Thursday, April 14, 2011

Village Coffee

Coffee-bar 2.0? This feels more like a living-room, than a coffee bar. This is a lifestyle not a cup of coffee. It all starts with the owners who are extremely friendly and immediately make you feel welcome and at home.

There is an air of industrial heritage to the place. The floor is a hard grey resin floor and most walls are stark white and frame parts that have been left untouched, they almost become a decorative canvas in their own right. Celebration of roughness and imperfect decay.

The interior is an eclectic mix, carefully styled to recall the feeling of homeliness in the atmosphere of 50's and 60's feel good vintage. couches and arm-chairs seem to be coming from grand-fathers living room. Chairs, tables and lighting fixtures from an abandoned factory. The coffee-bar itself is made of up-cycled gym-floor wood panels. an occasional stuffed owl, fit the feeling of grandfathers living-room.

This is combined with an interesting mix of local art on the walls, there is not much common thread (no collections or series), each piece however seems to hide a gentle message. and then there is the music; always on Indie, occasional DJ'ing and sale of vinyl. More vintage on sale i.e. vintage school note-books. and there is Village Coffee merchandising like t-shirts and not-to-forget the perfect coffee to take home together with the perfect coffee equipment.

At the village coffee of course you get the best coffee in town. The two owners are extremely passionate about coffee, and run their own import of soft-burned beans that makes the coffee taste special; less bitter and it calls out aromas that are more flowery and chocolatey notes.

If Voorstraat is a Village, then this is our hang-out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 the world of crooks (2)

The answer to the question of who is that Superhero that is going to save us in a world full of crooks has finally been revealed;

through our actions we will demonstrate our ethics, what we do will be the proof of our ethics or lack thereof. This must be a message to the bankers amongst us, I guess.

read part one here

Monday, April 11, 2011

fitness in public

Fitness is coming out in the open, it’s back to basics and no-nonsense. You wonder yearh, what’s so special about that? Nature and the outdoor has always been for free for everybody to use almost any way they want. Well the new thing is that people get out of the fitness club and out into the open and free public space or nature. The hottest training method is Bootcamp it’s derived from American military training programs and includes simple exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges and jumping jacks and running short distances. It’s a full body work-out without any use of machines.
Run2Day group in the Voorveldsepolder, Utrecht

citypark, Austin

Recently I participated in a session of outdoor fitness in my local park, I had been persuaded by my not-so-sporty husband, that this was really a great way of exercise. And I must say it really was great. Mickey from Komvandiebankaf did a great job. Around 8PM we gathered in the park, the temperature was close to 0ÂșC and it was already dark, not the most encouraging conditions.We did some running, some push-ups, some poweryoga flows, and we used each-other as buddies to do different short and quick exercises to train our stamina. And there was fresh fruit and small-talk afterwards. Of course you couldn’t help but notice the starring glares from people passing us in the park, it was a rather unusual view on Monday evenings.

It was a very refreshing way of exercising, it feels so much more real and authentic to be outdoors to run and to do exercises without machines. I have always loved running outdoors in nature, but the combination with the exercises makes it even better because more muscles and parts of your body get trained. Of course there are places where the city-council has placed some bars etc to encourage you to exercise during your run, but they seem generally to be poorly used. As you are not a bunch of people closed up in a confined space there also seems to be much less look-at-me behavior. And the only ones looking at you seem to be the passers-by. They are probably just jealous

I would like to believe that we are seeing the birth of a new kind of fitness movement.
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