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January 25, 2006

Majikthise goes to Amsterdam

Exciting news: I was chosen for BlogAds/Holland.com's Bloggers in Amsterdam series.

I'm leaving on February 6 for a week. Other BIA bloggers include John Aravosis, Ezra Klein, Liza from Culturekitchen, Oliver Willis, and someone from TalkLeft. I don't know I'll overlap with any of them in Amsterdam. I have heard that the bloggers from OhlalaParis will be in town that week.

If anyone has any suggestions for fun things to do in Amsterdam, good guidebooks or websites, I'd love to hear them.

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» Tulips from Political Animal
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» Bloggers in Amsterdam --but no Amsterdam bloggers from Wis[s]e Words
On the one hand, this is a neat, clever idea, to schmooze up some reasonably well known bloggers to come to Amsterdam and hopefully spread some goodwill around them and their readers. On the other hand, it would've been nice if the people organising ... [Read More]

» Bloggers in Amsterdam --but no Amsterdam bloggers from Wis[s]e Words
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» Places to go. Things to do. from Bloggers in Amsterdam
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Comments

First: don't listen to John Stith. Absolutely crap.
Then: don't do the touristy things. Go small places, where you get to know the Amsterdam people & atmosphere. Accept the bike & tour of bicyclemark, the best way to really enjoy Amsterdam (but watch the cabs & other byciclists).
Last: join the free tour at the micobrewery 't IJ, just at the core of Amsterdam centre, friday afternoon 4 o'clock (that's how we talk hours) and you'll get good beer, interesting story about beer and me as your guide.

Majikthise: Martin of Wissewords and I live and blog in Amsterdam, and we'd be be happy to give any of you the free tour.

Mail and homepage below.

Apparently the comments doesn't show my email - mail sent separately. And I forgot the links -

Wissewords

Crossposted from Ezra's blog: If you have a chance to get out of Amsterdam, few pleasures in life are more satisfying than a breakfast of poffertjes in the square of Haarlem's cathedral, although it might be a bit cold in February. Arnhem Zoo is home to the world's largest chimpanzee enclosure as well, if you're into that sort of thing.

Some quick recommendations:

Beer:

In de Wildeman is indeed an excellent beerpub, but Het Arendsnest is just as good and specialises in Dutch beer; Wildeman has a non-smoking room though, which may win out.

If you like whisk(e)y, L&B near Leidseplein is quite nice.

A tour of the canals is naff and touristy, but /fun/.

The big musea (rijks en Stedelijk) are both being rebuilt; the Stedelijk has a temporary home near central station, the Rijksmuseum has only limited exhibitions at the moment. Van Gogh is good and popular, so expect long rows.

Food: iens.nl is a good guide to restaurants/eating and does English.

That place bij Central Station with the fries is Mazos (spelling approximately), which is vegetarian

Vondelpark is nice with nice weather.

Bring me back some.

Bring me back some.

Stay away from the creamcheese sandwiches, don't try to purchase opium from African fella in back alley even if he offers "free sample".

I liked this guidebook:

Eyewitness Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a great city. It's also not a bad idea to get out of the city and visit other parts of the Netherlands (I'm partial to Arnhem, myself), though Amsterdam could certainly keep you busy for weeks.

This is the right time to go to A'dam: the Rembrandt exhibitions are running through the year. Don't miss them.

I love Amsterdam: worked there for a while. Take in a show at the Paradiso, eat at the Cafe de Koe, sit around in the Vondelpark. And if you can get out of the city, the trains will take you to Delft or up to the reclaimed land to do some flood-protection journalism.

Get the A'dam bloggers to introduce you to their favourite brown-cafes for coffee and cake. (The Dutch subsist on dairy and cake, with a bit of pickled herring thrown in: what a diet.) You'll probably like the Jordaan, which is the student district: hang out there.

Go to the Rijkmussee and the Van Gogh, they're great.

Zeeland and the dykes are great - an engineering marvel.

Bicycle - if it's nice, tour around.

Not a huge fan of the Red Light district and dope, so No on that from me.

But as a blogger, don't forget to go to the Hague. Maybe interview the World Court and/or lots of Dutch bureaucrats.

And maybe Eindhoven where Philips is Headquarters, or Rotterdam for Royal Dutch Shell.

But lastly, if you like soccer, PSV Eindhoven, Feynoord in Rotterdam and Ajax in Amsterdam are 3 great teams that would very entertaining to see.

If you do drugs, eating mushrooms in the Vondelpark is for sure the way to go. Miles better than toking up with the masses. "Smart Shops" have psychedelic mushrooms, ask teh counter people about effects so you don't overdo it. Get something trippy and happy.

If you do drugs, eating mushrooms in the Vondelpark is for sure the way to go. Miles better than toking up with the masses. "Smart Shops" have psychedelic mushrooms, ask teh counter people about effects so you don't overdo it. Get something trippy and happy.

MDMA hasn't been decriminalized in The Netherlands, has it? (A purely academic question, of course.)

You may want to consider interviewing some Holland residents that live below sea level that are protected by modern levees. It would be a nice compliment to your on the ground reporting from NOLA and the Gulf.

You may want to consider interviewing some Holland residents that live below sea level that are protected by modern levees. It would be a nice compliment to your on the ground reporting from NOLA and the Gulf.

MDMA hasn't been decriminalized in The Netherlands, has it? (A purely academic question, of course.)

No -- even though most MDMA in the US comes from the Netherlands, and clubs offer pill-testing facilities. There's a rough distinction in what's decriminalised: natural, okay; cooked up in a lab, not okay.

But for academic purposes only, you can buy shrooms, peyote and other interesting substances like salvia divinorum from the smart-shops. I'd recommend Conscious Dreams Kokopelli on Warmoesstraat for any background research, which has very knowledgeable staff.

Yep, Flevoland is worth a visit. Ask the Dutch Tourist Board to hook you up with the land-reclamation and flood-defence people there.

And my favourite Amsterdam guidebook is the small but perfectly-formed 'Get Lost!' -- buy it when you get there, since it's sold out in the US.

If you're going to take mushrooms, I'd recommend doing it an hour or so before visiting the Van Gogh museum. Don't get too absorbed in one painting though!

If you are vegetarian, read no further. It's a phenomenal city for international cusine. In addition to the rijsttafel, I've made multiple trips to the following (most recently in late 2002):

Restaurant Axum/Utrechtsedwarsstrat 85-87
Ethiopian cuisine. The food and experience are both fantastic and worth it for the coffee after dinner alone. The beans are roasted at your table.

Restaurant Polonia/3e Oosterparkstraat 72
Polish and Russian. Be ready to drink. The owner is a real treat and will drink plenty of vodka with you. The food is first rate.

Restaurant Split/Amsteldijk 53-55
Croatia. Nice setting on the waterfront and a great neighborhood walk to get there. Not a light meal so you'll need the walk. I recall a soup on the menu being particualrly good but which one escapes me now.

Also on Utrechtsedwarsstrat there was a Nepalese restaurant where I had a great meal and a bottle of thier chalky colored beerish beverage. It was surprisingly good.

Must do's in the Dam!

Supper Club. Nothing else like it really. Near Dam Square right across the alley from the Abraxus coffee shop. Reservations (and an extremely open mind) required.

Don't let the homo/hetero restrooms throw you. Make a decision damn it, then go pee!

http://www.supperclub.nl/index.html

Of coure the Rijks and Van Gough museum are musts. The Anne Frank museum is good too. Take the canal ride that lets you get on and off as often as you like (near the train station with the others, ask around).

But get out of town if you can and head to Edam for a look at traditional Dutch life.

A book called "Get Lost" is definitely worth the price:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~getlost/hopage1.htm

The Oesterbar went bankrupt... When you opt for the Anne Frank house, buy a VIP evening ticket from the VVV (tourist office). It's a very short tour, perfect between 17.00-18.00. You can pass the long queue waiting in front of the house (cold!).

The flood works are not really in Amsterdam, but Rotterdam and Zeeland.

Then about narcotics: all narcotics are illegal (except some non-dried mushrooms), although you wont get arrested / fined for possession of certain amounts of weed.

Get a bike.

But please enjoy Amsterdam, because of Amsterdam.

Hey Lindsay,

I try to get to Amsterdam every year. Before my last trip I picked up a thin, fun book called '25 Buildings You Should Have Seen In Amsterdam.' (I got it in the MoMo giftshop in NYC -- SoHo branch) Even if you're not much of an architecture buff (I am), you can create little walking tours around the featured sites that really give a full picture of the city in a short period of time.

Whatever you do, have fun. :)

Not MoMo -- MoMa, damm it!

~Fil

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