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11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

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31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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City guide writers love Amsterdam

29 July 2006 – Writers of city guides on Amsterdam love the city as much as ever, a survey by HP/De Tijd magazine shows. They are not put off by the construction sites breaking up the city and the supposed multicultural drama.

One might almost think that HP-journalist Fons van Lier intended to paint a negative picture of the capital. He opens his article with the construction sites of the North/South metro line (photo), drunken English tourists, museums that will not reopen before long and sombre thoughts about the multicultural society.

The negative image is confirmed by former minister Eduard Bomhoff, now living in Malaysia, who thinks that the cultural life in the city is deteriorating; and by the American journalist Bruce Bawer, who fears that tolerance is being undermined by badly integrated Muslims.

However, writers of city guides on Amsterdam remain as enthusiastic as ever about the city. “Amsterdammers tend to forget, but there is no other city where it is so delightful to just walk around”, says Andrew Bender of the Lonely Planet.

According to the Rough Guide’s Phil Lee tourism has been deteriorating, but the tide is turning. “The PR for the Eastern Docklands and the emphasis on ‘Dutch design’ have done very well abroad”.

Steve Korner, writer of the Amsterdam Time Out and editor in chief of the Amsterdam Weekly, also thinks that the city is not doing all that bad. “But Amsterdammers would not be Amsterdammers if they would not have something to nag about”.

Problems relating to the integration of ethnic minorities have caused some frowning abroad. “People sometimes ask me: ‘What is going on over there?’ I mean, there is a Harry Potter as prime minister, and a psycho bitch from hell as Immigration Minister”.

“But hey, people are now returning to their senses. The polder model is taking over again, instead of the hysteric discussions we had before”, says Korver. The polder model stands for the culture of consultation and consensus.

Korver himself is annoyed by tourists who insist on riding through the city on bicycle, thus obstructing normal cyclists. “During the summer months, it takes me twice as long to get to my work”.

One of the city guides that encourage tourists to rent bikes is Fodor’s. Its author, Nicole Chabot, is the only one who has a really negative opinion of the city. She laments the lack of beauty parlours and the fact that almost nowhere real Dutch food is served. She therefore takes visitors to the Albert Cuyp market, to let them taste ‘old Dutch snacks such as treacle waffles, croquettes and herring’. Right.

Source: HP/De Tijd


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