A Beautiful Day in Amsterdam

by Eli Hodapp

mirror_canal

Today was far and above the nicest day I’ve experienced in Amsterdam. The sky was a beautiful cloudy blue, and it was almost warm enough to not need a scarf. If nothing else, I didn’t need to wear my gloves and I could feel my toes walking around today so I’m more than happy with the weather. It’s supposed to be even nicer tomorrow.

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Look at that sky! After the last five days, I didn’t even think it was possible for Amsterdam to be like this. I can only imagine the city in the summer. I bet it’s incredible.

Anyway, I got up early this morning to meet Brian for a super early breakfast before he had to catch his flight back to California. We also met up with Audra, who is vaguely part of the same PR/marketing industry “family” as Brian. I explained to them that after breakfast I wanted to hit up Tenue de Nîmes today, as everything I’ve read has made it sound like it is the designer jean destination of the city. Audra (who lives here in Amsterdam with her boyfriend) had never heard of it before, and asked to come along to check it out.

I ran back to the hotel to take a shower and get proper for a day of wandering around the city before meeting up with Audra in the nearby neighborhood of Waterlooplein. Tenue de Nîmes was around a two mile walk, but it was stupidly pleasant with the weather today. This is also the first day I’ve been able to wear my Chucks without my feet freezing off, so this made walking all over the city even better.

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As advertised, Tenue de Nîmes was awesome. Something curious about the denim scene here is that they’ve gotten so used to what is “exotic” denim to me back in the USA that they’ve swung the complete opposite direction with a fascination focusing on jeans from North America. They had a really great selection of RRL, as well as ultra-high end cuts of Lee made with selvage denim (I didn’t even know these existed, odd.) and legit vintage “Big E” Levi’s from the 70’s. Most of these Levi’s were totally destroyed and repaired, which was really cool, but they’re still just Levi’s to me.

I was happy to find a pair of Naked & Famous Skinny Guys in my size though. They’re a designer denim house out of Canada, but it’s basically impossible to find them in the proper size for people as narrow and as long as I am. Here though, they had a whole stack of 30×34. They even had the 32oz Naked & Famous jeans, which are super limited edition and extreme collectors items. The fabric is so thick you practically can’t wear them, as they’ll quite literally stand up on their own, as the girl helping us demonstrated. They were asking 450€ for them, which seems kind of crazy for a pair of pants you basically can’t wear.

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After dropping too much cash on some pants, neither of us really had anything to do for a few hours until the start of the American business day so we hung out at a local pub and had some beer while trading ridiculous war stories of games journalism. Audra is more focused on the AAA side of things, having launched games like The Sims, and it’s always crazy hearing about hijinks that happens in the  bigger budget side of things that rarely trickles down to mobile.

On the way back to our respective neighborhoods on the Eastern side of the city we walked past an open air market that I’d missed last time I walked to the high-end fashion side of town which focused on various plants and flowers. Holland produces tulips like whoa, and as I understand it, cultivating flowers and other elaborate garden projects is a bit of a national pastime.

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By far the coolest thing I saw there was a stand that had all sorts of carnivorous plants. It’s really hard to get a sense of scale in this photo, but the pitcher plants they had were massive. Each of the red little pitchers above are around the size of a decent potato. I’ve got no idea how they are doing so well in Amsterdam’s climate, and I wonder how many people have stuck their fingers in them to necessitate signage. Probably lots.

think that’s going to be all that is on the docket today. I’ve got a ton of stuff to do for work, and already spent close to nine hours wandering the city so spending the rest of the day in front of my computer seems pretty OK.