Sunday, April 29, 2007


We went into Amsterdam twice -- once for a full day, and one half-day trip. We took the train, which was really convenient. It ran every 30 minutes, a few blocks' walk from our house. The trip to Amsterdam took just over an hour. Here's our lovely Anna watching the fields whiz by:

Of course we saw the canals
Here's a spot where 7 bridges are aligned.

And the red light district, where you can still rent a window -- available now if you hurry:

Here's that empty window. There's something really sad about it.
I know there are political arguments to be made in either direction
about prostitutes, but their very hard faces always made me sad.

We saw houseboats stacked up and lined up. Lots of people live
in houseboats in the canals; sometimes they're just single-file
along the canal's edge, but sometimes they're all clumped up like this.
Do you have to walk over others' houseboats to get to your own?

We had briefly considered renting a houseboat for the week,
but ended up with our great house in Enkhuisen instead.
Who knows, this may have been a houseboat for rent, The Beagle:

We took an evening canal boat ride, which was a great way to see everything:

And the characteristic architecture of Amsterdam, which I really love.
As our tour boat operator said, "Nothing is straight in Amsterdam."
Check out the crooked houses:

This is the narrowest house -- slightly wider than a narrow window:

A different style, also characteristic:

Bikes everywhere, of course -- chained to bridges over canals,

and in the parking garage at the train station.

We went to the Van Gogh Museum, where we saw -- among the gorgeous van Goghs --
this painting by Whistler, which Marc dubbed "Whistler's girlfriend."
I can't even type that without laughing.

And also to the Rijksmuseum, of course.

We sat in the main square (called Dam) and had coffee and watched people for awhile:
The beautiful girls, Marnie and Anna, and me

We saw this band twice -- once in the Leidseplein, and once at the train station.
Clarinets, accordions, and a drum, what a combo:

The Netherlands is so much more than Amsterdam -- as fun and unique and interesting as Amsterdam is! I can so easily imagine myself living there, in Amsterdam; what a gracious life, although none of us has any interest in leaving New York. I suspect I love Amsterdam more than Marc, Marnie, or Anna do, but we all enjoyed our time there. It's one of the great cities of the world.

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