When in Amsterdam, do the following. Take the ferry behind central station. Choose the one that says NDSM-Werf. Enjoy the free 10 minute commute and the view over the river Ij (technically it’s a canal, but who cares). Arrive at the wharf. If upon walking a few meters you see a sign stating “Sexyland”, you’re at the right place.
NDSM stands for the unpronounceable Nederlandsche Dok en Sheepsgebouw Matschappij; in English, Dutch Shipbuilding Company. As the name suggests, this is a former shipbuilding site, an industrial area which was abandoned after 1984, following the bankruptcy of the NDSM. The massive site, where you still can see a huge slipway that led the tankers to the water, got populated by artists and squatters in the 90s. This was the original movement that turned a desolate area into a free haven of creativity, in which MTV Benelux settled their headquarters in 2007.
The huge ship warehouse became a breeding ground for artists, the Kunststad or Art City, which can be visited daily. This community repurposed the space, building ateliers, and a sustainable energy and water system, self-managing the enterprise all the way.
The NDSM ground is fruitful in street art, including an enormous homage to Anne Frank by the renowned graffiti artist Cobra. Home to cool cafes, restaurants, markets and festivals, this is surely the best place for a sunny afternoon spent marvelling at the great wide open and the banks of the Ij. As for conceptual club Sexyland, oh well, go see for yourself.