Amsterdam — with its bordello-meets-swanky-speakeasy décor and endless martini menu — has always been a nightlife destination for gays, lesbians, and their straight friends. The music, which usually leans toward Euro dance/techno tunes, is always booming and inspires plenty of booty-shaking. The drag queen shows are equally entertaining, and the booze (again, there are hundreds of martinis here) is always poured strong. Part of the reason is that you usually have to wait a while for your drink — Amsterdam's often packed by 11 p.m. on weekends, and the lines at the bar can be epic. Bartenders must figure you might as well get your buzz on before waiting 20 minutes for another round. As for the crowd, it's become more eclectic over the past few years. Amsterdam used to be the domain of gay men with an occasional sprinkling of lesbians. Now, the crowd's split about 50-50 between men and women, and a good percentage of patrons are not gay. Because socializing inside can be difficult when you can't find two inches to move and the music's booming, a lot of people prefer the outside patio, where it's less stuffy and sweaty.