Damstraat is one of those interesting streets in Amsterdam. Usually entering from the Jodenbreestraat (where its name is actually Nieuwe Hoogstraat), or directly from Dam Square, the street never ceases to disappoint–and I say this with many shades of meaning.
Cycling through this street is always somewhat of an adventure; tourists never seem to stay on the sidewalk, spilling into the street and causing for many 'ding-dong!'-s of bike bells, and the visual noise created by all the signs is overtly distracting. The collection of shops, stores, and long-forgotten-venues offer up everything any visitor to the city (or local, for that matter), could ever want: cheap-greasy deep-fried food, 2€ pizza slices, water bongs, magic mushrooms, marijuana, beer, cheap hotel rooms, prostitutes, wooden shoes (souvenirs!), the latest fashion-finds, used books and magazines, and even (my personal favorite) a bead-and-fabric shop; for all those buttons which need some cute-ass thread to, for instance, be sewn back on your coat.
The street represents everything–and yet nothing–of the city of Amsterdam.