Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bikes, on Bridges, in the Jordaan:

I've been cycling and walking around the Jordaan a lot lately; at lunch, on weekends, really… the list never ends. This area of the city, takes my breath away. Last year, when my significant other and I were looking for a house in Amsterdam to call our own, I was convinced we would settle in the Jordaan. 'How perfect', I thought. And in some respects, it is. But, if your house is not large, or new, then chances are it is: old, and small, and dusty. That's how I see Amsterdam these days, a bit old and dusty–yet still so full of personality. Funny how, as an American (and even from a city seeping in history, for American standards), I saw Amsterdam through the most rosiest colored glasses when I first arrived. I still do. But, the built environment, these days, I see completely different. And, as someone who studied architecture, the internal transformation of my thoughts on buildings, is even more special to me. What all this means, is that I'm absorbing more of the local culture and customs, understanding what's around me (and why it was built that way), processing those thoughts, and in return, creating a whole new outlook on the city around me. And now, those rose colored glasses are becoming even rosier; except this time, the lenses I'm looking through, have even more layers: layers of meaning; layers of history; layers of understanding; and layers of seeing the world, in a whole new way.