Monday, April 29, 2013
Around the 9 straatjes (negen straatjes)
I am probably starting to sound like a broken record, but it's amazing how cities come to life with just a little bit of sunshine. The colors seem more vibrant, the sky is blue and all those brave new leaves that have dared to come out and beat the winter all add to a general happy feeling.
The other day, as I was walking in Amsterdam on a quiet morning (quiet because it was a weekday and most of the people were working, I assume), I couldn't help but admire how beautiful Amsterdam is. Its houses look like they were made for dolls and there is something magic about having all that water around you all the time. Close to the Jordaan neighborhood you'll find the negen straatjes, a set of nine quaint streets bursting alive with cafés and quirky little shops.
"Negen Straatjes (Dutch for "nine little streets") is a neighborhood of Amsterdam. It consists of nine side streets of the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel in central Amsterdam. Together they form a sub-neighborhood within the larger western Grachtengordel ("Canal Belt"), one with many small and diverse shops and restaurants.
The construction in this area goes back to the first half of the 17th century.The Negen Straatjes is bordered on the north by the Raadhuisstraat and on the south by the Leidsegracht. In between, the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel are interesected by three cross streets - but each of the cross streets has different names in each of its sections between the canals. From the Prinsengracht towards the Singel and beginning with the northernmost streets, the streets are:
-Reestraat ("Roe Deer Street") - Hartenstraat ("Hearts Street") - Gasthuismolensteeg ("Inn Mill Alley") -Berenstraat ("Bear Street") - Wolvenstraat ("Wolf Street") - Oude Spiegelstraat ("Old Mirror Street") -Runstraat ("Cow Street") - Huidenstraat ("Skins" or "Pelts Street") - Wijde Heisteeg ("Wide Heath Street")
The names are reminders of many of the types of work that were carried out here in centuries past, especially the processing of skins (cow, bear, wolf and roe deer skins)." (Source)
If you find yourself there don't forget to visit Puccini Bomboni (Singel 184). They have the best chocolate ever, with flavors like ginger, cinammon, fruits. What have you been up to? I hope you had a nice weekend!