(3 Minute Read)
Amsterdam isn't just the smell of marijuana and window shopping for sex. Yes, you can buy both, but my guess it that most people don't buy either.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Van Gough museum is super famous.
The Anne Frank museum is a must see. You can stand in room where they lived in hiding. It's sublime.
The Heineken experience is a tour of the factory. My brother loves Heineken and he thoroughly enjoyed the three beers that came with it.
A'DAM Lookout is an elevator ride up to an aerial view of the city. There's also a swing ride on top! My biggest regret was not doing it.
Canals run block by block at "The 9 Streets". You'll see a ton of selfie sticks.
There's are shopping areas for tourists, the red-light district is bizarre, and stoners chill at the coffee shops. By the way, a cafe is where people go to drink coffee and tea. Coffee shops are for weed.
The first time I went to Amsterdam was with my brother back in 2014. We visited the Anne Frank museum, a diamond museum, checked out the coffee shop, and went to a bar. We also spent two uncomfortable minutes walking through the red-light district. Just not my thing.
This time, I focused on photography and walked around getting lost and being lead by the streets, sites, and scenes.
At one point, I saw a photographer shooting with an old Hasselblad film camera. We got along instantly. The amount of jargon we used proved that we were both deep in the film photography community. He pointed me in the direction of a camera store and I ended up spending a blissful hour talking with the store owners about cameras, film, and learning stuff about darkrooms. We all got along because we were part of the same niche.
People with things in common tend to get along. And a niche is like a modern day tribe.
Trust is what built tribes. Humans are social animals and the ability to trust each other is how we organized complex social structures. We dominated as a species because you could go hunting and you trusted the tribe to watch your kids. Today, we drop our kids off at school and go to work all day.
AMSTERDAM IN THREE WORDS
Dope, because of how it the city looks and smells.
Antique. Everything in Europe is antique. Once you step into the city, you're blown away by the style of the old, tall buildings. The "suburbs" are packed with buildings that resemble hipstery mini-hotels.
Whimsical, because the definition is "playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way". In one square block you can see a red-lit sex shop, an ancient church, a coffee shop full of stoners, and romantic couples enjoying a picnic on lovely boats. Where else can you say Anne Frank, marijuana, Van Gough, prostitutes and Heineken in one sentence? Maybe in a kooky joke.
Next stop, Oktoberfest!