Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day on Harlemmerstraat

Harlemmerdijk and Harlemmerstraat, Amsterdam
On February 14, 2012, I took a nostalic, romantic Valentine's Day stroll and saunter down a tiny shopping street in Amsterdam. The street has every tiny shop imaginable. If in Amsterdam, walk it. You too will be charmed.

The street is full of specialty stores. Some so special that it is hard to catch them open. Chique de Friemel is full of quirky, odd, retro kitchen and household items. It's only open on Friday and Saturday, not very early, not very late and not very often.

 Plenty of special shoes and shoe shops for the daring and boring or barefoot.

 Not just a bookstore, but a cookbook store. De Kookboekhandel, a shop that sells only cookbooks.

The Movies usually shows artsy, award winning films that don't play very long in the big theaters.

Amsterdam is also cupcake crazed. De Tafel van 18 (Table for 18) offers cupcake equipment and cutesy novelty cookie cutters shaped like a skull or a marijuana leaf.

The Grapedistrict is one of the many wine shops in the street. Grapedistrict is on the trendy side with a sparkling clean, colorful interior. Others seem more old worldly with dark brown wood and dust on the bottles. I've heard you can buy spray dust for effect.

For the artist wannabe, you can buy a paint brush in an art shop. Buy completed art from a little studio or the second hand shop. Or pause and enjoy the street art for free.

Two women having a wedding photo shoot at the Posthoornkerk (Posthoorn Church). They were drawing a small, intrigued crowd. After I took this picture, they shouted "Come closer and get a better picture." I was not sure if they were being rude or sarcastic or sincere. I went anyway. I got the next shot.
Meet Newlyweds Vivien and Juut. Later, we met the Valentine's Day couple in their street clothes. They were flattered and thrilled with all the attention from voyeurs like me.

Harlem is a soul food restaurant with maybe 8 tables and a cat. It's on the corner, a great spot for people gazing, food grazing or just sitting and reading magazines and sipping on fresh mint tea. You will always be sitting extremely close to someone or the cat.

Barney's is a world famous coffeeshop. No coffee. No shopping. But a marijuana menu for mostly world travelers. Although this is the last picture, this is not how we ended the day. Next time.

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