This sample essay on Amsterdam Essay reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
Amsterdam and the Red Light District Amsterdam is a city with many popular tourist destinations. Just about everything from beautiful cityscape and architecture to designer retail and fashion are tourist favorites of the city. The tourism attractions are just about endless when in the same day you can float in a paddle boat in the Prinsengracht Canal enjoying the stunning architecture of the buildings on the river front and then later in the night shopping and partying at many famous bars and restaurants at the Red Light District.
Although this would seem to be the perfect combination of both good clean fun and a late nighters dream, this vast array of entertainment is exactly what many view as the downfall to the city. More than anywhere else in the city the Red Light District is constantly under vicious scrutiny.
A local of the town, Jan Captain, says that “from brothels to sex shops, The Red Light District leaves nothing to the imagination” (Captain). Author of the article entitled Red Light District in Amsterdam; Captain voices her opinion of the controversial part of the city through first hand experiences as well as through detailed research.
Without a doubt, Captain has many dislikes of what specifically goes on at the RLD, but the main argument she has is that the RLD takes tourists away from everything else that the city has to offer.
The history of the city is very apparent with beautiful buildings such as the Church of St. Nicholas and especially the Anne Frank House. These types of attractions should be the main interest of tourists to any city new to them, but unfortunately it is not. I definitely 2 nderstand why Captain would be upset with what is going on in the city, and I agree with the fact that people should look past the prostitution and sex shops to get a true idea of what Amsterdam is all about. Humans in general, tend to be drawn to the appeal of the more unholy, if you will things in life. Are these actions uncontrolled decisions deriving from human nature, or just simply bad decisions? Regardless of the root of evil, the Red Light District seems to capitalize on all accounts of sinful acts.
Captain goes on to point out other overlooked parts of the city by saying, “perhaps what few really notice is that the Rossebuurt (Dutch for ‘pink’ or ‘red’ neighborhood) is in fact one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of the city with its long winding narrow, cobbled streets and utterly 14th century architecture, such as the gothic Oudekerk, or Old Church” (Captain). Buildings like the Oudekerk are extremely aesthetically pleasing as well as historically rare to be in such good condition in the 21st Century. This one example does not even scratch the surface on just how plentiful buildings of this nature are in Amsterdam.
The list goes on with magnificent structures such as Rijksmusuem Amsterdam, the Statue in the Vondelpark, Keizersgracht, Zuiderkerk, the Royal Palace, and one of the most visited attraction in Amsterdam, the ING House. Anyone that visits Amsterdam should take more time to really appreciate all aspects of the town and not just the Red Light District. Captain obviously does a very good job of showing the reader that visitors of Amsterdam are missing out on the “entire” experience that the city has to offer, and she goes on to continue to talk about exactly why she has a negative opinion of the Red Light District.
She takes the liberty to help visitors of Amsterdam by stating that “To make sure you get the best out of the Red Light District and that it doesn’t get the worse out of you, stick to these tips closely” 3 (Captain). She goes on to give five tips, the fifth basically summing up her overall feelings about the RLD coming from the perspective of someone who takes pride in her hometown and doesn’t want people to think that this is how everyone acts in Amsterdam.
She states, “Don’t visit the Red Light District first otherwise you may get the wrong idea about the Dutch and Amsterdam as this is not all we are about” (Captain)! Anyone who has grown up somewhere in a town that they have grown to love has to understand where she is coming from. I personally know that I feel the same way about how people view my home town. Where I’m from the misconception is that just because the majority of the population is made up of black people, everyone assumes that we all listen to ghetto rap music and commit heinous crimes.
This is the same concern that Captain has of Amsterdam. She wants everyone to know that just because there is prostitution and legal use of marijuana that not all citizens of the city are street whore pot heads. It’s the same as me saying that if a visitor wanted to get a true idea of what the town of LaVergne is like, don’t go to the downtown ghetto parts of the town first and only, you should see the beautiful back road country side of the town before making an overall and probably misconceived judgment.
Captain continues to point out the negative aspects of the Red Light District through her steps with steps two and three where she says to “Watch out for pick-pocketers, as this is almost always an extremely overcrowded area”, and to “Try and go in a group or at least go in twos to avoid attracting any unwanted attention” (Captain). It is obvious that she is trying keep visitors informed to prevent the negative conception of Amsterdam to be brought into the light which in return will keep a better overall appeal to her beloved hometown.
Even though Captain does make a conscience effort to keep visitors to stay away from the Red Light District, she does still shine some positive light on the part of town for the reader, 4 but only if you “Don’t visit the Red Light District first otherwise you may get the wrong idea about the Dutch and Amsterdam as this is not all we are about” (Captain)! , as she reiterates time and again in the article. At one point she does make the comment that a visitor should “Enjoy yourself, as a trip down the RLD will leave a lasting impression” (Captain).
After reading the article it is very obvious that Captain does enjoy pointing out all of the negatives the RLD has, and how it impacts the portrayal of the rest of the city, but overall you can definitely tell that she does want people to visit all of Amsterdam, including the infamous Red Light District. My opinion is that all of the negative talk of the RLD is derived directly from the fact that Captain has a very strong respect for her hometown and she wants all visitors to feel the same as she does. This article gives a very unique account of the city of Amsterdam that could not be found from any other source.
It is truly an accurate account of the city of Amsterdam from a local that can provide information that many could not. Though very detailed sources of any type of research can be very beneficial, sources that give an overall view of collectivity are also just as helpful if not more. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia does just that. In the article entitled Amsterdam, this source provides a very vast array of information from the economy, to the climate for each season. Unlike Captain’s article, Wikipedia does a good job of not being biased towards anyone’s personal opinion about Amsterdam; it just gives straight and accurate information.
For me the most valuable information that is provided is the history. I think that for any type of research especially that of a certain location, it is always important to know when and how a town or city was founded. Wikipedia does this very well as the article states that Amsterdam was “settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most 5 important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded, and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were formed” (“Amsterdam”). This type of information has always been a must in research for me because as I have been taught, you cannot try to begin to learn about something or someone until you know where it or they came from. Just about every type of knowledge about Amsterdam that a researcher would want to gain from a source is covered by Wikipedia, including the popular topic of the Red Light District.
Unlike Captain taking a very personal and emotional approach to the topic, Wikipedia gives a much more general account of the RLD. This approach is apparent by the way that the information is worded in the article, as opposed to the Red Light District in Amsterdam. For example the article states that “This neighborhood has become a famous tourist attraction. It consists of a network of roads and alleys containing several hundred small, one-room apartments rented by female sex workers who offer their services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights” (“Amsterdam”).
This sentence just proves the difference in opinion from Captain. As she has disgust in the prostitution, this source just simply gives the information without an opinion, which makes it a more reliable source for research. Overall the sources that I chose bring both unique and informational aspects to the research at hand. Captains argument against the Red Light District, allows the reader to understand exactly how a particular citizen of Amsterdam views the controversial part of the city, as well as providing the reader with an overall idea of what the city has to offer.
On the contrary, Wikipedia gives an unbiased account of the Red Light District and also a very broad 6 and informational aspect, providing the reader with just about everything he or she would want to know of a more than likely unfamiliar topic. I chose these two articles because I felt that they do a great job complimenting each other with many topics, but most importantly the Red Light District.
This shows the importance of having more than one source because a general summary of the RLD does not tell the reader of how things really are when experiencing the entire city first hand. Captain tells it how it is, through experience, and I think that this is very important aspect to give the reader. With the different, yet two similar sources combined they account for an accurate description of Amsterdam as well as the Red Light District, that will make up for a very informational and interesting read for someone with little to no knowledge of the two subjects.