“DAM’D if you do” might sound like a catchy headline we used to sell articles… But it’s not! Actually, it’s the name of some of our swag-selling, Amsterdam-loving, cruise-hopping buddies over at DAM’D.
The site and brand were created by creative Claire, who first visited the Dam-for-whence-the-platform-was-named when she was only 8. Rather than being scared of the evil joint smokers or frightened of the people who (weren’t) seedy and lurid – Claire went on to revisit in her later life… and not for any of the reasons that you might think.
The Pull of the Weed… is Not What It’s About
Let’s face it… Most of us go to the Dam because we like Marijuana. It’s nothing to be ashamed of by any stretch of the imagination. Some small few probably go for the scenery, and more than a handful for all that legal prostitution – but most of us go for the drugs. Which sounds a lot more awful than it truly is…
…But not Claire. Claire skipped out on going Dutch for years because she wasn’t a pothead stoner like the rest of us. It wasn’t until her elder sister decided to throw her next birthday bash in Amsterdam that Claire returned to her childhood holiday destination. By her own admission she will never forget the sights, sounds, and smells that wafted over her in that first return visit.
Try to imagine reliving a childhood dream… Of dodging bikes on crowded streets that you felt sure you had imagined. Imagine seeing all those bikes as a child and swearing your young mind had made up the stacks and stacks upon rows and rows of bikes where car parks should be. Claire found the same things that we all find when we get to Amsterdam.
Beneath the hustle and bustle, beneath the rushing and the smoking and the selling, underneath the air of freedom and the desire to go wild because you are so overwhelmed – there is the calmest, most peaceful sensation you have ever felt. Whether you are strolling the streets or drifting down the canals – there is a feeling in Amsterdam that you can’t replicate, capture, or even destroy. It’s there in every visit, you find it at least once in every trip, and you take it away with you when you leave again.
It is that feeling that appeal of the welcome of a whole city, that makes people come to the Dam and never leave again. It is the reason for the arts scene that both terrifies and inspires Europe. It is the reason behind the wafts and waves of tulips in springtime… It is responsible for the Dutch music scene, the colours splashed everywhere by the artists, and the reams of poetry that have been secretly scribbled in the cobbled streets.
That’s the feeling Claire got when she revisited. That’s the spirit she tapped into. That’s the ‘Amsterdam Vibe’. That’s why she created a whole culture around it, whacked it on a webpage, and lives it every day.
We should all aspire to be more like Claire.
It’s More than Just A Feeling
We’re hooked on believing, too! We couldn’t help it.
Claire and her partner have more than just a love of the Dam, they have a love of good photography, too. They are frequently found crossing back and forth between Amsterdam and the rest of Europe. When we say ‘crossing’ we (of course) mean that they pass through the Amsterdam-UK time fluctuation more than once a year. We believe if you do it often enough you become immune.
Asides from us getting side-tracked – what else do the DAM’D do? What don’t the DAM’D do? They sell DAM’D stuff, of course. How else could they be suitably hilarious?
Amsterdam Themed Gifts? Don’t Mind if we Do…
Some of the ‘DAM Good Choices’ (the more you read, the better it gets!) include gifts the likes of which will rock your world. Pick from a DAM’D pen, a DAM’D Wristlet, a DAM’D Print or a DAM’D Greeting Card. We are wondering how long we can do this for before Google ban us…
Being serious just a moment – look at this DAM’D Mother’s Day card. It’s stunning. Somehow, they have managed to make the cringeworthy lovey-dovey-ness of Mother’s Day adorable and sweet. Or what about this Valentine’s Day card for your spouse…? The photography is worthy of one of those prizes they reserve for farting animals, but you always feel should be given to people who take art-worthy shots.
Anyway. Asides form cards, they have a delightful selection of prints, so you can get the photos above but without the card attached, or the wording. Admittedly it is funny to do the DAM’D Shopping – but you maybe don’t want that displayed above the fireplace in your front room. Moving on…
…Wristlets. These had us excited. You can get a commemorative wristlet to remember your experience with, that comes in “DAM I Love You” packaging. The only way you could possibly not enjoy these is if you didn’t love the Dam. And if you didn’t love the Dam you are most definitely in the wrong place right now. Buy a wristlet on your way out and consider it the price of your internet stumbling.
Asides from some great Amsterdam Themed Gifts, Claire keeps a blog on their adventures and exploits in our favourite city. If you like reading about Amsterdam adventures as much as we do, then we suggest heading over and dropping a bookmark on that page. I’m sure everyone would appreciate a wee like and share, if you can.
No? Shame on you, you monster. Buy a Wristlet on your way out! And don’t forget to visit us again.
This has been just a small entry into the Lilly Likes Hall of Fame… there are a few more out there, if you care to look. We like to flip the lid on all things Amsterdam, and frequently go to places other folks find uncomfortable. We’re not weird, we’re just open-minded.
Visit our pages to learn about the Body Worlds
Exhibit, find out why there is a
floating Chinese restaurant in the city centre, or just to find out where
Lights Secrets Museum is. We cover it all and we hope to see you there.
Trust us. It’s awesome. There may or may not be unicorns. No promises.