*Amsterdam’n it.

It’s funny.  When I mention to folks that I go to Amsterdam on an annual basis, many of them get a glazed look in their eye, the corners of their mouths curl skyward which is inevitably met by a slow motion head bobbing.  I’ve gotten so used to this response that I have a pre-baked answer regarding the trade show I attend, the beauty, history and culture engrained in a city that has lived many lifetimes, survived many events, and how even though I’ve been fortunate to visit this amazing city 10 times now, I have still only been into one solitary coffee shop and I’m taking a Slick Willy on that one.  Of course Amsterdam will always spur a distinct visual to a specific demographic, which makes me realize I might be hanging out with too many mental teenagers… 😉

An Amsterdamian Coupe

It truly is a beautiful city.  For me it is the right balance of historical culture and modern madness with a sharp learning curve on street survival.  If I could paint the picture of a drug induced nirvana-like cityscape, it would sure as hell have fewer bikes, trams, crazy taxis and open waterways.  Seriously, if you’re not standing in the middle of the road, you’re probably about to get run over by a quickly moving moped or bicycler.  Be careful as you step backwards when you realize that you’re playing the part of a human traffic cone as you may very well be stepping off of a ledge directly into a canal.  Sometimes I think that there is an office somewhere, run by the shadow society that helped politically facilitate the relaxed culture in Amsterdam while working with engineers to only slightly differentiate sidewalks from bike lanes, where they watch live CCTV footage of stoned youth falling into canals.  If anyone knows of such a shadow society that uses such an office, please let them know I’d love to visit.  Watching loaded people falling into water from the comfort of an underground super bunker would be both hilarious and awesome.

Against the monotony of fall.

A fixed vantage


Nature photographically cooperates

On the way to University

Through 5 bridges look see.

below street level


thanks for stopping by

The history and emotion endure.

into the Fall sun

Familiarity, years later.

View from the apartment

Vondelpark, after dark.


On the eve prior to our departure, we drank and were merry.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with it.

Happy shooting!



17 thoughts on “*Amsterdam’n it.

  1. The thing I can’t stand about you is that not only are you a better photographer than I, a better cook (I can take that), but a better writer too. I just can’t take all three. Particularly the writer part. Still, I will read with glee your blogs on…uh, just about anything of which I have read any of your blogs. And on top of all that, I have only been able to make it to Amsterdam twice, so I am jealous too. Oh whoa is me, or something like that.

    I especially appreciated the part where you addressed surviving on the mean streets, as, as you know, I too have struggled with trying desperately not to get run over by trolley, car, or bicycle, all the while trying to stay out of the many canals other than by being in a boat. That struggle was exacerbated by, as you alluded to whether intended or not, a semi-drugged state caused by some unknown, who knows what, and probably not FDA approved, anti-bad digestive system medication obtained in Paris where such must not be illegal but of which drugged after-effect lasts for several days. So Amsterdam, being the challenge that it is under normal (whatever that is) and ideal circumstances, became something more akin to a DisneyLand ride with potentially fatal consequences.

    Anyway, I loved your most recent photos and wished I had been there with you to take my own. I love the place and, specific demographics notwithstanding, I do not think of myself as a mental teenager except maybe in certain other areas or venues, such as, perhaps, connoisseur blowing things up, shooting holes in things, etc. I believe a person should be well rounded, thank you. And thank you.


  2. Neat! I almost missed a travel column and that’s what I like doing best of all, traveling. Love the bikes esp. with lights, at night. Ann Frank house is always great to see a new angle (literally) on the place.

    Glad I’m not the only person who shoots store window dummies. 😉 What makes you pick a shot to put into B/W? I’ve got to try some of those. Someone once told me that a shot that’s not sharp is going to look better in B/W but I don’t think that’s the case here. I see the purpose in cinema but I’m not understanding it for still photography.

    Great use of fog, btw. Take what nature gives you, eh?


    • Thanks Terry,

      While I do think that black and white can save certain shots, the shots need to be interesting enough compositionally to make it work as I also think that b&w is harder to get a shot to look good. I have had shots that were soft and didn’t really pop in color, but when converting, black and white brought the story out in them and I think that is kinda what I’ve seen when “saving” a shot so to speak.

      Yeah, Amsterdam has kind of become my home away from home in many ways. I feel really comfortable there (the similar, cold, wet, bone chilling humidity seems to make it easier too) and I just love the feeling that the city exudes. People are friendly or at least cordial for the most part, and fortunately for me, it’s where I have to go for work once a year. I think the next time that Mrs Squeeze can make the trip, we want to go down into Belgium. I’ve been through on the train, but never visited.

      I hope all’s well,



  3. I love Amsterdam. As I like only a few hours away, I enjoy visiting it from time to time. It has a wonderful charm.
    And I love the country I’m living, working and studying in right now.
    Also, when I tell people that I live in Holland now, their reaction is pretty predictable. Always follow questions about whether I smoke weed everyday. To that I answer with a composed “Yes, everyday. Sometimes I skip university, because I’m too baked to go.”
    The country is wonderful! The atmosphere, the simple approach of things, biking and the architecture, oh my gosh, the architecture! I am so glad I’m living here now.


  4. I enjoyed Nijmegen, it is more than 2000 years old. Also, Den Hague. In every city you can find what catches your attention and interest. 🙂


  5. Pingback: *Mr and Mrs Squeeze wine down with a trip to Oregon Wine Country. « Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

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