I go out walkin’ after midnight, out in the moonlight…

We shot the image below out walkin’ after midnight in Amsterdam.  You’re probably thinking “stoners oozing out of the coffee shops, headed to the red light district to spend some time with a stranger who loves them”. It’s that too, of course, but it’s not just that.  There is so much more to this fun, vibrant, and attractive city, so compact and such a pleasure to explore. Numerous canals ring the city, beautiful architecture from Renaissance to modern is all about, and the laid-back residents seem proud and happy to show off their town.  The Van Gogh Museum is just the place to deepen your understanding of and appreciation for his tortured genius.  It’s arranged to lead the visitor through Vincent’s life and development as an artist, and showcases not just famous works but also the sketches and lesser paintings made while he was learning his craft.  Nearby, the Rijksmuseum features art from the Golden Age of Dutch painters.  Countless Rembrand’s including Night Watch live here, along with some of the greatest hits from Ruysdael, Jan Steen, Frans Hals, and four of the thirty-seven Vermeers known to exist.  Around the corner is the little house where Anne Frank lived her short but meaningful life, hidden from the Nazis by her father’s Dutch employees at their considerable peril.  If you’re not very good at math, or I guess if you’re feeling lucky, there’s even a casino in the neighborhood that will be happy to accept your donations.  The eye-popping glories of Holland’s nurseries await you in the gorgeous flower market, and you can even get your raw herring on in season…I tried it, you can have my life’s share!  So much to see and do, such friendly people in a city easy to get to and easy to get around.  And the coffee shops are still open, if you just want to sit slack-jawed and drooling on a park bench and do a little navel-gazing!  (8 October, 2011  Amsterdam, The Netherlands)