Does the Amsterdam centrum care more about the Golden Age architecture then the Amsterdam citizens?

21616373_10154648771547105_8860266833512476604_nCurrent location: Amsterdam Centrum location, date December 10th, 2017.

Recently there has been an Amsterdam Mayor, named Van der Laan who passed away in 2017. The Dutch media and the locals I have talked to in Amsterdam say that Van der Laan was a great man. Previous to being appointed Mayor of Amsterdam he was member of the Dutch Resistence museum and he was a trained lawyer, receiving his education in Amsterdam (not sure if he practiced law in Amsterdam though).

Through my own observation, from the view point of an artist, who is to some, the lowest level of a human being on earth – but something I myself do not believe to be true – and despite everything I feel I have the need and the right to express myself through the motion of the freedom of expression codes – with that in mind – my opinion of the Mayor of Amsterdam, the former Mayor is probably not the same as the others in Amsterdam. My reflection of Van der Laan’s work as the Amsterdam Mayor is one of question. For example, I have noticed that many citizens of Amsterdam are no longer living in Amsterdam. Instead there are infinite amounts of tourists. To me, it seems like Van der Laan put the municipal financial into marketing Amsterdam to the rest of the world – and in this process forgot to protect and care for the Amsterdam citizens who were living in Amsterdam under his leadership. In my opinion, this act alone means that Amsterdam has architecture protected and restored for the needs to satisfy the tourists but not to protect the city citizens. As a Socialist myself, I disagree with this act of culture before humans.



Amsterdam, The Netherlands Dec. 2017

Amsterdam in the country the Netherlands is a very objective city. It is a very globalized place. That means that Amsterdam has become one of the first cities in the whole world that has followed almost 100% of the European Guidelines of city centers within the Eurozone.

The Amsterdam CS train station has tight barriers allowing only people with paid tickets to enter the train station site. There are a number of security guards checking the passengers travel tickets in the train station so this completely eliminates theft.

Amsterdam has a huge tourist industry. 90% of the people walking the streets of Amsterdam are tourists,coming mostly from Portugal and Spain.

The architecture in this city has two sides. On the one hand lots of the architecture is traditional (Amsterdam School, Middle Ages and from the Golden Age) and on the other hand there is new hyper modern architecture arising like a Phoenix into the city.

I recall my teacher Emmie Neut, telling me, that from the traditional comes the modern. One does not destroy the former to gain the newer but instead builds from it. I agree with this idea, however I worry that Amsterdam may one day become all hyper modern architecture because the upkeep of the former traditional architecture will be too expensive. But I guess I do not need to worry about that now as that is probably something that may or may not take place in the very distance future.

The Dutch love their financial equations, as capitalism was born in Amsterdam centuries ago. The bottomline is this: the incoming tourism pays for the upkeep of the Dutch traditional architecture which draws in the tourism who pay for the upkeep of the architecture. They are interlinked.

Written Dec 07, 2017 corresponding from Amsterdam, NL, Europe

The changing nature of totems

3 photographs taken at the end of September 2017 in the City of Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada

The Native Totem pole used to be a ritual pole placed in front of Long Houses of Big Houses on Vancouver Island, BC Canada. Now the nature of the totem pole has transformed in the City of Duncan to be a tourist commodity. These totem poles in the City of Duncan have for the most part been carved by natives from the island, however the purpose of the totem poles is like a business. I have taken tours of the City of Duncan where the Entrepreneur foundation hired a local to show the totems to be in the City for a fee.

What would happen if society solved homelessness first? Sep 29, 2017

Within Human history and dating back into Biblical times, when Jesus tried to help the marginalized such as Mary Magdalene and Lazarus – Jesus got penalized and was reported. In the end he was forced to punishment and killed.

Is that how our Western society is still today, September 29, 2017?

Why has society not really tried to solve homelessness properly?

Is it because it has to do with the Medical Model? Is the Medical Model a completely separate unit from the rest of the other industries such as the homeless industry in the City of Victoria, BC?

Is that why no politicians has tackled homelessness in the City of Victoria head-on?

I went to a community meeting organized by the Mayor of the City of Victoria Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada at the start of September 2017. I listened to the community feedback to the Mayor and I started to see how many of the details from the audience were deterred away from being put of a high priority list to be addressed and fixed. This single act alone was symbolic to me of the City of Victoria’s Municipal political system. I believe the essence of the City Hall in Victoria City is to portray the impression that that City is the best, and at the same time to try to hide and make obsolete the problems and complaints the citizens in the sub-communities have. Of course, I am not saying this is true or false, as I often do not operate in absolutes, however it is my personal observation of the meeting.

If this operation was even remotely true, that means that the City of Victoria, BC has some transparency issues that may need to be addressed in the future. I do not believe that sweeping anything under the carpet in politics or in business is a good thing. In fact, I believe that when that is done, that it creates an environment and a community based on fear. Fear leads to censorship and when this occurs what will often occur within the hierarchical structure of the leadership is that an autocracy with form. I have my suspicions that this form to at least some extent is occurring in the City of Victoria, BC but it is based on impressions versus pronounced statistics. All in all, Freedom of Expression is one of the current freedoms we still have, at least to some degree, left in our city. It would be very sad if that turns obsolete too.

{Photograph taken in the staircase of Vancouver Island University (VIU) September 28, 2017}


Cub Cities take care of vulnerable first

Cub cites are cities that are created to take care of the most vulnerable individuals first. The symbol of cub cities is the British Columbia Canadian spirit bear cub, often found on Vancouver Island. They are anomalies. (See pictures of two spirit bear cubs here under).

Eindhoven city, The Netherlands

Eindhoven is a city in the South of Holland. It started off as a small municipality and once Philips started his famous Philips company the village started to grow. now it is considered to be Holland’s fifth largest cities. What makes Eindhoven a special city? Well it all starts at the Central train station (Eindhoven CS).

In the main hall, there is a quote in large neon yellow letters that reads:

“Conventie, een soort herinnering, is het grootste beletsel om te genieten van leven en kunst.” Piet Mondriaan

Which means convention is the obstacle between art and life.

It is the kind of quote that makes you question your life, your actions and your independent role as an individual. It is because of this one quote that I changed. I changed my vision of the world, my vision of people, my goals, dreams and aspirations, I no longer could find peace within tradition or culture instead I knew I needed to follow my own way.

To me, going to Eindhoven and seeing that quote in the CS was the most valuable experience in my world travels.17170342157_5156ab17d2_b



Master or Victim

Title: Master or Victim

“Everything happens for a reason.” You either believe this statement or not. If you do, then you will be the Master of your own destiny and if you do not, then you will be the Victim. Which one would you rather be?

In June 2007 three (3) huge things happened to me at the same time.

First, my income was cut-off without any prior notice.

Second, my relationship ended which led me to have no roof over my head because I couldn’t pay the rent without an income.

I was a hair away from sleeping in my car and begging on the streets of Victoria City.

None of the three circumstances were planned, I had no control over them and I could not have prevented any of them from happening.

When the dust begun to settle, I started to think about how to piece my life back together. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I started to take action. I started looking at the good things in life, like:

  1. where I was
  2. that I was healthy, strong and determined to turn things around
  3. that I had family living close by
  4. that I have a passion for art and I have a dream to start my own museum
  5. that I could spend time on my own thinking about things

I still had a lot to be thankful for, even though my life seemed to be spun out of control.

I felt grounded within myself. My foundation was protected and I felt safe within myself. My core values was still the same and I knew who I was. I knew deep down that I would be able to take the bull by its horns and conquer each of the challenges that came my way. This power came from within me, like a ray of light guiding me to make the right decisions.

To start off with, I stayed put where I was living. I was not going to be put out on the streets. Then I thought of a short-term and long-term plan for my future. Afterwards I applied to jobs that I really “liked” and got interviews with companies.

Now, one and a half months later, I have two companies who are seriously interested in hiring me, I have a short-term and long-term plan for my future and I have lessened the hostile situation with my ex-partner.

These are all examples of how I became Master of my own destiny instead of a Victim.

What I couldĀ  have done, is curled up in a little ball and cried myself to death – but where would that have gotten me? Nowhere.

The key to mastering your own destiny is to believe in yourself, your dreams, your thoughts, your core values and your own decision-making.

When unexpected situations come your way – don’t try to dodge them by ignoring them – instead stare at them straight in the eye, confront it and deal with it. See it as a learning experience, something that will make you so much wiser in the future. These experiences are enriching because they challenge you to really look at yourself in a way you would never have done if the situation didn’t occur. Thank God for this situation for giving me the strength to turn the whole situation around.

Whatever you do in life, don’t run away from it! Instead embrace life like nothing before.

Like my father told me, “Life is hard but beautiful.”

(Image taken in Saanich Municipality, Greater Victoria Area, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Sept 17, 2017)