‘This is me signing out’ …. Bloggen voor ilovenoord.com? Graag!

Niet iedereen weet het, maar ilovenoord.nl heeft ook een Engels zusje: ilovenoord.com. Dankzij de niet aflatende inzet van Nicola Chadwick verschenen daar de afgelopen jaren goede stukken over Noord, soms vertaald van de Nederlandse site, soms helemaal nieuw. Toeristen en expats weten ilovenoord.com steeds beter te vinden. Er is alleen één probleem: Nicola verhuist naar Utrecht. Sinds begin januari hebben we niemand meer die ilovenoord.com kan vullen met goede, Engelstalige content.

We zijn dus met spoed op zoek naar iemand die Engelstalige stukken wil maken voor ilovenoord.com. Je kunt stukken overnemen (en vertalen) van ilovenoord.nl, maar het is natuurlijk ook leuk om zelf onderwerpen te bedenken. De stichting ilovenoord heeft helaas geen geld om redacteuren te betalen; wel krijg je alle vrijheid om het blog op jouw manier te vullen.

Ben je geïnteresseerd om te bloggen voor ilovenoord.com? Stuur ons dan een mailtje.

Hieronder het laatste stukje van Nic, we gaan haar heel erg missen!

‘This is me signing out’

After three years blogging on North Amsterdam for Ilovenoord, I have been whisked away from my beloved Noord. In 2013, facebook friends sent me links to a call for an English editor for the popular bottom-up neighbourhood platform. My email overflowed with enthusiasm and I was invited to meet the crew. In fact it was the only interview I have ever had which ended with the uncorking of a bottle of wine and an impromtu ‘borrel’ at the Pastorie next to the St Augustinus Catholic church on the Nieuwendammerdijk. St Augustine patron saint of authors, printers and booksellers – how apt that the bloggers of Ilovenoord, many of whom have published their own work, should be based here. Since then it’s been a labour of love, discovering new hotspots, meeting all kinds of weird and wonderful people who make North so special and, above all else, being part of the fab Ilovenoord crew.


North’s attraction

In spite of its poor reputation in the past, North seems to have always had a pull on the city’s dwellers. Legend has it that young couples rowed to North to pick babies from the Kinderboom, making North a kind of infant cabbage patch. In the middle ages, the gruesome sight of bodies hanging from the gallows attracted city folk across the river IJ, their images being captured by Rembrandt’s pencil sketches. A century ago, Amsterdam’s gentry used to cross the river to attend concerts in the Tolhuistuin. Before World War I spelt the end of the Belle Epoque, North had hosted the ENTOS (First Netherlands Exhibition on Shipping) with its Luna Park fairground and in the interbellum it held the ELTA (First Aviation Exhibition Amsterdam). Each event attracted a stunning million and a half million visitors respectively. Huge numbers for the time. In the 1970s, the Festival of Fools heralded a new kind of entertainment somewhere between circus and theatre on the old ADM terrain where today the IJplein ferry lands. Incidently, I visited the Festival of Fools on tour when it came to my own home town in the UK. All this time, people have had to be ferried across the river by boat, as you may have noticed there is still no bridge. But that is about to change too.

 

Noordwesterwals
When I first came to North in 1994, North’s cultural scene included the Podium van de Passie (next to the Nieuwendam church behind the dike) once in while and the Jazz Boat (next to the Schellingwoude Bridge) on Sundays. In the same year, location theatre collective Dogtroep played its spectacular performance of Nordwesterwals on NDSM wharf with an international troop and 1.2 million litres of water in the leading role. Theatre festival Over het IJ was the first of many festivals to locate itself at the NDSM. Now Valtifest, Voltt and DGTL are among the annual fixtures on the wharf. Others like technical arts festival Robodock (remember the 20 ft fire-spewing dragon) moved on. Just over 5 years ago, summer programming began in the Noorderpark, followed by the belated opening of the Tolhuistuin and waterside developments along eastern stretch of the riverbank from the Zamenhofstraat to De Overkant. Now with the arrival of Eye Film Institute and the opening of The Adam Toren this spring, even Amsterdam’s city centre is gradually turning around to face the river that defines Noord.

Change

Over the course of 21 years, I have seen North change and as a blogger for Ilovenoord, I have been a small part of that change, but what hasn’t changed is that essentially North is Amsterdam’s greenest and prettiest district with its own special identity. A collection of villages linked by an old sea dike, intricate street plans creating friendly neighbourhoods based on the English garden cities, housing workers in liveable areas close to the city centre like the van der Pek area, modernist sixties flats in the Plan van Gool, and the less sexy high-rise flats just inside the ringroad surrounded by a green oasis that is Waterland. Somewhere along the line the planners got it right in North Amsterdam – perhaps- as Ilovenoord blogger Bas Kok puts it in his book Oerknal aan het IJ – it’s because they ignored North for so long.

Meanwhile both the English Ilovenoord Twitter and Facebook accounts have over 1K followers and are growing. Plus Ilovenoord has been mentioned in the New York Times and many other newpapers and magazines and North Amsterdam is being listed as one of the world’s hippest neighbourhoods. Something to be proud of.

All great things come to an end, so this is me signing out.

Nic Chadwick Photo: Maria Smeets

Nic Chadwick
Photo: Maria Smeets

 

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