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Thursday, November 3, 2005

Seattle: Steal This Idea

Posted by on November 3 at 15:29 PM

Once a year in Amsterdam, on the first Saturday in November, an incredible, magical thing happens:

Every museum, arts, and cultural institution (40 or more), plus the zoo and aquarium, stay open all night and entertain the public with live music, DJs, lectures, dance, and other random delights. Imagine a candle-lit organ concert accompanying a Bela Lugosi film projected onto the stone walls inside Amsterdam’s oldest church. A sweaty Bollywood dance party in the Museum of the Tropics. A lantern-lit tour of Rembrandt’s house. An Arabic percussion workshop in the Bible Museum. Amsterdam’s Philharmonic bouncing melodies off the walls of the Van Gogh Museum.

Beams of light reach into the inky sky above each participating venue, and bus, tram, and canal-bus connections are part of the all-inclusive ticket price (€ 17.50). The Amsterdammers call it “Museumnacht” (Museum Night) or “n8”. Practically the entire city is out on the town, bundled up against the autumn but lively and boisterous (and usually delighted to discover a tourist or two in the crowd).

Christopher and I are off to Amsterdam tomorrow, so I can think of nothing else. Wish you all could join us…