Visiting Amsterdam 2010

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Going to Amsterdam? There are alternatives to Anne and Vincent. I recently went to Amsterdam and found that the old guidebooks (from 2000 and 2009) weren’t quite up to date and that several museums are under reconstruction, so an update for tourist prospects might be warranted.

I didn’t visit the Rijksmuseum but it seems to undergo some kind of repair. Also the contemporary art museum Stedelijk is rebuilding. A new wing is not yet finished, but you can get into the old part for the price of some Euros. On the ground floor I first felt cheated: One part of the exhibition is just showing mostly empty rooms so we can have “an opportunity to directly experience the luminous, gracefully proportioned gallery spaces themselves” as they write. Well, at least you can look on the other tourists. Upstair are, however, some showoffs. One Barbara Kruger has decorated a room with big black and white words on the walls and the floor. Job Koelewijn has stolen a visual illusion which I believe is called rotating snakes that works from the peripheral drift illusion as far as I understand. The original thing about Koelewijn’s work is that he made it on the floor of the museum with colored sand. One guidebook (if I remember correctly) indicated that a temporary Stedelijk was located around Oosterdok, but no Stedelijk could be found there. Stedelijk was where it usually is. The Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum was closed.

There are several attraction with no entry fee. The new fancy library is east of the central station designed by Jo Coenen has great view over Amsterdam, cosy chairs and posh interior. The NEMO science museum has a staircase roof, also with a good view. Also in the area of Oosterdok is the new concert hall Muziekgebouw designed by 3XN. It had a small (temporary?) exhibition of strange sound producing art installations. The path under one of the bridges towards the new concert hall has also a sound installation. One small possibly interesting museum, that I don’t recall the name or location on, was closed.

Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis in Grimburgwal 2 is lonelyplaneted and a very small pancake-servering café. Morlang café restaurant at Keizersgracht 451 could provide lunch. The channels are still there.

(24/28 september 2010: Typo correction)

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