About Bill Ives

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Highlights From The New Orleans Satchmo Festival

November 1, 2014 by  


This summer I got to take in my first Satchmo Fest.  It was a rewarding experience with great live music and useful seminars. I took in some of both.  On Friday I was painting in Pirate’s Alley (see Painting in Pirate’s Alley #2 – Summer 2014) but managed to get away to see John Boutte do a fine set. John even played the trumpet.

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On Saturday I went to several of the sessions starting with Gerald French and the Tuxedo Band followed by Kid Merv.

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Next was Evan Christopher with Don Vappie and Kevin Lewis.

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Walking to the event on Sunday I was escorted by a second line going down Esplanade. Nice start to the day.

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The first group was Calvin Johnson. I saw him at Jazz fest where did excellent modern jazz. This time he delivered a strong trad jazz set with Kevin Lewis in respect to the event.  He was followed by the Ella & Louis Tribute Band. Playing many numbers from a great CD, Ella & Louis, that I listen to frequently.

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Then Kermit closed the fest for me. He had some talented guests including the trombone player shown with him. She is making the rounds of many NOLA bands these days. I will be sure to be at the Satchmo every year going forward.

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As I walked away from the event the sky was turning red providng a nice end to a good day.

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How About Eating Your Way Through Amsterdam?

September 26, 2014 by  


Amsterdam offers a number of diverse cultural food options and we ate well here enjoying DutchIndonesianChinese, and Spanish meals. Over the summer, we found a nice café next to our B&B on Kerkstraat. First we had mushroom soup with brown bread, a ham and cheese pancake, and pork meatballs in a tomato sauce and then later came back for some nice tomato soup.

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For dinner we had traditional Dutch in the neighborhood. We started with cheese coquettes, steak with mushrooms, fries, and small pancakes.

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The next night we had Spanish tapas at Tapas Bar Catala located at Spuistraat 299. They included spinach and pine nuts, chrizo, and fried calamari.

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When we returned in June we went to Chinatown for the first night. We ate at Nam Kee Chinatown located at Zeedijk 111 – 113 where we found one of the few places you sit out outside. We started with shrimp toast. Then we had very large oysters in with a hot sauce, garlic frog’s legs, and Peking duck.

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Lunch the next day was more Spanish tapas at La Oliva located at Egelantiersstraat 122-124 in the Jordaan. We had a mushroom tortilla and a squash soup with Serrano ham.

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A light dinner canal side on the Singel included Dutch cheese coquettes, and a pancake.

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The next night provided an Indonesian rice table at Kantjil on at Spuistraat 291-293. We had Nasi Poetih, Saté Babi, Saté Ikan, Daging Roedjak, Pepesan Oedang, Kredok, Sajoer Lodeh, Broccoli Tjampoer, s.g. Kentang, s.g. Telor, Seroendeng and Kroepoek.

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A mid-day snack included the small sweet Dutch shrimp and some fried cod obtained from a street vendor in a small shop.

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Our last meal was a very high-end treat at De Belhamel, located on the Brouwersgracht in Amsterdam, where this canal crosses the Herengracht. We had a canal side table. The place has many art nouveau details. It received the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand award annually since 2007, including this year. The meal included nice bread; sautéed prawn and scallop with puff pastry and a chive-shrimps beurre blanc; sliced sirloin with anise mushrooms, green and yellow zucchini, fondant potatoes and a Cognac-tarragon sauce, and poached haddock fillet and fried tranches of langouste tail with fennel puree and mustard dill sauce.

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The Mystical & Oh So Beautiful Canals of Amsterdam

September 22, 2014 by  


I was moved by the many beautiful canals of Amsterdam, a city that seems to live well with water. Here is a visual collection from my recent walk through Amsterdam’s streets.

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Culture, History & Architecture: The Doors of Amsterdam

September 20, 2014 by  


Over the summer, I visited Amsterdam and I was struck by the beautiful architecture of this city that lives well with water. My hometown of New Orleans could learn a great deal from the Dutch. This post covers the many interesting doors found on the homes and businesses that line the canals. Here is a collection.

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Looking at the Bike Culture of Amsterdam

September 17, 2014 by  


I’ve always been amazed by how people in Amsterdam make such great use of bicycles. They use them to get around the city, whether it’s for work or play. It’s astonishing how much of a bike culture the city is. Have a look.

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Taking a Look at Amsterdam Cafe Culture

September 16, 2014 by  


I love the lively street life of this city and how the many cafes make great use of Amsterdam’s street space. This post provides many views of these cafes and their participants.

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Eating Our Way Through Karlvolasi in Samos Greece

September 1, 2014 by  


This post is about dining on the Greek island of Samos, where I have now been there three times for stays of a month or more.  I started with Mytilini, the largest of the mountain towns and also where we stayed.

This post covers Karlovasi, the second largest town on the island. It has a working harbor and nice old section up on a hill over the new town,  located on the northwest side of the island. The School of Sciences of University of the Aegean  is located in the town. It was a flourishing tannery and tobacco manufacturing centre in the early 1900s. Many magnificent neoclassical mansions can be seen from that period as well as the remains of the large stone-built factories at the “Ormos” seaside.

Dionisos is an excellent restaurant in the middle of the new town at Plateia 8is Maiou, Below you can see some of their offerings. They include: fava bean spread, sautéed field greens, grilled cheese, cheese pies, goat in tomato sauce with fries, and chilled cherries for desert.

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We also went to a fish market where you can order fish cooked to pick up in the afternoon. You see some of the selected and the two grilled fish we enjoyed for lunch.

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There is a great restaurant just outside Karlovasi in a small hill town. It is called the aristocrat in Greek. Below you can see some of their offerings. They include a salad with lemon mustard dressing, pastry with honey, stuffed onions with tomato sauce and cheese, pork stew with fries, mousakka, and pork with green beans in a lemon mustard sauce.

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Amsterdam’s Beautiful Meandering Canals in Early Summer

July 8, 2014 by  


Below is a series of photos of the architecture and culture of Amsterdam.  This summer I was there for a few days in May on my way to Samos Greece and then for a week’s stay on my return form Samos. I learned from a Dutch friend of direct charters from Amsterdam to Samos so we decided to make it our transfer port.

I was moved by the many beautiful canals of this city that lives well with water. My hometown of New Orleans could learn a great deal from the Dutch. This post covers the many interesting doors found on the homes and businesses that line the canals. Here is a collection.

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