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Eberhard van der Laan

(born June 28, 1955 in Leiden) is a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid). He has been the Mayor of Amsterdam since July 7, 2010. Before serving as Mayor he was Minister of Integration and Housing. In the years before his carreer as Mininster he was a full-time lawyer. And between 1990 and 1998 he was member of the Amsterdam city council, from 1993 as the chair of the Labour Party.

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INTERVIEW

In 2015 Amsterdam aims to reveal the city’s secrets by exploring each of its neighborhoods for 24 hours. The city is hosting a variety of events throughout the year that will help both tourists and locals get to know the city better. The ‘24h Amsterdam’ events take place for 24 hours, and are focused on each area of the city: Oost, West, Zuid, and Noord. Each area presents what it has to offer in a blistering 24-hour period. Shops, clubs and cultural institutions throw open their doors for some special surprises – perfect whether you live in the neighbourhood or come from another area of town and are keen to check out a new neighbourhood. Hello Amsterdam sat down with Eberhard van der Laan – the Mayor of Amsterdam – and asked him to describe the perfect 24 hours in Amsterdam.

Morning

My day starts at the residence. Since 1927 Herengracht 502 has been the official residence of the mayor of Amsterdam. The monument was built in 1671-1672. Of course such a location is inspiring, but the Herengracht is also a place where you have to be aware of the downside of that wealth. The canal was built by a slave trader. This, for example, makes the annual commemoration of the abolition of slavery still a very necessary event. I prefer to start the day with my wife and children.

Afternoon On Saturday afternoon I do with the children like a round Utrechtsestraat. Here we go for the cheese maker. Lately there are many more great shops come in. I also like to spend time with my kids in the park. My favorite park in Amsterdam is without a doubt Vondelpark. The most beautiful building in Amsterdam is the Het Paleis op de Dam (the royal palace), but new buildings such as the Sphinx and the Oosterdock are also impressive. Thanks to Rem Koolhaas their façades fit perfectly into the cityscape. And of course, there are the

eight thousand canal houses that decorate Amsterdam. I am a fan of so many museums in Amsterdam, but right now there is beautiful exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, dedicated to the later works of Rembrandt. Café-restaurant Amsterdam on Watertorenplein in Amsterdam West is where I spent a lot of time when I was a lawyer. It is a nice place to have lunch at a reasonable price and they love children, which is one of our criteria. The same goes for Captain Zeppos and Café Schiller. If we have something to celebrate, we sometimes go to Brasserie Flo or L’Europe. There are many nice cafés and neighborhoods in Amsterdam. For example, Kinkerbuurt, the Indische buurt, and Amsterdam Noord. All of these areas were previously less popular but now are hugely popular. There are also plenty of nice cafes and terraces. This also means that it is less crowded downtown. For awhile the city council leaders have been working on how to make the center less crowded and attract people to other beautiful parts of the city, and this seems to be working. If I may make some suggestions for nice places in the city: in the north - the Tolhuistuin, in the south – Pilsvogel, in the west - Westergasterras, in the Nieuw West neighborhood Cedars has a nice terrace, and in the east there is Biertuin.

Evening As a student, I lived in the Kinkerbuurt in the Borgerstraat. The neighborhood has changed a lot, but the atmosphere is still lovely. As a former resident it feels good to see that the district will have a new face, preserving ancient monuments such as De Hallen. I’ve been there now a few times and it’s a fine place to eat and have a drink. So I especially recommend you go there! My work as mayor takes me to many places in the city. I find Paradiso to be a nice entertainment venue. Disco Dolly on Handboogstraat also seems to be a nice place. I myself have not been there, but there was recently a party there named after me because the folks at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), along with a number of other clubs that organized parties in the context of ADE, were allowed to stay open longer, until 8:00 in the morning. I think that companies that prove they have their business in order should be rewarded. Unfortunately, I no longer get to enjoy the 24 hour license; it has been a long time since I’ve stayed out until 06.00 in the morning.

The MAYOR’S

FAVORITES

Eberhard van der Laan shares the best places to go in Amsterdam ILLUSTRATOR ENKELING

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The BEST

GOURMET BURGERS in Amsterdam 48


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Hello Amsterdam 4 - Mar/Apr 2015  
Hello Amsterdam 4 - Mar/Apr 2015  
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