Falling through the ice

This lady wanted to join her friend on the ice, but she should have done so by way of the boat.  The ice at the very edge near the stairs just wasn’t strong enough.

Oddly enough, after she got out she acted like she wasn’t even cold.  She and her friend walked off at a normal pace…

If that had happened to me, I would have gone straight to Cafe Papeneiland — which is at the same corner (Brouwersgracht/Prinsengracht — one of Amsterdam’s most picturesque spots).

In fact, after taking this picture I went there myself, and enjoyed a cup of good-quality coffee along with a huge piece of fresh-baked apple pie which — to my surprise — came with a very generous dollop of freshly-whipped cream.

Kattengat, Amsterdam

The two houses with the red shutters were built in 1614 by soap maker Laurens Jansz Spiegel. The houses are topped with sculptured mirrors in reference to the family name. Spiegel is Dutch for mirror.

The wealthy merchant, who built the houses as a form of investment, called the building ‘De Gouden Spiegel’ (The Gold Mirror) and ‘De Silveren Spiegel’ (The Silver Mirror).

Before 1600 Kattengat, the street were these houses are found, was a ditch in a neighborhood full of warehouses and businesses. Eventually the ditch was turned into a small canal between the Singel and the Nieuwezijds Achterburgwal (nowadays Spuistraat) canals. At the time any narrow alley or ditch was referred to as ‘kattengat’ — an opening so small only a cat could negotiate it.

The houses, which have a timber framework, were restored in 1931. They currently are home to the highly-acclaimed De Silveren Spiegel restaurant, which offers traditional Dutch cuisine.

Note: During World War II 16 Jews hid in the attic.

Old Amsterdam in colorized photos

Photochroms of Amsterdam taken between 1890 and about 1900. Collected by the Library of Congress. No known copyright.

According to Wikipedia, “Photochrom … prints are colorized images produced from black and white photographic negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates. The process is properly considered a photographic variant of chromolithography, a broader term referring to color lithography in general.”