Jeff Nunokawa, Professor of English and Master of Rockefeller College, is an on-campus powerhouse, known for his wide-ranging interests—whether literary, cinematic, or having to do with exercise—and his exuberance for life and the Princeton University community. Knowing he likely would have a comment on just about anything and any place on Earth, as evidenced by his daily Facebook essay posting, we thought he would make a good addition to the When in Rome feature. His pick: Amsterdam.
Why does Amsterdam hold such a fascination for you?
I fell in love there.
What are the three things one must do “when in Rome,” particularly for the first-time visitor?
- Buy a used bicycle.
- Be okay when it's stolen.
- Buy another used bicycle.
What are the two or three things that one should do or places that one should go while in Amsterdam that can’t be found in a typical guidebook?
- Go to any multi-leveled night club whose first floor is given over to people singing traditional Dutch folk songs, their arms swaying in the air, and whose second floor is loud with the noise of 80s disco music.
- Watch one of those ten hour Dutch talk shows on TV—the ones where the camera doesn’t move. Not once. Not for ten hours. Not at all.
- Ride your bicycle down the streets of the city on a starry summer night and feel how lucky you are to be alive.
What is in competition with Amsterdam for your favorite spot on the planet?