At night, though, Amsterdam fascinated me. After several beers (take this as a euphemism, or not) and a few cosmic coincidences, I finally got it. My one night there coincided with the Red Light Jazz festival, so some friends and I walked toward the music’s magnetic power and into the closest bar. There, a jazz quartet was playing their hearts out.
A few songs later, a burlesque dancer came onstage—the greatest chance encounter of all. I couldn’t help myself, staring and oohing along with everyone else as she stripped, teased and gyrated. How different was I now from the marauding men I had despised hours before?
I love the way that Amsterdam makes voyeurs out of us all, whether we buy into it (via two-euro peep shows) or just happen to stumble into a burlesque show. Whether the scenes terrify or excite you, one thing’s for sure: You can’t look away.
Carmen S. Enrique ’21, a Crimson Blog editor, is a Linguistics concentrator in Eliot House.