Book Review: Amsterdam : a history of the world’s most liberal city by Russell Shorto


Author: Russell Shorto Title: Amsterdam : a history of the world’s most liberal city Narrator: Russell Shorto Publication Info: Random House Audio, 2013 Summary/Review: Shorto’s history of the Dutch city of Amsterdam is built on a principle that the city defines liberalism in both senses of the word.  There’s economic Liberalism – the principle of laissez-faire in free…

The Beers of Amsterdam


Here are a few beers I sampled on our recent travels in Amsterdam (not counting the six-pack of Grolsch I bought at the Albert Heijn store). Beer: Hertog Jan Pils Brewer: Hertog Jan Brouwerij Source: Draft Rating: ** (6.7 of 10) Comments: A bright gold beer with a must pilsener aroma and a crisp, dry…

Amsterdam: There and Back Again


Sunday morning we woke up pretty early.  Peter slept all the way through the night.  I think we finally adjusted to the European time zone.  Must be time to go home again. After packing up our stuff and straightening the apartment as best we could, there was still an hour until the bike rental shop…

A Tragic Artist and the Artists’ Quarter


Friday got off to a slow start after a rough night’s sleep.  By Peter’s request we visited his favorite playground so he could ride the teeter-totter and play in the sandbox.  Then we went to the Van Gogh Museum.  Apparently everyone else in the Netherlands and some surrounding countries decided to visit as well.  It…

Amsterdam by Fiets


Thursday was Ascension Day, a public holiday in Amsterdam.  Susan went out to get croissants for breakfast only to find all the patisseries closed.  Susan wept.  The bagel shop was open but their bagel oven was out of order.  So we had yogurt and coffee for breakfast. We decided to travel around the city like…

Rain and Rembrandt


The day started out cold and wet (and remained cold and wet) so it was as good a day as any to visit the Rijksmuseum and see the Dutch masterpieces of the Golden Age.  En route we saw a pair of coots building a nest with sticks and litter on a tree branch in the…

On The Canal Where You Live


On Tuesday afternoon while Peter took his nap, I took a little stroll along the Prinsengracht.  This is one of the major canals in the canal belt or Grachtengordel and the longest canal in Amsterdam.  We’re staying in a little studio apartment in the basement of a 17th-century house facing the canal.  There’s a lot…

Amsterdam Ups and Downs


Our second day in Amsterdam started off rough as Peter felt cranky and didn’t want to leave “our little compartment” as he calls our studio rental apartment.  We went for a walk over the Amstel River on the famed Magere Brug or “Skinny Bridge” to the Waterlooplein.  Here is located TunFun, a children’s play park…

Amsterdam By Foot


After a tiring day of travel we enjoyed our first full day in Amsterdam today by going a long walk through the city center. Highlights of the day: We started the day by stocking up on food from the Albert Heijn grocery store where they seem to specialize in various forms of yogurt.  It’s fun…

Book Review: The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer


Author: Guus Kuijer Title: The Book of Everything Publication Info: Arthur A. Levine Books (2006) ISBN: 0439749182 Summary/Review: This short book is a brutally honest work of young adult literature set in Amsterdam a few years after the liberation and end of World War II.  Thomas only wishes to be happy but has to deal…

Book Review: Amsterdam by Geert Mak


Author:Geert Mak Title: Amsterdam Publication Info: Harvard University Press (1999) ISBN: 0674003314 Summary/Review: This is a highly-readable history of eight centuries of the history of Amsterdam.  Dutch journalist Mak makes great use of hooks upon which to build each chapter of Amsterdam’s history such as an archaeological artifact, a sketch by Rembrandt, primary source writings,…