MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

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Blake Brown
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MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#1 Post by Blake Brown » October 30th, 2018, 6:40 am

Over the past 20 + years, I’ve been coming to Amsterdam out of a passion for the history, the culture and the feeling of freedom. I think I must have been Dutch in a past lifetime although no genetic readout has ever indicated such.

There are many unique aspects of Amsterdam and it is my intent to seek them out on each visit. Past musings have included numerous stats and observations and quite a few are worth repeating due to their remarkable nature and touristy info benefit. So, this is a compilation of some of the highlights of past musings with some new ones added:

* When you know you have arrived as in being a local or at least looking like one is when tourists and locals ask me for directions or information and most of the time I can actually handle it and in Dutch as well. Sort of.

* How is it that I have a daily stam cafe [neighborhood bar] here and very rarely go out for a beer or glass of wine in Santa Barbara?

* As in Belgium and as it should be, each special beer is served in the beer glass designated by the brewery that showcases their beers in the best way; just like fine wine and appropriate stemware.

* There`s only one true pancake in the world and it`s not from Aunt Jemima and it`s called Pannenkoeken and served with everything under the sun.  Pancakes, like Pinots Noir as my friend Chris Whitcraft {Whitcraft Winery} used to say, are not just for breakfast anymore. 

* Although I love warm maple syrup, the principle sweet topping here [other than powdered sugar] is called stroop.

* Interestingly, I come to the Netherlands and drink mostly Belgium beers, the best on the planet. They`re so good, they merit tasting notes.

* The drink of choice amongst the locals is jenever, a juniper-flavored and strongly alcoholic traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved.  Traditional jenever is still very popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. European Union regulations specify that only liquor made in these two countries, two French provinces and two German federal states can use the name jenever.

* Amsterdam is in Holland, a province, that includes 2 of the 12 provinces, North and South. The whole country is appropriately called the Netherlands.

* Amsterdam has got to have more bicycles [fiets] than any other city on the planet.  They`re everywhere at all times.  And, creative too.  They have every conceivable means of carrying bags, groceries, kids and pets and whatever else needs to be transported.  The bakfiets, are bikes that have big, usually wooden baskets on the front and/ or back end. They were originally used by bakeries to deliver their breads, thus the name, bakfiets.

* The street traffic pecking order: Bikes first and always, then pedestrians, then cars and the rest; the rule of thumb is: if there is anything coming that`s bigger and with more momentum, YIELD. Always look both ways before crossing a street, bike path, anything on which a bike could be traveling.

* There are over 100 canals and 1,000 bridges in Amsterdam and only one river, the Amstel.

* Museums change their themes from time to time; a must visit is to the Amsterdam Museum, Kalverstraat 92, which has the fantastic history of the city from its origin. It includes the fascinating construction of the canals, population growth over the last centurys, etc. There`s a separate showing of 105 photographs of pop stars who have visited Amsterdam by world renown Claude Vanheye. These include the Beattles, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Alvin Lee, the Bee Gees and many more.

* The tap water is very good and it is not necessary to buy bottled water. I`m told there are no fluorides and fewer chemicals and additives than any other city in this part of Europe. This is unconfirmed. but the taste and absence of odor suggests such. Even the local micro breweries who are committed to using only the purest of products and ingredients use Amsterdam city water.

* Want to start up a new business here? Think umbrellas [paraplus]. There are graveyards on just about every major street with broken frames, frames without the covers [like skeletons] and covers without the frames. For us tourists, get the kind that are wind resistant and do not reverse direction and die from an updraft.

* For a city that is not known for its fine dinning, there sure are a lot of fine restaurants and most are not Indonesian.

* A 40% chance for rain means it will rain about 40% of the time.

* One of the many reasons I love Amsterdam has to do with a freedom of being who you truly are and not who others think you should be. Interestingly, Rembrandt contributed significantly to some of this philosophy.

* In an article by Russell Shorto in the New York Times on 9/27/13 entitled " The Ghosts of Amsterdam", he stated:
“Rembrandt figures so thoroughly in Amsterdam, I think, because he is intimately associated with the city’s greatest achievement. Amsterdam in his era pioneered many of the concepts embedded in the term “liberal,” which I mean not in the sex-and-drugs permissive sense (though that would come too) but, more deeply and broadly, as a philosophy based on the individual and individual freedom: the essence of what makes us modern.”

* Amsterdam led the rest of Europe away from the dogma that all authority came from monarch and church; rather, this new philosophy held truth was based on reason — in the words of the Frenchman René Descartes, who also lived in Amsterdam — on “the mind and its good sense.” Central to this was a new awareness of oneself as an individual distinct from the group. And an outgrowth of this awareness was a sudden fascination with the human face — with portraits.” And then there is that place where we are all one.

* It wasn’t until I re-visted the Amsterdam Museum that I learned it is hailed “The City of Freedom” as Paris is the “City of Light” {which BTW happens to be more about it being a vast center of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment. In 1828, Paris began lighting the Champs-Elysées with gas lamps. It was the first city in Europe to do so.}

* A must do museum to visit is the relatively newly reopened Rijksmuesum after 10 years of renovation. It has sections of its 4 floors dedicated to periods of centuries starting with 1100 AD and moving up to the present. Rembrandt`s “Night Watch” is included along with many other of his masterpieces, Van Gogh`s self portrait and others of his collection, Jan van Scorel`s Mary Magdalene, Jan Willem Pieneman`s “Battle of Waterloo”, Johannes Vermeer`s “Het Melkmeisje”, Frans Hals, Willem van de Velde and even a Monet. There is so much more including sculptures, hand crafted furnishings, weaponry, inventions, model ships, etc. Truly fascinating.

* Our stam café {neighborhood bar/ restaurant} for 20 years now is de Englebewaarder at Kloveniersburgwal 18. We are so accepted here and have established close friendships with the owner, numerous locals and many of his quality staff folks, most of whom have specialty college degrees and are still working here while awaiting a break for employment.

* Our late night go to stam café is `t Mandje located on the Zeedijk, a short street near Centraal Station worth perusing. It was a notorious original gay bar established in 1927 and has a rep and a story to behold. It closed in 1983 when the lesbian owner, Bet van Beeren, died and was reopened in 2008 with everything repositioned as before. Part of the story goes that she would snip in half the ties worn by the men who frequented there and hang them from the ceiling. There are hundreds of halved ties now and reproduced pictures from early on covering the walls. What we love most about this place is the music. They play lots of Dutch sing a long tunes with an emphasis on songs from the Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular. It`s a hoot and a great night cap stop.

* I know about the “Baker`s dozen`s” being 13 eggs, but what gives here? At the most, you can buy 10 in a carton. The “Dutch dozen”.

* Our apartment overlooks a popular canal and the constant parade of scenes passing in front of us has no end. One of the most memorable was of a boat of nude dudes with the least minimal of coverage, saluting a large boat of tourists. A world record for instantaneous flashes from cameras/ phones was established.

* Our apartment is near a school yard and it was really neat to see 35 young school aged children walking around with trash pick up tools clearing the streets and gutters from debris mostly strewn by tourists. What a concept!
The school grounds and streets we live near in Santa Barbara are littered with everything the students could possibly throw away without any regard to polluting.

* Another advanced project throughout Amsterdam are recycle bins for plastic, paper and glass. They`re located about every 3-4 blocks so it`s easy to do and a frequent reminder to do it.

* In the Centrum of Amsterdam, most walkways are made of brick snd one needs to take care to note where you place each foot as there are dislodged bricks everywhere, a major trip hazard. This is a deterrent to looking up at the oft in-scripted age and various architectural designs of many of the buildings. You will go down.

* For a city known for it canals, there are probably twice as many parks, some are very small and a few are larger than Golden State Park.

* Amsterdam is a lot more than museums, red lights, coffee shops and canals. The population is 851,373 with the metropolitan area having 2,410,960. Tourism is BIG. There are 4.63 million international visitors annually and this is excluding the 16 million day trippers visiting the city every year.

* The Kingdom of the Netherlands has been an independent monarchy since 16 March 1815, but its one-time sovereign provinces have intermittently been "governed" by members of the House of Orange-Nassau and the House of Nassau from 1559 to 1747.

* I love windmills.

Proost {Cheers},
Blake
Last edited by Blake Brown on November 5th, 2018, 5:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#2 Post by Steve Nordhoff » October 30th, 2018, 7:01 am

Thanks Blake, great read!
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#3 Post by Henry Kiichli » October 30th, 2018, 7:32 am

Hi Blake,

Great read, and greetings from 3 hrs. down the road champagne.gif
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#4 Post by Blake Brown » October 30th, 2018, 8:32 am

Henry Kiichli wrote:
October 30th, 2018, 7:32 am
Hi Blake,

Great read, and greetings from 3 hrs. down the road champagne.gif
Hi Henry, and right back at you down the road a bit.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#5 Post by Blake Brown » October 30th, 2018, 8:32 am

Henry Kiichli wrote:
October 30th, 2018, 7:32 am
Hi Blake,

Great read, and greetings from 3 hrs. down the road champagne.gif
Hi Henry, and right back at you down the road a bit.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#6 Post by Jim Stewart » October 30th, 2018, 8:54 am

Nice info Blake. We only visited Amsterdam once a couple of years ago, but have good memories. You are very fortunate to visit often. Your comment on the bicycles rings true. We went out on bicycles a few times and did well until we got “trapped” in a large group of Amsterdam riders who were much more confident and faster riders than we were. A bit of panic ensued. Another time I was nearly run down by a bicyclist as I crossed one of the canals. Luckily for me, Eric Clapton, who was walking behind us at the time, came to my assistance with a hand on my elbow as I nearly stumbled. He volunteered that “It can be scary out here, mate”. I could only agree. During that same episode, I had extreme difficulty negotiating our way back to our hotels as I was struck by a sudden inability to correlate the street signs with my map. I probably should mention that these peculiar experiences took place after we visited the Paradise coffeeshop in the Dam. Enjoy Amsterdam!
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#7 Post by Blake Brown » October 30th, 2018, 9:04 am

Jim Stewart wrote:
October 30th, 2018, 8:54 am
Nice info Blake. We only visited Amsterdam once a couple of years ago, but have good memories. You are very fortunate to visit often. Your comment on the bicycles rings true. We went out on bicycles a few times and did well until we got “trapped” in a large group of Amsterdam riders who were much more confident and faster riders than we were. A bit of panic ensued. Another time I was nearly run down by a bicyclist as I crossed one of the canals. Luckily for me, Eric Clapton, who was walking behind us at the time, came to my assistance with a hand on my elbow as I nearly stumbled. He volunteered that “It can be scary out here, mate”. I could only agree. During that same episode, I had extreme difficulty negotiating our way back to our hotels as I was struck by a sudden inability to correlate the street signs with my map. I probably should mention that these peculiar experiences took place after we visited the Paradise coffeeshop in the Dam. Enjoy Amsterdam!
Great post Jim. Love the Clapton and Paradise connections.
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#8 Post by Blake Brown » October 31st, 2018, 3:25 am

Re: * Our late night go to stam café is `t Mandje located on the Zeedijk, a short street near Centraal Station worth perusing. It was a notorious original gay bar established in 1927 and has a rep and a story to behold. It closed in 1983 when the lesbian owner, Bet van Beeren, died and was reopened in 2008 with everything repositioned as before. Part of the story goes that she would snip in half the ties worn by the men who frequented there and hang them from the ceiling. There are hundreds of halved ties now and reproduced pictures from early on covering the walls. What we love most about this place is the music. They play lots of Dutch sing a long tunes with an emphasis on songs from the Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular. It`s a hoot and a great night cap stop.
Attachments
fullsizeoutput_1ffb.jpeg
The ceiling at Cafe `t Mandje
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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#9 Post by Blake Brown » November 2nd, 2018, 5:40 am

* In the Centrum of Amsterdam, most walkways are made of brick snd one needs to take care to note where you place each foot as there are dislodged bricks everywhere, a major trip hazard. This is a deterrent to looking up at the oft in-scripted age and various architectural designs of many of the buildings. You will go down.

Here's one very obvious example, but at night, no color difference can be recognized and its early fall now so more leaves will cover it up. We`re talking about an 1 inch rise which is enough to catch the toe of a shoe. I know this one personally:
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Here's a brick mine field:
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And then there`s the man-made kind:
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Last edited by Blake Brown on November 3rd, 2018, 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#10 Post by Rob Lynch » November 2nd, 2018, 5:51 am

Another brick and a fall?

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#11 Post by Blake Brown » November 2nd, 2018, 9:04 am

Rob Lynch wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 5:51 am
Another brick and a fall?
Or another brick in the wall- Pink Floyd. Either way, its a trap for a trip.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#12 Post by Blake Brown » November 4th, 2018, 12:54 pm

Dined at Cafe de Klepel and had another stellar experience. Was solo and and sat at the counter. Coordinated the reservation to match when my friend, Job {pronounced Yob in Dutch}, is working. He's as into the world of wine as any of us and informed in areas I'm less experienced and/or exposed. I always trust him to take me on his personal tour for my wine journey on the evening and select the pairings with my courses.
This night was perfect. Great dining room energy with all tables, patrons loving the moment. Lots of wine passion being shared around at every table, every counter seat.
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"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#13 Post by Blake Brown » November 5th, 2018, 1:40 am

* I love windmills.

This is one of the last remaining windmills in Amsterdam, located in the east part and is housed by a popular local micro brewery, Brouwerij 't IJ.

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De Gooyer windmill
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#14 Post by Jim Stewart » November 5th, 2018, 4:29 am

Here'a another perspective of that same windmill. We arrived too early for the windmill brewery, so we walked over the bridge and had Belgian beer in a Dutch café. (The Triple Karmeliet is mine!!!). Enjoy. -Jim
windmill thru beers.jpg
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#15 Post by Jim Stewart » November 5th, 2018, 4:37 am

It would be neglectful to not give props to Dutch beer too . . . surprisingly very good. Instead of afternoon tea, we did an afternoon Dutch beer tasting. Cheers.
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#16 Post by Blake Brown » November 5th, 2018, 5:30 am

Jim Stewart wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 4:37 am
It would be neglectful to not give props to Dutch beer too . . . surprisingly very good. Instead of afternoon tea, we did an afternoon Dutch beer tasting. Cheers.
dutch beer.jpg
Agreed. My afternoon tea of choice is what you did.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#17 Post by Blake Brown » November 5th, 2018, 5:41 am

In the one picture is worth a thousand words category:

fullsizeoutput_204a.jpeg
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#18 Post by Blake Brown » November 5th, 2018, 5:43 am

and art can be found anywhere:

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fullsizeoutput_204b.jpeg
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#19 Post by Mike Cohen » November 5th, 2018, 10:16 am

Thanks Blake! We visited in summer of 2017 and really enjoyed ourselves. Brings back memories.

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#20 Post by Blake Brown » November 9th, 2018, 12:54 am

As I explore Amsterdam daily, I come across some interesting sights and scenes. Here's a few:

* This tent is located smack in the middle of a large cement area that fronts an office building with numerous bikers and pedestrians passing by.
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"Social housing is not a luxury but a fundamental right.

* Men are fortunate to have immediate relief in the middle of a busy street:
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Open air urinal

* Many buildings have a small ornate sign, coat of arms or plaque on them. This one is huge.
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* Amsterdam`s version of Sideways. These trees are literally growing out over the canal sideways.
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* I`m guessing this is for Santa as I've only seen it come up recently:
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I am good
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#21 Post by Blake Brown » November 9th, 2018, 1:00 am

The day I got here, the trees were still green with little evidence of change=

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23 October
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23 October
Yesterday, this is where the change has reached in little over 2 weeks with leaves falling everywhere and uprooted bricks hiding and waiting for the next trip=
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8 November
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8 November
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#22 Post by Blake Brown » November 10th, 2018, 5:23 am

I keep thinking I've done enough here, but each day I discover some new treasures and I just have to share this one. It is a 2 building "houseboat" with amazing and creatively done nature floats that are attached to the main float source which is located on the Nieuwe Vaart canal. This person has planted an herb garden, trees and flowers around most of his 2 liveable structures. Its a masterpiece, one of a kind, home on water.

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"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#23 Post by Blake Brown » November 10th, 2018, 5:35 am

Christmas in The Netherlands:

"For most children in The Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) brings them their presents!

St. Nicholas' Day is on the 6th December, but in The Netherlands, the major celebrations are held on the 5th December, St. Nicholas' Eve. The name Santa Claus comes from the name Sinterklaas.

It all starts on the second Saturday of November (the first Saturday after 11th November) when Sinterklaas travels to a city or town in The Netherlands. Dutch tradition says that St. Nicholas lives in Madrid, Spain and every year he chooses a different harbor to arrive in Holland, so as many children as possible get a chance to see him.

Sinterklass travels with his servants called 'Zwarte Pieten' ('Black Peters'). When Sinterklaas and the Black Peters come ashore from the steam boat, all of the local church bells ring in celebration. Sinterklaas, dressed in his red robes, leads a procession through the town, riding a white horse. Every town in The Netherlands has a few Sinterklaas helpers, dressed the same as Sinterklaas who help give the presents out. (And sometimes you might one see one or more Zwarte Pieten with Sinterklaas!)"

For more: https://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/holland.shtml

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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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#24 Post by Neal.Mollen » November 10th, 2018, 8:13 am

Fascinating read, Blake. Thank you. I've been to Amsterdam only once, in 1977, and have been promising myself that I'd go back since.

You refer to "our apartment"; is this a AirBnB type rental or do you own a place?
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#25 Post by Blake Brown » November 10th, 2018, 8:48 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 8:13 am
Fascinating read, Blake. Thank you. I've been to Amsterdam only once, in 1977, and have been promising myself that I'd go back since.

You refer to "our apartment"; is this a AirBnB type rental or do you own a place?
Neal, we have friends who have the apartment and allow us to stay pretty much whenever. I come 2 times a year for 3-4 weeks. My wife who is Dutch, comes much less often.
If you decide to come, I’m happy to suggest some things and locations. AirBnB has good options.
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#26 Post by Neal.Mollen » November 10th, 2018, 9:06 am

Blake Brown wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 8:48 am
Neal.Mollen wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 8:13 am
Fascinating read, Blake. Thank you. I've been to Amsterdam only once, in 1977, and have been promising myself that I'd go back since.

You refer to "our apartment"; is this a AirBnB type rental or do you own a place?
Neal, we have friends who have the apartment and allow us to stay pretty much whenever. I come 2 times a year for 3-4 weeks. My wife who is Dutch, comes much less often.
If you decide to come, I’m happy to suggest some things and locations. AirBnB has good options.
Thanks for the kind offer Blake.
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#27 Post by Tom DeBiase » November 10th, 2018, 9:47 am

Blake, thanks for all your input, it is always interesting. As I have mentioned here several times, Amsterdam is our favorite city in Europe and we try to get there every time we go to Europe.

As it appears that you like some different and maybe "eccentric" sites to visit, have you ever been to The Museum Of Bags And Purses in the Rembrandtplein area, It represents what we love about Amsterdam, a well appointed serious yet funky museum that is fascinating to visit. Obviously the ladies will love visiting but I found myself thoroughly enjoying the collection. You won't spend a huge amount of time here but its well worth seeking out.

Just one simple reason why we love Amsterdam.

https://tassenmuseum.nl/en/

Tom

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#28 Post by Blake Brown » November 10th, 2018, 10:44 am

Tom DeBiase wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 9:47 am
Blake, thanks for all your input, it is always interesting. As I have mentioned here several times, Amsterdam is our favorite city in Europe and we try to get there every time we go to Europe.

As it appears that you like some different and maybe "eccentric" sites to visit, have you ever been to The Museum Of Bags And Purses in the Rembrandtplein area, It represents what we love about Amsterdam, a well appointed serious yet funky museum that is fascinating to visit. Obviously the ladies will love visiting but I found myself thoroughly enjoying the collection. You won't spend a huge amount of time here but its well worth seeking out.

Just one simple reason why we love Amsterdam.

https://tassenmuseum.nl/en/

Tom
Thanks Tom. I've walked past it many times and never had the hit to go in. My wife would go in a heartbeat and I`ll tag along and probably enjoy it as much, as you have. Hopefully she'll come next Spring and we'll put hating on the to do list.
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#29 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 11th, 2018, 9:30 am

Love the posts and man, do I miss Amsterdam. To think I got grief for not going there enough...

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#30 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 11th, 2018, 9:46 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
November 11th, 2018, 9:30 am
Love the posts and man, do I miss Amsterdam. To think I got grief for not going there enough...
And re: pannnenkoeken - loved them so much I bought a plate from a little restaurant I went to and packed it home in my luggage :)
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#31 Post by Blake Brown » November 11th, 2018, 10:01 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
November 11th, 2018, 9:30 am
Love the posts and man, do I miss Amsterdam. To think I got grief for not going there enough...
Hey Andrew. I’m at Gebr Hartering as I read this.
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#32 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 11th, 2018, 10:37 am

Blake Brown wrote:
November 11th, 2018, 10:01 am
Andrew Kotowski wrote:
November 11th, 2018, 9:30 am
Love the posts and man, do I miss Amsterdam. To think I got grief for not going there enough...
Hey Andrew. I’m at Gebr Hartering as I read this.
We’re having leftovers tonight. If there was a “go to hell” emoji, I’d use it right now :) Enjoy!!!

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#33 Post by Blake Brown » November 11th, 2018, 10:52 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
November 11th, 2018, 10:37 am
Blake Brown wrote:
November 11th, 2018, 10:01 am
Andrew Kotowski wrote:
November 11th, 2018, 9:30 am
Love the posts and man, do I miss Amsterdam. To think I got grief for not going there enough...
Hey Andrew. I’m at Gebr Hartering as I read this.
We’re having leftovers tonight. If there was a “go to hell” emoji, I’d use it right now :) Enjoy!!!
I’m howling fight now and everyone is looking over. Here’s a great Saumur I’m drinking to you.
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#34 Post by Blake Brown » November 12th, 2018, 12:58 am

Dined at Restaurant Gebr. Hartering last night to complete the triad of fine dining choices on this 3+ week visit. Cafe de Kelpel and Cafe Daalder were the other 2. All are upscale, offer quality cuisine and are wine centric.

Here's my review:

First about the name. Gebr. is an abbreviation for gebroeders which means brothers in Dutch. In this case, there are 2 brothers, Paul and Niek, who own and chef the restaurant with quality help from others. I've eaten here twice and both times the brothers were off and the food was unique, creative and delicious.
They offer a 5 or 7 course pre fixe menu and also have a few a la carte choices. The 5 course is 55 euros and the 7 course is 80.
The servers are not only competent in serving and explaining each course, but they are wine savvy and this restaurant is wine focused with a decent list and good stemware. For champagne, they are proudly using a new lightweight stem made by Riedel from the Veritas collection. They do not have a dedicated wine pairing set up {like Cafe Daalder}, but are certainly capable and amenable to putting something together upon request.
There is an emphasis on seasonal dishes and local produce. Each course I had was seasoned perfectly, presented attractively and in balance. Serving portions are small.
Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Few restaurants in Amsterdam are formal and his is not one of them, but, in general, they do attract a clientele that dresses more than super casual.

Proost

fullsizeoutput_2087.jpeg
Riedel Veritas champagne stem
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#35 Post by Alain M » December 8th, 2018, 5:13 am

During my latest trip to this amazing city, on a friend's advice I went to the Breda restaurant for lunch. You must go there on your next trip. Just great cooking and pretty nice wine list. Wonderful.

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#36 Post by Blake Brown » December 8th, 2018, 7:41 am

Alain M wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 5:13 am
During my latest trip to this amazing city, on a friend's advice I went to the Breda restaurant for lunch. You must go there on your next trip. Just great cooking and pretty nice wine list. Wonderful.

Alain
I've stopped in and checked out vegetarian options which are limited, but doable. Their wine list is extensive and comfortably priced. I've eaten at their sister restaurant, Guts & Glory, and enjoyed the food although we were asked to move from the back of the upstairs dining room to an outside table in front on the street to accommodate a large party. we were happy to oblige, but it was somewhat untimely since we were in the middle of 5 courses and had wine pairings from the the first 3 on the table. It took the 2 of us and 2 waiters to re-set everything up.

Here's a link: http://www.breda-amsterdam.com/en/
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#37 Post by Blake Brown » December 12th, 2018, 8:17 am

Here's an interesting article that covers housing and Brexit issues and more.

Amsterdam Brothels: Amsterdam Brothels To Get A Review By City’s First Female Mayor:

https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics ... male-mayor
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#38 Post by Otto Dobre » December 26th, 2018, 9:42 am

Any recommendations for a good liquor store in Amsterdam? I would like to pick up a bourbon that is tough to find in the US.

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#39 Post by Blake Brown » December 26th, 2018, 11:09 am

Otto Dobre wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 9:42 am
Any recommendations for a good liquor store in Amsterdam? I would like to pick up a bourbon that is tough to find in the US.
I suggest you check out Chabrol Wines and if they do not have what you're looking for, the certainly must know of a good source: http://www.chabrolwines.com
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#40 Post by Otto Dobre » December 26th, 2018, 11:30 am

Thank you, Blake.

We did lunch at Daalder, and it was a so so experience. We did the 4 course meal paired with wines. The main dishes were rather bland. The amuse bouche, first course and dessert were very good. Wines were decent, much better with food than on their own. Also the prices for the wines are off. Wine list has the full serving at 8.50 and the half at 5; the bill showed the full at 13.50 and half at 7.50. Only noticed on the Uber, so that's that. But the food prices are more than decent.

My best meal here was at Singel 101. Food not quite as fancy, but tastier, and the wines more to my palate.

Tomorrow, very early dinner at an Argentinian place with lots of cheap wine and free Pool Gunner match.

Monday back in my beautiful and beloved San Diego.

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#41 Post by Rich Salsano » December 29th, 2018, 10:41 am

Great read. Thanks for sharing. Going to Amsterdam for the first time in February. Will report back with my plans once made.
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION

#42 Post by John Webber » January 16th, 2019, 1:32 pm

Just found this thread and I love it. Filing the info away for a future trip.

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