ON THE ROAD
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Another hit is Rody Graumans's 85 Lamps, which, as the name suggests, is made of 85 15-watt bulbs jumbled together in a mass. (The Dutch frequently use low-wattage bulbs for both ambience and energy conservation.) Install this in your home and you'll own a true museum piece: It's in the Museum of Modern Art's design collection and is currently on view there.
A 10-15 minute walk from Droog is The Frozen Fountain (Prinsengracht 645, +31 (0) 20 622 9375), a combination retail shop and gallery space offering an array of contemporary furniture and lighting. Here you can find Tord Boontje's Midsummer pendant lights, made from die-cut Tyvek (polyethylene fibers) that drapes over a bulb like an ornate floral handkerchief. Another standout is Nicolette Brunklaus's hanging and standing lamps with shades printed on the inside with woodland scenes and assorted abstract patterns. Turned off, they're opaque; turned on, they cast ghostly images suggesting distant memories.
Wrap up your Amsterdam lighting tour at Koot Licht & Advies (Raadhuisstraat 52-54, +31 (0) 20 622 4443). Located steps from Westerkerk, where Rembrandt is buried (though no one knows precisely where), it's a veritable clearinghouse for contemporary lighting design from all over the world.
When it comes to buying some of these models, we're fortunate that the Dutch of today are just as market-savvy as they were in Rembrandt's day, when New York was Niewe Amsterdam. If you can't make it to Holland, hop on the train (or the Internet) and visit Moss in SoHo (146 Greene St., NYC, 866-888-6677, www.mossonline.com.). While it's a bit brighter than its sister shops in Amsterdam, you'll still be able to appreciate that cool Dutch style.