Monthly story

 May 2003 
I love maps, interesting drawings created to orient, find special locations and dream about the unknown. The best city maps are personalized by like minded people. For my Couch Surfers I have created a personalised Amsterdam highlights map using Google Maps. A map with all my favorite places in and around the city. The points of interest range from swimming water to view points, from abandoned industrial areas to cultural heritage. Do not hesitate to share your favorite spot I might like and do not know yet.

Explore Amsterdam as a curious Sidewalk Adventurer
Navigate Marijn’s Amsterdam highlights map

 April 2003 
I recently met the 24 years old self-taught Russian artist Maxim Santalov at the ‘No Man’s Art Gallery’ in Amsterdam, March 2013. Maxim is based in Moscow. His remarkably recognizable (wax) pencil style shows strongly contrasting colours and mostly simple abstract and figurative shapes. His distinctive technique of layers and scratching adds a lot of dynamic and texture to his works.

For me, a lot of Maxims (wax) pencil work shows a mega mix of the characteristics of constructivism, Paul Klees, Picasso’s and Marchel Duchamps (cubistic) works I like. So I decided to buy one of his works to enjoy a life ahead.

Bright coloured mega mix of characteristics of constructivism and cubism
Enjoy my first art purchase ever by Maxim Santalov

 April 2003 
A week after the opening, I visited the restored Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The visual identity, including the typeface, is rigorously addressed. Main Responsible designer Irma Boom assigned typographer Paul van der Laan for a new type design: the ‘Rijksmuseum’.

My first encounter with the typeface in a museum environment was when I read the new type as sharp cutter cut stickers on an exhibition wall. Did I see it right? Did vandals, a week after the opening, already try to peel the ascenders of the l, h, d, b, t and k? A sharp look disproved my first reaction. This oblique ‘peel edge’ on the stem is deliberately designed. And looks in large point size in print actually spotless and in place. And is in small point size hardly noticible.

I have great respect for designers and typographers of this class and the corporate design and font have become beautiful. But was one of the important museum applications, cutter cut text on walls, not tested on look and peel!?

Do vandals peel letters of the Rijksmuseum walls?
Explore Paul van der Laan’s prone to peel typeface ‘Rijksmuseum’

 March 2013 
After seen the The Imposter, it’s eay to kick start the old discussion about objectivity with documentary filmmaking. Using actors, dramatic sound, provoking images and edits of eg. facial expressions out of their original context, the director is obviously directing you!

The imposter is an interesting and amusing film but does not fulfill what documentaries in general do for me: enlarging human knowledge and understanding or displaying problems and possible solutions.

Surprising ‘Thrillumentary’ blends confusing events with mere amusement
Watch The Imposter and shake up you view on documentary making

 February 2013 
Tremendously curious and intrinsically driven to understand an change the world towards a more sustainable future, Martine Veweij nourishes and trains body and mind broad wise: with international oriented consultancy challenges, international oriented social life, cultural practice and physical activity.

Martine hinted me ‘Sonic Soirée’ to satisfy my hunger for live avant-garde music. Join this monthly surprising musical gig evening in the intimate ‘Paradiso-light’ building at De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam, to see and hear new talent from the Benelux.

Taste three contemporary avant-garde bands from the Benelux in one evening
Visit the monthly Sonic Soirée at De Brakke Grond

  Januari 2013  
Upcomming: brief story about Leon Giesens latest musical theatre show.

Phenomenology to enjoy the small details around you
Visit Mondo Leone’s latest musical theatre show to walk along with his Sidewalk Adventures

 December 2012 (2) 
Art philosopher and journalist Marianne van Dijk proposed me a great contemporary art review website she is writing for: Tubelight. This beacon in the Dutch art scene is also shining on mobile devices as an app.

Shine a light on the contemporary art scene
Visit and be up to date and inspired

 December 2012 (1) 
Take free online courses from top lecturers around the world on a range of different topics. Bring the international University community at your desk and learn about neuroscience, medicine, business, humanities, arts and philosophy. This great website was contributed by my inspiring talented (pen-)pal Katharina Ohrnberger.

Never stop learning
Take the world’s best free online courses on

 September 2012 
Time travelling, unconnected to Western canon politics from major studios or patronages: EYE Amsterdam now screens ‘The story of Film: An Odyssey’ by director and film critic Mark Cousins.

Cousins explains his subjective history convincingly. Makes connections between pioneers and the inspired. Continiously reinforcing his observations with its own voiceovers, self shot interviews and eloquent metaphorical pictures. The only question that arrises after each screening is: why is there absolutely no young audience at this super inspiring documentary series?

A journey through film as I love it
Check out the The Story of Film in EYE

 August 2012 
A good cause –Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research- and the unique opportunity to swim two kilometers through the Amsterdam canals without recreational boats come together during the Amsterdam City Swim. Join the swim and kill two birds with one stone!
I signed up as a recreational swimmer for fun and the good cause. If you can miss a couple of euro’s, please sponsor me through the official Amsterdam City Swim website.

Swim through the Amsterdam canals and support ALS-research
Check out the Amsterdam City Swim website

 July 2012 (2) 
Allthough I expirimented eventually with Adobe post processing to get vintage looks, I cannot agree more: the Instagram / Hipstamatic / Snapseed filters are the antithesis of creativity, and make all pictures look the same.

Instagram is debasing real photography
Read The Guardian article by Kate Bevan

 July 2012 (1) 
Designing a good piece of shit as a hoax. Thumbs up for Mind Design.

Designing the Poopoo brand logo
Read the Mind Design article


Sidewalk Adventures



© June 2012, Marijn Engels