Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sainte Catherine

It is funny that sometimes the hardest things to prioritize enjoying and photographing are those right under my nose. Basically since we got here I have been wanting to tour our neighborhood of "Sainte Catherine."

First stop around the block was spitting distance from our apartment. This parking deck which we can see out our window....I know you must be thinking, "Really Reid, a parking deck?!?!" But you see by riding the FREE elevator up to the top tenth floor you are rewarded with gorgeous panoramic views of Brussels.You can see our apartment building and our street in this photo...Sainte Catherine church from up above. Brussels is a city known for comics and cartoons. The Smurfs were "born" here. Throughout the city murals are painted on the buildings. Here is just one nearby example.I had never seen this - even though it is literally 2 blocks away - until I embarked on my impromptu neighborhood tourist tour. It is the Brussels beguine church. Tucked away around the bend. It isn't on a main street so you have to look for it.The red doors were my favorite part of the beguine church.The highlight of the neighborhood right now has to be the hundreds of enormous hanging floral arrangements adorning the streetposts. They are marvelous colors and make me smile when I go out. I don't know who arranges and tends them. But I am grateful for them!Also nearby is a Friterie that sells greasy fries. Did you know that the French Fry was created in Belgium, not France? They take their "frites" pretty seriously here and these little hole in the wall stands are a cultural tradition. The gorgeous opera house nearby gleams in the bright sun. I love the cascading green balconies on the right.Also in our neighborhood there is a lot of HIGH END shopping. It is trendy and expensive. But it makes for terrific window shopping and gawking. I loved this teal shawl with the delicate fringes. Probably not very practical for staying warm, but the cut and style is unique. I would love to see the lady who buys this and how she puts it with an outfit.There are certainly parts of Brussels that could use a good scrub; it isn't the most stunning European city. But there is so much to revel in. Brussels screams with urban personality and spunk. I adore living right in the middle of it all!


Thomas Stromberg said...

Glad to see you turning your attention to the things right around the corner. It always amazes me how many great subjects I find when I do a photo-walk somewhere that I've casually been a dozen times before.

Great job!

Dallas said...

Great view! I'll have to check it out next time I'm in your part of the city.