Oud West, Kinkerbuurt.

Theo van Kampen

The Kinkerbuurt is an old neighbourhood in the west part of Amsterdam, named after the 18th century poet and lawyer Johannes Kinker (1764-1845), it has it’s own foodmarket ‘Ten Kate Markt’ and is blessed with two tram lines: 7 & 17. Here many streets are named after writers and poets.
Build around 1900 at the time that Amsterdam was expanding dramaticly this neighbourhood has been build fast and not always with the best results: many buildings lacked quality so many blocks are demolished and replaced for something new… but enough history is still present and that makes a stroll through this neigbourhood a pleasant outing.

Let’s start our walk at the Da Costakade (kade = kaai) one of the most beautiful canals of Amsterdam, sometimes called ‘The Venice of Amsterdam’!

In the second world war, when the Netherlands where occupied by the Nazis this kaai was called ‘Regentenkade’ (regent = governor) since Da Costa was Jewish the Nazis found it necessary to rename it.

At Da Costakade 108-110 we can see the beautiful fa├žade of the former storage of the brewery Zuidhollandsch Bierbrouwerij Den Haag in art deco style pur-sang.

When we cross the Da Costakade by taking the Potgieterstraat southwards we will find at the crossing with De Bilderdijkstraat one of the best places to taste the most typical Dutch snack: herring! In Amsterdam traditionally eaten with chopped onions and sliced pickles: in early times to cover the fact that the herring once arrived in Amsterdam was not that fresh anymore …. Nowerdays the herring is still eaten that way but actually I prefer to take just the pickles and to leave the onion.

After this culinary experience we continue walking straight southwards to go to the Bellamyplein, a cosy small piazza which is the favourite hang out for all parents with small children.

We continue our walk and we approach the Ten Katestraat. There is situated in daytime the foodmarked with a broad variety of food from all over the world but also high quality local products are being sold: on the picture you see me buying fresh garlic in one of the best market booth.

Now we turn to the left and we are heading to the Kinkerstraat. A busy shoppingstreet with on the corner Toko Surima the best place in town to taste ‘teloh bakkeljauw’: fried cassave roots with spicy dried fisch, a typical Surinam dish.

It’s time to go back. We follow the colorful Kinkerstraat northwards, enjoying windowshopping in the relaxed atmosphere. At the Da Costakade we wait in front of nr. 158 waiting until someone leaves the building. We ask friendly if we can take the staircase until the roof for having one of the most magnificent views over the city:

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