Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Attic

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The feet, mechanical, go round-
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go.

- Emily Dickinson

My time in Amsterdam is coming to an end. The chill and stupor have begun to fade and now begins the letting go. It is finally time to say ‘Fare thee well’ to my beloved city…or, in other words, it’s time to get the fuck out of dodge. But before I go, I plan to spend the next month remembering, celebrating, and having one last roll-in-the-hay with the place I’ve called home for the past 5 plus years.

So home is where my long kiss goodbye begins. “The Attic” is what my third and final apartment in Amsterdam has come to be known.

To get to The Attic you must first climb four flights of stairs so steep they make K2 look like a cake-walk. Many a drunken night have found me at the base of those stairs wishing a sherpa would magically appear and carry me to the summit.

But anyone who has visited The Attic will attest that the schlep is worth it once you make it to the top floor where you’ll find 80 sq. meters of loft-style space looking out over Amsterdam from the south-east corner of the city.

Invariably the first thing any new comer says when they arrive at The Attic is, “This place would be good for parties.” Indeed it is. Over the past two years, The Attic has played host to everything from dinner parties to full-fledge dance-hall shindigs.

Perhaps the thing I will miss most about The Attic is the view. Although much of the view is obstructed by Amsterdam’s only inner-city skyscraper – the national bank building - there is still plenty to see. To the west you can see the towers of the Rijksmuseum, to the north the glowing mantel of the Carre Theatre, and in-between lies the roof top terraces of Amsterdam – a city in and of itself.

And then there are the sunsets. The ever-changing miracles of light that appear out my window every evening as the sun makes it’s way west over the flat lands of Holland towards America. Yet another bright and shiny lure leading me back home.

Comment Starter:
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(Photos by A. Groen)


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