Walk: Diamantbuurt

Even though I’m fighting a cold (and mostly losing), I wake up early to a beautifully still early Sunday morning in Amsterdam. The light, cool breeze is nice outside, so I grab my camera and go. Today, I head toward the residential SE corner of De Pijp, a little micro-neighborhood called Diamantbuurt.

To get there, I walk a few blocks south down Van Woustraat. At this hour, the street is mostly filled with busted trash bags, pigeons, and the remnants of Saturday night.

I need to look up some info on this, but, anecdotally, I’ve heard some stories involving this street (Pieter Aertszstraat) and the escalation of atrocities against Jews in occupied WW2 Amsterdam. In fact, I need to learn more about the WW2 history of Amsterdam in general. I stil haven’t been to the Anne Frank Huis, much less the Dutch Resistance Museum

Neon spray painted bikes baking in the morning sun.

I now enter the Diamantbuurt area. The first few streets are quiet, single level, pleasant little urban houses. This house had two nice stencils on either side of their door.

The second stencil.

Really large piece on Diamantstraat.

Pretty little tag on the south end of Diamantstraat.

I now approach Diamantbuurt proper. To me, these buildings, designed by Dutch architect Jop van Epen, look like fortresses. The brick, the angular elements, the yellow and green window frames — these are all hallmark styles of these arbeiderspaleizen, or ‘worker’s palaces’.

Most of these housing units were not built with showers, so there was a public bath house built at the center of the neighborhood. This is true of many housing developments in Amsterdam. The bathhouse in Diamanttbuurt was also designed by van Epen, and was the last of them to close in Amsterdam.

There are many parts of the housing development that are almost fully enclosed from the outer roads, with housing units arching over the neighborhood’s entryway.

I noticed some of the blocks had these dark, archways covering the exterior entries, so you can step in from the rain to unlock your door.

As I exit Diamantbuurt, I cross Van Woustraat. This coffeeshop facade is one of the less…imaginative that I’ve seen.

Looking down the Amstelkanaal, the southern border of de Pijp (and Diamantbuurt).

No door-to-door papers!

Fun sticker hidden away on the side of an electric box. It was still so early, and the neighborhood was so still and silent, I actually got a little nervous taking this picture, since I was about a foot from what seemed to be a bedroom window. I didn’t want the occupants to think I was taking photos of their bedroom.

Remnants of Saturday’s outside play time.