People make the city! We have already written a lot about Rotterdam, so it’s time we involve some of its people! Tips and inspiration are always welcome. This time: Thijs!
Thijs is a passionate freelance interactive and visual designer with a love for graphic design. He has a background in communication and multimedia design at the Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen. Thijs is not originally from Rotterdam. He was born in the Achterhoek, Doetinchem to be precise and came to Rotterdam via Arnhem and Utrecht. He has lived here for almost three years now. He now has his own company (Radijs Design) in Rotterdam and follows the master design at Willem de Kooning Academy. In the three years he lives here, he really fell in love with the city and her hidden treasures.
Because it’s around the corner, he likes to go to Studio De Bakkerij (Bergweg 283). “A nice little theater where the ‘Havenloods Live’ takes place every month. A live talk show where Oma Greet (the most amazing fictional character) discusses the most exceptional items from the Havenlood. Another place I try to be every month is the Creative Mornings (changing locations). This is a great concept where you can enjoy a seminar which stimulates creativity, while eating a free breakfast. Every last Friday of the month there is a guest speaker discussing a subject that’s also currently being discussed at other Creative Mornings locations around the world.”
He finds it difficult to describe the real ‘Rotterdam feeling’. “Because I’m not really from Rotterdam, but Rotterdam feels like a creative and open city that shimmers, lives, beeps and cracks. It’s spacious and refined at the same time and I think that’s wonderful about this city. There’s always something to do, so you never get bored.”
Any hidden gems? “Dr. is a hidden cocktail bar somewhere in Rotterdam. Recently I went here for the first time. The all-around experience is really great. You can book via the website, where you will receive your patient number and location via the mail. I don’t want to say too much because you have to experience it yourself. I just want to say it’s a small bar, where you are completely sucked in to the theme. Telephone usage is forbidden, so if you want a nice photo for your social media you can get a polaroid photo. Another gem in Rotterdam is Scrap (Schoterbosstraat 6C). Scrap is great for creative people and children, they are selling industrial waste and residual material for a trifle. Buttons, steel, bottles, bowls and other frills of plastic, cardboard, fabric, rope, rubber, paper and wood. You can find it all here. Great to walk around and think about what you can make with all this.”
He also has a guilty pleasure! “Last winter I went for a hottug cruise through the port of Rotterdam for my birthday. I didn’t want to throw a party, but I wanted to do an activity and that’s how I came across the hottug. A hottug is a whisper boat filled with water which is heated by a wood stove. You can book this via the website of V11 (Wijnhaven 101), where it also depards. It is advisable to go when it is very cold outside, because the water in the hottug becomes very warm.”
And last but not least: what is the city missing? “My favorite city is Berlin and Rotterdam is looking a lot more like Berlin I think. In Berlin, more and more neighborhoods are becoming more organic. The Rotterdam post-war mentality of breaking down the old and putting something new is still too much in the blood of Rotterdam. Many buildings that have a lot of character and charm are either broken down or refurbished to a commercial destination because they are old. Buildings aren’t allowed tot be what they are. Rotterdam is famous for its modern architecture and I think it is becoming reinforced by maintaining the old architecture, the combination of the two makes Rotterdam as it is now. Hotel New York next to The Rotterdam for example. But, in my opinion, Rotterdam doesn’t always make enough room for this. “