Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ramblings while I walk (part 1?)

I often lament that I can't take my blog with me as I'm walking around Amsterdam. Every detail seems worth a story in itself. And there are so many details. Night and day people are always walking or biking along with you. I don't think you can be alone while any where in the centre of town.

I usually take my own neighbourhood for granted as I walk through it. I'm usually rushing off some where and - as I'm oft likely to do - probably thinking of other things. Which is why its nice to have people drop by, so I can see it through their eyes. Like this rather long stretch as we head into town from home. The houses on the right are all rather homogeneous. Doors sprout 2 or 3 to a house. Tiny gardens with little 6 inch picket fences take up the bits of space not used for doors.

The intersection is a good place to point out the various paths: walking, biking, driving. Stand on the bike path and the cyclists will ring their bells frantically, right before they bowl you over. It's funny to watch, but let's not let it happen to us.

The big attraction is the park on the left. Over the street and over the canal that parallels the street is Westerpark. Long and narrow like everything else in Holland, Westerpark follows the road all the way down to the end at the plein. It's beautiful in the summer time. In the winter you can see the train line that takes me to work. I like the view I get from both sides of the park each day.

The plein is clearly dominated by its huge Roman arch. Perhaps only half the size of the Arc de Triomphe you none-the-less begin to wonder what city you're in. No worries. From here a bunch of the trams and buses meet. It's the edge of the oldest part of town and the "newer" bits. Newness being relative of course.

As you would see, the street we would take from the plein carries a straight line from where we've been. It's full of things to see! So full, perhaps we should stop writing here, lest we never make our final destination.

At least, that's probably maybe I think perhaps the kind of stuff I would write if I could write while I walked.


quilly said...


Actually, my cheap cellphone can supposedly post to my blog. I think composing would be a royal pain, though.

quilly said...

Oh! Lovely description! And have you heard of notebooks and pencils? You could jot down -- yes, actually write -- details as you walk.

IDiveAtNight said...

Quilly, thanks for the vote of confidence, but no, I couldn't possibly walk and write at the same time. I haven't begun to describe the dangers of cars, trams, bikes, and loose cobblestones all planning to harm the unwary walker. (Never mind the dog poop on the sidewalks!)

Perhaps the best compromise would be to sit in the park with my laptop.

J. D. said...

Morgan, there are signs showing squatting dogs all over Amsterdam. They have that huge no-no icon THE SLASH crossing the offending animal. The dogs don't even have to read, so you probably don't have to worry about too many turds.(not) But, the skating rinks do not have fences around them so... look out for the rinks after they thaw. It's probably not safe to walk and write at the same time. I have trouble with walking and chewing gum at the same time...J.D.