Restaurant Day Amsterdam off to Steaming Start

When in Amsterdam....joined the 1st Restaurant Day in Amsterdam. A culurary festival that encourages pop up restaurants all around the world. Amsterdam had a steaming start with 8 pop up eateries and bars springing into action. Amsterdam also decided to heat things up with the weather reaching a sweltering 34 degrees.

We had plans to head to a couple locations. We had downloaded the app from the website and jumped on our bikes. We headed down to Vondel Park for a brunch of a Lemon meringue tart and a Serrano ham, rocket and tomato sandwich. Both were great but the location was ideal. Nestled in the shade of Vondel Park's trees we escaped the abnormal warmth. After digesting we jumped on our bikes with the best of intentions but the heat got the best of us.

The next Restaurant Day is scheduled for 17 November. We have already penciled into the calendar. If you love to cook and have some space join the movement and sign up for the day at their website.

Amsterdam has a history of underground restaurants battling the local Municipality's Food Authority. Amsterdammers also have a history of rebelling against the authorities. We shall see what develops but what could be better than to stand up for weird and wonderful food creations.

Restaurant Day started in Finland in 2011. In Finland it is turning into a well attended quarterly event. This last edition 710 location were in Finland, with over half of these in Helsinki.

The concept has spread quickly. The sixth edition on the third weekend of August spread across 17 countries. Over six hundred pop ups from Australia to Scandinavia.

Now Amsterdam is added to that number. If you are a Facebooker then join the local RD Amsterdam page to keep up with late changes and up to date locations.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Heart Day (Hartjesdag) 2012 on Amsterdam's Zeedijk

When in Amsterdam....the third weekend of August is the Hartjesdag Festival on Amsterdam's Zeedijk. The modern festival began in 1997 to show the wonders of one of Amsterdam's oldest streets.

Amsterdam's Zeedijk Hartjesdag 2012

Hartjesdag was originally Hertjesday (Deer Day) and dates back to the Middle Ages when hunting deer was allowed by normal people. Somewhere along the way it turned into a cross dressing festival.

Hartjesdag Zeedijk. Painter Johan Braakensiek (1858-1940) 

During World War 2 the festival was banned by the occupying Nazi Germans. Nevertheless, Zeedijk became a refuge for those persecuted by the Nazis. Officers of the occupying forces were not allowed to frequent the street as it was seen as beneath them.

Strolling the promenade. Zeedijk Amsterdam 2012

Today, Zeedijk, Amsterdam's medieval sea wall, is a diverse street that includes Amsterdam's Chinatown and oldest Gay bar. The street also contains one of the only wooden facade buildings in the city.

Hartjesday is a weird and wonderful festival that reminds people Amsterdam is a livable city of many small neighborhoods. Highlights of the Festival are always the cross dressing competition, choirs and the opera.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Canal Festival (Grachtenfestival) 2012 Begins

When in Amsterdam....the Canal (Grachten) Festival is held for one week in August. The festival celebrates Amsterdam as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. 15 years ago the original aim was to create a 3 day platform for young classical musicians and incorporate cultural activities into the landscape of Amsterdam.

This year the festival is 10 days of classical music, dance and theatrical performance. There are both paid and free performances during the event. The festival is concentrated around the Klovinersburgwal but events are spread throughout the city.

Today we caught violinist Lonneke van Straalen and cellist Jan-Bastiaan Neven play a suite by Stravinsky.

Violinist Lonneke van Straalen and cellist Jan-Bastiaan Neven
We also saw clarinetist Sergio Hamersla play a selection of music by Fuchs.

Clarinetist Sergio Hamerslag 

The Canal Festival culminates in a grand concert on the World Heritage listed Prinsengracht with the Westerkerk as a backdrop. The below Youtube clip shows the concluding concert to the 2011 Canal festival.

Keep posted for more highlights.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Prepares for Gay Pride Weekend 2012

When in Amsterdam....Gay Pride is one of the biggest weekend's of the year. Amsterdam was the first city in the world to allow gay and lesbian marriage. There is a large gay and lesbian community and once a year they can celebrate in style.

Westerkerk. The largest protestant church in the Netherlands where the Queen married in 1966.

Each year there is a parade along Amsterdam's historic canals. This year 80 boats will take to the water led by Amsterdam's Lord Mayor. The parade finishes at City Hall were civil union ceremonies will take place. The Netherlands does not recognize religious weddings only civil unions.

Amstel near Rembrandtplein.

Music stages will be set up throughout the city. Rembrandtplein, Reguliersdwaarstraat, Westermarkt and Amstelveld will hum with music creating one of the largest street parties of the year. Car parking centers in the city will also have pink tickets for the weekend.

Vijzelstraat in Amsterdam hangs the rainbow flag for Gay Pride
For a good vantage point of the canal parade get your position early. Recommended are along the Prinsengracht and the Amstel. If you can't make the parade follow on the internet with English commentary

When in Amsterdam...enjoy.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged