field trip: amsterdam misc. store
Sun warms up your skin in the gentle breeze. It’s warm, almost too warm for spring under the sun. A bumblebee angrily buzzes around your ankles, looking for flowers that aren’t there. The balcony is nice, sheltered from the outside world. It looks towards a courtyard where the balconies across you stay in the shade for most of the day while yours is always in the sun. Perhaps the neighbours are a little too close for comfort, but you don’t mind. It’s a wonderful day to be outside, and as long as your wifi reaches the balcony, there is no reason to stay inside.
Last Saturday I had to go to NDSM in Amsterdam Noord for a school project. It was an old shipyard, but now it’s a place with lots of street art and studios of resident artists. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the life there, hopefully I’ll get to work on there during the project. Since I was already in Amsterdam, instead of going home after crossing the IJ back, I took a little walk into the city. Amsterdam is beautiful when you get out of the extra touristic area, but in there it looks like they asked someone that has never been to Europe to draw up a super touristic European city. In short, extra crowded with lots of useless souvenir shops.
In about half an hour’s walk away from the Central Station there is a lovely stationery store called Misc. I decided to enjoy the spring day, so I took a walk the long way through lots of bridges and sunny streets. The funny thing was that I almost missed the store when I was walking. I pushed a door. When it didn’t open, I was surprised to find a piece of paper taped to the door “Closed for repairs.” A little frustrated that they didn’t post it anywhere on their website, I was about to turn around and leave when I realised I was pushing the wrong door. I hope nobody thought I was trying to break into a store on a busy, sunny Saturday.
Anyway, when I finally managed to get inside, a calm store welcomed me inside, a haven from the traffic. Unfortunately, I am an extremely shy person and I didn’t even ask to take some photographs. Their Instagram account @misc_store_ams has the beautiful photographs I didn’t take.
I liked the store a lot. The tables were set up by colour and it was fun to go back and forth between them to look at everything. There were a lot of paper products to chose from, so I focused my energy to choose some new paper to try out. I have never seen Kokuyo in anywhere before, so I picked up two Campus notebooks (one lined and one square grid) and a squishy ring binding notebook. To be honest, I’ve heard only good things about the paper quality of Kokuyo, so I was thrilled to try out a new type of binding. I generally don’t like (wire) ring bindings as they get loose and deformed in my bag and stop working properly. Squishy rings seem to solve that problem, but it’ll probably go through thorough testing to see how it holds up. I also got a wire ring notebook from Penco. I had seen their pens, but I never knew that they made notebooks, so I picked up a bright yellow one to try out. I’m planning on using it on my desk to write my blog posts. I’ll probably start it in a bit as I’m about to finish my first post writing notebook. That’s a milestone on a whole another level for me.
I also got a couple of Kamoi Paper masking tape. It’s just regular paper tape/washi tape/whatever you want to call them. It’s a little softer than other ones I have, but I like the tactile feel of it. One of them is a lovely shade of green and the other one is a fluorescent orange, it hurts my eyes a little to look at it in sunlight. I didn’t get any pens except for a blue Platinum Preppy. It’s nothing too special, but 0.2 extra fine Preppy’s are harder to find in here, and I didn’t want to miss it. It’s the finest nib I have, and the steel Platinum nibs are always excellent.
Highlight of the store was the Midori and Traveler’s Company products. There was everything from leather covers to sticky notes and tiny notebooks. If Midori makes it, they had it -or so it seemed. I was delighted as Midori and Clairefontaine are my two favourite paper makers. I got a 7 pack of thin notebooks celebrating the 70th anniversary of Midori. They’re not that different from their regular lineup, but matching the printed grid’s colour to the thread of the binding was a nice touch. The colours are pretty, and they’re soft enough that they don’t feel like a busy hinderance on the page.
There were a few other things I was curious about, namely the Kakimori’s dip pen and brass nib and the Kokuyo Perpanep notebooks. With both of them they didn’t have the ones I wanted to see, perhaps I’ll drop by the next time I’m in Amsterdam. I also looked at the Midori fountain pen and ink sets, but they didn’t feel enticing enough.
Overall, I enjoyed the atmosphere of the store and their selection. I stocked up on notebooks to try out. I love trying new stuff even though I have my favourites. It was also great to finally find the products I have been reading about on the internet. I had a great trip in Amsterdam!
Thank you for reading!
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Misc. Store in any way and I got everything with my own money. It was genuinely a great experience.