Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm back

I'm back from a short vacation to Amsterdam and Paris, and recuperating from some New Year's festivities.

Amsterdam continues to be one of my favorite cities. The Dutch are unbelievably nice, down to earth, and politically right in the middle. It's probably the easiest city in the world to be an American tourist since everyone speaks English, it's very walkable, and it's quite small. I highly recommend getting out of Amsterdam to smaller towns such as Delft. They embody the charm of Amsterdam, but without the stoned tourists.

I had been to Paris one weekend five years ago, so I was very excited to have three days to wander around in a gluttonous stupor. My favorite thing to do in Paris is to find a random low key bistro a bit on the outskirts of town (not a hard thing to do) and order a prix fixe three or four course meal complete with wine and coffee. I had the most amazing quiche of my life, salads that tasted off-the-vine fresh, tender veal, creamy chevre, subtle bordeax, and a smooth strong coffee to top it all off. I will say that I found Parisian shopkeepers to be very rude, and I can assure you I went prepared to be proven otherwise. There was a snootiness in Paris that stood out, especially after a few days in Amsterdam. As a New Yorker, that's saying something. I should have done the trip in reverse.

I sucked it up and did the typical tourist architecture photos in Paris. Oh, also there are some dudes in a park who looked cool. Unfortuneately, I don't have many interesting photos from Amsterdam. Unless you consider chilling out on my friend's couch and singing Chanukkah songs to be interesting. Yeah, didn't think so.

Arc de Triomph
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