Centrum 62 | text and photos: Marie-Charlotte Pezé
The centre of Amsterdam is a love story between the city’s historical culture and its innovative, avant-garde spirit.
The Red Carpet
ts cosmopolitan-yet-quaint village feel defines Amsterdam Centrum’s (centre) personality: it’s all about contrasts. The Red Light District itself is one big dichotomy, with a 12th-century church and romantic bridges as the setting for its tawdry windows displaying intimate body parts – real or rubber. Sometimes all the hubbub of Centrum makes it hard to differentiate the tourist traps from the genuine, but the latter is there if you dig a bit deeper, look a little closer, go a little further.
Gone are the souvenir shops as soon as you cross the Singel to step into the Nine Streets, where Dutch fashion designers show off their innovative and trendy skills. A few steps further and the flowery Jordaan welcomes you into Amsterdam’s real life, with its bustling markets, lively cafés and med-led restaurants. And if you head east instead of west, past the flea market on Waterlooplein (where you’ll find vintage treasures through the piles of cheap souvenirs), you’ll step into the deceptively peaceful Plantage, home not only to
Once a disreputable gambling hall, this vintage-style bar is the perfect place to ogle the Red Light District while snacking on bitterballen and beers. Up the gorgeous antique staircase sits the intimate restaurant that serves a seasonal menu, from Middle Eastern mezze to Italian pasta. Stay for after-hours cocktails, when the atmosphere turns festive. OUDEZIJDS ACHTERBURGWAL 22 MATAHARI-AMSTERDAM.NL
L’Étoile de Saint Honoré
A high-end yet affordable boutique of vintage accessory treasures, L’Étoile de Saint Honoré gives you a pass on splurging on that Gucci or Chanel bag you’ve been eying for ages. Most pieces are in pristine condition, and come with a certificate of authenticity; yet you’ll still have cash to stash in the folds of your new purchase, as prices are much more reasonable than… they could be. OUDE SPIEGELSTRAAT 1 ETOILE-LUXURYVINTAGE.COM
Luba’s racks are stocked with a delightful array of colourful garments and accessories that redefine trendy and chic. After 20 years, Els and Simone are still on the lookout for special, unique pieces from hard-tofind local and international designers. HAARLEMMERSTRAAT 12A LUBA-AMSTERDAM.NL