On the way to 2015 we stopped in Berlin for some beer and then a bit more beer and even a little Glühwein at a German Xmas market. While there we visited a great private art collection of psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn of outsider art. 120 brilliant works which somehow made mentally unstable people seem very hip and interesting as we enjoyed most of the artwork in this exhibition. We then watched Europe prepare for its festivities with small evergreen trees being cut, food preparations galore, presents piled high, church bells ringing, trinkets scattered all over, shopping fever and decorative lights strung here and there across cities, towns and villages.
Xmas was actually spent in Paris where I met the largest cat I have ever seen. It was the size of a dog and looked more like a fluffy Lynx than a domestic Norwegian forest feline. Our festive feast was with Claudio, Phillipe, Anne, some new French/Latino friends and plenty of food notably duck le orange, turkey, pate, dried salted duck, chocolate, lychees…and fabulous wine. We drank champagne while we listened to classical Liszt music performed by professional pianist Claudio Chaiquin in his living-room. The next day we were coffee drinking at veteran DJ Remy’s pad while he pumped out of the speakers loud Argentinean electro-cumba music. Some other flavors of culture were seen in the form of the new Frank Gehry, La Fondation Louis Vuitton, building housing the contemporary art collection. An amazing building from any angle and there were a great many angles, curves, lines and spaces to explore. On one cold day we saw all the classic Parisian sights just like proper tourists! There was a tall pointy metal tower that turned into a lighthouse each night, there was a neo red windmill with dancing girls below and a large arch of triumph but I kept thinking that I was in Russia for some reason perhaps because we kept passing the Stalingrad metro station or perhaps I just drank too much wine.
Then it was an Amsterdamaged new year eve party. Carl performing his annual fireworks show using antique detonators and squibs to ignite fireworks from his window overlooking Rozengracht and then at midnight we watched the impressive public fireworks display of Joost. R. Ritman. The founder of Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, a book collection as wild and magical as the fireworks show he presents each year over the canal on Bloemgracht. The start of 2015 was therefore extremely loud and extremely spectacular. Many times I heard the word Whhhooooohhhhoooooo!