So, there I was in the European Capital of Sin* all by myself for three days and I thought I would investigate the famously vibrant Amsterdam vinyl scene … who could possibly predict the tangled web of misunderstandings and hilarious scrapes that ensued? still it was nice to make some new friends, even if I don’t share their rather intense hobby**.
So, my son and I were bound for three days in Amsterdam last week, until whilst trying to pull on his skinny jeans at 4.30am he fell and cracked his elbow on the edge of the bath. Ouch. I had 5 minutes to decide whether I stayed, or went abroad by myself for the first time ever. After a brief bit of agonizing, I nervously decided to go for it.
I have been to Amsterdam once before, briefly and it was even more beautiful than I remembered it last week, in soaring February temperatures I might add. I am a big walker and a city explorer and so I reckon I walked almost every square inch of the city centre in my three days. It is great once you get away from the louts guffawing at the naughty bits and start to explore where the locals go.
I arted myself into a frenzy in the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, pretended to be a local browsing the street market in De Pijp and eating fab food in the parks, kicking back and meeting some folk in my favourite canalside bar and gurgling some of the best coffees I have ever tasted. I even took in a couple of films on a wet Wednesday morning. But, this isn’t some kind of travel blog^, what about the good stuff?
Depending on whether you are married to me or not, you’ll either be pleased, or despairing to learn that I had bought my first two LPs within 30 minutes of dropping my bags off at the hotel. There were more I wanted in Velvet Music but I decided two LPs were quite enough for a short holiday.
Anyway, 5 hours later Second Life Music proved to be a real treasure trove and I bought another 4 LPs to complement the rare Cramps 12″ I had bought about an hour before that in Record Palace. Oops.
To generalise everywhere was friendly and chatty; apart from one hipper-than-thou place I didn’t buy anything from*^. I saw more jazz and world music there than you ever see in the UK and a great deal of it more reasonably priced too.
Oh and there’s some of my very favourite art, architecture and parks in Europe there too. As well as great food and drink. But mostly there’s vinyl.
So I’m back and after a very unproductive January / February blog-ically speaking, I better knuckle down and get some MF-ing LPs reviewed.
915 Down (in the canals).
*capital letters just seemed justified there.
**Big 1537 shout-out to ‘Shiny’ Pete, Jurgen and all the guys at Slick Nick’s World of PVC.
^you want next door, 1538, for that.
*^as if they were hipper than me – I have a BLOG people, a blog! You can only dream of the kind of female attention I derive from that!