Amsterdam: An American Perspective

By Louie Hagman


Amsterdam is the place where all cultures collide.  It is a fusion of multi-cultural and beautiful chaos, from the parades of bicycle commuters, to the trams that intersect like centipedes through the city center.  The old meets new in cobblestone courtyards where coffee and tea is drank by travelers and locals alike.  Open spaces with open-air ice rinks, world renown museums that redefine standards in architecture, narrow streets with dime store vendors, all back dropped by the colors and seasons that make it so unexplainably Dutch.  So much, so much is the city of Amsterdam.


From those Taboos, those do’s and don’ts, to those timeless pieces of art painted by those dead and gone.  All is found within the city limits.  For you undergraduate students, there is a University whose leniency for academic acceptance does not blemish it’s global creditability, and with plenty of English speak, have no fear when you walk down the street, because you are but another thrown into the jolly melting pot that is Amsterdam.


I remember when I was young, 18 years of age, when I first arrived in Central Station, my first stop in Europe, with no plan, just a mission to spend months on end in a European adventure.  Amsterdam became a second home to me on my journey, and now, six years later I am proud to say that I have returned to the city several times, keeping in contact with friends I had made those years ago.  It is truly the most unique and open city that this modern world will ever know.  With hostels that naturally induce friendships and fun, casual love is not unusual to be found and lost, and found again.


I have met so many wonderful people there, locals and travelers the same.  And I have found that there is no better way of sharing conversation then walking with someone.  In Amsterdam you can walk the entire city and find great sights, on bridges over passing boats, to the bending streets under street lamps and trees. 


The seasons in Amsterdam are magical.  Being from Seattle Washington I have a certain understanding for places of similar climate.  Let me just say that the rain in Amsterdam on an autumn day is something that I can appreciate.  With the gold, orange, and red leaves that fall from down to scatter across the flowing canals, it truly is something beautiful to my eyes.


I live in Seattle still, but if I had to choose another city to reside and work, I would hands down choose the great city of Amsterdam.  It is not only a great place to visit, it seems as though it is a great place to proudly call home.