Friday, June 25, 2010

Running Around Amsterdam, Literally:

I finally have my running groove back; breaking out the spandex and the running shoes. It's so nice to run again. Hello, summer. Yesterday I ran a route that wraps around around my new favorite area of the city: the Eastern Harbor District. It is beautiful, and the view from atop that red bridge (the bridge pictured in the previous post), is simply stunning. About 8K in total. I was considering running the 8K race, that takes place during the 2010 Amsterdam Marathon (as I had previously ran the Amsterdam Half Marathon, in 2008 and 2009). But this year, after running yesterday, and after running the Copenhagen Marathon in 2008, I may I want to run the full marathon in October.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Amsterdam vs. Greenwich Village:

Long confirming my thoughts on Amsterdam and her touristic visitors: Someone over at Flickr has taken it upon themselves to map the Geotagger's World Atlas. It clearly shows where tourists to the city of Amsterdam tend to congregate, based off where photos on Flickr have been geotagged. And those areas are: the inner ring canals, occasionally hitting the Jordaan, never going near the East of the city (Artis/Plantage), sometimes trickle into (the top of) Vondelpark (the Central Park of Amsterdam). Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month). Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month).' And that's about as far as tourists seem to venture from the center of Amsterdam. What a shame! While the inner city is beautiful, many of the city's treasures lie (in some cases), just outside this zone. I imagine you could compare the situation to Manhattan. Most tourists never leave Manhattan to venture into NYC's outer boroughs–though that's changing with Brooklyn on the rise. Granted we are speaking of a whole different scale of city, when comparing NYC to AMS. But I would say that the analogy is reasonable. When I overlaid a map of AMS onto a map of NYC–both at the same scale–the results are a bit shocking: Amsterdam's inner city, is in reality, no bigger than NYC's Greenwich Village. While it has the heartbeat of a massive world player, Amsterdam is in reality, a small village. Greenwich Village? Far from; it's even better. It's my village. My village on the North Sea.