To be frank. It's a dump, the worst part of Holland. It's best known for as the place where diamond couriers working for intelligence agencies wind up floating in the canal with a knife in their back---and other sordid things like that. It's also known for its red light district. Two Japanese girls stopped me and asked if I could point them towards it.
At the time we were far away from the red light district---a couple blocks from the Anne Frank house, (the house was covered up for renovation, as are many places along the old canals like the Herrengracht). I did my best to show them where I remembered the red light being---in back of the Oude Kerk---that's where the black prostitutes were twenty years ago, at least. I pointed them towards the direction we'd come---the Nieuwe Kerk, the plaza of which had been packed full with a fall carnival and the a large crowd of people riding the rides and buying sweet and savory carnival delicacies.
They sell Belgian waffles there, so Amsterdam isn't completely bad.
I jest of course. Amsterdam is a great city, in the best sense of that word. It's just fun to rag on it a bit, especially given the tourist hordes that confront one everywhere you go in the center. Our hotel was decent enough and had a superb breakfast of fine croissants, with scrambled eggs and bacon. On our second and last night we had Indonesian food, a little place across the street where we were lucky to get a table. It was Red's first visit to the Netherlands, so Indonesian food was a must-do. We ordered the whole line-up---the little hot dishes that come on little serving table, placed in front of you. Good stuff.