spotlight on amsterdam | Maurits Koelewijn.

Name: Maurits Koelewijn

Age: 34

Star sign: Scorpio

Hometown: Amsterdam

Where do you live? In the neigbourhood called Watergraafsmeer - in the eastern part of the city.

When did you move here? And why? Two years ago I moved to this studio on the 4th floor. It was a bit closer to the city centre then the studio I had before (on an island of Amsterdam called IJburg). 

Describe yourself in 3 words or less. Curious, thinker, optimistic.

Describe Amsterdam in 3 words or less. Open-minded, dynamic, creative.

What do you do here? I am a writer. I write novel's and columns. Sometimes I also write articles for the local newspaper. I visit cafés and restaurants, dance and food festivals, parcs, coffeebars and much more. Sometimes I go outside the city to go to the beach. Thats only 40 minutes by train. I also like to cycle around the small villages close to Amsterdam. 

What does a normal day entail for you? I'm writing at my place or in a coffeebar somewhere in town. In the evening I hang around with my girlfriend or friends. I also sport in the parcs. I'm doing bootcamp 2 times a week in the parc called Park Frankendael (eastern part of Amsterdam) and once a week running in the Flevopark. 

What makes Amsterdam so special? Its the combination of everything I think. I love the city centre with the canal district. But I'm also a huge fan of the 1930s architecture called Amsterdamse School. The people makes the city special too. There are so many creative people and they inspire me in everything I do.

Best coffee? Lot Sixty One, White Label Coffee, Coffee Bru and Black Gold.

Favourite coffee shop corner to hang out in? Back to Black.

Favorite farmers market? Landmarkt in the small town called Schellingwoude (it's part of Amsterdam-North). People drive many miles to get biologic and unknown food and it's still not that expensive. 

Favorite breakfast spot? @7 in the Scheldestraat (Amsterdam-South).

Favorite dinner spot? Duende (tapasbar in the Jordaan), Restaurant Oost (Italian food) and Michel-Inn.

Where do you take friends who are visiting from out of town? Toren A'dam at the IJ-river. You have an incredible view over the city centre. And café Roest. This is a place where you can buy your own drinks and hang around on the city beach. It's close to the city centre but very relaxed. 

Where can we catch some live music? In the summer you have many free performances in the Vondelpark theatre in the parc called Vondelpark.

Your favourite art gallery? Stedelijk Museum.

Any other secret finds we should know about in Amsterdam? If you follow the Amstel river to the south and leave the city you find some beautiful nature. There are big houses along the river and a windmill. Rembrandt van Rijn also painted in this area. That's why he's got a statue right beside the windmill. The area is called Amstelland.

Where is your next holiday...? Sardinia, Italy.

What are some of the quirky things you always do when traveling? Because I'm a writer I always have my notebook and pen in front of me. Even when I'm laying down the beach or something.

What is an interesting fact about you that most people wouldn’t know? I like to listen to the slow American music from the 1920s.

Whats on your stereo? The Xx, Daft Punk, David Bowie and Beirut.

Who is inspiring you right now? A Dutch and international writer called Cees Nooteboom.

Words you live by… I read once: 'What do you choose to bring into this world? Your fear or your love?' People always act with this two emotions. Fear or love. I try to do everything with love and not to let me lead by fear. Love is the only thing the world really needs!