July 31, 2013

Bonjour Flagey

Shopping at the market can be particularly tough on dads.

July 29, 2013

Problems and solutions

The Sunday morning market on Place Flagey in Ixelles (Brussels) caters to every taste.

July 26, 2013

The sisters and the Sumo

The three pictures are shown in the chronological order I took them: from total unawareness to a request for posing.
Sara and Lucy just returned from vacation and were walking the dog with mama. The Sumos - there are two of them- by artist Alexandra Gestin have become a favorite stop on the walking tour of the girls. 

July 24, 2013

Humans of Belgium

Inspired by "Humans of New York," one of my very favorite blogs, I caught these two humans of Belgium, all smiles and happy. They were dressed up elegantly as they were heading to town while everyone else seemed to be hiding from the oppressively hot day, yesterday. 

July 21, 2013

Belgium has a new King!

Happy July 21 to all!
Best wishes to the new King and Queen!

July 19, 2013

Festive weekend ahead

Independence day is celebrated on July 21 but this year will be a bit special. King Albert II will step down in favor of his son Philippe. The abdication ceremony will take place at the Royal Palace, Sunday morning and shortly afterwards the new king will be sworn in before both chambers of the Belgian parliament.
What will you be doing during these festivities? Participate in the "bal populaire" Saturday night, have a beer or watch the events from a distance? 

July 18, 2013

For sale

 No, I do not have a particular interest in this real estate project.

July 16, 2013

"Progressive" filming

Work in progress
1.  a very quick picture before they could say 'no'
2.  a quick picture while I was asking if I could take a picture
3.  a picture while they were debating their answer.

July 14, 2013

Midi fair 2013

Time for the Midi Fair again. It opened yesterday and covers the area near Brussels South Station, between Porte de Hal and Porte d'Anderlecht.  The fair ends on August 21. Read all about it here:

July 12, 2013


I just decided on the spur of the moment to get out of the car and take a short stroll around the Gare du Midi in Brussels, as mostly always camera in hand, looking for typical shots, such as "Café Europe".  Only, Basilio who had just finished his morning coffee on that very terrace, had something else in mind for me.
He told me his life's story and we became friends in no time.
Basilio was born in Greece and while still at school - he was 17 at the time - working towards a degree in construction. His teacher told him that there was work for him in Belgium, near Mons, in Casteau where the SHAPE headquarters were soon to be built. Basilio came and stayed. After building Shape, he worked for 7 years at what he called the smallest hotel in Belgium, the Hilton hotel on Avenue Louise.
Basilio seems a very happy trooper. He said he is glad to have made his life here, his children are spread over Belgium, a daughter lives nearby and owns a newspaper shop and the other(s).. I don't remember.
SHAPE: http://www.shape.nato.int/shape.aspx

July 09, 2013

De Panne

It feels as if we have been waiting for sun forever... and finally here it is shining on De Panne, a beautiful beach-town, the last one before the border with France. De Panne is known for its wide nature reserve and widest beach at our Coast, a fact which you can hardly notice on the pictures because of the high tide.
What I am not talking about though is the time it took to travel 150 km from Brussels to the coast on the highway in a hot car... I was not the only one who had the splendid idea of spending a Sunday at the coast.

July 06, 2013

Toronto and Tanger

Every year I try to visit several academies because I just enjoy seeing new work and meeting graduating students. It is my pleasure to introduce you to two new graduates of the Academy in Anderlecht (Brussels), Sebab Noureddine and Denise Henderickx. 

July 03, 2013

Looking for Belgium in The Netherlands

I was heading to The Mauritshuis in The Hague and was a bit disappointed to find it closed for renovation.
Fortunately, the works are on display in the Gemeentemuseum.
An Art Deco fan, I thought the building itself was a little marvel. It is designed by Dutch architect Hendrik Berlage and "a labyrinth of wonders. The colourful tiles, bronze window frames and subte details are real treats for the eye".

Back to the subject matter: looking for Belgium
"Fuga", by Gustave Van de Woestyne (1881-1947), a Belgian expressionist painter. He belonged to the so-called "First Group of Latem", a group of artists who worked in the rural village of Sint-Martens-Latem near Ghent. 
"Adam en Eva in het Paradijs", a magnificent work, showing the successful merger of talents of two of the greatest. "Research has shown that it was Brueghel who began sketching the  outlines of the composition on the panel, but that it was Rubens who put the first scenes in to paint: Adam and Eve, but also a part of the tree and the horse beside them. When this was done, Brueghel added the sky, the landscape and filled the rest of the painting with animals and plants. The painting captures the moment right before Adam eats from the fatal apple that Eve is handing him..."
The first work the visitor is confronted with upon entering the museum is an aviator, with the untranslatable title "Klapperschroef Rugzak met Vliegenier" by Antwerp born Panamarenko.
A Dutch speaking reader might be able to offer me some assistance on this one?

A great place to stay!
What added to the fun and made my short excursion up North an even more pleasant experience, was the place where I stayed overnight. I found it through Booking.com and warmly recommend Quarenta studio in Amsterdam. The host was so very hospitable and interesting. He offered plenty of  recommendations on what to visit, where to eat, on public transport etc. I found them helful. The studio has everything a traveler like me might want (wifi !, coffee!, a delicious breakfast packed with healthy goodies, a terrace with a private small garden leading to a waterway, like you see only in Holland, right in front of your sliding doors!). Look at the other reviews on booking.com because I am not the only one who enjoyed it so much. If you would like to stay at a  special place while visiting this part of the Netherlands, do not hesitate!

http://www.artsholland.com/hague-gemeentemuseum-0-century maste