Let’s just make it clear from the beginning. It will take Amsterdam a long time before it can have the status of being a 24/7 city. If you run a club or bar you can apply for a 24-hour license. Up until now only Club Trouw has taken advantage of this. Other locations, who officially have a 24-hour license, have never used it. There are however a few concepts in Amsterdam that have the courage to be accessible 24/7.
Do you know that moment when you want to buy flowers for your loved one, but all the flower shops are closed? On NDSM you can now buy flowers at any time of the day from a vending machine. It is an idea by 24Flower, who came up with this concept out of necessity. Pick your flower, insert the money, open the locker and you can bring your chosen flowers to your loved one.
The flowers are fresh from the greenhouse and are locked away in the vending machine waiting for you to take them out. Jasper Stam, Operational Coordinator, explains how the flowers stay fresh: In every locker there are flowers in a vase with water. At the back of the automatic is a cooling cell, so it's always a good temperature for the flowers. We also work with a system of fresh codes.If the flowers are a few days old, they will be sold cheaper.
For some of you NDSM might be too far away. NDSM was chosen as a location, because it is an area that is constantly under development. The development of the flower vending machine fits in perfect. The 24Flower shop is located between Brood and IJ-kantine. You can easily hop off the ferry, buy your flowers and hop on the ferry again a few minutes later. For in the near future it is quite possible that more 24/7 flowers vending machines will appear. I find it a great concept.
24/7 dry cleaners
Another great 24/7 concept is that of Bubble & Stitch. It is a 24/7 dry cleaners, but not as you might know it. This is how it works. You register yourself online or via the Droplocker app, take your clothes to a Bubble & Stitch location and place your order online or via the app. In two working days you will receive a notification about that you can pick up your clothes from where you left it.
Co-founder Niels Pols once read an article about laundrylocker.com in San Francisco. That is how the idea of Bubble & Stitch started.Pols:
"For a year now I am working on the development of the concept. In November we started a pilot at a retail location and some office buildings."
The retail location is on Overtoom 438. From the outside you might think it is a regular locker service, but the lockers inside are where you put your clothes in. Clever, yes?
Bubble & Stitch appeals to all the latest social trends. Individualization, convenience services, longer opening hours and online solutions. Now everyone can do their laundry, at any time of the day.
"Customers can do their laundry within 20 seconds. With the concept of Bubble & Stitch, we want to reinvent the dry cleaning of the 21st century.It is also a great solution for those who have no time to do the laundry or ironing at home."
24/7 secret bike services
Seeing that Amsterdam has more bikes than people (well, that is what they say), I will share with you two bicycle related 24/7 services. Did you know there are 24/7 underground bicycle parkings throughout the city? Such as the one next to Paradiso venue there is an underground bicycle parking? Now you know it. Oh, and it's for free.
If you need to buy bicycle lights in the middle of the night, there is a bicycle lights vending machine on the Central Station bicycle flat. It looks like a candy machine, but it is not. I once bought my lights from there.
25/8 creative hub
Early next year A’DAM Toren (Amsterdam Dance And Music Tower) will be the first building in Amsterdam that is open 25 hours a day, 8 days a week. A'DAM Toren is the former Shell tower (Royal Dutch oil company) but now functions as an incubator for progressive music, a beacon for the local community and is a destination attraction (observation deck, bar, hotel, nightclub). In other words: there is always something going at A’DAM Toren. Can’t wait for this to open and be explored. Step by step all of these great concepts will slowly take Amsterdam to a 24/7 city.
(image courtesy Lingotto)
As mentioned earlier, Amsterdam is nowhere near New York, London or Tokyo (yet) when it comes to embracing the 24/7 culture, but we're slowly getting there, starting out by offering simple services. The new night mayor, Mirik Milan, even wants to focus on 24/7 access to art galleries and other cultural activities. Who knows what a City Made By People Amsterdam 24/7 article could look like 5 years from now....