On Monday I recapped part one of my recent trip to Amsterdam, and I’m back with part two. I had to save the dankest for last.
Grey Area is one of the more well-known and frequented coffeeshops in Amsterdam. The interior is cozy, with maybe four tables and a counter with chairs along one wall. The shop is owned and operated by Americans, which make for an ideal experience for those looking for a familiar face and language (for the most part the Dutch actually speak fluent English) . When I was there I had a long conversation with the guy working behind the counter about the differences between the “weed scene” in the U.S. and in Amsterdam, namely Amsterdam’s lack of blunts and preference for papers.
Their menu wasn’t the biggest but it was well organized and easy to read. I went with the “Casey Jones” and “Grey Haze”, and wasn’t disappointed with either.
Twisted up a quick joint of the “Grey Haze” while I was there. Notice the volcano in the background? Just about every coffeeshop I visited had at least one, although I didn’t see a single person using them my entire time in Amsterdam; joints and bongs all day.
If my weekend in Amsterdam was a joint, I was down to the roach by the time I made it into Barney’s Coffeeshop. It was dark and almost had the vibe of a bar/lounge, except of course that instead of serving alcohol they were serving up the finest or marijuana.
Their menu had tons of choices for all levels of smokers, but the thing that stood out to me were the strains that had been entered into recent Cannabis Cups. The last item on the menu was “Tangerine Dream” (G-13 crossed with Neville’s A-5 sativa), a 2010 Cannabis Cup Winner.
Naturally, I bought a gram and rolled it up immediately.
The “Tangerine Dream” was phenomenal. Extremely intense high that had me feeling like I was floating through the Red Light District. It definitely held up to the hype of being a Cannabis Cup winning strain.
As good as their herb was (and I wish I had stopped in earlier in my trip to try more), Barney’s also earned major props for playing How High while I was there. Every table had it’s own screen and volcano, allowing you to enjoy your purchases without the distractions of nearby tourists experiencing their first high.
All in all Amsterdam was amazing and I urge all weed enthusiasts to make the pilgrimage there once in their life. I know I’m already plotting on a return trip for next summer.
Coaching legend Red Auerbach once said to his players about their abilities, “Do what you do best.” As a huge Lakers fan Domo will probably hate me for quoting the late Celtics coach in a post about his song, but the guy who’s positive he lived a past life in the ’70s really embodies what Auerbach was talking about. He raps about what he knows, and right now that’s lots and lots of marijuana. His last line on the song is evidence enough as he spits, “I’ma talk pot every fuckin’ verse I get on, I’m a pothead fuck you this is my song”.
I should also mention the first rapper Remy Banks considering the song is off his upcoming project World Famous 2. Banks’ verse is a bong-rip propelled trip through nimbus clouds that have him “lifted like a levee”. And in case you thought the Queens native wasn’t smoking good out on the East Coast, he clears the hazy air to inform us that, “when it comes to quality of course I’m feeling glorious, only smoke high grade call it valedictorians”. All this weed talk is brought together by the jazzy production of New York producer Hannibal King, who I need to hear more from immediately.
After going through hundreds of pictures during the last week, I finally put together a recap of my time in Amsterdam. The first question from everyone as soon as I got back was about the quality of weed there, and whether or not it’s as good (or even better) than what we get here in Southern California. I probably tried close to ten different strains while in Amsterdam, and the truth is that their weed is equivalent to just about anything you can find in the states. The coolest part was getting to try strains that had been entered, and even won, Cannabis Cups from the past few years.The prices were comparable, and really the only thing lacking to me was the ability to buy a swisher sweet or dutch master, as the closest they sold were the flavored wraps I refuse to mess with.
As for the coffeeshops, I was most disappointed to find that most of them already had the weed pre-weighed and packaged in a drawer. Even though they allowed you to check out the herb before purchasing, I always like to see the entire batch of whatever I’m buying. The other negative I noticed was the preference of most locals to roll “spliffs” (a combination of tobacco and weed). On several occasions I had to stress to the budtenders that I wanted a “pure” joint, and a few were surprised that I would, or even could, smoke an entire gram to myself.
The other thing about Amsterdam was I had this perception in my mind that everyone would just be walking around smoking joints left and right, but that wasn’t the case. Yes, the locals are extremely accepting when it comes to marijuana, but if you’re blowing smoke in their face as they walk down the street they’re not going to be too pleased. When I wasn’t smoking in the hotel or coffeeshops I would walk away from the main streets and just chill by the canals where there usually weren’t as many people.
On to the pictures…
I posted about my initial visit to Paradox coffeeshop a little while back, and since it was so close to the hotel I made a return visit there the following day. Picked up a gram of their Amnesia haze (a popular strain in Amsterdam) and a little over half a gram of Jungle hash, which had a great consistency and smoked wonderfully in a joint.
I didn’t actually get a chance to go inside Cheech & Chong’s coffeeshop but it warranted a photograph.
From the busy streets where pedestrians, bicyclists, cars, and scooters managed to navigate the roads amongst each other, to the narrow alleyways that would make any claustrophobic nervous, the city had so much character to it. Let’s not forget the canals either, where I saw plenty of friends and families taking out their boats with some beers and a couple of joints for a relaxing afternoon.
I can’t explain the costumes, but the beer bike was exactly what it sounds like: a pedal-powered bar that toured the city as it’s passengers got drunk.
The Bulldog was one of the better coffeeshops I visited, and this Super Silver Haze was without a doubt the stickiest of all the weed I purchased. So sticky that it necessitated the purchase of a grinder to help break it down.
While most coffeeshops were fine with sparking up right at the counter, Johnny’s Coffeeshop had a custom-built “smoking room” (really just a wooden counter with glass doors separating it from the main room), but the best part was the vent in the roof that took in all the smoke and deposited it right onto the street haha.
Amsterdam isn’t really known for much in particular when it comes to food, but this Dutch pancake with bacon was phenomenal.
Part 2 coming later this week
The rapper-producer relationship can be a difficult one, almost like trying to pair the right bottle of wine with a good meal, but when the chemistry and compatibility are evident it elevates the music to a five-star level. Such is the case on Howard Flozstello’s latest offering via twitter, “Winston ’85″, as he teams up with frequent collaborators The Baron Boys. The production duo craft a slow, soulful beat that samples Rene & Angela’s classic “My First Love”, the perfect compliment for Flozstello’s laid-back, THC-induced raps that sound as if they’re being delivered mid-rotation.
The title “Winston ’85″ is a reference to Bill Elliot’s improbable come-from-behind victory in 1985 at the Winston 500 to capture the $1 million prize. Of all the sports typically referenced by rappers Nascar usually doesn’t rank too high on the list, but Howard Flozstello is intent on creating his own lane rather than joining the masses of other rappers stuck repeating the same route.
His next project Moments In The Sun is on the horizon, and also make sure to check out our interview with Flozstello from a little while back here.