December 24, 2014

Seasons Greetings

Best wishes to all ! Happy holidays 

December 17, 2014

rue Blaesstraat Brussels

 As announced, here is the report of my field trip to rue Blaes.  Most stores are open on Sunday. If you are in Brussels and feel like some real or window shopping, do not miss this area, also known as Les Marolles with also has a daily awesome open air market.
"A constant whirl of activity, the popular Rue Haute and Rue Blaes are thronged with the most unexpected bric-a-brac and decoration shops, carefully interspersed with typical and welcoming cafés and restaurants. Lovingly-prepared dishes are served alongside soups and soft cheese sandwiches. The “zwanze” is a must: once you’ve heard an absurd, incredible or surreal story told in the good old brusseleir accent, you’ll have reached the roots of the Marolles. All of this local tradition is further enhanced by the fantastic bric-abrac: the flea market that’s been held every morning for more than a century on Place du Jeu de Balle!"

December 10, 2014

Change of tires

I do not really understand the difference between winter tires, all season tires, summer tires... fact is, like everyone else in my 'hood, I spent hours waiting while  the shop switched my summer tires for winter tires. It was so extremely frustrating, and being unable to relax or work like the above examples, all I could do to pass time was  iphone-shot snapping in the little waiting area.

December 07, 2014

Favorite Sunday spot

 I have shown Place Flagey, the ponds and the Sunday market before, its bars and restaurants, life entertainment, gorgeous architecture ... No matter the season or the weather, it is always beautiful, a wonderful green haven near Brussels' busy center and probably my favourite spot in the city. 

December 06, 2014

Happy Saint Nicholas to all children, young and old!

I was so lucky to run into Saint Nicholas in the grocery store. 
Wishing you a happy day and hope the good man has been generous to all of you.

December 03, 2014

Two sides of the same street in Brussels

Rue Blaes-straat in Brussels is an intriguing street. I am planning on showing  a few 'window' and 'real' shopping opportunities in the next post. 
In my opinion, a rue Blaes trip should definitely go on your to do list for your next visit to Belgium or Brussels.

December 02, 2014

Looking at the Palace of Justice

The Palace of Justice in Brussels hidden behind eternal scaffolding on a dreary, rainy, grey day in the beginning of December. 

November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends

Thanksgiving,  it is such a wonderful holiday I would like to introduce it in Belgium.

November 26, 2014

Brussels, most congested city...

How can I eloquently express how much I enjoy driving through Brussels in the early morning when no one else has hit the streets yet? This article in the Guardian explains why: 

Traffic congestion analysis consistently shows a surprising fact: Brussels and Antwerp, the two largest cities in Belgium, are the two most congested cities in Europe and North America. This was confirmed in the latest ranking from Inrix, a traffic data organisation (in which Milan temporarily took top spot). It is estimated that drivers in Brussels waste 83 hours a year in traffic. Things are so dire on Belgium’s roads, that the OECD has urged local authorities to take action. How did the administrative heart of the European Union get into this traffic mess?.....

November 24, 2014

Christmas in Antwerp

Thank you, Nuria, for the photo.
What do you, readers / viewers, think... November is a bit early, is it not ?
I am told that the Christmas market in Bruges is already turning full speed.

November 23, 2014

Share your picture(s) or story on TiB?

I have noticed that many, mostly American, bloggers start this week with an entry about Thanksgiving, the much celebrated US holiday coming up on November 27. 
I am thankful for the guest bloggers and photographers, in particular Els, Natasha, Elektra, Jeroen, Marie-France, Hilde, Roger, Marianne, Joke ...  and many others who have contributed to make TIB more diverse, fun and interesting.
To all of you who are interested in anything Belgian, if you want to share the souvenirs of your travels, and if you like (or even if you don't like) Belgium, its beers, cuisine, restaurants, history, fashion, design, people, culture .... and would like to share your photos or stories, we'd love to hear from you! Don't hesitate to submit your contribution.

November 22, 2014

Elvis alive in Belgium

Yesterday happened to turn into an Elvis day :). 
I have no idea what Elvis's photos are doing in the windows of a house in the middle of nowhere. I stopped to take a photo and after I got home I turned on the television to stumble upon a program "Alleen Elvis blijft bestaan" ( Only Elvis is still alive) and thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Belgian Peter Vandermeersch, editor in chief and director of the Dutch newspaper NRC. 

November 17, 2014

Berlinde De Bruyckere

 As announced in my previous post, here we go on the tour of Berlinde De Bruyckere's work , "Sculptures & Drawings 2000-2014", in the Smak museum of Gent. You can see that there is something for every taste and age group. What a great policy to grant total freedom to photographers of all ages and skill levels.
"The exhibition (...) is conceived as a promenade taking in a select choice of drawings, sculptures and installations that bring to light the evolution and nuances of the oeuvre. It combines the core motifs of De Bruyckere’s oeuvre: the vulnerability of man, which is her chief theme, and the suffering body, which is the source of her visual idiom.( ...) The pivotal work is ‘Kreupelhout – Cripplewood’ (2012-13), the monumental installation which has previously only been shown at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Finally, drawings are an essential part of this exhibition. They are hung in series in the same rooms as the sculptures and enrich the associations and cross-connections that relate all the works to each other".

November 14, 2014

Smak museum Gent

I always like to have a valid excuse to visit Gent. 
Have a look at the Smak inside and out,  the Museum of Contemporary Art located at the Jan Hoetplein -recently renamed after one of Gent's most famous men and Belgium's most famous art curators who passed away recently,- before I take you on a tour of Berlinde De Bruyckere exhibition.