By Austin Clinkenbeard
Amsterdam is warm refuge.
Acceptance is found here
Long armed canals encircle the city embracing all inside her concentric reach. Sinewy streets and colorful high-gabled peaks peer down on Dutch market streets. Bicycles breeze by in a flurry of sound and color as if fast-flying tulips, each of them dinging bells, singing like birds in a countryside of flowers
Open arms embrace the oppressed. A firm hand extends to the cold downtrodden grasps tightly upon frozen fingers of those in desperate need. Amsterdam is warm refuge. Acceptance is found here. There is a proud tradition of a welcoming tolerance peering between tall canal homes. Diversity is celebrated and encouraged in a way that makes Amsterdam both vibrant and comforting
See the art of those who came before, who seated themselves on the shoulders of this city and gazed longingly to the semi-tame sea, sensual streets and curving canals for inspirations. Peak through window sills into long ago windmills that hark back to the beginnings of mechanization. Watch the globe start to turn under human power as turbines and blades harness Neptune’s renewable bounty. The dawn of the age of machine begins in a cobbler’s mill.
Grabbing land from Poseidon as she grew, the Dutch eye the ocean as both a powerful partner and potential foe. The old gods have been humbled by the determination and grace of these mere mortals
She never fell into the maw of her own mechanization. An urban heaven springs forth with greenery abundant. Potted windowsill plants, verdant canal-side blossoms and a hinterland alive with carpets of flowers dotted with Don Quixote’s imaginary beasts surround and infuse this place. She is both of the times and timeless.
The Dutch have long welcomed those in need of shelter. Its a haven of refuge nestled in Northern Europe. This translates to a rich artistic tradition, a variety of culinary options and a culture of not just tolerance but true acceptance.
Amsterdam is for the people. Art masters portray merchants and militias more than nobles and knights. This city was built in the time of shipping, commerce and unlimited possibility. She is strikingly different from many of the older more aristocratic, fortified fiefdoms. She cradles you in her arms.
We visited Amsterdam in Spring 2019 for our Honeymoon