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Scenes From Amsterdam at Dusk

The dipping sun is the perfect backdrop to my sugar high.  I have been salivating over the waffle stalls, but then politely declining for far too long.  Within moments I have devoured the satisfying treat and Filippo and I are headed arm-in-arm towards the museum district.  From beyond the bare trees, the sun, being sure not to wear out its welcome, is at the optimal level to create a dramatic light scene.  Thick beams cut through the bicycle axels and envelop the amateur skaters stumbling on the seasonal ice rink. 

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We step into the Van Gogh museum just before closing time.  From room to room, Amsterdam’s dwindling light makes a comeback and although my eyelids may be sinking like the sun, the master’s signature brushstrokes compel me to continue.

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A trip to Amsterdam is surely incomplete without a stroll through the Red Light District.  An endless pink glow trails the narrow streets dotted with clusters of wide-eyed guys ogling the working women.  The juxtaposition of the red lights on the church beside them intrigues me.  I’m thankful to break away into a pub for some drinks, but soon find that every time I have to use the toilet, I’m going to have to carry a key attached to a carved penis up a dangerously steep flight of narrow steps.  Clearly, this is as crazy as it’s going to get for me here in The Dam.

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After dinner I’m not craving dessert, but to just simply sit on the sad looking bench roughed up with graffiti that overlooks the canal.  For me, a city has not been fully explored until I can find “my spot.”  I always need that moment to pause and take in that postcard view, one that when everything else is gone, my mind still returns to.  On this still, crisp night, I admire the golden reflections on the water that seem to elongate the already lofty homes.  Bicycles pass by gracefully like the ripples on the canal and I know I’ve found it.  Although Filippo drags me away far before I’m ready, I know this memory was made to last.

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