Tuesday, November 29, 2011

beater bikes

Of course, one of the things that I love about living in Amsterdam is the bike culture. I think its fantastic that the city centre streets are overrun by cyclists and that everyone rides one, regardless of weather or attire. I still have this enthusiasm for the bike culture even after a couple of good wipeouts, including a very impressive one last week where I was run off the road by a truck on the way to work. (Ban them on the Prinsengracht I say!)

One of the things I like the most is the complete lack of care and prestige that comes from one's bike. You see the most fashionable and wealthy people riding the worst, most beaten up bikes. It's almost a matter of pride that their old Gazelle is still ridable. As long as it rides, and doesn't make noise, it's all good.

Here's a photo of the bike rack outside my apartment. We don't live in a terribly low rent district, but you'd never know it from the junk that's outside.  

A fact I recently learned - the Dutch spend more per household on interior design than any other European country. Yet they ride beater bikes and plain cars. An interesting culture that believes in good design and quality, as long as you don't show it outwardly. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Signs around me.

I spotted this sign today about a block away from the office. It reminds me of the old SNL First CityWide Change Bank ad, which I can't link to because I live outside of the US and NBC doesn't share well. But if you do live in the US, check it.

I should go in and give it a try, so see if I'd get more than elsewhere. But something tells me they wouldn't have a sense of humour and wouldn't appreciate the thought.