this is a post i wrote as contributor to the amsterdam ad blog ‘something related to amsterdam’ column, originally posted on the 20th of july ’12…
same perspective, different view
One of the things that makes the canal district in Amsterdam so beautiful (to me) is the combination of a master plan and complete randomness. The general layout is symmetrical and ordered; yet new houses have been squeezed in where a gap once was or tacked on to other houses at different times, with a totally different aesthetic and sense of proportion. There are plenty of dazzlingly weird views to be seen and even after twenty years I still see new things and odd details every single day. It is no coincidence that the whole area has been placed on the ‘Unesco’ world heritage program.
One of my favourite corners is where the Herengracht meets the Leidsegracht. (+52° 22′ 4.18″, +4° 53′ 13.11″) Every morning this collection of angular buildings, crooked lines and church spires seems to shift perspective as you pass by. In fact there is so much to take in that it must have been years before I even spotted the little red man hiding on the roof staring into the distance with his hands behind his back. Have you seen him yet?