Foal competition of foals of Belgian draft horses, known as "Belgians" or "Brabanders". These foals, born in 2010, are participants in a competition and are judged on looks, posture, walking and running gaits. They will receive an individual ranking. At the end of the day, also the parents show themselves of in a parade to prove good lineage. Read about "America's favorite draft horse, the Belgian" on http://www.belgiancorp.com/
Around the corner from Ann Demans's "mother earth" (previous posting) is thisred girl practicing her favorite sport in front of gallery Guy Pieters. Work by William Sweetlove, artist born in Ostend in 1949. www.guypietersgallery.com
Warren Dekko is a Belgian-American novelist. He was born and raised in Brussels, and those who know me know why I am writing here about him. In 2005 he moved to Milan, Italy where he started writing Appointment in Milano. He currently lives in Antwerp.
'Appointment in Milano' revolves around James who has abandoned his top law firm internship in NYC to pursue a modeling career in Europe. Against the advice of his friends he becomes romantically involved with Gia, a somewhat moonstruck but furiously intelligent female model of 20. James immediately falls in with her clique of dandies, models and designer-clad hipsters and finds himself immersed in shallow intrigue and easy loving against a backdrop of drugs, fashion parties and never ending drinking sessions. As Gia rockets to stardom, she steadily develops a closer and closer emotional attachment to James, but some of her conduct in reaction to superstar status causes James to take distance. Will James go back to the law and follow in his father's footsteps or is he destined to become a messiah for the cocktail crowd of our day and age?
This book is finely written and one of the funniest and sometimes also saddest books I have ever read. It's a story of unexpected depth, despite the ridiculously shallow cast of characters and their asinine preoccupations.
As I seem to be into celebrities lately, here is another one: singer and actor Johnny Hallyday. This small statue was for sale and could be admired in the window of a hotel in Paris two months ago. When I passed by there again last week, expensive Johnny was no longer there and must have found an owner.
Johnny was born in 1943 as Jean-Philippe Smet to a French mother Huguette and a Belgian father Leon Smet.
"An icon in the French-speaking world since the beginning of his career, he was considered by someto have been the French Elvis Presley. He was married for 15 years to one of the most popular French female singers: Sylvie Vartan. They formed the golden couple of the sixties and seventies in Europe"
How delighted I was to meet photographer Sarah Moon at Paris Photo last weekend ... and even more so as I had missed her much talked about and highly admired exhibition "Coincidences" in Brussels' Botanique this past summer.
These two men are chefs of restaurants in the Muntstraat, Leuven. When shooting people, I often explain why I take their photograph, ask if they have any objection appearing on my "This is Belgium" blog and whether they have a suggestion or preference as to what the text should say. These two said that the text should say simply " Friends". It was not until I was in front of my computer that I noticed that Kwinten's eyes were closed, which is why I add a solo picture of him. Kwinten De Paepe is the chef of restaurant Trente. I had heard of him before because his cuisine has a solid reputation. Kwinten received the Flemish Primitives Motivation Award for Young Promising Chef. His restaurant has been described as a culinary delight, and Kwinten wants to set trends in cuisine and have others copy him, instead of the other way around. His friend Franco is the chef at Italian restaurant Pepenero across the street. Pepenero is the successor to Da Tonio, which for many years was an "institution" for locals and students in Leuven. From my experience Pepenero is certainly a worthy successor.
Café "Commerce" in Leuven is an example of an authentic café serving Belgian beers, a place with charm and simplicity- call it old fashioned if you prefer, a café known and appreciated by locals, the large student population and others alike.
What I like about this place is the wooden paneling and furniture, the draft beer counter, the sidewalk chairs, the newspapers provided for the customers.
Every little item is important to make the picture complete. Café "Commerce" is located on the square with the beetle on the needle (see posting of November 4).
"In the year 2000, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven celebrated its 575th anniversary. To express its connection with the city of Leuven, the university decided to present the city with a gift. Jan Fabre was commissioned to create a sculpture. Totem was unveiled in October 2004. It is a beetle, measuring 2.7 metres across, that is speared to the sky on a needle that stretches to a height of 23 metres. Totem is placed on Ladeuzeplein, the square right in front of the central university library, the university's pre-eminent icon of knowledge and science.
A totem is a meeting point as well as a symbol of a different reality, beyond human perception. That way, Totem emphasises the relationship between art and science, because imagination is indispensable for both good art and good science". http://www.angelos.be/EN/works/7 Since this is about Leuven, I decided to show in picture 2 a progress report on the city works: slowly but surely...
When I saw this man with his blue Planet Parfum bag sitting underneath graffiti referring to Greece, I was driving to Brussels' South Station, listening to the story on the car radio about Greece's Prime Minister's call for a referendum on the relief package deal proposed by Europe a few days ago. The scene somehow brought the story to life for me.
It is customary in most places in Belgium for people to take flowers to the graves of deceased relatives on November 1. This cemetery in a small village shows how the tombstones of veterans of WW II are specially marked with the wings above the photographs and the Belgian flag.