Modern in Zuid

We were moving hotels. After breakfast – rushing in 20 minutes before closing – we packed our bags and walked to the train stop. 15 minutes later, we were in Amsterdam Zuid, one of eight boroughs in the Netherlands – and, as we later found out, the wealthiest.

Described as “Amsterdam’s very own Upper East Side, Amsterdam Zuid is chic, classy, and full of history. Expect to find the most expensive houses, bars, restaurants, hotels, and shopping in town here.” Indeed. The first indication was the type of car that lined the street. We saw Audi’s, Mercedes, Maserati’s. Houses stood tall and prim, indifferent to the zigzag infrastructure common in Central Amsterdam. The streets were quiet: we didn’t smell cigaruana. The neighborhood, quiet and suburban, oozed affluence.

The hotel, too, was swanky and modern and cozy. We had stumbled here on accident. The whole lobby smelled like lotion. How did they make the air smell like lotion?

We walked to the Stedelijk Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Most exhibits left me confused, as contemporary tends to. But! The last exhibit saved the day. Attempting to exit the museum, we accidentally entered the major exhibit, YOUTH by Anne Imhof. The entire basement had been transformed into a labyrinth of red lights, stacked tires, lined cabinets, beige lockers. The room pulsated with classical music, then rock. It was bizarre. It was fascinating. It was immersive. And it was definitely disorienting. We loved it.

At the cafe next door, we ordered dinner while I took a work call.

Category: Trips


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