'I heart Amsterdam'-post I left you with Chanel cupcakes on Westermarkt (top-left corner on the Google map) and now we are crossing the Niek Engelschmanbrug bridge over the Keizersgracht canal to continue into the Raadhuisstraat street. Niek Engelschman (1913 -1988) was a Dutch gay activist, who was also active in the Resistance during World War II when Holland was occupied by Nazi Germany. Two years before his death he received the Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau and ten years after his death the bridge was named after him. When walking along Raadhuisstraat to the east you'll see the Royal Palace in front of you and behind it is the Dam square. However, we turned south and walked along the Singel canal. I saw that older man with the hat and I couldn't resist photographing him and his bicycle. He was busy searching for books outside the Antiquariaat Brinkman, a bookshop that specializes in out-of-print scholarly material.
When walking along the Singel you pass by a few very narrow streets that take you to the Spuistraat street. In one of those narrow streets is the entrance to the Restaurant D'Vijff Vlieghen (The Five Flies), a famous one that has been there forever and describes itself as a culinary museum. The Singel was rather quiet on Saturday but Spuistraat was bursting with life. We sat down and had drinks while enjoying the street life, especially a group of performers doing some kind of dance and gymnastics by the square. On the square is the Athenaeum Boekhandel bookshop and across the street The American Book Center, just in case you find yourself in Amsterdam and run out of reading material.
We entered the Singel again and the photo above is the last one I took on that street before we crossed the canal to walk back into the De 9 Straatjes district. There is something about it that I really like, people going about their day without knowing they're being photographed. That's just Amsterdam, its relaxed inhabitants are used to the tourists with their cameras. I think they stopped noticing them a long time ago.
photo credit: Lisa Hjalt