Bright lights, big city
In the first of week of November 2022, the Stornara delegation and other partners have all joined in cold and rainy Amsterdam for the street art adventure. It was the first time in Amsterdam for many of the people, so SAMA team have ensured that the program was packed with an all-around guided tours through Amsterdam city and its street art.
On the arrival day, SAMA picked up the Italian delegation of 10 people in Schiphol airport and took them to hotel. The dinner was awaiting us in local Hotel Buiten - a community restaurant on the shores of Sloterplas lake. We invited local municipality administrators and residents to join the big family table and share the stories of Amsterdam Nieuw-West with our guests.
After the 2 hours of street art tour through SAMA collection, we settled for lunch in the local restaurant, famous for its traditional Turkish cuisine. Next stop, was Central Station and a brief visit to NDSM terrace where we saw the difference between commissioned participatory art and free street art & graffiti. Just before dinner in the famous Dutch contemporary food restaurant Wild Boars, we popped-in to visit Chinny Bond, who curated an exhibition of Sidney Waerts, in Ambassadors hotel's gallery. It was great to see our guests completely overwhelmed and excited with new things they were experiencing. Stramurales curator and president Lino Lombardi 'fell in love' with Alex Senna and Sidney Waerts on this trip. We discussed a lot the origins of street art and its distinction from graffiti or participatory murals.
After a short perusal at local market on Plein 40-45, we had an intense working sessions with all the partners, focused on planig the next trips to Spain and Portugal, and working out the wishes, having experienced Amsterdam and its dynamic street art offer. Lunch was served at Pane & Olio in Joordan city district, following the long walk through the touristic part of Amsterdam. Not far away from there, just by the Dam Square, there is a small street art hot-spot called Secret Garden, where we sampled some delicious prosecco and had a guided introduction tour by its founder - Brian. The 'must do bucket list' - souvenirs and red light district- have been successfully accomplished. The dinner was cooked by Roberto Nigro - by now, the favourite mayor and the chef - in SAMA gallery, where we were able to relax, talk, sing and dance together (just a little) and prepare for the early morning flight back to the partner's countries of origin.
Next stop - Elche, Spain!