Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The end of an era

Last Saturday we went for the last time to our favorite pancake- and poffertjes (tiny pancakes) shop in our hometown Utrecht. The place was called Victor Consael and was a well known local place. Due to a new restructuring plan around their location and because they didn't want to fight (again) with the local authorities about a new location, they decided to quit. The stand and the household furniture have been sold. They will start a new place, but unfortunately it will be outside Utrecht. I wish them well and hope their new business will succeed.

This is too bad. Little by little the city is taken over by property developers turning characteristic city centres into the same looking boring shopping centres with the same store chains you find in lots of other cities.

I also feel disappointed because of nostalgic reasons. Victor Consael is already existing since 1850 (!!). They use to have a mobile stand traveling from fair to fair. Since 1974 they have a stationary stand in the city centre and I start visiting there as a kid of 8 years old, 33 years ago. It was a characteristic place in the city centre. It was the best pancakeplace of the Utrecht area and probably the best poffertjes place of the Netherlands.

Here are some pics taken by my girlfriend of what we ate through the years. The picture of the stand I got from internet.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Update on my IFFR-post (2)

In my International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) (2)-post about 4 weeks ago I gave a short comment on the movie "Das Leben der Anderen". In my short comment I said that in my opinion this movie would make a good chance on an Oscar for best foreign movie. Obviously my judgement was right, because last night "Das Leben der Anderen" (English title: "The Lives of Others") won the Oscar for best foreign film. Well done! My congratulations to the director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the excellent cast (among others Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch and Martina Gedeck) and the crew.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My latest aquisition

It's been awhile since my last post, so I thought I better post something. I haven't any pictures to share yet. Maybe I'll scan some older pictures later this weekend.

Anyway I want to show you my latest aquisition. I was planning to get a digital SLR-camera for quite some time, but I was waiting for a good offer. In December Nikon had an interesting offer. If you bought a Nikon D200 you would get a booklet with vouchers which gave you discount on many accessories, like lenses, software, flashlights etc.. The total discount that I would get on the accessories (which I already planned to purchase) was more than I would get if I waited if the D200 body maybe would drop a 50 to 100 Euro. So I decided to purchase the camera. I also bought a
AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens and I have the AF-S VR 105 f/2.8G IF-ED in order at my local photoshop.

An important reason to get the D200 was that I already had some Nikon lenses which were given to me about 6 or 7 years ago by my mother in law from Japan together with a Nikon F3 HP. And I'm a Nikon-fan. I also joined Nikonians recently. Besides the Nikon F3 I was already using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 and a P2.

Some more info about the Nikon D200 can be found here on Wikipedia.

There is still a lot to learn and to discover about my new camera. Spring starts within a few weeks so I guess I will be out quite often taking pictures with my new
D200. If the results are satisfying I'm sure I will post them here.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) (3)

The International Filmfestival Rotterdam (IFFR) is finished. My task is accomplished. I watched 33 films in ten days. I know it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. It was a good festival. Most of the movies I watched were worthwhile. Today after I slept in I slowly had to adjust to my regular daily life. I had square eyes after seeing all these movies and I had withdrawal symptoms. But I'm doing okay now. I guess I probably won't see any movie this week. But although some people might see this as a punishment to watch 33 movies in 10 days, it wasn't a big burden for me. I've enjoyed it and saw some nice, gorgeous, funny and interesting movies.

Thursday my girlfriend and I stayed in a hotel for one night, because we had two movies on Thursdaynight and Fridaymorning we also had two movies together and the first one was starting at 9:45 A.M. So to avoid the early train during rush hour we decided to check for a hotel on the internet. We went to Rotterdam in the afternoon to check in at the hotel first. It was a very nice and clean hotel with good facilities and not too expensive. And breakfast was included, which is not so common anymore these days, I found out when I was checking hotels on the internet. Most hotels charge about 17 Euro for one person extra (about 20 Dollar) for breakfast. The hotel was on walkable distance from the trainstation and not too far from the different movietheatres. If you ever visit Rotterdam, this hotel is highly recommended. Our first movie started at 7:00 P.M. we had to take dinner a bit early. Because of our good experiences one week earlier, we went back to Sumo again. Because we entered the restaurant before 5:00 P.M. they charged us the price for a lunchmenu. We had the all you can eat dinner, but this time we only paid 16 Euro 50 each for a menu instead of 19 Euro 50 last time. A very good deal.

Anyway let's go to the rest of my movielist and my ratings. In my former post you can see how the rating works. You can click on the movietitle again to read an English description of the movie. At the end I have posted a few more pictures of Rotterdam on the day- and nighttime and from Sumo.

Betelnut (+)
It doesn't happen very often, but I left this movie after about 50 minutes. If the director's goal was to show boredom he succeeded very well, but the result was not interesting enough to watch for almost two hours.

Still Life (+++1/2)

Paprika (++++)

I don’t want to sleep alone (++++)

Weed (+++1/2)

Aachi & Ssipak (++++)

Nightmare detective (+++1/2)

The Killing of John Lennon (++++)

Lost in Tokyo (+++1/2)

Western Trunk Line (++++)

Day Night Day Night (++1/2)

Retribution (++++)

After This Our Exile (++++)