I live in Amsterdam Oost, pronounced “oast,” meaning east. Before I arrived, I read a small amount about the area. From what I could make of it, there would be a few places to eat and maybe a museum or two. And since I would not be living in the heart of central Amsterdam, I gathered I would not make it into any of the cooler kid circles. But cool kids or not, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the Oost.
My block is quiet. With the exception of a heavy-footed upstairs neighbor, I have yet to hear any noise at night. Yet, I’m quite close to pretty much everything I would need. Across the street there is a ‘Comfort Cafe,’ which, although I haven’t tried it yet, is exactly what I need to be across the street from me. On the next block, a store exists for everything I can imagine needing, from the general grocery store, to a pet store, and then to a black hair products store. At the end of that block, I’m at Dapperstraat, which hosts a market Monday-Saturday. A couple of years ago, National Geographic voted it one of the top 10 markets in the world. And it’s just about a block away.
I walk another long block and I have arrived at NiNsee, an organization that I would pay money to work or volunteer or research or whatever for (I was so excited to stumble upon it). Across the street is the entrance to Oosterpark. Water, trees, birds, dogs, happy people. My own personal park. I’m in love. After walking through the park, I discovered the Tropenmuseum (Tropics Museum). Haven’t visited yet. But it looks like a gem.
In addition to these finds, there are a number of cafes, evening stores (read: bodega or corner store), and yes, even coffee shops. I came home one night, ran out to the store for some water, went down the street for some herbal refreshments, and I was home again in less than five minutes.
Again, I’m in love. And it’s with the Oost. Cool kids better recognize.