Ye�, I’� ����!
beyond windmills, wooden shoes and weed
m a g a z i n e
THE OTHER ARCHITECTURAL GEMS
NEW AMSTERDAM Knock Knock & Pimp my Bike
The 10 best places to fulfill your
Interview with Ben Howard:
THE BEST OF
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
‘I WRITE MUSIC FOR MYSELF’
And: Interview with Birgit Schuurman and Arne Toonen, The Sopranos PianoBar, We Are Beauty, Upcoming and more…
FEATURED NEW AMSTERDAM
An overview of architecture in Amsterdam
16 19 23 46 34 50 33 56 59 64
73 18 40 60 6 9 11
15 48 66 68
MEET THE DUTCH: Arne Toonen and Birgit Schuurman STREET STYLE: This is how Amsterdam dresses UNLOCKING THE CITY: The inside scoop on Amsterdam’s fashion scene BEN HOWARD: Singer-songwriter talks about the revival of folk music
PIMP MY BIKE: The best of KNOCK KNOCK: The best of
AMSTERDAM EATS: Kantjil & de Tijger MUSEUM CHECK: Willet-Holthuysen Museum MAGNIFIED: We Are Beauty WET YOUR WHISTLE: The Sopranos PianoBar
FRAMED: By Thomas Schlijper
ART & DESIGN
MADE IN HOLLAND: Recession Chair EXPO: Rubens, Van Dyck & Jordaens
THE GUIDE DUTCH A-Z
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR GET SOCIAL! HEADS-UP: News from the city
DUTCH TREAT: Erwtensoep THE TEN: Best places to fulfill your New Year’s resolutions 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.
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Letter from the Editor
Happy 2012! The Amsterdam Magazine team wishes you a warm welcome to 2012 and the Netherlands! When you woke up on 1 January, you probably promised yourself to eat healthier this year and never have a sip of alcohol ever again, am I right? Well, we know it’s hard to keep your New Year’s Resolutions… That’s why we’re providing you with a list of ten places in Amsterdam that will help you stick with them on page 48. Our New Year’s Resolution? Providing you with a magazine that’s even more useful and fun to read. We’re working on
Design: Nicky Falkenberg firstname.lastname@example.org
a restyle as we speak, that will be up for your approval in
Finance Manager: Gerard Koelmans email@example.com
our lovely city with all its hidden treasures, peculiarities and
We’re open to any kind of internships! Email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
what we love to do!
Contributors Betribes, Nicola Bozzi, Allison Guy, Olivier van der Hagen, Brandon Hartley, Mike Peek, Thomas Schlijper, Arun Sood
Enjoy this issue of Amsterdam Magazine and 2012!
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February. Expect a magazine that will guide you through must-see’s. It won’t be that hard to keep this resolution; it’s
See you there!
Bieneke van der Does, Editor in Chief
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!
VIP GIVEAWAY Three-course dinner for two at La Brochette
How to win? Check out our Facebook and Twitter
/AMSTERDAMMAG Thisleth: @amsterdammag Gimme Framebusters tix! My favourite dance move: Cruijff turn! Dj Rockid: @amsterdammag Every monday free entrance club night at Chicago Social Club: Murda Monday Pieter Frank De Jong: Hey we staan ook in Amsterdam Magazine met Feats per minute wisten we dat? Merel Slootheer & Liat Azulay ???? Met dank aan Michiel Rotgans die hem spotte! Spud Dnb: Great work guys!!! Thumbs up from Berlin for this wonderfull magazin :-D Nice writing, no cheap stuff in it, interessting and cool storys, great photos and all that for free!!! There are a lot of people out there who can learn from you ;-) Thanks! Van Gogh Museum > Make sure to check out their Friday night agenda. Many times they have free entrance with live music and other activities! 61√
Heads-up news from the city
BY: TIM HILHORST
Homeless paper saved
Homeless paper Z! has been saved by a slightly more fortunate group of people. At this year’s Millionaire Fair in the RAI Amsterdam €57,000 was collected to save the publication. Earlier this year it was announced the paper had a shortage of €50,000 and would have to cease distribution. The mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, and Yves Gijrath, the organiser of the millionaire fair, was able to hand over a check to the publication last month. Van der Laan said, ‘I am mayor of all Amsterdammers – poor and rich.’ Another 25 so-called ‘friends of the Amsterdam homeless paper’ pledged to contribute €1000 per month. Source: Spitsnieuws.nl
Google shoot view An Amsterdam-based advertising firm was the cause of some serious uproar last month when it published a game titled ‘google shoot view’. The popular search engine excommunicated advertising agency Pool Worldwide after it used the search engine’s ‘street view’ to create a simple shooter where people caught on google’s street images are the target. With no special effects, gore or damage the game is little more than ordinary street view with an M4A1 rifle mounted in the lower half of the screen. That didn’t seem to matter to press outlets and Google itself, who promptly had it shut down. Source: Parool.nl
Hotels are well
Hotels stays are up in the capital. The amount of overnight stays has increased by 3.5 per cent according to the European City Tourism study. The study looked at 24 European capitals and found that Amsterdam is doing better than most with its 9.7 million overnight stays. Amsterdam is in eighth place behind London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Prague and Vienna respectively. The study looked at several factors and found that cities with outlined strategies for increasing tourism turn out to do better. Another reason the capital is doing so well is because of the many congresses held in the city (98).
Amsterdam continues its battle against malicious taxi drivers. The city has started a file that keeps a record of all the indiscretions by taxi drivers. If too many of these occur the drivers in question will lose their taxi license. Amsterdam is known for its poor taxi service, but the city intends on changing that in 2012. Two so-called ‘flexteams’ have been commissioned to monitor undesirable behaviour and cameras will be used to fine bad drivers. A crackdown on illegal chauffeurs will also commence. Richard van der Veen, director of Taxi Centrale Amsterdam (TCA), estimates there are also between 500-1500 of these drivers in Amsterdam. Source: Parool.nl
Heads-up news from the city
Sleeping in a press room
The former Volkskrant (a popular Dutch newspaper) building will endure, but be renovated and turned into a hotel. The building has recently been used as a hub for creatives; an incubator for creativity. The new owner, Job Heimans, plans to incorporate ‘the creative stamp’ the building has had since the 60s in his hotel. His idea is to create a new kind of hotel by linking creativity to the hotel in a new way. The property will have 168 rooms and areas that now function as creative spaces will remain. Club Canvas, which is set up inside the building, will also stay. The building is to be ready in 2014.
It’s not the winding canals or Rembrandt’s masterpieces. They didn’t come for the famous brew or Van Gogh’s post-impressionism. Tourism surged last month because of marijuana and hash. Young travellers especially Italians - flocked to Amsterdam before the New Year because of impending changes to drug tolerance in the Netherlands. Most of these extra tourists – a whopping 15 per cent – were between the ages of 18 and 24 and spent their new years in a coffeeshop. It will be considerably harder for tourists to get their hands on soft drugs in the new year because the vendors will become member-only clubs. To become a member you need Dutch citizenship. Source: Depers.nl
I do (not)
Compared to the rest of the country, more and more people refuse to marry or register a partnership in Amsterdam. According to a survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) marriage is increasingly less popular among Amsterdam’s residents. The shift is difficult to attribute to a single cause, but according to family attorney Marjoleine de Boorder it has to do with a difference of mindset between city residents and rural citizens. ‘People from the city often think less traditionally about marriage,’ she says. A lot of partners, especially those with children, suffer from the consequences of not registering some form of partnership after a split. Source: Metro.nl
Drug tourism flourishes
AIR safe on ear
One of Amsterdam’s most popular nightclubs, AIR, is the first music venue to be marked ‘ear safe’. This seal of approval by the National Hearing Foundation means they are attempting to reduce the risk of hearing damage for both its customers and personnel. The initiative ‘earsafe’ was started as a result of the growing numbers of music lovers that develop hearing problems. On a yearly basis almost 20,000 young people acquire some form of permanent hearing damage. The difference between these ‘safe’ clubs and unsafe ones is that they have clear decibel metres in the clubs, sell good ear protectors and lower the volume. Source: Parool.nl
Masterpiece, party banner or both?
A famous painting that hangs in the galleries of Dam Palace turns out to be nothing more than a glorified party banner. According to researcher Margriet van Eikema Hommes the painting (De nachtelijke samenzwering van Claudius Civilis in het Schakersbos) by Flinck was commissioned as a temporary piece to embellish the walls for a royal visit. Flinck was supposed to paint a proper version of the painting after the visit, but he died before he could. Rembrandt was asked to do it instead, but after payment problems arose the artwork was removed and Flinckâ€™s was put back up. Dripping tracks were found upon close inspection, which indicates it was most likely rushed.
Bike boom There are more than 16 million bicycles in Holland, which is roughly the same as the number of its citizens. That number is still growing and parking all those bicycles is a problem in the city. Many bike racks in the centre are too small and hold hundreds of bikes shoved in and on top of each other. In the report Biking in Amsterdam by Dienst, Onderzoek en Statistiek (trans. service, research and statistics) the city claims it will tackle the problem in the coming year. More bike racks will be installed and in some places, like de Munt, a â€˜bike coachâ€™ will take charge. Source: Parool.nl
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Erwtensoep BY: ALLISON GUY
You may have already sampled some Dutch treats. If you’re brave you might have even tried a kroket or salty liquorice. But what about a Erwtensoep?
rwtensoep, also called snert, is Holland’s version of split pea soup. A combination of split peas and winter vegetables like leeks, celeriac and carrots, snert gets its irresistible flavour from ham hocks, bacon, or even pig trotters. Dutch rookworst, a kind of smoked sausage, is a popular addition to the mix too. To complete the meal, serve with rye bread and mustard on the side.
S TRY THI ! AT H O M E
Split pea soup has a long history. It made its first appearance 2500 years ago in Greece, and showed up in the Netherlands’ first cookbook in 1514. Even though snert traces its roots to peasant cuisine, there’s still a real art to its preparation. At the yearly butcher’s championship in Amsterdam, the pretenders are weeded out from the true masters of the split pea soup. This year Wim Coenen of Nijmegen beat out 120 other entrants for the best snert. His secret? He won’t divulge the recipe, but Coenen hints that his trick lies in organic ingredients, lean pork and a low, slow simmer that lasts for hours.
Erwtensoep is a symbol of the Dutch winter. In fact, split pea soup is so intimately associated with miserable weather that the word snertweer – snert weather – means it’s time to
put on your best waterproof parka. Usually as thick as glue, snert does just as good a job of sticking to your ribs. During the winter, small snack stalls spring up to serve erwtensoep to chilly shoppers and ice-skaters. If the canals freeze this year, a rare event that never fails to send the country into a maddened whirl of scarves and skates, snert will be as vital to the experience as reddened cheeks and bruised behinds.
In Holland, many people prefer snert that is thick enough to stand a spoon straight up, but feel free to add more water to reach your desired consistency. Like many hearty soups, erwtensoep tastes better the day after it is made.
• • • • • • • • •
500g green split peas 200g chopped spek or bacon 2 litres water or vegetable stock 1 bay leaf 1 tsp dried thyme 1 onion, chopped 2 leeks, chopped 1 large carrot, chopped 1 smoked sausage such as rookworst, sliced • Salt and pepper to taste
Put the water or stock, along with the peas, bay leaf and thyme into a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the peas are soft. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface, and stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add the bacon or spek, along with the onion, leeks and carrot. Cook at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Add the sliced sausage a few minutes before serving to warm through. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve with rye bread and mustard on the side.
Eet smakelijk (Bon appétit!) 15
BRUTAL ACTION, SNAPPY ONE-LINERS AND UNUSUAL SETUPS IN THE UPCOMING MOVIE
BLACK OUT By: Olivier van der Hagen Photo: Rahi Rezvani
MEET THE DUTCH
irgit Schuurman (34), actor/ singer, and Arne Toonen (36), director, have known each other since 2004. They run an online platform for promising young artists called Prints & The Revolution. The movie Black Out, which Arne directed and Birgit has a part in, was filmed earlier this year and is due out 26 January 2012. The trailer is already garnering great word of mouth. BLACK OUT They met at Schiphol airport in 2004 and hit it off, even though they were both in a relationship at the time. Eight months on, they were both single and the attraction hadn’t abated. Arne moved into film via commercials and music videos in 2004 and got his big break with the acclaimed family film Dik Trom (2010). That opened some crucial doors, which allowed Arne to pursue Black Out this year. Meanwhile Birgit wasn’t sitting back either: ‘I got to play in a lot of theatres in Holland with my show Het Grote Verlangen. And I was in two great movies: Lotus (2011) and Black Out (2012).’ For Arne, Black Out was an opportunity to explore a genre that isn’t done too often. ‘I’ve always really enjoyed action comedies, like most of what Guy Ritchie has done, so I decided to go for it,’ says Arne. The story is loosely based on the book Merg en Been (Gerben Hellinga) about a reformed criminal (Raymond Thiry) who wakes up the day before his wedding. There’s a dead body, a gun,
and he is accused of snatching 20kgs of coke. He has no recollection about any of it and has 24 hours to puzzle the pieces together. Birgit and her real-life sister Katja play a duo of cheeky women who are not averse to kicking ass and taking names. The trailer, in which brutal action, snappy one-liners and unusual setups are thrown into the mix, certainly looks promising. FLIRTING WITH THE U.S. MARKET Since Birgit got her break as a singer here in Holland, she has flirted with the U.S. market, even releasing an album (True Stories I Made Up), an adapted version of her album released in Holland called Sticky Tales. It earned her the nickname ´Holland’s own Gwen Stefani’ on a U.S. morning talkshow. Birgit
‘We know each other’s likes and dislikes’ laughs at this moniker. ‘To me this was just part of doing what I love anyway. Right now America is not a priority. I want to focus on what I am doing right here, and that’s going really well.’ Asked about his own dreams of Hollywood, Arne echoes Birgit’s sentiments: ‘Receiving international recognition would be amazing, sure. But bigger budgets and associated risks might take away from the joy of the filmmaking process. So I’m ambivalent about it. It’s not an ultimate goal in any case.’
DREAM TEAM Does being involved in overlapping projects make it fun, or easier, to use eachother as soundboards? Arne: ‘In film projects she is my muse. I ask her advice. For Prints & The Revolution we’re like a team. Aside from singing and acting, she’s amazing at organising. I have the network.’ Birgit: ‘With Black Out, Arne did some rewrites. I made some suggestions that I later found out made it into the film word for word. That was cool. But yeah, it works well because we know what works, as well as each other’s likes and dislikes.’ Asked about how they see each other developing as artists, their answers vary a little. Arne observes a shift, especially in Birgit’s music. ‘She’s less concerned with image, and she keeps surprising me with how good she is. Very recently I was in the audience at one of her shows and hearing her sing reduced me to tears. I am very proud of her.’ Of Arne, Birgit says the talent and the passion were already there when they met. ‘But it took the success of Dik Trom to get noticed and recognised by the industry. That’s given him more options and will allow him to really make his mark.’
BLACKOUTDEFILM.NL PRINTSANDTHEREVOLUTION.NL BIRGITSCHUURMAN.NL
MADE IN HOLLAND
MADE IN HOLLAND
Recession Chair BY: ALLISON GUY
When designer Frank Tjepkema, better known as Tjep, visited Dutch Design Week in 2011 he was surprised to find how few of his colleagues were reacting to the global recession. He didn’t see any nods to scrimping, saving or financial worry among the designs, so decided to take matters into his own hands. He bought a generic Ikea ‘LANNI’ chair and began to sand away the wood until a skeletal version of the original remained. During the process of creation, the chair went from solid, to sickly, to nearly feather light. The result is the ‘Recession’ chair, a rickety seat in constant threat of collapse. This is in stark contrast to his 2005 ‘XXL’ chair – a fat, fleshy chair made to represent economic times when bigger meant better. The ‘Recession’ chair mirrors the economy; it can no longer support the weight of the average person. It’s not a functional object either - the ‘Recession’ chair is an uneasy shadow of an item, or a system, that was once in working order. The designer’s choice of an Ikea product may be a sly comment on the financial system itself, too – after all, both are based on cheap goods, and neither seem designed to last. tjep.com
FANCY T HAT!
Let’s fa ce for the it, the Dutch a ir sense ren’t fa m o three e xceptio f fashion. Her ous e are ns to th e rule. by: tim hilh
orst Photog raphy: S arah
Charlotte Holkham (17) from Brighton
OUTFIT: Coat: Topshop Boots: Episode Bag: Primark
Charlotte from Brighton is still in school, but daydreams about being an artist. She’s not into the whole fashion thing and just wears what she thinks looks nice. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DAYTO-DAY STYLE? Lazy (laughing). ANY TIPS TO SURVIVE THE WINTER, BUT STILL LOOK FETCHING? I wear a lot of fur, not real of course. I also like boots and vests for winter. ANY WINTER NO-NOS? I would never wear Ugg boots! FAVOURITE WINTER PIECE? My favourite winter accessory is a faux fur stole to wear over coats or dresses, because they’re very versatile and warm. ARE THERE ANY SHOPS IN AMSTERDAM THAT YOU’VE REALLY LIKED WHILE YOU’VE BEEN HERE? SPRMRKT, that was really good and Episode is quite good and of course the markets. The vintage thing is a lot cheaper here and the selection is much better - it’s not all falling apart. Compared to Brighton everything is half the price and double the quality. We went to the Monday market in the Jordaan and we liked the one at Waterlooplein.
Hetty Ansing (62) and Joke Sala (63)
OUTFIT: HETTY Boots: Fred de la Bretoniere Coat: C&A Gloves: Polish lady at a market in Haarlem Bag: Can’t remember OUTFIT: JOKE Boots: Panara and Pauw Pants: Ernie van Reijmersdal Coat: John Partridge Scarf: Pauw Hat: Munich Bag: Rivet
Joke and Hetty are two Haarlem girls who love Amsterdam because it’s authentic, peculiar and reminds them of being in a movie. The ladies worked in a fashion store together, but knew how to dress long before that. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Joke: I guess I would call it nonchalant/timeless. It varies, but the most important thing is that it suits you. It has to be right. Hetty: My style can be very classic - I love evening wear - but I also really like sporty stuff. I balance between those depending on how I feel and what kind of day it is. ANY STYLE CHANGES FOR WINTER? Hetty: I love all the seasons. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I like wearing fur in the winter. It’s been out for a while but it’s back now. That kind of stuff is timeless. Hetty: We’re from the 60s - back when everything was great with fashion designers. Joke: You’ve either got it or you don’t, you can’t learn it. WHERE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND PEOPLE TO SHOP? Joke: It may sound a little weird, but really you have to go everywhere. There are couture stores, but there are also a lot of secondhand stores. I like Lady Day and you can find great pieces at C&A. You just need a critical eye. Hetty: Van Ravenstein is really nice, and Pauw too if you’re talking high-end. Everyone would be able to find something there, depending on the size of your wallet. Joke: The best tip we can give is to take your time because that’s what it takes.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
Eduardo Riascos (55)
OUTFIT: Shoes: Tod’s Pants: Banana Republic Coat: Renoma in Paris Hat: a gift from Moscow Gloves: Bottega Veneta
Originally from Colombia, Eduardo has spent over 25 years living in Amsterdam and enjoys the freedoms the city affords him. He loves the jeans and trainers culture of the city and the laid-back attitude it has. WHAT’S YOUR GENERAL STYLE? Well… my own (laughing). No, I think today I would call it ‘Moskovits soldate’ (laughing more). Normally it’s more low-key. I just got this hat from Santa so I thought I’d wear it. ARE YOU INTO FASHION? I worked for various designers like Versace for 12 years, Fendi and Gianfranco Ferre. I’m not a designer or stylist, but I definitely keep up-to-date with the trends. WHERE WOULD YOU SEND PEOPLE LOOKING FOR STYLISH CLOTHES? That depends on what kind of people and what their style is. But in general I really like Spoiled here in the Nine Streets, but the Rokin has some nice stores and the PC Hooftstraat does, too. My favourite store has to be Megazino on the Rozengracht. It has everything and is well priced.
UNLOCKING THE CITY
unlocking the city
Allow our clued-up dam dwellers to help you unlock this city! In this issue, Studio Jux manager Carlien Helmink gives us the inside scoop on Amsterdam fashion. By: Sarah Moore
How does the fashion scene in Amsterdam compare to Milan, New York or Paris? I think the Amsterdam fashion scene is still really small. Many European headquarters of commercial brands are based here such as Pepe Jeans and Tommy Hilfiger, but most fashion designers want to go abroad to get established first. As far as sustainable fashion, Germany is much more advanced than most other European countries. The Netherlands is also starting to change and green fashion is becoming more accepted in the mainstream. Where can you go to shop for independent fashion labels? ANNLIZ is a really small boutique that feels very personal. The owner selects brands on a philosophy that’s not just organic, but also chooses designers who make clothes without compromises. Charlie & Mary is the first sustainable boutique that opened in Amsterdam. This De Pijp shop really reflects the young and funky neighbourhood. What about local Dutch labels? Love Luha is a wonderful accessories label with handmade jewellery, hats and scarves. Oat Shoes designs fully compostable shoes with seeds embedded within the soles. When you’re ready to throw the shoes out, flowers will grow wherever you toss them! Lenneke Wispelwey designs feminine kitchenware and ceramics that is a bit experimental, but still accessible.
CARLIEN HELMINK (28) MANAGER OF STUDIO JUX
Where are the best places for vintage finds? For homeware fashion, you have to check out the North of Amsterdam. Neef Louis is the best vintage furniture store in the
city. They travel all around Europe and find amazing pieces that are nearly impossible to find. The best vintage shop for clothes is Jutka & Riska on the Kinkerstraat, it’s a small shop filled with tonnes of new and vintage clothes. If you’re looking for accessories, this is the place to go! What about boutiques with high-end labels? Van Ravenstein in the Nine Streets sells designs by Dries van Noten, Viktor & Rolf, and many more. On Saturday mornings they open up their basements and throw a 70 per cent off sale. SPRMRKT on the Rozengracht stock beautiful items from high-end labels and they also have their own eco label called SPRB. What are some unique events to look out for during fashion week this month? There’s a lifestyle concept store called Options that just opened this month on the Damrak in the main shopping district. During fashion week Mint and Charlie & Mary are partnering together to open up a pop-shop inside of Options to showcase some pieces from Amsterdam Fashion Week. This is a great way to take a peek at some of the collections since Fashion Week limits a lot of events to the industry. Studio Jux is a sustainable and fair trade design label based in Nepal and Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, their designs can be found in Souka, Charlie & Mary, and ANNLIZ. For their latest collection, check out their webshop at www.studiojux.com.
AN OVERVIEW OF
ARCHITECTURE IN AMSTERDAM Our beloved city is worldfamous for its ancient canal houses, but has a lot of modern architecture as well. Take a walk with us through New Amsterdam. by: Mike Peek
In the 1870s, Amsterdam experienced an economic upheaval and the city’s Commodities Exchange building, ‘De Beurs van Zocher’, proved too small to keep up with the times. But there was another, equally important reason to replace Jan David Zocher’s building so soon after its opening in 1848. The classical style of the Exchange, nicknamed the ‘Mausoleum’, seemed outdated. Amsterdam yearned to embrace the industrial future and wanted a more modern trade centre to display its ambitions. After much debate, architect H.P. Berlage was appointed to design the new Commodities Exchange. Even after its completion in 1903, many people wondered when the building would actually be finished. Surely this naked thing wasn’t ready yet? But Berlage deliberately parted with the past and created a very functional and sober Exchange. 1 De Beurs van Berlage is a mixture of styles, including Art Nouveau and Rationalism, and its design reflects a shift towards a more democratic society - Berlage used small bricks to create enormous walls. No stranger to melodrama, he claimed his bricks were insignificant individually, but together formed a great power... DE AMSTERDAMSE SCHOOL De Beurs van Berlage proved to be the birth of modern architecture in the Netherlands. It was one of the reasons why Jan van der Mey, Piet Kramer and Michel de Klerk started ‘De Amsterdamse School’, perhaps the most famous Dutch building style. Though they both hated classicism and loved bricks, De Klerk criticised Berlage for being too formal, even too boring. The architects of De Amsterdamse School believed a building should above all be a treat to the eyes. Their style was closely linked to expressionism and featured far more ornaments than Berlage typically used.
Ideally, construction, style and decoration had to blend together in every Amsterdamse School project. This is ARCHITECT H.P BERLAGE best visible in Het Scheepvaarthuis (1916), the first building Van der Mey and his companions designed from scratch. 2 Het Scheepvaarthuis was built as a communal office for the six biggest shipping companies in Amsterdam. It had to be practical, modern and functional. Luckily, that didn’t stop the architects from creating a piece of art. Built in the shape of a triangle, it resembles the prow of a gigantic ship. The eaves of the roof are decorated with marine rope, fish heads and waves. Het Scheepvaarthuis is what you call a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ (total work of art). The architects asked like-minded artists to design the interior of their building, which is in complete harmony with the outside and chock-full of references to the rich maritime history of the Netherlands. But perhaps you already knew that because you’re reading this article in your luxurious hotel room! Het Scheepvaarthuis emptied out in 2004 and now houses the 5-star 2 Grand Hotel Amrâth. HET SCHIP De Amsterdamse School left an undeniable mark on the city. The movement didn’t set out to create monuments, but constructed very practical buildings like social housing blocks. Most famous is 3 ‘Het Schip’ (The Ship, 1920), widely considered to be Michel de Klerk’s Magnum Opus. The architect was very idealistic and believed the common man deserved a better standard of housing. The lav-
PHOTO BY: DANIEL FRÍAS
PHOTO BY: DARIUSZ CYPARSKI
PHOTO BY: JOACHIM_CIECIERSKI
ish decorations and unified design contrast sharply with 19th century housing blocks, which were characterised by a mishmash of styles and poor construction. Another prow-shaped structure, Het Schip was soon called a ‘Working Class Palace’, allowing the less fortunate to live in style and relative luxury for the first time. The apartments are still inhabited, though these days you need a pretty good paycheck if you want to live there. Be sure to visit Museum Het Schip (open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-5pm) if you want to learn more about the building and De Amsterdamse School in general. The museum is located in the former post office at Spaarndammerplantsoen 140. OLYMPIC STADIUM When Amsterdam was selected to host the 1928 Olympic Games, a new stadium was built in the south of the city. Though in no way
It’s obvious: Amsterdam really likes ship-shaped buildings comparable with the spectacular structures in Beijing or London, the stadium is still interesting for being the first purpose-built for the Olympics. The 1928 edition was also the first that welcomed female athletes and the first that had the ‘eternal’ Olympic flame burning high above the athletes. One of the last major buildings designed in De Amsterdamse School style (the movement fell apart in the early 1930s), the 4 Olympic Stadium consists of no less than two million bricks for that trademark Amsterdamse School look. It combines very tight geometrical forms and beautiful ornaments with a strong yet invisible concrete skeleton. The pinnacle of modernity at the time. You can visit the stadium daily between 11am and 5pm. ‘MODERN’ MODERN ARCHITECTURE De Beurs van Berlage and the buildings
designed by De Amsterdamse School might not be what you’d expect to read about in an article on modern architecture. Still, for a city that was stuck in the Middle Ages until the dawn of the 20th century, they marked a clear transition. They paved the way for more daring designs that popped up all around the city in recent decades, slowly changing its countenance. Let’s have a look at some of them. STOPERA One of the most controversial projects in the city’s history, the Stopera (1986) combines an opera house with a town hall. Both had been in the works for almost half a century. Like De Beurs van Berlage, the 5 Stopera was designed as a beacon of democracy, albeit in a very different way. The abundance of glass lets in plenty of daylight and crosses the border between inside and outside (and, the authorities hoped, between municipality and civilians), an effect heightened by its internal streets. In winter, especially, many people walk through the building instead of around it to warm up for a minute. A nice touch is the bronze musician that seems to break through the lobby floor. So, what was the controversy? Many people didn’t like the scope, multifunctional character and modern design of the building. They were afraid it would ruin the historical inner city. Oh, and money of course. Built in times of economic distress, the Stopera went over budget by 55 million euro. Oops. NEMO It should be obvious by now: Amsterdam really likes ship-shaped buildings. Since 1997, 6 NEMO has taken the crown. Conceived by Italian architect Renzo Piano, also responsible for Centre Pompidou in Paris, NEMO is the biggest science museum in the Netherlands. And a true eye-catcher. Most remarkable about the green copper structure is the way it seems to lift itself from the water, though NEMO was actually built on top of the IJ-tunnel. Traffic appears to drive directly
into the ‘ship’s’ cargo space. Another beloved part of Piano’s design is the enormous piazza on top, which transforms into a city beach during summer. The architect felt that Amsterdam, being a flat city, needed a viewpoint - so he created one. It must be awesome having power. RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE Canal houses are beautiful, but they often lack the space and amenities many people crave in this day and age. You’ll have to buy something at 7 Silodam (2002) if you want luxury while still living in an architecturally pleasing environment. Positioned directly at the water’s edge in the old harbour, Silodam looks like a chest of disparate drawers, with each drawer containing a different type of apartment or office. Because of its many colours, the building also resembles a loaded freighter. Again with the ships! The epicentre of modern architecture in Amsterdam is 8 IJburg; a completely new district that proves ‘modern’ and ‘beautiful’ ain’t the same thing. Sure, some parts of
Canal houses are beautiful, but often lack space and amenities IJburg are pretty nice, but the majority lacks architectural punch. Someone even built some new canal houses that look like the old ones, but offer more comfort. Creativity was running scarce, apparently. ZUIDAS Most tourists never visit the commercial heart of Amsterdam, but if you do end up there, take some time to marvel at the modern office buildings. The Zuidas (literally: south axis) has become somewhat of a display district for architects. They go to great lengths trying to set their brainchild apart. Take the 9 ING House (2002) for example, built on 16 poles that lift it up in the air. Nicknamed ‘The Shoe’ for very obvious reasons the ING House not only looks good, but is also one of the most climate-friendly offices in the
world. Ground water is used to cool the building in summertime and, once warmed up by the sun, saved for heating purposes in winter.
10 The Rock (2009) is probably the most unique tower on the Zuidas. Composed of three separate sections following the anatomy of legs, trunk and head, it can be hard to tell where the steel ends and the windows start. The seemingly upside down building appears different from every angle, with its black ‘head’ like a magnificent crown. LOVE LETTER TO A LIBRARY You probably know that the Centraal Station area is a mess. It has been for years. But every so often a building is completed that offers a glimpse into a glorious future. The absolute highlight so far (and my favourite piece of architecture in the whole city) is the 11 Central Public Library (Openbare Bibliotheek designed in 2007). Designed by Jo Coenen and winner of several international awards, it never ceases to take my breath away. The natural stone materials, the slightly off symmetry facade and the way in which Coenen composed a building out of numerous different elements and still gave it a very consistent look. If marrying a library was legal, I’d propose today. The interior is equally impressive. Floor-toceiling windows let in an incredible amount of light, nicely reflected by white walls, while sky-high voids and intimate, modern workplaces invite you to get things done. Or relax with a magazine. There’s also a restaurant on the top floor that offers great panoramas of Amsterdam, but my favourite part must be the piano in the lobby. Every visitor is welcome to play it for a few minutes (the only condition being that you can play) and many people rise to the occasion. The soft music makes for a great, classy atmosphere and further enhances the impact of the architecture. If I were as melodramatic as H.P. Berlage, I would probably claim that Coenen’s library brings history and future together by offering old world charm in a brand new building.
PHOTOS BY: SARAH MOORE
amserdam eats Kantjil & de Tijger In pursuit of culinary delights beyond bitterballen and frites, our expat foodie visits Kantjil & de Tijger: Tasty Indonesian to satisfy a crowd. BY: HUNGRY IN HOLLAND
hese days, Indonesian cuisine is as much a part of Dutch culture as cheese or raw herring. Check out the menu at any traditional pub and you’ll see sate chicken tucked between the ubiquitous stamppot and split pea soup. While Dutch colonialism can be a contentious subject, at least we can thank it for the spice that it has introduced to Amsterdam’s gastronomic scene.
One of the most popular Dutch Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam is Kantjil & de Tijger. Translated as the Deer and the Tiger, this establishment opened in 1989 and still attracts customers in droves. Conveniently located on the Spuistraat, this large space entices both hungry tourists and locals for their range of popular Indonesian dishes. The space is perfect for large gatherings, so couples tucked away in corners might feel a bit drowned out by the noise.
Final Score Cuisine: Indonesian
Neighbourhood: City Centre Atmosphere: Busy Price pp: €30-€50 Open: Sun-Wed 12pm to 9pm, Thurs-Sat 12pm-10pm Public transport: Trams 1, 2 & 5
DEEP FRIED MADNESS The night began with Kantjil Sedap, a full-on sample platter with Loempia spring rolls, Pangsit Goreng (deep fried dumpling with prawns and chicken), and Oteh Oteh (a Japanese style tempura).
Credit cards accepted: Yes Wheelchair access: Yes
Though delicious, the all-fried spread was a heavy way to start the evening. The greasy appetiser needed a refreshing drink to accompany it and the homemade ice tea did the trick. Filled with some of nature’s best antioxidants: zest of lemongrass, ginger and limes, it provided a nice balance.
For the main, we decided to sample this popular Indo-European dish and ordered the Kantjil Rijsttafel. The platters were a mixed bag of the delicious to the slightly bland and unimpressive. The Sajoer Lodeh, a soupy vegetable concoction of cabbage, carrot and green beans in a coconut stock was so delicious I ate the whole thing before I could sample anything else. On the other hand, the Pepesan Oedang, a spicy shrimp wrapped in steamed banana leaf looked much more appealing than it actually tasted.
THE COLONIAL PLATTER Rijsttafel, translated as ‘Rice Table’ in Dutch, is the pinnacle of Dutch colonial abundance. A Dutch take on the Indonesian Nasi Padang, this feast was invented to showcase dozens of small Indonesian dishes on one table.
Overall, Kantjil & de Tijger is a good introduction to Dutch-Indonesian cuisine. It’s not the best Indonesian restaurant in town, but the convenient location and decent service makes it a desirable option if you’re looking for a bite to eat in the city centre.
Trip Advisor: ‘Overall the food was good without being standout. I really liked the prawn satay and the rice cooked in the leaf.’ -Gazzeroon
Spuistraat 291-293 + 31 (0)20 6200994 kantijl.nl
PIMP MY BIKE
T OF THE BES
Some people are riding around on a monster of a vehicle. Amsterdam Magazine WAS There to help them out!
t’s not uncommon to become a little attached to your bicycle in Amsterdam. Joined at the crotch at all hours of the day, Amsterdammers ride to work, through parks and over canals with their trusty two-wheeled companion. Some people spend as much time with their bike as they do with their loved ones. All things considered, it’s only natural that a bond is formed!
But like all things in life, even the strongest bond can fall into a rut, and for some people, this meant a serious bike upgrade was needed. Amsterdam Magazine took care of that by asking artists like Bouwine Pool, Rei Nilde, Ottograph and Bustart to pimp people’s much-loved bikes. Here’s a selection of the most successful projects to date!
tamara pimped by:
michael pimped by:
anita pimped by:
PETER PAUL RUBENS (1577-1640) AND STUDIO, VENUS AND ADONIS, C. 1614, OIL ON PANEL, 83 X 90.5 CM © STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, ST. PETERSBURG
RUBENS, VAN DYCK & JORDAENS THE HERMITAGE AMSTERDAM IS CURRENTLY PRESENTING 75 PAINTINGS AND ABOUT 20 DRAWINGS BY THREE GREAT MASTERS OF THE FLEMISH SCHOOL: PETER PAUL RUBENS, ANTHONY VAN DYCK AND JACOB JORDAENS – AS WELL AS THE WORK OF THEIR WELLKNOWN CONTEMPORARIES. RUBENS (1577–1640), WHO WAS KNOWN AS A CHARMING ARISTOCRAT, DIPLOMAT AND COLLECTOR, WAS A LEGEND IN HIS TIME. THE EPIC BAROQUE STYLE OF THESE ARTISTS DEPICTS THE ARISTOCRACY AND THE WEALTHY BOURGEOISIE WHO REIGNED IN THE 17TH CENTURY
HERMITAGE AMSTERDAM Until 16 March 2012 Amstel 51 +31 (0)20 5307488 hermitage.nl
ANTHONY VAN DYCK (1599-1641), FAMILY PORTRAIT, C. 1619, OIL ON CANVAS, 113.5 X 93.5 CM © STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, ST. PETERSBURG
JACOB JORDAENS (1593-1678), THE FEAST OF CLEOPATRA , 1653, OIL ON CANVAS, 156.4 X 149.3 CM © STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, ST. PETERSBURG
PETER PAUL RUBENS (1577-1640) AND FRANS SNIJDERS (1579-1657), THE UNION OF EARTH AND WATER (ANTWERP AND THE SCHELDT), C. 1618-1621, OIL ON CANVAS, 222.5 X 180.5 CM © STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, ST. PETERSBURG
The Pancake Bakery
Casa di David
PA N CA K E S !
B R E A K FA S T , B R U N C H O R LU N C H
H O M E M A D E I TA L I A N FO O D
G R I L L R E S TA U R A N T
For over 35 years Casa di David has been a steeple of authentic Italian cuisine in Amsterdam. Homemade pasta, bread and pizzas baked in wood-fired ovens are complemented by a view across one of Amsterdam’s most scenic canals that’s sure to whet your appetite.
This trendy restaurant is conveniently located on the Herengracht by the Koningsplein. They combine impeccable wines with an even smoother atmosphere. An after dinner drink or cocktail at the bar is especially enjoyable on Friday when the resident DJ is playing.
The recipe is simple, the result divine. Good old Dutch pancakes come with their traditional trappings such as cinnamon sugar, or cheese and bacon, but also in a more exotic dress. Think Mexican and Italian, paprika and pepperoni. No wonder they call ‘em the best pancakes in town!
+31 (0)20 6251333 pancake.nl
B&B Lunchroom is the perfect destination for a deliciously fresh breakfast, brunch or lunch. They provide freshly baked bread, croissants and muffins in all sizes and flavours.
MAX EUWEPLEIN 60 8am-6pm LEIDSESTRAAT 44 9am-6pm ROKIN 100 9am-6pm
+31 (0)20 6381542 onzecatering.nl
+31 (0)20 624 50 93 casadidavid.com
+31 (0)20 6162482 deherengracht.nl
The Sopranos PianoBar
Club Lido Amsterdam
World of Ajax
C LU B
T E S T YO U R S K I L L S !
The Sopranos PianoBar is more than just a piano bar. Its location forms a true lifestyle experience in Amsterdam night life. It is geared towards an international and pampered public. Here the world’s best piano entertainers provide the perfect atmosphere, seven days a week.
Gamers, gamblers and clubbers with valid 18+ IDs have rolled into the right address at Club Lido inside Holland Casino. Here you’re bound to have a titillating night with great DJs, refreshing cocktails and exhilarating casino play. You ready to see if we’re bluffing? (Open Thur-Sat)
Experience what it takes to become a giant at the Ajax Experience on Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam. Find out everything about the famous youth academy, test your skills, learn everything about the strategy and feel the tension of the Ajax dressing room.
MAX EUWEPLEIN 62
+31 (0)20 4288211 sopranospianobar.nl
+31 (0)20 5211111 hollandcasino.nl
+31 (0)20 3111444 ajax.nl/ajax-experience
I N S & O U T S A B O U T O U R S TA D I U M
The Amsterdam Arena offers several walk-in tours on a daily basis and no reservations are needed. During this one-hour tour enthusiastic guides will tell you all the ins and outs about the stadium and the football legend that is Ajax.
ARENA BOULEVARD 1
+31 (0)20 3111333 amsterdamarena.nl
BEN HOWARD First time singer-songwriter Ben Howard talks to Amsterdam Magazine about the revival of folk music and top-40 hits. ‘There’s some amazing stuff coming out at the moment and then what gets publicised is this massive pile of shit.’ By: Tim Hilhorst
t seems almost heretic. A place that once housed generations of religious people worshipping for the good graces of a vengeful God, now accommodating hundreds of devoted fans sacrilegiously adorning a man they revere in a similarly pious manner. Though Ben Howard (23) believes ‘there’s definitely something that’s a hell of a lot bigger than us’, he is not a religious man. The fans at his performance in Amsterdam’s ex-church, De Duif, would suggest otherwise.’ These sinners are part of a folk-revival who are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Clad in skinny jeans, checked shirts and sporting ironic tattoos, these musical tastemakers have made Ben their newest (false) prophet. When I slide onto an uncomfortably small leather stool across from him in Café de Huyskamer, just minutes away from the church he’d
White Russians. He wouldn’t touch a Prius. And he never smokes pot (anymore).
NU-FOLK AND ‘MAINSTREAMING IT’ When he talks about the meaning of his music, he lights up. ‘Every song is a memory for me - a little time and space and a bunch of emotions that you attach to something around a certain time. That was the idea of the Kingdoms; you build them up, then you destroy them and you start anew,’ he says, referring to the album title. ‘Nu-folk’ is often melancholic, but paradoxically idealistic and hopeful. It’s quickly apparent that Ben is one of these idealists. ‘I write music for myself, I don’t write it for the people, but it’s a double-edged sword. You’re not playing for other people, but other people mean you can play music for a living.’ A large part of
‘I write music for myself, I don’t write it for the people.’ be playing in later that day, it’s not hard to see why. The blonde-haired surfer dude is confident, calm and comfortably cavalier.
PRIUS, POT AND PEPERNOTEN As he chomps away at a bag of pepernoten (Dutch biscuits) he describes his music, which is somewhere between Jose Gonzales and Ben Harper, as ‘hard folk: a balance of up-tempo music with low-tempo picked guitar stuff.’ His intricate style of fingerpicking, knuckle drumming and guitar-body slapping is a feast for both the ears and eyes. His catchy choruses are an added bonus. About his melancholic prose he says, ‘I’m pretty happy-go-lucky most the time. That side comes out of me through writing and the rest of the time I don’t have to think about that stuff.’ Ben fits the ‘nu-folk’ bill. He doesn’t mess about with cellphones and finds social media tiresome. His first album Every Kingdom was recorded in bandmate and cello player India Bourne’s family barn in rural Devonshire, and even though you can’t hear any creaking it’s not hard to picture a ramshackle studio. But before you jump to some oversized-knit-jumper-meetscampfire-lullabies-and-stale-granola conclusion, don’t. Ben isn’t the cure to bombs. He doesn’t drink
Ben’s amassed following, which started with secret surf communities and slowly rippled to more mainstream isles, is located in Holland. ‘The UK has just started going crazy at the moment, but before that one of our biggest headline shows was in Utrecht,’ he says. ‘Amsterdam is a good place for drinking afterwards too – I tried to climb the national museum once, but I got stopped.’ Like a true artist Ben remains apprehensive about the mainstream success he’s been receiving lately. ‘I laugh with my friends because I don’t know if that means we play the same music as all the shit, or we’ve somehow escaped onto mainstream radio?’ The folk revival that Ben is an inherent part of is more likely the driving force behind his commercial success. For now we can stomp our feet, smash our hands together and bow our heads feeling dangerously irreverent in the house of God as Ben croons: ‘I lost my mind here auuugh, I lost my patience with the lo-oooord.’
Ben will be gracing another one of Amsterdam’s ex-churches (Paradiso) on 14 April 2012.
BEST PLACES TO FULFILL YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS BY: Brandon Hartley If you’re like the rest of us, you probably woke up on New Year’s morning, took a look in the mirror and immediately regretted everything that you stuffed in your face during December. All those delicious oliebollen and yummy holiday cocktails have caught up with you, haven’t they?
BEST PLACE TO GO VEGAN
The benefits of veganism include lowered cholesterol and improved energy. VegaLife is your one stop shop for all things meat-free. Esther Ouwehand, parliamentarian for the Party for the Animals, opened this Westerpark shop in 2008. Here, you’ll find everything from food and beauty products to ‘No Cow Girl Boots’ and World Wildlife Fund teddy bears. They also have an extensive online store.
And based on the fact that you just coughed-up half a lung, it might be time to get serious about tossing those cigarettes, right? Then there’s all those plans you’ve been putting off about eating right, exercising more, running a marathon, improving your Dutch, taking a pottery class... okay okay... it’s obvious you’ve got plenty of worthy options for your Official 2012 New Year’s Resolution List. Here’s a list of ten places in Amsterdam that will help you stick with them (at least until Valentine’s Day).
BEST PLACES TO ‘SMOKE OUT’
According to one report, the average smoker attempts to quit four times before they finally beat the habit, once and for all. For years now, the trained professionals at the Slotervaartziekenhuis clinic have helped folks kick their nicotine addiction to the curb. They offer a variety of programs and coaching. If you’re searching for assistance with a certain ‘soft drug’, Marijuana Anonymous has a chapter here in Amsterdam. Their meetings are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Whether you’re eager to ‘pay it forward’ or ‘give back’, the VCA (Vrijwilligerscentrale Amsterdam) is a great resource for those looking to volunteer. They offer advice, listings and support for both Dutch and non-Dutch speakers. Every year, they match around 5000 volunteers with local organisations. You can find over 1000 opportunities on their website or feel free pop into one of their four locations in town.
The Amsterdam Marathon is only ten months away. Registration begins on 2 January for the 21 October race and the time to start training is now. Fortunately, one of Europe’s best parks for runners is in in your backyard. The paths scattered throughout Vondelpark’s 120 acres are perfect for this sort of thing. Plus, there’s no better place in Amsterdam to appreciate the female form (as presented in Spandex) and/or hot blokes in activewear.
BEST PLACE TO VOLUNTEER
BEST PLACE TO POUND THE PAVEMENT
BEST PLACE TO GET SOME CLASS
If you’d like to join the creative masses selling homemade products on Etsy, there are plenty of places in Amsterdam where you can take a class to improve your photography skills or deftness with a sewing needle. If clay is more your thing, check out Keramiek Centrum. They offer weekly courses and cool workshops - in both English and Dutch - that will help you tell the difference between a kiln and a slab roller. keramiek-centrum.nl
BEST PLACE TO INDULGE
BEST WAY TO DRINK (WITHOUT DRINKING)
Cutting back on liquor will not only help your waistline, but it will reduce your chances of acquiring heart disease and other health problems. That doesn’t mean you have to give up all those latenights out on the town. There are plenty of establishments that serve alcoholfree cocktails. Try a contradictory, and vodka-free, ‘Porn Star Martini’ at Vesper (if you can order one without giggling) or a ‘Betty Page’ at Getto. A word of warning: you might get asked to leave if you attempt to order a virgin anything at the infamous Door74.
Maybe you don’t need any New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you’re perfect in every way. You don’t smoke or drink. You even exercise regularly. Well then, Goody Two Shoes, maybe it’s high time to head in the opposite direction and feed your long-suppressed hedonism. Fortunately, you’re in the right town for that sort of thing. We suggest giving the ‘Shoreline’ or ‘Bubble Gum’ weed at Grey Area a try and seeing where the tides of fate carry you from there. greyarea.nl
vesperbar.nl getto.nl door74.nl
BEST PLACE TO LOSE THAT SPARE TIRE
There are plenty of fitness centers in Amsterdam, but Sento is among the best in town to break a sweat. This ultra-modern health club and spa includes one-on-one instructors and cutting-edge equipment, in addition to a relaxing sauna. Sento’s most impressive feature? The awesome ‘Marnix’ swimming pool that offers club members the illusion of doing the breaststroke in an adjacent canal. Open 360 days a year, their attentive staff will help you stay on track, whatever your fitness goals.
BEST PLACE TO WORK ON YOUR DUTCH
BEST PLACE TO START EATING RIGHT
While it seems like everyone in Amsterdam speaks English, believe it or not, there are times when Dutch comes in handy. Whether your reason for learning the language is for work, a looming state exam or simply to figure out what the cashiers at Albert Heijn mean when they ask, ‘wilt u een tasje?’, the School for Dutch has you covered. They offer courses both in person and online.
Open every Saturday between 9am and 6pm, the Noordermarkt Farmers Market is a great place to pick up produce and other organic goods. Head here for local and sustainable fruits, veggies, breads and cheeses that are healthy for both you and Mother Earth. Locals and tourists flock to the market’s exotic mushroom stand, which features fungi from all over Europe.
T OF THE BES
THIS IS HOW AMSTERDAM LIVES
EVERYONE GETS TO ENJOY AMSTERDAM’S SLOPING FACADES, EXPERIENCE THE FLOATING CANAL HOUSES AND STROLL THROUGH THE PICTURESQUE NEIGHBOURHOODS. IT’S NOT EVERY DAY, HOWEVER, THAT PEOPLE ARE INVITED INSIDE. FROM HOUSEBOATS AND DESIGNER LOFTS TO CABINETS PACKED WITH RARITIES, FOLLOW A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF OUR REPORTERS AS THEY WENT KNOCK-KNOCKING ON DOORS TO SEE JUST HOW AMSTERDAM LIVES.
1. Motion sickness and frozen water pipes: ‘That’s part of living on a houseboat,’ says graphic designer Igor about his 300m2 floating domicile. ‘You have to be a little adventurous.’
2. Yes… a man does live here, but Andres doesn’t mind giving Joyce room to create a mix of bric-a-brac that’s reminiscent of a cottage in the French countryside. Lots of detail, floral and pink give a whole new meaning to the word ‘cute’.
3. Trend watcher Adjiedj Bakar has put together a cabinet of exotic rarities from his travels around the world. ‘I don’t have any children, I have art,’ he says joking about the time and money invested in creating this extravagant abode.
4. Busty blondes, a naked Ron Jeremy and a giant Chihuahua head that doubles as DJ: all staples of party planner Gijs van de Wint’s house/ office space. Located on the KNSM Island, it has stunning views over the water and plenty of natural light.
5. Born almost a century too early, Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse says of the pre-war memorabilia in her flat, ‘I’ve always been fascinated by history.’ Jo doesn’t own a television, nor a washing machine or a mobile phone, but she lights up when talking about the 1930s.
6. ‘Although it’s definitely a lot of work, we wouldn’t want to trade it for the world,’ Daniël and Monique say about their cargo boat turned minimalist palace. The original wood, authentic window frames and wooden shutters make this floating home so special.
7. Small, narrow and dark; not adjectives people usually use to praise their residence, but Edgar enjoys using them to describe his home. Tunnels and extra levels allow for added space and his unique sense of design make it one of the most peculiar houses in Amsterdam.
8. ‘I have ducks from all over the world,’ says Ellen Kok about one of her many collections. She enjoys living in the Jordaan, and at age 74 she couldn’t imagine moving anywhere else. Her house is warm, cosy and full of colour.
Willet-Holthuysen Museum LOCATED IN THE GOLDEN BEND OF THE HERENGRACHT CANAL, THE MUSEUM WILLETHOLTHUYSEN PAINTS A RICH PORTRAIT OF HIGH-SOCIETY LIFE IN THE LATE 1800S. ONE OF THE FEW MUSEUMS IN AMSTERDAM SOLELY DEDICATED TO THE EVERYDAY LIVES OF ITS INHABITANTS, THE WILLET-HOLTHUYSEN FOLLOWS THE POSH COUPLE LOUISA HOLTHUYSEN AND ABRAHAM WILLET, THE HOUSE’S FINAL RESIDENTS.
By Allison Guy FROM MAYOR’S MANSION TO MUSEUM Originally built for Mayor Jacob Hop in 1685, Herengracht 605 was last owned by the Willet-Holthuysens in the late 19th century. After the death of her hus-
band, Mrs Willet gifted the double-wide canal house to the city of Amsterdam. It opened to the public in 1896, and has been administered by the nearby Amsterdam Museum for most of its history. On the ground floor, the period kitchen gives some idea of the team of servants that must have sustained the WilletHolthuysen’s lifestyle. Further down the hall, a short movie charts the fortunes of the house over the last three centuries and introduces the opulent architecture on the floor above. After the film, stretch your legs outside, where the English garden invites visitors to stroll through the boxwoods (and wish they’d remembered to bring their coats!).
This was my first time in a canal house, even though I live in Amsterdam. I think it’s beautiful. It’s very nice to see how life was a few hundred years ago. I thought the big hall downstairs was impressive, very much in the old style. It’s what they say is most likely to have looked like it did when the last inhabitants Govert & Greta lived here. I thought Netherlands the price was very reasonable for a museum in Amsterdam.
RICH AND CHILDLESS The bel-etage, or reception floor, offers a series of formal rooms each more lavish than the last. An airy conservatory overlooks the garden, while the dark blue ‘men’s parlour’ is where Mr Willet would have shown off new art to admiring guests. A highlight of the house is the 1865 ballroom, a grand hall designed in the Louis XVI style with gilt candelabras and a fireplace bedecked with marble cherubs. Rich materials cover the furniture, the floors and even the walls. With each scrap of brocade ordered from the most fashionable Parisian retailers, the upholstery was rumoured to have cost
We found it extremely beautiful. It’s a nice portrait of a certain time. It feels like you’re warped back in time. We particularly liked this painting [a 17th century group portrait] because it’s very impressive to see how they approached it back then and how the people wanted to be Lisbeth represented in pictures. Netherlands We don’t really have any criticisms, except that some parts were not well lit.
I liked the museum. It’s a shame they have to remodel it, but you can taste the ambience from that century. Downstairs, I liked the ceilings and the paintings and the garden room, even though it’s not finished. They’re just about to put the whole building back the way it was when they were living here. It’s nice now, but not the way it should be.
MUSEUM CHECK Mr Willet a fortune. Once in tatters, the fabrics have been expertly restored and the Willet-Holthuysen ballroom is now considered to be among the most superb 19th century rooms in Holland. Without the pitter-patter of little feet to distract them, the childless WilletHolthuysens turned their nurturing instincts towards the arts. On the second floor Meet the Willets explores their taste in artistic decor and offers a window onto their social schedule of costumed balls and literary salons. Keep an eye out for the paintings of kittens, dogs and sedate Dutch cows – Mrs Holthuysen adored her hoard of pets and liked to keep reminders of her beloved critters scattered throughout the house.
The kitchen gives some idea of the team of servants that must have sustained their lifestyle A THREE CENTURY MAKE-OVER In preparation for the 300th anniversary of Amsterdam’s canal ring in 2013, the museum has planned a series of renovations to make the house more closely match its 19th century splendour. Furniture will be restored, rooms will be repainted and the servants’ quarters will be opened up so visitors can see how the other half slept, worked and washed mountains of laundry for their employers. Until then, the Willet-Holthuysen is still well worth a visit for a glimpse into the lives of the not-so-idle rich in the 1800s.
Willet-Holthuysen Museum Herengracht 605 en.willetholthuysen.nl
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5 ENTRANCE: €8 for adults, €4 for children between 6 and 18 years, and free for children under 6. Free with the Stadspas, I amsterdam Card and Museumkaart. COMMENTS: Though there are nods to 18th century decor, the museum primarily focuses on the lives and tastes of its last inhabitants, Abraham Willet and Louisa Holthuysen. The couple were art lovers, and their collection decorates the sumptuous bedroom, men’s room and the ballroom; one of the best preserved in Amsterdam. A large formal garden out the back is another rarity in Amsterdam. An overhaul of the museum is planned for 2012 through 2013, promising to restore even more
authenticity to the decor and furnishings. There is no gift shop or cafe. Visitors looking for more insight into high-class canal life should also take a look at the Museum van Loon. ENGLISH-FRIENDLY: All text and audio is in English and Dutch. CHILD-FRIENDLY: Since it is strictly-hands off, younger children might not find much of interest here. WHEELCHAIR-FRIENDLY: There are steps to get down to the entrance, and the upper floors are only accessible by staircase. MUSEUM HOURS: Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm. Open Saturday, Sunday and national holidays from 11am to 5pm. Closed 1 January, 30 April and 25 December. Closes at 4pm on 5, 24 and 31 December.
WE ARE BEAUTY shop
HEN APPROACHING THE WE ARE BEAUTY STOREFRONT, YOU MIGHT BE A TAD CONFUSED
AS TO WHETHER IT’S A SHOP, HOUSE OR A SHOWROOM. IN FACT, IT’S A COMBINATION OF ALL THREE. LOCATED IN AMSTERDAM’S LAVISH MUSEUM QUARTER, THIS ‘GALLERY SHOWROOM’ AIMS TO PROMOTE A HEALTHY, HOLISTIC WAY OF LIFE BY ENCOURAGING CUSTOMERS TO ADD SMALL ELEMENTS OF
According to shop worker Nina Hoen, everything on show at We Are Beauty is centered on the theme of ‘elevating everyday living’. ‘It’s all about promoting a holistic lifestyle through experience,’ says Nina. ‘If people come here and feel comfortable or inspired by what they see, then hopefully it will encourage them to make changes to their home by adding these small elements.’
BEAUTY TO THEIR HOME.
By Arun Sood
IMPROVED LIVING Stepping inside the showroom is a bit like visiting the home of an interior designer with impeccable taste. Colourful floral arrangements are placed in Baccarat vases around the room and provide an uplifting scent. Delicious looking cupcakes grace the coffee table and art books are sparsely stacked on the elegant white shelves. The space is complete with a kitchen, bed and living area that is at once cosy and sophisticated, and feels instantly welcoming.
ELEGANT DETAIL The concept of We Are Beauty loosely revolves around three everyday living elements: food, flowers and interiors, and the acute attention to detail that is paid to each of these. We Are Beauty collaborates with some of the most respected names in interior design such as Loro Piana and TOTO, both of whose products are on show. It’s refreshing to admire the beauty of them in a furnished living space, rather than view one product line after another as in most large homeware stores. CULINARY HEALING In addition to home furnishings, We Are Beauty offers an array of culinary treats,
such as unusually flavoured cupcakes and apple pie. Pantry items such as jams, soups and wine are stacked on shelves, and gourmet chefs work tirelessly in the kitchen at the back of the room. We Are Beauty recently opened a catering service specialising in healthy, light and freshly prepared meals that can be delivered to your door. ‘Much like everything else, the food here promotes physical and emotional wellbeing,’ says Nina. With such a diverse array of elements all under one roof, one thing is for certain: you’ll leave inspired by some of the more beautiful things in life. After all, who can deny the virtues of good food, exquisite design and an overall sense of wellbeing?
We Are Beauty Van Baerlestraat 55 +31 (0)20 5733305 wearebeauty.nl
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.
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. efteling.com 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.
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
be quite hard, because most of the Dutch are already quite busy maintaining their social networks on Hyves.nl. 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 Jenever) is a strong (35%+) liquor made in Holland and Belgium. There are two types of Jenever; old (oude) and young (jonge). The difference is not in age, but in the distilling techniques.
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.
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.
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.
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].
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]
(Dutch East India Company) 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.
W Wallen De Wallen is the largest and most famous red light district 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.
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.
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 Water management 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.
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
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.
WET YOUR WHISTLE
THE SOPRANOS A long way from the ‘Bada Bing’ in terms of theme and spirit, this jazz lounge near the Rembrandtplein captures the spirit of the Rat Pack’s golden age. By Brandon Hartley Photos: sarah moore
ony Soprano and his crew might prefer strip clubs, but their New Jersey forbearers would no doubt dig this recent addition to the popular PianoBar chain, which started in the Caribbean over a decade ago. The Amsterdam location is a nod to midcentury America, when you’d be more likely to encounter a jazz combo in a bar than turntables and a DJ. Located a few streets over from the thumping clubs and screaming neon of the Rembrandtplein, this swanky lounge is a portal into an era far removed from Holland circa 2012. Step past the velvet ropes out front and BANG, you’ve just been catapulted into a Big Apple jazz club of the 1960s. It’s the sort of place Don Draper might take a date when he’s ‘stuck late at the office’. Black and white portraits of Frank Sinatra grace the entryway and snapshots of his Brat Pack compatriots hang over the lounge’s round, candlelit booths. Meanwhile a glossy, black piano lingers near a stage lined with red velvet curtains like a cigarette girl on a coffee break. AIN’T THAT A KICK IN THE HEAD? The cocktail menu further evokes the oomph of that longgone age. Is that a Rusty Nail listed smack dab between the Bay Breeze and the Singapore Sling? Yes indeed, making Sopranos possibly the only place in Amsterdam where you can order a drink that could strip the chrome off the bumper of a 1957 Buick. Other selections include: Cosmopolitans, Manhattans, Whiskey Sours and Bloody Marys. But can you get a Dry Martini there? That should go without sayin’, pops. The bartenders here can whip ‘em up with gin or vodka, but don’t expect more than a tiny splash of Vermouth to go with either. A quick word of advice: eat something first. While the menu has everything from six euro glasses of Havana Club Blanco rum to 750 euro bottles of Taittinger champagne, there’s nary an onion ring to be found inside this juke joint. Sopranos’ doesn’t offer food. Much like the lounge’s New Jersey namesakes, the drinks here play rough, especially with empty stomachs, and are quite
capable of making your head feel like it’s just been tossed into a bowling bag. In other words, they can be as stiff as snitch wearing a pair of concrete shoes, capiche? Plan accordingly, most appropriately with a steak dinner beforehand. START SPREADIN’ THE NEWS Sopranos’ offers live entertainment seven nights a week and doesn’t stick strictly to jazz and piano standards. Jerseyite maestro Steve Savage took up residency on the lounge’s stage back in November and rocked a scattershot of tunes ranging from Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen all the way to 1990s hip hop. During a visit on a recent weeknight, the staff had slapped ELO’s Mr Blue Sky on the HiFi to kill some minutes before showtime. Obviously, the lounge doesn’t strictly adhere to the theme. Its spell is further interrupted whenever a waiter comes to your table to take your order in Dutch. While its head is stuck in America, Sopranos’ feet are still firmly planted in Amsterdam. Like a Japanese cowboy or a SoCal bimbo in lederhosen, the lounge’s infectious spirit may be out of place and time, but it’s no less charming. To paraphrase Ol’ Blue Eyes, here’s hoping the best is yet to come for this chichi watering hole.
You’ve just been catapulted into a 1960s Big Apple jazz club
The Sopranos PianoBar Paardenstraat 11 - 15 sopranospianobar.nl
CAPTURED By: Betribes
30,000 people going mental in Amsterdam for the Dirty Dutch party. RAI, AMSTERDAM
17 DECEMBER >
Photos: Antonio Naar
RECOGNIZE – 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY Already the second year for this concept of the best house, eclectic and R&B. Recognize in Hotel Arena, a formal church is a match made in heaven. HOTEL ARENA
Photos: Phuong Anh Do
< 26 NOVEMBER
Betribes is the biggest party website in the Netherlands. You can ﬁnd a lot of free tickets, an up to date party calendar and the latest news. Check betribes.com for more info. 67
BY: NICOLA BOZZI
DECEMBERGIGS SUNDAY 1
Magic Gumball & Open Mic, CC Muziek Café Discover Amsterdam’s hidden talent as five different acts take the stage each week at this cozy De Pijp outpost. 8pm, free.
Oneiros Ensemble, Concertgebouw (Kleine Zaal) For years, the weekly lunch concert at the Concertgebouw has given the general public free access to everything from open rehearsals of the Royal Orchestra and conservatory ensembles to chamber music by young talent. This week it’s the Oneiros Ensemble. 12:30pm, free.
Magic Gumball & Open Mic, CC Muziek Café Discover Amsterdam’s hidden talent as five different acts take the stage each week at this cozy De Pijp outpost. 8pm, free.
WINTERGASFABRIEK: CIRCUS ZANZARA The bustling Westergasfabriek area, with its many bars, restaurants and clubs, takes on a holiday season-appropriate moniker and puts on a diverse program of indoor skating, theatre, music, film, and - of course - circus. The Zanzara collective are one of the smallest family circuses in Europe and hop between traditional circus, theatre and street performance. Four artists and a ‘techno-teen’ (we’ll let you figure that one out) perform alongside ordinary Dutch animals – such as dogs, ducks and horses – When: until 8 January and navigate their way through Where: Manifestatieterrein, a range of Hula-Hoop routines, Westergasfabriek Admission: varies, from €11 trapeze acrobatics and Felliniwestergasfabriek.nl inspired gags.
Rachmaninoff selection, Concertgebouw (Grote Zaal) For years, the weekly lunch concert at the Concertgebouw has given the general public free access to everything from open rehearsals of the Royal Orchestra and conservatory ensembles to chamber music by young talent. This week it’s Rachmaninoff galore. 12:30pm, free. Ferial Trio, CC Muziek Café Led by Suriname-born and Amsterdambased pianist Ferial Karamat Ali, this trio featuring Glenn Gaddum/Jeroen Vierdag on bass and Tim Dudek/Archie Peña on drums perform Latin jazz that will warm your cold winter Wednesdays. 8pm, €3.
THURSDAY 5 Cookie Club, AIR Residents Quinten 909 and Tettero are starting the New Year with a banging mix of the best and latest house records. If the holidays were hard on your pocket, then get in for free before midnight. 11.30pm, free until midnight; €9, students €6. Thursday Tunes Jam, CC Muziek Café This weekly event pretty much does what it says on the tin, with some pop, rock and blues jammin’. 8pm, free.
FRIDAY 6 Midnight Freaks, AIR German DJ Julietta, resident at the famous club Harry Klein in Munich, plays with AIR residents Ferro, Daan Donk and Prunk. Prepare for the underground tech and deephouse tracks of the moment. 11pm, €12.50.
IMPRO AMSTERDAM The festival’s 17th edition features a range of big shows, including international hits such as Solo de Impro, a multilingual adventure by Omar Argentino Galván, who walks through the world improvising stories from sentences stuck to his jacket. If you’re more of a latenighter, then go see some of Amsterdam’s finest groups as they put on experimental shows like Under the Influence of Puppets by Impromptu, a 45-minute incursion into the weird world of life-like puppets. For impro newbies and experts alike, there will be When: When: 23-28 January a series of free talks hosted Where: Rozentheater by Gian van Grunsven and Admission: €13.50 (Mon, Tue, paid workshops during which Wed), €16 (Thu, Fri, Sat), €70 passe-partout masters of the craft will help impro-amsterdam.nl hone your skills.
New Year’s Concert, Concertgebouw After last night’s mayhem, relax with the best and brightest of the upcoming crop of local and international classical talent and raise a wine glass to 2012. 2pm, €16–€42.50.
SATURDAY 7 Surinam Music Ensemble United & Bennie Maupin, Bimhuis The reunited ensemble adds another guest soloist to its already impressive roster. Bennie Maupin has played bass clarinet with Miles Davis and tenor sax with Herbie Hancock, heavily contributing to the enrichment of jazz with funk, rock and nonWestern music. 8.30pm, €20.
MONDAY 9 Monday Match, Bimhuis Every first Monday of the month, unlikely mixes of dancers and musicians come together to improvise performances in front of a live audience, followed by a DJ set with hidden gems and cool grooves from resident DJ Phillipona. 8.30pm, free.
Ferial Trio, CC Muziek Café Led by Suriname-born and Amsterdambased pianist Ferial Karamat Ali, this trio featuring Glenn Gaddum/Jeroen Vierdag on bass and Tim Dudek/Archie Peña on drums perform Latin jazz that will warm your cold winter Wednesdays. 8pm, €3.
FRIDAY 13 The Computers, Melkweg (Oude Zaal) British garage soul and punk’n’roll outfit who recently released their debut album, This Is The Computers, and supported Alexisonfire for their 2010 gig at the same venue. 8.30pm, €11 + membership. FORMAT, AIR Every second Friday of the month, techno lovers take over the club. For this edition, host Juan Sanchez invited the Sandwell District and Flipse (DE) to play with him in the venue’s main room. If you need a breather, head to the main room and check out the tech-house set of pretty ladies Delicatesse. 11pm, €13 (pre-sale) / €16 (door).
SATURDAY 14 GirlsLoveDJs, AIR An all-star cast of Les Deux, Geza Weisz, Mitchell Kelly, Jim Aasgier, Real El Canario ft. Kubik, Dirtcaps, Lars Vegas, Quinten 909 and Sick-Boy take on the mighty task of pleasing electronica-loving girls. 11pm, €16 (pre-sale) / €18 (door).
SUNDAY 15 Nicolas Jaar, Melkweg (The Max) This 21-year-old American-Chilean prodigy makes eerie electronic music, successfully blending minimal with jazz. He released his debut album Space Is Only Noise on his own label and received critical acclaim, including best album of the year by Resident Advisor. €20 + membership. All that Wine… and Jazz, Bimhuis A new edition of this successful event, which sold out last year, sees seven importers showcasing 80 quality, yet affordable wines brought straight from the growers. Sip it and listen to the jazzy Michael Moore. 1pm, €20.
MONDAY 16 Emanuel and the Fear, Paradiso (Kleine Zaal) New York outfit influenced by classical heavyweights Rachmaninoff and Philip Glass,
PARADISO CHOIR DAYS For little more than the price of a kroket, you can get the oncein-a-lifetime chance to listen to no less than 140 choirs from all over the world. If you’re not a classical music fan, fear not: there’s a little something for everyone. You can expect a mix of cheesy Dutch pop, uplifting gospel, bubbly pop, Broadway show tunes, Russian folk and Cuban When: 14-15 January rhythms. And since the show Where: Paradiso goes from 11am to 10pm, you Admission: €2.50 can pop in and out just in time paradiso.nl to catch your faves.
JUMPING AMSTERDAM For a few days a year Amsterdam plays host to the world’s best riders in both jumping and dressage. With past highlights including the London Mounted Metropolitan Police in 2009 or Jean-François Pignon and his splendid white horses in 2010, the event is preparing some new spectacular events for the 2012 edition. Have your kids been bugging you about getting them a pretty pony? Then show them the next best thing and earn yourself a well-deserved break When: 19-22 January from their pleas. During the Where: RAI Novotel children’s matinee program Admission: varies on Sunday morning, the little ones jumpingamsterdam.nl can participate in interactive shows with renowned artists and riders.
DECEMBERGIGS but also indie stars Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens. With a large group of musicians blending classical, pop, rock and electro like nobody’s business, you’ll leave thinking that Beethoven and Daft Punk go quite well together. 10pm, €8.50 + membership.
TUESDAY 17 Magic Gumball & Open Mic, CC Muziek Café Discover Amsterdam’s hidden talent as five different acts take the stage each week at this cozy De Pijp outpost. 8pm, free.
AMSTERDAM FASHION WEEK DOWNTOWN This year’s edition will again feature talented Dutch designers such as Dennis Diem and Said Mahrouf, who both celebrate the curves of the female body with fitted garments and well-crafted new shapes. Unless you’re a buyer, journalist, photographer or videomaker, there’s little chance you’ll get close to the catwalk to witness these exclusive collections first-hand. Luckily, the organisers of AFW have put together a special program for the public. DOWNTOWN includes a variety of shows, exhibitions, films and parties that will take place in museums, shops, galleries and clubs all over the city. They’ve When: 20-29 January also prepared a nifty little map Where: various locations to help you find the perfect shop Admission: varies according to your favourite trend: amsterdamfashionweek.com design, denim and sustainability.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Concertgebouw (Grote Zaal) For years, the weekly lunch concert at the Concertgebouw has given the general public free access to everything from open rehearsals of the Royal Orchestra and conservatory ensembles to chamber music by young talent. This week it’s the Orchestra’s turn once more, conducted by Kurt Masur. 12:30pm, free. Ferial Trio, CC Muziek Café Led by Suriname-born and Amsterdambased pianist Ferial Karamat Ali, this trio featuring Glenn Gaddum/Jeroen Vierdag on bass and Tim Dudek/Archie Peña on drums perform Latin jazz that will warm your cold winter Wednesdays. 8pm, €3.
THURSDAY 19 Reggie Watts, Melkweg (The Max) Comedy Central presents this jack-of-alltrades comedian, who mixes jokes with some serious beatboxing and sampling machines. Expect absurd bits and an unusual musicality that ranges from soul through hip hop to dubstep. 8.30pm, €20 + membership. Thursday Tunes Jam, CC Muziek Café This weekly event pretty much does what it says on the tin, with some pop, rock and blues jammin’. 8pm, free.
FRIDAY 20 Naema Tahir & Mark Alban Lotz, Bimhuis During the Spoken Beat Night, writers, poets, musicians and rappers join forces. This time it’s Naema Tahir, known for her witty descriptions of life between three cultures: Pakistani, British and Dutch and musical guest Mark Alban Lotz, who’ll be playing the flute to soundtrack live animations by comic artist Floor de Goede. 8.30pm, €16.
BOYZ II MEN
Many of you probably jammed – among other things – to this legendary group’s 1994 massive hit ‘I’ll Make Love to You’, which was released four years after they signed with Motown. Almost two decades later, the boys turned men are still on top of their game, wearing the undisputed crown of ‘most successful R&B act of all time’ and having sold more than 60 million records. They’ve recently released their tenth album, called Twenty, to celebrate their When: 25 January lasting career by reinterpreting Where: Paradiso some of their own classics such Admission: €35 + membership as ‘End of The Road’ and ‘Bended paradiso.nl Knee’.
Laura Gibson, Paradiso (Kleine Zaal) Before launching her new album next year, this American singer-songwriter brings her style of soft vocals and fragile arrangements. 7pm, €9 + membership. Gym Class Heroes, Melkweg (The Max) New York-based quartet bridging the gap between hip hop, rock, R&B and pop. They often collaborate with Fall Out Boy’s lead singer Patrick Stump and have recently joined forces with the ever charismatic Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine for the smash hit ‘Stereo Hearts’. 8pm, €20 + membership.
SUNDAY 22 Jessye Norman, Royal Theater Carré For the first time in the Netherlands, American soprano Jessye Norman presents the American Masters programme of jazz standards and traditional songs, including the likes of Gershwin, Bernstein and Ellington, accompanied by her pianist Mark Markham. 5pm,, €38 - €114.
TUESDAY 24 Magic Gumball & Open Mic, CC Muziek Café Discover Amsterdam’s hidden talent as five different acts take the stage each week at this cozy De Pijp outpost. 8pm, free.
WEDNESDAY 25 Bernadeta Astari and Kanako Inoue, Concertgebouw (Kleine Zaal) For years, the weekly lunch concert at the Concertgebouw has given the general public free access to everything from open rehearsals of the Royal Orchestra and conservatory ensembles to chamber music by young talent. This week’s bill: soprano Bernadeta Astari and pianist Kanako Inoue. 12:30pm, free. Ferial Trio, CC Muziek Café Led by Suriname-born and Amsterdambased pianist Ferial Karamat Ali, this trio featuring Glenn Gaddum/Jeroen Vierdag on bass and Tim Dudek/Archie Peña on drums perform Latin jazz that will warm your cold winter Wednesdays. 8pm, €3.
THURSDAY 26 Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and Gino Vanelli, Bimhuis Gino Vanelli made an international name for himself as a pop star, but in the Netherlands he’s also known as a talented jazz singer. Tonight he’s playing with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, which just received an Edison Award for its Blues for the Date album. 8.30pm, €30. Thursday Tunes Jam, CC Muziek Café This weekly event pretty much does what it says on the tin, with some pop, rock and blues jammin’. 8pm, free.
SATURDAY 28 K’s Choice, Melkweg (Rabozaal) Belgian trio gets intimate with this acoustic tour that celebrates their album Little Echoes. Enjoy the soothing sounds of two acoustic guitars, a piano and three voices as they take you through the highlights of their career. 7.30pm, €32.50 + membership.
MONDAY 30 Ute Lemper: ‘Last Tango in Berlin’, Royal Theater Carré German chanteuse and actress pays an intimate tribute to the legendary Argentine tango composer Astor Piazolla. 8pm, €24 – €58.
FOR MORE EVENTS CHECK OUT THE FULL AGENDA ON AMSTERDAM-MAGAZINE.COM/EVENTS
BY THOMAS SCHLIJPER
AMSTERDAM, STATIONSPLEIN, 28 NOVEMBER 2011, 20:24
Every day Thomas Schlijper takes a picture. Check out his blog at www. schlijper.nl and see what the beating heart of Amsterdam looks like. Hereâ€™s a sneak preview!
Telephone booths are becoming quite rare nowadays; 12 years ago there were 20,000, now there are only about 250 left.
We should take better care of them!
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