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Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam is a maze.

Each hour, my friend Billy and I lost ourselves in alleys, canals and cobbled streets. The lanes connected at odd angles; they changed texture, defied logic. Where we expected to find the sea, we found brick dead-ends. The Red Light District eluded us for hours, and when we finally stumbled past the eerie windows containing women in lingerie, it was by accident.

But the traffic was strangest of all: Trams rumbled over bridges, clanging bells to warn us off the tracks. Bicycles sneaked around corners, then whirred quietly around us. Cars squeezed past each other and narrowly missed pedestrian toes.

As the sun burned on the horizon, each street sucked us further into the gathering dark; the row houses blazed, one after another, with tacky neon signs. Cannabis smoke filled our sinuses as it wafted from the cafes.

When we finally reached our hotel – a little place along a dark canal street – cold and silence had descended. In the vacuum of sound and movement, we could only watch the reflection of Amsterdam's houses in the water, trembling.

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Not your father's Normal Heights

"All the neighbors came out and danced in the streets"

Amsterdam is a maze.

Each hour, my friend Billy and I lost ourselves in alleys, canals and cobbled streets. The lanes connected at odd angles; they changed texture, defied logic. Where we expected to find the sea, we found brick dead-ends. The Red Light District eluded us for hours, and when we finally stumbled past the eerie windows containing women in lingerie, it was by accident.

But the traffic was strangest of all: Trams rumbled over bridges, clanging bells to warn us off the tracks. Bicycles sneaked around corners, then whirred quietly around us. Cars squeezed past each other and narrowly missed pedestrian toes.

As the sun burned on the horizon, each street sucked us further into the gathering dark; the row houses blazed, one after another, with tacky neon signs. Cannabis smoke filled our sinuses as it wafted from the cafes.

When we finally reached our hotel – a little place along a dark canal street – cold and silence had descended. In the vacuum of sound and movement, we could only watch the reflection of Amsterdam's houses in the water, trembling.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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