Library tour this morning, Rem Koolhaas' built it. Small disappointment: tour guide told us she had no architectural knowledge, was a librarian, so started to explain to us (all from out of town) the system of lending and where to find what.. But in between she told some anecdotes about the recycled wooden floors, for example. In America, she explained, they were not used to the combination of highly functional elements (seeing the wiring running along the ceiling) with frivolities like totally red floors and walls in the meeting area. Strange, but maybe it’s something Dutch. I see it a lot in Dutch buildings. Perhaps it has financial/pragmatic reasons. It’s a stunning building, I’ll post a few pics. The tour guide told me they have special facilities for writers, who get their own little space in the library. Should have told me sooner.. The people in the gift shop were making jokes about Rem’s last name, which I didn’t get at first, because being Dutch, I would never think about the meaning of Koolhaas, so when they kept repeating they worked in a cold hare, a cool house, a Cabbage Hare, I only got it at the last joke. We discussed the origin of strange names, which I attributed to Napoleon, who decided everybody had to wear a name. Probably one of Koolhaas’ ancestors decided to name his family after their last meal.
Last whole day in Seattle. Walked around for a few hours until it began to get too hot again and my feet were killing me, then I suddenly jumped into the air conditioned lobby of a movie theatre and bought tickets to Harry Potter on impulse. Never read one of the books. Was not mesmerized like all the (American) critics seem to be. It’s not bad, but it all rests on the shoulders of a few good actors (loved the ‘bad witch’ in sweet pink dress), instead of getting the most out of each scene. The ending was sudden and without much climax, I found. But that’s me. Not a boring movie but a bit disappointing, I would say.
Tomorrow at 12.50 I’m flying to Vancouver and then on to Amsterdam, a few hours later.