Amsterdam, Netherlands
Micaela, 45
see her Amsterdam city guide

a bit about Micaela

What do you do and why do you do it?

I help startups in hospitality. Amsterdam is full of creative entrepreneurs and luckily there are still enough daring individuals who dare to fulfill their dreams. If there is a match in style and purpose I help financially, strategically and with my network. Love the building phase, love the teamwork, love the buzz of creating something new.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

Manning a telephone switchboard in a shopping center during vacation time. Being locked up in a 3x2 room, only window facing yet another concrete wall, only 10 calls a day to connect through, hours and hours to kill. It drove me crazy!!

Were you born and raised in Amsterdam? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Amsterdam?

I was born and raised in Germany. I've moved quite a lot, even spent a year in the United States. Ended up working in fashion and living in Frankfurt without ever really enjoying it very much. My move to Amsterdam was quite coincidentally, yet it was love on first sight. In Frankfurt I never really seemed to fit quite in. Amsterdam made me feel right at home. It's beautiful, relaxed, save and diverse. You can be whoever you want to be and no one seems to have a problem with that.

What’s your current hood in Amsterdam and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

During the past 20 years I have lived in most parts of the city. Even on a boat for some time. 3 years ago I finally moved to my present location. It's perfect! spacious, light and located in an area that is central, yet quite. With all the shopping you need and lot's of bars and cultural places to pick from. There is no real bad thing about it.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

The music I listen to is quite diverse. It's mostly upbeat or soulful. Yet a good singer and songwriter makes me happy on a sunday morning. Spotify has changed my listening habits quite a bit. It's really the mood that dictates what I'll listen to. Hate is a strong sensation that I don't use easily. Heavy techno, or metal doesn't appeal to me. The same is true for current pop music... which pretty much all sounds the same.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Melancholic, sobby, 80ies love songs...stuff like that.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

Just like Spotiy has changed the way I listen to music, Netflix has done the same when it comes to watching TV. Series that I loved are: The Americans, The affair, The crown, Chefs table, Narcos, House of cards, Westwing...

Name some spots in Amsterdam that are good for a Tinder date.

Hmmm... have never Tindered and would think that age is quite an important criteria. I'd say: Waterkant or Hannekes Boom for the young ones, Pllek or Brandstoff for the 30ies, Buffet van Odette or Plantage for 40+.

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

There is really only one person right now that deserves to be roasted. Unfortunately this person has decided not to attend the correspondents dinner. Too bad. I'd loved to see that happen.

Who’s your hero and where in Amsterdam would you take them out for a serious hang?

That would be Seth Meyers. I know him from his time here in Amsterdam and he is one of the smartest and funniest people I have ever met. He has had so much success since going back to the States and yet is still super friendly, modest and simply great fun to hang out with. Going with him on an open boat, picking up people and food on the way... that would be perfect.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I have a knack for knack form second hand stuff, yet am very picky at the same time. Don't like mass production, nor overpriced designer stuff. Sometimes it feels like I pretty much had everything already and my cupboard is actually pretty full... so buying new stuff is not really a priority in my life.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Some parts outside of the city center can get pretty grim and desolate. It's quite disturbing some times how much less joyful the general atmosphere can get just a couple of stops down the metro line in the wrong direction. Simple rule of thumb: stay within the ring... there is not much to see outside. Unless of course you cycle on through and head for the countryside, which is sometimes less then 20 minutes away.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I love being on a boat, and I hardly ever am. We do actually have a open boat ourselves, but the harbour is far out and it feels like a hassle to make it all ready to go. I'm also not a very good captain and that's quite an essential quality for steering boats in the center. So I wait patiently for a friend to invite me on board. I always bring food and drinks and drifting along the canals with the sun on your face is simply awesome.

Where do you go in Amsterdam for a casual night out?

There are plenty of bars and terraces to enjoy. It really depends on the mood: A quick but nice glass of wine close by: De Liefde. Hanging out in the sun for hours and enjoying the view: Pllek. Nice, relaxed and simple dinner with friends: Buffet van Odette.

Where would you go in Amsterdam to celebrate some freaking good news?

Exceptional dinners with great service can be enjoyed at Mos, Marius, Kaagman & Kortekaas. I love that all three have managed to combine their high standard with a personal atmosphere. There are plenty of hip & happening places as well but they often end up being too mainstream and therefore impersonal.

What’s your choice of transportation in Amsterdam and why?

Bike! Always! Everything is close by and you don't want to get stuck in traffic jams.

What are the Amsterdam spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Take a trip to Amsterdam North and experience the rough and industrial side of Amsterdam.

What are the Amsterdam spots tourists should run from screaming?

Damrak, Kalverstraat, and Damstraat.... tourists only! Unfortunately spiked with bad food and chain stores.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Amsterdam. How do you spend it?

That obviously depends on what you have missed out on before. If you have't been on a boat... take one. Not one of those big tour boats but one of the open air ones or the battery powered ones you can steer yourself. If you haven't been on a bike... get a bike! Hit all the major parks and get to now the different parts of the city on the way. If you haven't been to a market: visit a market. I especially love the monday morning market on Noordermarkt and Westerstraat. Since most of the shops are closed anyway on Monday morning, this is a great place to go rambling for second hand, fabric and antiques.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Let's call it a vacation island: Ibiza. My second favourite place in the world after Amsterdam. Same level of liberty, beauty and inspiration. The views, the sea, the simplicity of life... no bikes though... but I can live with that.