Amsterdam in the 80s and 90s - OMG!

Reply

Feb 12th, 2018, 02:40 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43,399
Amsterdam does not hold a dear spot in my heart any longer, though I naively found it charming in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It has a reprehensible history with regard to Jews, and is today a ganglion of tourist, bicycle, and tram insanity. There are many places in The Netherlands I enjoy, but I can't ever see visiting Amsterdam again.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2018, 04:27 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,881
I was in Amsterdam in 1989, during a summer spent in Europe between my sophomore and junior year of college. We stayed at some awful hostel with bunk beds and graffiti on the walls. I was all for a regular hotel, but no one else wanted to spend the money. Our group filled up two rooms, so at least there were no strangers in the room with us. All I know is that it was on the edge of or in the red light district and across from the Pink Floyd Cafe.

We did see the Anne Frank House and some of the sights, but also spent time in the Bulldog Cafe and the Hard Rock Cafe (which was a very narrow hole in the wall place, not like the regular ones).

It was kind kind of a surreal experience.

I kind of want to go back, mainly to see the Anne Frank House and some of the museums, but you guys don't make it sound so great, lol.
Florida1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2018, 10:43 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
Amsterdam does not hold a dear spot in my heart any longer, though I naively found it charming in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It has a reprehensible history with regard to Jews, and is today a ganglion of tourist, bicycle, and tram insanity. There are many places in The Netherlands I enjoy, but I can't ever see visiting Amsterdam again.
I was glad to escape to Rotterdam, in 2000 after having lived in Amsterdam for over a decade. Being jewish, you can't live anywhere else, viably, and lead a somewhat Torah observant life.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2018, 10:45 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
Originally Posted by Florida1 View Post
I was in Amsterdam in 1989, during a summer spent in Europe between my sophomore and junior year of college. We stayed at some awful hostel with bunk beds and graffiti on the walls. I was all for a regular hotel, but no one else wanted to spend the money. Our group filled up two rooms, so at least there were no strangers in the room with us. All I know is that it was on the edge of or in the red light district and across from the Pink Floyd Cafe.

We did see the Anne Frank House and some of the sights, but also spent time in the Bulldog Cafe and the Hard Rock Cafe (which was a very narrow hole in the wall place, not like the regular ones).

It was kind kind of a surreal experience.

I kind of want to go back, mainly to see the Anne Frank House and some of the museums, but you guys don't make it sound so great, lol.
Of course, there is the "Amsterdam of tourists" and there is the "real" Amsterdam of the people who live there.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 04:27 AM
  #25
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,881
Of course there is a huge difference, menachem. I never meant to imply otherwise. I was just sharing my experience.

I am am interested in the films you posted and will watch them when I get a chance - at least the subtitled ones - unfortunately, I don't speak Dutch.
Florida1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 07:56 AM
  #26
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,710
Yes squats were prolific in early 80s and it always seemed weird to me that folks could just squat- occupy - vacant buildings, like the old jail next to the Paradiso and Leidesplein and even portions of Rembrandt Park. Ca't say it wasn't a better use but wow - and old Vondel Kirk - a vacant church just east of Vondel Park - where squatters were living -all the marble floors having been removed so dusty- our tour groups had a few parties there in the late 70s. Some even climbed up the tall tower - what a time.

And many locals supported th squatters - I saw several large protests when squats were evicted.

Guess some kind of law allowed folks to accupy empty buildings because of a housing shortage. Anyway weird.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 08:33 AM
  #27
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
Originally Posted by Florida1 View Post
Of course there is a huge difference, menachem. I never meant to imply otherwise. I was just sharing my experience.

I am am interested in the films you posted and will watch them when I get a chance - at least the subtitled ones - unfortunately, I don't speak Dutch.
The Ed van der Elsken film especially is great.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 08:38 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Yes squats were prolific in early 80s and it always seemed weird to me that folks could just squat- occupy - vacant buildings, like the old jail next to the Paradiso and Leidesplein and even portions of Rembrandt Park. Ca't say it wasn't a better use but wow - and old Vondel Kirk - a vacant church just east of Vondel Park - where squatters were living -all the marble floors having been removed so dusty- our tour groups had a few parties there in the late 70s. Some even climbed up the tall tower - what a time.

And many locals supported th squatters - I saw several large protests when squats were evicted.

Guess some kind of law allowed folks to accupy empty buildings because of a housing shortage. Anyway weird.

There was a runaway housing shortage, with many dwellings remaining empty, because they were bought purely for speculative purposes. A bit like now. Back then the law was that if you visibly "lived" in an empty dwelling (indicated by having a bed, table and a chair there) the absentee owner would have to sue you to get you out. Many prominent buildings in the city centre have, in effect, been rescued by the squatters. There's also the background of the wholesale demolition of the old jewish area around Nieuwmarkt, because the metro system had to be built and because of large scale "modern" development along "transatlantic" lines. This too was halted by squatters. And by then the city government, which has always been pretty much left wing, realized that the squatters were better custodians of the city than real estate developers.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 08:40 AM
  #29
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
By the way, Vondelkerk was later repurposed as offices. I used to work there, but in the late 1990s.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 09:06 AM
  #30
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,710
I recall British 'hooligans' coming out on Centraal Station with a police escort - lines of cops in armor on each side - ushering them into a bus and whisking them away to some hotel or whatever. Previously such hooligans had raised havoc in city centre. Again tough Dutch cops in a wide open city in many ways.

Another time by Olympic Stadion (our bike groups camped at the Ijs Club near the stadium - and a group of Dutch 'hooligans' boarded a tram and just after take off started rocking the tram back and forth - the tram stopped and soon police on horseback suddenly appeared and took them all off the tram Trams were closed for a while.

Speaking of trams I have a large picdture of tram 10 all in flames durng some riots. As trams are a passion of mine it was sad. The tram was labelled Van Hallstratt which was a favorite place of mine as there was one of those illegal I think coffeeshops there that was much cooler than those in the tourist area - a normal neighborhood - I'll never forget a young couple with a baby came in and they were changing its diaper and the coffeeshop dog dashed up and snatched it and ran out the door. And there was a posh caffe there that was called the Tramway or some such name and inside they had the same picture of a burning tram with Van Hallstatt on it!

Ah interesting times!
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 10:20 AM
  #31
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,710
Amsterdam in the early 1980s

Menachem's post from 2014.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 11:34 AM
  #32
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,710
Heroin Boat

In the 80s the heroin problem became such that the city started providing safe places to buy the stuff and use it. One such place was a large boat moored not far from the Maritime Museum and Centraal Station - there was a steady stream going in and out. And on top of a police station near Amstel Station, incredibly was another one!

Not sure what happened to that policy. At that time Amsterdam had many addicts who were street criminals and beggars who often accosted tourists. The Dam Square area was full of these - especially around the statue area. Street people laying around - a very unsavory crowd.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 01:07 PM
  #33
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,710
And Centraal Station was full of suspect type folk - again aggressive panhandling by dishelved looking folk (who always spoke English of course!) Advice was to get out of the station ASAP - very few cops around it seemed. And Centraal Station was a real dump too - none of the nice shops in the underground passage and rather dingy upstairs as well. Yes there were interesting nice aspects of 1980s but also bad and these sleazy characters would accost you anywhere in central city area. Left a bad taste in many folks' minds. And when i visited more rcently I saw few of these types anywhere. Not sure what happened to them but nice they are not around.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 09:59 PM
  #34
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
I recall British 'hooligans' coming out on Centraal Station with a police escort - lines of cops in armor on each side - ushering them into a bus and whisking them away to some hotel or whatever. Previously such hooligans had raised havoc in city centre. Again tough Dutch cops in a wide open city in many ways.

Another time by Olympic Stadion (our bike groups camped at the Ijs Club near the stadium - and a group of Dutch 'hooligans' boarded a tram and just after take off started rocking the tram back and forth - the tram stopped and soon police on horseback suddenly appeared and took them all off the tram Trams were closed for a while.

Speaking of trams I have a large picdture of tram 10 all in flames durng some riots. As trams are a passion of mine it was sad. The tram was labelled Van Hallstratt which was a favorite place of mine as there was one of those illegal I think coffeeshops there that was much cooler than those in the tourist area - a normal neighborhood - I'll never forget a young couple with a baby came in and they were changing its diaper and the coffeeshop dog dashed up and snatched it and ran out the door. And there was a posh caffe there that was called the Tramway or some such name and inside they had the same picture of a burning tram with Van Hallstatt on it!

Ah interesting times!
Yes, that's all in the Staatsliedenbuurt (it's Van Hallstraat btw) . In the 80s it was a squatters stronghold. That photograph is from riots that broke out in 1985 when Hans Kok, a prominent squatter, died while in police custody. Given the reputation of the Amsterdam police, people soon concluded that his death couldn't have been accidental. Tramlijn Begeerte came out of the squatters movement (named after "A Streetcar Named Desire") and is now Cafe De Gruijter.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 10:09 PM
  #35
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
This short clip is from Arjan Ederveen's spoof documentary series "30 minutes". It's a pretty realistic portrayal of what the medical model for heroin containment actually looked like. Already in the mid-1980s, there was a citywide program of methadone substitution. And after the AIDS crisis broke, a program to distribute syringes and needles at nominal cost. This in itself has played a large part in containing the AIDS epidemic. And to answer your "not sure what happened to them question": the medical model worked.

menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 10:57 PM
  #36
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,749
Well, even in the '70's when I was around there were problems town with the "hippies" who hung around Dam Square. They could be a real PITA; accosting anyone who passed by with, "Hey Man, can you spare a Guilder?" Embarrassingly many/most of them were American, and that really bothered me, and even caused me trouble.

I had been invited to a rather upscale party by my girlfriend one evening. I was having a good time and since everyone spoke English I was having some interesting conversations, when a really obnoxiously drunk Dutch chap took a dislike to me and started to give me a hard time because I was an American. I kept a cool head and deliberately walked away from him several times, but he kept returning to hassle me, which made both me and the other guests uncomfortable. It finally ended when he came up in my face and loudly shouted, "Oh, so you are an American; that explains it! Here is something that will make you go away., Hold out your hand."

I did, and he ostentatiously dropped a Guilder into it.

I hit him.

The party did not end well.
nukesafe is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2018, 02:27 AM
  #37
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
Originally Posted by nukesafe View Post
Well, even in the '70's when I was around there were problems town with the "hippies" who hung around Dam Square. They could be a real PITA; accosting anyone who passed by with, "Hey Man, can you spare a Guilder?" Embarrassingly many/most of them were American, and that really bothered me, and even caused me trouble.

I had been invited to a rather upscale party by my girlfriend one evening. I was having a good time and since everyone spoke English I was having some interesting conversations, when a really obnoxiously drunk Dutch chap took a dislike to me and started to give me a hard time because I was an American. I kept a cool head and deliberately walked away from him several times, but he kept returning to hassle me, which made both me and the other guests uncomfortable. It finally ended when he came up in my face and loudly shouted, "Oh, so you are an American; that explains it! Here is something that will make you go away., Hold out your hand."

I did, and he ostentatiously dropped a Guilder into it.

I hit him.

The party did not end well.

Excellent call, nukesafe.

One of our more endearing *cough* characteristics is that, as a nation, we're incredibly rude. That would be our much flaunted "Dutch Honesty".

Here's Sylvana Simons, much maligned politician and anti-racism figurehead, discussing Dutch national identity


the comments on the YT clip are quite enlightening
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2018, 03:05 AM
  #38
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 9
Never been to Amsterdam. The more I learn about the city the more I think that I should put a visit on this summer agenda.
angeloq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2018, 06:05 AM
  #39
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,710
Thanks menachem and nukesafe for all that. Some young Americans during Viet Nam War fled to Amsterdam perhaps.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2018, 06:11 AM
  #40
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,710
VONDEL PARK - In the 80s Vondel Park was a very interesting place for younger folks. It was an impromptu mingling ground for hippie types - pall of cannabis smoke ominpresent - and there were oudoor concerts in the bandshell not far from Vondel Kirk - free concerts with good bands.

On Saturdays (Sundays?) a huge flea market spread out all over the northern part of the park (cows were grazing in southern part of park). No rules like King's Day anyone could plop down and sell just about anything - hash - hash cakes, cookies, jewelry, trinketts, etc.

It was a fun place to be - anyone know if those free concerts are still held and if there is a flea market on Saturday or Sunday?
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:57 AM.