A M S T E R D A M
On a spring day
Adjacent to the centre of Amsterdam, just about a 15 minutes walk from Grand Central Station, lies the lively Westerpark neighbourhood. During springtime the ‘sakura’, the Japanese cherry blossom, blooms in the Westerpark. I adore the ‘pink clouds on sticks’. They are an absolute feast for the eyes: Spring in ‘optima forma’. @plndm and I decided to go and shoot there, before people would lay down their picknick blankets to enjoy another glorious day. We didn’t regret it.
A flowering cherry tree
I was surprised to notice green big noisy birds on the branches, hiding between the flowers. Until that visit to the park I was completely unaware of the fact that Amsterdam is home to green parakeets (!) living in the wild. Because urban areas are warmer, the parakeets easily survive. Recent surveys suggest that there are now over 4000 in Amsterdam!
Over the years several urban legends have circulated around Amsterdam attesting to the birds’ origins. One story states that a kind-hearted old woman living on Overtoom decided to free a mating pair in Vondelpark, where they quickly multiplied, while another claims that a truck carrying hundreds of exotic birds overturned in Amsterdam, allowing its cargo to escape from captivity. A more recent theory suggests that the first generation of parakeets were originally owned by an American company based in Amsterdam-West. According to this hypothesis, whilst relocating to new offices elsewhere in the Netherlands, this firm failed to properly attend to their menagerie and accidentally released hundreds of birds upon Amsterdam.
Once in Amsterdam we had to stroll through the Jordaan district after our photoshoot in the Westerpark. The Jordaan lies close to the park. The name of the district is supposed to come from the French word for garden: Jardin. Many streets in this area are named after plants and flowers. However, others say it is named after the Jordan-river, because of the many Jews that fled to Amsterdam and lived in the area.
It used to be a poor area, but nowadays it is known for its beautiful houses, nice restaurants and original shops. We had lunch and drank a latte at Il Tramazzino (Tramazzino means ‘sandwich’ in Italian) in the Haarlemmerstraat.
And finally, after being on my wishlist for ages, we visited Atelier Sukha. Sukha is a cosy flagshipstore in the heart of Amsterdam. Everything they sell – from fashion to furniture and from accessories to art – comes with a complementary dose of Sukha. Sukha means ‘joy of life’ in Sanskrit. The atelier stands for sustainable production and takes great care in selecting unique items that are handmade from natural materials and are often locally designed. Definitely worth a visit!
What I love about the Jordaan is the pure original Amsterdam feeling. Normal life of the locals is very visible: you hear the screaming kids on the school yard, you see old ladies with small doggies do their groceries or sit in front of their houses. It’s touristy but not as touristy as for example The Wallen (red light) district, in which you can walk over the heads of people and can not escape the smell of weed.
Thank you Amsterdam
... for this wonderful spring day! On days like these I am crazy in love with you. Like to see the other Amsterdam in a Steller story? Click here! More photo’s on Instagram. #amsterdam #europe #citytrip #travel #spring #blossom #cherryblossom #sakura #stellerstories #westerpark #jordaan #netherlands #holland #thenetherlands #lente #travelguide