And, one more for good measure.
I know we haven’t known each other long, but I love you. No, don’t laugh. Don’t say it’s just infatuation or lust. I really love you. I love your bikes, your houseboats, your bookstores, your artists (past and present), your shutters, your canals, the way you mix history with the present, not feeling stagnant or precious. I love your bakeries, houses, beer, museums, trams, shops, and that if someone wants to get high or paid for sex, they can. I love watching older, conservative, American couples navigate your Red Light District and that I was able to figure out the tram system with only a little kindness of strangers. I love that your residents are actually still kind, considering the number of bumbling tourists, myself included. I love watching a mother ride her bike with three children in tow, holding an umbrella. I love your entire aesthetic. I know you think it’s a passing thing, that I say the same to Florence, Paris, and Rome, but, really, no, I don’t. There have been a couple in the past, cities that grabbed my heart and made me want to look at the real estate section instead of tourist attractions, but they were long ago and nothing for you to worry about. La Condesa in Mexico City and Austin while working on “True Grit,” but now I see even those were nothing, compared to you. I know you don’t believe me, but I’ll prove you wrong. Just wait. I’ll be back and I’ll prove that you’re the only one.