Amsterdam invests millions to clean up the Red Light district

Amsterdam has long been a bit of asordid playground – it is one of the only places in the world where you can go to legally smoke some pot and visit a prostitute.

Because of its very liberal laws, Amsterdam created a pretty bad image of itself. To many people, the first thing they think of when you mention Amsterdam is not its many canals and beautiful architecture, but hookers and weed. It’s the main reason thousands upon thousands of tourists visit the city each year, helped by extremely low airfares from the European carriers.

The Amsterdam council is trying its best to change that image, and has started project “1012” (1012 is the postcode number for the city center).

The city has already purchased, and closed over 100 of the windows where women would display their “goods”. Next up are the many coffeeshops, which obviously sell more than just coffee. The city has created a multi-million Euro fund to pay for converting these stores to something less sleazy, like an ice cream shop or bar. One entrepreneur was paid 25 million Euro’s to close 60 of his windows, obviously making for a pretty decent retirement payment.

The end result should hopefully convert the old Wallen into a more tourist friendly district, without window after window of prostitution. That does not mean the city is completely abolishing the Red Light district – there will still be some windows, just a lot less than the current 482. Amsterdam clearly hopes to attract a different kind of tourist than the ones heading to their city for nothing more than sex and drugs.

Russian flight crew smoking pot mid-flight

You really have to see this clip to believe it. It shows what appears to be the pilot and one flight attendant smoking pot from a home made bong bottle on their flight.

The description says it is an Aeroflot plane, but I’ve seen others claim it is “just” a freight plane, which would explain why none of the passengers walked to the galley to ask about the smell (of to see if they could join the fun).

By the end of the clip the 2 are clearly pretty buzzed. I just hope the pilot has a competent first officer up front, or it’s going to be a bumpy ride. If anyone has more information on the origin of the clip, feel free to leave us a comment!

Lights Out for Amsterdam’s Red Light District?

My tour of Amsterdam was probably one of the purest 5-hour jaunts imaginable. Think windmills, cheese and clogs, because that’s all I managed to capture photos of and I slept a majority of the time on my tour bus. No Mary Jane the weed or Mary Jane the sex-show prostitute to be seen, so maybe I was on the wrong bus. Like it or not – some travelers come to Amsterdam ONLY for these two purposes. Maybe not both or simultaneously, but like I said SOME travelers and hey, they’re booming industries.

-Or was a booming industry.-

From the sound of this News from Amsterdam piece six days back some entrepreneurs in the Red Light District are not getting their licenses renewed. You see, they have this thing called the Bibob Act which can deny the licenses to entrepreneurs who can be linked to crooked-criminal-filthy money. Ouch! Apparently 37 entrepreneurs have been hit with the bad news and together they own half of the ‘windows’ where prostitutes can be found. Double ouch! Sounds like a hot time in the city. It might just be time for all the sex sight-seeing folks to seek out the windmills too. If you use your imagination they could look like…

via Jaunted