Sunday, late morning, mostly sunny. I take the tram to the Dam square stop, and follow the crowds.

Beurs van Berlage — Amsterdam

We’re dumped off just north of Dam Square, in front of the Beurs van Berlage, which appears to be some sort of conference center now.

Tiny exhibit outside of W139 Artist Space

I head east into the Red Light District. First stop is W139, the artist-run space at Warmoesstraat 139. It was closed today, but they often have installation-based contemporary art shows there. Today, I noticed affixed to the front of the building was a yellow box with a speaker grille and black and white buttons. I press the button to hear a message, but I’m not sure it works anymore.

Graffiti outside of W139 Artist Space

Effective little minimal graffiti piece outside the front entrance to W139.

Address tile for W139 Contemporary Art Space

But why?

De Oliphantsgang street tile

I take a shortcut east on the way to Oude Kerk down this little alley with a dramatic and beautiful street sign.

This is prime window lady area, and there are NO PHOTO signs everywhere, so I respect everyone’s privacy and don’t take any photos as I walk through the main concentration of windows on the way to Oude Kerk.

Men walking around De Wallen

There are lots of men walking around the area, but also families with small children and couples, too. I did notice that the window girls’ faces often betray minor exasperation when a tour group crowds one of the narrow corridors. Guessing when gawking tourists clog them, it harms their income potential by driving actual customers away.

Oude Kerk — Amsterdam

Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam. It was originally built in 1213. It’s been added to and rebuilt many times. The church hosts a pretty great contemporary art program. Their current exhibition is well worth seeing.

Red Light Kitty

From the bridge, I notice a cat hunting a pigeon.

Red Light Kitty, Part 2

Red light kitty closed in for the kill. Two seconds later, there was one less pigeon in the world.

OZ Achterburgwal Canal

The northern stretch of the OZ Achterburgwall canal has building foundations that dip directly into the canal. Kind of reminds me of the Venetian style canal buildings.

Feeling kind of inadequate

Sex shops are everywhere in De Wallen. This particular combination is for…ehh…pros, I think.

Feeling more adequate, now

OK, feeling more adequate now.

Wall filled with stickers and flyers — Amsterdam

Lots of stickered up doors in De Wallen, but there is surprisingly less interesting street art than I thought there’d be. I think it’s so busy with tourists all the time that it’s a little harder to work there.

Sticker wall — De Wallen

I liked this combination a lot.


Journey ends near the old wall gate area of Nieumarkt. I continue down Sint Antoniesbreestraat to have some breakfast and do a little record shopping.