Saturday, October 27, 2012


Ah, yes, so finally getting around to it, recently I got to spend a couple of days roaming around Amsterdam.  I love travelling on my own- I can go wherever I want, changing plans where I wish, pop into whatever stores strike my fancy all day long (though the shopping hours are so short in Amsterdam!) and eat whenever and wherever I like.  Though actually one of my least favorite things about travelling is eating- I often have a terrible time finding a likely restaurant before I become starving and irritable.  I usually try to note a few decently priced places in neighbourhoods I'm likely to be!

Amsterdam is perfectly sized for wandering- I had a wonderful time slipping in and out of all the beautiful little shops in the "9 streets" area, and took the advice of my B&B hosts for some excursions further afield. I did find it ironic though that such a noted people-friendly urban space turned out to be rather more bike friendly than pedestrian-able.  There were some intersections that were almost impossible to cross due to the predominance of bike lanes over sidewalks, and on a lot of side streets the sidewalks seemed to be just a set of paving stones a foot across (and frequently bisected  by posts).  I therefore found myself often in the way of very aggressive cyclists when there seemed to be nowhere else for me to legitimately walk.  One woman crossing with me at a big intersection expressed her own confusion, admitting that usually she just cycled! Ah, but it is a beautiful thing to see- lovely ladies in dresses, mothers with babies and toddlers in tow, stylish gents- everyone on bikes.

On my first morning, I made a beeline for the nearby Noordermarkt, which was a vintage cornucopia, and packed to the gills with people.  I don't have many pictures of the vintage goods, because there was no space ( and I had to dig for my own finds!) but there were literally piles of dresses and coats and blouses.  Most of it was unsorted and dreadfully polyester, but I found a few nice pieces for 15 euro.

I also visited a ton of wonderful little shops- finally got to see the goods in a Cos store (upmarket H&M) and it was very nice.  I hope they start bringing the line to North America! I came away with a pretty white blouse from their sale section, which you'll see in an outfit soon, but I really loved their outerwear.  I'm dying over this mustard coat.

And there were some fabulous designer boutiques to drool over.  These shoes!  I didn't even bother to ask the price, but they were delightful.

 And just wonderful bookstores and vintage everything everywhere.  sigh. 

The following day started out particularly rainy and cold so I decided to forgo a print dress and wore my cuddly 'airplane' dress instead, but like the rest the day eventually turned into lovely sunshine.  I arranged for this swan to photobomb my outfit shot along a quiet canal.

Thrifted merino dress, grey gingham button-up, Gewoon necklace, Anthropologie Elkanah coat, J crew rust tights and thrifted Italian leather loafers.
And of course I wandered some more, visiting the new wing of the Stedelijk museum, where I took my picture in front of some de Kooning colours. Make a mental note to wear bright yellow and sickly pink together (and get a haircut!)

And then in the evening I found just the right place to stop for dinner, watching people ride by on their way home.  Amsterdam at night is just magical.  The lights along the canals are beautiful, and have a sulphuric glow that seems to come from another time.  I ended the night back where I started, under the lampost.

Ah, and the next day I got on a plane and dragged myself home.  But I'll be back!

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