Mark de Kruijk, Westergasfabriek Amsterdam

Name: Mark de Kruijk

Occupation: Director, Westergasfabriek cultural park

What's the best thing about living in Amsterdam?

It’s an international city without being super-conscious about it! Where else can you visit the best museums, concert halls, theatres, and hotspots all within 20 minutes by bike?

And the worst?

We take it for granted that we have this safe, relatively clean, easygoing city.

Your most memorable “Amsterdam moment”?

As a kid, in 1981, at the height of the Cold War, there was a huge demonstration on Museumplein against nuclear Weapons. It was amazing to feel the power of Amsterdam’s spirit of freedom.

Favourite Westergasfabriek event?

I like it when it combines indoor and outdoor elements, and if we have a real mix of visitors: young and old, families, neighbours, locals, and international.

What event would you love to host?

I am jealous of Rotterdam’s North Sea Jazz Festival. How great would it be to have those legends play in the Gashouder, or the new generation of musicians? Luckily, we have the little brother of the festival, the North Sea Jazz Club.

North Sea Jazz Club Amsterdam

The North Sea Jazz Club; Westergasfabriek's world famous live music venue 

In what Amsterdam building would you like to spend the night?

Let me take the stage of the Stadsschouwburg! A dark stage, more than 100 years of theatre history around me, the buzz coming from the outside world...

If you only had one day to visit Amsterdam?

I’d take my bike and cycle to all the new and exciting hotspots that are popping up around the NDSM in Noord: Marine terrain, Roest, ACTA , Beehive, de Volkshotel.  

"Where else can you visit the best museums,concert hallstheatres, and hotspots all within 20 minutes by bike?"

Favourite Amsterdam hang out?

I would be crazy if I didn’t say the Westergasfabriek. How wonderful that the Meijer family saved these buildings from demolition. There are so many great spots here, for coffee, dining, entertainment – I can’t pick!

Amsterdam Westergasfabriek night Ellen Martens

Westergasfabriek by night 

Favourite dish?

Best pizza in Amsterdam: YamYam, best Japanese: Okura, best French: Bistro Zuidlande.

Favourite neighbourhood?

Nieuwmarkt and its secret hideaways, Vondelpark where people relax and enjoy being outdoors. In less developed parts of the city, new spots and companies give a whole new vibe to the city.

What museum have you visited several times?

I regularly visit all of them, but on my agenda right now are Foam, Onze Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic), EYE Film museum, and the Oude Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk.

Maarten Noordijk

The EYE Film museum in Amsterdam North

Preferred method of transportation around the city?

My little boat. Although it’s a hassle to keep it rainwater free, I am always so happy and relaxed on the water, looking at Amsterdam from this unique point of view.

What’s a perfect winter evening in Amsterdam for you?

As a student, I remember many winters ice-skating on the canals. People stayed up all-night, even bringing couches and selling hot chocolate: all improvised within a day, unforgettable! I am longing for a winter like that!