My friend Helena and I realized that we had not “done” any shopping in Amsterdam Leidsestraat yet. Which was easily put right. So in my holiday, we set out to make this documentary. All in the course of good journalism. And in your interest. Purely professional. Nothing to do with actual shopping. It was the story, the pictures we were after. Yeah … right…. so much for that plan. It was an expensive day. I must try and find another Amsterdam angle. Any suggestions dear readers?
This is the area Leidsestraat. Where the red line is:But first we went to Keizersgracht number 324. There is this beautiful building, Felix Meritis. Built in the 18th century to promote art like music and science like physics, which Jan, blogger of Fort Smith Stylista would have highly appreciated, I am sure. See below: They now have a new agenda to bring back some life to it. A fun café / restaurant, fashion and books/art. We went in for the fashion in the pop-up store on the first floor. (I know, I know… shallow.) The presentation of the clothes in this way is fantastic. What a background. See below:
Below: how could I have known they would sell such a classic summer (and in-between-seasons-) coat at such an affordable price? But I know a good thing when I see it and it went home with me. Come to mama, baby.
The fact that there are so many good things and deals in the world, is very disturbing for me as I do not have a hold on myself. Cannot find the handle to switch to STOP. Feeling soooo guilty over my spending behaviour as there are so many better things to do with money. I haven’t solved this dilemma.OK, enough whining without a cause and on to the second floor where there were art and books at Frame. (You see? We did some cultural stuff.. LOL) See below:On our way to Leidsestraat we passed a nice interior designer shop at Keizersgracht 502: Dols&Co. Very classic, very good quality. Just a bit hard to take home when you are here from abroad. Below their window: From Keizersgracht to Leidsestraat. On the corner of Leidsestraat and Keizersgracht is another famous building which used to be the home of a big and chic department store called Metz (you see their sign on top of the building). See below:They had a restaurant at their top floor with the best view over the city. Unfortunately it is now a Abercrombie & Fitch store. ALL FLOORS. So it is loud, dark and you nearly suffocate from the perfume (their own)… brrr. Not for us, thank you. Two houses down this building on Keizersgracht 447 is a shop called Young Designers United. Which is what it says. A shop where young designers get a rack to sell their clothes. See below:You will find unique pieces at an affordable price. I have left quite a bit of money there over the years. Amongst others a black poncho (bored with it now) and a red sweater with a funky belt. This time I fell for a finely knitted black top. You are going to see it one day. See below for the inside of the store:Below: time for lunch next door at Whalem (Keizersgracht 449):We sat inside as the weather was a bit funny. Cloudy but warm. It didn’t rain all day and it wasn’t cold either as you can see from their canal terrace across the road (below). We were just fussy.People who love organic food can have a nice lunch at Greenwoods, Keizersgracht 465(below). See the link for all the information and menu.And we headed to the bottom of Leidsestraat, called Leidseplein. Very well-known, very lively. The red building you see below is the Stadstheater (City Theater). There are more theaters in this area.And terraces..And I love this building below (Hirsch). On the ground floor is an official Apple store with a Genius bar:Below: Leidsestraat itself is not such an interesting street, but every 100 meters you cross one of these beautiful canals (below).Back into Leidsestraat from Leidseplein going up towards Singel. First place we went into was Raak. On the corner of Prinsengracht and Leidsestraat (number 79); below:I could have known I would never walk out of there empty-handed. They have such lovely brands. Including one of my favourites: Marlene Birger. Sure enough.. I bought a light blue blouse which I love (see this post). For those who cannot visit them… Raak sells online. I only glanced at their website and then quickly clicked away as there were so many nice things. I am afraid the photo below (part of their shop) doesn’t do them justice. (I still have so much to learn.) Below: I resisted this shoe shop, called Paul Warmer at number 41, and patted myself on the back for that. Below: we went to Cos at number 20-22, the big sister of H&M, always great fashion items for a friendly price. To me their fashion is very much like Acne. Below: at Cos I spotted this wonderfully dressed woman and asked whether I could take her picture for my blog. I am always pleasantly surprised if people say yes. This lady reminded me of the discussion at 40+Style about celebrating women with(short) grey hair instead of dyed hair.Below: nearly next door at number 16 is Pauw, a high-end brand which I used to frequent, but not so much anymore. Blogging is changing my style.Further down is a big store by Hugo Boss at number 1-3 (below). Nice with lots of good clothes but a little stuck up. I don’t really feel comfortable there.If you turn right at the top of Leidsestraat, into Singel, you will find the Flower market (below).Moving along,.. back to Keizersgracht and the shop where my coat was waiting for me to be picked up (why carry it if you know you will pass the shop on your way back eh?). We found some fantastic glass work at the Braggiotti Gallery (Singel 424); below:Below: in the meantime I caught Helena off guard haha.. She is a very friendly, lovable woman but she looks very severe in this picture……. while I was taking another canal picture. Are these pictures starting to bore you by now? Tell me and I’ll stop taking them.Below, at the end of our trip, back to the station (and Helena’s bike as the lucky devil lives in Amsterdam), we saw another beautiful lady who was dressed the way I want to be dressed. The shoes…. envy..:Below: back home in Haarlem I spotted these hollyhocks, completely covering a bicycle stand. People in that street rather “park” their bike somewhere else than destroying this lovely flower. That warms my heart.So please tell me what you want to “see” of Amsterdam other than shopping. Or do these shopping sprees still captivate you?