Friday, 9 December 2005

Day 1, Blog 1

Strange day to begin a blog, but where else am I going to put down all those random thoughts, in this electronic age?
Today has been an indulgent day, especially food-wise. Tried a new restaurant for lunch, called Multi-Culti (horrible name!), in the now white-painted former premises of the Rimbaud café on the corner of Avenue d'Auderghem and Avenue Nerviens, diagonally opposite the Breydel. A rather pretentious place, but it has excellent desserts, even if they can't spell them - panaccota??! Had dinner with P
as usual on Fridays (chicons au gratin - not the best day for the diet but it is cold!) in the recently opened upstairs rooms at Carpe Diem, at Mérode. What is clearly a former apartment has been turned into a series of cosy rooms, all with fireplaces (not working) and weird green crystal lampshades in the non-smoking section - the smoking section on the other side of the stairs is painted red, and twinkly at the moment with Christmas lights. Although the room we were in was not especially crowded, our conversation was occasionally drowned out by the braying, from a neighbouring table, of an extremely loud and well-lubricated gentleman, I would guess a local lobbyist, trying to impress (in English, of a sort) a young lady I took to be from Central Europe, possibly a stagiaire (intern).

In the afternoon, I went for a walk in the Cinquantenaire Park, the centre of which has now been fenced off for renovation work, in particular removing diseased trees. According to the notice not very prominently displayed anywhere near the fences, the work is to last 400 working days, or two years! I took the time to examine the rather odd work of sculpture placed next to the entrance to the restoration service of the Royal Art and History Museum, the Institut Royal du Patrimoine, which bears no information whatsoever as to sculptor or title, and also to appreciate the "sgraffiti", if that is what they are (they look to me like ceramics), on the fin-de-siècle façade of a building across the road from there, that I remember standing for years propped up by metal struts after the apartments behind it were demolished.

Sometimes Brussels' policy of "façadism" does pay off, providing of course that the old façade that the builders are required to preserve while effectively constructing a new building behind it doesn't "accidentally" fall down during the process...

New building, old façade

Also met M for coffee at the café in Habitat in the Woluwe Shopping Center (sic), called "Les Nanas" - this could be translated as "the chicks", in the sense of "girls", don't know whether this is supposed to refer to the likely customers or to the serving ladies. Thrown out at 6 when the café closed, we went looking for Christmas presents - also finding presents for ourselves, in my case an Alain Manoukian t-shirt and cardigan in teal blue, or is it green, anyway my favourite turquoise colour. On n'est jamais mieux servi que par soi-même!


At 10/12/05 17:10, Blogger Green said...

I found your blog very interesting to read. A lot of things to learn. Also good choice of the links.
This morning I enjoyed BBC radio. Merci!

At 15/12/05 02:33, Blogger Green said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 15/12/05 02:41, Blogger Green said...

How beautiful these buildings are!
Nice thing about living in Europe is that we are surrounded by such an elegant atomosphere.
I miss it so much. ( I've lived in London in early 90"s)
Thank you for sharing.


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