Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Amsterdam | November 25, 2009

Life is definitely moving in fast forward at this point. I now have less than 4 weeks left in my grand European adventure. Last weekend, a group of 8 of us headed to Amsterdam for a 3-day vacation to tour the city and check out the sites. Instead of giving a blow-by-blow of the trip though (which included trips to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, Anne Frank House and the Heineken experience, as well as lots of walking around the downtown area)… I thought I would instead share my impressions in relation to other cities I’ve lived in or visited. Amsterdam seemed to me an amalgamation of many other places.

Copenhagen: Obviously, Amsterdam is a European city, and like CPH has an intense focus on bike culture. I thought Copenhagen had many bikes, but Amsterdam takes the cake. But unlike Copenhagen, the bikes literally own the road. There aren’t as many designated bike lanes and so the bikes just kind of come and go as they please. I think every single person on the trip had a near death experience from stepping onto narrow streets into oncoming bike traffic. Big no no in Amsterdam. Also like Copenhagen, Amsterdam’s beautiful canals line the inner core of the city. They were stunning and yielded a number of great photos.

Beautiful city

San Francisco: I loved Amsterdam’s multiculturalism, and it definitely reminded me of San Francisco and the Bay Area. The city is more heterogeneous than Copenhagen, and it shows in the diversity of food (which was simply awesome), the shops that line the streets, and the sea of faces, both tourist and local, from all over the world. I heard many languages spoken: American, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Indian, etc.

I Amsterdam

Portland: Like Amsterdam, Portland has the cold, wet winters and a fascination with bike lanes. But Portland is also the first city in America to open a legal cannabis dispensary here marijuana can be openly obtained and consumed on the premises. Of course, Amsterdam is world famous for its coffeeshops where any person over 18 can enter the store, purchase marijuana and smoke it right there in the store. Walking around the city, it was impossible not to notice the scent of weed wafting around from time to time. But on the surface, the Dutch don’t seem to mind, and in fact are taking measures to further regulate how the coffeeshops are run. Considering the desperate economic times in many American states, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the trend spread through more American cities (SF and Oakland, here’s looking at you).

More canals

In any event, it was a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable weekend in one of Europe’s finest cities. Highly recommended for other tourists.


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  1. Hey people, it’s Thanksgiving Day! I’m enjoying my extra day off, and I am planning to doing something fun that will probably involve a car trip and seeing something new in Gloucester I haven’t seen yet.
    You write new post at Thanksgiving?

    Comment by Wilensky Clara — November 28, 2009 @ 9:24 am

  2. Always nice to hear fine things about A’dam! I’m actually leaving The Netherlands in January to attend several MBA-courses@Jenkins as an exchange. If you’re interested in my experiences, you could take a look at my blog by then.

    Comment by Miguel — November 28, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

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