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Amsterdam and the Wrath of God

by someone 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.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The Dam 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.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting A smaller 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.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting A 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:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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A thoroughly wonderful city.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 07:49:28 AM EST

We conclude He dislikes cars

And yet, there are people [you won't believe me, but it's true] who go to Amsterdam and do not gain the pleasure(s) you enjoyed...but this is not a problem.  For them there is...Barcelona!

Ach!  I'm jealous...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 07:59:57 AM EST
Sadly in barcelona we only have down town free of cars...

The city is full of cars... Hopefully one day...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 09:07:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your downtown might be the size of Amsterdam.

I may have that all wrong--I'm trying to check the scales...

Amsterdam central, where there are few or no cars, is about forty minutes across on foot, the part in the top of this pic.

Ach...

My town by comparison:

And here's Barcelona:

Hey, map blogging!

Amsterdam, 1544 (?)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 09:58:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The part with almost no cars is the old town quartet...

So it is roughly the same... with the difference that the streets are very small is crowded with tourists!!!!

all the time...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 10:06:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only downtown. In Gràcia there are many streets closed to traffic now. Gràcia is like an island, you can walk from Gal.la Placídia to Joanic through nice and quiet small squares and you'll only have to cross two noisy big streets, Gran de Gràcia and Torrent de l'Olla. Have you seen calle Astùries, recently? It's great. No more cars, there either.
by amanda2006 on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 10:26:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely.. yes yes I forgot Gracia.. of course...

Yuuups

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 10:54:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Barcelona, but I had a very hard time finding any pot or hash there.
by Quentin on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 12:14:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one of the differences, I think.  For those who enjoy

there's the light, the air, the peace...no cars...and coffee shops....enlightenment...

For those who don't...maybe Amsterdam isn't so interesting...although I've been with a non-smoking...ah...but we went to a coffee shop...where the air is laden with...so...that maybe one of the points...oh...was there a point?  Hey, look at that!



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 12:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, of course, BCN is not like Amsterdam in this respect, but tell me, which european or american city is like Amsterdam when it comes to get something to smoke?
In any case, things are moving in Catalonia, there are plenty of grow shops and we have an annual cannabis fair. It was held precisely last weekend.

http://www.elperiodico.com/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=46&idioma=CAS&idnoticia_PK=373023& ;idseccio_PK=1022&h=

There is also an association (Navarra Cannabic Representation) that will run in the next Spanish elections as a political party.

by amanda2006 on Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 at 01:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks !

I notice one of the 2 cars left in the "Dam square" photo, spared by the wrath of God, is a Citröen 2CV, an icône de la contre-culture.

by balbuz on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 08:35:19 AM EST
bicycle lanes are a good thing. It's not a matter of room (when there is such). Having been living in cities with a car free center (Sweden, France), it's a good thing that the traffic is separated, since bikes are silent and can come from behind. It's even better when you have a common lane on the sidewalk by streets or roads with normal car traffic, which is normal in many Swedish cities or in Montpellier where I live.
by oldfrog on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 08:59:04 AM EST
This is not Amsterdam, but still in the Netherlands.. Though further down.. Another interesting view: sheep and bikes.. together. :) (This cannot be seen every day here.)



-- Fighting my own apathy..

by Naneva (mnaneva at gmail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 04:16:59 PM EST
I can't see the picture.

You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--
by tzt (tzt) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 05:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can, and it's beautiful.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 06:08:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean... not pretty-beautiful so much as cool-beautiful.

Your picture below is pretty-beautiful, though.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 06:09:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for this. Here it is again:

Courtesy of one of my colleagues who never leaves his camera.

-- Fighting my own apathy..

by Naneva (mnaneva at gmail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 06:52:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well.. sorry, it happened again.. I don't know what is wrong.

-- Fighting my own apathy..
by Naneva (mnaneva at gmail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 06:59:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks! For some reason I can't see it in Firefox or Epiphany and had to open Konqueror to see the picture. But it's great! My husband was out bicycling a couple of days ago and he saw a guy training a shepherd dog. The sheep were pretty out of control; I guess the dog was a beginner.

You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--
by tzt (tzt) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 07:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amsterdam.  Strange people there.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 05:11:41 PM EST
An Amsterdam pic I took last month:



You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--

by tzt (tzt) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 05:57:30 PM EST
That's beautiful!

-- Fighting my own apathy..
by Naneva (mnaneva at gmail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 06:38:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I love Amsterdam. It's been ten years since my last visit and I'm planing a short trip there in May. Gorgeous photo!!!
by amanda2006 on Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 at 01:32:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is a fantastic city. One of my favourite places on Earth. It's not the place (though I like that too), it's the people.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 at 03:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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