March 28, 2013

Stroll in upscale uptown

I thought/hoped that his man wanted to be seen and not be un-noticed. A few photos were no problem. The story however, that was something else. I have to confess that I did not understand very well where it was going . He said that he only walks around in the nicer neighborhoods and that he was looking for sponsor...

March 26, 2013

Jef, the Brussels King of Snails

Chez Jef et Fils Escargots is an institution in Brussels. 
You can find Jef himself at the Bourse in the center of Brussels and his annex in Anderlecht.  
Delicious snails in their broth are served in a plastic cup for €5, with a glass of white or rose wine available for  €2. 
Jef must be about 70 now, he started this job when he was 13 working with his mother, he enjoys his trade a lot and... his succession is assured.

March 22, 2013

Kandinsky in Brussels

Lately, I have been spoiled by impromptu visits of dear friends. I talked about Marie-Anne hopping in from Greece in my previous post and last weekend Laurence showed up in Brussels which made for an unforgettable weekend. When asked where she is from,  Laurence always answers that she keeps moving up North;  she is originally from Pau in Southern France, lived in B (Biarritz or Bordeaux, I forgot which) for a while, moved to  Paris and came to Brussels at the end of the 80's. She has now been  living in Sweden for almost 10 years with her Swedish husband and three kids.

Laurence is an artist, a painter herself and we had such a great time visiting Kandinsky in Brussels. No pictures allowed at the exhibition but I am hoping that these i-phone shots do not qualify.
Truly wonderful and interesting exhibit, which places the artist's work in the greater Russian context. Wonderful explanations, beautiful catalog. In short: well worth a visit, highly recommended.

March 16, 2013

Antwerp, tourist impressions

It seems that now that I made it to Antwerp, it is pretty hard to stop talking about it, and,  there is so much more. As Alain mentioned in his comment on the previous pictures, the city is known for its jewelry and as the diamond center (do I dare say?) of the world. I did not even come close to that part of town. How about the fashion Academy and its world :-) famous graduates?
What I am showing  here is a glimpse of the harbor (after Rotterdam, the second largest in Europe), and sights that a first time tourist and visitor might want to concentrate on? The cathedral, the quaint streets, all the different styles and architectures.  I was accompanied by Marie-Anne, a gorgeous young Belgian-Greek student of architecture, who has been living and studying in Greece for a while now and will graduate in November.
Picture two shows Brabo and the Giant's hand being thrown in the river:
"according to folklore, and as celebrated by the statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend involving a mythical giant called Antigoon who lived near the river Scheldt. He exacted a toll from those crossing the river, and for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river Scheldt. Eventually, the giant was slain by a young hero named Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen—akin to Old English hand and wearpan (= to throw), which has changed to today's warp"

March 13, 2013

Antwerp, random shots

It is true, what people say, that when you live in a city your vision becomes oblivious to the obvious. I noticed that on my day trip to Antwerp, a city which I do not know all that well. Everything looked different, unsual and interesing, while I had travelled less than 60 km from Brussels. These shots are just randomly taken. Dan Zollman is one of the city photographers in Antwerp and his and his colleagues photos are on open-air exhibit near the cathedral. Planning on showing you some of the more classical Antwerp shots next.  

March 10, 2013

MAS Antwerp

The Mas (Museum aan de stroom - Museum at the stream) taken in the afternoon when I arrived in Antwerp and in the evening when I left with two in between impressions. 
The Museum is a relatively new construction but has been photographed and written about many times. 
Have a look at Linda's (blogger of Occasional Scotland) posting here:
  •  Antwerp’s newest - and largest - museum!The MAS is the city’s new icon, ‘a bridge’ between port and city. Standing sixty metres high, the MAS affords a breathtaking 360° view of the city, the river and the port.
  • … an open house. You can walk in and out at will. The MAS Boulevard is a succession of escalators leading from the ground floor to +9. Along the way you have wonderful views of Antwerp through the 6-metre-high glass panels.
  • … high-end architecture in a lively new part of the city The MAS is an architectural gem in a lively new district, walking distance from the city centre. It is the perfect place to start or end your visit to the seaport.

March 07, 2013

Antwerp museum joy

I will post pictures of my trip to the MAS museum in Antwerp next but found it interesting to deduce how spiritually uplifting a museum visit can be from the fun that these ladies were having. They were thrilled to have their picture taken for TiB.  The lady in black is from Antwerp and her friend from Hoogstraeten. Their museum visit was a small part of a day of friends catching up, seeing the city, shopping, enjoying the rare sunshine on a terrace near the Schelde .....

March 05, 2013

First sun

Amazing what a bit of sun,  the first of the year, can do. How different the light looked today in Leuven (photo 1 and 2) as well as in Brussels (photo 3). 

March 03, 2013

City bikes

A quick posting to wish everyone a happy Sunday evening.