July 31, 2011

Roasted chicken

The city of Brussels feeling almost empty, I had expected much shorter lines at the Sunday morning market on Place Flagey. Because of special (uniformed) customers, however, the line for roasted chicken was as long as ever.

July 29, 2011

The artists, the curator, the public

I have received several inquiries as to the exact location of the exhibition "The Border" shown in the previous post. The photographs are exposed on the town square in Flobecq/Vloesberg and here and there at regular intervals alongside a 15 km itinerary to Brakel. The villages are situated east of Halle and south of Ninove.

Above are shown two participating artists in front of their work: Alexandra Cool and Rula Halawani. Frank Vanhaecke is the curator of the event. The last picture shows the public expressing its appreciation over a glass of wine and I thank my friend Mirjam for getting hold of my camera and taking this picture for me.

July 26, 2011

Exhibition "The Border"

Borders between countries are intriguing...but how about an invisible language border between two communities, Wallonia and Flanders?  Along this magical line running by little towns like Vloesberg-Flobecq,  Everbeek...photographers have exposed their interpretation of the subject in an open air exhibition "De Grens- La frontière" (the border).

The following artists participate:
Michel Castermans, Karin Borghouts, Herman van den Boom, Alexandra Cool, Bieke Depoorter, Pierre-Philippe Hofmann, Rula Halawani, Dara Mc Grath.

The exhibition is organized by the centrum Herman De Croo (see last photo, Belgian politician, served as Minister in several governments, was President of the Chamber of Representatives) and the Centre Culturel du Pays des Colines, by Bozar.

The exhibits runs till September and for those living in this part of the world, I definitely recommend a visit.

July 21, 2011

July 21 Belgium's national day.

It was on 21 July 1831 that Leopold of Saxe-Coburg swore allegiance to the Belgian constitution and took the constitutional oath as the first King of Belgium.
Even though Julius Caesar mentioned the Belgae 2000 years ago, Belgium is a young nation. The independent state was created on October 4, 1830 but National day is celebrated as a commemoration of the oath of the first King.
Belgium has been without a government for well over a year now. I therefore hope that the readers of this blog do not mind a little humorist note of Belgian flags, stuck in beach buckets along with other playful things, for sale.

July 19, 2011


A few shots from this impressive museum in Maastricht, situated on both sides of the Meuse/Maas river in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, on the Belgian border (with both Flemish and Walloon region within easy reach from the city centre) and near the German border.
The Bonnefantenmuseum combines, in a building by Aldo Rossi, private and public collections with both old master painting and sculpture as cutting edge contemporary art. Furthermore it hosts the so-called Rijksmuseum Maastricht and collections focused both on medieval applied arts (Neutelings) as on mainstream contemporary (Vandenhove).

July 17, 2011


Felt like digging up and sharing these black and whites taken with my old second hand analog Canon. I have not used it much since I became a member of the Nikon and Panasonic Lumix  fan clubs. Don't you agree that there is something to be said for analog black and white photography...? If only it would not be such a painstaking job to develop the rolls in the dark room.. or if only I became much better and quicker at it!

July 15, 2011

How to get to the "Gentse Feesten"?

The weather has been awful these last few days but let that not stop you from attending one of the season's yearly highlights, the Gentse Feesten, a popular festival of music, theater,  acts and everything that comes with that, in the streets of Ghent.
The Feesten run from July 16 to 25 .. "the last day is always a Monday and known as the day of the empty wallets, alluding to the fact that many people have spent their last penny at the festival, and is by the people of Ghent seen as their day while the stream of visitors from other places ceases.The first Gentse Feesten were held in 1843. The modern day Gentse Feesten were started in the summer of 1969 by Ghent singer Walter De Buck and the people from the Trefpunt cafe. In the beginning the festival consisted of one stage near the Saint Jacob Church. Since the late eighties the festival has grown enormously and now covers the whole inner city of Ghent. About 2 million visitors attend the festival every year, making it one of the biggest cultural and popular festivals in Europe". 

July 14, 2011

Quatorze juillet

To salute our southern border neighbors on their "jour de gloire", I chose what to me is a representative picture.
The Parisian "pétanqueurs" are taking a break from their daily afternoon sport near "Invalides".  They are discussing the last game as one man is pointing in the direction of the balls while they other still has the obligatory cloth in his hand.

July 11, 2011

Anderlecht and its cafés

A recent post on the "beguinage/begijnhof" of Anderlecht by fellow blogger Vagabonde, born and raised in Paris and now living in Georgia (U.S.), made me notice the béguinage café and incited me to post pictures of cafés in Anderlecht, located just South of Brussels. 
Her blog "Recollections of a Vagabonde" is worth a detour.  Have a look at her post in which she describes everything you could ever want to know about the phenomenon "béguinage/begijnhof".

July 10, 2011

Coal mines in Limburg

The towers in Eisden (Limburg province) near the Dutch border and Maastricht, are evidence of a rich mining past. Coal mining was an important business immediately after the turn of the previous century. Workers were brought in from everywhere, but after World War II mainly from Italy. Many stayed permanently, and today this area still has many residents of Italian descent.
The mines in Eisden were closed in 1987 because of the decline in the coal market.  Unemployment in the area rose to high levels as a result. 
Today the Government has a number of projects aiming to stimulate 

the economy of the region. 
The neo-classical baroque style building, which dates from 1931, housed the mines management and secretariat. The beautifully kept French gardens form an interesting contrast with the ornate building and the functional towers. 

July 07, 2011

Colorful 80 something

I believe she said that her age was 86 ... in any event it is 80 something. In Brussels, these colors look rather unusual, striking. I therefore did what I often like to do: ask permission, ask questions trying not to be impolite or nosy or rude and take a picture ... just one, and hope that it will turn out right. 
The lady in the picture is originally from Hungary but she has travelled and lived all over the world. Her favorite places are Argentina and Peru. The clothes and shoulder bags she is wearing are handmade from Peruvian cloth. She says that colors keep her going and are a necessity for her, that they have  a sort of healing power. Tomorrow, she said, she might be dressed in a totally different outfit with colors that do not look anything like today's. She is knowledgeable about Chinese medicine, does not use the Internet, does not wish to be close to cameras, which is why she looked up and away.  It is her belief that magnetic waves, whether they come from cameras, the internet, telephones or what not, will prevent her soul from traveling very far very soon. 

July 06, 2011


Today the Ommegang took place in Brussels. I have to admit that I had sort of forgotten about it and I regret not having taken the time for a decent photo session. These pictures were made somewhat in a hurry, I took them from my car, driving by the preparation of the festivities on the Sablon, where a medieval village was being created. 
The Ommegang today is a time for festivities, fun, theater, shows, knights combat on foot and on horses. Grandiose spectacle and magnificent costumes of the times recreate history. The participants play the roles of Charles V, Mary of Austria etc, and are said to be their descendants or descendants of the nobility.
"The Ommegang was originally established to commemorate the transfer of the miraculous statue of "Notre-Dame sur la Branche", who was worshipped in the Antwerp Cathedral. Over the years this commemorative procession has lost its religious character and has become a parade whose aim is to show the different reliquaries of Brussels.
Nowadays the Parade of the Ommegang is one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles in Belgium. It takes place at 21h on the prestigious setting of the Grand'Place, which is ablaze with light and recalls the pomp and ceremony of a splendid celebration held there to honour Charles V and his Court (16th century)".

July 05, 2011

No pictures

I very much like to photograph people. When I started this blog, I made a point out of following the rule that people's wishes and their privacy should be respected.  I therefore almost always explain why I am taking pictures and ask permission to post the photo on a blog. 
In this case, however,  I decided to ignore the "no photos" request as, in any event,  the picture does not reveal the identity ... also, I like the photographs, regardless of the mysterious man behind paper and hands.

July 04, 2011

July 4

"Today,  the Fourth of July, the American national holiday, the Embassy of the United States teams up with “Serve the City” for volunteer service in Brussels.This morning Ambassador of the United States Howard Gutman (here at the microphone) and a team of Embassy volunteers put themselves at the disposal of Serve the City, as part of that association’s Big Volunteer Week, from July 2 to July 9. This group helps out at one of Serve the City’s projects for the less fortunate".
Happy 4th to all Americans worldwide!

July 03, 2011

Yellow jersey

Happy smile on a sunny Sunday, celebrating the victory of Philippe Gilbert, winner of the first stage of the Tour de France.

July 02, 2011

Different sides of Mechelen

How the same place looks so different in pictures with people in it or with works going on. Mechelen is a beautiful city and I had not been there in a very long time.  I  could not believe the transformation and the city works still going on everywhere.