Amsterdam

The difference between biking in Amsterdam and biking in Rotterdam is like changing levels in Frogger–the game where you make the frog hop across the 8 lane highway–from ‘beginner’ to ‘you will not make it out alive.’ Bikes clump together like schools of fish, but when the schools cross each other it’s like back in the days of the school yard playing British Bulldog. There so much more to look out for, but also so much more to distract you.

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This is very common. Good looking girls on vespas. #thingsilike Notice my shadow on the bottom right.

This picture reminds me of the introduction my advisor, Mr. Tyler, gave to the Goodwin House dorm my first night as a boarding student at Milton Academy. “Hi, I’m Mr. Tyler. I like fast cars, fast bikes, and fast women.” I had no clue what he was talking about as a boyish 14 year old…but he clearly made a lasting impression. #whataguy

On Thursday, I went to Wageningen University to meet Eddy Moors, a hydrologist affiliated with the University. Mr. Moors is part of an organization called the Delta Alliance. The Delta Alliance connects cities all around the world, aiming to improve climate adaptation and resilience. The organization shares research, hosts conferences, and has established wings in San Fransisco, New Orleans, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, the Netherlands, Cairo, Dhaka, Shanghai, and Brasilia. The organization is trying to grow and organize access to additional funding. Mr. Moors mentioned the possibility of connecting with the World Bank to work in partnership on projects.

Eddy Moors recommended that I try to use my drawings and paintings to show the advantages of a more watery world. By controlling excess water and safely letting it into areas of cities, you can use its advantages and ecosystem services, Eddy told me. By trying to visualize what future cities in my drawings and paintings, it might be more constructive to show the successes, not waterlogged downtowns and doomsday ‘day after tomorrow’ types of images, he said.

It was satisfying to make a connection within the Delta Alliance, an organization that has a global reach. I got some additional contacts from members of the Knowledge for Climate program in Utrecht and the name of the director of Delta Alliance’s office in Dhaka.

For the next ten days I’m an Amsterdammer.

Amsterdam is a very pleasant town. I’m living five minutes outside of the central canal district of the city on a high street that looks like it could be in any part of the world. There is a super market and plenty of restaurants. In a hop skip and a jump, I can get into the gorgeous center of Amsterdam laced with canals, cobblestone streets, and eclectic architecture. The streets are inviting and encourage the pedestrian to wander along. It’s quite funny: you cross a bridge and all of a sudden you leave the ‘non-conventional’ enter the ‘unique-to-Amsterdam’ central canal district as if you’ve passed through the gates of a theme park.

I’m living in a small yoga studio, with a bedroom and a kitchen. Basically I have the whole apartment to myself because yoga only happens a couple times a week.

It’s going to rain all week, but that’s perfect because I was planning on hitting the museums anyways. The Rijksmuseum was recently renovated and just re-opened, then there’s supposed to be a great contemporary art museum, and the Van Gogh Museum should be awesome. I also did some research on the music scene here. I’m getting sick of the droll of the overplayed european ‘deep house’ music. I discovered a venue only five minutes from my apartment where three great North American bands are playing for only 10 euros! The Heartless Bastards are playing on Sunday night:

Bahamas on Monday:

Next Sunday, Portugal. The Man:

#musicscenenotlikerotterdam

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