February 28, 2011
February 26, 2011
Seen from the junction of the Nationalestraat and the Kammenstraat, the Antwerp Cathedral and het Modepaleis - literally “Palace of Fashion” - give this part of the city a special ambience, even on a dreary rainy winter evening.
Both are landmarks on the tourist trail and striking reminders of Antwerp’s glorious past and its present renown as a fashion mecca.
February 25, 2011
A true delight for the senses is Santa Maria Novella in Antwerp. The young Italian man who runs the place moved to Antwerp 8 years ago to study at the Fashion Academy. He explains that the story of his store goes way back. The ‘casa madre’ in Firenze, as he calls it, was originally a pharmacy founded by Dominican friars shortly after 1221, the year of their arrival in Florence. The pharmacy used medicinal herbs grown in the monastic gardens to make medications, balms and pomades for the monks' infirmary. It was in full operation as a commercial establishment by the mid 16th century. It is said that the products are still manufactured based on the centuries-old techniques used by the Dominican friars. The shop exudes elegance and good taste. The visitor comes out smelling like clover, sandalwood, citrus, bergamot or as their favorite soap, pomegranate.
Santa Maria Novella
February 24, 2011
For drums and guitars, Antwerp is the place: "Strings and Things" has it all.…
Jan Meijers is one of the two owners. He is a bass guitarist, who in the earlier days played with a band named Blueblood. He now plays regularly with different bands that happen to need a bassist
“Looking for the authentic drumsound of the roaring 20ies, golden 60ies, psychedelic 70ies, hardrocking 80ies or pumping 90ies ? We have it..”
February 23, 2011
Cecile, waiting at 5 pm on the street corner for her kid to get out of school, would agree for her picture to be taken provided that only her hairdo would show.
I took 5 pictures and showed them to her directly on my camera.
She made me delete 2 of them in her presence and wanted to watch the deleting process.
Here is what I was able to keep
Cecile is from Rwanda and will graduate from accountancy school in June.
February 22, 2011
A true jewel and somewhat of a hidden treasure, not very far from downtown Brussels.
The pedestrian tunnel connects the Solvay Park (named after Ernest Solvay en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Er#3CD9C3) to the magnificent Forêt de Soignies with its century old trees.
The castle is hidden behind huge beech trees.
A sign near the cut trees reads “zone de protection”, “beschermde zone”, a reference to careful nature preservation policy.
February 21, 2011
Raja left his country a little over a year ago and works in a successful “hand car wash” in a small Belgian village. While he and fellow Indians wash the cars, his mother Kaur waits next door to collect the payment.
They have learned enough of the local language to deal with customers. One wonders what brought them to this tiny town and what they think of life here. Both say they came to Belgium for business and that it is business which keeps them here.
February 19, 2011
A few years ago, Sofi opened a seamstress boutique, "Cocinelle' inBrussels. If you are busy or simply do not know how to sew, Sofi will always be able help you out. She can handle anything, from simple to very sophisticated and the most delicate things are safe in her hands.Sofi is of Polish origin and many things in the shop come from Poland, handbags, earrings.
Sofi has 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren. Her daughter Joanna helps out from time to time.
Cocinelle, rue Joseph Stallaert, Uccle (Brussels)
February 18, 2011
his personal interpretation of a bird's nest.
Johan poses with self-portrait.
The students of the painting and drawing department of the Art Academy of Anderlecht work in large spacious rooms filled with light and energy.www.academieanderlecht.be/
Labels: Academie Anderlecht
February 16, 2011
February 15, 2011
February 14, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 11, 2011
February 10, 2011
When I asked Anne if I could take her picture, she surprisingly and spontaneously answered: “ Yes, but I am not Belgian” as if she had guessed that her picture was to appear on Belgiumswings!
I deducted from her Hermès scarf and Longchamp bag that she came from France and indeed she confirmed that she was from Burgundy.
Labels: Hermès foulard
February 09, 2011
February 08, 2011
Jean and Bouzou keeping the streets clean.
Bouzou left Tunisia for Belgium in 1989.
He worked first as a cook. After a while he left that job and opted for his present one which allows him to work regular hours.
He is a dad of four.
With pride he points at the state of the streets under his responsibility.