Bimhuis

No longer in the traditional Dutch Canal House it began in, this landmark in Dutch Jazz music began in 1974, organized by the Dutch Jazz Foundation and the union of improvising musicians, BIM. They convinced the Dutch government to provide grants for improvised music which led to the establishment of the Bimhuis. Such jazz legends as Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Dexter Gordon, Sun Ra, Art Blakey all played here. More than a hundred LP’s and CD’s have come out of sessions at the Bimhuis.

Moved to a new place recently, now a striking black box, part of the Muziekgebouw complex, a great new home to this veteran venue for jazz concerts.

Puccini

I already knew that Belgian chocolates, as fine as they are, are equalled if not surpassed by Dutch chocolate. I first became addicted to Dutch chocolate when some friends from Breda took us to their favorite chocolatier which happens to be around the corner from them. Another friend told us about Puccini, right here in Amsterdam, so I finally went by to see what all the fuss was.

I was glad I did! I’ve never tasted such fine chocolate in my life! All the bonbons were fresh, creamy smooth, and so flavorful. While their selection isn’t huge, each choice is meticulously made with the finest natural ingredients and a 70% cacao content. Many of their bonbons contain fine liquors like cognac, grand marnier or amaretto.

Discover this well-kept local secret for yourself! Puccini has two locations, and at the Staalstraat shop, you can see them make the bonbons through a window. On the Staalstraat you can also enjoy a coffee and some fabulous chocolate desserts at their cafe…

The other location is at Singel 184
Phone: 020 427 8341

Book Traffic

Unfortunately this bookstore has been closed permanently, a historical post for posterity.

The first time I visited Book Traffic (it had another name back then), I scored a great book about the 1960s that I used as a reference in writing my own book. Low and behold, a recent visit and I scored another great one from the 60s, that I wished I had before.

I love browsing through their science fiction section because they have so many books to choose from, and since they’re used, the price is right! They also have lots of other subjects including art and photography, philosophy and spirituality, etc. Plan on spending some time there on your first visit getting acquainted with the selection and the people who work there.

They also have books in Dutch (of course!), and they’re open on Sunday. Nice place to stop if you’re in the area or walking through the Jordaan.

Hours: Monday – Friday 10am-6pm
Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
Leliegracht 50
Amsterdam 1015
Phone: 020-620-4690