I’ve been going on small-scale adventures with my new bike. I never set out with a destination in mind, and I usually have no idea where I’m going. I’ll pick a direction and ride, then try my best to remember how to get home. Much of Amsterdam center is laid out as concentric rings of streets, so I usually find myself going in circles and, without trying, ending up where I started.
Biking through Het Spui is like threading a needle through a crowd of people, trains, and motorcycles. The area is home to bars, bookstores, and an odd, but historic housing complex that only permits chaste women to live inside. No boys allowed! In Amsterdam, the most densely populated city in Europe, the choice between prime real estate and male companionship is probably a tough one. As a man, I can’t possibly begrudge any of the complex’s tenants.