Taxation in Amsterdam used to be based on the street width of your home, leading to very tall and very narrow buildings. Interestingly, on almost all of the narrow houses in Amsterdam are large hooks protruding from the roof of the building. These hooks are used to support a pulley for lifting large and heavy objects onto the desired floor. Since the staircases were much too narrow and steep, furniture and such were lifted through removable windows. And it is true, stairs in Amsterdam are more like ladders.
Today I took a walking tour through the city and visited the Anne Frank house/museum. I also walked all over town to find a small restaurant said to have the best Dutch pancakes, but I found it just as the kitchen was closing.. maybe tomorrow.