Amsterdam in Bloom - Hollyhocks

It's common knowledge that we have plenty of rain here in Amsterdam. Those gray clouds are often a bummer but something really special happens when all that rainy drizzle mixes together with bright, golden sunshine... Wildflowers begin to pop up all around the city! I can't get enough of the Amsterdam's summer flower collection. Especially my favorite, the hollyhocks.

Bright pops of pink, maroon, purple, white, magenta, yellow and crimson burst along the street-side. Known as stockrozen in Dutch, this tall, colorful, perennial flower is a particular favorite of mine.

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Luckily, they're abundant around Amsterdam and I can't cycle more than five minutes through the city without spotting a rainbow of these stately flowers. They're tall, like me and a some can reach over seven feet in length! I've also noticed a few that have toppled over to one side after growing too tall for their own good.

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I spent the majority of the summer traveling and during my time in Amsterdam, I've been snapping away at the brilliant blooms and giant stalks. I even made a point to take the scenic route along Vondelkerkstraat because the entire street is lined with tall, colorful stockrozen. Hollyhocks are a staple of the Amsterdam summer sidewalk garden scene, casting happy vibes all over the city. 

Fat fuzzy, bumble bees are naturally drawn to all the blooms. Upon closer inspection, you’ll often find bees devouring the pollen inside as they're preparing to next seasons blooms! 

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Summer Stroll through Vondelpark

This summer, July was all about focusing on my personal creative work, like relaunching my blog (welcome back, by the way!) getting to know my new Canon 5d Mark IV and catching up with friends who were neglected while I was swamped with client projects. Andra (@Amsterdamming) and I were long overdue for some girl talk so we met up to chat over coffee and quiche on a rainy afternoon. Lucky for us, the clouds eventually parted to reveal a bit of blue and just enough sunshine to make us smile. Our cameras in hand, we set out for an afternoon stroll through Vondelpark which was surprisingly very quiet thanks to the previously dismal weather. 

Having already lived in so many different pockets of the city, I must say this area near Vondelpark is my favorite neighborhood yet. Nothing beats being a few steps away from the park. It is a living, breathing creature itself. Vondelpark is such a big space, there are spots to see and be seen and other hidden corners where you can easily forget that you’re in the middle of a metropolis like Amsterdam.

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On this particular day, I found inspiration in the sunshine that filtered down through the trees, rich shades of green, textured leaves and the fat raindrops on the soft, peachy petals in the Rose Garden. When looking back over these photos, I can almost still feel the thick, humid air that encompassed us.

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An interview with Amsterdam Cycle Chic

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Wow, time flies! It's hard to believe my trusty yellow omafiets is already six years old. It's even harder to believe that I first moved to Amsterdam over six years ago! I've recently joined the Amsterdam Cycle Chic as a photographer. They featured me as Cyclist of the Month, a fun opportunity to be on the other side of the camera. Head to their blog for my interview about life on two wheels in Amsterdam.

For more cycling fun, follow along with us onTwitter and Instagram. Happy cycling!

Around Amsterdam: A Map of my Favorites

Amsterdam's unique atmosphere is evident in the renewal of old spaces with bold, new ideas. Along with important cultural and historical sites, there's an ever growing list of quirky spots to discover around the city.

Whether you prefer cozy corners, rough, industrial spaces or prefer to nestle in the grass under a tree, there are so many different ways to take in the sounds and scenic views of Amsterdam. I'm on a constant quest to find great places and discover a different perspective of the city.

After a few years of sharing my personal discoveries of Amsterdam through my blog, I'm often questioned for suggestions on what to see, eat and enjoy around the city. So, I recently teamed up with KLM to create an Amsterdam map with some of my favorite spots. This list includes great ways to engage with Amsterdam's rich history, along with excellent locations to sip a local brew, discover new tastes or catch up with friends to watch the world go by.

Late summer is a perfect time to enjoy all that Amsterdam has to offer and the flat city is easy to explore by bike, foot or boat. Feel free to share your favorite things to do, I'm always looking for new spots to discover a different view of Amsterdam.

Check out my map below and get exploring!

This map was made in collaboration with KLM who provide flights to the city.  Come and explore Amsterdam!

Golden Hour Boatride in Amsterdam

Earlier in November we had a few lucky, warm days and headed out to explore the city by boat, my favorite way to enjoy Amsterdam's uniquely charming scenery.

With changing seasons and winter quickly approaching, the sun sets much earlier so, we tried to make it home before dark. We had perfect timing along the Prinsengracht, one of Amsterdam's most famous scenic canals, as the sun began to lower. Giving me the perfect chance to capture a few pictures during the golden hour (or magic hour) right before the sun completely sank away. Amsterdam is gorgeous all the time and the warm, orange glow that drenched the streets, houses, and trees, was an ideal hue for autumn. What perfect timing!

PS. Speaking of the golden hour, have you ever heard of the 

Manhattanhenge

phenomena?

It's amazing!