I simply love Amsterdam. I think I love all cities with canals and water b/c i grew up in the swamps of louisianne. The Netherlands much like La. is below sea level. They call them dikes instead of levys. Windmills and dikes everywhere. They must have the most modern energy windmills per capita of any country. The Dutch government has made a pledge to create 20 percent of the nation's energy using windpower by the year 2020. Very progressive! We were on the road a lot here and visited Breda, Utrecht, Rotterdam & Groningen as well.

*I love how everyone bikes - although you hate it when your in the car. You actually have to give bikers right of way? Wha? Not a practice we americans were used to. Driving was a bit like a scary video game.
*I love all the design and furniture store. I love their innovative ideas: a store is not just a store, it's a second-hand clothes & furniture store, a design forum and you can get your hair cut and styled. The furniture is beautiful & simple, made of wood or plywood. Their openness and way of life is progressive. Granted the city center does have it dirty downfalls/red-light madness, etc. But I think it's nice.
*The Lloyd Hotel, where we stayed, epitomises Amsterdam. It's an old converted detention center....into a hotel and "cultural center" .. very utilitarian and with lots of communal open spaces for design and community meetings. furniture is just stacked up down the halls. lot's of surprises too! check out what's in the closet? ha. very Dada. you walked through the bathroom to get to the room (shower and toilet in the middle of the room) no closets .. hang your clothes on the wall...and lamps that were magnetic - move them where you need to. nice.


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