IJ-Hallen is held in NDSM every first weekend of the month. Being the biggest flea market in Europe, this is the place to hunt for a bargain, from old violins to stuffed foxes, vintage furniture to unwanted clothes and with 800 stands you are sure to find something to spend your money on. “There’s no rush, it’s chaos at your own pace, especially when you go alone”, says Marijke as she relaxes in her chair.
Marijke usually goes once a month and not just for the buying “I want nice furniture for my home but I actually hate to haggle. For me it’s not all about the bargains and buying, sometimes I just have a great day talking to people and looking at all the different treasures they sell. There’s one stand that has a really big guy with a dog. At first he seemed a bit strange, but now when he sees me he puts an arm around me and usually moans at me for being late. We stand and chat for a while, then another man comes over brings me soup, pulls up a seat and tells me he likes it when I come. It’s a nice little community.»
She’s also been on the other side of the fence, selling her own unwanted things. She makes herself laugh as she retells the story: “You have all these rich looking ladies asking me the price of a bracelet. When I say 50 cents, they respond: I’ll have it for 25 cents. Then I just have to laugh! On the other hand, you have these really nice people that just can’t afford it. I find myself running after them to give it for free, it makes me happy to see people happy, you can’t put a price on that!»
Split into two huge industrial warehouses and an outdoor area, the NDSM is also a place to go and see for a change from the typical Amsterdam houses, you might also want to check out Pllek – a restaurant/bar built from containers with a man-made beach.
Marijke works in our reservations department. She is quirky, caring, curious and like our cute pet bunny. Playing old hip hop songs in the office she is often having music wars. Marijke’s main goal is to make people happy and she definitely achieves that here.
“Strange ticks? I have a lot, my parents told me I’m like my grandma, she used to drive without petrol to see how far she could get”. Marijke is very curious about people, so she spontaneously asks random questions, “I ask a funny question and people look at me strangely, but in the end they answer, we have a conversation and then I know what I wanted to.”
Date: every first weekend of the month
T.T. Neveritaweg 15
1033 WB Amsterdam-Noord
How to get there from Volkshotel
Take the Metro from Wibautstraat (direction Central Station) get off at Central Station. Take the ferry 906 (NDSM) and then walk with the crowd.