Wake up to the Sunday morning, hop on your bike, cycle to the park, and feel the smell of the trees around you, listen to the chirping of birds, feel the wind breeze. It’s spring, and we’re at the Oosterpark. It’s 10 a.m. and unlike later on in the afternoon, it is quiet over here, and there’s SPACE. My friend Catarina from All In Yoga is about to start the class. As much as I love dancing the night out, the feeling of starting the day early, and in this fashion, is incomparable.
The only moment of the day in which you can quietly walk along the city center of an overcrowded Amsterdam is at the crack of dawn: that’s the time when you carelessly go around parts of the city you would otherwise avoid. That is also the moment in which, as a local, you feel that the city is yours again ( was it ever…?) – even if just for a couple of hours, before the sea of tourists awakes. However, and despite the fact that I love this sensation, I somehow really need to have a strong reason in order to wake up early. And the good reason for me is always art-related.
I’m a cafe person, and hardly a day goes by without paying a visit to one of my hangouts of choice. Usually the process of deciding which cafe to head to is quite simple: I know my favorites, and I am well-acquainted with their dynamics, their menu, their barristas. I do happen to have conditioned myself to work in public spaces, where the cacophony of conversations and crockery, and the smell of coffee being brewed have this magical property of making me focus. I’m a sort of pavlovian dog, specialty coffee being my trigger.
It is 09.30 in the morning. My backpack is ready. There’s a laptop in there, yoga clothes, maybe a portable breakfast if I didn’t have the time to eat it before leaving the house. I hop on my bike, get out of the Staadsliedenbuurt, cycle across the Westerpark – that fresh morning wind bringing me back to life -, and then I find this tiny bridge which welcomes me into the Spaarndammerbuurt. In the wink of an eye I am unlocking the door of Tula Yoga.
Last weekend I had a city-break and ventured to Belgium, where I was hosted at a stunning little castle near the city of Ghent. It was a two full days in the countryside, listening to the birds, contemplating nature, and strolling around the property. That trip reminded me of the tale of the farmer – The Wind.
Once upon a time there was a farmer living in a castle. He was no duke, in fact he had absolutely no noble title before his name, but he lived within the property of one. The duke liked having such a hard-working man around, one he could trust to help protecting his domain, together with the concierge. The farmer didn’t come from afar but none knew much about him, except for he was named after the wind. The Wind – just like a native of some long lost tribe – the last man of his own people, one bound to a special mission.
Warning: This post may not be suitable to those with colour-allergy.
The first thing you notice when you come in is this intense smell of cake – grandma style. Second thing: the friendliness of the girl behind the counter. She has a frank and welcoming smile and the very fact she is baking cake makes her adorable. Finally, ( in case you didn’t know it in advance): everything here is vegan. This is like you’re jumping into a witch-free version of Hansel and Gretel’s tale.
A few days ago I got a wordpress notification letting me know it was my 3rd birthday within the community. It was funny to realize that I started the Amsterdive project precisely 3 years ago and that I only really went for it this year. That’s quite a delay.
Right now, I’m sitting at Rum Baba, at the Pretoriusstraat in Amsterdam East, as I used to, when I lived in the area, and I just had this epiphany of how this place played a special part in the Amsterdive’s kick-start.
I love the feeling of being in love. I guess most people reckon with this. That’s why I want to talk about it while it’s still hot and burning.
This is the reaction of most of my friends when I tell them I spent an entire Sunday at an Instameet. “Does it have anything to do with the photography app?”.