On the bus near Central Station


Walking the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk one comes across lots of odds and ends in the store windows. Here Elvis makes yet another appearance. Amsterdam is not known for Art Nouveau architecture, but it can be found in various spots around the center of the city. A bit later the Amsterdam School with its organic forms echoed the older style. These two storefronts survived the 20th century relatively intact.

Courtyard just off the Haarlemmerdijk

Urban renewal in the ’70s and ’80s nearly destroyed a number of picturesque neighborhoods in Amsterdam including the Haarlemmerbuurt (see above) and the nearby Jordaan. Dutch planners and technocrats have rarely exhibited great sensitivity to the existing urban fabric, but fortunately they have moved on to, literally, the greener pastures of the polders outside the city. Amsterdam, like other European cities, is blessed and cursed with its now immutable historic heart.

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