Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Amsterdam 3: Downtown

[Shidduch references deleted]

Anyway, continuing with my Amsterdam tour:

We continued from the outskirts and worked our way downtown, and the tour guide showed us some of the nastier parts of Amsterdam, the parts that it is, unfortunately, most famous for. The legalization of prostitution and soft drugs has created a Mecca for "loose" tourists. Still, the fact that everything was advertised in English, and the endless array of Marijuana t-shirts, lighters, and key chains, seemed to indicate that this is mostly an industry geared towards spoiled rich college kids on summer vacation than an overly licentious native population. Back at yeshiva, one of our Dutch students let me in, "The stuff they sell to the Americans is garbage. You have to go to the Dutch coffee shops to get the real deal."

Downtown is also home to some of the Netherlands' cultural treasures, including the Van Gogh Museum. If you're into art in a big way, then this would be somewhere to spend a good week. Since I've gotten into painting recently, I would love to have spent some time in the museums. You know, criticizing the masters from a Bob Ross perspective.


Yeah, that's a bandage on my hand. I cut my knuckle down to the bone on some broken glass right before I got on the plane from San Francisco. It still hasn't recovered completely, and it's been exactly a month.

Some sort of palace. I think this is one of the big art museums. I don't know really, I was pretty heavily jet lagged and caffeinated at this point, so it's hard to remember details. But the buildings sure are pretty. Not like these concrete boxes they make for people to live in here in Israel.

Of course, Amsterdam is also famous for its canals, making it the "Venice of the North." Most of the main streets are canals which were filled with dirt. Many of the canals, however, still remain. The only boats I saw on the canal were low-rider tour boats like these ones.

Next stop: the canals of Amsterdam.

1 comment:

snook said...

While blogging may not be of itself a mitzvah, YOUR blog consistently demonstrates Ahavas Yisroel. Therefore, your blog is a mitzvah. So what if it's not on the list of 613? I think the Rebbe ZT"L would agree.
But whooping it up w/groom and bride certainly does take priority. I look forward to the photographs!
your friend, Jay J from WC CA