Sunday, January 02, 2005

Travel Notes 4

The three things that I will think about when ever I think of Amsterdam are, bikes, canals, and bricks. Almost all the houses are built of bricks. The streets are made of bricks and the sidewalks are made of bricks pavers. This may sound a bit monotonus but it isn't. The houses use different color bricks for trim and decorative accents and the streets and sidewalks use different color bricks for bike paths and parking areas.

The area my sister lives in is called Oud-Zuid (Old-South), an area developed in the 1920's and 1930's. There is one section of Oud-Zuid that is an island formed by the splitting of the Amsterlkanall into two different canals called the Noorder-Amstel-kanaal and the Zuider-Amstel-kannaal. There some of the streets are named after artists; Michelangelostraaat (Michelangelo Street), Botticellistraat, Leonardostraat, Raphaelstraat, Watteaustraat, Rubensstraat, Beethovenstraat, Schubertstraat, and Brahmsstraat are some of them. Other streets have been given names out of Greek mythology because the stadium (still standing) for the 1928 Olympics was built there. Street names include; Apollolaan (Apollo Lane), Marathonweg (Marathon Way), Herculesstraat, Amazonestraat, Achillesstraat, Minervialaan, and Jasonstraat. Walking on streets with the above names is somehow magical for me. Being able to answer Botticelli Street or Minerva Lane when asked your street address would make me feel special in a way that having to answer with something like 34th Street or a tree name does not.

I think I am falling in love with Amsterdam.

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