When I was living in the center, all I dreamt of was moving to a neighbourhood: East, West – I liked both just as much.
Although I was enjoying the cosiness of a typical Amsterdam house (not particularly its size!) overlooking a canal and the proximity to almost everything, I felt overwhelmed by the flow of people marching down the streets at all times, a significant number of them being tourists. If I wanted to go to one of the many cafes nearby, I couldn’t find a seat.
What I didn’t know I’d miss when moving out of the center was the mix of people of all ages and backgrounds (neighbourhoods tend to be less demographically diverse), my gym (I haven’t been able to find a substitute for it yet), the shopping street just around the corner.
And, of course, I miss the special view from my window, my neighbour from across the street – an old gentleman (who I imagined was) writing his book at the desk facing the canal, the sound of the ducks swimming in the water, the church bell announcing the hour, the boats passing by until the latest hours of the night, in summertime. On winter nights, cosied up on the sofa, I would watch the snow falling over the city, covering houses and bridges, shining against the street lights. Magic! 🙂
Whenever I happen to be in the Nieuwmarkt-Lastage-Waterlooplein area, I have these memories coming back, over and over again.
Last time I was there – a few weeks ago – I stopped to take some photos, at the same time trying to bring nostalgia down to acceptable levels.