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beyond windmills, wooden shoes and weed

m a g a z i n e



And: The Golden Keys - Pimp my Bike - Word on the Street - Expo - Museum Check - Okura Hotel - Lobster & Beef @ RED Restaurant - Sex and de Stad - Captured - Upcoming - Framed! - Cocktails - and more...

ee in Cit si y de Ma ! p

survive winter:



featured Sparkling Amsterdam Amsterdam and diamonds

interview 16 22 58

Meet the Dutch: Porn Queen Kim Holland Word on the street: How do you survive winter? import / export: Spike Lee meets the Bijlmer



25 30 40 71

Knock Knock: Living on a houseboat getting around: Icy fortresses pimp my bike: Cycling with Catherine Deneuve the golden keys: Tips from the experts

reviewed 19 55 72 74

amsterdam eats: Restaurant RED museum check: Kattenkabinet Amsterdam Sleeps: Hotel Okura amsterdam cocktail: Club NL

Column 57 82

Sex and de Stad: Confessions of a prostitute Framed: by Thomas Schlijper

Fashion 34

Black madonna

ART & Design 21 50


Made in holland: Monster Seating Expo: John Copeland’s Times of Grace

the guide 20 62 67

top picks : Gay friendly Dutch A-Z Free City Map

the regular 7 8 10

letter from the editor spamsterdam heads-up: News from the city

more... 15 68 76 78

72 4



dutch treat: Stamppot The Ten: Practical tips on how to make it ‘gezellig’ captured: What you missed last month upcoming: Events that mustn’t be missed


With 50,000 copies distributed each month, Amsterdam Magazine is the largest free English-language magazine in the Netherlands. Amsterdam Magazine is distributed at hundreds of locations in Amsterdam including many hotels, popular tourist attractions, restaurants, bars and shops. For those on their way home or just passing through Amsterdam with a connecting flight, we are freely available at all four Schiphol airport lounges.

Letter from the Editor

Amsterdam Magazine is published monthly by: Amsterdam Magazine BV [map 01-e6] Herengracht 423 - sous 1017 BR Amsterdam The Netherlands +31 (0)20 8461690 twitter: amsterdammag facebook: amsterdammagazine Founding Publishers: Linda Korver Wouter Wijtenburg Editor in Chief: Mathilde Hoekstra Art Director: Linda Korver Sub-Editor: Karen Loughrey Sales Director: Wouter Wijtenburg Creative Assistant: Sarah Moore Fashion Director: Tommy Hagen Contributors Bouwine Pool, Richard Bakker, Morgan Currie, Vincent van Dijk, Michiel Döbelman, Allison Guy, Tommy Hagen, Ilja Keizer, Blair Larkin, Mike Peek, Thomas Schlijper, Arun Sood, Marieke Verhoeven, Wieke, Eva van Wijngaarden, Lauren Wissot Special thanks to Mac Bike, Alex Daniels, John Copeland, Spike Lee, Kim Holland, NoLimit, Marieken van Steen, Igor Teuwen, Renate, Elite Models, Ulla Models, Future Faces, Isabella, Noah, Olivka, Shona Lee, Remco de Vos, Daniel Verhaar, Tamara Tong Sang, Sami Yazicilaroglu, Kathryn Sedman Share it! If you have a story to tell or a picture to share, contact us at and tell us all about it! Advertise with us! To find out on how you can get your message across to 100,000 international tourists each month, reach us by email at: or call our office on: +31 (0)20 8461690. Want to become a distributor? Amsterdam Magazine is published monthly (50,000 free copies). To discuss becoming one of our exclusive distribution locations, please contact us at


’m dating a man with a mission. And anybody who’s dating a man

with a mission knows that you can’t complain whenever he books

himself a flight in order to save the world. Not even if he’s forgetting about your birthday at the same time. I mean, let’s face it: building a foster home in Kenya is more important than having dinner with me. I’m a grown up, I can celebrate my birthday on my own. No problem! But when I found myself driving home, I couldn’t help feeling a bit neglected. It took me 7(!) times to decently park the car (well, at least others could still pass) only to discover that my favourite caterer was already closed. Luckily I still had a good bottle of wine waiting for me at home. And, as I noticed ten seconds later, a whole bunch of wonderful friends shouting: ‘surprise!’ To make it up to me my lover – back from his mission – bought me a special surprise. Sitting in a fancy restaurant, I opened the small box that was hiding a beautiful ring with a glimmering rock in it. ‘You know what they say about those, don’t you?’ he smiled. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘What do they say about Zirconia?’ You should have seen the look on his face! My sweetheart had just spent his whole salary on my birthday present and I didn’t even realise it. As they say: all beginnings are hard. And although ‘forever’ still seems like a big word, he did have a point. This month our baby girl will turn one.

Printed at Senefelder Misset BV

And guess what? We’ll be celebrating her first birthday on an aeroplane. I

Distributed for free in the Netherlands

guess some things never change.

--------------------------------------------------------© Amsterdam Magazine B.V. 2010. Amsterdam Magazine is a registered trade name and publication. Neither the trade name nor the format may be used and/or reproduced, in any form by third parties.

Mathilde Hoekstra, Editor in Chief

Opinions expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of Amsterdam Magazine or its publishers. Amsterdam Magazine accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the accuracy of its content.



Sp@msterdam What you shared with us...

What do you think of Amsterdam Magazine or Amsterdam in general? Do you love it? Loathe it? Admire it? Don’t bottle it up; share your feelings with us (and the rest of the world). Your fearless attitude might be rewarded...

From: Mark Lux Date: Sun, Dec 17, 2010 at 3:43 PM Subject: Hello! To: Really great magazine guys! As an expat living in Amsterdam it’s hard to find the right resources for interesting nights out and behind the scenes Amsterdam. Really like the style of writing and content choices and am happy to see a welcome addition to the expat publications in the city.

a We have

! winner

y es to Am ’ prize go es the month nd’s Tim f la o e il p a o C m n ‘e py of Joh January’s co ) a rk e o iv w f his e’ll rece a taster o Baker. Sh ge 50 for . (See pa ce ra G f o

get social!

& win!

When we’re not busy making funky fresh magazines, we like to get social with our readers online. Besides chatting, gossiping, debating and flirting, we also like to give away prizes. Join our Facebook or Twitter page to get hold of any of these great giveaways! A preview of what we’ll give away this month:

From: Amy Baker Date: Mon, December 13, 2010 at 1:02 AM Subject: Spam To: Visited Amsterdam last week and found your magazine in my hotel. Loved it so much that I ended up carrying it around as my goto travel guide. I went to the Funky X-mas Market, partied all night at Club Panama (didn’t meet your infamous lawyer there), I checked out the bomb shelters (are you sure they exist? I couldn’t find them anywhere) and became addicted to your oliebollen pastries. Now I weigh at least 10 pounds extra and Christmas didn’t even start yet. But what a great holiday!!!

-FREE 4 x 2 tickets to the Burlesque Freakout -FREE 5 x 2 tickets to the Realisme Contemporary Art -FREE 2 x 2 tickets to the Harlem Gospel Singers -FREE 3 x 2 tickets to Jumping Amsterdam -FREE 4 x 2 tickets to Kill All Hipsters -FREE 2 x 2 tickets to Artis Zoo And more!


/amsterdam-magazine bravoure: @amsterdammag Hoewel papieren magazine vooral voor expats lijkt, ziet het er naar uit dat er voor locals op Twitter wel wat te halen valt! ashna_sp: @amsterdammag Received the tickets! Thanks :-) I’ll try to go as soon as possible :-)

Next month we’ll read through all the spam and select one Email of the month. so get creative with your words, maybe even attach a picture of your stay in amsterdam, or bribe us with STAMPPOT... Email us at for the chance to win great prizes!




joannatrzeciak: #ff @LaCucinaDelSole for big heart, @ amsterdammag for generosity and cool stuff they write

Kelsey Sibley: HI Amsterdam Magazine! Mag ik kaartjes voo een museum? Ik heb een nederlander friendje en ik heb zin om en museum in amsterdam te gaan! Anaina Uchôa Medeiros Agra: Where can I buy Amsterdam Magazine!


Heads-up; from the city

by eva van wijngaarden

Millionth visitor climbs Anne Frank’s staircase Gertrud Radu from the US was last year’s millionth visitor to the Anne Frank Museum. Head of the museum, Dieuwke Maas, presented her with a hardcover edition of the infamous diary. Last year the museum celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. To mark this occasion, Anne Frank’s hiding place has been made accessible virtually at Source:

Hosting Wikileaks is a dangerous business The Dutch Wikileaks registration is now in the hands of Amsterdam web-hosting service Byte and Internet supplier Xs4all. The former host, E-dot, decided that it no longer wanted to host the site. The company considered the threat of a massive Internet-based attack too great a risk. Hosting the website isn’t without danger. Byte’s servers went down for three hours due to a ddos-attack. Their servers couldn’t process the enormous amount of data; it crashed the website and interrupted email traffic. Because of this risk, other companies all over the world have stopped hosting the Wikileaks site. Wikileaks is currently mirrored on more than 1,000 websites, which makes it impossible to remove the site from the Internet. Source: Parool photo: AFS

Skating at Museumplein

Directors on the run Two British directors undertook a 2,000km charity run to raise money for exploited women. It took Duncan Parker (director of Ethical Goods) and Mark Rowland (director of Christian Aid) five days to run from the Red Light District in Amsterdam to the one in London, known as Soho. They raised 50,000 British Pounds for Freedom Ticket For Life, an organisation that sends exploited girls back school. Source: Parool




Whether it’s above or below freezing point, you can go ice-skating at Museumplein. And to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ice rink, hot chocolate was served while professional skaters demonstrated their skills. The 1,360m2 mobile skating rink is the largest in the Netherlands and offers a wonderful view of the Rijksmuseum. The rink is open until 27 February. Entrance is free, and if you don’t have your own skates, you can rent a pair for €5. Source:

Surinamese murders recalled Last month the December Murders were remembered. Twenty-eight years ago, in 1982, 15 political governmental opponents were tortured and killed in Paramaribo, Surinam. The murders are still a sensitive issue today, as current president Desi Bouterse is one of the main suspects. The commemoration, held in the Mozes and Aäron Church in Amsterdam, was well attended. Source: AT5

Salt is scarce With temperatures below minus 5°C and slippery roads everywhere, Holland’s already running out of salt. Salt producer AkzoNobel has requested careful use of this scarce commodity, because it won’t be able to deliver extra. So beware, and be sure to take a blanket, water and food with you if you’re hitting the Dutch highway! Source: ANP

Food bank fears People receiving social welfare are entitled to receive supplies from the food bank. In December there are usually some extra treats on offer, but not this year. In Amsterdam there’s a shortage of cookies, chocolate milk and Christmas bread. Why? Companies have become more efficient and consumers less generous. The food banks are worried that there won’t be enough food for January and February. Source: ANP


A fortune for addiction pill The University of Amsterdam received a donation of €500,000 to research a drug to treat alcoholics. The anonymous donor was inspired by Olivier Ameisen’s book The End of My Addiction. In this book the FrenchAmerican cardiologist describes his use of Baclofon to end his own alcohol cravings. By doing so he took quite a risk as the muscle relaxant had never been tested on humans before, but he overcame his addiction. Source: Folia

Bling bling fast food What a treat: Lombardo’s serves up a delectable €60 burger! It’s made with Wagyu beef, goose liver and an exquisite Spanish ham. And if that isn’t fancy enough, it’s then topped with Himalaya salt, échalions and champagne. All this is put together on a brioche topped with edible 22-carat gold. Hungry yet? The list of ingredients isn’t over, but the offer is. The last burger was served at Christmas. The store on Nieuwe Spiegelstraat prepared this special burger to raise money for the homeless in Amsterdam. Source:

10 years, 12 coaches At Amsterdam football club Ajax, coaches come and go. Just a few weeks ago Martin Jol resigned because he couldn’t turn the ‘Sons of God’ (as the football players are referred to) into winners. Something similar happened to former international football player Frank de Boer, who failed to turn the team into champions, but is still one of the head coaches. Not for much longer, however, as national coach Van Marwijk doesn’t expect De Boer back after this winter. Right now Van Marwijk is receiving coaching assistance from football player Philip Cocu. Source:

Trashy pictures The City of Amsterdam is developing a smartphone application that will be tested this summer. Using the application, they want residents to submit pictures of junk, broken benches and dirty bus stops around the city. In fact, every trashy picture is welcome. It’s a bit of a ‘snitching’ tool: you can report your neighbour who puts his trash out too early, that student who dumped his fridge illegally or the old lady and her illegally placed flower pots. But primarily it’s a useful tool for Amsterdam’s refuse forces. Using this application, they will know exactly what’s happening where, and what equipment they’ll need to deal with it. photo: NAI




Protests for education Thousands of students protested in Dam Square last month against government plans to cut funding for higher education. The government wants to reduce the nation’s debt and plans to do this by cutting the budget for universities. Many believe that, as a result, the quality of higher education will suffer, second or third studies will become unaffordable and even a master’s degree will become more expensive. As part of the proposals, students who take too long to graduate will have to pay a fine. The next protest will take place in The Hague on 21 January. Source: NRC


dutch treat

Dutch Treat

Stamppot TEXT BY Allison Guy

You may have already sampled some Dutch treats. If you’re brave you might have even tried herring (raw, with onions) or salty liquorice. But what about


There is no better survival strategy for the Dutch winter than eating a stick-toyour-ribs dish such as stamppot. When the first cold weather of the year comes rolling in, the Netherlands’ Central Bureau of Food reports a six-fold increase in sales of stamppot ingredients.

The humble hutspot even came to the country’s aid during World War II. Its main ingredients – carrots, potatoes and onions – could all be grown underground, out of the reach of pillaging soldiers. Over the centuries, hutspot has come to symbolise Dutch courage and triumph over oppression.

This ‘pounded pot’ is made from potatoes, mashed together with whatever vegetables are at hand. Most recipes include leafy greens such as endive or kale, and rookworst, a traditional smoked sausage.

instructions ÌÌ

Peel the potatoes and carrots, and cut into cubes. Put the potatoes, carrots and onions in a pot and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for another 20 minutes. While the vegetables are simmering, cook the meat of choice.


Drain the vegetables and mash until they form a chunky puree. Mix in the butter. If the stamppot is too thick, thin it with milk, cream or more butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serve topped with the sausage or steak, or with the bacon diced and mixed in.

Quite a history for such a simple dish!

s Try thi ! at h o m e

Naked bud For such a simple dish, the different varieties of stamppot inspire some fanciful names. ‘Blote billetjes in het gras’ is socalled because the mix of sausage and string beans resembles a naked bud in the grass. The name hete bliksem (hot lightning) is a warning to anyone who might shovel down the sticky potatoes and apples before they have a chance to cool. (But beware, in Dutch hete bliksem is also used as a nickname for people that are horny all day.) No version of stamppot is more famous than hutspot. The orange-hued dish is the colour of Dutch royalty, and has a patriotic history to match. Its origins stretch as far back as the 1574 Siege of Leiden, when crafty Dutch rebels flushed out the occupying Spanish troops by breaking a dyke and flooding the city. According to legend, the Spanish fled in such a hurry that they left behind a still-warm pot of mashed vegetables and meat. The starving citizens of Leiden devoured the dish, and a national obsession was born.

ingredients There are as many recipes for hutspot as there are cooks in the Netherlands. Improvise by playing with quantities or by adding other winter vegetables such as squash or turnips, or go old-fashioned by replacing the potatoes with parsnips.

1kg potatoes 1kg carrots 500g white onions, diced 100g butter (or more) Milk or cream (optional) Sausage, cubed steak or bacon Salt and pepper

Eet smakelijk!

Stamppotje Want to skip the cooking and just start eating? Then visit ‘Stamppotje’ on Eerste van der Helststraat 27, Haarlemmerdijk 14 or Amstelveenseweg 218.


meet the dutch


with a mission Kim Holland, 41, is our leading lady in the porn industry. She owns various erotic websites and a television channel named ‘Meiden van

Holland’ (ed., Dutch Girls). What’s her drive? An exclusive interview. By Ilja Keizer

Facts about

Kim Holland


Kim Holland is a pseudonym for Yvonne Meulendijk-van Zelderen


She was born in 1969 in Gouda, the Netherlands


She has appeared in several porn films, such as Kinky Anal Games (the first porn film according to IMDB), Sexshop Gangbang and Teeny at the Moonlight Club. Before getting into porn she was a Jehovah’s Witness

xx xx


Kim Holland participated in the reality show Big Brother VIPS She is a regular guest on Dutch television shows such as Jensen and Pownews Kim’s soft voice is a very popular choice for GPS systems


any people believe Amsterdam to be a city of freedom but, according to porn entrepreneur Kim Holland, things have changed. She’s referring to the clean up of the Red Light District, where many windows have been replaced by apartments, galleries and shops. Kim thinks it’s a nice initiative, but ‘this district surely isn’t the right place for it!’.

CICCIOLINA It’s true, it doesn’t make sense to completely change an area that’s part of Dutch cultural heritage and one which attracts millions of tourists a year. But what would she do about it? ‘One day I would like to have a chat with the Dutch government. There are far better ways to stop the criminal activities that surround prostitution!’ That gets me thinking: is our porn diva secretly trying to get into politics just like her Italian colleague Cicciolina did? In fact, she believes there’s far more to discuss, starting with our changing gay-tolerance. ‘Amsterdam hosts gay nightclubs and bars

and the Gay Pride event is held annually, but nevertheless every day gay people are being insulted and beaten up.’

MATURE PIN-UPS Unfortunately Kim is not the one to change that. She’s not aiming for a career in politics, but in mental coaching. And in order to get there she’s already published a book: Sex Power, about how women in today’s society can improve their social position. ‘Women should be more aware of their sexual power,’ she explains. ‘No matter what their nationality or age.’ As an inspiring example she recalls Mature: a series of portraits by photographer Erwin Olaf that shows elderly women posing as sexually attractive pin-ups. Then it hits me: advertising sex is her one and only mission. ‘Sex and the use of it in everyday life,’ she explains, ‘has to become more widely accepted. That’s something I’ll always be working on.’

‘Women should be more aware of their sexual power’ 17

amsterdam eats

amserdam eats

Restaurant Red BY: hungry in holland

In pursuit of culinary delights beyond bitterballen and frites our expat foodie visits Restaurant RED: a Parisian style brasserie that focuses solely on two red dishes steak and lobster.


estaurant Red, which sits on the corner of Keizersgracht and Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, is the ideal place for a romantic date. With its antique mirrors, dimly lit art deco lamps and bruin café furniture, it exudes a charm that is at once sophisticated yet still relaxed and cosy. Seated at our table, the wide restaurant windows provided a spectacular view of the first snowflakes of winter falling on the canal outside. This cozy restaurant is quite small, so it’s best to make a reservation as space is extremely limited. Surf & Turf To put it bluntly, if you’re a vegetarian or looking for a diverse array of culinary treats, don’t bother visiting. The restaurant only offers two dishes: steak and lobster. You’re given the choice of a fresh Canadian 500g lobster at €24.50, a 200g South American steak at €17.50 or a surf and turf combination of the two at €30.25. The restaurant offers a fine selection of reasonably priced white, red and rosé wines which you can order by glass or bottle.

photos courtesy of restaurant red

The steak was delicious and so tender that I was able to slice through it with a butter knife. While the fluffy béarnaise sauce was a suitable accompaniment, the flavour of the meat was so great that the juicy, buttery steak was enjoyable all on its own. On the contrary, the lobster, which tasted fresh and succulent, would have benefited from an extra helping of garlic butter to give it a bit more flavour. While the steak and lobster were both well cooked and presented, the lack of side dishes tainted an otherwise perfect meal. It would have been nice to pair each dish with something beyond the ubiquitous fries and bland salad, both of which are a tiresome staple in most Dutch cafés. Nevertheless, such high-quality steak and lobster (served until midnight!) is a rare luxury in Amsterdam. Intoxicating Treat Though there’s only bread as a starter and the main course options may be somewhat limited, the dessert menu certainly makes up for it. The extensive menu

The Outcome F Happy Taste Buds? Customer Service Interior Value for money

Final Score:

§§§§2 §§§42 §§§§2 §§§§2


Round-Up Cuisine: American, Steak & Lobster Neighbourhood: Southern Canalbelt Atmosphere: Quiet Price pp: €30 to €50 Open: Daily from 6pm to 12am Public Transport: Tram 4, 16, 24, 25 to Keizersgracht Credit cards accepted: Yes Wheelchair access: Yes

‘Don’t expect a diverse array of culinary treats.’ offers everything from ice cream to cheeses, and each dessert comes paired with a uniquely flavoured dessert wine. The chocolate sponge cake, filled with blue cheese, was rich. The subtle flavour of the cheese was not overpowering, and added a unique twist to a familiar dessert. The classic French tart, coated in almond paste and lemon cream, was fresh, creamy and had plenty of zest, but the crust was a little too hard. Our waitress described each dessert in detail and was friendly and attentive throughout the evening. While Restaurant RED may lack variety, its cosy atmosphere, friendly service and moderate prices make for a romantic and delicious dining experience. Provided you like steak or lobster.

What others said:

7.7 “Tricky concept, but they proved it works.” - Debbie “Great place if you are into lobster, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to have it.” - LXSEN

Restaurant Red Keizersgracht 594 +31 (0)20 3201824 [map 145-E7]


top picks

This month’s Top Picks

Gay Friendly Whether you’re looking to eat, drink, extend your DVD collection or purchase some leather…we’re confident you’ll find the perfect place among this month’s Top Picks.


The Queen’s Head


Vrolijk Bookshop

Trendy Club Roque boasts a cocktail bar, funky dance floor and a DJ spinning all sorts from old-school house to cutting edge dance. It’s popular with gays, locals, students and lipstick lesbos alike.

Located right in the heart of the Red Light District, the Queen’s Head is undoubtedly one of Amsterdam’s most happening gay bars. The bar has a large video screen and hosts weekly events. Check their website for more details.

Getto is the sort of place you could visit once, twice, or even three times a week to eat and be merry. An attitude-free zone for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and straights.

This Amsterdam bookshop offers two floors of gay and lesbian reading matter, and boasts an impressive selection of DVDs catering to all tastes (lesbian, gay, transgender and camp). A must-visit!

Amstel 178

Zeedijk 20

Warmoesstraat 51

Paleisstraat 135

[map 54-g6]

[map 55-g3]

[map 56-f3]

[map 57-e4]

+31 (0)6 47322051

+31 (0)20 4202475

+31 (0)20 4215151

+31 (0)20 6235142

Mr. B


The Eagle


Mr. B’s T-Shirts are world-famous. His original leather shop is here in Amsterdam, on the Warmoesstraat.

This famous gay leather and rubber shop just moved to a new location on the Warmoesstraat.

One of Amsterdam’s very first gay establishments, cruise bar The Eagle attracts a mixed crowd of both tourists and locals.

Drag-show bar Lellebel offers live shows, karaoke and theme nights seven nights a week. Check their website for more details.

Warmoesstraat 89

Warmoesstraat 71

Warmoesstraat 90

Utrechtsestraat 4

[map 58-f3]

[map 59-f3]

[map 60-f3]

+31 (0)20 7883060

+31 (0)20 4283000

+31 (0)20 6278634

[map 61-F6] +31 (0)20 4275139




made in holland

made in holland

Monster Seating By Morgan Currie

photos by mirjam bleeker

Frighteningly comfortable? These soft lumpy seating objects are the monstrous offspring of Dutch designer Pieke Bergmans and Innofa/ Stretch Textiles. The giant, pliable seats – complete with arms, tails, and feelers – made their debut at Milan Design Week 2010, though they could have jumped straight from the set of Dr. Seuss or Fraggle Rock. Bergmans, a 32-year-old designer based in Amsterdam and Milan, studied at the Design Academy, Eindhoven, and the Royal College of Art, London. In partnership with companies such as Comme des Garcons, Swarovski and Royal Crystal Leerdam, and working with glass, porcelain and plastic, she manipulates and adapts traditional, standardised design processes to add a serendipitous twist to everyday objects including light bulbs, chairs and shelves. According to her artist statement, all her products are infected with a Design Virus – that is, they take on less-than-perfect, singularly odd shapes and sizes you wouldn’t expect from ‘well-behaved’ mass textile production. For her latest creaturely furniture, Bergmans highlights Innofa’s 3D stretchable knitted upholstery fabrics produced in Tilburg, the Netherlands, to confuse our notions of what sitting should feel – and look – like. As the designer herself put it, ‘Don’t let them fool you...they are trained to put you in very uncomfortable positions!’


word on the street

Alexandra (30)

‘Invite friends over for long dinners’

From: Trondheim, Norway Profession: Doctor

Is Amsterdam as you expected it would be?

‘It’s actually a lot cleaner than we thought. But maybe the snow’s covering all the dirt! The centre is also bigger than we expected. People told us Amsterdam was like a miniature town, but if you walk around the centre, it’s quite spacious.’

What have you seen so far?

‘We’ve been strolling through the centre and past the Red Light District. Now we’re off to the big museums and we might take a canal boat tour. The weather is pretty cold though, even for us Scandinavians! So we’ll probably take public transport sometime soon.’ By Marieke Verhoeven Photography: Sarah Moore

Word on the street Dutch winters are cold, and usually feature snow, hail and icy winds. Time to stay in and get warm! The Dutch use the word gezellig a lot this time of year, which is best translated as ‘cosy, comfortable and enjoyable’.

How do these tourists make their winter gezellig?




How do make your winter gezellig?

‘We’re from Sweden and now live in the north of Norway, so we’re used to extremely short days in winter, when it’s light for just a few hours a day. What we do to survive? Invite friends over for long dinners and drink lots of

glögg, which is a typical Swedish drink. It’s a warm, spiced and sweetened wine, a bit like the German glühwein.’

word on the street

Is this your first time in Amsterdam?

‘It is. And I love it! Especially the night activities. What do I mean by that? I won’t go into details, you can fill them in yourself... Besides that, I like the architecture, the culture and the people.’

What’s the biggest difference between Amsterdam and your hometown?

‘Romania is completely different, especially when it comes to organisation. Everything is very well organised here, not at all like where I come from. I get the impression people work harder here, there’s a better plan for what the city wants to portray and achieve.’

‘We go ice-skating’ How do make your winter gezellig?

‘We like to go ice-skating or skiing. And we eat a lot – traditional food like mămăliga, which is a corn mash that you can eat with all kinds of meat. And before Christmas it’s a rural tradition to slaughter a pig and use the meat to prepare various dishes.’

Andre (44)

From: A town near Bucharest, Romania Profession: Works in oil & gas industry 23

word on the street

Heather (23)

‘I go on a holiday to a warm place’

From: Birmingham, England Profession: Bartender

How do you like Amsterdam so far?

‘It’s really nice and pretty. We arrived in the snow, so the canals look beautiful. I expected it to be one big party town, with drunken tourists all over the place. But luckily it’s a lot nicer. The locals are also quite friendly. We keep getting lost, but everyone is willing to help us find our way!’

What are your plans for the coming days?

‘Unfortunately we are only here for two days, so we have to make some choices. We visited the Anne Frank House and now we’re off to a pancake place. Later today we also want to visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Heineken Brewery. Tonight our hostel is organising a pub crawl at Rembrandtplein.’

How do make your winter gezellig?

‘By staying inside and drinking a lot of hot drinks! Preferably with alcohol. And around Christmas time there’s a big German market in the centre of Birmingham, that’s always good to lift your spirits. If I really can’t handle the cold anymore, I just go on holiday to a warm place!’




knock knock

Knock knock

This is how Amsterdam lives

this month:

living on a houseboat It took Igor and Renate five years to find the perfect houseboat. And they’re not leaving their floating palace anytime soon. By marieke verhoeven | Photography: Wieke



rowing up near the woods in the eastern part of Holland, graphic designer and composer Igor Teuwen always dreamt of living in tune with nature again. But the tiny apartment he shared with his partner Renate in the centre of Amsterdam was far from rural.

‘Friends of ours owned a houseboat here in the north of Amsterdam and it looked amazing. We completely fell in love with the idea of living on the water as well,’ he explains. So they started looking for houseboats in the area, but it turned out to be harder




than they thought. ‘Houseboats are quite popular, especially around here. They’re usually sold before they even hit the market.’ After five years of looking, they gave up. ‘And once we stopped our search, this place opposite our friends’ boat became available. There was no doubt, we bought it within a day.’ They moved in a year and a half ago and are not leaving for the next 30, as far as Igor is concerned.

Bed & Breakfast

It might not look like it from the outside, but at more than 300m2 this

houseboat is a lot more spacious than most city apartments. They even split the place up into two parts, with separate living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. ‘We could rent one part out as a bed and breakfast, like a lot of our neighbours,’ he says. ‘In summertime they’re always fully booked.’ As for the interior, Igor and Renate are on the same page. Renate, who works in casting and styling, didn’t want to over think the interior too much. ‘A lot of things we inherited from our parents. Luckily enough they fit together really well.’ >

‘I still get a little motion sickness at times’


knock knock

‘Kids crash on the beanbags, while we make them pancakes’

The huge animal heads on the wall are from a bar in Igor’s hometown; the rifles in the chandelier are movie props. Beanbags are scattered all over the place. ‘In summer, kids from the neighbourhood come by on their boats and crash on the beanbags while we make them pancakes,’ says Igor.

Henk the house heron Looking over the water, with a view of the old town of Nieuwendam, it’s hard to imagine you’re only a ten-minute bike trip away from the centre of Amsterdam. Igor loves the easy-going and rustic atmosphere. ‘We have the water on one side and the biggest elm forest in Europe on the other. There are all different types of birds and fish around. We have a house heron we call Henk, he comes by all the time.’ Even though winter has its charm, summer is definitely their favourite time of year. ‘It’s like a big community here in summer,’ says Renate. ‘You can just hop from one boat to the other.’ In winter, they spent most of their time near the old heater. ‘We don’t have gas; a big oil boat comes by once in a while supplying us with oil to heat the place.’ Last year, the water pipes froze because of the extremely cold weather. They spend days without water. ‘That’s part of living on a houseboat,’ says Igor. ‘You have to be a little adventurous.’ As for any other downsides of living on the water, Renate can only think of one. ‘I still get a little motion sickness at times, when the weather’s rough. But Igor loves the floating sensation.’=


getting around

Vesting Naarden




getting around

Icy FortresseS Naarden, Muiden & Muiderberg By: Mike Peek

Most people visit Naarden, Muiden and Muiderberg in summertime but, if you’re looking for a religious experience, try and linger here in winter. You’ll have the whole place to yourself!


inter came early this year. By the end of November, the whole country was covered in snow. It might still be when you read this, but don’t let that stop you visiting Naarden, Muiderberg and Muiden. These towns used to be at the north end of the ‘Oude Hollandse Waterlinie’, a defensive line created in the 16th and 17th century to protect the Netherlands from enemies arriving by water. The enemies are now gone and the Zuiderzee (South Sea) has been reduced to several connecting lakes, but the fortresses are still there.

a museum explaining the history of fortresses in the Netherlands (but, until spring, it’s only open on Sundays from 12pm-5pm).

Tapas-loving invaders

Truman show

Some more history: in 1572 Spanish troops conquered the city of Naarden with great ease. The inhabitants surrendered immediately but, in spite of this, 700 of them were killed in front of the city hall, which still exists today and is called the Spanish House. Those tapasloving invaders inspired Naarden to build its fortress, which was enlarged and modified several times over the centuries. The gorgeous, star-shaped design is worldrenowned and can be freely explored. There is also

As I approach my destination, the fog becomes denser. Muiderberg is a popular beach resort nowadays, especially with families. The IJmeer is very shallow here and children can splash around safely. I park my bike at a restaurant which promises a nice garden terrace, but the place is clearly in hibernation. Slowly I climb down the icy steps, expecting to find some snow-covered dunes before I reach the lake. I can’t see shit because of the fog and it takes a minute or two for me to realise I’m >

As I have foolishly decided to go by bike, I plough my way from Naarden to Muiderberg. An easy enough trip in summer, but right now I have to be very careful not to slip. My mode of transport does have its advantages though: I get to see the beautiful Naarder Woods covered in snow and a few guys trying to play golf on the local course. Glad to see I’m not the only lunatic around!


getting around

already on the beach. That little boat over there is not stranded, it’s frozen in. This whole situation is completely surreal. I feel as if I’m in The Truman Show and I’ve reached the end of my artificial world. There must be an exit here somewhere. Maybe that’s where the geese have come from that I suddenly see waddling over the ice in the distance. They look lost and provide my religious experience with an eerie soundtrack. It’s breathtaking. I really dig deserted places and this one might be my new favourite. In fact, I could linger here for hours, but you probably want to know more about Muiderberg and Muiden. Muiderberg’s most famous sight is the Jewish Cemetery. It’s the largest one in the Netherlands. Some 45,000 Jews have been buried here since it was established in the 17th century. There is a Holocaust monument on site and a morgue, but just walking along the graves is an experience in itself. The caretaker seems surprised to meet another living soul on this cold winter day. He happily seizes the opportunity to put his snow shovel aside for a moment and have a chat.

Hot chocolate From Muiderberg it’s just a few kilometres to Muiden, another fortress city known for the Muiderslot, a very well maintained medieval castle. It is thought to have been built at the end of the 13th century and has served a number of different purposes during its lifetime. The castle was used as part of the Dutch defence line I mentioned earlier, but is probably most famous because P.C. Hooft, a Dutch writer and historian, lived here in the 17th century. There are several guided tours available (only during the weekends until 1 April) explaining the castle’s history, or you can just stroll around the gardens (open daily). Muiden’s fortress is smaller and less visible than the one in Naarden, but does contain a striking symbol of Dutch history: an ancient sluice, constructed in the 1670s to protect the country from hostile visitors and the ruthless Zuiderzee. Nowadays, the sluice only opens when captains of recreational boats want to pass. They won’t be back until spring though. Perhaps I’ll find them at one of the nearby cafés. I need some very hot chocolate.





That little boat over there is not stranded, it’s frozen in 2

How to get there If you are hardcore like me and want to go by bike, it’s best to travel by train from Amsterdam Centraal to Naarden-Bussum and take your bike with you. From there you can follow the route described in this article and catch a train back to Amsterdam in Weesp (a few kilometres from Muiden). You need a special train ticket for your bike (€6 per day), which is available at all ticket machines. If you don’t feel like freezing to death, just take the train to Naarden-Bussum anyway. From there, look for bus 110 (every half hour during the day, hourly at night) and get out at Westwaalstraat, which is practically at the entrance of the fortress museum ( The 110 continues to Muiderberg, Muiden and Weesp as well. In Weesp, you can get on a train back to Amsterdam.



5 6

1. Muiderslot Castle 2. Muiden 3. Naarder Woods 4. Muiderberg’s Jewish Cemetery 5. Vesting Naarden 6. Muiderslot Castle

Spot some celebs At Muiderberg you might spot some local famous Dutchies like model, writer and TV host Daphne Deckers, her husband the famous tennis player Richard Krajicek and one of our oldest stand-up comedians Freek de Jonge.


Photography: Richard Bakker Realisation: Tommy Hagen for

Black Madonnas Everybody knows Dutch Victoria’s Secret supermodel Doutzen Kroes, but do you know these up-and-coming talents? Meet our Black Madonnas: Isabella, Noah, Olivka and Shona Lee!

Isabella @ Elite

Noah @ Ulla Models Stockings: Wolford Bra: H&M

Isabella @ Elite Panties: H&M Top: Models own

Shona Lee @ Future FacesÂ

Noah @ Ulla Models Top: H&M

Styling: Lars van Beers, Hair and Make-Up: Natasja van der Meer @ Colourfool Agency

Olivka @ Ulla Models   Leather Jacket: One Teaspoon  Denim Hotpants: Forrest & Bob 

pimp my bike

Some people are riding around on a monster of a vehicle. Amsterdam Magazine is here to help them out! BY: Wieke

Sami Yazicilaroglu, 19

‘I want Belle du Jour on my bike’


n a dusty Monday morning I meet Sami Yazicilaroglu, an exchange student from Turkey. Sami is studying social and political sciences at Sabanci University in Istanbul. He’s doing his junior year at the University of Amsterdam. As a resident, his vision goes beyond the typical tourist menu. One of the first things he did, being a local in Amsterdam, was get himself a mountain bike at a second-hand market. And although it’s in good condition he wants to have it pimped! His favourite colour? Light blue.




As a student Sami likes to compare the social aspects of Turkey and the Netherlands. ‘In Istanbul there are billboards everywhere, telling us that we have to consume as much as we can. That’s important in Turkey, being a capitalist.’ Ever since Turkey became close to the USA, capitalism (and thus individualism) has been introduced. ‘In Turkey it’s nothing but a fancy concept, a marketing tool to make people buy goods. In the Netherlands individualism adds something to society. People still care about each other.’ The Dutch school system is a good reflection of society according to Sami: ‘In Turkey you have six subjects per semester, here we only have two. At first I thought that it was going to be easy, until I got the content of the program. The curriculum is much more refined and detailed. Teachers expect you to work outside the classes without any guidance. The Dutch expect their students to be more responsible.’

Bouwine Pool

- The Pimping Artist

In Belle du Jour Catherine Deneuve spends her days as a prostitute

pimp my bike

‘Cycling in Turkey is a lifethreatening experience’ Biquette ‘My bike is called Biquette,’ Sami says. ‘My nanny in Turkey taught me to name everything I own. She hoped that way I wouldn’t throw my belongings away. When I got Biquette I couldn’t cycle,’ he admits. ‘But now I’m loving it. Cycling in Turkey is a lifethreatening experience; cars are pretty reckless especially when it comes to an unknown object such as a bike. Back home I leave cycling to professionals!’ What about pimping his beloved Biquette? Are there any limitations to that? ‘No. My favourite colour is blue, particularly lighter tones. I love the movie Belle du Jour. And the Smurfs!’ I am happy to hear that because our Pimping Artist is Bouwine Pool who, in her daily life, also works for Sesame Street! While taking a look at her previous works of art, I am impressed by her animation of the moon in which a little girl is wondering why it doesn’t fall from the sky. Bouwine also makes animations for adults. She is inspired by poets such as Lucebert (ed., a Dutch poet who was part of the Cobra-movement, together with internationally renowned artists such as Karel Appel)

and by the actress and dancer Lola Montez (ed., the courtesan and mistress of King Ludwig I who made her countess of Landsfeld). She de-

Would you like to have your bike pimped completely? Email us at and we’ll see what we can do!

fines her work as ‘hopeful’ and so is she: ‘I like empathy in people. We are all human beings and try to do what we think is best.’

Enough said, it’s pimpin’ time! Taking the film Belle du Jour as her inspiration, Bouwine starts sketching and designing the characters. ‘In my drawings my ideas become alive,’ she says. Icons Belle du Jour is a French film starring Catherine Deneuve as a woman who decides to spend her days as a prostitute while her husband is at work. The title refers to a lily that (like her) blooms during the day. The film, directed by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel, is based on the 1928 novel of the same name by Joseph Kessel. After a couple of hours Bouwine reveals her design. Every scene of the movie is symbolised by an object. The objects tell us the story scene by scene. She has transformed them into little icons. By putting them in a chronological order, it looks like a storyboard. A modern cartoon of Kessel’s internationally renowned drama! Once Biquette is pimped with these icons, we decide to add some glimmering lamps to light her up a bit. Sami is stunned. ‘Wow, this is soooo cool!’ We walk out to take our final picture, right in front of the burlesque dancing venue La Vie en Proost. ‘This is the best Christmas present I’ve ever had in my whole life!’, he whispers. Yes, today is a belle jour.



Sparkling Amsterdam By Mike Peek


Take a good look at that diamond ring you got for Christmas. Isn’t it gorgeous? Doesn’t it sparkle with joy? Diamonds are wildly popular as jewellery, but what do you actually know about them, and their relationship to Amsterdam?




iamond is the English term for the Greek

favourable location slap bang in the middle of Europe.

word ‘adamas’, which means invincible.

When a Flemish master cutter and inventor, Lodewijk

It’s the toughest, hardest stone on the

van Berchem, figured out how to polish those

planet. Diamonds are formed when enormous

peculiar stones we now call diamonds, the economy

pressure and temperatures of up to 2000 degrees

flourished even more.

Celsius cause carbon to crystallise in the depths of the Earth. Yup, diamonds are in fact nothing more

But Bruges did not enjoy its prosperity for long. The

than a form of carbon. That is one of the reasons

city’s estuary dried out at the end of the 15th century

why they are so expensive: only Mother Earth has the

and merchants took their business elsewhere. To

recipe and she doesn’t make them very often. Or very

Antwerp for example. Antwerp basically filled the

fast. The ‘fabrication’ of a diamond takes millions of

gap left by Bruges and became an important centre

years. No wonder so many criminals try to pass off

of trade during the 16th century. But alas, in 1585

fakes as the real thing.

Antwerp was conquered by Spain during the Eighty Years’ War and sank into oblivion.

Rough diamonds have been used by humans for millennia, but the polished version first gained

This might be the right time to introduce the Jews.

significant popularity in the 15th century, quickly

By 1585 they had been on the run for a century

becoming important symbols of wealth and royalty.

because of the Spanish Inquisition and the Catholic

Until the early 1700s, India was the world’s sole

oppression that went with it. They travelled light,

supplier. Nowadays, diamond mines can be found all

keeping as few possessions with them as possible,

over the planet, most notably in Russia, Canada and

and so diamond trading proved to be an ideal line of

numerous African countries. This poses an ethical

work. Diamonds are lightweight and very valuable.

dilemma: in Africa corrupt regimes often use the

When they were in threatened with prosecution, the

profit made by selling diamonds to fight their (civil)

Jews just took their rocks and moved elsewhere.

wars; hence the term ‘Blood Diamonds’. DeBeers,

That’s how they landed up in Amsterdam after

the largest diamond retailer in the world by far,

Antwerp fell. >

bought and sold a lot of those in the 1990s, but now guarantees that its merchandise is “100 per cent conflict-free”.

‘Diamonds are in fact nothing more than carbon’

Amsterdam: diamond city? In all fairness, Amsterdam is probably not the first city that comes to mind when you think about diamonds. That honour goes to Antwerp. But it hasn’t always been that way. In the 15th century, Bruges was one of the world’s great metropolises, more pivotal than Amsterdam, London or Paris. It had direct access to the North Sea and enjoyed a

Underground construction for the Noord/Zuidlijn.



Rise and fall of a Diamond Capital For more than 300 years, Jewish people enjoyed relative safety and wealth in Amsterdam. The 17th century was a golden age for the Dutch, as our small country became one of the world’s leading trading nations. More and more Jews came from all over Europe to make a living here, and Amsterdam grew to be the undisputed diamond capital of the world. The famous ‘brilliant’ cut was developed right here.

Even as the glory days faded and France and England

Rough diamond vs. cut diamond.

outflanked the Netherlands, Amsterdam remained a prominent processing centre. But everything that has a beginning has an end. The First World War and the economic crisis of the 1930s weakened the diamond trade severely. The final blow came with the deportation of the Jewish population in Amsterdam

Grinding wheels for diamond polishing.

during the Second World War. Only a fraction of them made it back alive.

When the dust settled, things changed. Jews who had survived the war wanted to get back to work (as did some new players on the market), but the Dutch government introduced tax laws that made

‘A rough diamond looks like an ordinary pebble’

it unattractive to operate a diamond business here.

long process of cleaving, cutting and polishing. A diamond

That’s why Antwerp once again became the centre of

expert always starts by determining which (unclear) parts

diamond trade, although Amsterdam still has its fair

have to be removed to make the best use of that particular

share of diamantaires. The actual processing and

stone. The cleaving and cutting is done by other (industrial)

polishing of diamonds has been largely moved to low-

diamonds, because normal saws or drills couldn’t even

wage countries such as India and Vietnam.

scratch a real diamond.

Processing a diamond

Perhaps the most critical phase of diamond processing is

Not every diamond is cut out to be a jewel. Around 80

the last one: polishing, which determines the diamond’s

per cent are too ‘cloudy’ to be made into gemstones.

shape and its degree of sparkle. Typically, a rough diamond

Those are used in industry, because diamonds can

loses about 50 to 60 per cent of its weight during the entire

drill through almost every other material and are

operation. Of course, a polisher tries to keep the loss to a

excellent heat conductors. The lucky few undergo a

minimum, because a larger product means a greater profit.





Diamonds in popular culture Diamonds regularly feature in all facets of popular culture. The seventh James Bond movie is called Diamonds are Forever (parts of it were filmed in Amsterdam!) and centres on largescale smuggling. Shirley Bassey’s title song of the same name is perhaps even more famous. It’s a bitter ode to the everlasting gemstone. They are beautiful and far more important than love, because men just keep deserting poor old shirley. Marilyn Monroe’s finest hour, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, sounds far more cheerful, but nevertheless has an underlying message that is not so different to Bassey’s. A diamond gives a girl independence and will continue to sparkle after the man who bought it has lost all his charms… The song has been covered and given new meaning numerous times, most famously by Madonna and by Nicole Kidman in the movie Moulin Rouge. The 2006 film Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is a totally different piece of work. This action in this film takes place during the civil war of the 1990s in Sierra Leone and shows how diamonds were used to fund the war. While the story might be a bit over dramatic (in true Hollywood fashion, it focuses on individuals rather than the bigger picture), Blood Diamond provides a lot of food for thought.

A total value of roughly €600,000.

Real or Fake? Mirjam Zilvold is a marketing and sales employee at Gassan Diamonds. Mirjam, how do you actually recognise a real diamond? It’s tricky if you’ve never seen one before. Rough diamonds look like a bipyramid – two pyramids glued together. They have a very unique glow; it appears as if they are covered with cling film. That’s called adamantine lustre. Once you’ve seen it, you will know what to look for. And polished diamonds? That’s even harder. It really takes an expert to be absolutely sure. There’s a nice trick though: if you draw a line on a piece of paper and place a diamond on top of it, the reflections will make the line invisible. If it’s a fake, you’ll usually still be able to see it.

Value Phew, are they expensive! A diamond’s value is determined by the four Cs: carat, clarity, colour and cut. Carat is the unit of weight used for all gemstones. One carat weighs 0.2g, and carats are divided into 100 points. So, a 25-point diamond is one quarter of a carat and weighs 0.05g. That’s a tiny little stone (although it will still set you back hundreds of euros). Larger diamonds are exponentially more valuable than smaller ones of equal quality, simply because they are far rarer. The largest gem-quality, polished diamond on the

Any tips for potential buyers? It’s all a matter of trust. If you’re not convinced that a diamond you want to buy is real, just walk away. It’s not worth the risk.

planet is the Golden Jubilee which weighs in at 755.5 carats. It was found in South Africa and the king of Thailand is the current proud owner. >



The clarity of a diamond is determined by the ‘flaws’ inside the stone. Irregularities such as inclusions and blemishes are very common and lower a diamond’s value. These flaws occur during the crystallisation process. Every diamond’s clarity is graded on a scale ranging from ‘pure’ to ‘heavily included’. It takes a 10x magnifying glass and lots of experience to grade

See for yourself

a stone, although larger irregularities can often be seen with the naked eye.

Gassan Diamonds is the largest diamantaire in the Netherlands. They offer free guided tours explaining the process

Most diamonds are yellowish in colour, and are

of diamond polishing. You will see skilled craftsmen at work and you are of course

therefore relatively cheap. A colourless stone, on

welcome to buy a real diamond afterwards.

the other hand, is not very common and thus quite

They start at €50, but you can easily spend

expensive. Some coloured diamonds, like pink ones,

much, much more. Check their website:

are also very rare as well and can easily cost as much

Another well-known diamantaire, Coster

as a decent-sized house.

Diamonds is located near Museumplein. Free tours are available daily from 9am-5pm. More information at www.costerdiamonds.

The final C stands for cut. A well-cut diamond


sparkles far more than a mediocre one. There are

Do you want to know more about the history

several possible cuts, the most popular being the

of diamonds? Visit the excellent Diamond Museum, just a stone’s throw from Coster

‘brilliant’ with its trademark twinkle. A brilliant-

Diamonds. There you will find many

cut diamond has 57 facets, but some diamantaires

exhibitions about the origin and polishing of diamonds, as well as information about fakes

create their own, even more extravagant cut. The

and famous robberies. The museum also has

Amsterdam-based Gassan Diamonds, for example,

the bizarre ‘Coster Skull’ on display, set with

is known for the patented ‘Gassan 121’ cut, which,

17,000 diamonds. Plan your visit at www.

you’ve guessed, has 121 facets! It’s a sight to behold.

The Coster Skull holds 17,000 diamonds.

Watch out for fake diamonds (above; glass, zirconia, rutile and spinel).


All images are a courtesy of Galerie Alex DaniĂŤls Reflex Amsterdam and John Copeland


I Will Drink Your Wine u Acrylic on canvas u 183 cm x 152 cm





Times of Grace American artist John Copeland deals with the complexity and ambiguity of human behaviour. Think: social situations and passing moments of interaction, uneasy scenes in which there’s a palpable tension beneath the surface. The narrative is in the subtext – a puzzle offered to the viewer to unravel.

Galerie Alex Daniëls Reflex Amsterdam Until 15 February Open: Tues-Sat, 10am-6pm Weteringschans 83 +31 (0)20 4235423 [map 146 D8]


Victory at Sea u Graphite, coloured pencil and oil on paper u 56cm x 76cm





Red Roses for Me u Acrylic on canvas u213 x 160 cm



Like what you see?


A book of John Copeland’s paintings will be published by Reflex Editions Amsterdam, as well as a special limited edition of two colour lithographs and one etching.




In the Neighbourhood u Acrylic on canvas u 152cm x 137cm

Smell the Flowers u Graphite pencil, oil and coloured pencil on paper u 56cm x 76cm



museum check


Kattenkabinet By Allison Guy

I’ve always been sceptical about cats. Cute in theory, but in practise, I suspect that even the most placid milk junkie schemes against its doting owners. I ventured into the Kattenkabinet hoping that I might absorb some appreciation for this species from the world’s first and only museum devoted to cats.

The Kattenkabinet was opened in 1990 in honour of the founder’s beloved J.P. Morgan, a tom named after the famous American banker. After finding the almost concealed entrance, you’ll have to ring the doorbell to get inside. Only the second floor is open to the public; the founder’s family still lives in the rest of the house. For fans of the frills-and-fresco style of Golden Age Amsterdam, the Kattenkabinet is a neat chance to tour the interior of a 1667 canal house. It has a history of important residents including Amsterdam mayor Jan Calkoen, and US president John Adams was a frequent visitor. Curiosities in the Kabinet Wandering around the museum, it feels like you’re viewing the personal collection of a very rich and eccentric auntie. Going clockwise, the first room you enter is the overstuffed ballroom, with vintage advertisements hung from floor to ceiling. Bronze cats sit on pedestals, porcelain cats rest behind glass and actual flesh and blood cats nap on the

heating vents by the windows. Dominating the room is Theophile Steinlen’s famous Le Chat Noir, a poster that graces countless university dorms. Many images are appealing for their retro design qualities, but most of the enjoyment comes from the sheer quantity of cats in an over-the-top setting. Now thoroughly sneezy after petting the residents, I venture into the dining room, where I am greeted by a life-sized mannequin, frozen mid-vamp, from the Broadway musical Cats. With the drawn shutters, dark woodwork and eerie tinkling from the Droog Collective’s ‘Lucky Cat’ pinball machine, the dining room makes me think of Rosemary’s Baby, but with less hell and more hairballs. It would take a true kitty devotee to find this precious, but it will amuse visitors with a wacky sense of humour. Downstairs, the tiny gift shop has an impressive selection of cat merchandise. For only €98, the truly crazy cat lady or gentleman can splurge on all 49 of the Kabinet’s moggy-themed posters. Fuzzy on Particulars With only a few scattered sheets of information, mostly relating to the special exhibits, the collection is presented with the same eye to context as a jumble sale. Anyone looking for true ‘museum’ treatment of feline-human relations will be left in the cold. While I’ll admit that the Kabinet’s cats-in-residence are good-natured ambassadors for their species, the art on display left me ambivalent as ever to the feline condition. If the Amsterdam cat rescue Poezenboot is already on your list of must-see sights, you’ll find the Kattenkabinet an absolute charmer. For others, it will be a surreal half-hour that may leave you with more puzzlement than purring.

photo: Luuk Kramer

Kattenkabinet Herengracht 497 +31 (0)20 6269040 [Map 110 - E6]



Michelle Sonstelie (61) United States It’s half the price of other museums that I could spend a whole day in, and in half an hour here I’d really seen everything I wanted to see. I didn’t like the posters all that much. Unless there’s something really unique about a poster, I won’t find it that interesting. Even if you’re not a cat fan, it might be worth a visit to see a very old, beautiful Amsterdam canal house. It probably would have helped if I was a cat lover. Finding live cats wandering through the museum space was a bit of a problem.

Natalia Sanchez (26) Colombia

When I first heard about the cat museum I thought it would be more of a science museum or something related to domestic animals. Cats are everywhere nowadays; I mean we’ve all seen some YouTube clip about a cat dancing. The building and the museum itself have a strange story. It’s not the most fun museum, but it will make you smile from time to time. Some of the pieces from the collection are interesting. I can’t remember any particular one that caught my attention. But all I have to say is that it is a good way to spend some time if you are in the city centre and fancy something strange.

Jelle Kamsma (22) Netherlands

I like the fact that cats can stroll through the museum. That gave the whole experience a more lively feel. Also the location is attractive in itself. The cat art is nice, but maybe not enough to justify the admission price. You walk through the whole museum in less than 20 minutes.

Value for money: 2,5/5 Waiting time in line: Non-existent Entrance: Adults €6, children 4-12 years €3. €4 for

English-friendly: If you can find them, there are a few

Museumkaart or IAmsterdam card.

laminated sheets in English that discuss the featured

Allergy friendly: Atchoo! The museum has several

elaborate gilded woodwork. Boasts a few minor pieces

real, living cats, so avoid it if you’re sensitive.

of high-end knick-knacks and a giant selection of vintage posters. Recommended for cat worshippers or anyone with an enthusiasm for off-kilter collections. The museum is confined to a single floor, and should not take more than half an hour to visit.



century building, complete with ceiling frescoes and by Picasso and Rembrandt, but overall the art consists


accessed only via a steep staircase.

groups of 10 or more. No discounts available for the

Comments: Eccentric museum in a beautiful 16th


Wheelchair-friendly: No. The main rooms are

Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm. Sat, Sun and holidays: 12pm-5pm. Closed on 25, 26 and 31 December, New Year’s Day and Queen’s Day.


Sex and de stad

Confessions of a Prostitute What’s it like to be a working girl? Lauren, an Amsterdam professional, reveals her deepest secrets.

This issue: easy money - By Lauren Wissot -

When most people outside of the world’s oldest profession hear ‘sex industry’ they focus on the ‘sex’ and tend to overlook the ‘industry’. Those of us on the inside, however, know better. Prostitution is a business after all, and if a transaction looks like easy money, double-check the fine print. To even get to the sex part – and the almighty Euros – you have to first book the session, and in a city like Amsterdam where prostitution is legal, competition is fierce. It’s not enough to be a pretty young thing. You have to be the ultimate fantasy that can change by the hour, according to each new john. That said, once in a blue moon an appointment comes along that really seems too good to be true. Case in point, I once spent an entire evening with a guy I never even saw.

‘I felt like a teenager babysitting a sleeping infant’ Voyeur fantasy g I’ll admit I was wary when I knocked on the hotel room door of a client I’ll call Bruce. Instead of letting me in Bruce hollered ‘Enter!’ from somewhere inside. So I did, and then sauntered over to the plush couch in front of the closet where Bruce was holed up. I’d already received instructions from the manager at my agency (Bruce is a regular of another girl who was off that

night) about what to expect, but it still felt extremely weird. I was just supposed to watch TV, drink champagne and leaf through the fashion magazines spread across the glass table all night? And Bruce was going to pay just to watch all this from a small dark space? Well, yes. Bruce’s voyeur fantasy would only work if I were unattainable, if we didn’t interact. In fact, I had to pretend I didn’t even know he was watching me from the closet. Which, once I’d peeled off my knee-high boots and settled in for a night of Dutch subtitled Hollywood classics, proved to be a piece of cake.

Tease g So quiet was Bruce in his cramped cave that after the first hour or so I felt like a teenager babysitting a sleeping infant. I popped the cork on the bottle and poured two glasses to be polite. Then I drank them both. I took off my low-cut top to reveal my red lace bra and stretched out on the sofa – just to be a tease. Not a peep from Bruce, though. So I tugged off my tight skirt to show off my matching lace g-string. Still Bruce didn’t make a sound. I thought about getting completely naked before deciding that a voyeur versus exhibitionist competition was pretty childish. Instead I dozed off in my skivvies in a stranger’s cosy room that had begun to feel like my own. By the time midnight rolled around I’d nearly forgotten my client was in the closet. That is, until I saw the bills sliding out through the crack at the bottom of the closed door.


import / export





import / export

When bijlmer meets brooklyn by sarah moore

Spike Lee doesn’t have all the answers

He’s an Academy Award nominated filmmaker from Brooklyn; they are the Dutch-Surinamese, Antillean and African youth of the Bijlmer district who’ve been inspired by his career. Spike Lee’s advice on how to get there? ‘You gotta help your own self.’ It’s 10am and I find myself sitting in No Limit, an arts and culture centre located in Amsterdam’s infamous Zuid-Oost district. It’s my first time in the neighbourhood and, after hearing the Dutch media talk about the high crime rate in the area, I expect something heavy. The area is full of high-rise housing and is incomparable to the picturesque Jordaan, but I’m mostly surprised by it’s sanity. Granted it’s a weekday morning, but the streets are clean with no drug addicts or crazies hanging about. An appealing array of multicultural restaurants and shops line the streets and there is a diversity far beyond anything I’ve seen in Amsterdam’s city centre.

“I’m not some kind of Obi Wan Kenobi”

Inside No Limit, there is an energetic buzz in the air and everyone’s excited by their chance to talk to Spike Lee. The audience is primarily made up of Dutch people with African and tropical ethnic roots. After entering to a standing ovation, Lee’s first statement is met with a roar of laughter from the audience: ’I was wondering where all the people of colour were, I guess they’re all here.’ The question and answer session begins. > 59

import / export

“Fuck what Hollywood’s doing” No Obi Wan Kenobi

The audience jumps straight into questions concerning racial relations in the Netherlands: ‘What can Antillean and Surinamese immigrants in the Netherlands learn from America’s battle for African-American civil rights?’ asks a young audience member. An older woman joins in, suggesting that Lee should make a film about racial issues in Europe. The director sets the audience straight immediately: ‘I’m just a filmmaker, not some type of Obi Wan Kenobi. I don’t really know about the situation of black people in Holland, so any answer I give you would be an ignorant answer.’ It’s amazing to see the audience look to a film director for such serious political advice, but Lee seems used to it. ‘I travel all over the world,’ he explains, ‘and people of colour abroad seem to think that African Americans have all the answers because of Oprah Winfrey or Will Smith but on average, we have more black men in prison than in college and half of them don’t even graduate from high school. Clearly these problems are affecting us all and hopefully you won’t go down the same route.’ It’s clear from these initial questions that, while the Bijlmer may be cleaner than the ghettos in America, similar problems exist here.

Race and Cinema

Halfway through the Q & A session a dispute occurs which reveals some of Amsterdam’s own racial problems. A representative of the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) asks Lee about the future prospects of documentary filmmaking. After Lee’s positive response about the flourishing




documentary industry, a local filmmaker voices his own concerns: ‘I just hope the IDFA selects black filmmakers as well. I have a problem with their selection process.’ The budding filmmaker goes on to explain that the selection committee consists of ‘mostly white people.’ At this point the IDFA representative invites the filmmaker over for a conversation, but he refuses the offer. ‘Every time I make this complaint, I get an invitation and nothing ever happens.’ The debate leads to a discussion on race and cinema. A science fiction fanatic wonders why no black artists are making sci-fi films. ‘You wanna make a black science fiction film?’ Lee asks. ‘I couldn’t get a film made about James Brown and he lived on this planet! There are so many stories that have yet to be told. We’re ghettoized. We’re in drug films, low-brow comedies or big Hollywood films that stick a Will Smith into a general market.’ Audience members are also interested in the choices Lee made in his own films. One guy asks about Lee’s opinions on mixed-race couples after making Jungle Fever. ‘The whole mixed couple thing was not really what the movie is about. Jungle Fever was about the devastation crack caused in the African American community.’ The audience member responds, ‘So the main character didn’t get on crack because he was with a white woman?’

Lee laughs: ‘You think the United States crack epidemic is because of mixed-race couples?! Does somebody have the DVD? Give it to him! Do your homework.’ Another audience member asks Lee if he often tries to cast unknown AfricanAmerican actors in his films. ‘I’ve always tried to assign one or two roles to people who have never acted in a film before’ says Lee. ‘Do The Right Thing was Rosie Perez and Martin Lawrence’s first film; Jungle Fever was Halle Berry and Queen Latifah’s first film. There is an abundance of talent, the problem is, there aren’t enough roles for the talent so we try to help them when we can.’ Lee is then quizzed about how young people can start making good films of their own. The advice: do as Spike Lee did and check out the director’s commentaries on DVDs. ‘Good directors will explain the choices they’ve made.’ As the discussion continues, Lee makes it clear how influential he feels films can be on youth culture. ‘When I was a kid I went to see a Bruce Lee film on 42nd street, and afterwards kids, black, white and Puerto Rican, were running up and down the street doing flying kicks and ninja stuff. That shows the power of film.’

Call to Action

As the talk draws to a close, it’s clear that the predominant theme of this session has been ‘How?’. How do we make

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a film? How do we get help? How do we progress politically? How do we find inspiration? While Lee offered valuable and inspiring advice throughout the discussion, he ultimately suggested that the audience must find the answers to their own questions. ‘Every time I go to London and give a talk you know what I hear? Why can’t you, Denzel and Tyler Perry come over here and help us? You gotta help your own self.’ ‘So what if we form a union of coloured filmmakers? Would you come and support us?’ a lady asks. ‘You make a film, I’ll come,’ Lee replies. ‘Collectively, you have enough to get it done right here. You got the knowledge, technology, drive and stories. But you got to want to do it.’ Lee’s conclusive statement seems to suggest, quite simply, that the Bijlmer doesn’t need Hollywood: ‘With the digital revolution you don’t have an excuse anymore. Put your stuff on YouTube. Coalitions have to start at grass roots level too. How many of you here are filmmakers? You need to start right here. Fuck what Hollywood’s doing.’

Brooklyn >>

Bijlmer >>

Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA (1957) and went to Morehouse College and New York University. In 1985, he made his first feature film She’s Gotta Have It. The film was made with $175,000 and grossed over $7 million at the box office. In 1989, his film Do The Right Thing was nominated for an Academy award for best original screenplay. Since then he has directed and produced dozens of films, including another Academy Award nominated documentary in 1997 titled 4 Little Girls. Many of his films are set in Brooklyn and examine racial relations, urban crimes and poverty.

Amsterdam has the highest percentage of immigrants in the Netherlands (37% of the population) and 61% of them live in the southeast district of Amsterdam known as De Bijlmer. It’s home to 26,200 Surinamese, 5,200 Antillian, 1,400 South European, 1,300 Moroccan, 900 Turkish and 16,700 people from other foreign countries. Schools there receive 25-75% subsidies to accept immigrant children and this leads to discrimination. The district is infamous for drugs and violence and, despite the city council’s efforts to clean up the area, crime rates remain high.


Dutch a-z North’. One hundred kilometers of canals (or grachten in Dutch) divide the city into smaller islands, connected by beautiful historic bridges. The most famous canals are the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht. A canal tour is a great way to view the city from a different angle. The canals were created centuries ago and were often used for transporting goods.

Every issue Amsterdam Magazine covers the whole alphabet to help you understand what the Dutch are all about.

* 11 Cities Tour Although the Dutch love to complain about cold winters, they forget all about their grudges once the canals and lakes are frozen over. Let the ice-skating begin! [see Ice skating for more info] When the ice is thick enough (15cm), the largest speed ice-skating competition can take place. The ‘11 Cities Tour’ (Elfstedentocht) is a rare event because most winters are not cold enough. The last tours were in ‘85, ‘86 and ‘97. The tour is held in the Friesland province and the 200km course goes through 11 historic cities.

What’s Holland without cheese? Being the largest exporter, Holland offers many varieties of this yellow delicacy, such as Gouda, Edam, Maasdammer and Boerenkaas (farmer’s cheese). Make sure you take some of that gold back home!

12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world.

B Bicycles Some claim that there are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, you will often see cyclists weaving nonchalantly between pedestrians. Renting a bicycle in Amsterdam might be a great idea to explore the smaller streets, but be careful if you’re not used to riding one!

Bitterballen Quite similar to the Kroket [see Kroket for more info], these little snacks are often served on special events such as birthdays, sport events or during business meetings. Of course, a beer perfectly complements this hot snack. Make sure you dip it in mustard before eating!

Clogs Ask anyone; “What’s typical Dutch?” and they often say wooden shoes. These shoes, also known as clogs, are actually no longer worn by the Dutch, but are still a popular souvenir. Originally, the wooden shoes were worn because of their protective features and were actually quite warm to wear since they were lined with hay.

If you’re searching for a hot, steaming coffee don’t be fooled; coffeeshops in Holland offer their customers something totally different. These coffeeshops will sell you (small) amounts of grass and you can smoke a joint on the premises, but only if there’s no tobacco inside, since the smoking of tobacco inside public places is banned. A small fact: it is actually illegal to sell weed, but not punishable, making it quite easy to get your stash.

D Delftware A Amsterdam Amsterdam is the capital and the largest city in the Netherlands. The city has a population of 1.4 million - quite impressive considering it began as a fishing village. In the late




Boerenkool [see Stamppot for more info]

C Canals Amsterdam is sometimes referred as ‘Venice of the

Drop Black candy, it doesn’t sound nor look attractive, but the Dutch love it! Also known as liquorice in English, Dutch drop comes in hundreds of flavours and shapes. Most varieties will taste sweet, but some can be quite salty, so beware, it’s an acquired taste.

Dutch Treat


3 kisses In most cultures it’s common to greet a friend with a kiss (or two). The Dutch however, like to add one extra. These three kisses are actually air kisses; the lips should not touch the other person’s cheek. Oh, and to avoid akward situations: men don’t kiss eachother!


done to prevent the country from flooding? Well the Dutch are very skilled at water management [see Water Management for more info] and dykes are one of those solutions. A dyke is a long wall or embankment which prevents water getting from one side to the other.

This is typical blue and white Dutch pottery that originated in the city of Delft. The original tinglazed pottery was made from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Dykes A very large part of the Netherlands is actually below sea level, so what can be

Ah, the Dutch Treat; we all use it from time to time. Being known as penny-pinchers, the Dutch prefer to split the total bill at a restaurant and only pay their part. The Dutch Treat is also known as Going Dutch or the Dutch Date.

E Efteling Why go to Euro Disney when the magic is right here in Holland? The Efteling is Holland’s largest theme park, with fairytales around every corner. You can meet Little Red Riding Hood, trolls, elves and creatures you’ve never even seen before. There are also plenty of adrenaline rides, so it’s fun for the whole family. The Efteling is located in the south of Holland (Kaatsheuvel). Go to www. for more info.

F FEBO Got a sudden craving for a crispy kroket or frikandel? [see Kroket or Frikandel for more info] Find a FEBO outlet and make sure you’ve got some coins on you. The FEBO is a fast food chain of automatiek restaurants, where you can buy your snacks from a wallmounted vending machine.

Frikandel This typical Dutch snack is shaped like a large sausage, but it’s rather different to the average sausage. It’s made from minced meat, deep-fried and

often eaten in a bun (broodje frikandel) or at least with a mixture of sauces. A frikandel speciaal is quite a popular variant; chopped onions together with mayonnaise and ketchup (or curry sauce) is placed in a frikandel that’s been cut open. A frikandel can be bought in a snack bar (fast food restaurant) such as a FEBO [see FEBO for more info] and is a typical party snack.

boterham (toast) with hagelslag.

Haring (herring)

G G (the pronunciation) Notable in the Dutch language, is the pronunciation of the letter ‘g’. Non-natives often struggle with this strange gurgling sound. In the northern and western parts of Holland, the letter ‘g’ is pronounced louder, a so-called ‘hard g’. In the other parts a ‘soft g’ is more common.

Gay marriage The Netherlands legalised gay marriage back in 2001, making it a popular destination for gay couples due to the tolerant attitude. Every first weekend in August, the popular Amsterdam Gay Pride event is held, attracting hundreds of thousands of gay and straight visitors. The most interesting part of this event is the canal parade, where a variety of themed boats sail along the canals.

Gezellig The Dutch word gezellig cannot be translated in any other language and is used in various ways. It means something like cosy, friendly or nice, but can also refer to time spent with loved ones or being very sociable. Things that can be gezellig are; hanging out with friends, a bruin café, drinking coffee with the neighbour or even a nicely decorated room in the house.

Going Dutch [see Dutch Treat for more info]

H Hagelslag Cloggies eat a lot of bread. They eat it at breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. Hagelslag is a typical Dutch chocolate topping that is sprinkled on toast (preferably white) with a thick layer of butter. Children in particular are quite fond of

This typical Dutch scenario is often quite repellent to outsiders: a raw shiny silver fish, covered with chopped onions, is held by its tail and is dangled over to the open mouth. With head tilted back, the fish is eaten (again, raw) and often a second one will follow. Yes, the Dutch love fresh haring every once in a while. A haring in a white bun is also quite popular. If you’re brave enough to try, go out an find some Hollandse Nieuwe catch between May and July; this is the best type of herring.

Heineken If you’ve never heard of Heineken, you must have been living under a rock. This brand of beer is world famous and originated the Netherlands. In Amsterdam you can visit the Heineken Experience to get to know everything you could possibly want to know about this golden liquid.

HEMA This Dutch department store with favourable prices has become quite hip in recent years. With more than 400 stores in the Netherlands, HEMA (Hollandse Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam / Dutch Standard Prices Company Amsterdam) offers everything from homeware to clothing, office supplies to delicious sausages (rookworst) [see Unox for more info about rookworst].

Hyves Ever tried to find a Dutch friend on Facebook? This can

dutch a-z be quite hard, because most of the Dutch are already quite busy maintaining their social networks on You might want to sign up there if you want to stalk that Dutch chick or dude.

I Ice skating Ice skating is a popular winter activity in Holland. Though the Dutch love to complain about cold weather, once the ice is strong enough, they will get their skates out and take to the ice. In larger cities, small skating rinks will be created to offer a safer alternative to natural ice. These small rinks are often quite gezellig [see Gezellig for more info] and you can enjoy a hot cocoa and other delicacies at the rink side. Speed skating is also a very popular sport in Holland [see 11 Cities Tour for more info].

[see Kibbeling for more info]. The word ‘lekkerbek’ can also imply a person who really appreciates food.

M Mayonnaise This emulsion of oil, vinegar, lemon juice and egg yolk is often served as a dipping sauce for fries or chips.

N Nachtwacht (Night Watch)

The most famous Dutch painting, by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1642 [see Rembrandt for more info] is actually called The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch. The picture is a group portrait of a division of the civic guard and is renowned for its size (363 x 437cm). You can see the Nachtwacht in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

J Jonkie This Dutch gin (also referred to as Genever) is a strong (35%+) liquor made in Holland and Belgium. There are two types of Genever; old (oude) and young (jonge). The difference is not in age, but in the distilling techniques.

K Kaaskop

Kibbeling Cloggies are fond of fish and often treat themselves to a little fish snack. Kibbeling consists of deep fried chunks of cod topped with spices. These nuggets are served with specific sauces and taste quite similar to a lekkerbek [see Lekkerbek for more info].

Kroket The Dutch may not be famous for their haute cuisine, but they sure know how to snack! When you’re near a snack bar or a FEBO, go grab yourself a kroket; a crispy, sausage-shaped meat roll filled with (hot!) minced meat. The taste is quite similar to bitterballen [see Bitterballen for more info] and should be served with mustard and, if preferred, in a white bun.

Lekkerbek is deep fried cod and literally means ‘tasty beak’. The taste is quite similar to kibbeling



Nieuwjaarsduik On January 1, thousands of people take a dip in the icy sea at Scheveningen, wearing nothing but a bathing suit, to celebrate the start of the new year. Afterwards, a hot pea soup provided by Unox [see Unox for more info] is truly a well deserved treat.

O Oliebollen

Known in English as the ‘Dutch doughnut’, Oliebollen are traditional Dutch treats that are especially popular around New Year. The deep-fried dough is often covered in powdered sugar and comes in different varieties. In the holiday season, oliebollen stands pop up around the country to satisfy the winter dessert cravings.


L Lekkerbek


P Pannekoeken (Pancakes)

These Dutch pancakes are slightly different then the American ones; they’re thinner and larger in size. Also various ingredients may be added to create surprising flavours. You can eat a basic pancake with ‘stroop’ (sugar beet syrup) or powdered sugar or go for the traditional ‘spek’ (bacon) pannekoek.

Poffertjes These mini pancakes are a traditional treat and taste quite similar to pancakes, but have a firmer and spongier texture. Typically, poffertjes are served with powdered sugar and butter, but other toppings are also available.


(New Year’s Dive)

Kaaskop is a (not so nice) nickname for a Dutch person. It literally means ‘Cheesehead’.

When visiting Holland during the European Cup and World Cup football, or on Queen’s Day [see Queen’s Day for more info], the streets and people will be wearing their national colour with pride.

Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands. The association originated from the name of the royal family ‘Oranje-Nassau’.

Holland is a very open-minded country and legal prostitution is not hard to find. Brothels and red light districts are often touristic sights. In these red light districts, women are displayed behind windows, where you can pick your favorite and negotiate the deal. Typically, red light (or purple light for darker ladies) is switched on to show the passerby that there is sex for sale. When in Amsterdam, ‘de wallen’ area is a must-see. [see Wallen for more info]

Q Queen’s day Queen’s Day celebrates the birthday of the Dutch queen and is held on 30 April (unless that’s a Sunday, in which case it’s celebrated the day before). It’s not actually the birthday of the current Queen Beatrix, but her mother, Queen Juliana, but the tradition remains. This day is known for its ‘free market’ (vrijmarkt), where everybody is allowed to sell things on the streets. The streets and the people are coloured orange [see Orange for more info]. It’s probably one of the most gezellige [see Gezellig for more info] times in Amsterdam.

R Red Light District [see Wallen for more info]

Rookworst A typical Dutch sausage, made

with ground meat, mixed with spices, which is stuffed into a casing. While it literally means ‘smoked sausage’, it’s not truly smoked. This sausage is a typical ingredient of stamppot [see Stamppot for more info] and is often bought from HEMA [see HEMA for more info] or the supermarket. Unox is also a popular brand of rookworst [see Unox for more info].

S Sinterklaas While Christmas is widely celebrated in the Netherlands, children generally look forward to Sinterklaas more. This yearly Dutch feast is celebrated on December 5 and holy man Sinterklaas (who has a lot of similarities to Santa Claus) is the central character. The holy man and his helpers the ‘Zwarte Pieten’ [see Zwarte Piet for more info] will sneak through the chimney and leave behind jute sacks filled with presents for wellbehaved children.

Stamppot When it’s getting chilly outside, the Dutch like to eat stamppot for dinner. Stamppot is a mixture of boiled potatoes and vegetables topped with gravy and served together with meat such as rookworst [see Rookworst for more info]. Popular stamppotten are Boerenkool (farmer’s cabbage), Andijvie (endive), Zuurkool (Dutch sauerkraut) and Hutspot (potatoes mixed with onion and carrot).

T Tulips If you come to the Netherlands in the spring, you can’t miss the tulip fields in the countryside. The Dutch love their flowers and the tulip is their most prized possession. Home to the world’s largest tulip garden, Keukenhof is a nice place to see the colours and varieties of tulips.

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U Unox This consumer product brand is presented as something typically Dutch. Their rookworst [see rookworst for more info] is often eaten during winter times and Unox is a prominent sponsor of the 11 cities tour [see 11 Cities Tour for more info] and the nieuwjaarsduik [see Nieuwjaarsduik for more info].


in Amsterdam. It is a network of alleyways and canalside buildings where approximately 300 windows are used by prostitutes [see Prostitution for more info]. The prostitutes sit behind a window in a room with a red light. This is a major tourist attraction in Amsterdam and the area also includes a number of sex shops, peep shows, and a sex museum.

(Dutch East India Company)

Water management

The VOC (Vereenigde OostIndische Compagnie) was a chartered company established in 1602. It was the first multinational company and the first that handed out shares. For decades this monopolistic concern dominated the global spice trade, transporting spices using large ships (you can see a replica ship at the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam). The VOC representatives used violent methods to gain respect from the native population. In the first years of the 1800s the VOC slowly fell apart.

Since large parts of the Netherlands are below sea level, the Dutch have become very inventive when it comes to keeping the water out. Their systems are utilised globally and range from dykes and dams to well-engineered automatic floodgates.

W Wallen De Wallen is the largest and most famous red light district

Windmill The Dutch are famous for their windmills and have a long tradition of using windmills for land draining, corn milling, saw milling, and more. There are currently 1200 windmills that still survive today. The largest collection of windmills are located at Kinderdijk in South Holland. The 19 historical working windmills are on

the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list and are among the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Wooden Shoes [see Clogs for more info]

Y Yiddish Many words from the Amsterdam dialect originate from the Yiddish language. Examples are mazzel (lucky), mesjogge (crazy), nebbisj (unlucky person), achenebbisj (poor, messy) and koosjer (in order, all ok). Before WWII, Amsterdam was home to a large group of Jews whose mother tongue was Yiddish.

Z Zwarte Piet (Black Pete)

X xxx You might presume that the triple X sign represents the erotic scene in Amsterdam. Well it could. But when you ask a Dutch person what XXX means, they will probably say three kisses [see 3 Kisses for more info]. The XXX is quite similar to the American xoxo (hugs and kisses). These three letters are also to be found everywhere on the streets of Amsterdam, such as on amsterdammetjes (steel bollards). In that case the crosses are part of the city’s crest, and are actually Saint Andrew’s Crosses - not that sexy, but of historic value.

Sinterklaas’s [see Sinterklaas for more info] companions are loved by children. The funny looking characters with colourful costumes and blackened faces are subject to much debate. Foreigners are often shocked by their appearance. While it is a very old tradition, the fact that their faces are covered in black make-up and they are Sinterklaas’s helpers is unacceptable to some.

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the ten


Ten ways to


Survive Winter!


*gezellig The word gezellig encompasses Dutch culture. It goes beyond its literal translation of ‘cosy, quaint or comfortable’, and can also be used to describe having coffee with a friend, reading a good book or spending time with family. Here are 10 tips for staying gezellig this winter!

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Tourists might be surprised by how dimly lit the cafés and bars are in Amsterdam, but locals prefer the cosy candlelit atmosphere. Here’s why; it’s more gezellig that way! Plus, for some reason most people look better in dimmed light. Enjoy a candlelit drink at Cafe ‘t Smalle on Egelantiersgracht 12, Café De Eland on Prinsengracht 296 or Café in de Waag on Nieuwmarkt 4.

Flowers Picture a man riding a bike holding a bouquet of fresh flowers from a local market. This may sound like a scene from a postcard but it actually happens in Amsterdam. Flowers are to the Dutch what the baguette is to the French. Filling your home with plants and freshly cut flowers makes for a very gezellig atmosphere. The Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market on the Singel canal, has a great selection of flowers and plants.

3 4


Cosy Interiors Walk around the Jordaan district in the evening and you’ll probably to notice something missing: curtains! The Dutch are masters of cosy interior design and have no problem showing off their work of art. Want to make your home gezellig? Buy loads of candles, plants, funky light fixtures and adopt a few pets. For nice interior design boutiques, check out the Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) district.



Furry Friends You don’t really hear about Amsterdam being a pet friendly city, but walk into a bar or boutique and you’ll often see the store cat or dog hanging about making the space feel more like a cosy living room than a place of business. Looking to adopt a furry friend? Look no further than the Poezenboot, a houseboat cat shelter at Singel 38.

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5 6

‘De vijf zit in de klok’ (‘The five is in the clock’) is a popular Dutch saying meaning ‘It’s five o’clock, let’s drink!’. Having wine at home with family and friends, or spending the evening in a cosy bruin café is a gezellige way to escape the cold. Check out the Grape District wine shops, located in various neighbourhoods, for some great bottles of wine. Or do the Dutch thing and try some Genever at ‘De Admiraal’ distillery on Herengracht 319.

Get Crafty Knitting isn’t just for grannies anymore. If you’re look for a place to get crafty, Café Brecht, a Berlin style bar located on Weteringschans 157 has wool and needles throughout the bar, so you can have a drink and knit with friends. Also, De Nieuwe Anita on Frederik Hendrikstraat 111-115 holds the monthly Katie’s Cosy Craft Corner, a free meet-up where craft lovers can get together.

7 8

Drink the Cold Away

bury yourself in warmth One way to stay gezellig is to avoid the cold at all cost. The Dutch like to wear a huispak, a fleece pyjama-type set, to keep them warm indoors. Add a pair of fuzzy slippers and you’re all set for the winter. You’ll look ridiculous but, let’s face it, it’s comfort over fashion when it’s this cold. To get your very own huispak, check out your local Blokker or Zeeman or head to the Albert Cuypmarkt, where we got our pink huispak!

play in the snow Though Amsterdam is not a particularly snowy city, it does tend to snow for a few weeks in the winter. During this time, you might fall off of your bike and public transport might stop running but hey, Amsterdam sure does look gezellig. So bundle up, go outside and play in the snow! Need a place to play? Vondelpark is centrally located, spacious and looks gorgeous in the snow.

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ice skating The Dutch are famous for their love of bicycles, but they’re also pros on the ice. A very gezellige wintertime activity is to go iceskating with friends, then drink hot cocoa and eat ertwensoep (Dutch split pea soup) to warm up. If you want to see some real ice-skating action, check out the Elfstedennocht (Eleven Cities Tour) IF it goes ahead (ice-permitting), it’s the world’s largest speed skating competition and is held in Friesland.

Home-baked treats What’s more gezellig than walking into your home and smelling the aroma of a freshly baked pie or home cooking? The Dutch aren’t known for their great culinary accomplishments but they do know how to satisfy winter cravings. Try the famous Dutch apple pie or the savoury Stamppot, a hearty dish often made with mashed potatoes, vegetables and sausage. If you want to make your own Stamppot, check out our delicious recipe on page 21.


the golden keys

The Golden KeyS Are four or five star hotels a little beyond your budget? Don’t worry – here’s some five star advice from a top Amsterdam concierge.



Remko De Vos


Concierge at Mövenpick hotel for 4 Years Advises around 10,000 guests per year

Daniel Verhaar


Concierge at Mövenpick hotel for 3 Years Advises around 10,000 guests per year

Each month Amsterdam Magazine interviews a hotel concierge associated with Les Clefs d’Or. Les Clefs d’Or members have dedicated many years of hard work and training to the concierge profession. They are experts on their cities. Whether requesting something simple or complex, you can be sure they are a trusted resource to business travellers and tourists alike. More information:

It’s too cold to do anything! Can you suggest some cosy indoor options?


Go to one of the old canal house museums such as Geelvinck, Van Loon or Willet-Holthuysen. Here you can see inside a traditional canal house and discover what ‘cosy’ meant in the 1800s.

Zaanse Schans. This village is just 20 minutes away by train, or you can also get there by taking a bike tour through Amsterdam Noord for an hour. They have many different types of windmills including sawmills and the only paint mill in the world. If you want to see a windmill in the city, visit Het Brouwerij’t IJ. It’s a nice brewery inside a windmill in Amsterdam-Oost.

I WANT A MASSAGE. WHERE CAN I RELAX AND BE PAMPERED? There’s a spa where you can get a nice massage here in the hotel, but if you want to go further afield, Spa Zuiver at Amsterdamse Bos is the best spa in the city. Opened in June 2009, it has everything: swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, massages and a beautiful bar.

I want to take my family out to brunch. Can you recommend a good weekend brunch café? De Drie Graefjes is delicious. They offer fresh pastries and great cupcakes. They even serve high tea.

Is there a good art district in this city? The Spiegelkwartier has been at the centre of the art trade for many years. There are about 70 classic and modern galleries. The area is close to the museum district, so you can check out the major museums in Amsterdam as well.

I love sports! What do you recommend? This city is all about the bicycle. Rent a bike, take one of the many tours, and you can combine sports and sightseeing. You can also rent a canoe and sail along the River Amstel.


amsterdam sleeps

Hotel Okura


he hotel okura amsterdam

is a five-star luxury hotel situated in Amsterdam-Zuid. This comfortable hotel is famous for its broad range of dining options, and has a fully equipped wellness centre for some good relaxation.

Since I’m in desperate need of that, I’m really looking forward to my stay here. But as I’m walking along the taxi lane with my trolley, three Japanese cyclists nearly run me over. ‘Konnichiwa!’ (good afternoon) I shout to them. ‘Konnichiwa!’ they reply. Sake Once I’m checked in, two blonde ladies take me to my Superior Room on the 16th floor. A huge bathtub penetrates the tastefully decorated room that’s divided by a glass wall. ‘These rooms have just been refurbished,’ one of the blondes tells me. ‘Research showed that guests spend most of their time in a hotel in the bathroom, at least when they’re awake. So we decided to give it some more attention.’ On the clean desk in the room a bottle of sake and a bowl of wasabi nuts await me. There’s a special jet lag lamp next to the bed. ‘Tonight two friends will join me for dinner,’ I say. ‘Can I book a table for three?’ ‘Sorry, all restaurants are fully booked tonight,’ the lady replies. ‘But I can put you on our waiting list?’ Together with my friends I wait at the hotel bar. After four hours (!) the lady and I meet again. Although she looks a bit stressed out, she brings good news: we have a table at the Yamazato restaurant at nine. We order some more sake in the sky lounge while enjoying a splendid view.




‘Although she looks a bit stressed out, she brings good news’ Finally we descend to the Japanese restaurant. ‘If you want to order, you’ll have to do it now!’ a Kimono-dressed waitress insists. ‘Relax,’ I smile at her. ‘The kitchen is closing at ten. Give us some time to decide, okidoki?’ ‘Okidoki,’ she smiles. Jet lag After a wonderful dinner (worth the wait) the sake rocks me sound to sleep. The next morning I wake up, just in time for a quick breakfast. And leave the bath – unused – behind. Downstairs, a professor is lecturing a bunch of people who frequently fly between Japan and the Netherlands. ‘Your biological clock originates from prehistoric times,’ he says. ‘It’s not used to flying all over the world with different time zones. You can reset it in a few days with a special lamp, motion and melatonin, but should do so under a tight schedule. It’s complicated, but we can assist you.’ How? That I find out at the wellness centre. A sporty dude behind the desk hands me a pile of towels. ‘Life in hotels can be quite stressful. Take some time to relax.’ And that’s exactly what I am going to do. When I leave the hotel I feel completely Zen.

Hotel Okura Ferdinand Bolstraat 333 +31 (0)20 6787111 Room Rate: Superior room starting €250

photos courtesy of hotel okura

Every night trend-watcher Vincent van Dijk sleeps in a different hotel. His goal: to find out how (and if) Amsterdam is sleeping. This Issue: Hotel okura

amsterdam sleeps



amsterdam cocktail

Amsterdam Cocktail

club nl By Sarah moore


ith its central location, directly behind Dam Square, one would imagine this lounge to be overrun by tourists. Surprisingly, the crowd is made up of locals, with a nice mix of tourists and expats. Open for 11 years, Club NL aims to keep the standards high and is content keeping the venue a hidden gem.

Moulin Rouge The vibe inside Club NL is private burlesque show meets speakeasy. The space is red, ceiling to floor, with red lighting, red velvet cushions and red private nooks. Giant disco balls and a pole on the dance floor are a sure sign that people come here for a good time. While most cocktail bars in Amsterdam fit into the lounge category, this place is a real dance club with DJs spinning house music seven nights a week. At 1am, when the other bars close, an artistic crowd arrives for the after-party. Unlike many well-known clubs in the centre, Club NL remains a well-kept secret. ‘We’ve been here for over a decade, but still a lot of people don’t know it,’ says head bartender Marieken van Steen. ‘Of course, we welcome tourists, but we like the fact that it’s an Amsterdam secret.’

High Cocktail Standards Marieken is only 24 years old and has already been bartending for seven years. She recently made the transition from fulltime bartender to student at the University of Amsterdam. ‘Even though I’m in school, I can’t imagine not being behind the bar. I can see myself in the future bartending on the weekends just for fun,’ she says. One drawback to Club NL is that, when it gets too Club NL Nieuwezijds Voorbugwal 169 Open: Sun-Wed: 11pm-3am, Thurs: 10pm-3am, Fri & Sat: 11pm-4am +31 (0)20 6227510

[Map 142 - D3]




In search of high-end cocktails in a nightclub atmosphere? Then head over to the red-hot Club NL!

busy, they stop making cocktails. They never want to jeopardise quality for quantity. ‘When we’re very busy, it’ll take 30 minutes for a customer to get a cocktail, so we stick to mixed drinks, beer and wine until the crowd settles,’ says Marieken.

Doo Doo Voodoo Though the club’s expertise lies in making a good cocktail, their signature drink comes in a shot. ‘You either love it or you hate it, there’s no in between,’ says Marieken. With a name such as the Doo Doo Shot, it’s easy to see why people are repulsed at first glance. The drink, brought back from one of the Resident DJs’ home country Lebanon, consists of an unusual combination: vodka, lime juice, Tabasco sauce and a whole green olive dropped in the bottom of the glass. Marieken confesses to hating the concoction, ‘I’ve been drinking this for three years and I still hate it, but you might become one of the fanatics.’ We do a shot together and, as I watch the look of disgust appear on Marieken’s face, my taste buds are intrigued. It tastes unlike anything I’ve tried before and I like it. Spicy, savoury and sour are what I crave, so for all you Bloody Mary types, this is probably a good shot for you. On the other hand, if the sound of this drink is triggering your gag reflex, skip the shot and simply come here for a good party.

‘We’ve been here for over a decade, but a lot of people still don’t know it.’

amsterdam cocktail

head bartender

Marieken van steen

What’s your favourite Classic Cocktail? A daiquiri. It’s simple, elegant and if made properly something I can always drink. Cocktails are usually about the mood you’re in but I can drink a daiquiri anytime. What do you think of tiki cocktails? I think they put the fun back into cocktails. They’ve been mocked but have no reason to be. Maybe Tiki bars are what’s needed to get people interested in cocktails. Do you use premixed juices? No, everything is fresh and squeezed on the spot. What’s the fastest cocktail you can make? A screwdriver. What’s your favourite bar in Amsterdam? Vesper Bar in the Jordaan. What would a typical Amsterdam cocktail look like? Beer. It’s not a cocktail city. The general cocktail scene in Holland is non-existent. People in Amsterdam are still getting used to the fact that good cocktails come with a price.


De Nachtspelen If there’s a party going on, special reporter Michiel Döbelman is there. Make sure you don’t miss out next time!

CAPTURED By Michiel Döbelman/Savage Productions

cinqcinq launch We spotted some Dutch celebs for you! Interested? Check out Leontine Borsato (wife of a national singer), Sebastiaan Labrie (soap actor), Dirk Taat (model and actor), Tom Sebastian (hairdresser) and Mark van Eeuwen (soap actor). Launch of a new lifestyle brand CinqCinq @ Buiksloterkerk

17 November 76



Every six months Café Diep & Rendez-Vous organise Olympique, a party where 2,600 people dress up as their favourite Olympic athlete to play games and dance at the same time. Without doubt one of the craziest and most popular parties in Amsterdam, it always sells out in no time. Olympique / De Nachtspelen @ Westerunie

13 November

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woohoo!! Ever since its premiere WOOHOO!! has been a huge talking point. Every Sunday night old school hip-hop, indie, classics, dubstep, funky house and R&B blast from the speakers. International artists such as the Wu-Tang Clan, Ryan Leslie, Jack Parow and Camp Lo have already paid WOOHOO!! a surprise visit. WOOHOO!! @ Jimmy woo

every sunday night

Michiel Döbelman has deep roots in the Amsterdam nightlife scene. His company Savage Productions organised events for Amsterdam Fashion Week, Armani, BlackBerry and others.



Photo: Melkweg

By Blair Larkin

/JANUARYGIGS Saturday 1 Vive La Fête, Melkweg Unique electro-rock from the Belgian duo. 22:00, €16 + membership

recently formed American band. 20:00, €10 + membership Charlie Dée, De Meervaart Theater Dutch singer/songwriter Charlie Dée paying tribute to Joni Mitchell. 20:30, €16.50

Sunday 2

When: 15 January Where: Melkweg Admission: €7.50

Spin Off Spin Off, the national break-dancing battle takes place at Melkweg this month. The event will feature battle showcases, workshops, lectures and a special presentation from the European Laboratory of Hip-Hop Dance led by German choreographer Storm.

Ab Baars Trio, Bimhuis A night with the Ab Baars Trio playing the music of American jazz musician John Carter. 20:30, €17.50

Corrie van Binsbergen, Bimhuis One of the most versatile jazz musicians in the Netherlands performs with special guests. Concert followed by a jazz improv session. 15:30, €19.50

Natalio Sued Trio, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 20:00, €6

Wednesday 5


Holland Got Soul, Paradiso Featuring Nanda Akkerman and Young, Gifted & Black. 19:30, €12.50 + membership

Annual art fair dedicated to contemporary figurative art. This year, 32 Dutch and international galleries are showcasing their works in the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. When: 13-16 January Where: Passenger Terminal Amsterdam Admission: €12

Vinicius Cantuaria & Bill Frisell, Bimhuis Brazilian singer/songwriter Vinicius Cantuaria and American guitarist Bill Frisell with their Latin influenced jazz. 20:30, €27.50

Image: Carli Hermes

Fashion Week downtown

Photo: Peter Stigter

This month scores of fashion designers and models will be arriving in Amsterdam for Amsterdam International Fashion Week. While all of the official AIFW catwalk shows are invitation-only events, the public will get the chance to check out numerous catwalk shows, shop launches, exhibitions and parties as part of Fashion Week DOWNTOWN. The events will take place place at various galleries, museums, clubs and shops around the city

When: 22-30 January Where: Various locations Admission: Varies www.amsterdamfashionweek. com/downtown




Sunday 9

Ink & Dagger, Melkweg After a decade-long hiatus, Philadelphia punk band Ink & Dagger have reunited and are coming to Amsterdam with new front man Geoff Rickly. 20:00, €10 + membership

Jazz Session, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 14:30, Free

Tina Lie, Bitterzoet 20:00, €5 Reiner Voet, Cafe Kobalt 17:00, Free

Monday 10 Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Paradiso The Netherlands Wind Ensemble is made up of musicians from all of the major Dutch symphony orchestras. 20:00, €50

Thursday 6

Tuesday 11

Holland Got Soul, Paradiso Featuring Young, Gifted & Black and Furlan Williams. 19:30, €12.50 + membership

Tickets Go Past, Bitterzoet Dutch alternative band Tickets Go Past celebrate the release of their new album Mainstream. 20:00, €5

Ploctones, Bimhuis Dutch band Ploctones are known for their explosive mix of jazz, funk, rock, Latin, punk and blugrass. 20:30, €17.50 Orjan Graafmans Trio, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 20:00, €6 Pieter de Graaf & Roos Jonker, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) 21:30, €10

Friday 7 Holland Got Soul, Paradiso Featuring Gerry Mendes Borges. 19:30, €12.50 + membership The Foreign Exchange, Paradiso See feature. 20:00, €15 + membership Simon Amon, Paradiso 22:15, €10 + membership Dimami & Joost Buis, Bimhuis Dutch smart groove jazz trio Dimami with trombone player Joost Buis. 20:30, €16.50

Saturday 8 Tennis, Paradiso Stripped down indie rock from this

Wednesday 12 Adept, Melkweg Swedish metal and hardcore band. 20:00, €10 + membership Kings Go Forth, Paradiso Ten-piece American funk and soul band who released their debut album The Outsiders Are Back earlier this year. 22:00, €12 + membership

Thursday 13 Japanther, Paradiso American punk rock duo Japanther have released more than ten albums since they formed in 2001. 21:30, €10 + membership The Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra and Yuri Honing, Bimhuis The Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra play raw big band music. They are joined by saxophone player Yuri Honing who will play the lead parts. 20:30, €16.50 Robin Nolan Trio, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) Gypsy jazz guitarist Robin Nolan with his brother Kevin Nolan on rhythm guitar and gypsy jazz veteran Simon Planting on double bass. 20:00, €6


Ferdinand Povel Quartet, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) 21:30, €10 El Guincho, Paradiso Spanish musician El Guincho creates an original sound by sampling a range of genres including dub, rock and roll, and afrobeat. 23:30 €8

Friday 14 Machinefabriek and Darkstar, Bimhuis A night of dubstep and electronic music. 21:30, €17.50 Logical Progression, Melkweg Old school drum & bass night with D&B legends LTJ Bukem, Goldie, Fabio, Doc Scott and more. 22:00, €18 + membership

Saturday 15 Paradiso Korendagen, Paradiso Day one of this festival featuring performances from 140 different choirs. 11:30, €2.50 Denis Colin and La Société des Arpenteurs, Bimhuis Hailing from Paris, Denis Colin and La Société des Arpenteurs (The Society of Surveyors) play a fusion of soulful jazz, funk and Eastern and African trance music. 20:30, €16.50 Balkan Xprezz, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) 22:00, €8

Sunday 16 Paradiso Korendagen, Paradiso Day two of this festival that features performances from 140 different choirs. 11:30, €2.50 Graffiti6, Melkweg Pop/rock duo from London. 20:00, €14 + membership

Tuesday 18 Elias Nardi Quartet, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) 21:30, €5

Wednesday 19 Drake, Heineken Music Hall 20:00, €39 Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Paradiso Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor are touring again after a seven year hiatus. 20:30, €25 + membership My Jerusalem, Paradiso Catchy indie rock from the New Orleans outfit. 22:15, €8 + membership Tim Berne and Los Totopos, Bimhuis Saxophonist Tim Berne has been composing and performing jazz for 30 years. 20:30, €19.50

Thursday 20 Luc de Vos, Paradiso The former lead singer and guitarist of Flemish rock group Gorki comes to Amsterdam with a solo show. 20:00, €15 + membership 1000, Bimhuis Led by saxophone player Jan Klare, this group plays jazz with classical music influences. 20:30, €16.50 Bart Fermie and Daniel de Moraes, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 20:00, €6 Jessica Manuputty and NOA, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) Soul and jazz singer Jessica Manuputty with energetic vocal jazz pop band NOA. 21:30, €10

Friday 21

Murderdolls, Melkweg Horror punk supergroup Murderdolls are touring shortly after releasing their second album Women and Children Last. 20:30, €14 + membership

Bring Me The Horizon, Melkweg This metalcore band comes to Amsterdam along with fellow metalcore bands Architects and The Devil Wears Prada. 19:00, €15 + membership

Sabrina Starke, De Kleine Komedie Surinam-Dutch singer/songwriter Sabrina Starke has just released her second album Bags & Suitcases. Two shows: 13:00 and 20:15, €8.75-€17.50

Murder, Paradiso Neo folk/alternative band from Denmark. 19:00, €8.50 + membership

Talking Cows, Bimhuis Dutch Jazz Quartet. 16:30, €16.50 Jazz Session, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 14:30, Free Piero Biancull Trio, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 20:00, €6

Monday 17 Harlem Gospel Singers, Theater Carre See feature. 20:00, €19-€49 Lou Donaldson Quartet Legendary jazz alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson plays with his quartet. A mustsee for any jazz fan. 20:30, €27.50

Che Sudaka, Melkweg This six-piece band from Argentina and Colombia play mestizaje (Latin alternative) with ska, reggae and rock influences. 21:00, €12.50 + membership Please!, Paradiso This local band play a mix of hip-hop, funk, soul and jazz. 22:30, €6.50 + membership Pinch, Distance and Jack Sparrow, Melkweg 23:00, €11 + membership Arifa, Bimhuis Amsterdam-based band that get inspiration from the music of Turkey, Persia, Central Asia, India and Pakistan. Ebo Taylor and Bonze Konkoma, Tropentheater

Jazzy afrobeat from the Ghanaian veteran and his band. 20:30, €23

Lucky Fonz III and De Felle Kleuren, Paradiso 19:30, €12.50 + membership

Saturday 22

Eefje, Paradiso Dutch singer/songwriter and Grote Prijs van Nederland winner Eefje presents her debut album De Koek. 20:00, €8.50 + membership

Francien van Tuinen, Bimhuis Accompanied by four leading Dutch musicians, Francien van Tuinen pays tribute to Rita Reys. 20:30, €17.50 D-Block and S-te-fan, Heineken Music Hall 21:30, €45

The Phoenix Foundation, Paradiso Indie rock band from New Zealand. 21:30, €8.50 + membership

F*cking Pop Queers, Paradiso 23:00, €14

Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and Jan van Duikeren, Bimhuis 20:30, €19.50

Sunday 23

Jura Gomes Trio, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 20:00, €6

30x20 Minute Festival, Paradiso This festival gives 30 bands 20 minutes each to showcase their talent. 13:00 Entrance available via the performing bands only

Saskia Laroo Band, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) 21:30, €10

Steve Lehman Octet, Bimhuis Saxophonist Steve Lehman has been praised by jazz critics for his modern jazz which is influenced by hip-hop and new electronic music. 20:30, €22.50

ABBA The Show, Heineken Music Hall 20:00, €39-€49

Jazz Session, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 14:30, Free De Blaas Band, Hotel de AAB and Play It Cool, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) 14:30, Free Basic Vibes, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 20:00, €6

Monday 24 The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Paradiso 20:00, €17.50

Tuesday 25 Thin Lizzy, Paradiso Expect a diverse range of songs from this Irish hard-rock band.19:30, €30 + membership New Politics, Paradiso Danish rock band New Politics are touring shortly after releasing their self-titled debut album. 21:30, €8 + membership The Karnatic Lab, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 20:30, Free

Wednesday 26 The Gracious Few, Melkweg American rock band comprised of former members of the bands Live and Candlebox. 20:30, €17.50 + membership Ilanois, Paradiso 20:00, €8.50 + membership The Jankobus Drum & Bass Ensemble, Paradiso 22:00, €8.50 + membership

Thursday 27 Pennywise, Melkweg American punk rock band Pennywise come to town with new lead singer Zoli Téglás. 20:00, €22.50 + membership

Friday 28

Rosario La Tremendita and Mohammed Motamedi, Bimhuis 20:30, €24.50 Orquesta Bembe, Badcuyp (Concert Hall) 22:00, €7

Saturday 29 Stars In The City, Heineken Music Hall The first of a new series of events that aims to showcase Arabic artists in Europe. 19:00. €55 Glasser, Paradiso Experimental electronic sounds from the American singer/songwriter. 22:00, €8 + membership Flamenco Biennale III, Bimhuis An afternoon of Flamenco sounds from some of Holland’s most talented flamenco musicians. 14:00, €16.50 El Torta and Diego Del Morao, Bimhuis The flamenco theme continues into the evening with El Torta & Diego Del Morao and Arcangel & Miguel Angel Cortes. 20:30, €24.50

Sunday 30 Flamenco Biennale, Bimhuis The last concert of the Flamenco Biennale series with flamenco guitarist Moraito Chico. 20:30, €27.50 Jazz Session, Badcuyp (Music Cafe) 14:30, Free

Monday 31 Good Charlotte, Melkweg 20:00, €22 + membership Agnes Obel, Paradiso Danish singer/ songwriter Agnes Obel’s last concert at Paradiso last November sold out so quickly that she has been invited to come back and play again. 20:30, €12.50 + membership David Kweksilber Big Band, Bimhuis 20:15, €26


a dv e r to r i a l




Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 7 December, 6:17 PM I was in a hurry, walking from Dam Square to the Zeedijk where I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner, when I noticed all these swans and ducks gathered in front of the Casa Rosso. There are usually quite a few swans in the Red Light District, but I had never seen that many. What drew the birds to this particular spot? The same reason that got me there in the first place: food! Even though I was going to be late meeting my friend, I couldn’t resist taking this picture.




Every day Thomas Schlijper takes a picture. Check out his blog at www. and see what the beating heart of Amsterdam looks like. Here’s a sneak preview!

Amsterdam Magazine no 5 - January 2011  

With 50,000 copies distributed each month, Amsterdam Magazine is the largest free English-language magazine in the Netherlands. Amsterdam Ma...