It wasn’t until she went to college that twenty-seven year old Katie Miller started doing online research on her symptoms, and found out she was autistic, as she tells in Marie Claire‘s latest issue. Growing up, experts think it may have helped her focus on painting more intensely. Her obsessive drawing lead to this impressive photographic painting from the collection ‘The Fancy of Babes’, called ‘Portrait of Duke as the Pacifier Punk’.
I remember I had just gotten my first iPhone, and one of the first apps I downloaded was STYLE.COM. It allowed me to see all runway shows on the go, and one of my favorites was the Alexander McQueen Fall 2006 ready-to-wear show. I admired the Kate Moss hologram over and over again. I think McQueen was a great artist, and so I could not wait to see the exhibit Savage Beauty in The Metropolitan Museum.
The British curator of The Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, did an amazing job putting the show together. The combination of McQueen’s work and the use of light and music made for an experience, rather than just looking at different pieces in a gallery.
This is a must see for anyone who lives close enough. I would recommend to come early in the morning on a weekday, as the wait can be pretty long. Members receive priority access. If you won’t be able to go, below are some pictures. Also, this site shows a video in which the curator takes you through the show.
Who doesn’t love an old fashioned card in the mailbox? Every now and then I order a bunch of Papaya Art cards online. They are so beautiful and different.
On their website, they also sell lots of other things, such as water bottles (in case you missed my recent post on plastic bottles), make-up pouches, art prints, note books and much more!
Are you a mom of a toddler without a lot of time left to read? Then this might be the book for you. Even though it won’t be released until next month, ‘Go The Fuck To Sleep’ by Adam Mansbach has already hit the number one spot on Amazon’s best-sellers list.
I’m not a big fan of the television, unless it helps me to distract the girls for a bit. Some shows I do actually like, I just forget when they’re on. Not gonna happen this time. I am counting the days until April 26th. That’s when the American version of my favorite Dutch show premieres on NBC: “The Voice“. Another talent show… But this time it’s different. Really!
It’s a vocal competition featuring four musician coaches, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine. The first stage of the show is called the blind auditions, where the coaches are turned with their backs to the contestant. If they want “the voice” on their team, they hit the button to turn around. If more than one coach turns around, the power shifts to the contestant, who will then get to choose which coach they want to work with throughout the competition. The second stage in the competition is called the battle, where each coach has the members of his team battle each other. Only four per team remain and will compete with each other during the final stage, the live shows.
Unlike American Idol and other talent shows, these contestants are not new to the industry. Most have been performing for a while, play instruments, and write their own songs. Together with their coach, the contestants pick the songs to perform on the show that suit them best. To make it to the top, the coaches help them grow by providing feedback. For some it may be a singing or dancing coach, for others a makeover.
Enjoy the show!
Maybe we should be more grateful for the Tiger Moms in this world. Big chance one of them raised this kid. Meet Hahn-Bin, 22 years old, violin player.
“I’m Viagra to classical music and Aspirin to pop culture”, he said on Twitter, which is, on his website, translated to: “This dynamic violin virtuoso embodies the renaissance of classical music, fusing his highly evocative repertoire with pop performance act in the extraordinary, intelligent, and beautiful performances of his inspired, innovative and bracing programs.”
His stages aren’t like those of the typical classical artists either; he performed at The Standard Hotel for V Magazine, at the Louis Vuitton store for Fashion’s Night Out, at the MoMA in conjunction with the Andy Warhol exhibit, and he performed ‘The Five Poisons’ at the Hammer Museum.
If you have seven minutes, do watch this video. Not only will you hear the most beautiful violin music, he’ll also tell you about himself, his music, and his style.
In 2009, when the High Line Park on Manhattan’s West Side had just opened, it got a lot of write up in the newspapers. Not as much about the landscape architecture, as about the views. According to the NY Post, The Standard, a fancy hotel with floor to ceiling windows, situated right by the park, welcomed their guests with this special message: “Whatever you do, just make sure the shots are HOT and that you get them to us in whichever way you can. It’s all about sex all the time, and you’re our star.” Aight. After the newspaper had contacted the hotel, the post was abruptly changed, and guests were encouraged to cover up.
Now that the free spirited American parents consider it safe to take their children, the park has been a popular hang-out on the weekends. Artists have found their way, too. Last weekend, I met there a fascinating woman, Edie Pijpers, who was selling her paintings. Not only does she paint, she also sings, and she happened to be Dutch. Her work emanated so much warmth and happiness. Don’t you love her use of color?
On her website, you’ll also find beautiful drawings with pen and ink, and some examples of murals she has painted. I think it’s very cool to hire Edie to paint live at an event. Throughout the course of the event, she’ll try to capture the spirit and energy onto the canvas. You might meet her at one of our parties!
Yesterday, the perfect inspiration for Pippa and the Kids arrived in a little package from The Netherlands. My high school friend who has been following my blog, sent me a book called “Black and (A)broad: traveling beyond the limitations of identity“. The author, Carolyn Vines, is a black woman, who left the US to live with her white Dutch boyfriend in The Netherlands.
Hmmm, wait a minute. Let’s turn around the colors and countries. Sounds pretty familiar to me.
When I set up this blog, the idea was not only to write about stuff that interests me, but also to write about my experiences as a Dutch mother and wife, raising a bicultural family in the US. So far, the latter has yet to be developed. But trust me, so far I have already experienced many cultural differences, which are dying to leave my head to come alive on screen.
In the meantime, I was just wondering…
To my American girls:
- Have you ever heard Dutch girls discussing the cut and carat of their diamond engagement ring?
- Have you ever heard of the word ‘gezellig’?
- Did you know bread and potatoes are not ‘evil food’?
To my Dutch girls:
- Have you ever been pregnant and able to pee in a clean bathroom, anywhere?
- Have you ever had a doorman?
- Have you ever chosen your job to meet your future husband?
Stay tuned for more…
Since the article “Why Chinese Moms Are Superior” was published in the Wall Street Journal in January, Tiger Mom Amy Chua appeared non-stop to speak at book stores and television shows. Every national newspaper wrote an article about the article (including NRC Handelsblad). Their readers let their voice be heard, as well. Wall Street Journal had never seen this many comments on an article as this time. A few nice ones among them, most of them plain rude, including death threats against Chua.
Meanwhile, her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has been selling more copies every day. Good marketing Miss Tiger…
For my Dutch friends who missed all this:
Chu’s daughters were never allowed to:
• attend a sleepover
• have a playdate
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• watch TV or play computer games
• choose their own extracurricular activities
• get any grade less than an A
• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• not play the piano or violin.
So now it’s my turn to write about her, because last night I went to see her speak at the Barnes & Noble on the Upper East Side.
I might as well have bought a ticket to The Comedy Cellar. This woman is funny. Here’s part of an an excerpt she read to us. Chua, her husband Jed, and their two daughters Sophia and Lulu had just arrived in Moscow, and decided to start off their vacation in Russia with blinis and caviar.
When the caviar arrived – thirty U.S. dollars for a tiny receptacle – Lulu said, “Eww, gross,” and wouldn’t try it.
“Sophia, don’t take so much; leave some for the rest of us,” I snapped, then turned to my other daughter. “Lulu, you sound like an uncultured savage. Try the caviar. You can put a lot of sour cream on it.”
“That’s even worse,” Lulu said, and she made a shuddering gesture. “And don’t call me savage.”
“Don’t wreck the vacation for everyone, Lulu.”
“You’re the one wrecking it.”
I pushed the caviar toward Lulu. I ordered her to try one egg-one single egg.
“Why?” Lulu asked defiantly. “Why do you care so much? You can’t force me to eat something.”
I felt my temper rising. Could I not get Lulu to do even one tiny thing? “You’re behaving like a juvenile delinquent. Try one egg now.”
“I don’t want to,” said Lulu.
“Do it now, Lulu.”
“Amy,” Jed began diplomatically, “everyone’s tired. Why don’t we just-”
I broke in, “Do you know how sad and ashamed my parents would be if they saw this, Lulu-you publicly disobeying me? With that look on your face? You’re only hurting yourself. We’re in Russia, and you refuse to take caviar! You’re like a barbarian. And in case you think you’re a big rebel, you are completely ordinary. There is nothing more typical, more predictable, more common and low, than an American teenager who won’t try things. You’re boring, Lulu-boring.
Yes, it is extreme. And no, I hope not to ever call Mia or Elle an ‘uncultured savage’, a ‘barbarian’, or ‘more typical, more predictable, more common and low, than an American teenager’ (although, being an immigrant mom myself, like many so called ‘Tiger Moms’, I do fear the last one). Chua calls her book a memoir, a ‘how-not-to’ book, a book about regrets, and most of all a book that was meant to be funny. And aren’t extremes usually more funny? Doesn’t controversy sell? And although not meant as a parenting book, I’m convinced readers will be inspired by her style. If not by her extreme rules, it would be by changing the rules as she goes.
Until last night, having read only about the book, I wasn’t interested in reading it. However, after the Chua Show, I did hit the download button on my Kindle, this morning. Now let’s hope I won’t get death threats because I find her funny…