Sunday, August 12, 2012

Movement in Amsterdam:

Another (and one of the most subconscious, at that) of the reasons this emerald and lush city is so spectacular, is the movement that occurs within it; throughout its streets, and up and over its delightful bridges. Those in the know, in Amsterdam, are fully aware of the unspoken steps to its intricate urban-dance, itself composed of an ensemble of characters: foot-goers, cyclists, buses, boats, trams, autos, scooters, and, the occasionally battery-powered wheelchair cruising down a bike lane. Without so many modes of transport weaving in and out of this city's streets, those same streets would certainly be less full of commotion, and equally important, lacking in life. Like many aspects of life that require some outside oversight for the greater good, one has to know how to read the signals, symbols, and signs around them. Cycling alongside Amsterdam's majestic canals, full speed, while tumbling up and over bridges, dodging people and cyclists and autos, is overtly exhilarating. Especially if your iPod's volume is high–makes the experience all the more thrilling, though most likely largely unsafe. Likewise, those who don't know the steps to this city's urban-dance are easily spotted; they're the ones that laugh when they almost get hit by a bike, commissioning to their friends, 'Wasn't that so funny!?'; they're the ones that ride the bus and don't account for balancing out the bus' movements with their bodies, and so, those same bodies get through against a window, or if standing, shuffled around so that they almost fall over; they're the ones that hold up the line when buying a ticket on the tram; they're the ones that walk in the bike lanes even though it's clearly not a path to be utilized by those on foot; lastly, they're the ones that ride the bikes not knowing that bikes, in this city, have their own lanes, with their own traffic-lights and turn lanes, and, that in addition to you, on your bike, there are many others also pedaling past and around you, at all times. Be sure to read the signals, signs, and symbols being projected by those around you–wherever you may be–they're more than likely trying to tell you something. So much of life's communication is non-verbal. Sometimes, I feel, that's the best type there is.

Yes–cycling in Amsterdam is firmly integrated into lifestyles of those in this city, but only alongside the many other means of transportation. As such, the life within Amsterdam owes much to its movement. By bike, boat, or otherwise...