One more reason why I’d like to like coffee

I had this one as a draft for at least five weeks, thought of writing about Stumptown Coffee Roasters before paying a visit to at least one. Life happened and I didn’t blog for a bit, but I’m back! A little while ago Wieden+Kennedy tweeted about a New York Times post on a popular, American coffee place opening a pop-up shop in Amsterdam, more precisely at creative advertising agency SID LEE. The article made me want to check out the New York Stumptown Coffee Roasters while being there, and so I did (see picture). Awesome place with the coolest people I have seen in a coffee store to date where it seemed that having tattoos was one of the job requirements!

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Ace Hotel (New York)

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Ace Hotel (New York)

Last week I returned from New York and yesterday I checked out Stumptown Coffee Roasters at SID LEE, conveniently located only 5 minutes from my house. Although the place itself is of course SID LEE like I’ve seen it before, it also had the nice vibe as in New York. Not only because the baristas seemed to carry that same cool style, but also because they served good drinks and they were playing some good solid rock. The pop-up shop will be open for three months (until 31st July), so if you have a chance to check it out, do it! You can find it here, they are open from Mon-Sat, between 07.00h-19.00h.

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - at SID LEE (Amsterdam)

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - at SID LEE (Amsterdam)

So coming back to my title, why am I recommending a place where I don’t even like the main product they are selling there? This might seem a bit contradictory, but I love products that are made with care and passion. Stumptown is such a place. And besides that, they serve a really awesome hot chocolate too :) And I did part in their coffee tasting, if you have to learn to appreciate the taste, than I might just do it in the best place around. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could get me to like coffee after three months.

Stumptown Coffee Tasting in Amsterdam

Stumptown Coffee Tasting in Amsterdam

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Pillow Fight Extraordinaire

“Our world is increasingly obsessed with regulations, security and commercialism. This threatens our freedom and creativity. That’s why we must reclaim the streets as a place where everybody can simply have fun – without meddling authorities or corporate sponsors. So grab your pillow and join the massive pillow fight on the Dam Square!”

Pillow Fight Amsterdam 2009

Pillow Fight Amsterdam 2009 (c) martijnsavenije.nl

This is going to be so cool! 3rd of April, I’ll be there. You too?

Who said documentaries are boring?

Last week I was lucky enough to see two really interesting documentaries in Amsterdam. I have to admit that I was late for both of them thanks to my wonderful planning, but I’ve seen more than enough to know they are worth watching.

The first and most amazing was the documentary ‘Let it Ride’ about the legendary Craig Kelly. The documentary shows Craig, his view on snowboarding and life in general. What impressed me the most was the footage of Craig snowboarding in Iran, the first foreign snowboarder ever to do this. While watching you get a hint of what ultimate freedom he must feel when boarding of the most incredible mountains. To me, and I’m a person who doesn’t really like to watch sports in general, it was just amazing. What even made it more magical was the music used to support the documentary, with Björk’s Hyperballad at the end as an absolute favourite. I’ve seen most of the documentary, but I will definitely go back to see it all. If you happen to be in Amsterdam , you should check it out at FOAM. It’s part of a bigger exhibition curated by Ari Marcoupolis – viewable until 16th of June 2010.

Art & Copy Poster

The second documentary I saw was ‘Art & Copy’, which is about advertising and inspiration. On their website they say the following: “it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time — people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry.”  They show all the classics (unfortunately mostly US-based) and also have old footage that gives you almost a Mad Men feeling. I found it interesting to see the development of the advertising industry and how some of the well-known people in advertising think about their work and the industry as whole. If you like advertising in any way, make sure you go to SMART Project Space where the documentary will air until March 30th 2010.

Amsterdam Acoustics

Amsterdam Acoustics LogoI have been following Amsterdam Acoustics since a few months but totally forgot to share this brilliant site. According to the website, Amsterdam Acoustics was started July 2009 to create intimate acoustic sessions with musicians with Amsterdam as a cinematographic background. This has resulted in some really cool videos, which can be viewed here.

Most of the artists are good but not super big (yet!), think of William Fitzsimmons, Peter Bjorn & John, Passion Pit and the likes. The biggest band featured must be The xx, wonder how they got them to join! Below you’ll find their video, an acoustic version of Crystalized. It’s one of my favourite videos and makes me look forward to their sold out show in February!

My fav TEDxAmsterdam talks online!

TEDxAmsterdam logo

On the 20th November, the very first TEDxAmsterdam took place at KIT. On their website they claim the following about the limited group of people who will be able to attend due to a strict invite only policy: “The diverse audience – CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists – is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.” I think there was an extra category created for me, namely ‘lucky bastard’.

Anyway, they finally managed to post the talk I enjoyed the most, which is Bjarke Ingels’ ‘Yes is More‘. Here you’ll also find a beautiful performance by Amsterdam singer Karsu Dönmez, love the second song. One last talk I would really recommend is photographer Hans Aarsman’s about the mysterious ways of beauty in photography

Things I have learned in ’09

As I was sick for a few days I had enough time to think about everything I wanted (and did not want) to think about. Maybe it’s because my first wisdom tooth is coming up, but I also thought about the past year and all that I’ve learned. Of course I have developed myself and learned many life lessons the past year, but I won’t bore you with that. At the end of the year lists seem to appear everywhere, so why not join the herd for once? Below you’ll find a list of – what might appear to be random – things that I learned in 2009. As I said before, there is no such thing as useless knowledge!

–  A DSLR takes much nicer pictures than my old DSC (both Canon)
–  Only Irish whiskey has the extra e (instead of Scottish whisky), which they like to say it stands for enjoyment
Rutger Hauer is a very nice man who likes two sugars in his coffee
– I can’t seem to celebrate carnival without getting sick afterwards
Festivals are still as fun as two years ago
Cats can be pretty damn cute
– I really can call some of  my friends in the middle of the night, and they will pick up
– Dutch people will dress up like anything for free fuel
– Riding around in a shopping card means guaranteed bruises
– Drinking vodka from a detox cup is not good
– Actually, anything coming from a detox cup has made me sick

2009 Graffiti

(c) Peter Koenig

– I still can’t control myself when going into a bookstore
Doel isn’t entirely empty yet
Ze Frank is as funny live as he was on The Show
– Amsterdam is even prettier by night
– Foreign guys somehow still attract me more than Dutch for no apparent reason
–  Work isn’t always as fun and as important as you might think
–  Talking to strangers can be a good thing
–  TEDxAmsterdam was as cool as anticipated
– My little finger size is more an 11 than a 12 (ergo I lost my ring)
– Stop dying my hair actually makes it look better
Twitter is more addictive than one might think
– Stewardess flatmates suck
Sequins weren’t only cool when I was born (in the ’80s)
n8 is really cool, afterparties not so much
– Being the only Dutch in a German/American bachelorette party is fun
– I can do the electric slide like a true middle-aged American
– Gay saunas in Amsterdam are also used for art exhibitions/launch parties
– A trip to Copenhagen showed me that it is still my favourite city in the world (after Amsterdam)
– It’s lonely without friends and family
Paris is not too bad
– Going into crazy rides after drinking a few Maß at Oktoberfest doesn’t make you sick
– You can’t trust millionaire men, even if they have a daughter your own age
–  Things might look bad, but it could always be worse.

Do with this information what you want :-)