I’m currently on a train to Paris and we will be arriving shortly. I wish I was feeling more motivated to write, but I am feeling rather shitty; I’m pretty sure that I’m battling some thoroughly agitating allergies. Or I must have caught a nasty cold that gets just a little better with some Claritin… I don’t know. I’m trying to enjoy myself just as much as I have at the beginning of this trip… It’s just a tad hard with snot running down my face. Ya know?

Despite being under the weather, I visited a lot of cool places yesterday. My Monday morning began by meeting up with my new Ohioan friend Dawn. We went to the MOCO (Modern Contemporary Museum) and I have to say that it is absolutely a must see. MOCO was the first ever to exhibit Banksy’s work in a museum setting. I am sure that I will remember this Monday for years to come because I absolutely fell head over heels for his profoundly powerful graffiti art.

No one truly knows the man’s identity, but his work is highly provocative. As someone that dabbles in both poetry and art, sometimes even combining both mediums of expression, I found a lot of inspiration in his work. The anti-capitalism section stood out to me the most; there, you can find “Jesus Christ with Shopping Bags” and “Barcode Leopard.” As an artist hoping to make some social impact, one should look to Banksy. I came out of there INSPIRED!

After leaving MOCO, Dawn and I headed to the humongous Rijks Museum just in time to see the Rembrandt exhibition as it is going back to the Louvre for the rest of the year. To be honest with you, although I found Rembrandt’s work to be phenomenal, it just doesn’t intrigue me the way that more recent works do. Yes, he was extremely talented, but no his work does not move me.

The highlight of my trip had to be the visit to the Van Gogh Museum. Since the tickets go really really fast, I booked in advance and so should you!!! Make sure you get the guided audio because it truly helps with understanding Vincent Van Gogh’s turbulent life. Van Gogh had an incomparable yearning for perfecting his skills as an artist and created an insane number of pieces during his short career. He cut off his ear, went into an insane asylum, created a TON more art work there, then killed himself shortly after. By the time I got to the last floor, I felt quite emotional about his life. I wondered if he had the slightest idea that he would leave a massive impact on the art world…

Amsterdam was great, but if you are traveling there, please pack an extra tissue roll and some hand sanitizer and make sure you always have it on you. You WILL pay for using the bathroom and NO, you will NOT get a refund just because the bathroom smelled, had pee everywhere, no soap, and no toilet paper. When I told a bartender that the bathroom had no soap, he simply told me that I shouldn’t complain because he has doesn’t have any behind the bar either… WHAT!?!? As relaxed as the city is, the customer service there is SHIT. The people are nice, and you are welcome, but you must not complain.

P.S. The photo above was taken at the MOCO.

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