Old coots Coffeshops

Oct 22nd, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Old coots Coffeshops

Any recomendations for an Amsterdam coffee shop for a couple of old coot baby boomers. We thought the "Gray Area" seemed like an friendly place.
NHsandy is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 11:17 AM
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I used the Let's Go Amsterdam guidebook. It has thoughtful reviews of all kinds of places throughout the city and would give you a good starting point. They are quite direct about what kind of atmosphere and clientele the different cofffeeshops offer/attract.
suze is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 12:27 PM
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I was just in Amsterdam, late September, on the way to and from Africa. It was our first time there and the coffee shops were of great interest to me also. We were a group of 4, also mostly baby boomers.

IT"S FANTASTIC!!! MY husband asked me to stop telling them "what a great country you have here."

There are many many coffee shops besides the ones in the guide books and the red light district, just about in every area of Amsterdam. We stayed in Jordan park area and stoped into maybe 4 of them ;-), none of which I know the names of. My advice if you haven't done this before, buying it I mean, pick one during the day when they are empty. The people are very friendly and willing to help you on your first time, thereafter you will be an expert.
I went into an empty place, had seen paraphenelia in the window, asked if they sold marijuana...this is like asking Starbucks if they sell coffee. Yes, what would i like...don't know, what do you have? Out comes the menu, different kinds of pot,sold in amounts, hash, mushrooms...OMG...what a great country!!! Well I didn't bring any parapheneial nor did I really want to buy any since I only had a day, so I asked if they had any joints already rolled for sale....this is like asking Starbucks if they have "to go cups" for the coffee... The guy turns around and pulls down a bucket of already rolled joints,with a tiny filter and asks me how many I would like....OMG, what a great country. Thinking that maybe it won't be very good I just buy one for 6E. Well, let me just say that it was very very good. After that, my friends and I would walk in everywhere and just ask for the menu, never a problem, always helpful, and would buy it just because we could!!! We tried it with all pot, half and half with tobacco and didn't get to the ones mixed with hash, it was all good!

You are allowed to smoke it anywhere too, walking down the street, in and outside at the little cafe's, and was also told that we could smoke it in a restaurant...OMDWAGC!!!

My friends who hadn't participated in this activity for quite sometime, had a coughing fit which gave the locals quite a laugh.

Needless to say, we loved Amsterdam and can't wait to return.
susanna is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 01:07 PM
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You are allowed to smoke it anywhere too, walking down the street, in and outside at the little cafe's, and was also told that we could smoke it in a restaurant...

I don't think this is good information. "Tolerance" is not quite the same as wide-spread acceptance. You should only smoke in the coffeeshops or in a discrete area otherwise. I have yet to see anyone light one up in a restaurant. Many hotels forbid it.
Travelnut is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 01:11 PM
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"You are allowed to smoke it anywhere too. . ."

Well, not while leaning out the window of a non-smoking room of the Ambassade Hotel where our friends set off the alarms. The nice young clerk came up to the room, took one whiff, and said "oh, you've been COOKING in your room. You really can't do any more COOKING here, you'll have to find another place to do your COOKING". The girls were hysterical over the scene -- well, at that point they'd have been hysterical over a hit and run accident.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 01:28 PM
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This is the funniest thread ever! I have nothing to add, but I love reading these stories!
lizziea06 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 01:36 PM
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I think the key point in the above two posts is "non smoking areas". But, I must say that we saw, and smelled smoking everywhere smoking was allowed. It is very odd to see someone sitting at a cafe with a beer AND a joint.
We also didn't see anyone doing it in a restaurant, but were told it was the same as smoking in a restaurant .

We were in a non smoking hotel so instead of doing the window trick we just partook on the street before we went up to our room without a problem.
susanna is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Wonder where all the anti-smokers are on this thread?
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 05:59 PM
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This thread makes me laugh. Good grief, so many Fodorites have a tizzy and a half when someone mentions that they smoke legal tobacco cigarettes.

But when pot/grass is mentioned all is OK.

I really don't care what people do but yes "where are all the antismokers" as Carrybean asked.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 07:03 PM
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Ok I'll pipe up as a nonsmoker.

Why can't they put it in brownies? : )
annw is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 09:13 PM
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starrsville is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2006, 09:25 PM
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Drug use is the least attractive thing about Amsterdam. Some people never grow up and leave all that silly stuff behind them.

Cato is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 05:55 AM
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annw- there are brownies. They are called Space Cakes. I found some at a place near "The Magic Mushroom Gallery." But, alas, as I went to the A-dam alone, I did not indulge in any of those little pleasures.

NHsandy- you will know from the outside whether you guys will be comfortable in a place or not. It really depends on how you roll and what you want to do. I went to this amazing Day Spa called Sauna Deco (look it up for this reference and if you want a rockin' massage or day of relaxation) and on the way out stopped to have some Apple Pie (the place was 3 blocks to the left of Deco). I walked in and sat down in the corner with my book and pie, and then this couple, about my parents' age, came in, ordered coffee, and started toking up. I remember very distinctly thinking "this is where my parents need to come for their 30th."
laclaire is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 06:06 AM
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Ick. I knew there was a reason I'd never been to Amsterdam.
Cimbrone is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 06:24 AM
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coffeeshop smoke versus tobacco smoke.

Most experts say there is very little negative impact on pot smoke versus tobacca - some such as health guru Dr Andrew Weil claims that it may even help lungs - this will fly in the face of government statistics that claim that smoking a joint is x times as worse than a cigarette - yet these are gerrymandered results because tests are done on pot leaves and not the sweet bud that is in actuality the only part smoked. Do test of tobacco buds and not the leaves you may get the same results.

That said since in every Amsterdam coffeeshop i've been in many locals mix pot or hash into spliffs also full of strong Dutch tobacco - i would be in favor of banning dangerous tobacco smoke in coffeeshops but until tests show that bud contains a similar 256 or so carcinogenics i've leave that alone.

The Grey Room is one coffeeshop for seniors - John Sinclair and none less than Jack Herrer, whose name has been applied to one of the most potent strains of pot sold in coffeeshops and other elder American pothteads often hang out here and the crowd always seems rather geriatric to me. It's also a coffeeshop with a sterling reputation as to prices and quality - right in the Red Light District.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 07:36 AM
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susanna- while your enthusiasm is contagious(!) you really aren't supposed to be smoking walking down the streets, that's what the coffeeshops are for.

annw- they do put it in brownies, cookies, muffins, all kinds of things.
suze is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 07:48 AM
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while you do see locals smoking occasionally in public i think, like Suze says, you should not do it - not because it's technically illegal because you will not be arrested, etc. but i believe it's considered a taboo that shouldn't be done - may affect local sensabilities poorly. That said, if you're sitting on an isolated park bench with no passersby then perhaps - but be discrete.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 08:27 AM
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from my Let's Go Amsterdam guidebook in a LONG chapter about the ins and outs of this subject "...never smoke pot on the street - it's offensive to the Dutch".

i took their word for it.
suze is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Susanna; I've never seen people smoking pot in a restaurant, and I'm Dutch!
Glad that you liked it in Amsterdam. While the selling and using is tolerated, growing the stuff is not. Causes all kinds of problems, especially in the border areas with Germany and Belgium.
Tulips is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Dear PB,

>coffeeshop smoke versus tobacco smoke.

Smoke from marijuana is as unhealthy as tobacco, tea leaves, oak leaves, common grass, sawdust or any other cellulosic material.

The destructive distillation, such as a cigarette, cigar or pipe, of cellulosic material leads to over 2000 measurable chemical compounds - some of which are carcinogenic.

The exact profile is dependent upon the plant species, but they are very similar.

As far as smoking marijuana being beneficial, similar claims were made from the late 1800's into the mid 1900's for tobacco.

Choose whatever you wish as your drug of choice, but please don't claim that it is not unhealthy.

ira is offline  

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