walk tram forest

April 13th, 2010 § 0

Wow, Tervuren est fantastique. Today’s journey was chock full of wtfs: from the incredible natural and cultivated beauty of the landscape, to the quirky library where I did some research on dyeing, and the wackness of the museum itself. The Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale was the destination aujourd’hui.

First I walked through the Parc du Bruxelles to get to the tram.

I was not prepared for the vastness of the grounds of the Royal Museum…

…but I had been forewarned about the collection and the presentation.

Their website (http://www.africamuseum.be) says it best, “As it’s displayed now, the permanent exhibition still reflects the way Europe regarded Africa in the nineteen-sixties, despite a radically altered social context not only in Africa but here as well.”

The next photo is of the ceiling chipping and falling into a large net over the above sculpture. The feel of the museum combines sheer awe with the homey-ness of an estate that someone inherited from their great grandfather that was built when it was only natural to retain an entire staff but times have changed, it is now a bachelor pad, and simple maintenance is just swimming upstream. Hence, nets:

What a gorgeous day. There were billions of people enjoying the outdoors, it was a joyous sight.

The museum is surrounded by forests that were the old hunting grounds of the Dukes of Brabant.

Fodder for the romantic imagination.



Royerssluis

April 12th, 2010 § 0

The old lock house where I am staying with Jim is charming in an Edward Gorey sort of way. It stands alone at the very north end of the city, just after the sign that says you are leaving Antwerp. The trucks drive by all night carting shipments from the boats making the house shake. The windows rattle in the wind.



Chocolate

April 12th, 2010 § 0

Jim and I stopped in to Pierre Marcolini on a friend’s recommendation. It is like an Aveda salon but for chocolate. The employees all wear black smocks and it is two floors. We tried Saffron, Thyme Orange, Earl Grey, Pistachio Marzipan…and they were very flavorful but my favorite remains the old school Burie. I swung by this afternoon for this little baggie of indulgence. I can’t help it.

For those of you who know I enjoy a cup of hot chocolate- and have pretty much narrowed down where the 3 best are in LA- I recently had the best hot chocolate EVER EVER hands down at Wittsli Poesli. I went back to confirm and I look forward to confirming that statement several more times before the month is over.



Buildings

April 11th, 2010 § 1

Every time I look up there’s a contrast between buildings, and most of them are full of character.



Plantin-Moretus

April 11th, 2010 § 0

The Plantin-Moretus Museum is overwhelming. It was a residence and print shop from the 16th century til the 19th. They still have the old presses, lead letters, copperplates for title pages done by Rubens, and books in the libraries.



Light

April 11th, 2010 § 0

The Antwerp light and landscape is like a painting. The sound of my bike bell is like a wind chime, it rings as my bike rattles over the stones. This row of trees is just outside the house off the bike path.



Zwart and Kwikzilver

April 6th, 2010 § 0

This morning after coffee we poked at (with a twig) some droplets of mercury mysteriously laying behind the house, next to the canal.

The curiosity continued this afternoon at the current MOMU exhibition: “Black.” where three of my favorite pieces were this stunning Victor and Rolf dress from the A/W 01-02 Black Hole collection, this amazing Olivier Theyskens corset from A/W a decade ago (t’s hard to tell in this image but that crescent highlight is the corset arching over the head becoming a structural hood), and an incredible jacket by Iris Van Herpen.



Antwerp

April 5th, 2010 § 0

April in Antwerp! It’s beautiful. Pictures from my walk today, to town and back to the Eilandje.



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