In bookstores now!

From New York to L.A. is now available in bookstores, V&D and de Bijenkorf in Holland.

Want to know more? Dutchies can listen to the interview Dree did about the book at Business News Radio, or read the synopsis on the publisher’s site. Ready to make that smart move?
Order your copy (currently only available in Dutch, but working on it!) at Bol.com

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Their humorous and dead-on observations and exciting and painful experiences give the reader a great insight in what living in these two metropolises is really all about.
- Esta Magazine, January 2008

In From New York to L.A. Dree Andrea and Griselda Molemans, two European residents of New York City and L.A, enthusiastically set out on a world tour in their own cities. They discover the hidden secrets that anyone who refuses to look beyond the cliche’s about America will forever miss out on.

It’s not all fun and games but the trials and tribulations they encounter whilst searching for places to live, making new friends, discovering the latest fashion trends and examining the meaning of life, are certainly valuable education. Always looking beyond the obvious they discover many precious pearls in the Ocean of Big City Madness.
The culture shocks that they face on a daily basis stress them out just as much as they make them laugh. At the beginning of their journey they may have thought cultural clashes were exclusive to Europe and America - they now know better. The biggest cultural gaps are found within the USA whilst traveling from New York to L.A. and from Harlem to Hollywood.
Andrea and Molemans do take themselves seriously - but often with quite a few grains of salt. Their Dutch ‘down-to-earth-approach’ is undoubtedly the tool in their survival kit that makes exploring the good and bad in the concrete jungle that is American consumerism a fun trip.
At the end of each chapter in the book the readers can find special tips and information that will help them become ‘insiders’ on their future travels to New York and L.A.

No offense

I love waking up to the comments on my blog. Only recently they’ve started to arrive in Dutch. My New York friends, who like reading your ‘Dutch take on things’ are a little thrown. So I’ve taken the liberty to translate your treasured comments into English. No offense to you, dear Dutch bloggers - and hopefully non taken?!

Overheard

Standing next to a tall sophisticated woman on the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street, I was waiting for the light to change. A perky blond woman in her fifties walked up to us. She addressed the stranger next to me.

“Excuse me, I hope you don’t mind me asking. Who did your nose? It’s absolutely stunning!! Gorgeous!”My Dutch upbringing perceived this as an incredible rude question. I kind of expected a small catfight to break out. Maybe even leading to an arrest. Things have a way of heating up fast in New York. I looked at them more closely. Both were dressed in designer names – from head to toe. For a moment my eyes got lost in the décolleté of the perky blond woman in the Valentino skirt. Then, afraid to get caught in such unacceptable behavior, I quickly looked up at the slightly younger woman next to her in the Dolce & Cabbana suit. She looked like she had just participated in a boxing match.

Someone else in her position might have avoided getting outside all together. Or would at least have gone out wearing some kind of bandage. Not this woman. She was parading around with a black and blue nose as if it was an art object that she felt compelled to show to the world. I could see where, once the swelling got down, it would be a perfect nose. Petite, pointy, charming. It would go very well with the suit. Eventually. The nose was decorated with little black stripes – stitches no doubt. Applied by someone with an impeccable taste for design, I thought.

“I don’t mind you asking at all!” she answered. “In fact, I have my doctor’s business card right here if you’re interested.”
The Dolce & Gabbana suit enthusiastically took a dive into her Versace bag, pulled out a business card, and handed it over. As the light changed and they started crossing the street together, I heard the Valentino skirt bring up her new triple E.

That’s what I love about New York. I may have stated in my documentary films how hard it is to connect here. How difficult it is to develop real friendships. How there’s so much hidden loneliness in this city. And that’s all true in most cases. But every now and then I witness an exception to the rule. It can be this easy. Valentino shirt and Dolce & Gabbana suit will be friends for life. I just know it.

To Bounce or not To Bounce

Every November the subject comes up. Like clockwork. Next year he’s gonna do it again. And I should really consider it too. The New York City Marathon.

The subject of running touches a sore spot in me. I tried it once twenty years ago and it was a disaster. So I developed a great speech for those who suggest it to me (and there have been many over the years). Since he won’t leave the subject alone, the boyfriend gets treated to this annual speech.

“Running is not for women!” it goes. “Anyone can see that. Look at them, huffing and puffing away. All that bouncing. Just watching I feel the pain. Early on in life my dad explained that breasts are basically there for the visual pleasure of the male species. Maybe to occasionally feed babies, as an exception to that rule. Besides, you’re always telling me to be more feminine. Working up a sweat is a manly thing. How about the strain on the knees? That can’t be right. I need my knees. I cycle. I swim. I do a yoga sun salute every morning. Do you want me to injure myself and rule all that out for the rest of my life!”
”Case closed I guess”, the boyfriend sighs. “Boy, you’re something. I need a run.”

This December I started to feel like I was not really getting air. Like my heart had decided to take a nap. Riding my bike I still felt like a couch potato and when I was swimming I moved like a mermaid caught in seaweed. I felt only half alive. At the most. My oversoul was packing its bags and refusing to reveal its holiday destination. “Do something!!”, the part of my brain that wanted to wire my physique so it could reconnect again, shouted out.

The fact that our ancestors got a little lazy about using their brains set us back. Shaman workshops inspired me to research this, and I can actually provide some scientific back-up for that limited brain use too. So when my brain hinted that it wanted to push itself to the next level - beyond this rustiness - I felt blessed! I owe it to that electric spark to support my brain any way I can. So I started running. And it’s blowing my mind.

Journey into the Unknown

I believe in everything and I believe in nothing.
I just can’t believe the time it took to figure that one out.

Mr. Right is back in town!

‘The search for sanity and a soulmate in New York City’ - that is what my next film will be about. I just knew that instantly, some weird moment whilst walking down 10th Avenue around 26th Street about six years ago.
Little did I know at the time that the phrase would become pretty much a description of my own life story, living and working in New York and Amsterdam, travelling back and forth many times, during the five years that it took me to finish Mr.Right. Find more details about the journey of making the film in Abigail’s interview with me.

One lucky day, Ali from MAKOR saw the film and decided to programme it. After all the hardship that a filmmaker does encounter, a New York premiere is such a thrill! And now, after previous sold out performances, Mr. Right is ‘back by popular demand’ at MAKOR tomorrow night. That is a great feeling. The previous screenings and the Q & A’s after, really spoke to people. Passionate discussions sprouted.

This time around I actually have a blog, so I am hoping everyone who sees the film and reads this, will leave a comment. Did the film hit home? Did you find sanity and/or a soulmate in this city? I would love to hear from you!

The Present

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What’s a Little Prejudice Between Friends?

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The UFO Conference

My friend Deborah is completely ready to leave the planet if they come and get her. And it’s not because dating here s****. We had a very serious talk about it. I thought long and hard. I’m very curious and it’s extremely tempting if you were given the chance. I’m not there yet. I kind of like it here. But I’ll take the tour!!

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The Road Trip

I remember my dad pointing at the doorknob in my grandfather’s house when I was six years old.
“There’s something about the universe you must understand”, he said. “It is very big. This doorknob is what we are in relationship to it. Basically everything you and I know and do is happening in that tiny knob - where we live, it’s that small.”
I think I got that.

I sat on the top of a mountain and I swear I saw a spaceship. It made my head spin. I went on my way but being that dizzy I fell off a rock. I twisted my ankle and I heard a voice. “The fact that we’re out there does not mean you should be too preoccupied with that. We had to come and remind you that you can ask us for help when you need to. You seemed to have forgotten. We’re throwing you back on the earth now.”
I got that.

I love that they’re out there doing their thing.
Not everybody gets it.

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