Orleans Invades Holland! - Part 2
American Tourists in Amsterdam
April 10th, 2008

WARNING: This page is rated "R" :-)


With the studio performance behind us, it's time to become tourists! 

Grabbing an afternoon train from the station (which is right across the street from the hotel), we make the 60-mile trip to Amsterdam in about an hour and 15 minutes. Meanwhile, Charlie, the only European native among us, is NOT among us. Not being needed at the studio, he had gone on ahead to meet up with some friends and will join us later. At the other end of the train ride, the six of us (Larry, Lane, Fly, biz partner Andy Broady, production manager Mike Malfesi, and Lance) are adrift in a bustling and somewhat foreign setting. 

At this point, we're on our own as we find our way out of the station and on to the streets of Amsterdam.
 
Looking back at the train station in Amsterdam. Notice all the parked bikes ... EVERYwhere!

In the Netherlands, people drive small cars and ride bikes - male or female, young and old alike. All roads have a bike lane in red brick. Bikes have the right of way over everything else. As a pedestrian, it's more important to watch out for oncoming bikes from all directions than it is to look out for cars!

A high-rise bike parking lot next to the station

Without our tour-guide, Jack, we head out in a direction ... ANY direction. It's ALL of interest to us!

We wind up eating at an Argentinian steakhouse - of which there are many! ...

.... but not before we check out a couple of "Coffee Shops". What kind of "spinach" do you suppose Popeye was smokin'?

One place --- Barney's --- had a particularly fine assortment of wares. On one wall, the owner proudly displayed bronzed goblets with Cannabis leaves on them ... trophies for "best of the year", etc. ... with names like "Willie Nelson". One strain was purported to be the US government's finest!

While I admit to sniffing the aromas for old times sake, we all remained passive observers of this very different cultural attitude.


As planned, Jack arrives as we are finishing dinner ... and informs us that we have basically walked the wrong way! All the better stuff is "over there", not in the area we are. So we pay our tab and head out, walking back past the train station and towards ??? 
.

As dusk settles in, Jack explains the history and the "rules" of Amsterdam's Red Light District ... 
a sanctioned and highly-monitored "industry".

To the right, where we came from. To the left, The District. A Salvation Army band plays on the bridge, as if to warn us of the evils that await if we cross it.
The Dutch certainly have a relaxed and unique attitude in these matters. Again, we remained passive observers  ... but I can tell you that those are NOT mannequins in the windows! :-)
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The six intrepid American tourists demonstrate the art of "hanging" in the Red Light District..

Charlie catches up to us in The District. After a while, we wind up in a local tavern. No doubt discussing something about European geo-politics, he and Jack perk up when they realize Mike's cell phone has taken deadly aim.
One last touristy thing on the way back to the train station - Jack walks us to a small square to show us the lifesize metal sculptures of Rembrandt (L) and the characters in his famous painting, "The Nightwatch".
Having joined us late, Charlie snaps some candids of his compatriots on the train ride home. Everyone looks sufficiently content with their Amsterdam experience; each in his own way.


Lance


Fly and Lane


Mike Malfesi


And tomorrow's another day! Let the shows begin!

Click here to see Part 3 of "Orleans Invades Holland!"
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