“There are more and more tourists in Amsterdam. And what I see quite often is that the kids of tourists are playing on an IPad or checking their phones, or they are simply bored when waiting in a restaurant. That’s why Charlotte and I decided to make the book ‘Hotel Kids Only’. With this book we want to activate the creativity of kids and at the same time ‘teach’ them something about Amsterdam. It is the perfect book for young children who visit Amsterdam for a holiday, for the kids of expats and as a nice souvenir to bring home after an Amsterdam visit.”
Hotel Kids Only
The book ‘Hotel Kids Only’ is filled with fun things for kids to do; Game of the Goose along Amsterdam’s canals, a colouring picture of Rembrandt’s famous Night Watch, a map of the city for kids, amongst many other things. It is the perfect way for children to spend hours in their hotel rooms, on the plane to Amsterdam or waiting in restaurants or cafes. Ingrid: “Of course there are many bikes in the book too; there is a game where you have to count all the bicycles, there are bikes in the memory game, and in the ‘Game of the Goose’ you miss a turn when you stand on the ‘bike fell in the canal’ field.”
Ingrid the designer
Ingrid Robers (ingridrobers.com) is an illustrator and designer, she does a lot of illustrations for children. Ingrid: “I had not always planned to do so many children’s illustrations. I don’t have kids, I like kids just as I like other people, but I like the creative and pure mind they have. When I make illustrations for children I always think of my own childhood. What did I like when I was a kid? When making this book I also looked at the city imagining I were still a child. What would draw my attention?” The other author of the book ‘Hotel Kids Only’ is Charlotte Borggreve, she founded the well-known ‘Kinderkookkafé’ (restaurant where children cook), and together they wrote another book ‘Kookologie’ (a playful cookery book for kids).
Amsterdam city centre
Ingrid lives in the city centre of Amsterdam, just a 5 minute walk from the Central Station, in a ‘red light alley’ near Spuistraat. “I live in this apartment for almost 17 years and I love the neighbourhood. Even though the area is becoming more and more touristic, it still has a local feel. I actually became friends with quite a few neighbours. When the weather is nice we take chairs out and sit in front of our houses with a glass of wine. One neighbour lives on a typical Amsterdam house boat, that is also a great spot to hang out in summer. The ladies who work in the red light district are my next door neighbours. Most of them work in this alley for many years. So in these past 17 years, I really got to know them.”
Ingrid’s Amsterdam tips
Ingrid does most of her grocery shopping at the many markets in de Jordaan (the Lindengracht, the Noordermarkt and the Westerstraat). Another area she likes is the Zeedijk (Amsterdam’s Chinatown) “There are great Thai and Chinese restaurants in that street. My favourite store is the Chinese department store Dun Yong, a three story building full of Chinese food and other products. I love to go there and try food I don’t know. The nice thing is that they have little cards with information about each product.” When Ingrid has meetings for work she mostly goes to café Kobalt, where they have nice coffees and a relaxed atmosphere. Her favourite bar in the area is ‘Café In de Wildeman’: “It is a typical brown café with many different beers. There is a nice mix of locals and tourists and always when I go there I end up talking to new people or neighbours, it is a place I even go alone, because there is always someone to chat to.”
Wasn’t today just amazing? On these types of days, I have Bob Marley stuck in my head. Though it was cold, the sun was shining and the weather was sweet. Makes you want to move your peddling feet. Sunday, here I am!
It brought a smile to my face when I sidled up to this pretty colourful pair at the cash machine. Perfectly matched Mother and Daughter duo are ready to go shopping together!
..Punky Brewster eat your heart out!
5 O’clock. Rush hour and also the time when the sun goes down these days. However, it always remains cosy in the ‘bakfiets’ when you are sitting next to your sibling! Especially when dad is racing through the Utrechtsestraat..
I caught these Amsterdammers going though the Rijksmuseum bike path, enjoying today’s sunny chill and riding fast through the tunnel. So many people out and about on their bikes today. Babies, bakfiets, lovers, and friends — I love that no matter the weather, we keep on peddling.
Check out Amsterdam Cycle Chic’s top 10 of November Instagram pics.
1. Saturday morning in autumn
2. Daddy and baby girl cycling through the rain
3. Rainy Saturday morning at the Westergasterrein
4. The warmest November day ever!
5. Man in black
6. Amsterdam style cycling in Paris
Amsterdam style cycling in Paris. Check out this dad cycling through the 7th arrondissement with his kids. Today we posted about Paris. How it is becoming more and more bike friendly. https://amsterdamcyclechic.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/paris-cycles-chic/ #pariscyclechic #cyclingtogether #familycycling #cyclechic #velo #childseat #paris #bicicleta
7. Waiting for the ferry in Amsterdam-Oost
8. Peak hour racing
9. Never too chilly for sequins daaarling!
10. Loving the chic combo: Red bike, number plate, sneaks, stripes, flowers
Are you already following us on Instagram? You should, if you want to learn more about Amsterdam’s cycling culture and enjoy the diversity of cyclists and bikes in Amsterdam’s streets. Every month we will post the most liked Instagram shots here on our blog.
This dad and son duo–with their matching bomber jackers–were singing one of the Dutch Sinterklaas songs while they ride down the street. Such a sweet moment to watch the two.
When former Paris Mayor Delanoë launched the Vélib’ bike sharing scheme in 2007, people laughed. His aim was to reduce traffic in the French capital and give the Parisians more liberty in transportation. Hence the name velib’: from the French words Vélo (bike) and Liberté (liberty). Many people thought the scheme would never work, but after a difficult start, with bikes being stolen or destroyed, it turned out to be a success. After the first five years, 138 million people had used the 23,000 rental bicycles and 31 communities on the outskirts of Paris had joined Vélib’.
(Read: the bicycles revolution in Paris five years later)
Delanoë ‘is a living liveable city legend’ says the Copenhagenize blog. And we all love Delanoë’s quote: “The fact is that cars no longer have a place in the big cities of our time”
Luckily Paris’ new mayor, socialist Anne Hidalgo, also believes firmly in the importance of bikes and other solutions to calm down traffic. She introduced P’tit Vélib’, little bikes added to the bike sharing programme for kids, she wants to double the length of bike lanes, and make more 30 km/h zones in the city.
I just went to Paris for a week, visiting my parents in law for a lovely family holiday. What did I see? Many people using Vélib’s, but also many people on their own bike. The most noticeable, though somehow quite expectable, thing is that Paris cycles chic! We knew that Parisians have style, and we are happy to see that they don’t change their style while cycling. Business man cycling in suits, ladies with high heels and hipsters with skinny jeans. That is how it should be!
To be honest, there is still a lot of car traffic in Paris. There are many places where cycle lanes suddenly stop and roundabouts where even I, as an experienced urban cyclist, didn’t dare to ride. But, thanks to a large extend to Paris’ current and former Mayor, it is going in the right direction. So keep up the good work Parisians and get on your vélo!
- Copenhagenize: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2014/02/copenhagenize-reviews-agenda-for-next.html
- International Press Service: http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/07/the-bicycle-revolution-in-paris-five-years-later/
- European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/bike-rental-scheme-for-kids/
Arriving to parties by bike is super fun, but balancing a handful of balloons flying around can get slightly challenging. This family of 4 seemed to handle it nicely! Happy days..