It was quite a while since I’d gone to a theatre show. Receiving an invitation from the Amsterdam Culture Club to join one of their gatherings felt like getting a message from a bigger force – introduce cavernous voice here – Wake up Anaaaa. Make your way back to the theatreeee. I obeyed. Spent my uni time studying theatre, after all. Can’t be this long away from it.
Hey-ho, there we go, (again)!
Yesterday, I have introduced you to the first nine of seventeen discoveries I made during the year of two thousand seventeen in Amsterdam – wow, this just sounded super Jacques Cousteau-y, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but anyway. As I have told you, I am shamelessly embracing the blogger / urban explorer (millennial?) in me and “compiling” stuff for public service. Like a hunter-gatherer of modern times. Here we go: the other eight of the seventeen of 2017.
Picture on header: FC Hyena
I thought of compiling the seventeen new places of two-thousand-seventeen in a blog post primarily because urban explorer is my middle name, and I feel I should be doing something with this information broth. I’ve been reluctant to “make lists” on the blog as those have become a dominant blogging cliché and I wanted to take distance of such marketing approaches. I come from the tradition of old-school blogging, where people used to share non-branded highly personal stuff. Although I have adapted quite well to the current blogging ways, where image and social media have become essential, it doesn’t make sense for me to maintain a blog that is just about gathering impersonal information. When it’s just about listing “hotspots”, it’s not a blog but a website, even if a photo of a trendy girl accompanies the text. When it’s about the “Ten (*insert whatever*) you cannot miss in Amsterdam”, it’s BuzzFeed. This being said, every time I am talking to friends and acquaintances, I also realize that decently-curated informative posts can be valuable to my readers. Moreover, when I am travelling myself, blogs are my primal source for finding my way around, so I guess I should be contributing as well. Maybe it’s not about the lists, but the actual voice behind them.
So let’s get to the juicy stuff. These are not necessarily places that have opened their doors in 2017, rather the ones I have become acquainted with, during last year. If you have been following Amsterdive for a while, you won’t be surprised to find a good amount of specialty coffee spots here. Other than that, there’s art, culture, sustainability, yoga, a church, a tower, a cinema festival, a club, a co-workspace, and a beach! With no further ado, let’s dive into the first 9 places of my seventeen favourites of two-thousand-seventeen (there will be a part II to this post).
I have always loved Christmas. I feel it is a time for cosiness and introspection, and so I try to pay special attention to those around me and honour the blessings I receive. It only makes sense to spend Christmas in Amsterdam, for it is here that I feel home.
Some of you might be acquainted with the fact that my mum usually spends Christmas in Amsterdam with me. This year will be an exception. Mum is spending Christmas in the tropics and, oh well, who can blame her? So I will recap some of the things we have done together on Christmasses from previous years so that I both celebrate this lovely lady from whom I got my smile (they say) and hopefully give you some ideas for the following days.
Every now and then I am walking around the city – wait, who am I kidding?, I never walk – I am cycling, cycling around the city -, and I get struck by this feeling that we are all so disconnected from each other. Which is ironical given the fact that we are also living crammed to each other and yet emotionally so far apart, always busy, never really paying attention to what’s happening around us. Then I can’t avoid my mind to wander to a place where it all was different, where connecting was the rule and not the exception. Where everyone smiled at each other, where people acknowledge each other’s presence, where interactions with other human beings were easy, simple, and free. This description might sound like a mere utopia to most of us. But the cool thing is that there are places like this in the world: not many, that’s true, but they exist.
Six years: still no house
Right now, all the things I own are stored in three different houses in Amsterdam. Most of them are housed in a storeroom of this couple friend of mine who lives in Ijburg, in the large house they own. Then I have some other stuff in the Westerpark area, at the place of another friend who has also been the caregiver of my cats while I can’t have them with me. He also owns his house. Finally, I have one piece of luggage and a backpack which I carry with me everywhere, with the essentials for everyday life. Currently, I am staying in the area of Museumplein (I know, I know). This other couple friend went on holiday and offered their home for me to plant sit while they’re away. Thank god they are not like most people in Amsterdam who will Airbnb their place at the first opportunity. If they had done that they would be now basically enjoying a free holiday. Airbnb prices here are similar to hotel ones so it is easy to understand why people do it so massively in this city. This also helps explain why, from a market point of view, is it not the first time that I am in the ‘homelessness’ situation in the almost six years I’ve been living over here.
Once upon a time, two young Italian men decided to act on their vision of a vegetarian cafe with delicious and balanced meals to nourish bodies and minds, a place that could function as an inspiring chill out room as well as a podium for different artists. They called it H/eart.h, which sounds like the name of a long lost tribe of people, united by the love of art, musical gatherings, and tiramisu. An oasis in the buzzy Albert Cuypstraat, right in De Pijp, one of the most traditional neighborhoods in Amsterdam.