Coco Padding (26) used to work for PUP creative agency and just started her job at Wink: an all-round concept agency that’s responsible for creations like Lowlands’ Titty Twister.  Coco is an art director and concept developer, dragon slayer and part time ladyboy. (She often jokes about her title). This lady has lived in Amsterdam for most of her life and knows the city very well. 

What is your go-to hangout spot?
coco-22“During high school, I worked in café restaurant
Amsterdam. That place feels like my second home.
Besides Amsterdam, I love to have a drink at café ‘De Tuin’.
That place radiates soul; I prefer a folky ambiance.”

Who is your favorite Amsterdam-based artist?
“We have a lot of quirky artists based in Amsterdam.
A few of my personal favorites are studio Drift, Lex Pott,
Lernert en Sander, studio Roosegaarde and Marijke
van Warmerdam.”

Favorite designer?
“The design stores: Restored and Droog.”

Where do you go for dinner?
“In expensive restaurants, there’s this awkward
hierarchy between guests and waiters. When I go
out for dinner I prefer to go to a place like Fou Fow
Ramen at Elandsgracht. They have the best noodle
soup in town!”

Where do you like to party?

“I don’t often go to clubs. When I go out it’s
almost never for the DJ that’s playing or the club
in particular, but for the people. Mostly I only go
out when I’ve had dinner with a friend and the restaurant
is closing but we don’t want the night to end.

Coco doesn’t have to think twice when we
ask her who her favorite musician is from

“That’s my dad for sure. He’s a composer and makes
contemporary music.  When I see the ensemble play
his music I get lost in imagination. The music doesn’t
involve text so that’s why you’re more in your own
head when you listen to the music.

His music gives me new perspectives. It’s timeless
and very conceptual. On top of that all I think that
places like the ‘Concertgebouw’ and ‘Muziekgebouw
aan het IJ’ are very inspiring.”

Which museum in Amsterdam is definitely
worth it?

“Stedelijk Museum, by far. I love modern art. The basic
collection is amazing: I think Yves Klein is the best.”

Best area in Amsterdam?
“Prinseneiland. I spent my entire childhood playing
hide and seek there. The primary school that I went
to is also situated at Prinseneiland. It shows a lot of
history. A walk in this area feels like traveling back
in time. It’s a peaceful spot full of surprises in the
middle of Amsterdam’s chaos. A lot of people don’t
notice the big yellow submarine from Paris that used
to be a brothel. Prinseneiland is also a great swimming spot.”

Who is your favorite power woman?
“I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by a lot of talented
women with healthy ambition like Nora Ponse
(model & installation artist), Iman Whitfield (art director)
, Levi Rijper (producer) and Annemarie van Gerrevink
(lady boss PUP). Every single one of them is hysterically
talented and unbelievably intelligent, but most of all:
extremely fun to be around!”

What is your favorite day drinking spot in the city?
“Wijnand Fockink.”

Hidden gems?
“The Pianola Museum: closets full of old scores.
There’s a small charming 50’s bar hidden inside of the museum.”

How would you spend your ultimate Sunday?
“I would start my day at ‘Zuivere Koffie’, a lunchroom
at Utrechtsestraat. This place is run by women of age.
They’re really fun to get served by but they can really
bicker at each other. It’s like you’re watching a soap:
very entertaining, especially when you’re hung over.
The food is delicious and there are lots of cats walking
around. I always order something that’s not on the menu:
a mozzarella tomato salad with vinaigrette. Things from
the menu that are fantastic: bagel with avocado, cream
cheese and tomato…..and the turkey salad!

I have a handful of friends with whom I wander around
the city. There’s no rush. We live in a generation where
we have back to back meetings all the time. It’s a really
good feeling to let go of that rushed mood for a day and
just live in the moment. If you stroll around, you’ll find a
lot of cute galleries and bump into people all the time.
One friend of mine used to be a tour guide in Amsterdam
so he comes up with a lot of (fun) facts about Amsterdam
during our walks.

When the wandering around is done I like to meet up
with some girlfriends at restaurant Amsterdam.
When I’m there, I lose track of time. Before I know it,
it’s Monday again…”


Text by Yalou Slöetjes
Image by Janneke Nooij