An interview with ... Influencer, Stëffan de Jong
Entrepreneur, lawyer, lecturer and Canal House Ambassador, Stëffan de Jong, gives us an inside look at his Amsterdam ...
Photo by: Neeltje de Vries.
Stëffan, tell us a bit about you and what you do for a living …
I am born about 45 years ago in one of the cities close to Amsterdam. I studied law at the University of Amsterdam and didn't leave the city. I had some crazy jobs during my studies, including announcer at a well known warehouse, baking bread (waking up in the middle of the night) and bartending. Eventually, I finished law school and (since 2000) work as a lawyer specialised in employment law. When I'm not working I'm walking the dog (a pug), read books, explore the town or play water polo.
Amsterdam is spoilt for choice when it comes to museums, what’s your favourite?
So many choices... Can I have two? The Amsterdam City Museum for its history and beautiful paintings and objects on Amsterdam. The Hermitage for its changing exhibitions and pleasant size.
Where do you go when you want to escape the city?
We recently moved from the northern part of Amsterdam (Amsterdam - Noord) to the old city centre. The northern part, including Schellingwoude, Durgerdam and Ransdorp offer the imposing silence of wide open spaces overlooking the IJsselmeer (which used to be a sea).
Where do you go when you need to switch off?
It has been a while since I visited Koan Float at the Herengracht where you lay (float) in salted water in a soundproof fully dark egg shaped tube listening to whales. Something totally different: watch a movie in one of Amsterdam's many film theatres. Try to avoid the mainstream theatres and choose a small film house. Movies in the Netherlands have their original language and are usually subtitled.
Favourite restaurant, café or bar at the moment?
One of the many small Asian restaurants on the Zeedijk. There are some nice typical Amsterdam cafes around the Concertgebouw including café Welling.
What’s Amsterdam’s best kept secret?
A Sunday morning walk on the canals (when the water is as smooth as a mirror) followed by a cappuccino and a newspaper.
In your opinion, what makes Amsterdam one for the bucket list?
The old grand houses next to the canals and the circle shaped historical city expansions arrange for a symmetric kind of tranquillity that makes Amsterdam unlike any other capital.
If you had 24 hours in Amsterdam, what would make your must-do list?
Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I'll start with a lavish hotel breakfast. Maybe it sounds a bit tedious but everyone should see Amsterdam from the water. So do take an excursion boat. There are also cruises that float electrically and are super quite. Also a must do (and off the track): go back in time and have a swim in one of the oldest public city pools the Zuiderbad (near the Rijksmuseum). Afterwards, a healthy noodle lunch at Waggamama's on the Leidseplein before visiting a matinee performance at the Amsterdam theatre: Stadsschouwburg. Use the tram to visit the Albert Cuyp Market, Netherlands most popular market. Have a rest, drink a latte in one of the many new coffee houses in that area and just sit and watch people. Dinner at restaurant Lastage in the old city centre and finish with some drinks and/or some clubbing in the A'Dam Tower across central station.