March 16, 2008

I was in Brussels on Thursday. I didn’t have time to properly explore the city because of time constraints which sucked because recently I have heard many sing its praises. I did however experience the rudest and most bizarre service interactions in my life. I don’t really care to repeat them but let’s just say one involves and the stinkiest stink eye I’ve ever gotten and another includes a very inebriated, belligerent and sweaty waiter.

My exploration sadly was limited to walking up Dansaertstraat, which I had heard is the shopping street. Stijl was a really beautiful store but also very inaccessible for me and I had to avert my eyes when I caught site of a beautiful pair of A.F. Vandevorst boots. Moving on we almost called it quits and were about to head back into the centre when I saw a starck white storefront with ‘Waffles‘ emblazoned in cursive over the door. It was a shop for sneaker freaks, the limited edition whatnots and Wood Wood tees, and the proprietor was a really nice guy who directed us across the street to visit Alice Gallery. The front shop of Alice was an oasis of calm, fully stocked with great art and design books, really cute eco-sneakers by Vejà, and another friendly proprietor who, as I was perusing a book of Maya Hayuk’s artwork, told me she was actually downstairs in the gallery setting up a show. It is called Apocabliss opening this Thursday, 20 March featuring 12 American artists. He said she had been there for a bit already working on the show and that she was nice. I bought her book and her illustrations sent me into a dreamworld. All of the work of the artists featured in the show seem to have that effect; the colours cause one to be blissed out and totally uplifted. I really hope I get down there again to see it when it opens.

Something I didn’t get to see was Brussels’ fabled vintage shopping scene. I was really pissed off that I didn’t have the time to explore and dig as people have told me about them in squeals of delight. While I was cheered up by finding a couple sweet spots, I also sulked all the way home.

Images: Maya Hayuk and Chris Duncan


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