January 15, 2016

Country’s first gaming hotel comes with poutine

Filed under: Dutch first,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 2:11 pm

On 16 January, the Arcade hotel in Amsterdam will open its doors, the country’s first gaming hotel, where the Aalborg hotel in the De Pijp district used to be. The idea of a gaming hotel came from Montréal, Québec (where I’m from), and the owners promised to serve poutine, although I wonder how they will get the cheese curds for it because nobody makes that kind of cheese here.*

The rooms offer a lot of retro games, some that gamers can’t find as easily from Nintendo, Sega and Microsoft and they’ll be at least 10 kinds per room. And if that’s not enough, the lobby will also feature comic books as reading material, another favourite of new manager Daniel Salmanovich.

“Hotels always claim that they want to be a home away from home, but that’s nonsense. People want something different than what they have at home when they’re travelling. There’s enough hotels that offer pay-per-view and Netflix to their guests, and I wanted a hotel for people like me who relax with gaming.”

Salmanovich also says he’ll be offering poutine, Québec’s world-reknowned fast food dish, which newspaper Het Parool got wrong by saying it had ‘grated cheese’ (cheddar bits would have been more accurate), but called it a ‘unofficial national dish’, which means that the journalist has a better grasp of geopolitics than food.

*The Québec Delegation in Brussels, who represents the Benelux worked very hard to get a Belgian cheese maker to make 40 kg of cheese curds for the Québec national holiday parties on 24 June a few years ago.

(Link: www.parool.nl)

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September 12, 2013

Canadian cities are adopting the Dutch woonerf

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles,Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 9:37 am


Toronto was probably the first Canadian city back in 2010 to build a Dutch-style ‘woonerf’, streets where the boundaries between the areas for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have been removed, and now Montreal and Ottawa are adopting them as well. They’ve also adopted the word ‘woonerf’, a typical Dutch word and construct from 1934 to go with it.

When I was learning how to drive here I had to learn everything about these special residential zones where the driving speed is ‘at a foot’s pace’ (about 15 km/h, although it isn’t actually specified) and where a car must give right of way to all other drivers (including cyclists) upon entering and all other road users upon exiting. As well, any drivers coming at you from the right in a woonerf have right of way, and parking is only allowed where indicated.

(Link: www.bnr.nl, Photo by Payton Chung, some rights reserved)

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September 23, 2011

Amsterdam out-Copenhagenizes Copenhagen as the best major city to cycle

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 6:37 pm

A list by Copenhagenize Consulting puts Amsterdam straight at the top of 80 major cities world-wide as the most bike-friendly place to be.

The city scored high in almost every of the thirteen categories that the candidates were judged on: “The cycling atmosphere is relaxed, enjoyable, and as mainstream as you can get. This is the one place on the planet where fear-mongering about cycling is non-existent and it shows.”

Numbers two and three were Copenhagen and Barcelona, Montreal came in eighth as the best of the Americas.

Copenhagenize Consulting is run by Mikael Colville-Andersen who started the Copenhagenize blog—extolling the virtues of bicycling—after he had noticed that an ordinary photo of an ordinary woman riding an ordinary bike could draw an extraordinary response from a global audience. There but for the grace of god was the world spared the term Assenize. (Disclaimer: I am not dissing David Hembrow, just mocking the phrase.)

(Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

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December 7, 2008

Lost Amsterdam Bed-In photos found

Filed under: Dutch first,History,Music,Photography by Orangemaster @ 1:03 pm
Bed-in, Hilton, Amsterdam

The daughter of photojournalist Nico Koster found a series of unique pictures in some box with old baby pictures of the world-famous ‘Bed-In’ that John Lennon and Yoko Ono held in March 1969 at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. Koster, who works for the Dutch paper De Telegraaf, had lost the precious negatives of an exclusive photoshoot he had in Room 902 (some sources say 702) of the Hilton Hotel.

And when you’re Canadian like me you know more about the Montreal Bed-In, which took place in May 1969 because of the song that was spontaneously recorded there, Give Peace a Chance.

(Link and photo: parool.nl)

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