When those in the Northern Hemisphere think of March, they think of the start of springtime, green shoots and flower buds popping up in random places after a long hard winter. If you’re religious or have a penchant for rabbit-shaped chocolate, you might think of Easter. If you’re Irish, you might think St Patrick’s Day. If you’re a complete history geek, you might think of the death of Julias Ceasar even.
But here in Amsterdam, we think: rain, umbrellas, somehow always biking into the wind no matter which way you are going, getting a wet ass from your bike seat, and prying your lock open with cold fingers.
This is our life (in March).
But we fret not! We know what’s coming, and that’s why there are always a load of things to do indoors in March.
So get your wellies on, we have a lot to see this month!
Japanese Animation at the Melkweg, 9 – 30 March
Japanicus Animatus: Affecting everyone at least once in their life, the Studio Ghibli is the powerhouse of Japanese animation, churning out massive blockbuster after massive blockbuster from “My Neighbor Totoro” to “Spirited Away”. They just can’t seem to get it wrong. So if kawaii characters and heart-tugging storylines are your symptoms, then think of the Melkweg as your hospital this month as several times a week they will be showing most of Hayao Miyazaki’s greatest animated films. Be sure to reserve early. This same event in 2007 was nearly always sold out.
Food Film Festival, 18 – 20 March
An international festival that is appearing for the first time in Amsterdam this year, the Food Film Festival is a showcase of 20 films about…come on, take a guess now…..that’s right: FOOD. We all love it, we all need it, we all eat it. Now we can watch it, too, at Studio K. There are films about food waste, films about the threat of overfishing, and even films about the world’s most demanding competition in the pastry world. In addition to the films there are also food-related workshops and music.
Restaurant Week, 14 – 20 March
Speaking of food, all that movie watching above is going to make you hungry! Luckily it is just in time for the ever-growing popular Restaurant Week in Amsterdam. Check out their website and reserve a nice 3-course dinner for just €27.50 or a 3-course lunch for €22.50. This is the perfect opportunity to try out that place you’ve been looking at, but have never found the time/money/energy/company to actually visit. Unfortunately by now, all of the “in demand” places are already fully booked (especially for the weekends) but there are still some gems to be found if you have a good look.
5 Days Off Festival, Melkweg, Paradiso, Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst, 2 – 6 March
Electronic music lovers rejoice. It’s that time of year again: The 11th edition of the 5 Days Off Festival is about to rock your boppy socks off. For 5 days the city of Amsterdam (and most especially the Leidseplein area) is overrun with every type of electronic music, from dance to trip hop to dubsteb. For a preview of what to expect, check out the 5 Days Off Youtube channel. For entry fees, you can either choose the passe-partout for €66, or pick and choose which concerts you would like to see (each €12 to €20).
Mediamatic Arcade, until 27 March
The most fun you can have in Amsterdam for €5. Mediamatic on the Vijzelstraat is running a nostalgic arcade with all of your favorite old video game consoles, arcade games, workshops, and handheld game devices. I see you one Atari, and raise you a Commodore 64. In addition to the all-you-can-eat buffet of videogames in store, Mediamatic is also running a weekly series of movies, documentaries & cartoons about video games, pinball, and the rise and fall of arcades around the world showing every Tuesday evening. Definitely not to be missed.
One last thing before I wrap this up. While Amsterdam is still patiently waiting for the Stedelijk Museum to fully reopen its doors, they are holding a temporary exhibition from the 3rd of March. I guess this is like a “Sorry we made you wait years and years, we know you’re starving, so here’s a cookie to hold you over a few months until dinnertime“. This new program takes some of the Stedelijk’s classic and famed pieces and displays them in innovative ways within the building in its current, not-quite-finished state. If you are going through modern-art withdrawals, now is the time to shoot up.
Have a nice March everyone! And don’t get too wet!