Favourite spot

Dolf Jansen: Amelisweerd path

Prominent Utrechters talking about their favourite spots in the city. This month: stand-up comedian, presenter and columnist Dolf Jansen, talking about the path running along the A27, which takes you to the Amelisweerd estate.

So, the Amelisweerd path?

‘I come here a lot to run in Amelisweerd while I train for a marathon. It’s not that big an area, but it’s beautiful and the scenery is varied. You can run along the towpath and the forest tracks, where I love taking sharp bends and jumping over puddles. It’s also very symbolic: you get here via Koningsweg, at the point where it crosses the A27. The motorway now forms a threat to this part of the estate. I’m glad it’s still here and because I’m an optimist, I’m sort of assuming the tunnel won’t be built. These days, even politicians have ongoing insight. You just can’t sacrifice natural beauty like this for the sake of economic growth. In one of my columns, I wrote that I’m not normally inclined to chain myself to trees, but I wouldn’t rule it out if I felt the need. I couldn’t accept it if the widening of the A27 goes ahead.’

Nicest shop?

‘I’m not a great fan of shopping, but I can’t help dropping into the Bijleveld bookshop on Janskerkhof. I live quite close so I probably visit more than most people. It’s such a lovely old shop and the staff are so knowledgeable and dedicated. I mainly buy English and Dutch literature and I always read two books at a time: while I’m on the train or after the soundcheck for a show. I detest waiting, so reading turns the “eternity” into a relaxing moment.’

Favourite memory?

‘The moment I first saw my current girlfriend, Jitske Kramer, between the hundreds of people in The Florin bar on Nobelstraat. I present the radio programme Spijkers met koppen there every Saturday with Willemijn Veenhoven. We’ve been seeing each other for two years now and I moved to Utrecht to be with her. Along with two musicians, we spent the past few months touring with the theatre lecture All inclusive. It’s about inclusion, living together as people, and equality (and inequality) between men and women. Jitske uses her expertise as a well-known anthropologist to approach the subjects, while I just pile in with my satirical points of view. A mix of knowledge and comedy really.’

Last seen?

‘De Nits in Carré, a band that’s been around for 50 years. It was fantastic! I try to see bands regularly in TivoliVredenburg too. Like Johan last spring, who I’ve followed since they first started a very long time ago. The band takes no notice whatsoever of trends, has its own unique sound and sometimes incorporates personal tragedy into excellent guitar songs. The Prize Collect’s indie pop is much the same genre: one of the best debuts in years. Their album’s just been released and I’m already trying to get them on Spijkers met koppen.’

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