couldn't >speak English. A delightful old Dutchman at the little hotel >where we stayed -- I think he was the father of the owners. >he and the 4 of us communicated with hand signs. He >and I assembled Richard's crib and laughed and laughed >while we sat on the floor trying to get the thing together. >as I remember the hotel was also across from the Rikes. when we >looked out the window, there was a terminal for the trolleys >with circular tracks for turning around. at this little hotel, >they served delicious Cheddar (or something) with >breakfast -- which was so hearty we could hardly move. >

>hope that you and your customers don't have to just sit >on the floor and laugh.

> > >Love you, Mome

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