Guest Post: Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum

Let’s see what is happening at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam via Solidliquids. Solidliquids never stops exploring what is around her. She is based in Amsterdam and always has a pulse on what is happening in the city. Enjoy! 

The Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk , and the Van Gogh Museum are some of Amsterdam’s most recognised museums.  Less famous but not less interesting is the Tropenmuseum (The Tropical Museum). This museum shares insightful stories about the huge cultural diversity to be found around the world.  It is a museum about people.

Currently the Tropenmuseum has three special exhibitions alongside their permanent collection that are worth checking out:  Cool Japan, The Bitter Chocolate, and Africa Fashion Cities (sadly ending Jan 6th). 

The Cool Japan exhibition is all about the world’s fascination with everything associated with Japan.  This particular exhibit is broken into small installations.  Two highlights are Kawaii and Otaku.  The Kawaii installation focuses on the growing protest among girls rebelling against the pressure to growing up, working hard, and conforming to the strict demands of society.  Hello Kitty known throughout the world and one you are most likely familiar with represents the commercial success that developed from this rebellion.  Now known throughout Japan as a Kawaii icon. 

The gallery of Otaku is a cozy Japanese corner that is set up for you to experience on a small-scale what it would be like if you were to attend a con.  Otaku was once a term of abuse, but now it is embraced as a nickname similar to what we refer to a “nerd” or “geek”.  The devoted fans to this culture spend hours gaming, reading, watching, and participating in the development of cultural products.   

The Bitter Chocolate exhibit reveals the ugly story of child labour on chocolate plantations.  Fifteen children share their compelling stories and it will change the way you look at chocolate forever!

Bitter Chocolate

The African Fashion Cities is an impressive exhibit told through the eyes of fashion experts from Africa and The Netherlands.  Visitors explore the lively and diverse fashion scenes that shake up the world of fashion.  Local stylists share their perspectives on what drives local styles.  Additionally there are videos of local retailers, photographers, and bloggers from different regions that share their design stories.  One example is the brother and sister team behind 2ManySiblings. They take you to a market in Nairobi where they buy and restyle second-hand designers clothes.   

The Fashion exhibition features creations by The Sartists, a multidisciplinary creative collective from Johannesburg, Said Mahrouf, a Moroccan-Dutch designer, and Maki Oh, an African based fashion label appreciated by Beyonce and Michelle Obama.  By the way did you know Maki Oh’s designer Amaka Osakwe’s inspiration for her Spring 2019 collection came from hanging out in hole-in-the-wall joints know as Bukas in Lagos, Nigeria?  It also happens to be Amaka’s hometown, where these Bukas are typically run by women.  Check out her latest collection.

Amazing! Beautiful! Inspiring!

This is just a peek into Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum.  It is a rich and grand museum that stimulates curiosity. Just exploring the website will capture your interest.  A collection of installations that will draw you in through interaction and personal stories. The Tropenmuseum is worldly and one to experience if you find yourself in Amsterdam.  A hidden treasure!

(All images and videos are from the Tropenmuseum)

Eye on WANDLER

 

All eyes when something hails from Amsterdam and made in Italy.  Hello WANDLER!  For the past year or so isostilo has been following and admiring the cool as hell handbags you are delivering.  So refreshing to see a new spin on classic shapes and styles.  Most of all COLOR!  Hallelujah for the risk takers that crave a bit of something different and unique.  Luxury, chic, and a bit outside the box.  You are rocking my world.  Never too early to start a Christmas wish list!  All pics from WANDLER . BTW four times a year a collection is released so you are bound to fall in love with one of WANDLER’s gems.

How About Amsterdam?!

Amsterdam is full of lovely cafes, places to explore, and streets to stroll.  I have chosen a few places to share that I really enjoy.  One can spend hours if not a full day in the Museum Quarter strolling though the well-known museums of Amsterdam.  You have your choice of The Rijks Museum, Van Gogh Museum, The Stedelijk Museum, and The Moco Museum.  Each one offering a peaceful place to sit and take in the magnitude of this area.  My favorite place to meet a friend and sip a drink is at The Rijks Museum.  In the winter one can sit inside the museum or in the warmer months the outdoor garden is stunning!  I always find myself spending a small window of time in this area especially on a sunny day.  FYI, within a short stroll one can walk to fashionable PC Hoofstraat for luxury shopping.

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With a blue sky, This area just becomes electric

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Rijks Museum, pass through by bike, by foot but one must take in the beauty of this 10 year renovation project!

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Time to recharge with some mint tea and apple pie

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Inside the Rijks Museum,  a perfect cafe to meet friends with an exceptional view.

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A lovely garden outside the Rijks Museum. My favorite place to sip a drink and enjoy the peacefulness.  In the summer you will find free art classes for children and adults to join.

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Stedelijk Museum

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Moco Museum

Here is a place to linger, chill and rest in between strolling The Jordaan neighborhood and De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets).  Hotel bars are relatively a newish thing for Amsterdam.  I am digging the Amsterdam spin to them.  The Lotti’s at The Hoxton Hotel is a hot spot for locals and tourists located on the Herengracht.  It has a welcoming vibe that offers cozy and comfortable places to sip a drink and nibble on some food.  Honestly a place that you can find yourself hours later departing.  Love a new place to add to my long list of places to enjoy.

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How welcoming is this vibe?! Lotti’s at The Hoxton is a place to hang with the locals. I really love the casual and cozy interior.  Check out the ottomans that one can pull up to any table to join the party.

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Places to lounge and chill, solo or with friends are both optimal.  Soft lighting and moody tones create an inviting space.

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One of the many details that caught my eye.  The brick background with the cluster of hanging lights is striking upon entering.

Next is an alternative posh spot.  I am a huge fan of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders! He has designed the Andaz Amsterdam Hotel with a Alice In Wonderland theme.  There is no detail that he has not thought of or delivered.  Delft Blue is prominent and complimented by the over sized furnishings that creates a playful twist.  The Andaz is hip and modern.  It offers a cool lounge area for all to enjoy.  A perfect place for tea time or cocktail hour!  It is worth just popping in to experience this interior masterpiece and be surrounded by everything Dutch.  If you need a place to stay, I wouldn’t hesitate booking this hotel.

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Andaz Amsterdam, perfect place to relax anytime of day!

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The stunning work of Marcel Wanders

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The little details of decor

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Swivel in this over sized chair and embrace the playfulness of Marcel Wanders.

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Flower Power

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Court yard view of Alice In Amsterdam

Here are two lovely additions that I enjoyed and are in close proximity to each other.  The Secret Church, Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Soder located in the Red Light Distract of Amsterdam is a must see.  I never knew that Amsterdam at one time was filled with secret churches that were hidden in private homes and canal houses.  This occurred during a period of political and religious changes in the early 17th century.  This particular church I visited was housed in a wealthy merchant canal house.  One gets to tour the canal house and the church.  It is so amazing to travel back in time and experience how people lived back then.  The museum does a lovely job explaining the history of this canal house through an audio guide.  So many gems to explore and delighted I had the opportunity to learn more about the rich history that makes this city so special.

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The Sacred Church

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One of the many windows through out the canal house.  The old tile still in tact.

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A typical steep staircase know throughout Amsterdam. The curve of the staircase is such craftsmanship that the Dutch are know and admired.

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Interior Details

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The tiles tell a story

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Natural light given the opportunity to grace the space

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Beautiful view from the top floor

Nacarat, a city oasis located in the hustle and bustle of Dam Square.  A roof top restaurant in the new Hudson’s Bay offering a fresh take on Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine. The views of the city are stunning along with the impressive and creative use of glass.  A very Missoni feel through the play of patterns, color tones of pink, orange, and green while walking on the mosaic flooring makes the restaurant feel posh with a casual twist through the street food inspired menu.  One feels miles away from the tourist packed center but by the end of your meal you are ready to rejoin the fast-moving city.

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Natural light at the Nacarat

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Every corner has an elegant place to take in the city views

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Stunning roof top dining offering an oasis in the city. Take in the interior details of this space ( the textures, colors, patterns and use Of natural light).

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Middle Eastern street food enjoyed at Nacarat. The food is as colorful as the interior with a non fussy feel.

Amsterdam is an easy city to move around.  Walking is my preferred way to move around the city with riding a bike a close second. Walking allows you to feel the city and embrace its charm.  Biking gets you places quickly with a sense of freedom peddling from one place to another. As you quickly appreciate how Amsterdamers move along in their everyday life.  The tram is efficient and dry when it is raining.  You decide what is best for you!

Nacarat 

Lotti’s 

Andaz Amsterdam

Loods 5 , Amsterdam

Take a short drive out of Amsterdam to explore Loods 5, a massive furniture store located in a warehouse setting.  You can find everything you need for your home.  It has a similar feel to an Ikea with its grand space but with a pop up esque feel offering everything from Eames to local designers.  Loods 5 is a place to draw inspiration.  I love how they create themed spaces.  Have a coffee and a bite then stroll along to explore everything from furniture, home accessories, to your everyday lifestyle needs.  You will find something to walk away with and you will leave with fun ideas to spruce up your space!  One stop shopping baby at it’s best.

Here are a few examples of larger furnishings that speaks to the Dutch shoppers (me included!) and what is currently trending.  Loods 5 showcases many lines but here are a few recognizable designers that I explored: Eames, Hay, Muuto, Vitra, Fermob and their own in-house line, Design 5.

 

Spent hours just strolling the endless home accessories.  Why is it that when one travels you marvel at others offerings?  I always find myself saying “we just don’t have this at home!)  The truth is I really do hunt out places and stores to experience when I travel.  I welcome the opportunity to actually touch and see those finds that I have admired from a far (online).  I also like to understand the aesthetic that speaks to that culture.  I get inspired by other people and the way of life that can be so different from my day-to-day.  So I was snapping away while in Loods 5.  It doesn’t mean I have to buy or replicate it.  It just means I appreciate another lens to look through when comes style.

Having experienced Amsterdam with a new-born, I had immediately fell in love with the Dutch aesthetics for children.  I grew an appreciation for their parenting styles, family Sunday rituals of spending time in a park, to only needing the necessary gadgets to survive those young years.  I still have a soft spot for the lovely, sweet, and well designed children’s furniture, toys, and accessories that are found in Holland.  I have held on to all the Dutch treasure that I collected for my son.  They hold memories of a time and place for me.  So exploring the curated pieces of Loods 5 for children made me smile!

Check out Loods 5!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For The Guy And Gal In The Dam

The Amsterdam posts are still flowing!  Baskets, a new shop for me that I stumbled upon while exploring on foot.  Here is the deal, when I tank up on coffee it just leads to hours of exploring.  Baskets catches your eye with its garage door like entrance.  It allows you to have glimpse into a beautiful and bright environment from the street.  I love street wear and street culture and this shop showcases it in a wearable way.  This is a mens shop but has lots of unisex pieces or as my girlfriend says “snackable pieces”.  I could have easily walked out with a few elevated basics for my husband or a beanie (can’t have to many:), hoody or kicks for myself.  I will keep this place in my memory bank of places to revisit.

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Kicks, scented candles, a hoody and that’s at first glance. I’m sucker for industrial looking boutiques that are minimal

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I have a sneaker fetish

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“Snackable Pieces”

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Simple

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Beanie Time!

Check out Baskets for yourself.  It is always a fun way to gain style inspiration.

Bellerose

Welcome to the Bellerose store in Amsterdam.  A Belgian company that offers stylish, well crafted, and playful basics for the whole family.  I love that the branding is subtle and not obvious.  The store itself is worth the experience.  The environment is welcoming, warm, and encourages you to wonder around.  The store is spacious, allowing the clothing to stand out.  There is no clutter, no over packed shelves, and every garment is visible.  I enjoyed just browsing and easily could have made some purchases:) but I didn’t.

Bellerose
A Store For The Whole Family

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Beautiful And Uncluttered

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Simple Basics But Playful Yet With Feminine And Masculine Detailing

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Cozy Atmosphere With Creative Ways To Display The Merchandise

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Lightly Arranged Pieces That Play Off Each Other. Love The Raw Wall Background And Concrete Flooring

Check out Bellerose online or pop into one if you have the opportunity.

Coffee & Coconuts

I have to share a super fun coffee spot (of course!) in Amsterdam.  Coffee & Coconuts, a former cinema is located in the de Pijp district.  The brick wall interior is softened by large wooden communal tables, cozy cushioned lounge spaces, and filled with greens.  I have total plant envy (note to self to create a home jungle)  CC has a delicious and killer menu if you can’t survive on beans.  A perfect place to enjoy by yourself or to gather with friends.  Love it, Love it, Love it!

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Beautiful And Bright Space

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Coffee Station Ready To Grind

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View From The Top

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Liquids Only This Morning. Fresh Smoothie And A Flat White For Me!

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Yes, I Am going To Snap A Pic

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Birthday Coffees! Happy Birthday Donna

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I Think This Is The Ladies Bathroom.  Nice Coconuts:)

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Smile! So Clever

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I Think I’m Delirious From The Lack Of Sleep. But This Smoothie Is Bringing Me Back Around