When travelling to Amsterdam, most of the time one exits through the main entrance of the station. But there is also a second entrance that leads out to the river IJ and it’s actually quite a nice place.
The IJ-side of the station and the ferry services there, as seen above, would be known to anyone who lives in Amsterdam-Noord. One needs the ferries to get to the northern bit of the city. These travel very frequently to and from the central station and each trip takes only a few minutes.
Between the station and the ferry boarding area is a covered bicycle path (I presume the roof is more for ferry commuters than cyclists since only part of the path is covered).
Walking along this part of the station really makes you forget that you’re in the middle of Amsterdam. There aren’t that many tourists here and the IJ makes for a wide and open space that contrasts with the cramped streets of the city centre.
Finally, if you’re wondering why the IJ is spelt with two capitalised letters, that’s because the letter combination i and j is treated as a single letter in the Dutch language. See here.