East London, East Berlin, East Paris, East Amsterdam… What exactly is it that always brings me to the East?
I think the answer is simple. Coincidence or not, all these cities have a fancier, looked after West and a more down-to-earth, unpretentious East.
As far as Amsterdam is concerned, a significant part of the East still feels a bit wild or undefined in comparison with the more traditional and settled West. Just take away the “historical” neighbourhoods in the East (Plantage, Watergraafsmeer, Oosterpark, Indische Buurt) and all you`re left with is either recent developments (Eastern Docklands, IJburg, Oostpoort) or areas currently undergoing major transformation (Eastern Islands, Wibautstraat etc.).
For all the above, I would say that the East of Amsterdam hasn`t found its identitity just yet. Which is, I guess, why we like it so much… In the East, we can (still) change and reinvent ourselves, just like the city itself does.
As a friend has recently put it: “When you`ve lived long enough in Amsterdam, you’ll want to move to the East.” Enough said. 🙂
Here are some photos taken on a Saturday morning walk in Amsterdam East, starting with the Eastern Docklands, continuing on the Zeeburgerdijk, lingering on the lively Javastraat in the Indische Buurt (there are so many nice shops, bars, cafés and restaurants on this street!) and arriving in the more recently developed areas of the same neighbourhood, around the Borneostraat.
Walter`s – The Walter Woodbury Bar, Javastraat:
Majesteit Taart, Javastraat:
Hartje Oost, Javastraat:
For more photos of Amsterdam East, please check this selection I made.