Although this post will be about my last day in Amsterdam and of this wonderful trip, do not fret, there is plenty to blog about in a wrap-up. I travelled by ferry to Amsterdam-Noord (a borough north of Centraal Station), which is a three minute ride across the IJ (Dutch for “lake”). 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.
It was getting late in the morning and I suddenly felt hunger pangs in my stomach. I also felt the strong pull to sit down, enjoy a sandwich and an espresso before moving on with the busy day ahead, just like in the authentic spirit of the Europeans. This café overlooked the large lake/river where you could easily see Centraal Station and two artistic, structural enclosures. It was a nice place to stay for a while, as a young doctor expressed to me from across one of the several picnic benches lining the café deck. The inside of the café was about five times larger than the deck space, and boasted an indoor wall of thick vegetation. Click here to learn about the company who built this green wall. Click here to read an article describing the café location as 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 had 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 adamtoren.nl.” The top few floors of the high-rise are angled at 45° 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 was 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 could 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-Cold War 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, “Indiana Jones” entertainment park 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 background behind the design would have given even more meaning to its appeal.