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BNE September/October 2016 |



tanding at Amsterdam Centraal Station facing the city, there’s

a world of canals, 17th century canal houses, museums and

bicycles in front of me. The long avenue at Damrak is full of

tourists venturing south towards Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the

city museums, on foot, trams and bicycles. It’s a scene familiar to anyone

who has visited the Dutch capital, but to see a different side of the city, I

go through to the back of the train station, to the river rather than the city

side, to take the ferry across the River IJ to Amsterdam Noord.

I’ve rented a bike and as I wheel it onto the ferry for the short crossing

to Buiksloterwegveer, I can already see Amsterdam’s coolest new space,

the A’DAMToren, on the opposite river bank. It was once the Shell

Overhoeks tower until the company moved its offices and labs out of

the area many years ago and now, after a couple of years of renovation,

the tower is home to an observation deck on the 22nd floor, a revolving

restaurant, Moon, and a top-floor sky bar and restaurant, Ma’dam, that

turns into a nightclub after dark.

As well as being one of the city’s coolest party spaces, it’s one of the few

places to get a bird’s eye view of the city, a view which will also be popular

with guests of the new 108-room hotel, Sir Adam, which is set to open in

the tower in November. Its interiors pay homage to the local music and art

scene with Crosley turntables in each room, mirrors etched with lyrics and

works by local artists.

Just a few minutes beyond A’DAMToren, I arrive at EYE, the national

film museum of the Netherlands which is hard to miss on the waterfront

space and appears as a different shape from every angle. Named after the

River IJ (pronounced like ‘eye’), EYE has four cinemas with regular new

releases and screenings but the highlight is an archive on the lower level

with more than 37,000 titles on file. I sit in a free booth and start browsing

the selection, everything from documentaries to full-length vintage

features, and realise the hours can easily start to slip away but there’s still

more to see. Also on the lower level is Panorama, an exhibition on the

history of film, with some green-screen interactive exhibits. I round off

my visit with a coffee on the riverside terrace bar, admiring the river views

before setting off to explore more of Amsterdam Noord.

I go back to Centraal Station and take the ferry again further up river to

NDSMWharf (it’s not far to cycle from the EYE but the ferry is free and

it’s a pleasant trip for cyclists and walkers). The old shipyard has become

The EYE is a feat of modern architecture, yet

inside it houses a massive archive of films and

cinema memorabilia dating back to 1895

Above: EYE, the national film museum of the

Netherlands. Right: Canal houses