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July 20: Amsterdam arrival 1

As a coda to the studio, we took a four-day class trip to Amsterdam, just because. It was a highly worthwhile visit to another incredible city. This was my first time in the Netherlands.

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The first leg after landing was a train ride in from Schiphol, the Amsterdam airport, which is well removed from the city itself. It was a morning of heavy instable clouds.

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Passing by new development on the periphery.

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Entering the halls of the Centraal Station.

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Another train speeds away after we arrived.

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The Centraal Station, designed by Pierre Cuypers and A.L. van Gendt and opened in 1889, exemplifies that lovely balance of masonry and big windows that Amsterdam is so good at. Somewhat less fortunate is the fact that it spreads along the waterfront of the old city, cutting the city off from the IJ lake.

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I was ravenous and stopped at a kiosk just outside the station and got a lox and egg wrap, which I was so grateful for that I snapped it for posterity. This open space is the Damrak canal/square, the northernmost part of the core of the old city.

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Immediately adjacent to it is the Beurs van Berlage, the old stock exchange designed by the famous architect H.P. Berlage, which we will be investigating further.

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Southwest down the Damrak street with the Beurs at left. I don't know the story behind these teal totems, but they sure are a strong landmark. The "XXX" is a version of the three St. Andrew's Crosses found on the coat of arms and flag of Amsterdam.

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Morning sun on the southeast side of the Beurs. It was a crisp cool day, what I normally think of as mountain air.

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The southwest façade of the Beurs from the Beursplein ("plein" is Dutch for square).

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At the south corner of the square is an intriguing glass-block wing of de Bijenkorf (the Beehive), a famous department store; the building at right is the beginning of the main volume of the store.

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"I'mgonnasneeaah aaaaaaaaaaa..."

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The central square of Amsterdam is simply called Dam, which like the whole city is named for the original dam of the Amstel River at that location. This grand edifice at the west side of the Dam is the Royal Palace, dating from the 17th century.

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Oh weird, it looks like "Order your Bulbs Here!" is a banner ad digitally pasted over this photo. This canal is the Singel, the innermost of central Amsterdam's famous series of concentric canals, originally the old city's moat. The point of view here is the Muntplein (Mint Square).

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Nearby on Vijzelstraat, the intriguing optical illusion of the multiplex cinema Pathé de Munt.

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Just across the street is the Carlton Hotel, a particularly hulking exemplar of the Amsterdam School style of architecture, which I would be seeing much more of.

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A little further on Vijzelstraat is the enormous building known as De Bazel after its architect, Karel de Bazel, and completed in 1926, a grand example of Dutch Brick Expressionism.

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It was originally the headquarters of the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij, the Netherlands Trading Society.