Tsunami Relief Concert. Amsterdam, December 2004
Soon after the Asian tsunami, there was a major concert at Dam Square to raise money for the victims. (Click here for the movie, which is 6.4 Megabytes and in Quicktime format.) It was flashy and on the whole tasteless, perhaps, but it did raise awareness and money for the problem. It’s difficult, therefore, to find fault with those who carried it out.
Stories of how people in over-regulated places tend to let loose abound, and perhaps the Netherlands is no different in that respect. Whatever the reason, at events like this, there are no rules, and it can be annoying as much as pleasant.
Here is the third set of pictures from Amsterdam. The Royal Palace is an interesting place to visit. The Amsterdam Historical Museum makes the Royal Palace a little more interesting. On it’s own, however, it is still an interesting place because it gives you exactly how the Dutch thought of themselves and what sort of image they liked to project at the time when they were most powerful economic power on earth.
The Royal Palace is built on the site of the first dam on the river Amstel (I think I have this right)–hence, the Dam–and it remains the main place for public happenings. In other galleries you will see how the square is transformed alternately into either a skating rink or a full-blown amusement park. There is a Dutch word for living such a carefree and fun life: gezellig. It can’t be translated, but it can be felt whenever there is a party.
And, a big one was soon after the Asian tsunami hit. You can also see a movie of this particular concert at the Dam in the Movies section. It was a loud and rowdy concert. It is in crowds this big when one gets a good whiff of how rude Dutch people can be. But, the concert did raise €160,000 on that night, and presumably many times that in the following week because the concert was followed by very heavy advertising on all media outlets for some weeks.
The anchor leg of the concert at the Dam was run by DJ Tjesto, one of the hottest Dutch DJs. DJs are very hot in Europe right now, of course, and Amsterdam is one of the major hubs for the art form. As such, one would expect some pretty snazzy nightclubs, and one’s expectations are duly met here. Just avoid any place where there is a surfeit of Brits (usually touristy places like Leidseplein and the red light district) and you will find them.
Here are some additional pictures from Amsterdam. Living here is quite nice if the bureaucracy is not bugging you. A 5-minute walk takes one to many, many interesting places.
Here is the first set of images from Amsterdam. The first few are from the east coast of the U.S.