14 April, 2014
Nobody knows for sure why that is the name of the neighborhood. The literal translation is “the pipe”, it is told that because of the form of its streets. And as any pipe, it has its own drain. De Pijp finds its drain in the oasis of Sharphatipark, an English-style garden where you get away from the daily bustle.In it, it is easy to see single mothers after school, aesthetes with dog, teenagers wanting to be rappers and the couple of policemen from the neighborhood, of course, by bicycle.
Process, although is familiar to us, is always surprising. It had been a working class neighborhood, if ever with some students and budding artists searching for cheap rentals. Towards the decades of the sixties and seventies of last century, it welcomed a great number of immigrants. Today the neighborhood has become bourgeois. In all these changes, the metamorphosis is very simple: muffins are now called cupcakes, modern people circulate in fixed pinion bicycles, the rim of the glasses fattens and dogs acquire odd shapes: they shrivel dogs, stylize their figure and even have session at the hairdresser, sorry, the hair stylist, and the psychologist.. As if by magic, rents go up a 300 percent and the area acquires a right to be called bohemian.
We now have the island in the middle of the city, competing for the night out between renowned artists and the very neighborhood of Joordan. And when I say the island is not metaphorical, De Pijp is connected to the rest of the city by 16 bridges that pass over the very familiar channels representing the exported image of the Dutch capital. About the renowned artists is not from now. Piet Mondrian founded the magazine De Stijl, which served as a speaker to the eponymous group of artists, in a small study on the channel Ruysdaelkade.
But in the end, what gives personality to the neighborhood is the market called Cuypmarkt Albert and a real United Nations gastronomy distributed throughout the neighborhood, inside discrete premises, with more or less charm. The market has that English style, similar to Notting Hill . A little walking around there and you will become friends with the shopkeeper, the florist will reserve the best tulips, not those sold by weight to tourists, tourists who incidentally rather spend time here. The baker will have the bread ready for doneness that you like and will offer good cheese wedges perfect for taking a wine in good company. The simplicity of the little details. In Albert Cuypmarkt, you may buy everything. We talk about the biggest daily street market in Europe, Amsterdam’s kitchen. You will realize that you are fully integrated when you come down to enjoy the haring (raw herring) with neighbors.
As for restaurants, think about any dish in the world. They say up to 150 nationalities are now living in the neighborhood, many of them with its own place. A thousand of different smells from spices, pad thai, durum or sate. Choose any. Although admittedly that Amsterdam and good food are not close friends, it will be almost impossible to come out of De Pijp without having found your own site. Almost the least of it, anecdotal, is that the neighborhood start in the very touristy Heineken Experience museum, the limit for each side of the neighborhood, the barrier between mass tourism that walks around Leidseplein and bohemian in the hipster garb who stroll through the neighborhood.
By Rafa Pérez from El Fotógrafo Viajero
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14 April, 2014