Dreams are made for exploring

Aerial view of the Jordaan

I had the most wonderful dream last night that took place in Amsterdam and found this terrific site about my old stomping grounds in the Jordaan.

The Jordaan might be compared to the West Village at its least commercial end, or at least that is how I viewed it when we lived there--lots of bisecting and narrow streets, a surprise at each turn and some of the best food shops.

Shopping was an art form, a pleasure and took time. Fish, poultry and meat all sold in separate shops, bread not sold with pastry, fresh fruits and vegetables sold at the green grocers, and diary products most often delivered in the mornings to your front door.

Most of the shopkeepers lived in the neighbourhood, their children went to school with mine, and we were often also friends.

Freshly cut mixed flowers

It did not mean we got special privileges and come Saturday morning, "Ik ben aan de beurt" (I am next or it is my turn) rang out stridently for attention and the joys of freshly baked bread or newly cut fresh flowers.

Ripe Purple Plums

And our local Prinsengracht green grocer would let me buy a crate of plums and peaches in spring and summer if I came at the end of the day for a pittance. I would make jars and jars of plum and peach jam after searching and traveling by train to an outlying town for pectin, something I never could seem to find in Amsterdam.

To be a huisfrau in the 70s seemed to be easier than today, but then I used a bicycle or my feet, not a car.

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