Page 1

vol. 7 #1 – 15 October 2013

The Sentinel Amsterdam

Integrity, heart, humour








in this issue

perspectives - p.14

interview - p. 34

Pay Day Fail

Dam in 60 mins: 60 Canals

Putting Brood on the table

‘Very astute business or particularly evil’

‘Combine a trip on the water with one down memory lane’

‘Herman Brood belongs to Amsterdam’

art - p. 64

trends - p. 80

sport - p.90


Can you ever be too old for trends?

The Gold Room 3

feature - p.04

‘The end of the fashion line with certain styles’

more lifestyles - p. 52

cafe-bar review - p. 56

amsterdam city life - p. 73

Andre Hazes at night

Molly Malone’s

Bring back…!

star beer guide - p. 74

sentinel recommended - p. 76

spotted - p.78

Emelisse DIPA

Where is this in Amsterdam?

film - p. 79

perspectives - p. 82

health & well-being - p. 86


Little Rooms, Big Gifts

Massage: The power of touch

The Sentinel Amsterdam

E-mail: Website: Contributors: Sam van Dam, E.R. Muntrem, Dirkje Bakker-Pierre and Evelina Kvartunaite

Editors: Gary Rudland & Denson Pierre Design, realisation and form: Andrei Barburas & Webmaster: Webhost:

The Sentinel Amsterdam does not intentionally include unaccredited photos/illustrations that are subject to copyright. If you consider your copyright to have been infringed, please contact us at



a D y a P


l i a F y a 5

By Denson Pierre

It may have escaped your attention but one of the greatest growth industries in recession-hit Amsterdam has been that of debt collection. The rise in prominence of companies carrying out these activities on behalf of banks, businesses or individuals, exasperated by the failure of a party or parties to pay what is due for goods and/or services, has been tremendous. What is most interesting and new are the changes to the relevant laws, which might just have made this line of judicially backed work a bit more straightforward and, therefore, something Sentinel readers should know about, given that disagreements about bills so easily reach the courts in the Netherlands. And rightly so, as Dutch and international residents alike share the same tendency to be blinded by the idea of saving money through inaction on payment of invoices, when they are, in fact, in breach of laws that could eventually cost them and their company further expense, usually due to ignorance.



‘Something Sentinel readers should know about’

‘Typical folk, with housing loans (mortgages), and hospitality businesses, struggling within Amsterdam’s current economy’


Of course, the most terrifying scenarios involve persons within failing large industry but The Sentinel is busier with the concerns of more typical folk, with housing loans (mortgages), and hospitality businesses, struggling within Amsterdam’s current economy, both of which I encounter daily. Current economic talk is of employees in some of the most established firms being let go, with only a small percentage being brought back on zero-hour/call-up contracts. This has been the greatest example of bigger business using long-existing loopholes in the law to guarantee their margins, while doing away with the costly benefits to which they are obliged to contribute for persons in their employ, as part of standard contracts. You can see this either as very astute business or particularly evil.

The situation among medium to smaller hospitality businesses in this city is most easily laid bare. Either you are ‘making it’ or simply running up costs and debt. There is no secret formula and the number of start-ups to have established themselves, struggled along (sometimes for far too long) and been beaten into bankruptcy all across the city over the past 36 months is staggering. It must have resulted in so many broken homes as entrepreneurs gambled everything, either in ignorance or incomplete assessment of the behaviour of consumers and the market in a recession. Such people are, of course, likely to encounter problems clearing outstanding bills of whatever size. This automatically leads to long-term insolvency and, most damaging of all, blacklisting on the credit register, which can prevent you from being granted any sort of credit facility (from a mortgage down to a smartphone subscription) for years. About the law changes (since 16 March 2013) and mostly related to the more typical disputes (invoices), I take the liberty of outlining some of the key points, as heavily summarised to me by the people at Groep Gerechtsdeurwaarders Nederland (GGN) regarding business transactions. Do note that these very short outlines are ONLY pertinent to business-to-business

Should a contractual arrangement not exist then payment should be expected within 30 days of the invoice date. Parties are permitted to agree an extended payment term of up to 60 days. A payment term stretching beyond 60 days is permitted but only if/when it can be shown not to be disadvantageous to either party In matters concerning the payment of bills to and involving the government, the period is firmly 30 days. In cases of late or non-received payments you are allowed to factor in an additional administration charge without obligation to send a reminder. This charge can be agreed or more usually worked out as a percentage of the outstanding bill and should not be less than € 40. Provided you have been thorough, complete and accurate in the detailing of the billing and communication between yourself and the other party, the above points should lead to clear resolution. In cases of a protest against payment, it is possible for the terms to be suspended. There is no legal minimum payment term, as this can be arranged with your client or an advance payment can be agreed, if this is considered reasonable. So, there you have it, or some of it, at least. Behind all of this is the logic of the policy makers and their belief that invoice payments should fall under zero-tolerance management, since the timely payment of bills is meant to keep the overall economy stimulated and fluid. I suppose this means that those organisations and freelancers running a tight ship in trying times can honestly and simply get paid for their goods, services and time. If it all sounds too easy then feel free to pay a visit to the courts of Amsterdam to learn about some of the lesser-reported realities of life, business and getting by in 2013 Amsterdam. I always say it is genuinely lovely to live here but not always easy to trade.


The Amsterdam middle class is deeply wedded to the industries in which these practices are impacting and I am yet to meet someone within the first 15 years of a mortgage loan who factored in being on a call-up type arrangement. In cases like these, the only thing guaranteed is that monthly bills, mortgages and rents must continue to be paid. Awful indeed, and this is without factoring in the other benefits lost by working outside of a fixed contract. Nothing about a tax rebate based on the fact that you have this type of ‘loan’, offsets the anxiety and disease this situation causes.

transactions. The hope is that they will be useful in guiding freelancers and self-employed goods and service providers to gain recourse to the courts towards recouping their fees, now that the law has been made explicit.




‘This has been the greatest example of bigger business using long-existing loopholes in the law to guarantee their margins’






‘The timely payment of bills is meant to keep the overall economy stimulated and fluid’



Je moet er geweest zijn.


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.

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.

photography © Milo Profi


Mechelen Mechelen


Dam in 60 minutes! 14

Sixty canals

By Sam van Dam


‘Float out into the open water behind the station’

By Sam van Dam

The captain is a very friendly, easy-going guy; he lets me sit by the open front window so I can point my camera at the passing scenery. This makes me feel a bit like a kid again. Once, when I was on a plane, I was allowed to enter the cockpit during a flight – pre-9/11, obviously. We float out into the open water behind the station, where the municipal ferry service eagerly moves people across the wetness 24/7, and a little rush of holiday-like feeling sets in, as the Bimhuis dominates the skyline on the way to Nemo and the entrance into the historic canal system. As the boat eases in there is a breathtaking view of the station, houseboats, a giant, floating Chinese restaurant and the new skyline of the Oosterdokseiland buildings. We glide along and pass by the typical houses and historic buildings flanking the Waterlooplein and then we enter the Amstel River. It’s a very soothing experience to sail peacefully through the city without

We pass by the mayor’s residence, which is open to the public as part of the open monument day, where a long line of people is waiting to make it into an address of power to take a look behind the scenes. As our boat enters the Jordaan district, the tower of the Westerkerk becomes visible and the sun breaks through the clouds, as if to remind us that the light of one little girl, Anne Frank, who once lived close to the church, was so cruelly extinguished a long time ago. The Anne Frank house also features a throng of people waiting to get inside, as is always the case. The boat continues through the narrow canals and we slowly make our way back towards the central station area, where we started, past the giant bike-parking installation outside the Ibis hotel – with thousands of bicycles reflecting the rays of sunlight and happily waiting for their owners to come and pick them up. As we carefully manoeuvre through the flotilla of boats coming and going, the pretty St. Nicholas Church and the beautiful hotel Victoria pop up in the distance and welcome us back from our little tour. When I hop back on to the dock from which we departed an hour previously, I feel elated and happy that I live here. I am once again reminded of how nice and refreshing it is to take a little ‘vacation’ in your own hometown and see it through the eyes of a visitor.


This time we are taking on a very special journey; a round-trip through the canals of Amsterdam as we celebrate their 400th anniversary. As usual, I start at Central Station but, unlike our cycle trips in and around the city, this time I simply walk across the square in front of the station and hop on one of the many tour boats waiting at their docks. Everyone who has travelled the arteries of Amsterdam by boat can confirm that it is a very different city when seen from the water. Since the last time I was on one of the tourist boats was in the 1990s, I decide to combine a trip on the water with one down memory lane.

having to pay attention to the traffic. Not that there isn’t enough happening on the canals, boat-wise. Our skipper skilfully manages to avoid any collisions with other boats and we safely make it to the Herengracht. There, we follow the water past one landmark after another, densely packed between the classic old canal buildings for which Amsterdam is so famous. Tourists in their tiny pedal boats hurry out of our path and I can see other tour boats in front of and behind us, confirming once again that the city is always packed with visitors.



‘Sail peacefully through the city without having to pay attention to the traffic’













‘Rotate 360 degrees to take it all in’





‘Classic old canal buildings for which Amsterdam is so famous’


















‘Carefully manoeuvre through the flotilla of boats’



‘Amsterdam’s most eccentric and charismatic pop artist’

Putting Brood on the table 34

By Denson Pierre

Amsterdam’s most eccentric and charismatic pop artist was undoubtedly Herman Brood. He is viewed from a fresh perspective in this fun interview with a born and bred Amsterdammer still operating at the front end of the city’s hospitality sector; a very rare species. Denson Pierre chats with Maaike van Dorp, owner and hostess of Café-Restaurant De Toog, which gained additional fame due to Herman Brood’s regular visits over many years, before his premature demise 12 years ago. The café-restaurant is currently in the midst of celebrating 25 years of providing Amsterdam with original stories and a good time.

Q: Is Herman Brood really the most famous regular to have used this bar? MvD: Good question... Do you mean like worldwide fame? Judge it as you wish. MvD: Then no, there are a couple of other pretty famous people who frequent the place, like Monique Klemann from the group Lois Lane, who is a regular here. Then there’s the guy who acts in all of those Albert Heijn advertisements. He must be one of the best paid actors in the Netherlands. MvD: I’ve seen him here a few times and noticed that he drinks really expensive Scotch whisky. It is kinda funny, as you only think of him as ‘the Albert Heijn guy’. He is also really tall, a big guy. Oh, Hans Klok walked past the other day too. Seriously, his hair was blowing in the wind and everything. ‘The New Houdini’, hee, hee!



Q: I have come to associate this café with Herman

I remember where I was on the night of 11 July 2001.

Brood’s story. What do you think he would have

Not having heard the news, myself and a couple of

made of the way you’ve run the place over the past

friends stormed into Bourbon Street, in our typically

five years?

boisterous manner, only to disturb the impromptu wake and dedication set up by the gathered

MvD: He was certainly not an opinionated person. I

Amsterdam circuit musicians and fans to celebrate

personally knew him from my time working at Café

his life. I sometimes bumped into Brood at that same

Wildschut, which was another of his frequent haunts. I

live-music bar and at De Duivel hip-hop dive in town,

also knew him from my time as a dancer, as his studio

so I felt immediately saddened by the news.

was just above mine. Plus I knew him from the Albert Cuyp, where I lived, and would come across him there,

MvD: I loved the manner in which he ended his life. I

trying to sell his paintings when he was out of cash.

thought it was fitting, in a way. He had visited me at

This, to me, means Herman Brood belongs to

Wildschut a lot during his last few months but his

Amsterdam, as I have seen him in so many ‘Amsterdam

health and upkeep had deteriorated to the point that

states’. He would more than likely just have gone along

he would be wearing a diaper and such weird things,

with whatever I was doing here and said it was fine

being completely lost.

because it is ‘you’. Q: Do you think Amsterdam does enough to I did manage to loan one of his paintings, featuring a

celebrate Herman Brood’s legacy, his art and music?

woman. Legend has it that he hardly ever painted women. I had to give it back as there was no longer

MvD: I think most people do, on a personal level, but

the proper space for it in the room. There are a couple

there are, of course, also those who reject him because

here that you can still see, over there above the bar. I

they concluded that he had sold his artistic soul by

received them some six years after his death. Hard to

entering into things like making paintings on teacups

believe it’s already been 12 years!

and plates to be sold at Blokker. He was seen as being







far too commercial, during a certain period. ‘Real

not exist. I would give it to him, as he seemed

Amsterdammers’ of a certain age still celebrate him,

entertaining in the things he got up to. Then he would

however, as for us it is still about the rock ‘n’ roll

ask for a pair of scissors and then he would have to be

lifestyle, which he personified so well, even if he took it

directed away from the bar to chop out lines of speed.

to the extreme. I mean, it was fast and now it is gone.

Only from him was this behaviour accepted, anyone

Who has been more rock ‘n’ roll in Amsterdam, either

else would have been turned over to the police. We

before or since?

knew that was what kept him going.

Q: As someone who has been a performance artist

Q: On a more contemporary topic, how is a

and is now an A-class hospitality-lifer, could you

restaurant and bar such as this coping with the

name any Dutch artist of the past 40 years who has

current economic malaise?

had such a distinctive style and memorable backstory as Herman Brood?

MvD: Trying to cope... It is really about re-inventing yourself and remaining authentic at the same time.

MvD: No, but I happen to know that really great artist

This is a very difficult job, as you can imagine, since

and DJ Sander Pappot. He travels the world, makes

you try to be the same but have to offer something

great art and spins nice music but, of course, he is not

extra within your basic concept. It is not possible to

a total junkie like Herman Brood was. I mean, Brood

turn everything around and you certainly can’t paint

was a cuddly junkie, almost. In the 1980s the junkie

everything white or red, or something like that.

problem was pretty terrible here in Amsterdam and, even if the 1990s were slightly better, it was still grim in

The most important things remain the service level

that regard.

and being nice to customers. It naturally follows that this depends on making sure you have really good

I just remember Herman, for instance, coming into the bar and asking for a straw for his daughter, who did

staff and definitely good food.


‘One thing that touring in heat and humidity is guaranteed to do and that is to make you very thirsty and hungry’


Q: You have a lovely space, lovely food, top drinks

photos from the life of Herman Brood in relation to

and a great staff. What other added value do you

this bar over the following pages.

think you and this famous place bring to the Amsterdam hospitality sector?

MvD: Ah, he was such a charismatic and funny guy. One of his more funny stunts in my presence took

MvD: Well, in the 1990s this was the only bar in the

place one Sunday afternoon at Wildschut. The café

neighbourhood and now there is a great deal more

was filled with the wealthier crowd, who had just been

choice all around. I suppose we still offer the

to a lunchtime performance at the Concertgebouw.

opportunity to visit a really nice ‘Dutch’ bar and

Herman walked in, ordered and downed a couple of

meeting place, even if we do not have carpet on the

shots and then reported that he had no cash on him.

tables. What I find particularly interesting, however, is

With me it was fine, as he would always come back to

the number of addresses now being granted

pay his bar tabs. He said that he had a better idea. He

hospitality licenses, when they were never permitted

walked out to the front of the packed café and

one before. This crisis has changed a lot of things and

shouted, “Everybody shut up, this is a robbery!” A bit

the council needs money. The trend is now for these

of Pulp Fiction, Herman Brood style.

designer coffee shops, of course. Before that we had the wave of child-care businesses, which blew up, and I think that the same fate awaits many of these coffee shops, sooner rather than later. I want this place to be considered as a pure Amsterdam living room; not too formal and with great and friendly staff. You should never feel alone here. So, to end people are going to see a nice selection of






















Świętokrzyskie - share the Magic

go to the website:






g i n

By Denson Pierre

It is always interesting to note the reaction of Amsterdammers to the other popular, musical son of the city. The music of Hazes is properly impenetrable to anyone not born into the Dutch language and the culture of syrupy, often morose ‘songs of life’. Your best advice while in Amsterdam is to take a step back and enjoy the show when Hazes’ fans, with a few beverages in them, get going at singing along to his countless hits.


e r d n s A azeat Hmusicht






cafe/bar review

Café/Bar Review Molly Malone’s

cafe/bar review

‘Visit one of Amsterdam’s cosy, old-city, drinking and dining dens’

By Denson Pierre

It is always a small joy when you visit one of Amsterdam’s cosy, old-city, drinking and dining dens, and see that they have refreshed their concept to keep you keen to go back soon. Molly Malone’s has always had a particularly charming vibe and really comes into its own during the cooler months of the year. For added levels of impressiveness, it has jazzed up the drinks display and created a formidable offer of some of the best Irish (and Scottish) whiskies. It now has 50 classy Irish whiskies and a reinforced selection of quality beers! Ambiance The better aspects and practices of the ‘Irish Bar’ theme are maintained here. With a certain professional casualness, you can easily find conversation and entertainment within these aged walls. Rating 5 Staff/regulars This is another of those city-centre, internationally themed bars to prosper from the international resident merry-go-round prominent in this district. It is also easily found by tourists, of course. Regulars here are usually regulars at a few other bars, as well, so you get


Molly Malone’s Oudezijds Kolk 9, Amsterdam

a true Amsterdam impression when you strike up contact. Staff members are professional, very friendly and attractive. Rating 5 Televised sport Available but not central to the concept. Rating 5 Pricing If anything, it is marginally cheaper than most other hospitality establishments within this postcode, which has the country’s most ridiculous general pricing. The value for money for what comes out of the kitchen is harder to gauge but the kitchen is certainly held in very high esteem by its regular customers, as well as passing tourists. Rating 4 Music A really impressive PA and sound system ensures you get a good blast of anything from traditional Irish music to rock ‘n’ roll. The music is live two nights a week and the barroom accommodates a little bit of dancing. Rating 5 Smoking area provision Puffers have the opportunity to indulge themselves standing or seated next to a pretty and historic canal with great views of historic buildings. Rating 4 Total rating: 28/30 (Rating from 1-5, where 1 = Very poor and 5 = Excellent)

cafe/bar review


‘It now has 50 classy Irish whiskies and a reinforced selection of quality beers!’

cafe/bar review



cafe/bar review

Live music by Olly de Quartz

cafe/bar review


‘Prosper from the international resident merry-go-round’


cafe/bar review

‘It is marginally cheaper than most other hospitality establishments within this postcode’

cafe/bar review



KADS By Denson Pierre


KUNST AAN DE SCHINKEL Art Route Schinkel Neighbourhood, September 22 to November 17, 2013.

For more information:

















amsterdam city life

: K C A B G N BRI Appealing hospitality By Denson Pierre

discernible quality in staff that can make even the most transient customer feel appreciated; especially in a period when there is so much choice in Amsterdam. The recession has already mortally wounded so many businesses that there is no reason for anyone to revisit a hospitality address at which service levels and attitude has been poor, particularly during a time of continued euro watching. Please bring back hospitality workers who enjoy not only humbly talking about their interests beyond the low-waged job in which they find themselves but also those who have either taken the time themselves, or have been sponsored by their employer, to complete the appropriate courses and ensure that they treat customers like kings and queens. The average spend per hour while eating and drinking in such establishments is roughly €20, after all.

Enough with these kids just doing it for beer money and not giving a damn about anything, as well as those in the game for far too long and stuck with unfulfilled ambitions to be doing something else. And I’m sure I speak for many when I demand that owners/managers get stuck in and shower their establishments with some of their personality and craft in hospitality and entertainment, or simply move aside. The pretence of This produces a knock-on effect of far too many bars remote management is an insult. Who are they to just and restaurants being haphazardly staffed with the swan in from time to time like some sort of magnate, most utterly useless, uninteresting, uninterested, rather than just a peddler of alcohol and prepared unfriendly and generally unattractive human specimens. It cannot be that difficult to find reasonably meals? Amsterdam demands personality and good attractive and charming people to do this job, which is service. Just look at the successful and gezellig cafés, bars and restaurants and you will find beautiful people, best suited to persons of character and humour and not simply someone who needs a job or, worse, is part fine service with a smile and owners regularly on hand and totally involved in the day-to-day fun this career of a nepotistic clique. can offer. Maybe it is time for the hospitality unions to lean on their members, to make sure they provide a measure of


It cannot just be me who thinks there is a serious problem in Amsterdam, these days, which cheapens the going out experience. At what point did younger café, bar and restaurant operators and owners start thinking that all they had to do to make a success of their business was simply manage affairs in a sort of absentee or hands-off way? I grudgingly accept that many grand cafés and restaurants spread across Amsterdam are run by thirty-somethings, who probably failed at everything else or have never actually tried anything entrepreneurial. They must have parents who were successful themselves or were loaded with money from generations back. But should they really just give their lazy son or daughter the very expensive ‘toy’ of a frontline, licensed, Amsterdam hospitality establishment to run just because they can?

star beer guide


Star Beer

star beer guide

The Sentinel Star beer guide By Denson Pierre

Emelisse DIPA

(7.9% A.B.V.)

‘Nicely packaged Emelisse tastes and drinks as well as its name sounds’ 75

A beer from the southern Dutch province of Zeeland, no doubt inspired by the brewery’s coastal location. This is another very finetasting and easy-drinking Indian Pale Ale (double). It is not that there are no great Dutch beers out there but just too many, these days, are made by micro-brewers who are too eager to present them to the public, before they have perfected the recipe, attitude and identity. It is fair to say that the nicely packaged Emelisse tastes and drinks as well as its name sounds.

Emilisse DIPA is brewed by Emelisse Brewery, Kamperland, Zeeland, Netherlands.



Cafe Oporto 12/10/13


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. Connoisseurs Delight

To be seen and tasted

Butcher’s Tears Brewery and tasting room. From ears to mouth to tails. Karperweg 45 Amsterdam

Cafe-Restaurant Du Cap A spacious and tasty helping to the Mediterranean vibe within Amsterdam’s new ‘West End’ entertainment district. Kwakersplein 2 Amsterdam


To be seen and tasted

Fun, Drinking & Music

Cafe de Toog 1890’s grandeur fashioned into Amsterdam-West, grand, brown cafe-restaurant-cool. Classy drinks and meals. Nicolaas Beetsstraat 142 hs Amsterdam

Parck Great fun, beautiful people and simply the best bar food in town! Overtoom 428 Amsterdam

Mulligans Irish Music Bar Amsterdam’s best address for live Irish music: Five (5) nights a week! Check our agenda for upcoming sessions. Amstel 100 1017 AC Amsterdam

To Be Seen and Tasted

Connoisseurs Delight

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 a unique place in Amsterdam. Postjesweg 1 1057 DT Amsterdam

Incanto A restaurant with a classic Italian kitchen. Venetian chef Simone Ambrosin is known for his pure and simple style of cooking with great feeling for nuance. Amstel 2 Amsterdam

Café Kostverloren Café Kostverloren is a contemporary cafe offering the cosiness of a saloon, an open kitchen and the intimacy of a living room. The large terras is great for sunny days. 2e Kostverlorenkade 70 Amsterdam

Fun, Drinking & Music

Connoisseurs Delight

Neighbourhood cosy

Café Oporto Café Oporto is a traditional Amsterdam ‘brown cafe’. Welcoming tourists and regular customers alike, they offer televised sports, wifi and a wide range of reasonably priced beers and spirits. Zoutsteeg 1 1012 LX Amsterdam

Planet Rose The first Caribbean restaurant in the Netherlands, specialised in Jamaican cuisine. The menu features a daily changing selection! Nicolaas Beetsstraat 47 Amsterdam

Zest Zest is fine food, warm atmosphere and classy drinks with regular semi-acoustic (live) music and DJs (Thursday to Sunday). Amsterdam’s newest and freshest! Bilderdijkstraat 188 Amsterdam

Fun, Drinking & Music

Connoisseurs Delight

Fun, drinking and music

Bax A cosy and friendly local café with a focus on special or interesting beers and good quality food. Open 7 days a week with a professional kitchen offering a lunch and dinner service. Ten Katestraat 119 Amsterdam

Café Rose Red You will not see and sample a better selection of the very best of European beer elsewhere. Cordoeaniersstraat 16 Brugge

Gollem Gollem’s Proeflokaal, Gollem and Gollem II represent the best addresses serving the fullest range of top Belgian, Dutch and international beers in Amsterdam. Overtoom 160-161 Amsterdam


To be seen and tasted


Where is this in Amsterdam?


Answer to:


Room 2c film Brother (2000)

By dpmotions

Dedication to siblings and the crime family is stylistically played out when Yakuza certainty collides with the less honour-bound United States organised crime scene. An iconic lead role is played by writer and director Takeshi Kitano. Refreshing enough to point you in the direction of his Japanese works.


Platoon (1986) A powerful and dramatic depiction of many of writer and director Oliver Stone’s actual experiences during his tour of duty (1967-68) in the Vietnam War. A multiple award-winning movie for all the right reasons, including its success in convincingly showing the effects of stress on human politics in the heat and senselessness of war.

By dpmotions




Can you ever be too old for trends? ‘Why is it just for women that this style has cometh back from the past?’


By Dirkje Bakker-Pierre

I wasn’t really sure about this, but now there is a trend that I really think is off-limits to someone of 37 or older. Well, of course I wouldn’t stop anyone deciding for themselves but, personally, I think I have reached the end of the fashion line with certain styles. All of a sudden, we are being bombarded with what is, apparently, the latest huge trend (“everyone is wearing it”), although I haven’t seen anyone on the streets of Amsterdam, or even out on a Friday night, showcasing the fashion. The ‘big talk’ around town is the 1980s-inspired crop top trend, which varies from ‘the shorter the better’ to only showing a ‘slice of belly’, extending the trend into the realm of ‘normal’ or non-six-packed women. I do feel that this would take some serious work in the gym to be able to pull it off in any type of self-respectful manner, however, and I am left wondering if this hype is also inspired by the type of outfits female athletes have been sporting in recent years.

It has made me reminisce about the 1980s, though, when we all wore crop tops even if we didn’t have fantastic abs. It was a fashion not only for girls but for guys as well. The shorter and, for some reason, wider your T-shirt was, the better you looked… Even if your parents didn’t agree. The good old 1980s with everyone dressing like Madonna and showing their belly, while wearing a nice, shiny crucifix around their necks. Moreover, with Wham showing male abs and, for some reason, sporty guys showcasing what, in hindsight, was a fantastic style for guys. I mean, why oh why is it just for women that this style has cometh back from the past? Where are all the fit-looking young men we used to see wearing revealing tops? Why do male athletes wear ‘normal belly’ and multi-pack covering T-shirts? Why do some trends only come back for girls?



Little Rooms, Big Gifts

‘Ducks sleeping on the deck, spiders making webs across the back door’

‘Living in the Red Light District is endlessly fascinating’

By E.R. Muntrem

A year or two ago, while crossing one of Amsterdam’s thousand bridges, I watched my favourite houseboat guy sit and read the paper out on his little floating porch. On a rack next to him a week’s worth of perfectly folded pants was drying in the April sun, the shorts he wore confirming an obvious routine. Bare legs are what you get on laundry day. I use this anecdote as a precursor to telling you something that might make you a little jealous: I have been living on a houseboat this month. Since everyone to whom I mention this responds with some kind of “Wow, really?” expression of envy, I fear you will do the same. Fair enough; ducks sleeping on the deck, spiders making webs across the back door, the whole home

rocking when canal traffic passes by, nature nearby, life on the surface of things, the magic is real. None of it sucks, plenty of which to be envious. So, maybe houseboat life is Amsterdam at its best. Unless you argue that the top floor of a canal house is the pinnacle in this town. Or is it somewhere in De Pijp? Or in Oost? Or Oude West? A friend of mine says that living in the Red Light District is endlessly fascinating. And when I lived in the Anne Frank House (not the real Anne Frank House, obviously, see article a few issues ago) I had no view but discovered the value of living on a side street only a few metres away from a picturesque bridge. My entry point to the city and a relief to get to somehow on my way home, this bridge offered a small but meaningful psychological separation from the rest of Amsterdam. Trafficked as it was, the bridge became my front door, making my secondary street somehow more pleasant than the primary (and far more posh) street, which it adjoined.



‘Amsterdam offers endless examples of how people can inhabit small spaces’

Amsterdam is a city of windows, which is the magic of its architecture’

One sign of the city’s success is that there are not just three or four streets on which you simply must live, but hundreds; a sign of its stability that even with an unlimited budget you need not live on the Herengracht, even if that would be pretty cool. Canal houses offer a peek into one jewel box after another, this one lit up on Tuesday, that one lit up on Wednesday, any night-time walk like strolling along some giant necklace, water below adding to the shimmer. But it is just as easy to envy and admire far more humble spaces. At its best, Amsterdam offers endless examples of how people can inhabit small spaces and yet offer unpixelated scenes worth looking at.

know doing one’s laundry also means presenting a window so that passers-by will appreciate it? Tea cups stacked as pyramids, a collection of porcelain, pictures of children hung as if in a gallery, flowers commonplace, curtains open to well lived in, yet well manicured living rooms. Amsterdam is a city of windows, which is the magic of its architecture. Much of its famous vibe, though, comes because it is also a city of curators, a place where enviable beauty, practiced and shared, reduces tension. Compare this to my native America, where the government is shutting down as I write and bent on redefining citizenry as having nothing to do with the common good, let alone the common aesthetic.

As I was observing my favourite houseboat guy, he put down his paper and went into his little box of a living room to play the piano. If there are a thousand bridges in Amsterdam, how many thousands of crisp spaces like his – with a piano and a bookcase and a piece of art – are there in the centre? And how many of these are ‘shown off’ in some unassuming way that lets you

I don’t know if my favourite houseboat guy is my brother or even, in a sense, my neighbour. But he’s living large, making me a rich man, wherever I live next month.






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health & well-being

Massage: The Power of Touch 86

By Evelina Kvartunaite

It is curious that something as simple as placing hands on someone’s body can encourage a person to thrive. Many studies have illustrated that a lack of physical touch affects babies’ (human or animal) ability to thrive and even survive. The best part is that it works both ways and also has a positive effect on the caregivers. Touch decreases stress, anxiety and depression.

circulation, enhances the immune system, promotes nervous system functioning, reduces blood pressure, relieves pain and muscle tension, and improves mood, intellectual reasoning and job performance. There are many forms and methods of massage and it is usually used as a form of therapy after injuries. In situations such as the latter, it is important to find a good therapist whom you can trust and feel at peace with; so make sure you get the best! Amsterdam is definitely good place for massage with a wide selection for even the most particular tastes. Don’t underestimate the power of touch and give yourself some beautiful and relaxing moments to enjoy!

The typical understanding of massage is mostly associated with luxury. But I would prefer to highlight the many health benefits of massage. Massage makes you feel and perform better. It also increases

– ‘Something as simple as placing hands on someone’s body can encourage’ –

health & well-being

– ‘Highlight the many health benefits of massage’ –


– ‘Find a good therapist whom you can trust and feel at peace with’ –






The Gold Room 90

By Denson Pierre

In the real world, the football season has had an entertainingly uneven opening period with some of the more fancied teams having already dropped more points than they would have expected to do by March. Strange statistics and open competition. What this has meant for the FFG-CL is a most impressive leap ahead by managers with two players, in particular, who are shocking the world of football with their level of effectiveness and volume of point scoring. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal): for many seasons he has been a favourite initial pick and attractively priced gamble in this competition. For all of those years, including his long period of serious injury, he has only succeeded in frustrating master managers. We could all see what Arsene Wenger was obviously seeing in training but, on the pitch, Aaron would just be underwhelming time and time again. With his compatriot Welshman (Gareth Bale) having departed Britain for the Latin zone, it is almost as if Aaron has decided it his time to become the hype of the British Isles. Ramsey’s form and point scoring has been the most awesome ever observed during the first phase of this competition. Even so, it is part of a master manager’s skills to be able to counter this runaway scoring machine. Ramsey’s points total at the six-game stage sees him having scored four times that of the Chelsea number 10 (Oscar). Impressive but not at all irretrievable. The likes of Yaya Toure and Paulinho are suddenly getting among

the numbers and I foresee Ramsey being caught and passed as the top-scoring midfielder even before the halfway stage of the season. It is down to the other master managers to find the midfielders to overcome and better his overall total. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool): has quite possibly had his maturity switch flicked. This handy and skilful attacker quite remarkably seems to have dealt with his penchant for foolishly wasteful greediness in shooting just for the sake of it when in range of goal. In fantasy football, the ability to provide assists is also valued and rewarded. Playing with someone likely to be battling for the league’s top-scorer prize (Luis Suarez) makes him well positioned to be an extremely high-scoring deputy. No surprise, at this very early stage, to see that managers in the top half of the table have these players in their teams. Form seldom lasts an entire season, however. Go to website >




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The Sentinel Amsterdam vol 7-1  

The Sentinel, Amsterdam tri-weekly e-zine with all that is good and informative on lifestyles with perspectives, opinion and sport from Amst...

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