16-24 August 2003
I arrived at the main train station in Amsterdam on Saturday and walked to my
hotel, the Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel (www.hotelwiechmann.nl/)
on Prinsengracht. I originally had reservations at a hotel on Rokin, but this is
a heavy tourist area with lots of construction. My friend, Buck Pennington, who
lives on Prinsengracht, suggested the Wiechmann. He got for me a front room on
the third floor with a very nice view of the canal. This is in the Jordaan area
and very charming. Interestingly, the next street over was Eland Straat, where
my ancestor, Dirck Gerritsz Keyser lived in 1655.
I spent several days walking all over the old part of Amsterdam using
extensively the guidebook, "Rick Steves' Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels, 2003" by Rick Steves
and Gene Openshaw (Avalon Travel). I had never used Rick's guidebooks before
this trip, but my Mom recommended them. I found this book to be very useful and
The Jordaan and adjacent areas west of Damrak and Rokin
- Prinsengracht, near my hotel,
Westerkerk spire is in the background
- Hotel Wiechmann on Prinsengracht, the
hotel includes several of these renovated narrow houses.
- view onto Prinsengracht from my hotel
- Eland Gracht Centrum street
- man-watching dog, on Eland Straat
- Houseboat Museum on Prinsengracht (www.houseboatmuseum.nl)
- The Delft Shop on Prinsengracht
- entrance to Amsterdams Historisch Museum,
a very interesting museum, lots of paintings, displays on evolution of the
city, and a carillon that you can play (www.ahm.nl/).
- Westerkerk, different time of day
- Anne Frank house, old business
- Anne Frank house, close-up of entrance
- Jordaan area, houseboats
- Jordaan area, where?
- Nieuwe Leliestraat, speed bumps
- Jordaan area, anybody know where?
- Jordaan, another canal, where exactly?
- world headquarters for Greenpeace
- Greenpeace building
- Torensluis bridge and skinniest house
(red front), house actually enlarges behind other houses.
- Magna Plaza Shopping Center, adjacent
to Dam Square, on the west side
- Dam Square, Royal Palace on left and
Nieuwe Kerk on right
- Dam Square, very early Sunday morning
- Dam Square, the obelisk is the
East of Damrak, the R.L. District (I visited this area early Sunday
morning to avoid the crowds)
- Oude Kerk, dating from 1300-1600, this
is in the R.L. district
- Oude Kerk, close up
- area around the church, hard to
believe this is right next to the church, still active at 8 AM Sunday morning
- one of the Bulldog Coffee Shops in the
- R.L. information center adjacent to the
- Zeedijk and locks
- Zeekijk street, built on a sea dike
- The Waag (weigh house) on Nieuwemarkt
- The Waag, another view
- Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum, R.L.
- Cannabis Club, R.L. district
- The Condomerie, on another day I visited the shop owned by the nephew of a
friend of mine. The friend was Prof. Willem Meijer, originally from Heerlen,
Nederland, but now Prof. Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. He is a
well-known botanist. Willem asked me to stop by while in Amsterdam, and visit
his nephew, Theodor van Boeven. I visited the shop (www.condomerie.com)
and asked for Theodor. I was warmly welcomed by Theodor and his family. They
gave me a behind-the-scenes tour of the company. Thanks Theodor.
Southern Part of old Amsterdam
I had many good meals in Amsterdam including Huis Buck Pennington. I had
Indonische Rijstafel, Argentinian steak, Italian meals, etc. One night I went to
Restaurant Cafe Van Puffelen on Prinsengracht (www.goodfoodgroup.nl/puffelen.htm).
The food was very good, but a very large party came in and, consequently, I was
entirely forgotten by the wait staff. I had to keep asking for each component of
my meal. I hate eating alone.
Because I had some ancestors from Amsterdam, I
asked around and found that the best place to go for historical records was the
Gemeentearchief Amsterdam (www.gemeentearchief.amsterdam.nl).
I walked to the archive on Amsteldijk street, got a dagpas (day pass) and
entered the archive. I found records about my family dating back to 1589! I got
photocopies of the microfiche.