Archive for the ‘Great shops in Amsterdam’ Category

Boek & Glas antiquarian bookshop

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Special emphasis on typography, history and literature from the 1880′s through fin de siecle ( Here are some pictures:

View of bookshop window in dark street, with stained glass above show window.

The shop in the Agatha Dekenstraat in Amsterdam.

Old newspaper setting table, repurposed.

Old newspaper setting table, repurposed.

Books from approx. 1900 - 1940 on shelf.

Whole shelf of books chosen only for beautiful cover designs.

Poetry in Egidius bookstore window

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
store window with print with part of Dutch poem

Print and poem in window of Egidius bookstore in Amsterdam.

Passing Egidius bookstore at Haarlemmerstraat 87 in Amsterdam, and suddenly noticed this. Stopped. Read it. Read it again. Completely changes everything: a voice like this, out of nowhere, printed in this way. Photographed it as best I could through the window – hope the text is readable.

Window of Egidius bookstore in Amsterdam, with books and prints.

Egidius has a rare selection of ordinary paperbacks, but also beautiful maps and prints.


Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Twenty paces past the shop, my ‘invisible gorilla’ strategy to distract Zhenya failed. Her peripheral vision had picked it up anyway: the chocolate packaged as a fish in a sardine can. The beautiful black and white interior. The exhibition of beautiful packaging, seemingly endless variations on a rectangular theme, all saying: chocolate.

Woman looking closely at chocolate products on a table.

Zhenya's typical 'just forgot the world' position: studying the chocolate products in the shop.

Inside the shop, I wonder: how could anyone have ever doubted that it’s the packaging, not the product, that produces our response to it? Here, both are so good that you can let them to a kind of one-two.

One: let the graphic design of the products do its magic. The visual feast makes it lots of fun to make a choice!

Display of chocolate products on shelf at 'Chocolatl' store in Amsterdam.

The magic of beautiful graphics, great chocolate products.

Two: pick one kind and then order tea or coffee, and enjoy it at the logwood table in the back of the shop. The shop’s low-key interior lets you focus your senses on the chocolate: unobtrusive music, chalkboard black and dull white walls, ceiling, shelving, practical but nicely-design silverware, cups, accessories.

Chocolate boutique 'Chocolatl' in Amsterdam, street view.

The shop from outside, in the Hazenstraat in Amsterdam.

So this is the new tip for our friends visiting Amsterdam: Chocolatl, the shop with hundreds of extraordinary artisanal chocolate brands, friendly owners, well-designed, close to the center. Extra tip: a great place to buy gifts which are special, not too costly, and easy to carry.

Hazenstraat 25-A
Telephone: 020 755 5047

Two cups of tea, with chocolates and small cake pieces on a plate, on wooden table.

Tea and chocolates, served.


Friday, February 4th, 2011

Interior of Cortina's stationery shop in Amsterdam

Powerful surges of imagination, longing, memory. A kind of hypnotic, maybe even mild psychotic state in which the border between one’s self and the object of one’s desire seems to dissolve.

Where do we experience this? Cortina Papier, the shop in the ‘Nine Streets’ section of Amsterdam.

It’s always fun watching my girlfriend Zhenya lose self-control. Her gaze goes a little fuzzy, and then focuses on one object at a time, as much as to say: Odd, how could I have never noticed THESE?

Wooden and cardboard boxes in Cortina Papier stationery shop in A'dam.

We leave an hour later, with new, inspiring sketchbooks, pens, a clever eraser with its own shield to keep it clean, refills for our FAF memo blocks. Some new ink colors. Always something.

The images – hundreds of styles, characters, little graphic experiments, diagrams – flow right from Zhenya’s brain into the books. Mine stay empty, except for the FAF pad I make our editorial concept sketches on. I can never bring myself to deface the books with my drawings. I draw on recycled paper. I only use the sketchbooks after I’ve worked up a specific idea.

Zhenya selecting colored inks in Cortina Papier stationery shop.

Zhenya selecting colored inks.