august 2013 10th thru the 28th

A forum where you can read the great
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

worldcitizen1723
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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Aug 29, 3:30 pm

August 21

Strolled over to Paradox with the dog for the morning outing. Such a lovely place, met a guy from NYC. He was retired and this was his very first trip to Europe. He had big plans of travel through out the continent - was supposed to spend 2 days in Amsterdam, he had now been there for two weeks. He said he had always heard that Europe was more progressive than the USA, but being a New Yorker, he never believed it could be better. He was blown away by everything, the culture, the people, the beauty. He had fallen in love with Amsterdam.

Today is gathering day, gonna try to buy all the little gifts and trinkets for people back home - so that our last day is not filled with this. Of course it is fun to just ride around, lock up and window shop. One neighborhood to the next soo deliciously delightful.

Funny how this city is, after all of these years, I still discover new routes and interconnections that I didn't realize.

Over at Hoodlamb, we met another young girl from Slovenia, been in Amsterdam for 6 years she was explaining how she never meets anyone from her country. We told her to just hang out with us, we seem to be Slovenian magnets!

More cruising up and down the canals. The legs are feeling stronger and riding is a joy again. Glide over to Flower Power to see our other Slovenian friend and play pinball. Don't mean to brag - but I am holding on to my winners slot,
In our ongoing competition. ( factoid - I may be winning - but not playing well enough to get my name on the board)

Returned to the boat to play with the dog.

Such a busy life - we are off to Sound Garden to meet up with Winnie and a couple of friends from Northern Ireland. Such a great place to hang out, with a large outdoor area, hidden in the back next to the canal. Primarily a local crowd. Sound Garden is a beer joint, since we do not usually hang out in such places it was interesting to note the differences of a place filled with people on alcohol highs as opposed to high on weed.

Louder and brasher than pot heads. Drinks get spilled, little showers of alcohol get shared over my head. We are having a good time - OMG - those northern Irelanders speak English so fast, it is sometimes hard to realize that they are really speaking English! A little pot and a little wine and their speech sounds really fast! We were having a splendid time.

Everything was just perfect, friendly laughter around us. Then the mood changed abruptly with a loud SPLAT. Directly behind me were a set of metal stairs. it seems a liquored up Dutch gentleman, perhaps blacked out and ended up flattened on the very unforgiving concrete floor. The place went from raucous conversation and laughter to Dead silence. Not certain if anyone was even breathing. It was a horrible site. The manner in which he was splayed on the floor, the angle of his neck....ugh.... It appeared that he could have been dead. His friends gathered around, everyone else just remained frozen. All concern was focused on the scene. After what seemed like an eternity, his friends got him into a chair, he was alive, not too conscious, bloodied. Then sirens, police, paramedics, big bright lights shining into the once laughter filled dark garden.

Paramedics were standing behind the guy holding his neck upright. At this point, we decided it was time to leave, clearly there would be no further laughter here tonight.

Once out in front of Sound Garden, it was clear we were at the center of an event. Flashing lights, police cars, ambulance, paramedic vehicles...

A sobering moment to say the least.
The vulnerability of this flesh
The fragility of life

We parted on our bikes sobered and solemn

Strange way to end the day.....

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Postby alpha » Thu Aug 29, 3:48 pm

worldcitizen1723 wrote:Strange way to end the day.....


Yeah, but just imagine that guy's morning after..

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Aug 29, 3:58 pm

alpha wrote:
worldcitizen1723 wrote:Strange way to end the day.....


Yeah, but just imagine that guy's morning after..



really! more about that tomorrow...

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Aug 30, 5:23 pm

August 22

Me, the mate and Winnie all dreamt about the guy who took that nasty fall last night at Sound Garden. The mate just wanted to know if he was okay...so he scoured the Internet with no luck. He went to their Facebook page and there was no mention of the incident, so he posted a query. A number of hours later, he got some response. The guy is okay, he was hospitalized, had a concussion. It was also reported that he had been falling off his bike prior to this, so perhaps there is an underlining condition or a big issue with alcohol... Anyway alive for now... The information does lift a grey cloud that was hanging around our heads.

We sit on the porch, sip our coffee, wave to selective tourists as the float by on their boats and are greeted with goedemorgen wishes by the locals. We get warm greetings from the police as they pass and we toke.

But still - there appears to be a class distinction that I never noticed in prior visits. I have a vague memory of it being said a long time ago (probably on some guided tour) that the Dutch did not like to show wealth and kept their riches more private, to keep a more homogenous society. Lol probably made up information by the speaker (funny what we remember). Anyway, that really no longer seems to be true. There is a puffed up quality about the rich,the long nose stuck in the air that could not be bothered with us common folk.
Really this is new and unexpected - I mean, in the past, our funky selves, have been cornered by, and brought into conversations with this class. Even invited to their homes.....on this trip, there appears to be quite a divide and a wealthy class with attitude.... Interesting. Perhaps due to the divide that is moving thru the western world - the 1% and the 99%. Me thinks that the 1% are starting to feel protective of their position.

Also noticed on this trip bigger cars. Bigger cars everywhere. Yeah there are still tiny ones - and electric ones - but overall the cars are bigger. I remember my first trips being in awe of all of the different tiny cars and how smart the Dutch were in their choices. Not so much anymore, now mid sized sedans abound.

There is even a bit more stress on the faces on the people as they do their chores. There is no escape from the heavy corporate hand that is bearing down.

Anyway, we are in Amsterdam!! Take the dog for a stroll to Amnesia.
He is accustomed to NY dogs. They wag tails, rub noses, bow to each other and play. Amsterdam dogs, wag their tails, stiff noses then growl at him. He tries to show that he does not care.

So far every time we arrive at Amnesia an outside table is free and waiting for us. Today is no different. We get water sit outside and smoke our green. Don't think we ever bought anything to smoke from here on this trip. Stroll around the corner to Grey Area to restock. Ultimately GA and voyagers seem to offer the best product in the neighborhood.

Walk the dog back to the boat and go for breakfast at Greenwoods. Doesn't everyone have at least one breakfast there? Sat outside, it's a perfect dull*. Amsterdam day. (* meaning overcast). More roaming and window shopping. Not that I am about buying stuff, more about window display and design.

Passed by Doors and walked in to play some pinball. I put my hands on this Avatar machine and felt my pinball mojo drain out of my body. Weird. Every ball (I swear)'went down the center or bounced out the side before I even had the opportunity to play it. Thus begun by downward spiral.

More street roaming and window gazing. Went over to the corner cafe for a lite dinner. De Vergulde Gaper. Ordered a goat cheese salad. It sounded perfect, until it arrived. : <
They warmed my goat cheese! Ugh I Hate warm goat cheese - why would you heat up my cheese?? The tomatoes were tasteless - really? in the land of good food -tasteless tomatoes? Dead lettuce greens and big grapes also with no taste. This place is good for French fries and a drink. Do not eat here.

Wow I am creating a great do not eat here list this time around!

Back to Spirit for more pinball. My losing streak is brilliant and I play like shite.

Had hoped to go to Malo Melo around midnight..but these days are long and the sleep is work interrupted .....we are ready to stop. Amsterdam is like being a kid in the candy shop -
Too many choices
Too much to experience
Not enough time
Not enough energy.....

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Postby Dogbreath » Fri Aug 30, 10:30 pm

Thanks again WC....... Red and I enjoy reading your reports very much...

Dogbreath

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sat Aug 31, 4:28 pm

Dogbreath wrote:Thanks again WC....... Red and I enjoy reading your reports very much...

Dogbreath


Thanx! I appreciate hearing that!

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sat Aug 31, 4:29 pm

August 23

Woke to a beautiful day. Promised blue skies with a lite breeze. It is a glorious morning and we soak up the sun on the porch with coffee and apple pie from the winkel across noordemarkt.

Grey haze from grey area and King Kong from voyagers are our favorite day time indulgence.

The mate says let's get on a boat today! He offers to ride over to Boom and sign us up for their boat - since it seems it is the only open old Dutch boat going out - now that the Saint Nicholas boat club can not function. We did the Boom boat last year - it was nice, but there is a big difference having an actor as the guide, as opposed to someone whose interest were the boats and the history of Amsterdam. I am not too thrilled with this prospect.

I ask - how about taking out a boat ourselves?

He looked at me with horror in his eyes and emphatically stated, "I won't drive a boat out there - but if you want to drive, go ahead!" I could not tell if it was a threat or a dare. Either way, I was not gonna let it go. So I propose, if I can not rent a boat in the next 30 minutes, he can sign us up for the Boom boat.

Agreed.

OMG
I rented a boat online! Not one of those metal rental boats - but a full sized Dutch boat, with the rope on the sides, probably could fit at least 10 people in it. Lol I did not quite realize this when I booked it.

The morning is filled with preparations for the boat. The mate goes out to get fruit, cheese, bread and wine... And more smoke. Gotta do it right! I do my Internet chores. The dog is annoyed cause he is not getting a nice long outing this morning.

We go to retrieve the boat. He is really serious and is not gonna take control of it.
(Even though he is the one that drives the car when we are together)

We are early and they are not yet ready for us - so they sit us in our boat, we play around and even smoke a joint.

Once their computer is up and running the guy gives quick instruction on forward and reverse and speed. ( it is an electric boat) ( there is a motor control and a big wooden rudder to steer - no steering wheel). The only other instruction is do not go out into the IJ. He hands us a little map which we immediately lose and wishes us a good day. No, other directions or instructions.

We head out in the direction the boat is pointing in, figuring this must be right.
Hey, this is not so bad. I am slowly gaining my confidence. Funny though, the water is getting rough and there are tall boats moored in the canal. Clearly theses boats are too big to get into the city. More really big boats ......and....
Oh shit! I am heading out to the IJ exactly what he said not to do. A brief moment of panic, cause there is quite a bit of big boat traffic and big boat mooring and I HAVE to turn around NOW! With determination and crossed fingers I manage to point us in the other direction and accomplish my first big maneuver.

One thing that becomes immediately clear on the water: the canal system is not like the streets. The canals do not connect where you expect them to. Check out a map to see what I mean. The mate is beginning to wonder if I will even find my way into,the city center before our 2 hours are up.

This is a wide fairly quiet canal. I keep looking to my left to find a way into the Jordaan . We pass a really little, I mean tiny little arched opening- not even certain i can do this - but there are no signs to stop me - so I decide to try it - turn us around again and head for the opening. It is just wide enough for the boat to get thru... This is soo cool!!
it works we are on bloemgracht heading towards Prinsengracht.

OMG
Can I say this is a dream come true!!
I have wanted to do this for soo long!

The city
The sun
The water
Yippee

We travel down Prinsengracht and pass our houseboat. Navigating around the big tour boats, regular boats and stupid tourist paddle boats keeps my attention glued to the canal. ( I really am shocked that these paddle boats are allowed and I am positively certain I will be the first to sink one of them!)

We cruise from one major canal to the next.

Did you know that when you try to turn on the canals that you are totally blind? You have absolutely no idea if you will meet head on with a tour boat. Or any other form of boat.
It definitely is a bit stressful.

At one of these junctures, I got caught up between two tour boats. when one of them began backing up, ( how was I supposed to know he was gonna back up?) he smashed into me! All of the tourists came to the side to see if we were okay. We were, of course. It was a soft hit as things go. But our boat was precariously positioned and I had no idea what these big boats were trying to do.

To add to the complications, the Grachtenfest is tomorrow, so parts of Prinsengracht and other canals are closed to boat traffic. ( a little bit of Dutch helps to read the signs). This just makes everything more complicated in getting from point A to Point B.

I also turn away from the Amstel, cause I am not sure about that one... It's size and current... Not this time.

This is a trial by fire but overall, totally enjoyable. We have about 30 minutes left and figure it is time to begin our trip back to return the boat.

Instead of returning the way we came, I have an inspired idea of how to return.
We shall travel down Browersgracht and than lijinbaangracht to bring us back
To that little opening. No reason this shouldn't work. Logic rules.

All is going really well. I am relaxed and confident ( that should have been a warning! : > )

Browersgracht is really busy. I mean really really busy. There are a lot of big party boats coming at me.

Oh no! There is a huge wide boat coming at me - two tourist paddle boats - one directly in front of me the other to my left. They leave me no room to maneuver. F@#k there is a guy standing in a canoe tied to his houseboat working on the outside of his boat. I scream loudly - I am going to hit him!!!
.....and I do. Luckily he was warned - he swears at me as we pass- but he is still, standing and did not bounce off into the canal, so I am relatively happy. The paddle boats are still safe, my heart is pounding.

Whose idea was this?

What a relief to turn into lijinbaangracht. It is quiet. It is pretty. Wow, it is also, really narrow. We cruise slowly enjoying the house boats and the backyard gardens. Another boat approaches, lol it is from the same rental company. It is filled, the women smile and wave gently. The man at the helm says something in German and points in the direction we are heading. We smile, wave and continue on our way. After about 10 more minutes.....
Shit!!
There is a bridge over the canal - but the water is soo high that we can not get under it...even if we crouch to the ground the boat is too big!

UGH!!

The canal is really narrow at this juncture and right at the side near the low hanging bridge is a big new houseboat. I totally panic. Turn the motor off and we slam into the bridge.

I am really high. All I want to do is get off the boat now - I have had enough, thank you very much. It was fun...I'm done.

Within a few seconds, I regain my composure. Sort of. This is bad. The boat is way to big to turn around. I do not want to ride in reverse the entire way back. And of course we are now late in returning the boat. Guess this is what the guy that passed us was trying to communicate. What I do not understand is why didn't
everyone in that boat gesture for us to turn around, instead of casually waving?!!

Determination returns and I decide I can do this. Inch by inch forward and then reverse, forward, reverse, forward, reverse, forward, reverse... the mate sits at the bow to keep me from hitting the houseboat. After what feels like an absolute eternity the boat is turned around.
I am sweating bullets.... But relieved. The boat rental people have been phoned, they know we are late... Think we added another hour to our trip..

Slowly, I attempt to relax, find the enjoyment again and return the way we came... No more inspired ideas. Although I do make one more wrong turn before finding Bloemgracht. You know there are no street or canal signs down there, you have to look up to the street...and sometimes even then it is difficult to figure out where you are.

We got the boat back. And YES I would definitely do this again! It was mostly so much fun! Even the stressful parts in retrospect were fun. But maybe I would pick a less hectic day on the canals the next time.

We got sea legs. Funny sensation that we did not expect with this outing.
Back on the bikes to the houseboat to play with the miffed dog. He deserves a nice walk, so over to 137 we trot for a spell.

Wow - this is another full day! We change the clothes grab the bikes and are off to Winnie's. she has prepared a magnificent meal with way to much food
for us, Mobilechuckje and his mate. An absolutely perfect evening, laughter, stories, friendship.

Gezellig

Have I mentioned how much I love Amsterdam?

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Postby Old Fart » Sat Aug 31, 5:48 pm

I laughed my ass off. What a great report and memory for you guys!

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Sep 02, 4:23 am

Old Fart wrote:I laughed my ass off. What a great report and memory for you guys!


It was a hoot. The mate actually has video of my wrong turn down lijinbaangracht - it stops right before we slam into the bridge. He was smart to turn off the camera before my melt down... : >

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Sep 02, 4:25 am

August 24

This is a lazy day.

I remind myself - this is supposed to be a vacation, you are supposed to be getting some rest and relaxation, recharging for the coming year of work - gotta support the habit of yet another trip to Amsterdam ( really is there any other reason to work?). ...in deference- This is declared a s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. d-a-y...

The mate is doing his hunting and gathering thing at the market amongst the crowds, I just sit staring at the canal, listening to the strains of music wafting over the houseboat.

The dog whines at me relentlessly. He wins and I get dressed. Off we go to Amnesia. It is Saturday and it is incredibly crowded. So crowded, in fact that I do not want to hang around to stare down a table, ( yeah i got a technique - pick the youngest most inexperienced table of tokers and just stand by said table like I own it with the dog. Works every time). But today, I do not want to be here. So the dog and i trot back to 137 for some people and dog watching.

The phone ringer I use is the bell tower ( I have a picture of westerkerk as the photo). Works perfectly in NYC. The sounds are subtle and never disturbing...like a bit of Amsterdam calling when I answer the phone.

Sitting at 137... I am accosted by the ringing of bell towers. a cacophony of sound that just washes over me. As things quiet down, i realize that one of those church bells was my phone!. Seems my phone just adds to the Amsterdam ambience. Note to self - now I understand why I have been missing phone calls. Must change the ringtone.

I check voice mail and sure enough the mate and Winnie have both called, I missed two calls. Glad I carry a phone ( with a Dutch number that I can not remember and a ringtone that I no longer respond to). Soon the group of us are all sitting outside of 137. It is such a perfect place to sit and watch the world pass by. A good mix of local flavor and tourists.

Tourists are funny. This seems to be a frustrating area for many who appear lost and bewildered turning and twisting their maps trying to get some barings.
I watch the same couple pass by about 4 times in 30 minutes, with each passing their frustration levels rise. The fourth time they stop on the bridge and argue about the proper direction. So many look like rats in a maze that they can not manage. It's Saturday, there are a lot of folks in town just for the weekend..... And school is also back in session, so all of the university students are also here, many going thru what appears to be hazing extremes along with fraternity and sorority parties just about around every corner.


It's busy, the streets are crowded. Though compared to NYC, it is not crowded at all...

We stroll back to the Houseboat... Well the dog and I stroll back... Winnie is a race walker, she walks like she is in NYC! The mate is on his bike.

Once back we share a lunch on the porch (where else? As Winnie notes, if she lived here all activities would take place on this porch.)

We make plans to roam the city, catch the Grachtenfest and maybe even go dancing this evening - then we split.

I need a nap. True confession: I am exhausted! I feel beat up from the boat trip yesterday - do not think I realized what an intense activity it was for a first timer, non boating, city person. It really did demand an extreme amount of concentration - and getting stuck was pretty overwhelming - especially cuz I could not hand off responsibility to someone else!

Winnie arrived about 20:00. As soon as she entered the door the skies opened up and buckets of water were dumped. Hey, it's not suppose to rain tonite! It's the Prinsengracht concert - the one we come for - we have not missed it in many years! It is a ritual after all.

We figure, just wait it out, the rain will pass. Instead it intensifies....then drizzles and ultimately pours and stops.
Like so many thing on this trip - our experience of this concert, will be like no other year.
It's a big deal this year. They have built a large covered lighted stage bigger than anything ever done before. They have closed off the entire canal, usually they leave a passage way around the stage . But this stage is huge.

We can see westerkerk all lit up, but we can not hear the music. None of us are too thrilled about stepping out into the rain and chill of a wind to join 100,000 other wet individuals, cause we are just so comfortable where we are. So, I pulled out my computer and we sat on the porch with rain falling ( the porch is covered) watching the live feed of the concert... Smoking, talking and having the perfect experience!

You can watch it too! It is a brilliant concert and it is shot quite well.

( I have just watched it again. It is not the entire concert, it has been edited down - the folks singing with umbrellas and the soaking rain part have mysteriously disappeared...

Www.Avro.nl/prinsengrachtconcert

ENJOY!

Note the passionate conductor ( would never had the opportunity to enjoy him the same way if we had been standing there)
It just looks so beautifully magical....
how come everyone looks so good?
( btw those folks sitting in boats claimed their spots when the sun rose)


( we could hear the finale of the 1812 overture on the porch!)
It looked fabulous! With the lights glowing from the canal
( it is the same view as from Asoka - just closer - past the bridge on Prinsengracht)
My absolute favorite part is the finale when everyone sings about how wonderful it is to be in Amsterdam...

We lit our lighters and sang on the porch with the computer and the crowd down the street.
Talked some more and eventually parted ways, dancing was something our minds wanted, but the bodies had other ideas

the rain was gone
And sleep came quickly.

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Postby Bohannon » Mon Sep 02, 3:30 pm

Another ace report; TYVM!

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Postby alpha » Mon Sep 02, 3:48 pm

Bohannon wrote:Another ace report; TYVM!


If you want to thank somebody, why abbreviate it? Doesn't that distract from the offer of thanking somebody?

Anyway, another great report WC and sounds like another great vacation, except for the restaurant food and thank you very much for sharing it with us!=)

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Postby MileHighDenver » Mon Sep 02, 4:55 pm

alpha wrote:
Bohannon wrote:Another ace report; TYVM!


If you want to thank somebody, why abbreviate it? Doesn't that distract from the offer of thanking somebody?

Anyway, another great report WC and sounds like another great vacation, except for the restaurant food and thank you very much for sharing it with us!=)


Only Denver haters and teenagers really.

Nice trip report. Sorry I missed you.

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Postby Bohannon » Mon Sep 02, 6:43 pm

jesus

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Sep 02, 6:50 pm

now boyz.....must i come into the room??

thanks for the feedback and enjoying the trip with us!
(I am liking dragging it out --keeps my foot in Amsterdam a little longer)

MH - yeah really sorry we missed you too

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Postby Generous_J » Tue Sep 03, 11:40 am

You didn't go to the NDSM werf.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Tue Sep 03, 12:24 pm

Generous_J wrote:You didn't go to the NDSM werf.



Yes we did. Lots of kids. (Actual children). 2 hippy type restaurants, summer of love festival, live music, yoga and massage. Container houses
Big boat with a 20 something dance party that was all that was happening, unless we missed a secret tunnel...

Also a lot of construction and building

What else was there? Please tell..

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Sep 04, 1:12 pm

August 25

Oh dear, it's Sunday...
We leave on Wednesday

I desperately attempt to not panic when my eyes pop open
Too late. I am getting that dread that there are three days left and our time here is almost completed. But wait - there is SO much I have not yet done!

I tell myself, I need to relax and just be here and enjoy, feel the bricks under my feet, breath in deeply and just be.

The dog is now quite accustomed to a morning outing so he whines continuously until I acquiesce. The city is still packed. Walk over to Paradox, it is packed! Decide to stroll over to Barney's uptown for food and smoke...
But it too is filled and the music is annoyingly loud. Turned around and walked out. well, okay Amnesia it is. Geez, it too is packed, but the dog and I have had enough, it is time to sit! So I find my target young couple that should be leaving momentarily and give them an energetic shove out of their seats. It works and soon we are planted at one of the outside tables, sipping tea and smoking.

The weather is changeable- cold, then warm. Grey overcast then chilly again.
Slowly the damp begins to penetrate, so it is time to leave. It is a slow wander back home.

Have I mentioned that we have seen more ambulances and accident scenes this time then ever before? Besides the incident at Sound Garden, the accident scenes have mostly been bike and scooter accidents. Scooters hitting bikes. Bikers splayed across the streets. The scooters are increasing, multiplying like rabbits... Seems they should be riding with the cars and not the bikes.

Back on the porch. Damn this really is one of the best seats in Amsterdam- what more could one ask for? It is Sunday, a day to kick back, so that is what we do... we do nothing too exciting.

Notsofasteddie from ACD pm'd me. He was leaving the next day and had bought more than he could smoke, so he offered a hand off. Wow! I was shocked - but -Hey, I would be a fool not to respond, so off we go to 137 for a meetup and handoff. Nice gentleman with a friend who was experiencing her very first trip to Amsterdam.... She had that first timer's glow. Anyway he handed me a bag with about 10 plus grams of various strains. Only problem... Nothing was marked...just lots of baggies, a couple of pre-rolled joints, a grinder and even a rolling machine.

Back at the boat - we realized that we had way too much food and not that many days left - so we decided we needed to use it - we should throw an impromptu dinner party, so we invited Winnie and Tak over to the houseboat. It worked out perfectly! It was a great night and yes we pretty much smoked everything that was gifted along with plenty from our own stashes too! Good food, good smoke, good friends... Gewoon perfect


Winnie emailed after she returned home - she found the radio station that we have all been so entertained and intrigued by!! (All 4 of us had been trying to figure it out.)

Yippee!!!

It is FIP
http://www.fipradio.fr/

Go to the bottom of the page - under ecouter you can click on direct and get it on the web. Or you can click on applis to download an app. You can also find it on Tunein too.

From Wikipedia
The concept behind FIP has scarcely changed since its founding in 1971- continuous music interrupted only for traffic updates, occasional announcements about forthcoming events, and a short news broadcast at 10 minutes before the hour, but no advertising.
FIP's programming is an eclectic mix of musical genres: chanson, classical, film music, jazz, rock, world music and more, but with careful attention paid to smooth and unobtrusive transition from item to item. FIP is one of the few stations in the world to transmit this type of programming around the clock.
The broadcasts are presented live from 7 am to 11 pm, after which a computer replays a selection of the music broadcast earlier in the day.


I can bring the sounds of our Amsterdam home back! A perfect gift to end yet another perfect evening.

sending a big hug to Winnie and Tak!

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Sep 04, 1:23 pm

worldcitizen1723 wrote:
Generous_J wrote:You didn't go to the NDSM werf.



Yes we did. Lots of kids. (Actual children). 2 hippy type restaurants, summer of love festival, live music, yoga and massage. Container houses
Big boat with a 20 something dance party that was all that was happening, unless we missed a secret tunnel...

Also a lot of construction and building

What else was there? Please tell..


We were at:

Pllek NDSM

And

http://www.noorderlichtcafe.nl/

And the entire area.


Did not go here - cuz nothing was happening here:
Tucked away in the Docklands in northern Amsterdam, the Docklands are a huge former shipyard housing the NDSM hall, a 20,000 square meter hangar that can also be partitioned into smaller places. The hall is used for a number of purposes, including private parties, concerts, exhibitions and techno and house events as well. The grounds are also home to artist studios and other artistic facilities.

I am assuming the above is what you intended us to stumble upon....

Next time I need better direction as to what I am looking to find and probably need to go much later!

Thanks just the same! I will try again.

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Postby Generous_J » Wed Sep 04, 1:40 pm

The hangar you mention is indeed one of the attractions to be found.

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Postby alpha » Thu Sep 05, 2:05 pm

worldcitizen1723 wrote:Have I mentioned that we have seen more ambulances and accident scenes this time then ever before? Besides the incident at Sound Garden, the accident scenes have mostly been bike and scooter accidents. Scooters hitting bikes. Bikers splayed across the streets. The scooters are increasing, multiplying like rabbits... Seems they should be riding with the cars and not the bikes.


Scooters can make for a much better trip than the bikes, but for me only if i keep it under 50cc. Any scooter under 50cc can ride any and all bike paths, which with age has become the preferable way to ride. Also, it brings the surrounding towns much closer, if the legs don't have to work so hard. However, when in Amsterdam one must pay attention to the bikers, which because their in their bike lanes aren't paying attention to much at all.

worldcitizen1723 wrote:We were at:

Pllek NDSM

And

http://www.noorderlichtcafe.nl/

And the entire area.


Did not go here - cuz nothing was happening here:
Tucked away in the Docklands in northern Amsterdam, the Docklands are a huge former shipyard housing the NDSM hall, a 20,000 square meter hangar that can also be partitioned into smaller places. The hall is used for a number of purposes, including private parties, concerts, exhibitions and techno and house events as well. The grounds are also home to artist studios and other artistic facilities.


This was the location of the 2006 cannabis cup's expo i believe. No one could find it, because High Times wasn't sure where it was, by land. They knew which ferry to take, to reach it, but failed to convey that information in a timely fashion. They also prominently included the 20,000 square meter building, in their advertising suggesting lots of room. However, that building is a dilapidated pile of bricks and not much good for anything unless you have millions for renovation. There were no artists at that time, just the cup, which was held in a small room, at the end of the hanger (perhaps 2,000 sf) and several tents. I pedaled over and used the wrong ferry, so i got a pretty good tour. Seemed to be mostly warehouses, gov't installations and residential, with a smattering of commerce.

Was back three years later and the artists had begun working there, but the hanger was still in the same deplorable condition.

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Postby alpha » Thu Sep 05, 2:08 pm

Generous_J wrote:The hangar you mention is indeed one of the attractions to be found.


Unless the renovations have occurred, then only the 'artist's colony' would be worth perusing, which would take less time than the ferry ride over. What other tourist attractions are there, on that side if the Ij?

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Sep 08, 4:24 am

alpha wrote:
Generous_J wrote:The hangar you mention is indeed one of the attractions to be found.


Unless the renovations have occurred, then only the 'artist's colony' would be worth perusing, which would take less time than the ferry ride over. What other tourist attractions are there, on that side if the Ij?


The hangar was empty

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Sep 08, 4:26 am

August 26

The last full day unencumbered by thoughts of packing or leaving, I want to soak up Amsterdam into every cell of my being ( heck, I've already stocked those cells with THC). No sense changing the morning ritual, take the dog to one of his favorite coffeeshops. amnesia..a favorite because of the outside seating and no other reason.

The outside seats are filled, but i have this down, i really have it down to a science. within 30 seconds, we are sitting comfortably. The mate goes inside to procure warm liquids. I sit outside, with the dog, light up my pipe and inhale. As I exhale a tall Dutch gentleman dressed in a paint spattered red jump suit with high top bright yellow leather shoes bursts out of amnesia, takes a deep bow, directly in front of me, grabs my hand and kisses it. I think he reminds me of Salvador Dali, only taller. With a grand flourish, he thanks me for being in Amsterdam and bringing beauty and excellent vibes to the city. I smile. He introduces himself ( I apologize but I can not remember his name and for some reason I can not seem to find him now with google or google maps). He invites me to visit his studio and tells me that he has a picture that he would like to give me, he explains that he is just around the corner. Then he throws himself to the ground, nose to nose with the dog - they rub noses- and he is off dancing down the street. The mate returns and Winnie arrives, and I share my little story. We finish our drinks and decide to walk over to the artists studio. It is a beautiful space, filled with loads of his art work, mostly stacked. He works big. He is in the middle of working on a couple of pieces. One huge piece is on the floor ( I am so glad I did not inadvertently walk on it!). His vibe is totally different. He is introverted, quiet, concentrated, focused, totally contained - certainly not the flamboyant character from earlier in the day. He invites us to wander around and enjoy his space, while he works. We do. His focus is so intense, it almost feels like we have walked into some sacred space. The three of us are in different areas of the studio. The artist comes over to me, leans over and whispers in my ear and says, "we are all performers, performers in our space. I am a performer, you are a performer, feel free to perform! " I nod and give him a glance that communicates understanding. He continues, in a private whisper explaining that he has a performance and showing in London the following week and he needs to rehearse, he asks my permission. The mate and Winnie are in another parts of the gallery as this transpires. He flicks a switch and music begins to fill the space, a full orchestra, an opera. I confess to be ignorant of such things and can not name the piece. But the music plays, he picks up a spray can and stands with commanding authority before the art on the floor.... then he begins to sing! His voice is actually quite good - with a surprising range. He sings to us....a private performance! It was absolutely surreal. We were godsmacked and grinning. It was one of those STOP the reality clock moments. Devine! It could have continued forever, but he began to work on his piece with the can of spray paint. The place rapidly filled with fumes, it actually felt like it could knock me out, if I remained. If I felt like that, then clearly the dog needed to get out... We bid adieu and hastened our retreat with our newly paint spattered shoes.

We walked back to the boat with the intention of grabbing bikes and going for an outing. But, I feel a bit weak and shaky feeling like I might have picked up a low grade stomach bug. So we sit out on the porch and while away the hours, drinking tea, smoking and chatting. Some boats pass so close you could shake the hands of the people aboard.

We eventually part ways and all I want to do is take a nap.

We have dinner reservations. Tonite at De Kas and tomorrow at Toscannini.

When I wake up, I realize I am in no condition for a fancy meal. I fear the food just might be too rich, since you have no choice, but only receive what they decide to feed folks that night. So as much as I love going here and really look forward to it, I ask if we can cancel our reservations.

Shot a text to Winnie and we met up at Bolhoed for a low key quiet simple dinner.

The sidewalk renovations have reached this block. It is totally dug up. The street is just piles of sand, it is uneven and messy. Outside of Bolhoed there are tables set up in the dirt, people even eat out there. But it is a cool night, we opt for eating inside. After dinner we take a walk first to voyagers and then winding thru neighborhoods and enjoying the changes that each turn offers. Somewhere along the way we bump into Gapie and share warm greetings. Amsterdam after dark - the magical glow of the canals, the big windows that dare you to snoop are all reduced to doll house status. The shape of the street lights. I am a faithful lover of the city, unwilling to let go.

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Postby Bohannon » Sun Sep 08, 2:23 pm

Another "last Hamlet award" winner. Thank you very much.

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Postby Red Pleb » Sun Sep 08, 6:51 pm

Stop the reality clock moment , indeed. You can dine out , on that one tale alone WC , for some duration . Fabulous . I'd have loved it !

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Postby MikeFromTx » Mon Sep 09, 9:13 am

Great report WC!

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Sep 12, 3:46 pm

August 27th

Well this is it. I don't like last days. I'm a pig when it comes to this city and guess I will never be satiated.


It's a gorgeous day! Absolute blue cloudless skies, a lite breeze.
So first things first - one final trip with the dog to amnesia. Got our favorite outdoor table (I have gotten really good at this!) and the mate goes inside to procure drinks. As I sit two 30 something guys are hovering near by, one smiles and bows. Geez, I seem to be a magnet for chivalry in Amsterdam.
We start to talk as the mate returns. They live in Germany - the one that bowed explains that he is a cage gladiator fighter - the only ones that fight with metal. My mind was whirling, I wished I had asked more questions, he said he was undefeated. He did not really appear that bruised up. And actually with his suit jacket, reddish brown pony tail and hat, I would never have thought he was a fighter. His side kick seemed a bit younger, like an apprentice of some sort. We shared pleasant conversation about Amsterdam. I think I was too focused on this being our last day - I sure wish I had asked more questions. But, when they walked away, it was clear - I do not recollect seeing a swagger quite like his before, even the mate commented. He did not appear bulked up, but he had the swagger of someone with hugely muscular arms and legs.

They leave and shortly after we do too.

There are still errands I have not yet attended to. One is buying my supply of socks. When it comes to my striped over the knee socks, I think maybe I have become a hoarder of sorts. I still have socks left from last year, but, how can I leave with out getting more of them? I promise myself, I will buy no more than 10 pairs tops. He sees me coming (lol), he remembers me and immediately is bargaining with me for 30 pairs of socks! There is no way they will fit in my suitcase, I explain- he says we can go into business, he will ship me socks to NY and keep me well supplied. I say I can not take all of these socks, he tells me to give them away!
I apologize and decline the offer, he insists. I walk away with 20 pairs of my favorite socks for 2 euro a pair.... How could I possibly refuse? Can I confess, I possess an alarming amount of striped over the knee socks.

The mate bought me a simple agate necklace. He definitely knows my taste. Thanks sweetie, i love it! More little gifts for others. An ashtray for us. Have you noticed that ashtrays have become almost none existent in stores? I predict they will become valuable artifacts of a vanished era, especially those great old standing ones. Had one once, disappeared the way objects do. Probably replaced by something newer and better. Har! Too bad.

Then of course final stops at Puccini Bonboni and Reypenaer cheese. We do not even pretend that we are bringing these goodies home for anyone but ourselves. Grey Area for one final stock up. Drop the booty at the boat pick up the bikes and take off for a spin around the city. But wait. First the mate wants to go to a particular store. Now? Why didn't you speak up before? You had three weeks. He pouts. I ask, do you know where it is? He says yes. I say are you sure that you know where you want to go ( I tend to be the navigator around the city). He says he knows EXACTLY how to get there. Okay, does it matter? It's Amsterdam, let's ride. He asks for me to lead us to Dam square and says he will take over from there. Okay, once there, I say, where to? He forges ahead and I follow. After a while, we turn around go back to the dam and go down a different street. I stop him and ask: where are we going? What's the address? He does not have an address!! But he tells me he has directions. What are they, i ask. Take a right at the grand krasnapolsky hotel. I could feel my blood boiling. What?? You do not have a street address? Take a right?? From which direction are you supposed to be facing?? This is not the mental/emotional state that I want to enter, but here I am. So I tell him, go ahead, figure it out I will go to abraxas, chill, locate my equilibrium. I get thru the crowds, lock up my bike and there he is standing by my side. He gave up rather quickly, realizing the futility of his quest. We sit outside in the alley for some reason the vibe is better here than in the actual coffeeshop. Notice that the supperclub has it's name out front. Gone are the edgy, under ground days of yore, when if you did not know, you would not find it. Back to claim the bikes for a spin around vondelpark. I make note of how dangerous some tourists on bikes appear and wonder how many times someone has thought the same of me. Actually on our way to the park, the mate was in front of me as we sped down a quiet canal. When all of a sudden I hit a hilly mess of bricks that were popping out of the ground. I lost control of the bike - my legs were kicked out in front of me like some cartoon, the bike bounced and wobbled, just as a Dutch man in a suit was passing me. We looked at each other with that bemused pursed lipped owwww not knowing if I would actually recover or end up in the canal! It felt like a movie moment. The timing was too perfect. That shared glance spot on. Luckily I stayed dry and recovered without falling or stopping.

The park is peaceful and calm as always. I do Love how Dutch couples can hold hands and ride. We are lucky to ride side by side - holding hands? Ha, one of us would probably be pulled down or smash into the other.

We breath in Amsterdam. Enjoy the wind in the hair and the visceral sense of freedom that a bike, in a bike friendly city offers.

As much as we hate to admit it. it is time to return our bikes. I want to revert, throw a tantrum, scream and stamp my feet - but experience has taught me that that will change nothing..... so i suck it up, be a grown up. This hurts, another reminder that we are leaving. The guy at bike city is empathetic and offers a super discount on our bike rentals. Sweet. It's always special to be offered a discount, when you haven't requested it or expected it.

We walk off to the boat. It seems strange not to see our bikes locked up in front, as they should be. It is time to pack, I am a bit melancholy. My stomach, still not great. I ask, since this has clearly NOT been a trip about food, can we just forget dinner at Toscannini, tonight? I am certain the mate is not happy with this request, but he kindly agrees and takes on the task of pulling a dinner together while I begin the task of packing. My belongings have exploded throughout this place. No way, will this all fit. I fear we will be roaming the streets trying to procure another suitcase before the night is out.

Because the 9pm dinner has been canceled I pm Winnie, Tak and mobilechuckje and say we will be at Spirit around 9:30, for pinball and a final goodbye. Soon after mobilechuckje responds saying they already have plans with others. Winnie says sure and I do not hear from Tak.

Packing goes better than expected. Well, my packing that is, because the mate went out to buy food and prepare it, his suitcase is still empty. I promise to help him later.

We go over to Spirit to engage in our final pinball matches. The deal is one must win 2 out of 3 to challenge the standing winner and 2 out of 3 to claim the title. I have held the title for most of our trip... This has never happened and the mate is ready to take me down. has won 2 out of 3 to challenge me. Winnie arrives and says she does not want to play. So the mate and I battle it out. He wins one. I win one.... The tension is high, and so are we! Woot! I won the final game and will leave Amsterdam the grand phuba of our little tournament. Yippeeee.

We leave Spirit and walk down the street that La Perla is on, there is a great little gelato shop with the freshest strawberry gelato, you can imagine. you can actually smell the strawberries! But being a creature of habit I go for the rich dark chocolate. Winnie gets the strawberry and I whiff it up over her shoulder.

Back at the boat we relax and chat. My phone chimes and after a moment I realize it's my phone and not westerkerk ( yeah, I never changed it). I answer and it's Tak, he's at Spirit, wondering what happened to us. We invite him over just to extend our holiday a bit longer. We finish whatever is left in terms of food and wine. Winnie departs cuz tomorrow is a work day. Tak remains and we continue to enjoy each other's company, until it dawns on me that we still do not know if everything will fit into these suitcases... It is too late to find another case, so I cross my fingers and whisper a little to prayer to the travel lords, in 60 minutes, I have all of the suitcases packed, we are bursting at the seams..but everything is gathered together.

Time to close the lights and say goodnight to Amsterdam one final time.

Sweet dream this city, this life.....

-------------
Ps
I still have a bit more to say and some after thoughts to add
Just can't shut me up when it comes to Amsterdam!

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Postby Bohannon » Thu Sep 12, 4:10 pm

Please don't shut up!

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Postby winnie » Thu Sep 12, 11:18 pm

Thanks for the great reports. I miss you 3 xx


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