Amsterdam is a city in a world of it’s own. Anything goes here, so if you do something out of the ordinary, you don’t have to fear being arrested or frowned upon. The people are really friendly, most of whom all speak English. I found Amsterdam safer than many of the other cities that I have been through in the past few years.
Strolling around the Red Light was probably the most fun that I had on this trip to Amsterdam. It took hours to find, as TimeOut was not the best guide. It gave a general area, but no specific streets. The Red Light is really confined to a few main streets, in a general area full of coffee shops, drunken horny guys, and the smell of many varying strains of marijuana. The main street in the Red Light is Oudezidjs Achterburgwal, where I found single girls dressed in lace underwear and bras eyeing and beckoning to me while walking by. There were many sex shops where you can buy toys and other novelty items. Recently, though probably from religious conservatism, new strip show places have where there is less contact with the girls. You can see many men walking around here with their wives, looking all too promiscuous. The neighborhood itself has a lot of character, especially at night when the windows are illuminated with red lights, and the streets are crowded. I very much enjoyed walking around this area drinking Heineken’s in public. I hope you enjoy the photography, as I spent some time with the Tripod and camera.
Not to give you the wrong impression, but I will write about the many coffee shops that are here in the Dam. I am not a smoker, but did get to go in to see what goes on. I had some coffee to start the day a few times from a marijuana cafe. Many of them are concentrated in the Red Light district between Warmoestraat and Oudezijds Voorburgwal. Some of the larger ones were very crowded, had gigantic vaporizer type bongs in the windows, as well as advertising the sale of specific strains of pot. Once or twice the barista allowed me to take a few pictures inside. I have some photos of the coffeeshop Hill Street Blues, Nieuwmarkt 14, as well as Greenhouse, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 191, both located in the Old Centre, on the Old Side. I also photographed many of them as I was walking around the museums and galleries.
Aside from all of that, there’s the gorgeous architecture. While taking photos, I happened to notice some of the buildings were at angles, almost as if they were crooked. Some leaned forward, others leaned left or right. I thought it was part of the psychedelic design until the boat driver told me that was so they could hoist their furniture up by hooks built on the houses. If they did not lean the houses, the swaying furniture would break their windows. Interesting, right?
This guy wants to move in.
Here are plenty more photos of the great Dutch Architecture:
Ok, So I was coincidentally there for St. Patrick’s Day. I really wasn’t feeling too Irish, but was walking around the Southern Canal Belt when I came to a square. There were tons of Irish Pubs, with green balloons, bar hoppers in green, and the likes of an average St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It looked like fun, despite the fact I was not wearing green. I tried to get Wi-Fi to FaceTime home, but was cut off in a few bars… I went in one, where this nice guy Beppo, from Italy was chilling at the bar. We had a few pints, and then a few more pints. We had such a good time, and drank all night. I don’t know how he made it to work the next morning at 9 AM, when we left around 3 AM smashed. Here’s the photos:
Don’t forget breakfast the next morning. Dutch Pancakes Rule! Pancake Bakery(by myself 🙁 )
I have some more photographs from the boat riding around the Canals. I took a whole bunch – you get a better view of the buildings. Amsterdam is small enough to ride around. And if you live there, you can ride around by boat. For the rest of the photos: check out my flickr page at: Todd Hanlon World Photography