dR Dispatch 9/16/19: Hello from Amsterdam
dR Daily has moved its operations to Europe.
Not to worry — the world headquarters of duPont REGISTRY Tampa Bay remain safely ensconced off Ulmerton Ave. in St. Pete. It’s just me who’s moving around — in Amsterdam through Friday, then Venice, then back home.
These are both bucket-list cities for me; I don’t know if it’s coincidental or not that they’re both laced with canals. I do know that I wanted to see Venice before it sank, and Amsterdam’s just always been very appealing to me (my own bit of Dutch ancestry — my mother’s name was Denbroeder — didn’t hurt).
So… first impressions of Amsterdam:
• Ease. Amsterdam’s an invigorating mix of relaxed and busy, if that makes sense. Yes, there are bikes flying by everywhere — I particularly enjoy the couples touting babies along for the ride — and there are trams and crowds and cars and all the characteristics of the big city. But it all seems well-planned, humane even. The ruling ethos seems to be “live and let live” — which extends to…
• Cafes. We’re staying in an AirBnB in a pleasant residential neighborhood called De Baarsjes on the western side of town, in a block of newer brick apartment buildings that retain decorative nods to the city’s traditional gabled architecture. It’s a short walk from our apartment to a canal, Admiralengrecht, and thanks to online research we found a cafe on the canal that was pretty much a perfect introduction to the city. Called Radijs (pronounced Rah-DICE, Dutch for ‘radish’), it’s perched on the corner of a main drag and a side street running along the canal, with tables inside, on the sidewalk, and at canal level (down a flight of steps from the street). We chose to stay inside — it was getting chilly (remember chilly, Floridians?) — and the vibe was, like I say, easy. We were early enough not to need reservations, but even though the place quickly began to fill up with people who did
have them, the genial staff never seemed to rush anyone — including the young woman typing away on her laptop having ordered nothing but coffee. The food was really really good, creative combinations with a multi-cultural spin, including a stuffed sweet potato with tomato salsa and a coconut ras-el-hanout sauce and lamb shank with eggplant “caviar,” dried apricots and a yogurt-harissa dressing. It was very reasonable, too — not quite $50 for two for a meal which would have cost twice that in the States. Plus, we had a server who, like so many Amsterdammers, was really really…
• Tall. 6’7″, to be exact, which puts him in the city’s upper echelons, but by no means the minority. There are so many tall folks here; it made me wonder aloud why basketball is not the national sport. But as our server pointed out, the Netherlands are champion volleyballers and currently playing the World Cup. So there.
Today it’s the museums or a canal tour or maybe just more wandering. Can’t wait. Till tomorrow…
PS: Next time we’ll the direct flight on Delta from TIA. We had frequent flyer miles that we were able to use on American, but hoo boy, the Tampa-to-Charlotte-to-London-to-Amsterdam trek (it was supposed to have been just Tampa-to-Philly-to-Amsterdam) was a grind, and got us into Amsterdam much later on Sunday than we’d expected.