AUGUST 8, 2014
I was in Amsterdam earlier this June and can say with certainty, this is my kind of place. The literal families on bikes, the canals, and conceptual design galore! I love how committed Amsterdam is to biking culture; it seems to be the main mode of transportation (a city after my own heart)…so I hopped right on. Biking in Amsterdam was seriously crazy- even for this veteran New York City commuter. It’s not even the cabs that will run you over, it’s the OTHER bikers! Regardless of the two wheel onslaught, I pedaled around taking picture after picture of all the inspiration Amsterdam has to offer.
There is an innate dedication to art and design, which you can really see throughout the city, in the people, the food, and the myriad design stores. While Amsterdam is definitely an old city with beautiful historic architecture set on a grid of canals, it also encompasses several modern elements and a forward-thinking approach. You see it in everything from the way they reduce, reuse and recycle, to their city planning. The contradiction of old-city with modernity is everywhere- we stayed at the Conservatorium, a gorgeous hotel located in an old conservatory, bringing forward design to historic architecture. There is so much unique design talent, offering an endless pool of inspiration, from the Droog Design collective and their take on DIY culture, to truly amazing contemporary artist jewelry. I picked up a few bangles, woven textiles, small gifts for the home, and even found an umbrella holder for my bike!