Amsterdam, Netherlands, II




dam square in order to
site palace put/put/put
royal point (3) profession
tour canal good/better/best
mile flourish come/came/come
guide author best-selling
found location sell/sold/sold
delta resident insurance
pose crucial band together
flood bustle community
group band (3) build/built/built
dike success make/made/made
shape outward environment
entire approach lead/led/led
hoist mentality build/built/built
seem challenge stock exchange
attic exchange enterprise
catch genius grow/grew/grown (2)
detail golden gentleman
plan medieval golden age
piece expand refreshing
rapid author birthplace
line start off architectural
adorn ring (3) individual
gable display bring/brought/brought
spout trade (2) marijuana
wood curtain Middle Ages
citizen exactly eye-catching
guy watch (3) lead/led/led
era sign (2) capture (2)
thrive success transform
lay out stock (2) feel/felt/felt
dairy devote think/thought/thought
talent unique hide/hid/hidden
fluffy attitude on the spot
notice thing (2) monument
legal store (2) see/saw/seen
ware ordinary buy/bought/bought
beam prostitute sell/sold/sold
illegal district stand/stood/stood
cruise tolerant long standing
decent draw (2) know/knew/known
way follow (2) understand/understood/understood
merchant see/saw/seen






Welcome to Dam Square, the site of a long ago dam that put the dam in Amsterdam.

It’s the bustling center of the city, and with the Royal Palace right behind me, the perfect starting off point.

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Perhaps the best way to tour this city is by boat, along its 60 miles of canals.

Russell Shorto, Author: “Here it was in the Middle Ages people started coming here and they.”

Our guide is Russell Shorto author of a best-selling history of Amsterdam. From its founding in the late 12th century this city’s location on a river delta that often flooded posed a challenge for its residents.

Russell Shorto, Author: “And this is the crucial point: they started banding together in small groups in their communities and building dams and dikes and canals in order to control this problem of water and make it work for them.”

Their success in transforming their natural environment led to a reshaping of their entire approach to life.

Russell Shorto, Author: “They started to realize you know we’ve got something here we’ve got this. They did, it changed their mentality. And then they built on that.”

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What the people of Amsterdam built in the centuries that followed were the first businesses of the modern age shipping, insurance, the first stock exchange and international trading enterprises like the Dutch East India Company.

As the economy grew so did the city with eye catching details we saw at every turn.

Russell Shorto, Author: “This is the Heron Krok, the Gentleman’s Canal, one of the great 17th century canals; this is the Golden Age city that we’re in.”

And you had the medieval city first and then the city fathers made this plan where they were going to lay out this ring of canals around it because the city was expanding so rapidly.”

The canals were lined with the townhouses of Amsterdam’s thriving merchant class, each adorned with special architectural details, like these stones to show the owners’ profession.

Russell Shorto, Author: “If you look over there those gables, see the ones that’s called a spout gable. You see the piece of wood coming out the top with a hook on it; that’s a hoist beam.

You would bring your goods on the canal up to your door, and then you would hoist them up and you would store them in your attic.”

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And it wasn’t all business: genius and talent also flourished in the arts during Amsterdam’s Golden Age of the 1600s.

Russell Shorto, Author: “Where we are now the Duelin Hotel; this is Rembrandt area. You see the guys up there with her fluffy Rembrandt era hats on.”

Rembrandt’s paintings of the city’s leading citizens, including the famous Night Watch in Phil Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. He captured all his subjects outward signs of success but also author Russell Shorto says something more.

Russell Shorto, Author: “He seemed able to paint who you were inside. And if you look at those paintings, you see that you feel that you feel these people thought about themselves for the first time, the way we think about ourselves today.”

Along with Rembrandt there was van Gogh. there’s an entire museum devoted to his works.

And one of the city’s most visited sites is the Anne Frank House where young and wrote her famous diary during the two years she and her family hid from the Nazis during World War Two.

These days it seems there’s a refreshing openness about life here.

Journalist: “And what’s with the, no curtains in the windows?”
Russell Shorto, Author: “You know some people say that is, ‘Look we have nothing to hide,’ or ‘We’re we’re ordinary; we’re decent ordinary people.’”
Journalist: “Nothing to see here!”
Russell Shorto, Author: “Exactly!”

Another thing an American visitor notices Amsterdam’s tolerant attitude toward everything from marijuana use to sex. The nearly 200 coffee shops here don’t just sell coffee; you can also legally buy marijuana and smoke it on the spot.

And there’s the famous Red Light District where prostitutes legally display their wares.

Shorto says the city’s tolerance is a long standing.

Russell Shorto, Author: “That is a tricky thing to try to understand, and I don’t know if any a foreigner any outsider can really get it.

But there’s a Dutch word, Hadouken which means — this is my definition of it — it means technically illegal. But officially tolerated.”

Put everything we’ve been seeing on our cruise together, and you begin to understand Amsterdam’s unique draw.

Russell Shorto, Author: “It’s the city itself. It’s the city of canals, and of canal houses which are built for individuals.

It’s a monument to the ordinary individual person and ordinary individual families. This is in many ways the birthplace of our modern sense of ourselves as individuals this was where that started.

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Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a completely new, modern city. True or false?

London. Does the city only consist of paved roads (streets)? Are the waterways natural or man-made?

Paris. Did the Dutch start the Industrial Revolution? Was the Golden Age of the Netherlands based on heavy industry?

Brussels. The houses and buildings in Amsterdam are made of wood. Is this right or wrong? Do the houses all look the same? Are they plain or ornately decorated?

Stockholm. Do the art museums of Amsterdam feature only abstract art? Who were the most famous Dutch artists?

Copenhagen. Are the Dutch very private or open? Do they highly value privacy?

Oslo. The people of Amsterdam are very strict, puritanical, traditional and conservative. Is this correct or incorrect? What does Gedogen?

Berlin. Are the Dutch very conformist and collectivist? Do the Dutch conform to social and peer pressure?
Rome. I was born in the Netherlands. I am from the Netherlands. I live in the Netherlands. Yes or no? Have you or your friends ever visited the Netherlands?

Madrid. Is your city and country radical, liberal, moderate, in the middle, conservative or reactionary? Give some examples. Do you like it this way or do you with things were different?

Vienna. Do you wish to live, study or work in the Netherlands?

Budapest. What might happen in the future?

Prague. Should other nations be like the Netherlands? What could or should people, governments, businesses, big tech do?

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