The Shallow Man looks fondly back at the eighties as a time of bright colors, shoulder pads, Dynasty (What a chap Blake Carrington was!) and, of course, the rise of the King of pop, Michael Jackson. I was there in the crowd at Wembley Stadium in the summer of 1988 along with 70,000 wonderful people watching MJ moonwalk across the stage. Happy memories. Having lived through that period, I was none too excited to be invited to a 1980’s party, however, against my better judgment, the Shallow Man attended. I’d forgotten quite how many dreadful songs were popular during this period, and for good reason. Mel and Kim? Bananarama? Kim Wilde sang a song which had the line ‘view from a bridge, can’t take anymore,’ well that’s exactly how I felt hearing that song. Another annoying song I’d forgotten was called “We Close Our Eyes”. What an irritating number, sung by a group called Go West, which brings me to the subject of today’s post.
A common request received by the Shallow Man is for advice on where to live in Amsterdam. I’ve already provided my frank and uncensored views of Amsterdam East and Southeast. https://amsterdamshallowman.com/2013/10/the-shallow-man-guide-to-amsterdam.html My views have been duly noted and have caused upset in some quarters. Undaunted by criticism, I will press on, like the Tolpuddle Martyrs of old, with my reviews of Amsterdam. Today I will review Amsterdam West. If, as a result, I am handcuffed to a chair and forced to sit through repeated showings of Soldat van Oranje while being force -fed Zuurkool, I will be bold and shout out “I am Spartacus!” The things I do for my readers!
To do this part of Amsterdam justice, I will split it into two main neighborhoods: Oud West (Old West) and Bos en Lommer.
According to the teachings of the Roman Catholic church, Purgatory is the place between Heaven and Hell, where those who have not committed mortal sin are elected to go to heaven. The same could be said of Oud West. Situated tantalisingly close to the Heaven of Amsterdam South and also within smartphone -snatching, easy scooter -riding distance to the Hell that is Bos en Lommer.
If you want to see up and coming yuppies in their natural habitat, move to Oud West. This neighborhood is hip, consisting of Delicatessens, good wine dealers, and plenty of lively cafes. Back in the day, the Shallow Man could frequently be seen propping up the bar at Cafe Oslo, fighting off the attentions of cheap -boot -wearing ladies with bad haircuts. Think of Manhattan’s East Village and you’ll be in the right ballpark. In recent years, lots of renovations have taken place in the neighborhood, making it an incredibly good value place to buy or rent property. When visiting cafes for breakfast or lunch during the weekend, please be careful not to trip over and risk breaking your neck, due to selfish parents parking their bugaboo pushchairs anywhere they please. That aside, Amsterdam Oud West gets the Shallow Man’s seal of approval, something I’m sure will bring joy to the hearts of members of the local council.
Bos en Lommer
The Shallow Man, being the adventurous chap that he is, once visited a shortly -lived nightclub called The Moon. Unfortunately, like its name, it had absolutely no atmosphere. Which brings me to the part of Amsterdam West known as Bos en Lommer. If Dante were alive today, he’d have based his masterwork, Inferno, in Bos En Lommer. For those of you not familiar with Dante, he wrote about taking a tour through hell. I’m sure that there’s a Dante straat in Bos en Lommer somewhere. Like Amsterdam East, Bos en Lommer is at the very end of known civilisation. It’s a long and perilous journey to get there, and upon arriving you’ll soon realise that apart from the joys of Doner (food, not a woman), some gambling halls and a few local social clubs, there is very little to do there.
The area is also well -known for its entrepreneurial spirit. Many small business people have opened the largest collection of “Thuis bordeel’s” (Home brothels) in the country. If you are looking for somewhere incredibly cheap to live, then this is the neighborhood for you. In fact, many properties there are so undesirable that landlords will practically pay you to move in.
If you are looking for a neighborhood where even Taxi drivers are afraid to take passengers to (even though many of them live there) and want to be guaranteed a life of boredom and eternal torment, move to Bos en Lommer.
No former eighties pop stars, yuppies or hookers were hurt during the writing of this article.
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