Following a friendly tip for places to visit in Amsterdam away from the tourist core we found ourselves in Amsterdam Noord, heading to a small pizza place called the Kebec Micro Bakery in a former warehouse canteen near the NDSM Wharf.
We got there the longish way, taking the metro to Amsterdam Noord and then tram 35 to a street called Atatürk in a non-descript neighbourhood. A short walk and some help from Google Maps led us to Kebec.
Inside we noticed some suspiciously subtle Canadiana, and indeed the internet later revealed that the owner may be a Torontonian. There is no escape.
I ordered my usual baseline margherita pizza, and Josie chose an option with various veggie toppings and held the mozzarella. Both pizzas were incredibly delicious, on par with our standby Libretto back home, and we had no problem devouring them at the outdoor shared tables.
After eating we wandered onwards towards the port, past some more industrial scenery. This is a neighbourhood in transition but still filled with lots of life.
We passed a temporary neighbourhood constructed out of shipping containers near the NDSM Wharf. Apparently these are being used as student housing until 2020 at which point they will be replaced with a more permanent development. This is an interesting way to fill a gap and provide housing options when progress languishes at the red tape stage. We could use some of these similar ideas in Toronto.
Down near the wharf there was an unusual mix of businesses both on and off the water. The Pannenkoekenboot is a cruise ship based around all-you-can-eat Dutch pancakes. Why not?
Not far away was Sexy Land, a “conceptual club” that apparently has a different owner every day. Details remain vague. They also have a van.
There were a few hotels in the port as well, including a new Hilton and the Amstel Botel, which is exactly what the name implies: a hotel with a bar located inside a permanently docked boat.
To return to Amsterdam proper we took one of the free ferries that run regularly between points on the Noord side of the canal and Amsterdam Centraal. It was only a short wait before the next ferry pulled up, disgorging dozens of passengers, many on bikes.
The ferry took us past a semi-submerged Soviet-era Zulu submarine that was docked off the shore to use as a party destination. Many graffiti “artists” have made their way out there to leave their mark on the hull. Apparently the sub is now waiting to be sold as scrap metal.
The short journey took us past a striking mix of modern buildings.