March 31, 2014

Save Art Deco Architectural gems in Forest, Brussels

Constantin Meunier Square in Forest/Vorst Brussels (© Saskia Vanderstichele)
Remember the Villa Normande? and the Castle of Noisy? This is Belgium joined the neighbors who acted in defense of the heritage to save the buildings from demolition.   Both are still there...not that we claim any credit , but still ... 
We are happy to have brought their cause to your attention.

Today, TiB  leaned about another valuable project and would like to support the Committee of  neighbors of Square Constantin Meunier,  an architectural treasure in Brussels' suburb Forest/Vorst, whose beauty and integrity is threatened by a real estate project.

According to the author of the article in Brusselsnieuws (unfortunately only available in Dutch)  the local town administration will look into the file this coming Tuesday. Let's hope that, also this time, the voices of the people of the neighborhood will be heard so that they will be able to preserve this beautiful square with all of its art deco buildings in its original gorgeous state of surroundings! 

See the article in Dutch on:
On the Villa Normande:
On the Noisy castle:

March 30, 2014

Check your mail

Gorgeous door with a little memento from Obama's visit.

March 27, 2014

Knitted tree and swing

To continue in the colorful spirit of the mosaic street tiles, above a square in the Ixelles-Elsene part of Brussels. .. urban knitting is hip, very HIP! 
How about in your part of the world? 

March 25, 2014

Mosaic street tiles

These ceramics on street tiles have been in place for a while as the letters are worn or gone all together.  Apparently, Ingrid Schreyers, started this trend in Schaerbeek and  a local urban depevelpment contract is trying to keep it going.

March 23, 2014

Sunday strolling

Strolling around Brussels' rue Blaes, rue Haute, Sablon area is definitely one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon. The stores are open, the people are relaxed, the atmosphere is friendly... and  this area offers so many photo ops, small quaint street, wall art. 
I especially enjoy stopping for an unusual and exquisite fresh juice or for genuine home cooking at  KerGi (aka La Maison Belge in the last photo), a place with just a few high chairs around a square bar where Nafi, originally from Senegal who has called Belgium her home for many many years, is always able to surprise her customers with African cuisine.

March 20, 2014

Knitting sailors hats at the market

 On my way to buy vegetables at the open air market, I was surprised to find this woman, knitting with 4 needles, between the jams, confiture and Thai food. 
I asked her about it and she proudly presented the finished product, which she called a sailors hat and the purpose of the 4 needles is not to show any seams.
She also pointed to the vegetable stand across the way, whose men are the proud owners of her handmade hats. Because we are having a warm spring, however, they were not wearing them. I will be back ...

March 18, 2014

Luzine restaurant

Luzine is the restaurant of TV personality Jeroen Meus. It is located in Wilsele, near Leuven next to the canal. 
You reach the entrance, which is hidden in a dark hallway with candles, after climbing a large, high concrete staircase that looks like it belongs in an industrial site.
We made our reservations months ago and had huge expectations.  Aside from the fact that we did not get to see the Master himself - as we had all hoped of course, we were not disappointed: the food was exquisite, the wine was excellent and the personnel were helpful, knowledgeable and welcoming, making us feel very comfortable.
I did not take pictures of the food as other bloggers have done that:

March 13, 2014

Not just a flea market

The photo ops at the Brussels' flea market are proportional to the exposed ware.  Accompanied by the winter (yes it is still winter, in astronomical terms) sun of the past few days, I would love to be able to  visit every day. As you can see, it is possible to even get in a portion of daily exercise.....I recommend a visit to everyone, locals, tourists, photographers etc. Put it on your to do while in Brussels list! 
"....the flea market on place du Jeu de Balle is more than just a flea market, it's an atmosphere" 
Flea market, antiques, collections,... in a very typical and friendly atmosphere in Brussels, 365 days a year!
Regulars say that the best days to go are Thursday and Friday. However, on Saturdays and Sundays you might find more specific or rare pieces that are only available at the weekend"

March 10, 2014

Gerard Mortier, in memoriam

Belgian Gerard Mortier was one of Opera's most famous personalities. "... a visionary opera company leader whose bold theatricality and updating of the canon helped define the art form’s modern history, died on Saturday at his home in Brussels. He was 70".
Picture and excerpt from The New York Times
full article:

March 08, 2014

End of carnival in Brussels

There are always, ALWAYS interesting things to see in the Brussels Marolles Flea market area. More about the market in the next posting.

March 06, 2014

Spring in the air

Sharing my neighbors tree with you today! Sun in Brussels, spring in the air!

March 02, 2014

Art deco in Brussels

"A stone's throw away from the shops on rue Neuve, the Art Deco façade of the tavern Espérance attracts the attention of passers-by. Léon Govaerts, who also designed the Vanderborght shops on rue Fossé-aux-Loups and the home of the banker Van Buuren in Uccle, was its architect. With quite severe lines, it was built in 1930 and given a facing in veined marble. The entrance, slightly off centre, was topped by a metal canopy with a vertical illuminated sign shooting up from it. This breaks with the continuity of the fanlight windows whose geometrical stained glasses give a little touch of colour to the whole".