ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

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Lemming
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ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Lemming » Mon 14th May 2018 12:05 pm

Day 1 - Sunday 15th April 2018 - Arrival

I arrive at the airport to find that my flight is delayed. The time soon passes with food, drink and the Forum on my old tablet via wifi. In the end I'm less than an hour late arriving at the apartment.

This year it's Golden Triangle Loft, conveniently located near Lost in Amsterdam on Nieuwendijk (much thanks to AmsterdamStay for organising this for me). It's on the top floor, up one of the best Dutch staircases I've ever encountered.

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The steps on the first flight of stairs are overlapping like a ladder!

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There are three flights of stairs to the top, although, to be fair, they get slightly easier

Reaching the top and looking back down

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That's my foot in the doorway of the apartment. The light switch is on the wall opposite

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Golden Triangle Loft lounge

Inside, the apartment is bright and spacious. It looks like I'm going to have a very comfortable stay.

First mission is to the nearest AH supermarket and nearest coffeeshop for provisions. I manage to negotiate the stairs smoothly and I'm feeling quite efficient until I discover that the Albert Heijn is closed.

OK, let's find a coffeeshop and worry about that later. I select Amsterdamned (formerly Picasso) pretty much at random.

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Amsterdamned

Nothing on the menu is jumping out at me so I just grab some Silver Haze and a bit of Orange Bud for old school flavour.

Last year I was wishing I'd brought a marker pen to write on bags. This year I'd planned to rectify that but now realise I've forgotten again. When I mention this, the budtender kindly writes on the bags for me (more on marker pens tomorrow).

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Silver Haze from Amsterdamned (old Picasso)

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Orange Bud from Amsterdamned (old Picasso)

Walking back, I look around for a shop but nothing is open so I return with not even milk for my tea.

It's time to head for Batavia to catch up with any other early arrivers. Rounding the corner I see that the frontage has changed. The covered terrace has gone and the door is further back. As I open it, I'm joined by the CopenhagenCouple so we all tumble in together. Downstairs we're joined by Pierre von Mondragon and Comus.

A serious session is soon in progress and I have no memory of anything after that.

My next memory is much later, on my way home, I get a large carton of Chocomel from a takeaway. That'll keep me going until the supermarket opens in the morning.

So, we're off to a great start. Plans for Baba and ferries tomorrow...



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Smokeybee21
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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Smokeybee21 » Mon 14th May 2018 12:57 pm

Excited for the rest of this one, big up Lemming and all he does for us Mokum-heads. :twisted: Thanks mate.
Next trip: 23-26 Oct. 2018 with the mrs.

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Junglist Movement » Mon 14th May 2018 01:02 pm

Jesus that apartment looks the nuts!! Great fooking start!!

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Lemming » Tue 22nd May 2018 11:56 am

Day 2 - Monday 16th April 2018 - Ferry 'Cross the IJ

The sun is streaming into the apartment as I regain consciousness, still pleasantly stoned from the session with the CCs, PvM and Comus last night. A broad smile is fixed on my face.

The first task of the day is to pull on some clothes and stagger over the road to the supermarket. It would usually be a chore to have to shop before breakfast but I'm feeling so euphoric this morning that everything is a pleasure. Fortunately the Albert Heijn is open now and I return with a full bag of provisions. Once fuelled up with tea and cereal, I head off into the sunshine.

Our schedule for today is very relaxed. There are very few ACDers in town yet and the plan is for a gentle start. This puts me in the highly unusual situation of running early!

Trusty camera around my neck, I wander up Haarlemmerstraat, snapping away at all of the coffeeshops. Before we got here I'd loosely suggested a meet at Amsterdamned before walking out to Baba but the CCs said last night that they would be going straight to Baba. Nevertheless, I have a quick look around inside Amsterdamned and confirm that none of the handful of people inside look familiar or seem to recognise me.

I'm still running early so I decide to explore a bit of the Westelijke Eilanden (Western Islands): Bickerseiland, Prinseneiland and Realeneiland, next to the Westerdok. After passing under the railway tracks, I spot a boat named after an absent member of the gang so I have to get a picture.

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'Papi' in front of Han Lammersbrug, Westerdok

The islands have a similar feel to the Jordaan - slightly bohemian and arty.

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Prinseneiland

There's a boat named 'Kip' in the above picture (those with long memories may remember Mellow Pages by a guy named Kip).

A little further on I spot this tiny figure in the water. A closer look reveals a sort of aquatic garden gnome.

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Prinseneilandsgracht

The islands are linked together by some attractive drawbridges. Many of the traditional-looking bridges around Amsterdam are, like this one, not as old as they look.

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Drieharingenbrug

Having looped around the three islands, I continue to Baba.

Image Baba

Inside I grab a gram of something (can't remember what) and tell the guy that I'm expecting to be joined by a couple of people soon. I don't usually introduce myself in coffeeshops, mostly out of shyness, especially when stoned, but also because when ACD was young all of the reviews were by me so it seemed appropriate to go incognito and preserve impartiality. On this occasion, though, I mention the Directory and am rewarded with a free lighter and free drinks.

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Baba menu

I'm soon joined by Smirks and the CopenhagenCouple and we take over the table with illuminated Verdampers sunk into it. Smirks finds a nice bong to go with them and consumption begins in earnest.

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Baba bong and Verdamper

With all of this hardware in operation and the CC joint rolling factory in full production, things soon get very hazy. I must've been there, though, there's photographic evidence:

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Me in Baba with Verdamper reflected in my shades

The next mission on the schedule is an adventure into a part of the north that I've never explored before. The CCs had already researched my plan and confirmed that it's practical. Smirks now uses his smart phone to check ferry times and post our whereabouts and plans on the forum so that Jaybee420 and anyone else can attempt to catch up with us.

So, after an hour or two in Baba, we head off to the Westerdoksdijk Ferry Terminal. It's only just around the corner and, thanks to brilliant organisation by the rest of the crew, a ferry turns up almost immediately. We get aboard and are on our way to NDSM.

As the ferry approaches NDSM there's plenty to look at. The Amstel Botel is docked here. I stayed on the Amstel back in the 1980s when it spent its days behind Centraal Station and sailed up the IJ at night. There's also a Russian submarine.

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Free ferry at NDSM with submarine behind

NDSM is a post-industrial art zone. It's a former shipyard that's now being promoted as a place for creativity.

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Artists at work

As we're walking from the ferry terminal towards Funny People we're joined by JayBee420. He's just arrived on the ferry from Centraal Station and luckily managed to spot us somehow. The five of us continue to Funny People.

Image Funny People

Like Baba, Funny People is another exile from the city centre. At their previous locations, both shops were more focused on tourists than connoisseurs. No doubt they were paying high rents and taxes there. In their new, remote, locations they're forced to appeal to a different clientele.

After realising yesterday that I'd forgotten to bring a marker pen to write on baggies, I'm well impressed when JB presents me with the gift of a Sharpie (thanks mate!).

After a very pleasant stay at Funny People we begin to scatter, having made plans to meet up again later. Some of us take the ferry to Centraal Station.

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Pontsteiger

It feels like we've discovered a new, lazy and fun means of getting to Baba: At the back of Centraal Station just catch the ferry to NDSM. You get a free cruise up the IJ and then, at NDSM, you can either take the optional excursion to Funny People or just catch the next ferry to Westerdok, from which it's a very short walk to Baba. Very convenient!

Anyway, back at Centraal Station I'm strangely disorientated and insistently lead Smirks to the far end of Nieuwendijk. From there we spot the new Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café on the site of the old Rokerij II and decide to go in.

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Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café

Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café fails our bong correspondent Smirks by not having one.

After that diversion we get back to Smirks' mission of bong shopping along Nieuwendijk. Amongst the many headshops we look in is Chills and Thrills.

While Smirks is checking out the bongs, I remember the grinder bug that they demonstrated to Treetop, Occasional Bowl and me a few years ago. I mention this to the staff and they have a search around and find the last one they have. It doesn't work anymore so it's just a big plastic beetle now.

I've now found pictures of it in working order back in my 2015 travelogue (scroll down a bit). It was an automatic grinder in the shape of a beetle that walked as it ground and left a trail of grindings behind it. Excellent stoner toy!

My apartment is on Nieuwendijk so once Smirks and I have checked out all of the headshops I retreat for a short break. A quick bit of sustenance and a post on the forum before heading out again, this time to Utopia.

I'm delighted to find Mr & Mrs Macky in Utopia. The Spidergawd dedicated 2018 patches are out.

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Utopia

Gapie is in da house and, along with the Mackys, we have the CCs and JB. The Gathering is gathering!

Later we assemble in Batavia to complete the day in style as usual. The crew now consists of DeLeuksteNUGS16, the CopenhagenCouple, Jaybee420, Smirks and Ingi Blingi. The THsyrup is flowing and the dab train is steaming. At one point I take a half-hearted toke on a dab that doesn't impress the audience so they feed me a larger one that I take a whole lungful of. As it hits me like a stampeding elephant my eyes nearly pop out of my head and I slide down my seat towards the floor.

Needless to say, I don't remember much after that!

So ends another wonderful day of sunshine, boats and massive consumption. Tomorrow we have a very ambitious plan to head far out west.

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RoMoney
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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by RoMoney » Tue 22nd May 2018 01:36 pm

Beautiful pictures, I really like the Artists At Work one in particular.

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by talkrum » Thu 24th May 2018 11:58 am

Great reporting and pictures. Thanks Lem.

More please!

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by LLMReb » Thu 24th May 2018 11:19 pm

Excellent reporting and well written, as usual, Lemming! Thanks!

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OneHighMofo
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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by OneHighMofo » Wed 30th May 2018 02:26 pm

Love seeing the different perspectives it makes for great reading.
That pic of Ganesh growing out of your head while the Verdampers light up your eyes is awesome 8)

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by courtjester » Sat 22nd Sep 2018 07:33 pm

I've been watching for quite some time so I don't miss the rest of this. ...

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Jaochoo » Mon 24th Sep 2018 09:13 pm

The pic with Ganesh was blessed!

Have a good trip buddy..your site made my visits to Dam very enlightening over the last 15 years😬

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by woodz60 » Sat 29th Sep 2018 06:55 pm

Your trip reports always have my (short-spanned) attention, Lemming. I love the photos, especially of the apartment with the luxurious, non-ladderish stairs. The shot of you with Ganesh behind your head is really cool. More trip details soon, okay?
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Lemming
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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Lemming » Mon 8th Oct 2018 12:53 am

Day 3 - Tuesday 17th April 2018 - Go West

The plan for today is quite ambitious. After last year's trek out to The Stud in the extreme east, this year we're aiming for the Baarsjes district, far out west.

Our starting point is Paradox, one of my favourite coffeeshops, so that's where I'm walking towards. Then, somewhere in the Jordaan, I run into Mr and Mrs Macky heading in the opposite direction. When I ask why they're going the wrong way, I find that they've already been to Paradox and, on finding that nobody else had turned up so early, they'd given up. I persuade them to turn around and we're soon joined by the rest of the crew at Paradox.

After a bit of searching around the shop, I've managed to find a working Volcano and a complete set of accessories. Sorted! :)

Image Paradox

Somebody viewing the Forum on their phone mentions a post from Kushola. Apparently he's in the room with us. Turns out he's sitting right next to us! Everyone is duly introduced and talk turns towards means of transport out to the Baarsjes.

Gapie offers to escort a tram party, the Danes are cycling as usual and I'm walking with anyone else. In the end those considering the tram decide to join the walking party. Well, it is a nice day after all. So it's natural cat herding for Gapie leading and me at the back, rounding up any stragglers.

There's a distinct gap between the coffeeshops of the Jordaan and the Baarsjes. (In fact, there's a dead ring right around the centre that also separates off the hotspots of the Pijp, Oosterpark, Dappermarkt and so on.) So we have a long march through the barren zone passing only Second Cheech and Chong's along the way.

Eventually we all pile into New Amsterdam.

Image Nieuw Amsterdam

I'm very impressed by the turnout. It's still three days until 4/20 so there aren't a lot of us in town and yet we've assembled eleven of us all the way out west in New Amsterdam! We have ticks in the register for 2stick, Smirks, Gapie, JayBee420, Lemming, Fat_old_dwarf, Mr and Mrs Macky, Mr and Mrs CopenhagenCouple and Kushola. Quite an achievement! We're rewarded with free lighters all round.

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After a while I feel the need to squeeze in a quick photography excursion around the neighbourhood. There are several other coffeeshops nearby that I'd like to get pictures of and there's no need to drag the whole party around all of them. There's a good session going on, including our Bong Correspondent in his element:

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JayBee420 comes along to keep me company as we first steam down the road to look at Ruthless and then turn back the other way to take in Flashback and De Bommel, which are quite close to each other on the same street. Then, just around the corner we pass Coffeeshop 156. Finally we stride out to Hunter's Mercatorsquare before returning to New Amsterdam and the rest of ACD Expeditionary Force.

Having smoked this shop dry there's an impetus among the group to move to Massawa over the other side of the Baarsjes and, sort of, on the way back to the centre. So we gather everyone together and set off towards a bridge.

The Baarsjes district is bisected by the Admiralengracht, a wide canal that splits the district into two sides. We cross the canal at the small pedestrian bridge in the middle of the district.

There is a power station in Westpoort with a tall steaming chimney that can be seen for miles in all directions and always looks closer than it actually is. It's become a 4/20 tradition that I get a picture of this chimney in some dramatic vista. As we cross Admiralengracht, the opportunity for this year's photo appears.

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Admiralengracht, Baarsjes

As we continue I take a short diversion for a quick picture of El Marssa along the way.

We descend on Massawa like stoned paparazzi with cameras and phones firing furiously.

Image Massawa

Around the side of the shop I'm amused by the sight of a petrol station.

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For some reason our stay at Massawa is fleeting as everyone almost immediately piles back out again with talk of heading for Kashmir Lounge. I don't know why we're moving again but I'm getting loads of coffeeshop pictures so it's all good with me.

Again our route is determined by a big canal with few bridges. This time it's Kostverlorenvaart, forming the boundary between de Baarsjes, which we're now leaving, and Oud West. As the gang walk beside the canal, I dash off on another diversion to catch a picture of The Dream before rushing to catch up with the others as they cross the bridge into the Old West.

And so to Kashmir Lounge, a lovely place to chill for a while.

Image Kashmir Lounge

I've got some nice pictures of people sitting outside Kashmir in the sunshine and our crew backlit in the smoking area. They wouldn't look so good with all of the faces blanked out though. If anyone who was there at the time would like copies of these, gimme a shout.

Mission accomplished, the group now splits up to take different routes back into the centre. 2stick joins me on a meandering route taking in Coffeeshop 96 and Millennium.

The final wide canal with few bridges, Singelgracht, indicates that we're getting back into Centrum district but also diverts us onto the busy Rozengracht. To escape the traffic we take a side street into a more tranquil bit of the Jordaan. Here the pull of the Paradox Volcano is strong and we have to stop by for another go.

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2stick's and my final stop is at Utopia. Here we catch up with FOD. I'm on my way back to the apartment for sustenance so not staying long but take a moment to reflect on the fact that I've met a bunch of new people for my 420 Veterans list today, including the present company. This is very cool!

The evening session is at Batavia as usual. I've left the camera at the apartment so my memories are especially hazy. For some reason I made a note about buying some Sour Casey from Voyagers en route to Batavia, so that must've been special. I also note that the CCs, Kushola, Smirks, Jaybee420 and me are joined in Batavia by 420 stalwart Drugsbunny.

I do recall another funny incident with Kushola: As I'm grabbing a drink from the bar upstairs, I hear Kushola asking a barman whether he knows anything about a bunch from 'ACD'. The barman is quite adamant that there's no such group here and that this must be the wrong bar. I interrupt the conversation but, in retrospect, I'm not sure whether the barman was winding Kushola up or whether they were both winding me up!

Anyway, so ends another wonderful day.

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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Smokeybee21 » Mon 8th Oct 2018 01:46 pm

Thanks Lemming!

Was interested to read about your jaunt out to the Baarsjes, the mrs wants to go to the cat café when we're out in a fortnight, so I'm using this as an excuse to get to some of the coffeeshops in this area.
Next trip: 23-26 Oct. 2018 with the mrs.

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Ghost
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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by Ghost » Tue 9th Oct 2018 05:26 pm

Sounds like a really cool 420 trip with good people and good vibes all around. Your travel reports and pics on the 420 trips over the years are always a excellent read, that I really enjoy.

Hoping to make the 2019 420 so would be cool to meet up with you and everyone else for a epic smoke out. :D
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courtjester
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Re: ACD Forum's 4/20 Gathering 2018

Post by courtjester » Wed 17th Oct 2018 05:21 pm

Another fine report with great ideas for future coffeeshops I've never managed to visit. Excellent use of internal links too. It leaves me baited for 4/18 and beyond.

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