Relaxing Last Day in Holland

Although this post will be about my last day in Amsterdam and of this wonderful trip, do not fret, it will not be my last post. Traveling by free ferry to Noord (a borough, north of Centraal Station), I spent the early afternoon at a café, perusing new commercial construction, existing residential architecture, and a movie theater/museum that looked like a spaceship.

Directly after exiting the ferry, which was only about a three-minute ride across the lake, I walked right up a set of stairs to a café porch. It was getting late in the morning and hunger pangs were creeping up on my stomach quickly. I also felt the strong pull to sit down, enjoy a sandwich and an espresso, before moving on with the busy day ahead, like in the authentic spirit of the Europeans. This café overlooked the large lake/river over which you could easily see Centraal Station and two artistic, structural enclosures. It was a nice place to stay for awhile, as a young MD expressed to me from across one of the several picnic benches lining the deck. The inside of the café was about five times larger than the deck space, and boasted an indoor wall of thick vegetation. The company who built the wall has this one and others on display on their website. This blog calls the café a “cultural mekka”. It was truly an enjoyable place to spend time.

Ambling west along the river, I crossed a bridge over a small canal and right smack into “A’DAM”—one of Amsterdam’s newest additions to its portfolio of modern high-rise architecture. The general contractor must have a sense of humor because the sign in front read, “I’ll be open in early 2016. Until then, learn to play the piano or visit”. The top few floors of the high-rise are angled at 45º to the rest of the building. The circular portion in the middle is actually a rotating restaurant. I will have to go back to Amsterdam after I graduate to eat there. I will let you know how it is in a future blog post.

Complementing A’DAM was “The Eye”—a café, movie theater, and movie museum combined into a spaceship-shaped ensemble of steel and glass. Although the jet thrusters were nowhere to be found, there were some zoetropes set up for viewing in the museum. The inside was stunning as well, built akin to an amphitheater of the Greek times except with wood flooring, seating, and stairs, instead of stone.

Next door to A’DAM and The Eye lie an apartment complex of varying architectural styles. One apartment looked like it was a hotel off of Miami Beach while another appeared as if my grandparents were to step outside and wave at any moment. One of the apartments was styled such that it like it was part-New York City brownstone, part-sprouted from the ground, part-jail, part-communist era, part-Quincy Massachusetts, and part-Amsterdam—if I were to give my opinion on it.

Out of the two structures across the water, I especially enjoyed the asymmetrical window-patterning of the white building and the “chip-off-the-block” courtyard at mid-height. The adjacent building sported what appeared to be a giant, Indian Jones slide of some sorts with windows as trapdoors and no safety rails. I’m sure the tenants pay top Euro to occupy a residence with such exquisite features and unique architectural style. In all honesty, I do think it is attractive work; knowing the meaning and background behind the design would be even more appealing.


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