Some photos from Amsterdam – Anne Frank and the Homomonument

July 4, 2009

A few weeks ago Paul and I spent a week in Amsterdam. Below are some photos from Anne Frank House and the Homomonument.
The front of Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Above, the front of Anne Frank House. This housed a business with Anne Frank and her family hiding out in the annex at the back. Below, a nearby statue of Anne Frank.
A statue of Anne Frank, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
The sign above says: “Homomonument Commemorates all women and men ever oppressed and persecuted because of their homosexuality.
Supports the International Lesbian and Gay Movement in their struggle against contempt, discrimination and oppression.
Demonstrates that we are not alone.
Calls for permanent vigilance.

Past, present and future are represented by the 3 triangles on this square. Designed by Karin Daan, 1987.”
Homomonument, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
You can read more about why they have this monument here.


Some recent books

March 25, 2009

I recently read and really enjoyed the graphic memoir Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (of comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For fame). Subtitled A Family Tragicomic, Fun Home covers Bechdels childhood growing up in a funeral home, her coming out to her family as a lesbian at the age of 19, leading to the revelation of her father’s closeted life as a married gay man and his death shortly after. Bechdel looks back over her childhood and adolescence, coloured by her new knowledge of her father’s sexuality and his death at 44 which she believes was suicide. One of the things I loved about this book was the many literary references. Both her parents were interested in the arts and reading, especially her father, and the book is littered with classics and what their stories may have meant to her father, her mother and their lives.
The cover of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
I want to read more London-based and London-themed books while living here: Lights Out for the Territory by Iain Sinclair, Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd and Mother London by Michael Moorcock. I wonder if I should read a Charles Dickens novel or two while I’m at it. Has anyone got any recommendations? Yesterday I took a bus to Greenford library to borrow Lights Out for the Territory. The book is full of tales of wandering around London. I’m excited about reading it. When I left the library and went to Greenford tube station I was quite excited to find they have wooden escalators!
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Greenford Underground Station, London
I had never heard of them until reading about the tragic fire at King’s Cross Underground Station in 1987 that killed a number of people and one of the changes made afterward was to replace all the wooden escalators with metal ones! I had never seen any until yesterday. Greenford tube is not underground so I guess they get to keep their wooden escalators!

I wanted to read A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, set in 1665 when the plague swept through London (and written in the 1720s). But after starting it, I think this may end up like Robinson Crusoe – I got less than halfway through and stopped because it was really long-winded and boring. Oh well.