Weldon in Amsterdam

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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

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Weldon
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Weldon in Amsterdam

Postby Weldon » Tue Apr 07, 10:09 am

Well, this is the first real trip in 10 years. Last time was the big 10th anniversary. Then we were getting about $1.35 to the euro, now it's $1.10. Hope everybody had a nice Easter. I notice that there are a lot of bicycle taxis. Also that you can't smoke tobacco in the coffeehouses. Some have a smoke substitute for people to roll their joints with instead of the (dreaded) tobacco. Geels & Co closed their coffee store on Warmoestraat! You can only order online but they will ship to the States. DeKuil is no more, it's a pancake house. Manhattan Pizza is a Maoz. I was in Dolphins. For everyone that walks in, the BT has to explain the extensive rules...you can do this here but not there, you can do this there but not here; if you buy this, you can do it here and there, but there's a 10 euro deposit and I need to see your ID. The bars at the coffeeshops are bustling with sales of everything...except alcohol. Weird!

Been here since Saturday and haven't taken a tram yet. Been hoofin' it all over the Centrum. Dampkring is going strong. They still have Neville's Haze. Very good and the Rifman Hash of various strengths. My old haunt Tops on Prinsengracht merged with SuperSkunk. Their sign remains but the place is now exotic modern in a Rockerij kind of way. Sorry, no candles on the wall. No Rockerijs either, sad to say. The Greenhouse off Damstraat is going strong as well. Good Super lemon haze products in hash and bud. Been a regular this week. I don't know what you may have heard but you can still get mushrooms in A'dam. The Smart Shop on Leidsestraat is still there. Very busy. Had to wait.

Staying at the Rho, a first. I usually went for the best bargain I could find (Brouer, Abba, Kap, Euphemia...THAT was a hole) but now I felt I could afford my own toilet. When I got there, I was bushwhacked from traveling 24 hours and two plane changes from SF. I had to wait over an hour to be put in a single room just above the street (I was told in a courtyard) from a bike rental place off Damstraat. The room was noisy, hot and the TV had one English channel (BBC) that could only be heard through static when turned up nearly all the way. The shower worked by trial and error, mostly error. I got switched to a nicer room yesterday on the 4th floor but the original clerk who gave me the shithole has been giving me the stink eye ever since. 138 Euros/night. Most I ever paid for an Amsterdam room and I know that is now on the cheap side. Whether they charge me extra remains to be seen.

Breakfast is nice and they have plenty of room. Guests aren't hoarding things for later like I saw in other places. Wifi is wonky. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Location is great. I don't think they're all that crazy about Americans. I don't detect any Yanks other than myself. I was supposed to be at the Nes but they cancelled w/o telling me. Seems I had a problem with my credit card and they had to send me a new one. Nes' deposit must have been rejected and they didn't notify me. They must have it happen to them all the time. It was either the Rho or stay out by Schiphol.

The Farmer wants to make a trip out here some day. Things will be different and I'll take her to see the museums and boat tours and things I've done over the years. I filled a suitcase up with Albert Hijn coffee yesterday. Just enjoying the relatively nice weather (sunny and in the hi 40's, lo 50's) and being back in the old city. The food is less important to me than before. I have dropped 50 pounds in a year with more to go. I still enjoy the big breakfast and it lasts me most of the day.

It used to be that Amsterdam beat the hell out of my feet. I needed sock liners. Now, since I learned (after 7 trips) to find the most level part of the street, it's playing hell on my hips. That's because there are so many people out, I have to do a lot of dodging, stopping and starting and watching that I don't run into them, bikes, bike taxis, cars, busses and trams. It's hard to just stroll leisurely. At times it feels like I'm the only one who's looking where he's going.

But with trips like this, there's so much I want to do, I usually end up doing nothing. I want to go to V&D, Albert Cuypmarkt and see the tulip fields between Haarlem and The Hague. There's also the museums, Anne Frank House and other parts of town I haven't seen. I'm still feeling jet lag. Gotta bunch of has that needs attention still. Is there enough time till Sunday? It's 11 now and I'm still in the room.

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Postby chigusa » Tue Apr 07, 10:24 am

bloody hell a trip report. well done Weldon.

Amsterdam hotels are a set of gobshites.

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Postby Weldon » Tue Apr 07, 11:21 am

It's kind of like NYC. You want quality, you have to pay for it. The view out of the new room is nice...of the rooftops looking south (I think). But I hated having to waste part of a day moving out and moving in to get it. They had 11 single rooms in this hotel and I offered to pay for something better and the blitz maiden clerk said they were booked. I watched other people check in and go directly to their rooms. I'm becoming addicted to cruises.

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Postby moe. » Tue Apr 07, 4:41 pm

Hey Weldon, long time no see. What a great way to reappear, in a trip report! :^) So you are Bo's "man on the straat" over there. I can't wait to read more. Enjoy!!!

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Postby Bohannon » Tue Apr 07, 6:09 pm

Good job pal, keep it up.

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Postby Weldon » Tue Apr 07, 7:22 pm

I'm my own Strat Man and don't you forget it. I got a late start today and ended up at the stationary dept at V&D. Most of those bike taxi guys didn't know where it was but they knew where the Munttoren was so that's where they took me. Apparently the fountain pen is enjoying a rebirth of sorts. The outside design must be for teenage girls, by and large. Did find the grown up ones. Also found beaucoup paint supplies for The Farmer.

V&D has a rooftop restaurant lounge where I went up to and had a coke and took a few pictures. After that, I wandered into a poster shop on Keizersgracht. Went a little crazy there. Then it was 4:20 and time for a stop at Tops/SuperSkunk. After that break, I went to the local Delft shop for some cat things. Quite a price difference in some of the things that are not attributable to age alone.

Ideas of dinner at the American Hotel turned into curvalaat and komijn cheese sandwiches in the room with BBC news since the breakfast here only has plain gouda. That, and the Albery Hijn behind the Dam was dam near picked clean and all that was left was cold cuts.

Enjoying the types of sunrises and sunset we get in summer right now. I think it helps with jet lag on this side of it.

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Postby Jessica » Tue Apr 07, 7:46 pm

Great read. Thanks.

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Postby Banks » Tue Apr 07, 8:19 pm

Loving it... Keep on truckin'!

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Postby alpha » Tue Apr 07, 8:32 pm

Weldon wrote:V&D has a rooftop restaurant lounge where I went up to and had a coke and took a few pictures.


Ever been to the V&D in Haarlem? Also top floor restaurant, with rooftop views of the town, but food so tantalizing one would never be able to contain themselves to just a 'coke'.=)

Great reports btw, hope you keep 'em coming!

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Postby moe. » Tue Apr 07, 9:00 pm

alpha wrote:
Weldon wrote:V&D has a rooftop restaurant lounge where I went up to and had a coke and took a few pictures.


Ever been to the V&D in Haarlem? Also top floor restaurant, with rooftop views of the town, but food so tantalizing one would never be able to contain themselves to just a 'coke'.=)

Great reports btw, hope you keep 'em coming!


That is quite an impressive spread at the Haarlem V&D!! I recall seeing the sand dunes from up there as well.

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Postby TrekknHil » Tue Apr 07, 10:02 pm

Sigh.....wish I was there!

Love the reports, please keep them coming.

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Postby Old Fart » Wed Apr 08, 12:36 am

Hi trek long time no see...welcome back?

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Postby sdshadow » Wed Apr 08, 12:42 am

TrekknHil rocks!

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Postby TrekknHil » Wed Apr 08, 1:01 am

I've missed this place....for the most part :)

Good to be back, thanks for the warm welcome......good to see you guys!

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Postby chigusa » Wed Apr 08, 8:14 am

bloody hell again! hello trek.

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Postby Dogbreath » Wed Apr 08, 11:52 am

Nice.

Enjoy your reports Weldon.....

Dogbreath

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Postby NewYork, New York » Thu Apr 09, 2:52 pm

Thanks for the information Weldon. Sounds like lots of things are changing, while some things remain the same.

I will be visiting at the beginning of May. Sounds like it may be my last trip to DeKuil. I will always visit the Dam, if only briefly. It is easy to get to from the airport, has great museums and restaurants, and is a good place to stop over for a rest while taking a trip to Europe.

I am still quite surprised that AMS' apparent goal is to phase out the coffeeshops. There was no other alternative?

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Postby Generous_J » Thu Apr 09, 3:30 pm

All these years people have been whining about Amsterdam turning shit... seems it finally is? :(

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Postby Jessica » Thu Apr 09, 3:40 pm

Generous_J wrote:All these years people have been whining about Amsterdam turning shit... seems it finally is? :(

That depends on what you want from it.

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Postby Dazzler » Thu Apr 09, 3:42 pm

Generous_J wrote:All these years people have been whining about Amsterdam turning shit... seems it finally is? :(


It's the end game innit. People could see it coming: it's been happening slowly, piece by piece. Twenty years ago, the squats are cleared and crinimalised. One day a coffee shop closes because it's 'too close to a school'. The next day you see preposterously tasteless and expensive knitwear on sale in what used to be a De Wallen kamer. Slowly, the smugness of the grins of the ultra-conservative residents of a newly-gentrified Amsterdam are turned up and before you know it, Amsterdam is a pound-shop Venice.

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Postby MileHighDenver » Thu Apr 09, 5:42 pm

Dazzler wrote:
Generous_J wrote:All these years people have been whining about Amsterdam turning shit... seems it finally is? :(


It's the end game innit. People could see it coming: it's been happening slowly, piece by piece. Twenty years ago, the squats are cleared and crinimalised. One day a coffee shop closes because it's 'too close to a school'. The next day you see preposterously tasteless and expensive knitwear on sale in what used to be a De Wallen kamer. Slowly, the smugness of the grins of the ultra-conservative residents of a newly-gentrified Amsterdam are turned up and before you know it, Amsterdam is a pound-shop Venice.


I have many real Amsterdam friends and all without exception agree with you. The "Provincials" are having their way.

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Postby Rudy » Thu Apr 09, 5:53 pm

Well god save the queen and her fascist regime. We mean it man.

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Postby des » Thu Apr 09, 6:03 pm

If you've always wanted to go to Amsterdam, but have been putting it off, it's time to get your arse in gear and make it happen, before it's too late!

Peace, Des.

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Postby Bohannon » Thu Apr 09, 7:11 pm

des wrote:If you've always wanted to go to Amsterdam, but have been putting it off, it's time to get your arse in gear and make it happen, before it's too late!

Peace, Des.


If, that is, the only reason you would go to that beautiful and amazing city is weed, hasj and hookers.

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Postby des » Thu Apr 09, 7:30 pm

Bohannon wrote:
des wrote:If you've always wanted to go to Amsterdam, but have been putting it off, it's time to get your arse in gear and make it happen, before it's too late!

Peace, Des.


If, that is, the only reason you would go to that beautiful and amazing city is weed, hasj and hookers.


I've done all the cultural stuff and soaked up the ambience! There's only the coffeeshop scene left that keeps me going back!

Peace, Des.

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Postby Dazzler » Thu Apr 09, 7:43 pm

MileHighDenver wrote:
Dazzler wrote:
Generous_J wrote:All these years people have been whining about Amsterdam turning shit... seems it finally is? :(


It's the end game innit. People could see it coming: it's been happening slowly, piece by piece. Twenty years ago, the squats are cleared and crinimalised. One day a coffee shop closes because it's 'too close to a school'. The next day you see preposterously tasteless and expensive knitwear on sale in what used to be a De Wallen kamer. Slowly, the smugness of the grins of the ultra-conservative residents of a newly-gentrified Amsterdam are turned up and before you know it, Amsterdam is a pound-shop Venice.


I have many real Amsterdam friends and all without exception agree with you. The "Provincials" are having their way.


See, I don't even think it's Dutch people who are behind this: it's happening in every major city in the world, especially those with significant tourist trades. Old, locally-owned businesses and houses are being replaced by shiny glass mixed-use retail areas putting previously public spaces into concentrated private ownership. One or two Dutch might be benefiting from power- and wealth-brokerage positions, but I'll bet none of them are actually buying the houses on the Gouden Bocht or taking over the major tourist businesses.

Chinese, Russian and Indian money is doing to Amsterdam and Venice what it's already done to parts of Africa and SE Asia: sinking it into the sea. It's just a place for their money to rest and grow. As soon as it starts to deteriorate, they'll just move it somewhere else.

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Postby Dazzler » Thu Apr 09, 7:49 pm

Bohannon wrote:
des wrote:If you've always wanted to go to Amsterdam, but have been putting it off, it's time to get your arse in gear and make it happen, before it's too late!

Peace, Des.


If, that is, the only reason you would go to that beautiful and amazing city is weed, hasj and hookers.


No. That sort of attitude is doing the gentrifiers' jobs for them. There are thousands of cities in the world equally or more beautiful and amazing. Amsterdam is unique among them. That's why someone who runs a rat-infested flop-house on the outskirts of the RLD can charge €50 a night for a fucking dorm bed.

Take away all that makes it unique and tell me how many Americans are going to part with $8000 to spend a week there, year after year.

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Postby Bohannon » Thu Apr 09, 9:13 pm

I've been there 11 times, I doubt I ever spent more than a grand. I often use Amsterdam as a base and travel about Europe: Prague, Barcelona, Germany, Paris and, of course other parts of the Netherlands.

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Postby chigusa » Thu Apr 09, 11:31 pm

i've been to Amsterdam fucking loads and loads of times and i've yet to darken the doors of any museum or art gallery.
I tell a lie, I went in the sex museum once but left when some French people started making a scene.
i've been on a boat. what else is there to do in Amsterdam?

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Apr 10, 2:01 am

great report Weldon. Thanks so much.

the city is definitely losing it's funk and it really is such a loss. But then, you could say the exact same thing about NYC.

too many tourists.
I remember when the streets of Amsterdam were mostly empty of walkers, plenty of bikes, but few walkers - now one really needs to play dodge the human.

Can't understand how the ultra-conservatives have taken over everything (oh right, they have all the money!)

Been there at least once a year (many years more than that) for 20 years. Don't have a trip planned for this year....


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