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The Streets of Amsterdam

August 21st, 2014

 

This is supposed to be a blog for Dental Tribune. Well, I’ve never really known the definition of blog, and I was given the OK to write about whatever I want.

But if you want a taste of dental….While crossing the busy Damrak street, a car driver greeted me in Hebrew (I live in Israel, buy the way. Please don’t stop reading…). Now THAT’S a surprise….When you think about it, the fact that it was perhaps the only dentist in Holland I know who is Israeli makes the coincidence even greater.

This is Summer. School vacations have started. Busy. And Amsterdam is one of those cities that is ALWAYS packed with tourists, at least in the central areas. Add to that the excitement of the World Cup, and you have noise, vibration, atmosphere. (I watched the semi-final is a pub, surrounded by young Dutch – half of whom were female. I recorded the last 2 minutes of the penalty shoot-out. My iPhone almost imploded).

But what’s special about this city is that when you take just a few steps away from the main street, you are confronted with….well, let me take you by the hand and walk you through the streets ¬†of’ Amsterdam….

I started along Nes, which is said to be the oldest street in Amsterdam. (I lived on Nes for a few weeks, back in the late 60s. I had started my sales trips: Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland was my initial territory, and I did co-travelling – sometimes a week with each salesperson! I was 6 weeks in that Nes apartment, belonging to friends of mine I had met through my tennis club in London. But that’s another story).

Nes is parallel with Damrak; it runs into the famous Dam Square. And yet the silence is wonderful.

Every corner is a potential for a cup of coffee – This incredible chandelier, which I presume kids bump into all the time, is in the reception area of the Hotel V, a cute boutique hotel the glass entrance of which welcomes you with ‘From Amsterdam with Love’. At the back, a canal of course. And this is a busy day….

These first 2 images show buildings from the University of Amsterdam. Notice NOT so many bikes parked here…..school is out! And as you can see, they’re having fun…

Keep glancing up when you walk Amsterdam streets (and down, to avoid falling in). Rarely are two buildings the same, and often are they independent structures of beauty, The 2nd and 3rd  images above are actually on Damrak. The neighbouring white house must have something VERY interesting to cause the brown one to lean over like that.

Just ‘down the road’ is the very popular flower market. One side of the street are the coffee places, restaurants, souvenir shops and, as you see ‘cheese boutiques’. Facing them, backed onto the canal, are the flowers stalls. They show everything – with the exception of …cut flowers. Very few of those. This is for people with gardens, roofs, terraces and window boxes. (Just in case you’re having trouble deciphering the images, the 2 on the right are mini-cactuses..(or should that be ‘cacta’?)

And bulbs….every colour, every size, every shape – loose and in boxes and bags. If you want it, they have it.

And when you DON’T want it, when you want your peace and quiet, just turn left at the next little corner. Silence awaits….

Smile – Promote Your Dentist

Stephen

 

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