This post is to show you how I fell in love with Zuid (the district in the Southern part of Amsterdam), particularly with that part of it named Hoofddorppleinbuurt.
It happened on that (single) warm Sunday almost two weeks ago when I woke up with no plans and soon found out I was not going to have any company for the day either (at least not for the first part of it). Without any hesitation, I took a camera from the drawer and, soon after finishing breakfast, I went out in the sun.
It must have been 11:30 when I jumped out of bus 15 right in Hoofddorpplein, a place I had briefly been to only a couple of times before. It was sunny and quiet. All shops were closed and almost nobody on the street.
A little girl was dragging a toy on the light filled pavement with her mother walking by her side. Although I was significantly behind them, I could clearly hear the sound made by the wooden toy hitting the stone – it was that quiet!
I was thinking: Oh my God, it must be really boring to live here! And I was almost regretting my decision to come to Hoofddorppleinbuurt – out of all the places in the city! – to take photos. But I continued my random walk, without any clear direction. I crossed a street, then another one…
And suddenly it started:
– a gentleman with a classic Burberry scarf around the neck and a hat on his head was walking into the sunlight, slowly, as if allowing himself to breathe in the perfection of that morning;
– a teenage girl wearing a kaki jacket and black military style boots was coming from the opposite direction, with a bottle of fresh orange juice in one hand and a bag of croissants in the other; (I could immediately imagine her lazy Sunday breakfast once back home, perhaps in the company of the friends she had been partying with the night before)
– a grandfather and his grandson, riding separate bikes and playing the “who gets there first” game;
– a couple jogging from one side of the street to the other, towards the canal;
– back to the square, four people on a terrace, sitting on comfy pillows while drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying breakfast in the sun; (I felt an urge to go there and have a coffee myself – there were still plenty of seats available.)
– two little girls playing in front of their house, running from one place to the other, in the sun;
– a few houses away, a man was arranging something in the balcony, perhaps preparing a chair to sit on and read the newspaper;
– a few people on bikes waiting for the red light to turn green; on the backseat of her bike, a woman was carrying a bunch of fresh tulips, most probably just collected from the closest market;
It was almost 1PM when I left Hoofddorppleinbuurt to eventually arrive in Schinkelbuurt (its neighbour, basically). Here, the streets became more animated, terraces were already full and I was slowly coming back to reality. I sat on a bench facing the canal along Amstelveenseweg as I needed a moment of peace to somehow put an end to my Hooffddorppleinbuurt Sunday romance. 🙂
I totally “felt” the Hoofddorpplein area and I would definitely not find it boring at all to live there! Such a nice mix of people, laid back atmosphere and good vibes. Not to mention the buildings, basic Amsterdam School type – one of my favourites.
And now, the photos – arranged as chronologically as possible – in which you will recognize some of the characters described above.
P.S. My walk continued even more into the Zuid (before I headed towards Flevopark to meet people and have beers in the sun!), but I keep those photos for a future post, not to distract you from Hoofddorppleinbuurt. 🙂