Amsterdam is a wonderful city that I never seem to tire of. It has been several years since my last visit and my notes are terrible so, I have only a couple actual recommendations listed below. My best advice is to try to get a sense of the city on your own. In short, spend a lot of time being lost–Amsterdam is the perfect city for it. Get away from the most tourist oriented areas (Dam Square, Red Light District, The Leidseplein etc.) and explore the other parts of the city. Amsterdam’s canal district is not all that expansive, so you’ll be spending some time in these areas for sure. But, even within the canal district, there are certain places that don’t feel overrun by tourists. Be sure to check out some of the neighborhoods outside of the canal district as well.

FietsWhen you roll into town, the first thing to do is rent a bike. Walk around in the Jordaan to find a low key bike place and get a more traditional black bike rather than the bright red or yellow ones available in the more touristic areas. There are a lot of bike shops around and most of them rent bikes. You’ll want a bike that looks like the one pictured to the right. You’ll still look like a tourist, but at least you’re not riding a bike covered with advertisements. Now that you have a feits, you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground in true Dutch style. Follow the numerous bike paths and see where they take you.

Here’s a map that plots this short list of recommendations.

All day Saturday, there is a nice outdoor food market in the Jordaan. Noordermarkt has a nice selection of fresh cheeses, meats, pastries, fruits and vegetables. This is a great place to shop if you are planning on packing a lunch to go. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what you might see:


Villa Zeezicht has some of the best apple cake in town. I always make it a point to stop by at least once when I am in town. This small café is no one trick pony, the coffee and other offerings are good as well. They open early, so this is also a good spot to start if you are staying nearby. The location on the relaxed corner of Singel and Torensteeg is perfect for planning your day.

Villa Zeezicht
Torensteeg 7
Tel: 020 – 626 74 33


Bordewijk is quite popular. So much so that I’ve never been able to get a reservation. This has more to do with poor planning on my part than a long waiting list though. If you are in the mood for a nice dinner, this place might fit the bill. Just make sure you call more than an ten minutes in advance for a reservation on popular nights.

Noordermarkt 7
1015 MV Amsterdam
Tel: 020 – 624 38 99
Open 18:30 – 22:30
Closed Mondays


If you have the mind to check out a museum, try taking in the Van Gogh Museum on a Friday Night. Also, The Rijksmuseum, while not open on Friday evenings, it is worth checking out during regular hours. The paintings are impressive, especially given the time they were created. The building that houses all of this art is also impressive. Make sure you don’t miss the massive pipe organ.

If you’ve been to Amsterdam and have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them. Please leave them in the comments.

Safe travels!

The GatesWarning: If you are sick and tired of hearing about and/or looking at pictures of The Gates, read no further…

Now that we’ve rid ourselves of the Gate haters, check out some of my photos from this weekend, below. Based on what I have seen in other people’s photos, I would say that the Gates look best in bright sunlight as opposed to the muted light of overcast skies or late afternoon sun. Unfortunately, overcast and late afternoon are what I have thus far. So, I’ve pulled out what I thought were the most interesting shots. In two cases, I resorted to heavy editing to make the shots more interesting (more on that after the break if you are interested).

If you live in or around New York City, I suggest that you take a walk through the park while the Gates are here since this is an installation that is best experienced in person. If you need further convincing, Felix Salmon has written one of the best posts I have read about this event.

The photoblogers are out in full force, for full pictorial coverage, check out Flickr [gates, thegates] and
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Snow VespaJanuary 22 & 23 gave us our first substantial snowfall of 2005. I ventured out with the camera on Sunday to take a few pictures. Some are slightly more interesting than others, for some reason, I was more interested in architectural details today than wide angle shots of snow, although there are a couple of the obligatory “big snow” shots in there.

Here are some snow photos from other NYC photographers (in no particular order):

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Derail the Photo BanI was at the MTA subway photo ban protest today. Here is a link to a few of my mostly blurry and somewhat poorly composed photos. As expected, there were loads of cameras, so better shots are sure to turn up on the net in the next couple of days. I’ll put links here as I run across them.

Other Pictures/Commentary:

Vintage Subway CarFor some reason, I always seem to hear about MTA Nostalgia runs after the fact. So when I read that the MTA was running some vintage trains this weekend, I made it a point to ride one. My search for vintage trains was successful; there are a few pictures posted below.

My trip started at Grand Central, after waiting around for a while, I got antsy and decided to take a 4 train downtown knowing that I might pass the Nostalgia Special in the tunnel. Be it by sheer luck or perhaps a sixth sense, I got off at Fulton Street, walked over to the uptown side and was greeted by an arriving vintage train. I rode up to 59th Street and back out to Utica Avenue snapping pictures most of the way. I was about to call it a day and take a non-vintage train back from Utica Avenue when one of the MTA guys on the train told me that the train running on the N line was even older than the one we were riding. That was enough information to change my plans.
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