Hot Damn, it’s Amsterdam
Do you dream of places around the World that you hope to one day visit? Are those dreams made up of romantic ideas of far off, exotic places and people? Mine are. I dream of places around the world like, Prague, Dubrovnik, Greece, Australia etc.
And for every dream I have, there are these beautiful romantic ideas of what their countries look like, feel like and how friendly the people are. There are times when the realities don’t live up to the dreams, not very often, but it happens. Then are the other times, when the realities completely exceed my dreams.
Amsterdam is one of those places that has exceeded my expectations and my dreams. What makes Amsterdam one of a kind? Amsterdam enjoys a global reputation as the city of freedom where everything is possible. The culture and history of the Netherlands, and Amsterdam’s metropolitan area specifically presents the various components that clearly reveal what makes Amsterdam and the Netherlands unique.
The 4 pillar’s of Amsterdam’s history and culture include it’s Design, Fashion, Architecture and Heritage. Amsterdam embodies characteristics that are inextricably linked to the spirit of freedom and the longstanding traditions relating to tolerance, freedom of speech, a spirit of commerce and creative liberty. Although many people think of Amsterdam as the home of Brown Cafe’s, it is so much more.
This tradition of freedom has shaped the city into what it is today. Thanks to this atmosphere of freedom and tolerance, Amsterdam has throughout it’s long history been a magnet for artists, philosophers, free thinkers and other creative spirits from around the world.
Amsterdam leads the way in quality of life, democracy, freedom of the press and freedom of spirit. Many people think it’s a fun place to go because you can smoke pot, or use Magic Mushrooms, and it is. But it is that Freedom of Spirit that makes the city of Amsterdam overflow with atmosphere, friendliness and beauty.
Dutch design has taken the world by storm and is described as being pragmatic, simple and unconventional with a humorous twist. You may not even know it, but Dutch design is all around you, from simple consumer goods to complex design such as cars and buildings.
But true Dutch design begins in Amsterdam, which serves as home base for a large number of internationally acclaimed designers and companies creating wild and fantastic buildings along with awesome consumers goods.
While Amsterdam is still a long way off from attaining the status as a leading city of fashion on par with Paris or Milan, trend spotters nevertheless view Amsterdam as one of the most inspiring cities. The same attributes used to describe Dutch design also largely apply to Amsterdam fashion: unconventional, unpretentious and daring.
These distinctive qualities take center stage twice a year during the Amsterdam Fashion Week. When it comes to Fashion in Amsterdam, finding custom tailors to create any type of fashion for you is very possible. In fact I am looking forward to my custom Dinner jacket to be delivered soon. On a side note, I am thinking it is necessary to have custom tailors in this city, the men and women are quite tall, freakishly tall.
Keen attention to detail has been a key distinguishing characteristic of Amsterdam architecture through the centuries. This is clearly mirrored in the gables of the canal houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. However, the architecture of the Amsterdam School and the modern architecture showcased in areas of the city such as the Oostelijk Havengevied (Amsterdam’s eastern docklands) equally feature this uncompromising eye for detail.
The beauty of the homes and buildings in the Oude Zijde (the Old Silk) is beyond compare. If you look closely you can see buildings all around you from the 1600’s that are leaning both forward and side to side.
Buildings in Amsterdam lean forward on purpose and are built that way. Building that way was a solution to another problem. The problem with these old buildings is that the stairways are always very narrow and steep.
These stairways are impossible to use while trying to get furniture or any other big object into your house. These stairways are a consequence of the very narrow construction used in Holland at the time. That meant you had to pull your furniture up through your window. If you take a look at most old houses in Amsterdam you will see a hook placed on top of their roofs.
This is used to hang a wheel and use it with a rope to pull things up. While pulling big objects up a building, it helps to avoid hitting the building with these objects if the building tilts forward. Many buildings also lean from side to side, this is mostly due to the fact that these buildings are 300-400 years old, their pillars that have been rammed into the dry soil of the canals are simply rotting, causing the buildings to lean.
The Dutch DNA is also at the heart of the rich heritage of The Netherlands. Many of the tangible treasures of this heritage bear witness to The Netherlands battle against the water over the centuries. The polders, dikes and windmills situated in the Amsterdam Metropolitan area are designed to keep the water within the dikes. The showpieces in Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and Haarlem include the magnificently decorated houses of wealthy citizens.
Measured by heritage, Amsterdam is one of the richest cities in Europe thanks to it’s world famous ring of canals, medieval city center, Jewish history and it’s wealth of art treasures displayed in it’s large and small museums. Amsterdam has one of the largest number of Museums in Europe. Here you can visit the world famous Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, Rembrandt’s House, Van Gogh’s Museum, Allard Pierson Museum, Hermitage (a wing of the Hermitage of St. Petersburg, Russia). These are the ones most people visit, don’t miss the Heineken Experience, Jewish Historical Museum, The Sex Museum and The Torture Museum.
This City has a unique appeal, it’s a vibrant city, a treasure trove of artistic riches and living embodiment of nearly 1000 years of history. During this time Amsterdam rose to become the center of a huge global empire. After some decades of decline, Amsterdam matured into today’s relaxed and tolerant city.
Elegant, serene, friendly, tolerant of differences, it has become a Global city. Even it’s seamy, side is part of it’s charm. Whatever your looking for you can find it in this City, this beautiful City of Canals, Cannabis and History. The city of Amsterdam oozes beauty and sexiness, not only in the obvious, the buildings, canals etc.