Archives for posts with tag: amsterdam

Sweet, Silky And Slippery

Haresh Shah

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I flash my room registration card at the receptionist who is busy talking to a young man and a sort of pretty, short dark haired young woman in white, both of whom stood on the other side of the counter. ‘Room 416’, I tell him. He hands me my key. I throw a quick glance at the girl, making perfunctory eye contact and walk to the elevator. As I press the floor button, I notice the girl waving at me as if to wish me bon voyage. But the sliding doors have already closed and I am on my way up. I see her smiling face through the transparent glass door and wave back at her.

I am staying at the hip Hotel Americain in Amsterdam. I am not too impressed with the place, but built in 1900, it’s listed as one of Amsterdam’s landmarks with its turn of the century art deco and the roaring twenties atmosphere and because of its proximity to the theatre DeLaMar, it has an illustrious history – something I am often attracted to. And it’s frequented by the actors, directors and other art types of the city.

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Haresh Shah

The Bad Boy Of Holland And The “Future Husband” Of Jayne Mansfield

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For those of you who have no clue who is  the bad boy of Holland, here is essential Jan Cremer in his own words. I am the best painter, I am the best writer.  I am for sure the best journalist of the Dutch language, and  certainly one of the best writers in the world’. He said to the writer and ex Playboy Holland editor, Guus Luijters for his book, Jan Cremer in Beeld.

He once famously said: ‘Rembrandt? I never heard of him. I’m not interested in sport.’

You have to be brilliant to utter such arrogant and provocative words. Sounds more like something coming out of the big mouth of  Cassius Clay a.k.a. Muhammad Ali, who said in his October 1964 Playboy interview: ‘I’m the greatest, I’m so pretty. People can’t stand a blowhard, but they’ll always listen to them,’, than from the mouth of a gentle Dutch writer and artist.  Jan Cremer too must have realized the shock value of his utterances spewed out in sound bites the way before there was a sound bites. Or could it be that he was just reading off  the script laid out by Cassius Clay?

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As The Time Goes By

Haresh Shah

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Exactly thirty six years ago today on April 5th. 1977, in Santa Barbara, California, it was another fucking beautiful day, as my neighbor Greg Ketchum and I had began to refer to our forever such gorgeous weather, whenever we both found ourselves out on our respective balconies, overlooking the awesome Santa Ynez Mountain Range.  I was done with my writing for the day and was sitting around in my living room with Mike and Guusje, drinking beer, when the phone rings.

Without any pleasantries, the female voice on the other line dives right into it.

‘I understand you are auditioning young ladies for Playboy.’

‘Not quite.’ I respond with trepidation, trying hard to think who it might be. Sensing confused silence on my end of the line, the voice breaks out in a hearty laugh.

‘This is Carolyn,’ it says.’ It still doesn’t ring the bell.

‘I was just passing through. I am on my way down south to see Gwen in LA.’ And then I knew.

‘Where are you?’

‘I am here. In Santa Barbara.’

‘You are? Why don’t you come on over?’

‘Okay.’

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