Intricate Places

I enjoy complicated interlocking solutions which is part of why I appreciate Amsterdam.  Simply crossing the road is significantly different than in the US.  Near Oosterpark today when we crossed the street we went over eight different lanes of traffic.  The sidewalk, the bike lane, the car lane and then the tram (and taxi) lane — then each again in the reverse direction.  The Dutch understand that it makes sense to make space for and to separate all these functions.  And it means they need to pay more attention, especially because to add to this complicated flow they have stoned tourists wandering out of coffee shops into the fray.

One of many complex Dutch intersections.

We went to Oosterpark today, one of the larger city parks in Am*dam, where they have really good playgrounds.  I don’t know why the US has such boring playgrounds.  Perhaps because children’s quality of life is not valued as highly….or it could be simple economics: the more exciting aspects of the playground may be less safe and city officials above all want to avoid lawsuits.   When is the last time you saw a simple merry-go-round?

Willow on tire swing in Oosterpark.

The rain made several of the playground installations tricky, with strategic puddles to avoid.

Dodging puddle by inches.

A Dutch girl, a heron in the background, a Dutch tree.

playing with big art

The Dutch parks also have a lot of art in them of various sizes, including this big piece called Liberation.  I don’t especially like this piece but I really appreciate its daring and that it is in this public place.

Innovative Dutch shopping cart.

What you can’t see in this picture is this little shopping cart thing has wheels.  Its small footprint enables customers to move more easily in the tiny Dutch stores.

I bought this old leather jacket for 10 Euros at the Waterlooplein flea market.

A sweet first day back in Am*dam.