vol. 5 #13 – 10 July 2012
The Sentinel Amsterdam
Integrity, heart, humour
mechelen PERSPECTIVES LIFESTYLES TRAVEL OPINION
TECHNOLOGY ART FILM MUSIC
fashion capital ANTWERP TRENDS HEALTH & WELL-BEING RECOMMENDED SPORT
In this issue feature
P. 04 culture
Mechelen ‘It is an immediately beautiful and compact old city’
P. 22 travel p. 46
Fashion capital: Antwerp
Barcelona: Ready salted
‘In Antwerp they do not see themselves as Belgian’
‘Totally dedicated, enthusiastic people whose sole passion seemed to be the welfare of wild animals‘
perspectives p.66 sport p. 92 more:
The Gold Room
culture Ghent: cobblestone island
STAR BEER GUIDE p. 70
‘At times like these Amsterdam reveals its true essence as a multicultural city‘
THE SENTINEL RECOMMENDED
spotted p. 76 film review Room 2c
ColoPHon The Sentinel Amsterdam e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.thesentinel.eu
Editors – Gary Rudland & Denson Pierre Design, realisation and form – Andrei Barburas & No-Office.nl Webmaster – www.sio-bytes.tumblr.com Webhost – Amsterjammin.com
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technology Sio-Bytes: Dots
Health & Well-being GOH show!
Contributors: Valeria Scimia, Simon Owusu, David King, Dirkje Bakker-Pierre and Fleur Berkhout
â€˜As the train determinedly sped along, the form became more distinguishableâ€™
Mechelen: Wood, stone and tagine
‘Locals make it easy for you, as they are simply a relaxed and friendly bunch’ By Denson Pierre
It seemed like we were just a few minutes out of Antwerp Central train station when a solid form appeared, jutting out above the trees and skywards, from the direction in which I imagined Mechelen to be. As the train determinedly sped along, the form became more distinguishable as a tower of some description. After a few more seconds, my wife and I agreed that it must be the St Rombold’s Cathedral tower (97.28m) and that it would play some part in our 24-hour press trip to this historic city, under the guidance of the proud folk of Mechelen Tourism. Mechelen is extremely conveniently located and easily accessible by all typical forms of transportation. It is an immediately beautiful and compact old city, all the highlights of which can easily be enjoyed during the course of a two-day visit, which should also include a stint of cycling in the city’s lovely outlying areas. Locals make it easy for you, as they are simply a relaxed and friendly bunch when dealing with equally respectful tourists. Their Burgundian lifestyle also translates into a disproportionately high number of restaurants and cafés. The tourism authority representative, Ms Josiane Verstraeten, was right on time to greet the Sentinel team at our hotel reception in the stupendously redesigned, 19th-century, Franciscan church: Martin’s Paterhof. The
hotel contains probably the most atmospheric sleeping and breakfast areas we have so far experienced on our journalistic travels and it is worth a visit to Mechelen just to stay there. Before we do end up spending too much time there, we make our way into town to link up with the local historian and professional guide hired to make sure we saw Mechelen in the most complete manner possible, in the relatively short time we had. No sooner had we been swept along to the picturesque canal front and absorbed an instant impression of the brilliance of lumber and carved, wooden decoration used in historic constructions in this city, than we were somehow edging in the direction of the aforementioned tower, which now loomed ominously, its higher section seemingly latched on to low clouds on this wet and windy summer’s day. By the time we reached the base of its stairwell, conditions outside were such that they created a stark atmosphere. This lent itself to imagining what it must have been like for the many thousands of labourers who worked and died in the construction of this extraordinary feat of stone masonry and engineering, over the course of the more than 800 years it has taken to reach its final, unfinished state. During the return journey of 1044 steps we were wowed by the interior, which includes awesome bells, work wheels and winches, and the chance to see a rare, working carillon (a set of bells played like a musical instrument) in action. Mechelen is a world-famous centre for this type of music, both for the concerts staged during the summer months and the specialist music academy located in the city.
‘The hotel contains probably the most atmospheric sleeping and breakfast areas we have so far experienced’
‘We were wowed by the interior, which includes awesome bells, work wheels and winches, and the chance to see a rare, working carillon’
In the cathedral itself you will find genuinely interesting representations of myth and legend, as well as some fine devotional pieces of art. Most impressive of these are the intricately worked, very large, wooden sculptures, which, if not unique on this scale, must be exceedingly rare. On the subject of scale, the remainder of our tour of this impressive, small city brought us to lunch in the breathtakingly well refurbished former brewery complex that is now the Lamot Conference and Heritage Center (and restaurant). Simply spectacular! Just inside the entrance, two giant girls from a giant family (see front cover) had just been installed. Mechelen has been granted special status by UNESCO in support of the preservation of this eerie art: the creation of giant, doll-like characters with full birth and life stories, which are only displayed on auspicious or cultural occasions. It is a tradition from the Middle Ages that catches your attention here in the 21st century. The end of lunch signalled that we were now free to enjoy the city as we saw fit. Roaming its easy streets, we sampled a couple of the very nice cafés dotted around and concentrated on the city’s many squares and waterways. Note was made of the local favourite beer, since it is an example of one of
those weird tricks of perception that suggests things tastes better closer to their source. Gouden Carolus Tripel is nectar from the tap but I recommend a self-imposed limit of two custom-made glass measures at any one sitting. It packs a punch of 9% alcohol by volume and two glasses are ample, if you wish to engage in other activities after sampling this herby special. Ambling around this beautiful city, we reconciled ourselves to returning on a sunnier day. The panoramic view from the tower we had gained earlier, from a new platform at its very summit, had revealed lush countryside ideal for two-wheeled leisure. The watery weather forced us to rule this out, however. We ended the day by dining at one of Mechelen’s Moroccan restaurants, reasoning that with a 14% Moroccan local population, the quality and taste competition would be intense and real. We could not have been more right as the fresh, steamy, vegetable tagine taste-fest served up at Ronda Restaurant (Vismarkt 10, 2800 Mechelen) means we have already pencilled in a return visit in the not-too-distant future. See you soon, Mechelen.
‘You will find genuinely interesting representations of myth and legend, as well as some fine devotional pieces of art’
â€˜We reconciled ourselves to returning on a sunnier dayâ€™
Authentic and full of surprises. That’s Mechelen. Hospitable and honourable. That’s the people of Mechelen. Come and experience the city’s urban charms for yourself.
‘Belgium is very close to France and thus much higher evolved in the fashionable arts’
‘From high-end, couture and hip, to young designers, outlet stores, authentic, antique, luxury brands and vintage’
Fashion Capital: Antwerp By Dirkje Bakker Pierre
Belgium: the country south of the Netherlands where our neighbours, who are also Dutchspeaking, live. They are often regarded by their northern counterparts in a kindly but never very serious way, with a bit of a joke and a pat on the head. Actually, I need to be careful when talking about ‘Belgium’ because in Antwerp they do not see themselves as Belgian, but as Flemish or Antwerpers. Beware also not to speak a word of French, which is simply not done! The Belgians may be different to the Dutch in many ways but that’s a good thing, especially when it comes to fashion. Whereas our own practical, mercantile-minded nation often doesn’t know how to hit the right notes, style-wise, Belgium is very close to France and thus much higher evolved in the fashionable arts. Understated taste is the Belgians’ forte, without being arrogant about it (like the French). Whether you are talking about food or fashion, they know how to do it. The Antwerp lifestyle is more about quality and less
about practicality and efficiency; a breath of fresh air for us Amsterdammers. My great Antwerp Tourism tour guide, Rick Philips, showed me some of the highlights of the shopping district, focusing on Antwerp designers, which left me with the feeling that I would have to come back soon, since I didn’t even see half of it in the three-hour walk we took on that sunny Wednesday afternoon in June. From glorious, extremely high-end, luxurious shops with ceilings that seemed to reach the heavens, their glamorous interiors adorned with marble and chandeliers, to a century-old shop with its original interior, selling handmade quality gloves (one pair was made of porcupine leather!) and where they still use coal to heat the shop during winter. From a real Maison where Antwerp designer Anne Heylen creates couture on demand for special occasions, to a street full of hip and trendy shops where younger fashion lovers can shop their little hearts out. The different layers of shops – from high-end, couture and hip, to young designers, outlet stores, authentic, antique, luxury brands and vintage – have all found their place in Antwerp, alongside Europe’s big chains and some from the US.
‘Students come from all around the world to study fashion in Antwerp’
‘The city is also loaded with modern, trendy places that combine things like shoes with chocolate and jewellery with sweets’ With such a great wealth of local designers and locally A few recommended shops, in these same streets produced fashion, Antwerp is home to one of the best-known you will find many more interesting places, just fashion institutes in the world. It is located right in the let yourself get lost and dicover it all. middle of the fashion district, sharing a building with the fashion museum. A great many students come from ANTWERP DESIGNERS all around the world to study fashion in Antwerp (70% of Maison Anne Heylen - Lombardenstraat 16 students are non-native) and a great many stay on to start Stefan Schneider - Reynderstraat 53 their own labels in Antwerp. They are obliged to learn the Essentiel - Schuttershofstraat 26 / Lombardenvest 39 language because all the exams are in Dutch. Essentiel outlet - Kammenstraat 56 Nathalie Vleeschouwer - Kammenstraat 82 Beside the great selection of fashion stores and boutiques, Wouters & Hendrix - Lange gasthuisstraat 13 the city is also loaded with modern, trendy places that combine things like shoes with chocolate and jewellery with sweets, as well as numerous great-looking and -smelling organic bakeries, where beautiful, unrefined breads line the shelves of speciality food shops. Many streets branch off into strange, little, original places, like one that sells the most unique collection of glass Christmas baubles I’ve ever seen, or a shop with shells from all the world’s oceans where the owner handwrites the name and origin of the shell on the wrapping paper.
OTHER Moose city (Scandinavian brands) - Ijzerenwaag 10-12 Ganterie Boon (Gloves) - Lombardenvest 2-4 Hadhi (Fairtrade) - Nationalestraat 76-78 Labels Inc. (Vintage designers ) - Aalmoezenierstraat 4 Paulus (Etnische kunst) - Steenhouwersvest 36 Verso (Designers) - Lange gasthuisstraat 9-11 Louis (Designers) - Lombardenstraat 2
All in all, there is a whole lot to be said about the depth of Antwerp’s shopping experience. The city is not only a paradise for shopping fashionistas but it is also an adventure in itself to discover the many, many, huge streets, picturesque alleys and endless beautiful squares, lined by characterful cafes and eateries that keep surprising and enticing you at every new corner turned.
‘It is also an adventure in itself to discover the many, many, huge streets, picturesque alleys and endless beautiful squares’
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Square and Wenceslas Square. After a decade in the Czech market this Marriott flagship property represents a symbol of superior and dedicated service combined with local know how and expertise. The hotel interior was recently renovated; its rooms and suites now offer even more comfort and luxury. All 293 spacious guest rooms are fully equipped with high speed wired and wi-fi internet, personal safe, mini-bar, satellite TV with LCD screens, movies and music on demand, voice mail, data ports, individual climate control and a comfortable working area.
The hotel offers 1450 square meters (11 conference rooms in total, some with daylight) of newly renovated flexible conference, reception and banquet space, located on one level. Whether you need to organize a board meeting for 8 participants or a conference reception for 750 delegates, the Prague Marriott will provide a tailored service that exceeds your expectations. The professional event management team will create a successful event you will always remember. Since July 2009 we have incorporated “green events” into our everyday standards. By applying the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle to all events and meetings, we make them more eco-friendly and help guests and meeting planners reduce their carbon footprint on the environment.
â€˜Ghent is one of those old cities that must fill non-Europeans with wonderâ€™
Ghent: cobblestone island ‘Sometimes the best and simplest ideas are beset with difficulties, either imagined or real’ By Denson Pierre
There are good reasons why Ghent should be considered a hidden gem in northwest Belgium. I cannot say that I understand these reasons fully but much has been written about them elsewhere. Ghent is one of those old cities that must fill non-Europeans with wonder. It is another example of a very compact, old, religious and commercial centre with a great deal of architectural and artistic flourishes thrown in. Like Mechelen, this is a city consumed with pride about its place in European history but, unlike Mechelen, its tourism capacity seems very much greater. It has a population some three times that of Mechelen. Although we were not fortunate enough to meet a representative from the very large local tourism office, it was no hardship to tour and discover this ideal-sized city for ourselves. We did also have a plan and mapped routes to explore for TRACK (city-wide contemporary art installations).
The first thing to do, then, was to head to the SMAK museum to meet Eline Verbauwhede (Communications@ TRACK), get updated on the exhibition philosophy and arrange the passes and bicycles we would need to traverse the city in search of various works of art. Sometimes the best and simplest ideas are beset with difficulties, either imagined or real. Ghent is a totally stunning city in the old-European mould and that is a great accolade. Cycling across the city, however, is not that straightforward, especially not if you are an inexperienced Euro-city cyclist. Following the exhibition routes, we had to negotiate cobbled streets and open areas, which were no mean feat. The cobblestones tend to rattle you around a fair bit and, more importantly, as the wheels of your bike slip off the many edges, vibrations can cause your grip to slip and then you are really in trouble. My wife and I cut the cycle tour a bit short, since it involved too much injury-defying work, especially on stretches sharing space with trams and other vehicles. On foot, the city is all the more lovely and makes it easier to stop at the many shop windows, cafés, restaurants and culturally significant sites. Present day Ghent is a tourist
‘Cobblestones tend to rattle you around a fair bit and, more importantly, as the wheels of your bike slip off the many edges, vibrations can cause your grip to slip’
‘The vibe is very cultured and the visitors have a lot of material to feed off’
city at its centre and, if you are in the old city, it is difficult to gauge the true rhythm of its native people. I could tell you about the many different languages spoken by tourists we encountered but this is not to say that a very touristic vibe is a bad thing. It is not beach tourism, so the vibe is very cultured and the visitors have a lot of material to feed off, even if they do still practice part-day closing at many desirable restaurants and even some cafés. We managed to find an old-school Chinese establishment serving tasty food at a time when we, as tourists, were out, hungry and looking for a lunch option. I am not sure why the predominant hospitality business owners think that old-fashioned closing practices suit the needs of such a city, where so many of the visitors are day trippers without the time to take into account such idiosyncratic behaviour. At the end of the day, however, we felt privileged to sit in the late afternoon sunshine on any one of Ghent’s glamour squares, picking our way through a wide ranging selection of menus from their many establishments. As a visitor to the city, you will be alright for food (after 18.00 hours) and spoilt for beer, since it is another cluster headquarters for
fine brews. As soon as the change in the sun’s angle has made terrace sitting and snacking less resplendent, I suggest heading to a fine, one-stop, quality beer café smack in the middle of the tourist heart and, in our case, an easy drift back to Hotel NH Belfort where we were lodged. Do visit the folk at www.waterhuisaandebierkant.be, making sure to walk through their fine house beers. Then, and only then, check your fitness to carry on to the remaining arsenal of specials about which they can educate you while serving them. A day and night in Ghent and its numerous points of cultural interest, followed by a short train journey back to Antwerp, is an easy itinerary and one that is worth the time. In its own little way, Ghent is a particularly unique city, still working on its overall image, and I plan to return there for the Horeca Beurs in the autumn. Maybe then I will have a chance to meet a few more locals and certainly sample a few more of their up and coming brews.
‘We felt privileged to sit in the late afternoon sunshine on any one of Ghent’s glamour squares’
‘Educational campaigns must have worked, as there are no obvious signs of irresponsible littering’
By Denson Pierre
By the time the minibus pulled up at the animal rescue and breeding centre in Santa Maria de MerlĂ¨s, I could not help but notice that, even in these rural highlands, the Catalonians are a very ecologically sanitary people. Even in areas where, to the untrained eye, there are no settlements or camping parks, you come across large waste separation and recycling bins. The accompanying educational campaigns must have worked, as there are no obvious signs of irresponsible littering.
â€˜The story behind the castle is worth an entire book in itselfâ€™
‘Twentieth-century introduction of non-native species, mainly to keep sport fishermen and idiots with guns topped-up with targets, has seen the ecological balance severely disrupted’ There must be something in the genes of certain people that make them best suited for certain things. As soon as we were introduced to the staff at Centro de cria y educación ambiental Camadoca, we knew we were in the hands of totally dedicated, enthusiastic people whose sole passion seemed to be the welfare of wild animals, fish and reptiles common to the area. Indeed, some native species are now under threat due to either the direct or indirect actions of man. The twentieth-century introduction of non-native species, mainly to keep sport fishermen and idiots with guns topped-up with targets, has seen the ecological balance severely disrupted with creatures, such as the American crayfish, which is much larger and more aggressive than the indigenous river lobster, simply and regularly devour their smaller counterparts. This excellent educational centre is popular with school groups but, considering the range of animals cared for, the on-site natural water purification ponds and a lovely walk to the nearby bend in the river to catch and handle crayfish, lobsters and harmless water snakes, city-dwelling adults should also find half a day well spent here. Next, we hit the road for less than an hour and find ourselves approaching an imposing castle lording over the village
of Cordona and its surrounding countryside. We would eventually tour the particularly impressive grounds, old church, and crypt of the Castle of Cordona. The story behind the castle is worth an entire book in itself but, suffice to say, it has been here in some guise or other since the 14th century and is so impressive that it was also impregnable until modern times. Extremely delicious food was laid on for lunch in the historically captivating dining hall and there is also a classy hotel within the complex, which I imagine takes some beating in terms of the views afforded. The huge castle complex represents long-term wealth, much of which historically came from salt. One of the views possible from the castle’s higher ground is a vast but scarred area, which looks unlike any other landscape I have ever seen. This would be our next stop: the above-ground mountain of waste from the now defunct salt mine and amazing, solid, sodium-laden protuberances forced to the surface by tectonic forces at work in this geological region. But we would not stop there, as we were also taken on a 500-metre tour of a few galleries within the rare salt mountain. This was particularly spectacular, as exploring the safe reaches of this useful and used wonder of nature in 14˚C (inside) made the stories of the human toll and great prosperity associated with the very paths we now trod so
‘We were also taken on a 500-metre tour of a few galleries within the rare salt mountain’
‘Natives are duly proud to tell big stories about such a small place’ much more interesting. It is not just the stalagmites and stalactites but I wondered if, at some stage, someone I know might have had salt on their table from this very place. Cordona, the village, is small and pretty. It is a rather old settlement, as the salt mountain and castle have needed locals to work in them for centuries. Natives are duly proud to tell big stories about such a small place. As the sun, at an angle, began to illuminate the sides instead of the tops of faraway surrounding mountains, we headed toward our final daylight stop. This involved hour-long drive along another divinely scenic route. We found ourselves in an area much more popular with campers and caravan families, where we could relax for a while and have a refreshing couple of drinks before dinner at the surprisingly homely Restaurant Cal Paradis, in Sant Mateu. From here, as the more direct sunlight gave way to twilight, we headed on to the agro-tourism country house at which we were staying. Before sleep came into the equation, though, we would do a bit of star gazing. Of course, to get maximum benefit from an observatory, you need dark night skies and no clouds. It was around 9.00
pm when we arrived at Observatorio de Castelltallat and, truth be told, our group was already slightly tired. It had been a long day. Once again, however, as soon as we met the highly enthusiastic resident astronomer, we rebooted. The skies were not completely clear and we had to view the moon at 80x magnification in two shifts around the changeable atmospheric conditions. In between, we were able to tour the compound and enjoy lectures on the accessible aspects of star gazing and our relatively infinitesimal place in the galaxy and universe. This is a fascinating place, set within glorious nature (seen next day in daylight), and a perfect reason to keep youngsters up late to learn something about how and why we are hurtling through space. My bedroom and bed were decorated with such typically warm regional hues that, after the animals, salt, culture and stars, it was not long after I made contact with the fresh sheets that all aspects of the day morphed into the content of moving dreams. It seems that Catalonia province is capable of moving you on a spiritual level, if you are paying attention. http://www.elmas.cat/
‘We had to view the moon at 80x magnification in two shifts around the changeable atmospheric conditions’
perspectives / sport
Multiculti Amsterdam: enjoying the colours â€˜People who have lived in Amsterdam for a long time will have seen and perhaps participated in the joy and festivities during tournamentsâ€™
perspectives / sport
By Valeria Scimia
Football is known for showing the true colours of nations, as people from most countries become slightly nationalistic when their team is playing in major championships, like the Euros or World Cup. At times like these Amsterdam reveals its true essence as a multicultural city. During international games the city becomes swathed in many flags from many different places. People who have lived in Amsterdam for a long time will have seen and perhaps participated in the joy and festivities during tournaments, regardless of the nationality of the eventual winners. The city is so full of multinational people that everyone becomes alive in sportingly supporting their own nation.
if they lose. Flags and banners are rapidly removed and the sporting spirit disappears. Not here. Multiculturalism means that there are always nationalities, whose teams are still in with a chance, ready to be festive and paint the city with their own colours. This also provides a good opportunity for Dutch people to cheer and support another team. In Italy, everyone has their own second and even third favourite team, to make sure they’re able to enjoy the championship until the very end.
When the Euro 2012 tournament started, Amsterdam was covered in orange flags and banners. Soon people began wearing their favourite orange shirts and, every now and then, you might see Portuguese, Italian, French and other replica kits for participating countries in the city. It’s actually a pity when the country in which you live doesn’t go far in the competition, because fans mostly stop caring
I found this sad and funny at the same time, because this was the second time I’d seen Holland investing a lot in orange merchandising, only to see their team fail to meet expectations. When I see big companies investing money to profit from fans and games, it’s only fair to understand the risk they are taking. I have to say, I have rarely seen other countries investing so much in football supplies during
Nevertheless, I must mention a couple of funny examples of how Holland demonstrates its support. Albert Heijn, for example, gave me an orange scarf, normally priced at €2.99, for free before what turned out to be Holland’s final game, when they already knew they had very little chance of progressing in the tournament. I would have kept it for the next championship if it had been nice, but it wasn’t, so I gave it away. That’s a true sign of giving up.
‘Multiculturalism means that there are always nationalities, whose teams are still in with a chance, ready to be festive and paint the city with their own colours’
perspectives / sport
‘This was the second time I’d seen Holland investing a lot in orange merchandising, only to see their team fail to meet expectations’
perspectives / sport
‘Wouldn’t it be easier to give away a free, simple, orange lighter that could be sold on any occasion?’ championships. I lived in London during a World Cup finals tournament and Sainsbury’s was not selling England flags or shirts. That’s something they leave for sports or tourist shops, which usually stock all varieties, not just those of England. Note how English people, like Italians, are big football fans. So, it makes me smile to see how these Dutch companies, who try to profit from football, actually ended up losing money with the consequence of becoming bitter and resentful about the results. Just think of Pall Mall when they made the special edition cigarettes with the little Dutch flag for Euro 2000 and ended up selling them for months after the tournament was finished. They made them again for the last World Cup but I didn’t see any special cigarettes for Euro 2012. Maybe they realised it was a waste of money. Wouldn’t it be easier to give away a free, simple, orange lighter that could be sold on any occasion? Just an idea. But it’s always nice to see the hope and heart Dutch fans and players put into the game. Sometimes I think they’re among
the few remaining purists when it comes to football. Not spoiled by corruption and still with the will to play good, fair games, until they realise they’re the only ones trying to do so and then become violent about it. Unfortunately, football is a game, a corrupt and probably not always fair one but, as with all games, it has unspoken and unwritten rules that are necessary to understand. Perhaps the most important of these is to embrace football for what it is: a game. Because of its multicultural nature, Amsterdam has more opportunities than most cities to enjoy these tournaments to the full. The Euros surely must have thrown up barbecues and open bars hosted by Greeks or Portuguese; tapas bars in which to watch Spain; and the possibility to enjoy watching Italy over a delicious gelato. Nice and colourful teams have graced the Euros and, with the warmth of the sun signalling the beginning of summer, it’s been great to enjoy the festivities surrounding the matches.
‘I think they’re among the few remaining purists when it comes to football’
star beer guide
star beer guide
The Sentinel Star beer guide By Denson Pierre
Juggernaut (4.6% A.B.V.) â€˜this beer comes from a category of Real Ale that is more suited to those in search of a full taste experienceâ€™ The beer name suggests sheer power but, in reality, this beer comes from a category of Real Ale that is more suited to those in search of a full taste experience to complement a simpler alcoholic one. An enchanting colour leads to a tongue-engulfing taste of hops and a distinctive dry aftertaste of wood. Best followed by something darker and sweeter. This beer is brewed in Maldon, Essex (UK) by Mighty Oak Brewing Company and comes recommended as a superb mid-session taste changer.
AMSTERDAM O’Donnell’s Bar, Amsterdam, 01.07.12
We find the best, most fun, most typical, exciting, or local favourite restaurants etcetera in Amsterdam and bring them to you; an easy way to feel like a local.
To Be Seen and Tasted
Fun, Drinking & Music
Cafe Tisfris Cafe Tisfris is recognisable for its landmarks, funky pillars and terrace. The modern, artistic interior with a warm, bustling atmosphere and inviting music attracts quite a mixed crowd. Tisfris offers a friendly and efficient service and is a great pit stop for “yummy” refreshments.
Opera Prima - Patisserie Bistro Traiteur The best place in town for lunch, exquisite high teas or brunches and all of your luxury catering, both private and corporate!
Mulligans Irish Music Bar Amsterdam’s best address for live Irish music : Five (5) nights a week! Check our agenda for upcoming sessions. Join the friendly atmosphere, have a good pint of Guinness and the good old-fashioned “Craic”
Tisfris Opera Prima St. Antoniebreestraat 142 Amsterdam Kinkerstraat 228 Amsterdam www.tisfris.nl www.operaprima.nl
Mulligans Irish Music Bar Amstel 100 1017 AC Amsterdam www.mulligans.nl
To Be Seen and Tasted
Cafe restaurant Edel Cafe restaurant Edel is the perfect place for lunch, dinner or to simply enjoy a drink. Edel is situated in ‘Het Sieraad’ on Postjesweg. It sits in the former clockmaker and jeweller’s academy building and has a large waterside terrace. Edel is a unique place in Amsterdam.
Incanto Incanto is a restaurant with a classic Italian kitchen. Venetian chef Simone Ambrosin is known for his pure and simple style of cooking with feeling for nuance.
Vibes Vibes is a relaxing cafe’/cocktail bar /art gallery with a large selection of coffees, herbal teas and homemade cakes and an amazing card of cocktails, made with fresh fruit, by a professional cocktail bartender of 15 years experience.
EDEL Postjesweg 1 1057 DT Amsterdam www.edelamsterdam.nl
Incanto Amstel 2 Amsterdam www.restaurant-incanto.nl
The wine list contains over 150 Italian wines.
Enjoy our Italian kitchen in a cosy and friendly atmosphere. Vibes Jan Pieter Heijestraat 137 Amsterdam www.wix.com/vibes137/vibes
star beer guide
Where is this in Amsterdam? Answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Room 2c film By David King
The Great Escape (1963) A classic escape movie, quite literally. Loosely based on true events during the Second World War, the Nazis decide to put all the best POWs, who have previously broken out of detention camps, into one super camp, considering it escape-proof. Of course, the allies do not take this lying down and with the best brains in the business they plan a mass exodus. An all-star cast coupled with a well-paced story make this a worthy cracker to revisit.
Room 2c film By dpmotions
Swimming Pool (2003) An escapist movie of simple and sometimes titillating humour, which uses tried and tested twists more common to darker whodunits. The Provencal setting is the real star even if, in true French fashion, there are other handsome bodies to gawk at as they parade in Mediterranean sunshine. Guaranteed to keep you smiling and yearning for genuinely sunny holidays.
‘The cool thing about fashion is that fashion embodies change. It isn’t and never will be static’
Change 01 By Dirkje Bakker-Pierre
It’s sale time, everyone! All the summer collections are on offer at 30-70% off the original price. And since we haven’t really had a summer yet, you still have the choice of the complete collections, in all sizes and not just the misfits, XXXLs or leftovers. I recently came into contact with the book 100 ideas that changed fashion via a client. The cover features lots of things that take you back in time, like one of those TV shows about the 90s/80s/70s in which celebrities and comedians reminisce over embarrassing scenes from those eras, especially those to do with popular culture, like pop music, dress styles, hairdos, TV programmes, movies, commercials or ‘new and revolutionary’ products. The book cover features, among other things; couture, the jumper, nylon, hip-hop, funk, bold prints, tattoos, punk, the supermodel, the shoulder bag, the wrist watch, brand culture, the stiletto and the white wedding dress, a lot of which create ‘aaaawh!’ moments combined with the warm feeling of nostalgia. It is funny how, as you get older, it somehow becomes nicer to look back in a, ‘so cute/we didn’t really know any better in those days’ kind of way. The cool thing about fashion is that fashion embodies change. It isn’t and never will be static. The book made me
think about the major trends and ideas that are influencing or changing fashion at the moment. My feeling is that it is not so much pop culture, in the shape of Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber, but more like: 01: the unfortunate weather (or the loss of summer) With summer slowly becoming a distant memory, where does that leave summer collections? Shouldn’t fashion brands rethink their strategy and stop wasting so much money, time and material on products that are never going to be sold? The eras of wasting without consequences are long gone in favour of a focus on efficiency and durability, if we all want a pleasant world in which to live in the future. I am also curious about where all these leftover clothes end up? They can’t endlessly store them, can they? That would mean there is some part of the world with an infi nite number of giant storage facilities, fi lled with endless racks of clothes. At some point, the outlet stores are also going to be full, I would imagine, although ‘outlet’ has defi nitely been a growing trend for years here in the lowlands. Unsurprisingly, the numerous discount stores seem to be thriving in the current economic climate. So we will wait and see how much longer summer collections survive in this season-less climate of perpetual autumn.
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ADVerTOrIAl - FINANce & PlANNING
‘An encore grabs the audience. They have the great ability to captivate the crowd’
LOST JOB, LOSING JOB? You can’t avoid the news. As the steady stream of depressing economic reports continues, companies across the Netherlands continue to announce alarming job cuts. The last year has seen some of the Netherlands largest companies scale back, a list which includes Philips, Cisco, KPN, RBS, Aegon and ABN Amro. Indeed it took government intervention to stop TomTom doing the same. Worryingly, it’s not just the corporate businesses that are affected by the ongoing crisis – there were 6,200 small business closures in The Netherlands in 2011, and the future economic outlook looks as gloomy as ever. With that in mind, we thought it appropriate to provide a little direction to those affected. If you receive a redundancy payout, a ‘top tip’ is to open a ‘Stamrecht BV’ (lit. Annuity Company), as opposed to receiving the payment directly into your personal account. If you receive payout directly, it will be liable for tax at the top rate of 52%, whereas a person may receive the full amount
tax-free when placed into a Stamrecht. You are then able to draw down the money as an income from the Stamrecht when you are in a lower tax bracket (for example, during unemployment or at retirement). The money can also be loaned to yourself from your Stamrecht for using to pay off a mortgage or starting your own business. If you already have opened a Stamrecht BV, consider the options available. If you have no immediate requirement to use the capital, it is not sensible to hold cash within your Stamrecht with no growth and growing inflation – rather, it is normally prudent to invest this money on behalf of the Stamrecht to provide for the costs of the future, for example; marriage, property, children and retirement. If you would like further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Microsoft has made the strategic move into the PC hardware market to compete with its previous partners’
dots TechBit: Sio-Bytes By Simon Owusu
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” - Steve Jobs The significance of this statement by the late founder and CEO of Apple Inc. resonates as clearly today, in July 2012, as it did when he said it during the Stanford Commencement speech, in June 2005. Many debatable things can be said about Steve Jobs, but one thing cannot be disputed: his visionary insight. Steered by Steve Jobs, Apple’s dominance has largely been down to his ability to see things before they happen, let go of things that no longer matter way before anyone else realises and, finally, stick with something he believes will eventually turn out to be the right choice in the future. Over the past few weeks, there have been some interesting announcements in the tech world. These demonstrate that only now are some people beginning to connect the dots. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer introduced a new product at the Milk Studios in Los Angeles, called Microsoft Surface. This is a family of tablet computers, similar to the Apple iPad, which are powered by the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. One of the interesting things about this announcement, apart from the tablet crashing during the demo, is the fact that the hardware behind this product was also created by Microsoft. Traditionally a software company
‘Apple has always promised to deliver ‘an absolutely amazing experience’ and maintaining control over software and hardware’ (bar the Xbox and the Zune, remember the Zune? Don’t worry, you’d be forgiven for not knowing about it), Microsoft has made the strategic move into the PC hardware market to compete with its previous partners in crime, such as Hewlett Packard and Dell. Microsoft has always run its Windows software on other companies’ hardware and never on its own. Steve Ballmer’s explanation for this change is that Microsoft Surface needs its own accompanying hardware to show off the strengths and abilities of its Windows 8 system. Microsoft did not trust its PC-manufacturing partners to do this better than Microsoft itself, given that the HPs and Dells of this world did not write the overlaying software. Ballmer pushed this point further by saying, “We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects of the experience, hardware and software are considered in working together”. He also used the example of the Xbox, a console built on integrated Microsoft software and hardware, saying, “This combination of hardware, software and peripherals in the Xbox case works together to deliver an absolutely amazing experience”.
These words and ideologies are no different to those of Apple, which pioneered the seamless integration between hardware and software to deliver an amazing user experience. With the release of the Apple iPhone, in 2007, Steve Jobs quoted Alan Kay by saying, “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware”. Apple has always promised to deliver ‘an absolutely amazing experience’ and maintaining control over software and hardware has been at the heart of Apple’s success. Steve Jobs once said, “We do these things not because we are control freaks, we do them because we want to make great products, because we care about the user, and because we like to take responsibility for the entire experience, rather than turn out the crap that other people make”. The ‘other people’ to whom he was referring was predominantly Microsoft, which was happy to control the software and let other companies control the hardware. Microsoft is only now connecting the dots, as echoed by Steve Ballmer in speaking at the Microsoft Surface launch: “It embodies the notion of hardware and software really pushing each other.” Another interesting announcement was the death of Flash on mobile devices. Adobe – the creator of Flash and the Flash player, the software that allows people to see mainly video content on the internet for sites like that of the BBC iPlayer – announced that from 15 August this year, there will be no more Flash player updates for mobile devices. Adobe also said that it will not develop a Flash player for the newly released version of the Google Android operating system.
On its launch, five years ago, one thing thought missing from the iPhone was the Flash player. Steve Jobs penned his ‘Thoughts on Flash’ in April 2010, so people could understand why Apple decided not to include Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. He said, “The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short,” adding that, “Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content”. Jobs’ next closing line was quite apt at the time, since HTML5 is now a major platform for the delivery of internet content, “Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind”. The irony is that Android handset makers used the Flash player as their unique selling point when compared to Apple devices and, thus, bet on a dying platform, which Apple had the foresight to exclude. Apple decisions always seem difficult to comprehend at first but, usually, a few years later, when you look back, you see how the dots are connected. Apple trusts in its dots and, as a fan, so do I.
‘The irony is that Android handset makers used the Flash player as their unique selling point when compared to Apple devices’
Health & Well-being
Health & Well-being
GOH show! By Fleur Berkhout
We have almost reached the end of our eightweek Beginners GOH slimmer/healthier & fitter programme. It has been very successful, challenging and, at the same time, enjoyable for both the GOH team and the participants. We have already created an Advanced programme, which is also eight weeks in duration, followed by another eight weeks of the GOH Pro slimmer/ healthier & fitter programme. The idea is to make a smooth transition from one programme to another, allowing participants to continue their journey of weight loss and improving their health and fitness. During the fourth week of the Beginners programme, participants were treated to a healthy food shopping workshop, which took place in Albert Heijn. They were guided by our nutritionist on how to read food product labels in order to choose healthy options. As part of the Advanced programme, we will be holding a cooking workshop to introduce people to healthy cooking methods and being creative with recipes. Extra touches like these underpin and strengthen the concept, making it enjoyable, educational and foolproof! The following are some of the progressive results/statistics obtained over the past six weeks, which demonstrate the GOH Concept’s ability to produce guaranteed results: - 2 weeks: in total, the group lost 18.8 kg – an average of 2 kg per person – a very good start and highly motivating for all GOH members! - 4 weeks: beginning with a health check-up, each member’s weight, waistline, BMI, muscle percentage and fat percentage was measured. In total, the group had lost 27.5 kg, waistlines had decreased by 25 cm, every GOH member’s
muscle percentage had increased and almost everyone’s fat percentage had decreased by several points. All members felt more energetic and healthier after only three weeks of training and following the GOH healthy food pattern. - 6 weeks: the group had lost 43.4 kg, in total, and 45.5 cm in waistline. Several GOH members had already attained a healthier BMI and waistline. Everyone’s condition and muscle strength has improved considerably, due to the increasing intensity of the training sessions. Over the remaining two weeks of the programme, we will help each member to work even harder on their goals. The predicted results at the end of the eight-week programme are an average of 1 kg weight loss and a 1 cm reduction in waistline per person per week, resulting in the group losing around 60 kg and 60 cm of waistline, in total. For some members, this equates to a 10% weight loss, which translates into a huge improvement in health! Blood pressure, cholesterol and blood-glucose levels are healthier and joints less pressured. Plus, of course, each member will feel healthier and happier, producing a huge improvement in mental well-being. As all current GOH members have experienced, the GOH Concept can really make a difference! And you are more than welcome to experience that GOH feeling yourself! Contact: email@example.com www.facebook.com/GOHconcept +31(0)6 44519526 (David Billy) +31(0)6 51890832 (Peter Fenwick) www.billysfysio.nl www.fenwickpersonaltraining.nl
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the sentinel Fantasy Football League 2012-2013
The blue one is back! If you are not already signed-up to play our fantasy football game you can do so now! Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org for rules and conditions. Paper forms also available from behind the bar at Oâ€™Donnellâ€™s Bar (Amsterdam). Act now as due to heavy demand from our regular players late reactions can lead to disappointment as we do have a preferred upper limit on managers/players we accommodate in the game.
All that glistens is sometimes...
FANTASY FOOTBALL GOLD CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2012-2013
The master managers are grouped again to challenge for the golden envelope. We use this game to complement our main reporting on matches, teams and players from the English Premier League involved in their domestic and European competitions.
The Gold Room By Denson Pierre
A decade is a very long time for a footballer to stay at the top of his game, even in a simple, everyday league. The current Spanish national team has global reviewers searching for new superlatives to describe what they have mastered, firstly under Louis Arragones and elevated to comprehensive magnificence under Vincente Del Bosque. Within this team, one man has proved to be as articulate with words as he is with manipulating a football at his feet. Xabi Alonso is now one of the senior members of the Euro-World Cup-Euro-winning squad and it could not be for better reasons. I have a memory of what seems like another era of barroom footy discussions, but was actually the autumn of the 2006-2007 season, during which I regularly blurted out that Xabi Alonso was the best midfielder in the Premier League. Often, this was disputed, since the majority of fervent Premier League fans like their midfielders to be bustling, direct and have a tendency to ‘get stuck in’. It was already clear then, however, that Alonso was a unique, metronomic passer of the ball, at all ranges and with unerring accuracy. He was not a dribbler or super-surger but a master of the geometric exchange on the way to goalscoring opportunities. As far as shooting on goal himself was concerned, he always had superb technique from dead-ball
situations and was powerfully ambidextrous from range. He can also do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=civynWpSeaY Back then, he would not normally have been the first choice to take goal-threatening or direct free kicks, since there were other (lesser) players at Liverpool FC with more boisterous claims towards being the most technically favoured for the task. Alonso has always been a quiet and contemplative man, and if he was bothered by this regular and egregious oversight, he never showed it. In the meantime, Xabi Alonso has amassed more than one hundred caps for Spain, in an era (2002-2012) that has undoubtedly been defined by their style of football. At the heart of the Spanish midfield control room you would always find Alonso, doing those things at which he is so clearly gifted. It is high time, therefore, that he should receive the recognition he deserves here, in the Gold Room; for his always understated mastery, in the shadow of the other quick-footed dazzlers who play off his strengths, both at Spain’s current pinnacle club (Real Madrid) and with La Roja the Greats. No-one deserves his front-row seat in the pantheon of great midfield footballers more than Xabi Alonso Olano.
CZECH REPUBLIC STUNNINGLY DIFFERENT! www.czechtourism.com
Published on Jul 9, 2012
Published on Jul 9, 2012
The Sentinel, Amsterdam tri-weekly e-zine with all that is good and informative on lifestyles with perspectives, opinion and sport from Amst...