Take a boat and let it take you as far as it wants inside the city. And feel the diference, the same that you notice when you change from West to East and then to the South.
Noord is not what guides tell you about Amsterdam. It might look as a desolate neighbourhood in the beginning... but it's ok, just don't take the boat back and keep on walking: you will notice soon there is something different. It is maybe its industrial face, its innovative architecture, its arty atmosphere.
Whatever it is, be sure it will surprise you.
To get there: ferry from Centraal Station.
In this case, direction NDSM Werf (every half an hour)