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Lisa Mar 15th, 2000 03:20 AM

Amsterdam-Red Light District w/a 14 year old boy.
Going to Amsterdam in August. My son who will be 14 will be with me. I guess I am a prude but I would like to avoid the red light district as much as possible. Is this possible? If we do this are we missing anything of historical/sightseeing value.

Sharon Mar 15th, 2000 03:45 AM

You can avoid the red light district, although it is very centrally located. You can also go there during daytime, just to enjoy the small streets and the atmosphere, as on daytime most places are closed and the area looks pretty "innocent". There are no special attractions on that area, so you can skip it altogether. <BR>Have a nice trip.

Tricia Mar 15th, 2000 03:50 AM

You are smart to stay away from the red light district and you will not miss anything historical. We stayed at the Best Western across from the train station and my husband took off with my two (13 and 17) and my daughter was in shock with what she saw; the girls were so young, anyways she came back in hysterics and wouldn't speak to my husband for a couple of days. Everything is so different- the same magazine we have here will look different there with more nudity and articles that are 'racier' We saw Goldie Hawn laughing hysterically and seemingly very embarrassed as she was going into a hot tub/spa in Europe. If you want to show your son interesting things in Holland had up North- drive along the coast and see the Dykes and perhaps take a ferry over to Terschelling, one of the Frisan Islands- black Dutch ponies, windmills, sand swept beaches and pine forests, kids that gaily wave and sing to you as they honk their bike horn and all ride by so happy- rent a bike and go thru the pine forests to the beach, there are cabins for rent etc. <BR>see photos on my home page of Terschelling

Sjoerd Mar 15th, 2000 05:42 AM

I have a different opinion. The Red Light District is safe. People live there, people work there, people go there for grocery shopping or visiting friends, and yes, there are prostitutes as well. I think a 14 year old is old enough to understand the concept of prostitution, and if you explain to him what this is all about, he will find it an interesting experience to see it. Or do you want him to find out about prostitution when he is 17 and goes out with his friends in &lt;wherever you live&gt;? <BR>Having said this, it is quite easy to avoid the main Red Light district. There are two smaller RLD's in Amsterdam as well, which most tourists don't know about, so you could still end up in them by accident.

Patrick Mar 16th, 2000 07:59 PM

I agree witht the above post. I hope you don't take a 14 year old to Europe and let him eat at MacDonald's everyday. By the same token, he should be exposed to the way of life in other countries, and certainly the red light district of Amsterdam is one of those. At 14 he must be able to understand and appreciate the significance of it all --and hopefully this is an ideal opportunity for you to do some real "parenting". If he comes back to the US thinking that Holland is all about tulips and wooden shoes, he has wasted his trip to Europe.

martha python Mar 17th, 2000 04:59 AM

Yes, a fourteen-year-old does probably know what prostitution is. What benefit do you imagine will be provided by having him see it up close and personal? Fourteen-year-olds also know about death--perhaps Lisa should swing by a morgue with her son?

Lisa Mar 17th, 2000 08:03 AM

I am the one with the problem. He would love to have a look at the girls and probaly more. He knows more about what goes on in the world than I did at his age. And no, we don't go to McDonalds here so why would I take him there. I was just asking some info you can't find in the guide books. I apoligize if I stepped on any ones toes.

Melissa Mar 17th, 2000 09:49 AM

I went to Amsterdam in November. It is a beautiful place!!!! My husband is Dutch so he got a kick out of my reaction to the red light district. We stayed in Rotterdam (with his mom) so we mostly just took day trips to Amsterdam. I am actually posting to tell you to watch the innocent looking souvenir shops. There are post cards in there that a sailor would blush at!!! Please e-mail me if you there is anything that I can do!! P.S. If you walk down the RLD the girls are in windows with lingerie on and they do not hassel you like you would picture. But as a woman DO NOT LOOK AT the girls. My husband's family told me some stories of girls throwing water on women that look because they are not necessarily potential customers!! <BR>

Beth Mar 17th, 2000 10:03 AM

Lisa: your question is entirely appropriate; don't worry about stepping on anyone's toes. It probably is a good opportunity for "parenting" as someone above mentioned; and you're right, our kids know so much more than we did at that age. <BR>

howard Mar 17th, 2000 10:05 AM

Lisa, some of the respondents have gone a bit off the deep end on your dilemma. I'll try for a rational answer. <BR>I say it comes down to whether you and yur husband want to see the district. If not, then don't bother. If yes, then, take your son with you and don't make a big deal out of it. <BR>There is so much else to see in Amsterdam and its surroundings that you will still get the feel of the country without going to the Red Liht District. <BR>Yes, I found it interesting to walk through many years ago, but it was hardly my most memorable experience in Amsterdam. <BR>I wouldn't sweat it either way, nor make a big deal out of it. <BR>And, Lisa, I'd ignore some of the more strident responses and not let them bother you! <BR>

Amik Mar 17th, 2000 03:54 PM

OK, so what do if we are traveling with our 2 DAUGHTERS, 10 and 16 years old? <BR>I sure wouldn't like (the younger one) to learn about sex life from her trip to Amsterdam... <BR>Should we skip the area although I understand that there are several "red light" districts and we might bump into one of them anyway? <BR> or is there a place were the 2 girls can stay and spend some time, while we, adults go there? <BR>Thanks, Amik

Sjoerd Mar 18th, 2000 12:01 AM

To Amik: Your daughters may like the New Metropolis Science Museum. It is walking distance (5 minutes) from the Red Light District. The RLD is boring during the day, better to go early- to mid evening. (after dinner, perhaps) At that time, you could "park" your kids in a cinema for a few hours. <BR>

Sjoerd Mar 18th, 2000 12:03 AM

The other RLD's are: <BR>1. A few streets West of Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. <BR>2. A few streets between Hobbemakade and Ferdinand Bolstraat. <BR>

Gina Mar 18th, 2000 10:43 AM

Melissa, I wonder if your husband's family might have been teasing you. I've never heard of the RLD prostitutes in Amsterdam throwing water on women who look at them (or otherwise assaulting them), nor did I experience it myself or see any other women experience it. (And yep, plenty of women wander through the RLD to see what's going on.) <BR> <BR>What one shouldn't do, however, is take pictures there. That can get you into serious trouble if one of the women (or the men who work with them, in the case of ones who aren't independent) catch you.

Diane Mar 19th, 2000 09:04 PM

It's not the women there that would concern me as much as the sex toys in the windows. I'm not accustomed to being around teenagers these days, but if I were with my parents at that age and around that sort of thing I would be greatly embarassed. I can't imagine taking a young person into that atmosphere. There's so much to see in Amsterdam, I suggest avoiding this area with your children and concentrating on more enlightening endeavors such as the Anne Frank House or a canal ride. Take them to Vodelpark if they get more culture than they can handle.

frank Mar 20th, 2000 03:13 AM

Sjoerd is right about the Science museum, kids love it, there's a lot of hands-on stuff & free net acess,you can leave them there safely for a few hours. <BR> The RLD is shocking for those who have never seen that sort of thing, but it's really quite harmless & you get used to it very quickly. <BR>There are some beaufiful little bars there - go during the daytime if you are the nervous type. <BR> I doubt if there is much going on there that doesn't go on in your hometown, it just isn't advertised. <BR>Don't carry a camera, it's not appreciated.If you start taking pictures <BR> during "working hours" you'll be asked to leave the area.

Garp Mar 20th, 2000 04:14 AM

I must admit that since reading "A Widow for One Year," I too am curious about this district. <BR>

Amber Mar 29th, 2000 10:03 AM

Lisa, I was 17 last summer while visiting Amsterdam. I was curious about the RLD, so of course I asked the friend that I was staying with to take me there. I personally expected things to be a lot worse than they actually were. The girls in the windows aren't showing anything more than what a person would see in any award winning movie. However, what you do have to watch out for, is the people trying to convince you to attend the "live shows". <BR>One man was quite persistant on getting me to attend, but if you ignore their comments, you will be just fine. Don't go to Amsterdam and miss out on this attraction.

upsy daisy Dec 4th, 2000 11:42 AM

<BR>upupupupupup for joe!

14yrOldSon Dec 4th, 2000 11:54 AM

Cmon mom. Let me go to the red light district, and let dad buy me my first piece of ass. <BR> <BR>Thanks! <BR>Your son. <BR>

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