Favourite spot

Favourite spot: Ingmar Creutzburg

Prominent Utrechters talking about their favourite spots in the city. This month: Ingmar Creutzburg, owner of Tigers Gym, close to the Dom Tower.

So, The Dom?

‘To me, it stands for “home”. I was born and bred in Utrecht and I’m proud of the city. The Dom Tower is the centre point, and I think it’s beautiful. I mean, think about it: how could they make something like that 700 years ago? Neither cost nor effort were spared – so many ornaments. I used to think that the Dom Tower was a bit macho, but now it’s been cleaned up as part of the renovations, it looks completely different. The sombre dark grey colour has gone and the Tower is now wonderfully light. “He” has become a “she”.’

Biggest letdown?

‘Utrecht is too small-minded; I’d like to see more big gestures. Take the scaffolding with screens round the Dom while work was going on. They were simply left as they were, while they could have created a temporary work of art there. But the costs are often a problem in this city, and everyone piles in with their opinions – typical of Utrecht. It’s something I often come up against in my work for Unchain The Tigers, the company for area development and activities that I run alongside my gym. Like with the annual light festival I Light U, which I helped to develop. In other words, the cosy side of the city has a flip side. And another thing: let’s get the Netherlands Film Festival on the map once and for all. By choosing a clear location for it rather than looking for a new place every year.’

Guilty pleasure?

‘Drinking an icy-cold glass of coke on a hot day and enjoying the taste and fizz. My favourite spot for this is on a bench in Zocherpark, along the Singel. Did you know that this is the largest park in the Netherlands? It’s very narrow, but it’s a kilometre long. I love it there, partly because you can walk right round it. Apart from the bit at Wolvenplein, which is a pity.’

Best memory?

‘Can it be my most recent memory? It was when the shutters of the old Vrije Vloer on Paardenveld went up, because it was where I was opening my second branch of Tigers Gym. I just thought: WOW! I was overcome with fantastic memories from the 1980s and 90s, when I used to spend night after night in the Vloer with my friends. Tigers Gym has been there since March. Apart from training facilities for kickboxing, there’s also exhibition space for artists and room for yoga classes and lectures. But creating a social context is closest to my heart. The changing room is a living room, for example, with free coffee.’

Best food?

‘Restaurant Tante Lien on Oudegracht: they serve great Indonesian food, like it’s supposed to be, with good ingredients and fresh herbs. I go there every week after training to treat myself to nasi rames. My father is from Java, so eating Indonesian food feels like coming home. The smell and taste remind me of my grandma and aunts, who used to spend days in the kitchen together. I really like the social aspect of eating together.’

Recently discovered?

‘I binge watched Ted Lasso in one go on Apple TV, something I’ve never done before. This incredible American series, which won a staggering eleven Emmy Awards, is about a football club, where the members have a genuine interest in each other.’

Reduced to tears?

‘When my 20-year-old daughter, who’s training as a dancer in Amsterdam and teaches in Utrecht, recently performed on stage. Hannah always manages to move me, simply by following her own path in life. Dance is a personal journey and to me, one of the most beautiful forms of art. I always try to sit at the front during performances, so I can see the sweat dripping off the dancers. I’m a wreck afterwards. It’s the combination of strength and expression, and the balance between body and mind. Everyone should see the Utrecht dance company DOX at least once. It’s a production house for young makers, and they produce the most incredible dances.’

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