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Starry Sight

Vincent van Gogh was a genius.

That esteemed term, typically reserved for the few, is far too often granted to the many. However, in the case of the Dutch painter born March 30, 1853, it’s appropriate. Despite only reaching 37 years of age and painted portraits with an expression that balances between indifference and scowling, his legacy is surprisingly inspiring and long-lasting. The way that van Gogh conceptualized the world in colorfully wavy, yet defined spaces screams (sorry, wrong artist) a visionary that captivates people and admirers alike 125 years after he passed away.

Remarkable.

His masterpiece is “Starry Night.” As a matter of fact, it’s my personal favorite. On April 12, 2013 at 6:03 p.m. (iPhone picture info.), I was a mere three-feet from this chef-d’oeuvre!

(Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh)

(“Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh, MoMA)

There are many tributes to Vincent van Gogh and to “Starry Night” in particular. The following use of dominoes is truly something else.

“FlippyCat—easily the most patient YouTube celebrity—spent around 11 hours recreating Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night using 7,067 carefully stacked dominoes that were then sent tumbling in a glorious chain reaction.”
–Andrew Liszewski, Gizmodo 

Creativity has a tendency to reveal new, unseen dimensions.

It’s like discovering a new constellation.

Déjà Vu’s Comforting Goal

Iceland 1 – Netherlands nil.

When will this nightmare end?

The shocking struggles of the Oranje, following a third place finish at last year’s World Cup with a strikingly similar squad, leaves fans of this small, yet immensely talented soccer nation in a sustained state of disbelief. With just three games remaining in the qualifying stage of the UEFA Euro 2016, the Dutch are in third place with 10 points, 6 shy of the Czech Republic and 8 short of football’s current Cinderella: Iceland.

Math is increasingly becoming the 12th eligible player against the Netherlands.

In Danny Blind’s first game as the new Dutch manager, he faced an uphill battle with an injury to his new captain Arjen Robben and a red card from defender Bruno Martins Indi in the first half and a penalty for Iceland minutes into the second half. It’s difficult to render a legitimate verdict against Blind at this point. He deserves time and a healthy roster to make a remarkable (and necessary) comeback for his home country in order to plan the coveted business trip to France for UEFA Euro 2016.

However, not substituting in Robin van Persie in the second half when they needed a goal? That’s one question that Mr. Blind needs to answer.

As a loyal Dutch fan for many, many years now, the Netherlands’ second group loss to Iceland was unthinkable. They have the talent, a new coach’s perspective and home filed advantage. Surely, a win was coming.

Nope.

It was a little more than year ago when the Dutch shocked Spain and the world in the best way imaginable. Spain’s reign at the top of world soccer was officially over and they knew it. Here’s a much-needed throwback this Thursday to the 2014 World Cup’s thrilling opening match.

I still believe: Hup Holland Hup.

Going Dutch in Kansas City?

While the world’s shining city on a hill has emitted a dull glow in recent years, there still appears to be an allure for footballers in South America and Europe. A recent report revealed Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has been offered a major contract to sport a light shade of blue in Kansas City. The deal is estimated at $4.8 million/year for the 32-year old.

I repeat: Rafael van der Vaart is only 32-years old.

He’s a game-changer. He can define a midfield with purpose, incorporate dynamic calculation in its movement and offer spontaneous displays of applause-worthy flair. Rafael van der Vaart still has a few years left and, if this deal is signed, would be a tremendous pick-up for Sporting Kansas City and MLS in general.

Here’s some evidence:

New International Players arriving in MLS this season:

  • Kaká
  • Frank Lampard
  • Steven Gerrard
  • Sebastian Giovinco
  • David Villa
  • Rafael van der Vaart?

Will Rafael van der Vaart be living in the Midwest in 2015? Who knows. It could just be a bargaining chip in Europe or merely an initial interest in hopping across the pond to America. Regardless, it’s exciting speculation. And just on the surface, there are several reasons to check out MLS this season beyond our favorite squads. There’s the amazing redesign and re-branding of the Columbus Crew SC, big international signings, new club introductions and modernized club identities. 2015 may seem a little bit like the mid-late 1990s with a refreshed, adrenaline-fueled enthusiasm for soccer in America.

Of course, if Rafael van der Vaart does sign with an MLS team, remember his wife and kids will join him as well.

Rafael and Sylvie van der Vaart encapsulate why soccer is called the beautiful game.

Where’s My Bike?

A starry dream realized.

Arguably one of the (if not the) best paintings in history is “Starry Night” by Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. The swirling images, as told with brush strokes of vivid, other-worldly colors, has mesmerized generations of art lovers and casual viewers alike. This masterpiece has an eternally transcendent quality and that’s why tributes to this famous painting resonate so powerfully.

Someone even dared to take a stroll on this world renowned classic.

“In the Dutch town of Eindhoven, artist Daan Roosegaarde has paid homage to its most famous resident, Vincent Van Gogh, by creating a glowing bike path that relies on solar-powered LED lights and interprets his classic painting Starry Night” (NPR, In a Dutch Town, A Glowing Bike Path Inspired By Van Gogh).

You can close your eyes and imagine what this wild vision would look like, or you can just click on the video below:

You can ride your bike or take a romantic stroll on this glowing masterpiece.

Either way, talk about following a path to the stars.