Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Faces of New York Copyright 2013 Walter Judy Photography

FoNY Weeks 19 & 20, Amsterdam Centraal Station

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

FoNY Weeks 16, 17 & 18: From over Baghdad via Amsterdam

When you travel for a living, sometimes you’re out of town a lot longer than you would like. When you’re new at a company you get to fly senior trips while the senior guys are on vacation. Senior trips mean interesting destinations. During this month I’ve spent two nights in Puerto Rico, two in Amsterdam, one in Bombay (Mumbai), a day and a half in Ghana and lastly a night in Pisa, Italy. I’ve continued friendships on another continent, overflown the capitals of both Iran and Iraq, spent a few nights at home in the mix and taken a lot of pictures.

This week, to make up somewhat for the lapse due to travel, I present the Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam. It’s a beautiful building with a history that comes up short in years relative to its neighborhood, but stays long on extremely random artwork. The faces protruding on rock beams out of the west-facing wall are of famous Dutch involved in some way with the shipping industry. Shipping is, arguably, what the Dutch did, have done, and do. While there are no printed maps on the building exterior (there is a globe in the lobby ceiling ironwork), it does display a sizable Mercator projection.

Enjoy the show, there are many more weeks to come and a lot more of New York to explore.

Faces of New York, ©2013 Walter Judy Photography

Faces of Old Amsterdam, Weeks 13-14

Faces of New York, ©2013 Walter Judy Photography

Welkom! En bedankt voor het langskomen. Je zult dingen te vinden erg gezellig deze week!

It seems an appropriate greeting in the first (European) tongue of my fine metropolis for this second multi-week post here on The Faces of New York, more properly this time The Faces of Old Amsterdam. I made a little departure from the standard format this week to accommodate the fact that I’ve been on the road most of the past two weeks and have spent more time off Manhattan Island than on. To celebrate this short liberation (I still love you, o’ bustling city) I grabbed my camera gear and jumped at the chance to show some similarities between my fine home and her original namesake, Amsterdam. A serendipitous work trip provided the means and my friend, fellow board gamer and filmmaker Susie Oosting provided the sneakers-on-the-ground guidance around that fair city. She was as surprised as I originally was to see the faces in the architecture that, once you know to look for them, are seemingly ever-present around Amsterdam and New Amsterdam/New York.

Faces of New York, ©2013 Walter Judy Photography
2-3″ bust of a queen flanked by dolphins

The similarities in architecture between Old Amsterdam and New- are pretty striking… sometimes. New York is, of course, a city that likes to rewrite its history every few minutes, with this revisionism echoed in our disappearing classically designed structures. Sure, the Brooklyn Bridge et al will probably survive the demolition man’s shaped-charges or wrecking ball, but I feel that a lot of the old will eventually make way for the new; likely without a record or nod toward the past. Old Amsterdam doesn’t seem to have this problem, with many structures dating back to the 1600’s or earlier still standing, still habitable, and just as expensive, cramped and narrow as ever. Like I said, the similarities between our two cities are striking.

Quick bit of trivia: Ever wonder why the buildings in Amsterdam are so narrow? It dates back to an ancient tax based on the width of the front of the building. As a result, folks built narrow, tall and skinny. The narrowest house in the world is here, and is supposedly only 1 meter (roughly 40 inches) wide. And I thought my 3 meter-wide apartment was small!

I hope you enjoy this week’s installment. There are some travel-log photos mixed in for spice, to make things more, as the Dutch would say, gezellig.