2006: Amsterdam fun, part 2

Fantastic visit to Rijk’s Museum. Awe inspiring stuff, left me inspired and amazed.

Crazy fun dinner party at Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten’s place with Tessa, Patrick, Eric, and Aryen, and two others, Josie and ???). On Mark’s last trip to Amsterdan, he met a young, successful entrepreneur named Boris (now founder of fleck.com). So, Boris invited Mark and us to come to dinner at his house. We arrived around 6:30 pm in a nice Amsterdam neighborhood. Boris had bought the second floor of a renovated school. The ceilings were at least 16 feet high – it was a remarkable apartment, both in sheer size and extreme modern minimalism.

We met Partick (marketing guy), Eric (advisor), and Aryen (young programmer), and of course Boris. These guys are all working on Boris’s new venture, fleck.com.

I have met a few people in my life like Boris and I remember each of them quite well. These people are gifted with genuine charisma, good looks, brilliant minds, artistic talent, great personal character, and lots of ambition. He’s one of those people who are constantly smiling and having a good time. It’s as if the lights go on when he enters the room.

So, we had a great time drinking beer and wine over a delightful cheese soufflé that we dipped peasant bread into. Boris told us that this mixing of the bread and sloshing around of the cheese together is a great way for us to get to know each other. We had a wonderful time and lots of lively conversations that slowly got louder and crazier. Dinner was red peppers stuffed with seasoned ground pork and roasted potatoes—it was wonderful. During dinner, the volume increased noticeably as the wine was doing its job.

Tessa, Boris’s girlfriend, arrived with her two lovely children. The little one, Faye, stayed up with us for a little while and provided some entertainment.

Tessa came back out, after putting the child to sleep, and things started to get crazy. We entered into a fast-paced, frenetic, loud conversation about many things, ranging from the Singularity to “why is XXX the logo for Amsterdam and what does it really mean?” to Maslov’s five steps to self-actualization to tech startups. We were loud and nuts before Boris brought out the vodka.

When I started to feel that it was time to leave, I think Tessa made the joke to search Google for “dutch parties exit”. I actually did this, but found nothing useful. As we were saying goodnight, Dan somehow converted the usual European two-cheek peck into a hug, but executed it badly. It looked like he was molesting her and we jumped in to protect the dear girl. This led to much laughing and jokes. Dan was extremely embarrassed! 🙂

We stumbled (literally) out of the apartment and made our way back to the center of town. We stopped at pub on Rembrandt Plein and had a beer. At some point, Dan kinda freaked out and raced back to the hotel w/o us. He felt that we were out of control and had had enough.


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