When I stepped onto my plane, I was worried that I would be turned away from the Hostel Van Gogh for being over 40. I had failed to read the fine print on Hostelworld’s website until the day before arrival so I had little recourse or chance for refund. I had been bounced in Prague in May due to this same, unfortunate, ageist policy.
Happy day, I gained access to my Amsterdam accommodations without resistance. Of course, I don’t look my age but there’s no way I look under forty so I’m happy they decided to let me gain access to the place. In fact, the staff has been very agreeable.
A trip here has been well overdue, but I was a little concerned with the reports of tourist overcrowding. Granted, there are a few of them clogging the streets and bridges. Actually, my timing is excellent since it’s holiday time for the locals and so many of them are out of town. Based on the diminished numbers, I would be a little afraid to see what it’s like when the town is at peak capacity.
For those of you planning a visit, come during the August holiday time or the shoulder seasons to avoid the Mongol hordes.
It’s good to see the canals of bridges of this exquisite city once again after over a decade.
Houseboats are often personalized in an amusing fashion.
A special awning protects the business cards of this four-star restaurant.
Cyclists are ubiquitous in Amsterdam, and you are more likely to be hit by a two-wheeler than a motorist. Bike lanes are also everywhere and often hard to identify, and you really have to keep your eyes open so you don’t end up looking like a clueless tourist by blocking bike traffic.
HOLLAND CASINO – Remember people, the house inevitably always wins! Best to opt for a little retail therapy like myself. That way you have some gifts and toys for yourself and family to show for your money.
THE BULLDOG – AMSTERDAM’S BEST KNOWN SMOKING CAFE
COKE ZERO, BULLDOG HERB CONTAINER, BULLDOG LIGHTER
HERMES – This magnificent, glass-brick, retail space was once occupied by Chanel, but Hermes has clearly adapted it beautifully for their brand. In fact, I think it better suits Hermes, and I am fortunate to walk past the building every night as I return to my hostel.
This is the peak of the art of retail window dressing, and combined with beauty of the crystalline bricks that makes it a synergistic tour de force.
FANNY PACK CRAB – You’ve got to have a lot of money to waste on a tacky Hermes fanny pack.
Conveyance smaller than a Smart Car finds a spot between the bikes.
His mind is clearly not on his cards.
BANKSY – Banksy’s at the MOCO!
PRIDE DECORATED TRAM CROSSES THE BRIDGE
AMSTERDAM PIPE SHOP
THE RUBBER DUCK STORE
My granddaughter would wet herself in this store.
UNICORN RUBBER DUCK – Another plastic waterfowl for my granddaughter Mia’s collection.
BANKSY COMING LATER
I was lucky to see the original in Palestinian Bethlehem.
STEDELIJK MUSEUM AMSTERDAM
Marc CHAGALL – Self Portrait with Seven Fingers – 1912/13
Vincent VAN GOGH – Two Peasants Digging – 1889
Vincent VAN GOGH – Kitchen Gardens on Montmartre – 1887
Created during a period of financial struggle, this light and colorful landscape indicates Van Gogh’s Parisian style, one which he imagined would be appealing to many buyers. Unfortunately those buyers failed to materialize during his sad and unrequited existence. Why is it that suffering seems to produce the greatest art? Though he even wrote to his brother Theo that it would be a nice “decoration for a dining room,” today this painting indicates the emergence of Van Gogh’s expressive brushstrokes and the use of complementary colors he developed in this period, characteristics later associated with his emergence as an influential modern painter.
Open top pinball machines with adjustable bumpers enable you to create your own game.
PERFECT REPLICAS OF DOROTHY’S RUBY SLIPPERS