A few weeks ago, some friends from my erasmus time in Portugal came over for the weekend. It was so nice to see them again after such a long time, and to be able to show them my new city. We walked around my beautiful neighborhood Zurenborg, cycled through the city and admired Antwerp’s skyline from the roof of the MAS. Soon I’ll finally have more time on my hands and be able to spend more weekends like this.
Today I present you a new hotspot in the super hip Dansaert district of Brussels. Siblings Factory is a new concept store, selling everything from beautiful clothing and accessories by brands such as Le Mont Saint Michel and Cacharel, to interesting magazines, gorgeous vintage furniture and design objects by architect Julien De Smedt, who is also responsible for the design of the store. On top of that, they also organize art exhibitions (at the moment they are hosting an exhibition by Carine Brancowitz, which I’m dying to see) and they told me they were planning on making a coffee bar in the store as well. If you’re still not convinced: they intend to donate a portion of their annual turnover to Afghanistan Demain, an association fighting for education for street children. And… they have cacti for balustrades! Enough said, now go take a look for yourself at 31 rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains in Brussels.
A few weeks ago, the girls behind Alle Dagen Honger organized a food festival named ‘Krachtvoer’ at DEstudio in Antwerp. This two day festival consisted of documentaries, lectures, tastings, diners, workshops and expositions, all related to food. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to any documentaries or readings (I find it very interesting (and scary at the same time) to hear more about the food industry, it’s ecological impact is what convinced me to become a vegetarian) but I did manage to make a quick stop at the food market and the expositions. The food was of course delicious and the location and decorations were stunning, as was the exposition with works of Alle Dagen Honger’s own illustrator Mayken Craenen (who’s work I’ve featured before here) and others. For a more elaborate impression of the festival, I added the aftermovie at the bottom, made by my flatmate Mathijs Vleugels.
This was only the first edition of Krachtvoer, so keep an eye out on the Alle Dagen Honger blog (also in english here) if you want to stay up to date on future editions of Krachtvoer or if you’re interested in the food industry as a whole.
A new academic year means a new Existenz team and new Existenz cafés. Since I don’t live in Leuven anymore, these cafés are the perfect excuse to go back and catch up with old friends. (I even wished I could fly back for an evening of Existenz festivities when I was living in Lisbon.) This year’s opening event was called Kaffee Weltevree and took place in the courtyard of our beloved castle (the home of Leuven’s architecture department). The combination of the fairy tale like surroundings, the live music, the friends I hadn’t seen in a while and the obligatory beers resulted in a great evening. I’ve called this city home for five and a half years and nights like this remind me why.
Here’s an analog diary of what I’ve been up to these last months, from the first ‘terrasje’ of the year (drinks outside on a terrace), to a Float Fall concert in bilbo for record store day (listen here), to M-idzomer festival in Museum M, the stairs of Leuven’s central library where I have been studying the past weeks, to a rooftop barbecue in Antwerp literally hours after I got back from Paris (best welcome back to Belgium!), to everyday sights in Leuven (like the plant filled windows that I pass almost daily, another confetti smiley that I discovered only now thanks to a friend and the castle of Arenberg where our design studios are located) and one last view at Museum M, when I went to see my photos for the first time with my sister. I might have complained a lot about missing Lisbon and being back in same-old Belgium, but looking back, this doesn’t look so bad now does it? All thanks to my wonderful friends who make Belgium feel just a little bit warmer…
all photos by me