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Sept. 22: Columbia City

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

cycling in Noord Holland

long time no post! as some of you know, I spent 6 weeks between late June and early August in Europe, and taught workshops at the USK symposium in Amsterdam (absolutely amazing experience, full of good sketching vibes). I hope to share some of that work with you in our review meetup in a couple weeks! In the meantime, here's a few sketches from my adventures post-symposium in Noord-Holland.

 I ended up in this region mostly because I needed to book something last minute and almost everything was already full and/or out of my budget price range. I stayed in a 500 year old B&B above a restaurant in a tiny town called Bovenskarspel, a 10 minute bike ride from canal town Enkhuizen (above). I just spent the four days biking around that small city & the countryside. A lot of it, surprise to me, was all mega-agricultural land owned by Monsanto and Sygenta, etc. so it wasn't cute. But biking down south took me along the Markermeer and farmlands and tiny towns, marked by the church steeples on the horizon, like the below sketch I made at sunset.

One day, I realized I wasn't going to make it to the restaurant I was excited about eating at before they closed (because I spent too long sketching!!!) so I just went to the closest one I could find, in a town called Wijdenes. The burger at their only open restaurant was actually one of the best I've had in my life (caveat: I was extremely hungry). This was the view from my outdoor seat (below). Just to my left, all the tables were taken by this weird motor-bicycle gang that passed me on the road earlier. Literally bicycles with really loud motors, all identical. The waitress said my drawing inspired her to look at her town and "the things she sees everyday" with fresh eyes. That made me really happy.

I finally made it to the small city Hoorn just a couple hours before sunset. It was way cuter than I thought so I was kinda mad I didn't have time to explore as much as I wanted. There was a huge historic harbor and a cool old tower (below) in the center of town with a lively restaurant at its base. Two things I miss constantly about Europe: the church towers chiming the hours, and the outdoor dining/drinking culture. 


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