Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 08:37:51 AM EST
The wrath of God was upon Amsterdam these past few days, coinciding
with my visit of the city with a friend. Determined to give the place
a bit of a walk-about anyway, we braved the brisk winds that
occasionally made walking upright difficult, taking refuge every few
hours in a coffeeshop. The consumption options at these establishments offered a fine enhancement of the sense of drama the
occasion of the storm provided.
See the wrath below - from the diaries -- whataboutbob
Central Amsterdam: My immediate reaction arriving at the central train
station was surprise that the cars that I knew would be absent were in
fact not there! Sure, taxis, and some other cars and trucks as well, a
lot of bicycles and pedestrians, and of course the trams. There is a
lot of different modes of transport, all with different dynamics,
giving a completely different 'feel' than the car dominated cities I
am used to.
square, central Amsterdam.
Large parts of central Amsterdam seemed completely devoid
of cars, the smaller streets were very peaceful with only the
occasional pedestrian or bicyclist. Perhaps few people were out and
about due to the season and the weather which most opinions would
certainly term 'bad', but on the occasion of our trip turned out to
be 'great'. Whatever the reason, those that did need to move about did
not seem to think that getting in a car was necessary, and quite a few
people were bravely struggling on their bicycles, against the strong
winds and occasional rain. Thus, I found this instantiation of the
fantasy of the 'car free city' as enjoyable as my prejudice predicted
it would be.
street. Check out that bike lane! It is almost not necessary!
To return to the question of God, and His alleged Wrath upon the
city, one must indeed inquire as to the true aim of that Wrath. The
immediate, naive interpretation would of course indicate the 'sin' so
ever present in the red light district, and beyond, heaping
condemnation on the coffeeshop and the brothel alike. As the
picture below will surely indicate, we may however come to a
different conclusion as to His intent.
manifestation of the Wrath of God. We conclude He dislikes cars.
In conclusion, I loved it. Go Amsterdam! I would like to know more
about this city, how it functions in its entirety, what
the non-central and outlying parts are like, how transportation problems
for the area are solved, and so on. Because from the vantage point of my
brief and incomplete visit, if the city centre is any indication, in
my book, they got it just right. Final picture, taken while heading
for the train station to leave, nicely tying up this story: