Renting an apartment in a strange city is always a shot in the dark. You locate the area on a map, check for amenities in the area and hope for the best. This choice turned out to be excellent in terms of location, especially for anyone who loves open air markets and streets full of food shops only a short walk away. Only two blocks from the Noorderkerk’s Organic Market (open Saturdays for food and Sundays for crafts) made this a good location and when we arrived we discovered that on Saturdays another market is held one block away on Lindengracht. Two street markets in the neighborhood made this location unique and convenient.
The apartment owner, Kate Wilkinson gave us easy directions on getting from the train station to the apartment. It was close enough to walk, otherwise you could find a taxi at the station. The apartment is at least 5 blocks from public transportation, with the exception of a local small bus that stops at Noorderkerk, but I personally never saw it, nor did I spot the stop. The closest tram line is blocks away at Westerkerk. No matter, I stocked up the larder at the Lindengracht market with little difficulty.
The apartment was compact, but efficient and as an added bonus, there was a small deck with a table and chairs. It was comfortably furnished and Kate even left cereal and eggs for breakfast. The stairs to the 2nd storey apartment were classically Dutch, steep and winding, but they were a feature I was looking forward to our nephew experiencing for himself. I fondly remembered steep steps on my first visit to Amsterdam. The apartment is meant for one to two people, but Kate provided a thin box spring and mattress so we could add a third person. Our nephew didn’t mind this arrangement which would not be optimal for an older adult. We were grateful for the accommodation.
Bicycle rentals were available at Frederic in the neighborhood, along the Brouwersgracht Canal, known for its warehouse converted homes. After returning home and looking at older photographs, I realized that I had spent more time photographing on this particular canal than on any other during our last trip. It is truly lovely. On Haarlemmerstraat, 3 blocks away, you can find many food shops catering to European ex-patriots of other EU countries, as well as locals. I think you could stay in this neighborhood for weeks and still not see everything it has to offer.