Where do I begin... How do I begin? My thoughts are an amalgamation of jet lag, exhaustion and amazement. I don't think I can describe with accuracy how incredible Amsterdam is after the first day. Thank god I took pictures! I'm staring out of Danny Dringenberg's apartment window, the air is crisp and cool after an early morning rain with the sun breaking over a thin layer of soft white clouds, and all I can think about is how I can get off this computer and onto the streets. Streets bustling with bikes, scooters, trolleys, people and cars, which Teresa [Dringenberg] described as a "real life game of Frogger," constantly having to duck and dive through this metropolitan maze of moving obstacles... It's perfect, it's beautiful and calmly chaotic at the same time... It's Amsterdam!
Yesterday I woke up with only one thought, get to the Tattoo Museum! Dan, Teresa and I set out on foot (Dan lives within walking distance or a short trolley ride to the museum) and after making a small detour through an open-air flea market filled with Dutch goodies we arrived at the Tattican.
It is so much more impressive and stunning than anything you have ever read or seen in pictures!!! Words cannot describe it. Pictures do it little justice. And my words are only meant to incite a fire inside all of you to see this monolithic monument for the history and preservation of tattooing. The museum itself is massive. It literally takes up an entire city block. I got lost inside yesterday, twice!
Muslims have Mecca, Judeo-Christians have Jerusalem, we have the Tattican! It's that simple. In addition to the museum there is a cafe, tattoo shop, machine shop, book store, gift shop, etc... And all of these areas (four floors worth) are filled with art, flash, human remains, weapons, taxidermy, machines, photographs... just crammed into any spot they can, and there's room for more!
I met briefly with Hanky Panky yesterday to offer him a humble contribution from my own personal collection. I guess you will just have to come here yourself to see it, because I ain't sayin'! Ha-Ha! I also would like to encourage other collectors and tattooers to donate something to the museum.
The artifacts of tattooing belong here, and even if you have just a small part of that history, wouldn't it be better to share with the WORLD? Well, at least that was my thought process... How could I be so selfish and keep this to myself? So I gave it to Henk... Because it belongs here, with him, for all in see and enjoy... Okay, I will step off my soapbox now...
After the museum closed about 12 of us all went out to an amazing dinner to a place called De Klos. I learned a little Hanky Panky history connected to that restaurant and joined the "T-Bone Club!" I decided to put my vegetarianism on hold, oops. When in Rome...
I have a new family now and I am deeply honored to be accepted into their ranks. Everyone and everything here is amazing!
More tomorrow... with love from Amsterdam.