May 10, 2010

A party with embroided handkerchiefs and grannies

Filed under: Art,Music by Orangemaster @ 9:57 am

As a follow-up to the project Liefde in de Stad (Love in the City) and going online and letting grannies embroider your handkerchief, I went to the actual ‘Smartlapje’ (handkerchief) party with lots of grandmothers, children, bubbly, cakes, tea, coffee, an entire choir and a decor that turned Paradiso’s usual rock stage into a cozy living room, with couches, carpets and lamps.

The ‘smartlapjes’ were hanging everywhere, as decoration


Yesterday’s Sunday matinee event was free and was indeed mostly populated by women, serious national media attention and bloggers like me. One grandmother got up and danced quite a bit once the choir (shown below) had finished singing and the DJ started (a woman whose niche market is retirement homes), while others sang the Dutch classics along with the choir, word for word. I did my best on ‘Geef me maar Amsterdam’ (roughly, ‘For me, it’s Amsterdam’) by Amsterdam accordion player and singing legend, Johnny Jordaan.

This charming, fun event proved two things: cultural subsidies are much more important than you’d think for community spirit building and that the horribly negative press about the bad effects of multiculturalism in our nation’s capital is complete and utter nonsense.


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February 23, 2010

Web service lets grannies embroider your handkerchief

Filed under: Online by Branko Collin @ 1:20 pm

Do you need an embroidered handkerchief, but you lack a grandmother with a taste for needle craft? Fear not, employs needle-wielding grandmothers with lots of spare time who will embroider a phrase of your choice onto a handkerchief for only 10 euro.

The delivery time of any given ‘smartlapje’ is ‘when it is ready.’

According to Bright, the site is a part of the Liefde in de Stad (Love in the City) art project.

(Image: a screenshot of

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January 1, 2010

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine helps clean out social networking accounts

Filed under: Online by Branko Collin @ 2:03 pm

“Wenn ich Facebook höre, entsichere ich meinen Browning!” I am not sure those were the exact words Queen Beatrix uttered during her most recent Christmas speech, but it was something to that effect.

If you desire to hark her majesty’s caution against the pervasive and dehumanizing nature of social networks, you can now use the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine to obliterate your Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts in minutes rather than the hours a manual purge would take.

The site at will unfriend your friends, untweet your tweets and so on, but will leave the accounts intact. The process cannot be stopped. Afterwards, go introduce yourself to your neighbour, or read a book or something.

New Year’s Day is one of hope, the site, built by Rotterdam media lab called Moddr, won’t function today.

See also:

(Link: Sargasso.)

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March 27, 2008

Amsterdam Weekly is blogging and for sale

Filed under: General,Literature by Orangemaster @ 3:57 pm

After a private performance by tap dancer Marije Nie to inspire the troops, Steve Korver, Editor-in-Chief of the Amsterdam Weekly, Amsterdam’s award-winning English-language free weekly, reminded us that print media doesn’t come cheap. After backers of the paper decided to retire themselves and their money, the paper had to come up with a plan to ‘keep it all together’. Here it is:

“In the publishing world, it turns out that it’s hard to be free. Tja… So, while we hatch more secret plans to stay alive, we’re coming to you – the reader – for help. The plan is to sell you our editorial space for the next three issues. Each page is divided into 204 blocks and each block costs €5. So, hey… buy a few. It’s clean, safe, simple and cheap. Then we can go back to being free.”

In the hopes of attracting more interest and branching out in true Web 2.0 style, the Amsterdam Weekly has just started a blog to give you even more of the AW experience. It’s just a few days old and yours truly has gladly become one of their bloggers. Soon enough, you will be able to read the AW blog on Twitter! But, first, let’s get through the weekend.

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