Nov 10, 2014

Amsterdam's Other Famous Windows

photo credit: monsterpants via photopin cc
So Amsterdam has some famous windows. But if you really want to see people in their underwear, or less, there's little need to venture into the Red Light District.

For the voyeurs, for those who are house-curious, and for those who are just generally judgmental, there's no better place than Amsterdam-- where homes are adjacent to sidewalks and the windows, more often than not, are clean, bare and tantalizing.

Don't underestimate your latent peekosity* until you live in a place where windows are wide open for the peeking, day and night**. And it's not just the clean houses or the ones with professional interior designers. Amsterdammers let it all hang out, and it's totally refreshing: the piles, the paperwork, the laundry hanging to dry, the remnants of breakfast still on the table, the odd naked person, and the occasional collection of taxidermied Boar heads.

To the Dutch, an open window signals you have nothing to hide. Their lives are open books, and what's more, you can literally read the open book on their dining room window as you pass by.

But if you have just a little bit to hide, there are opaque films you can stick on your windows, obscuring as much or as little as you want. And for those with a lot more to hide, say a dead body, or perhaps a regrettable Ikea purchase, there are sheers***.

It helps, for both the view in and out, that the windows here are huge. Credit given where credit is due: Amsterdam has figured out that the secret to living in a gray climate is to have enormous windows, to keep them as unencumbered as possible, and then not to care. Take note, Seattle.

It's just more interesting all around that way.

*TM. Really wish there was a word for voyeurism that is not sexual in nature. OK, there's nosy, but you know, something with a more positive connotation.
**Generally, only bedroom curtains are closed at night. 
***Actually, after three years in Amsterdam, I don't think there are many things that would fall under the category of "something to hide." Or rather, whatever is behind the odd closed curtain is probably something I really don't want to see. 

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