AMS Eats

On my third trip to this beautiful city, I went back to a few of the memorable eats I had five years ago and at the same time, tried out a couple of new ones.       My first stop was the The Cafe at the Rijksmuseum. A few notable items on the menu are by Chef Joris Bijdendijk of the RIJKS restaurant.     I recall a few of my favourites during my one-month stay in this city five years ago. Pancakes Amsterdam has several locations (I go to the one on Negen Straatjes) and is my favourite…

AMS is Art

One will never run out of impressive art to appreciate in Amsterdam. From Rijksmuseum (where Rembrandt’s Night Watch resides), the Van Gogh Museum, the Hermitage Amsterdam (outpost of the famous Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg), to the Stedelijk Museum. Currently on exhibit at the Hermitage is Portraitt Gallery of the Golden Age, featuring thirty colossal 17th century group paintings from Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Museum.                 The Stedelijk has a permanent installation of iconic works by the likes of Piet Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld, Nola Hatterman, Barnett Newman, Yves Klein, Roy Lichtenstein, and Yayoi Kusama.    …

Welkom terug in Amsterdam

It’s been five years when I last stayed in Amsterdam for a month. I fell for this city the first time I visited fifteen years ago and felt it was time that i return once again to one of my favourites for an extended long weekend. Amsterdam somehow manages to have it all – the buzz of a metropolis, great museums, beautiful architecture, yet small enough to walk (or cycle) almost anywhere you want. And, no unbearable summer heat this time of the year! Many news outlets are now reporting that this city is becoming the new Venice, a city stolen…

Tot straks

See you later ! After four weeks as my home base, I say good-bye to Amsterdam. It was a most enjoyable and relaxing stay. People are extremely friendly and affable (and everyone being conversant in English helped a lot too!). The relaxed pace, the bicycle bells, the warm smiles, the amazing seafood and Indonesian cuisine, the pastries from Holtkamp and Pompadour, Heineken beer, cheeses, and of course, the canals! Zie je later! I stayed at two wonderful well-located apartments during my stay in Amsterdam. Both were from Pied a Terre Properties of Amsterdam. The first apartment was located on the second…

Architectuur

For people interested in architecture, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s foremost architecture and design city. The city has so much to offer ranging from classicism, gothic and renaissance, to canal house architecture, to art deco and obviously, the architecture of the Amsterdam School, up to the current modern architectural forms. It is a feast for the eyes of the archi-tourist. The Architecture of the Amsterdam School was brought about by the industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century with architects seeking new elements for decorating building facades. This is characterized by exotic rooflines, ornamental brickwork, cornices, window frames…

De Pijp

“The Pipe” is a neighbourhood connected to central Amsterdam by 16 bridges and fondly alluded to as the area behind Heineken brewery. Often referred to as the “Latin Quarter” of the city, it was a 19th century working class area with shoddy tenement blocks built to ease overpopulated Joordan. Today, it is a very vibrant and multi-cultural neighbourhood with its blue-collar roots mixed in with students, artists and young professionals. The artist Piet Mondrian used to live here. Funky boutiques stand beside falafel food stalls and Surinamese shops. The Albert Cuypmarket is located here – Europe’s largest daily street market…

To God and King

What major city in Europe would not have churches and palaces? During the Middle Ages, the Netherlands was a bastion of Catholicism. However, from the end of the 1500s, Calvinism took hold with Protestant opposition to Spanish Catholic rule. There was the Iconoclastic Riots of 1566 when the decorations of Catholic Churches were destroyed and lost forever. And in the early 1600, when a blind eye – in return for payment – resulted in clandestine churches. Formerly the town hall, the Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace) is still used by the Dutch Royal Family. Designed by Jacob van Campen, the neo-classical…

Museums (More!)

There seems to be no end to the astounding line up of museums in Amsterdam. Aside from the Big Four museums (Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Anne Frankhuis), there are the Canal House mansions turned museums, historical museums, and many other specialty museums. I noted a sign for a Tulip museum, one for a Cheese museum, and another for a Torture museum. Whatever your interests may be, likely there will be one that will cater. Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum (Maritime Museum) – once the arsenal of the Dutch Navy, the classical building was designed by Daniel Stalpaert in 1655…

Van Gogh Museum + More Art

The other “must see” museum in Amsterdam is the Van Gogh Museum. Opened in 1973 to house the collection of Vincent’s younger brother Theo, it is home to 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Vincent and his contemporaries such as Tolouse-Lautrec, Monet and Gaugin. The original building  was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and opened after his death in 1973 (with renovations undertaken in 1998 by Martin van Goor) and a new exhibition wing designed by Kisho Kurokawa was added in 1999. This year marks the 40th year of the opening of the museum and the 160th anniversary of Van Gogh’s…