The city’s biggest flea market is hosted the first weekend of each month in and around a gigantic warehouse in the industrial area of NDSM in Amsterdam Noord. I love to snuff around the hundreds of stalls to find unusual props. Taking the boat to cross the IJ and leaving the old centre behind is very refreshing. Make sure to also have a drink in Noorderlicht while the sun sets.
Ij Hallen/Ndsm/Noorderlicht, Ij Hallen, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Current city: Amsterdam
Simon Wald-Lasowski (Paris, 1980) is a freelance photographer and art director. He makes colorful, fun, twisted work by use of bricolage, word play and ‘cliché bending’. Lighthearted at first sight, his images often reveal a certain depth on second inspection. His approach is always very personal, which blur the boundaries between autonomous and commissioned work. He lives in Amsterdam and graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2004 as a graphic designer. Occasionally he also works as a Wedding MC.

More Places in Amsterdam 92

The Amstel river is the main river of Amsterdam. Around 1200 they build a dam in the river and that was the birth of Amsterdam (or Amstelredamme as it was called back then). This dam is now situated under the Dam square, the central square of the city. If you bike from the old city center to the south along the banks of the Amstel, as I do every day on my way to my studio, the city opens up and gives way to a lot of space. If you follow the river it will take you out of town more quickly then you'd expect since it is surrounded by a green corridor that get's larger and greener as you exit the city. In less then half an hour bike trip from the old city you can find yourself in juicy green pastures between grazing cows and sheep. Only the airplanes heading in and out of Schiphol Airport will remind you that the city is near.
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The best place to read a book outside or inside one of the greenhouses and be surrounded by all of these different species of nature.
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The Oostvaardersdijk is huge dike that protect the polder of Flevoland from being flooded. It's near the city of Almere that was founded in 1975 on the just recovered land of the Flevopolder. It is a great place to see the skyline of Amsterdam and look out over the Markermeer, the former Zuiderzee. When you turn around you can look down in the polder on an impressive group of modern windmills, in the distance you see the city of Almere. This is Holland at it's core: endless flats with the endless skies you know from Seventeenth century painting. You can drive the Oostvaardersdijk north to Lelystad and cross the lake to Enkhuizen and back to Amsterdam. On the way you drive past Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve, a large area of marshes and wild land in the Flevopolder, where they introduced wild horses and prehistoric cattle.
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I've always been inspired by old industrial buildings like factories, but unfortunately such buildings have become rather rare in the Netherlands. At the moment you can still find some of the remains of the old harbour of Amsterdam called the ‘NDSM werf’ on the other side of the river ‘IJ,’ but this area seems to be in transition as well. For the time being the NDSM werf is a creative place where a lot of activities are taking place. The best part for me is the 'Y-helling' to enjoy the (modest) skyline of Amsterdam and to write graffiti.

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Just a fantastic spot on the edge of the city. Its connection of the Amsterdam-Rijn Canal to the IJ, Amsterdam’s big open water, that was once part of the North Sea, but now dammed in by the Dutch. Sometimes it’s just a relief to leave the prettiness and the cuteness of the Amsterdam canals behind and experience some space. Few people come out here and in summertime it’s just a delightful spot to have a picnic and watch the boats come in.
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