America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)



Amsterdam - The Satirist

Life in Amsterdam

How to Survive the Dutch Winter - Darkness. Rain. Punishing winds. Gray skies. “Oh God, when will it end?” These are some of the words that come to mind when thinking of Dutch winters.

Learning Dutch describes one man's fledgling efforts to master the Dutch tongue.


Saturday at Amsterdam's Noordermarkt - Apple-pie is but one gastronomical delight you can find at the Noordermarkt, the biological market held each Saturday on the Prinsengracht near the Brouwersgracht.

Ice Skating on Amsterdam Canals - "I was a bit reluctant to join the others out on the ice on the Amsterdam canals. Seeing crowds of people walking on the ice makes it seem safer—or does it? Doesn’t the mass of people make it more likely that the ice will crack?"

Weather In Holland - Does it rain every single day? The eternal question.

Amsterdam's Westerpark - our own piece of grass on warm weather days.

Cycling in Amsterdam - There may not be hills, but battling the elements is no picnic.

Amsterdam Standup Comedy Scene

Amsterdam Satires

Amsterdam High School Relocates to Save Historic Coffeeshop (Satire) - A recent Dutch law forbids the operation of any of Amsterdam’s world famous cannabis coffeeshops within 300 meters of a school. While many coffeeshops will be forced to close, one Amsterdam principal has responded to the law by announcing that he will be closing his public high school instead.

Hans Donkerzijde's Amsterdam Portal (Satire) - A short biography of the life and times of Hans Donkerzijde, the Golden Age Amsterdam architect who left behind some controversial designs.

Saint Nicholas / Sinterklaas Poems

High-Tech Saint Nick

"I used old maps—not GPS./ I got lost near France…or Siam."

Letter from Saint Nicholas to the Tax Inspector: A Poem - "I was greatly upset as I read your last FAX,
that I owed many thousands of dollars in tax,"

Essay: A Brief History of Saint Nicholas

(including Santa Claus and Sinterklaas comparison table.)

Books About Dutch History

Amsterdam: A History of the Word's Most Liberal City

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City - Russell Shorto's Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City is such an enjoyable book in part because Shorto cherry-picks the most interesting characters and events from his research into the city's history.

The Dutch Republic

The Dutch Republic - During this Golden Age, the Netherlands became the richest, most progressive, and technologically advanced country in Europe. Amsterdam became the financial capital and entrepôt of Western Europe.

The First Salute

The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution — Barbara Tuchman. Barbara Tuchman's compelling view on the American Revolution highlights the key role played by The Netherlands in the struggle, first as arms merchant via Saint Eustatius (Dutch Antilles), and later as creditor and ally.

The Island at the Centre of the World

The Island at the Centre of the World: The Untold Story of the Founding of New York — Russell Shorto. The Dutch impact on New York (New Amsterdam) was much greater than you think.