European Getaway: Brussels and Amsterdam Spring 2014

European Getaway: Brussels and Amsterdam Spring 2014

The third week of March 2014, I left for my annual week-long jaunt across a few European capitals. On this particular occasion I descended upon Brussels ( I've driven through the Belgian countryside but have never actually visited) and Amsterdam. Upon my first arrival to Brussels, I immediately headed to the Magritte Museum located at Place Royale and part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The entire museum (opened to the public in 2009) is dedicated to the Belgian Surrealist and houses his life's work, along with his other contemporaries including Paul Delvaux and Giorgio Di Chirico, on three floors. After two leisurely-filled days of museum-hopping, a day trip to the medieval city of Bruges, and hefty portions of carbonade flamande,  I then traveled by high-speed train to Holland. Amsterdam is a vibrant city which accommodates all lifestyles. Since I tend to focus on art, shopping, and cuisine when I visit a new city, this city highly appealed to my sensibilities. A trip to Museumplein included visits to the newly opened and renovated Rijksmusuem (national museum containing Old Master paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt) and the Stedelijk Museum (contemporary art museum currently showing a Jeff Wall exhibit).  For the next several days I proceeded to indulge in endless shopping at cheap vintage boutiques, delectable Dutch food, and smartly-curated magazine shops.

Vintage museum exhibit poster at the Magritte Museum

Vintage museum exhibit poster at the Magritte Museum

Lobby at the Magritte Museum

Lobby at the Magritte Museum

Giorgio Di Chirico at the Magritte Museum

Giorgio Di Chirico at the Magritte Museum

Rene Magritte at the Magritte Museum

Rene Magritte at the Magritte Museum

Rene Magritte at the Magritte Museum

Rene Magritte at the Magritte Museum

Graffiti in Bruges

Graffiti in Bruges

Famed Drug Opera cafe in Brussels' city center

Famed Drug Opera cafe in Brussels' city center

Candy-colored handbags at Delvaux

Candy-colored handbags at Delvaux

Street mural tribute to Nelson Mandela in Amsterdam's Dam Square area

Street mural tribute to Nelson Mandela in Amsterdam's Dam Square area

Entrance to Rijksmuseum

Entrance to Rijksmuseum

Stained glass windows at Rijksmuseum

Stained glass windows at Rijksmuseum

Special costume exhibit on three centuries of elegant coats at Rijksmuseum

Special costume exhibit on three centuries of elegant coats at Rijksmuseum

A Lawence Weiner graphic mural at the Stedelijk Museum

A Lawence Weiner graphic mural at the Stedelijk Museum

The Gijs + Emmy Spectacle Dutch fashion exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum

The Gijs + Emmy Spectacle Dutch fashion exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum

A Yayoi Kusama phallic row-boat sculpture at the Stedelijk Museum

A Yayoi Kusama phallic row-boat sculpture at the Stedelijk Museum

Mike Mellia's Fashion Portraits Shine a Light on South Sudanese Conflict

Mike Mellia's Fashion Portraits Shine a Light on South Sudanese Conflict

Soho. Stella. Technicolor Sculptures.

Soho. Stella. Technicolor Sculptures.