Wednesday 2 June 2010

Exploring North Amsterdam: N of Ij, W of Ij-Tunnel, up to Vliegenbos

[Post published by Liviu on Liviu's [in Netherlands] Blog]

23rd of May: Another sunny day, but not that hot.

The area of North Amsterdam - N of Ij, W of Ij-Tunnel, up to Vliegenbos - is what I call a classic urban area, perfect for training one's exploring skills.
There's no reward, i.e. nothing awesome to talk about, just bits and pieces that make sense only to city passionate people (like me). You have to see, hear and feel all details - and even then most people will get bored.

It's a cocktail of everything:
  • narrow streets, which seem very intimate
  • normal streets
  • stairs that link streets, e.g. Hoekschewaardweg with Nieuwendammerdijk
  • the tunnel under the Ij it's highway style, with 3 lanes per way. The new North-South metro line has its tunnel coming to surface in the middle of this highway, after the highway tunnel has reached surface, with a station planned just between the 2 ways of the highway
  • at times dirty
  • there's a general feeling it's less organized
  • at times poor houses show up
  • industrial zones
  • normal parks
  • forest-like parks, i.e. W.H. Vliegenbos
Therefore, this cocktail of everything but nothing awesome (1) demands patience and (2) requires one not to expect any rewards - the most 2 important attitudes an explorer needs in order to make awesome discoveries (when such discoveries are to be found/made :D).

As I said, perfect for training one's exploring skills.

Anyway, let me get you bored now:

The Ij-Tunnel: cool all the way from the point it reaches the surface up to the northest point of Noordpark.

W.H. Vliegenbos: forest-like park
It really looks like a forest, i.e. there are:
  • many huge & old trees
  • alleys with good pavement
  • alleys with bad pavement
  • muddy narrow paths connecting the alleys
  • very small canals suitable only for the ducks (there are no geese or swans or seagulls)
From time to time there's that "I'm in the middle of a swamp" feeling.

Noordpark: small, but nice
The benches have a really cool design.

Hoekschewaardweg and Nieuwendammerdijk streets are linked by some stairs.
Nieuwendammerdijk is very-very narrow.

View Netherlands (by Liviu) in a larger map


Visit this area only if you like to train yourself for urban exploring. Otherwise it will get you more nervous than rush hour traffic.
Expect nothing, just look around for the small details.

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