BRUSSELSE SJOEKES

Sjoeke is a Brussels'Flemish word for darling, so you can read this as "darlings from Brussels"; connected with the French word "choux" you can also read this as Brussels'sprouts; mon chou is also used in French to say "my darling"; this blog on life in Brussels started originally in support of the BOZAR project POZE to document life in St Josse and other Brussels' towns. A Sjoeke is also a delicious pastry (chocolate or mocca with a cream filling, éclair in French)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

VIRGINIA RETURNS TO BRUSSELS

For the second time this year Virginia Cubillan, poet from Venezuela living in the USA, visited me in Brussels, between July 17 and 27.

She continued traveling to Vienna and Prague and then returned to Brussels.

Location of this photo: the Brussels' beach, a bit of a joke, because it is a spot near the canal (forbidden to swim in the water because of the pollution) turned into a kind of beach area in the summer time.

We are toasting and drinking wine of Alsace, France here. In the background a Brazilian flag and a Brussels' garbage container. We had an accidental encounter there with Gigi, a waiter who used to work in the famous Brussels' Lop Lop café (based on the Lop Lop art work of Max Ernst). An English idiot bought the café and commercialized it. So Gigi went away to work as security agent at the Brussels' beach. Strange things happen all the time. Gigi knew also quite well my friend Harry, who is in a revalidation center since a car crash that happened at Christmas in 2004.


Me and Virginia at the Greek Poseidon restaurant in the neighborhood where i live in Brussels.

Pretty picture. I think the waiter enjoyed the pose too!

At the Place St Gery, one of my favorite spots in Brussels.

I only regret that this area with many pubs and restaurants is not a car free zone.

During the world cup football the Brazilians living in Brussels came here together to play percussion instruments to support their team.

The police blocked the access to the square during the game, so for once cars would not spoil our beers...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

SERIOUS OR NOT SERIOUS? LIFE IS FUN IS ART IS LIFE

Mid September I started working at Bozar (see www.bozar.be) in the support team for concerts, theatre plays, exhibitions, movies etcetera.
This is me and Hugues at the ticket control entrance of a concert by Cesaria Evora. This photo was made by a professional photographer who came to take pictures of the concert and we said to him: "hey, what about us" and the man obliged us in all his kindness! Thank you so much Mr JOS KNAEPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bozar is situated in the town center, just beyond Central Station.



Less serious?

Photo of me by Lavona Sherarts, a visitor and mail artist from the USA.

We did this POZE for a mail art project on the PIED PIPERS and also turned the picture into an envelope for future mailings!

My flute is a knife in the restaurant L'ECHALOTTE behind the Brouckere square, Brussels' town center

The sculpture of the dog looks like a giant rat. Lavona was crazy of this sculpture. I like the sense of self moquery in this poze.

What we call in French "l'auto-dérision" is one of the major qualities in life. Someone should teach this to managers and political leaders for instance...

Envelope based on the photo above

mailed by Lavona to Guido

Tamara Wyndham, another mail artist from the USA put a quote on a Yahoo group recently about "the magic of mail" as expressed by a postman in Baghdad.

"It's something wonderful to get a letter. The paper, the stamp, the envelope. It is not just a piece of paper. It is something sacred. "
IBRAHIM ISMAIL ZAIDEN, a postman in Baghdad, Iraq.

(quoted in the New York Times)

Corresponding with the universe or following the pied pipers who diffuse hate, war or terror?

What was it that John & Yoko put on giant bilboards? WAR IS OVER IF YOU WANT IT! (now more than ever, so it seems..)

Splendid photo of Lavona Sherarts

Vincen loved this picture and because so many photos on this blog on Brussels will come from her hand,

I"ll highllight her here:

Little Owl, wise woman, artist book maker, rubber stamp carver, aquarelist, photographer, musician and music lover, poet, self esteem therapist, mother, wife to TED who teaches photography, visionary who tunes in past, present and future lives, mail artist, correspondent, a good friend, neighborhood watcher, concerned citizen, blue collar to the bone

Let's POLKA dear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (GV)

Check one of Lavona's recent mail art projects on the MUD FLAP GIRL by visiting:


http://www.picturetrail.com/lavonasherarts

Saturday, June 24, 2006

ST JOSSE, 1210 BRUSSELS

Map of St Josse on chée de Louvain

Photo I took January 21, 2006 when walking from my home to the Mozart day organized by Klara, the Flemish classical radio station, in Bozar

St Josse is the poorest town of Brussels (based on the average income of its citizens)

But what's "the map of being poor"?


Inside Bus 29 who stops at the square of St Josse

Sint Joost is the Flemish sign for the stop

Saint Josse is the French sign for the stop

These signs make it easy for us travelers: we know exactly where we are and don't have to ask the driver for information

About Brussels busses: Bus 65 ends at the headquarters of NATO. It was shocking for some peace activists to see a bus with Nato as final destination, which inspired me to the joke, don't worry about Nato, that's only a yellow bus!

Yellow busses in Brussels are run by the subway company (called MIVB or STIB). White busses are run by a Flemish bus company (called DE LIJN). So you need different tickets for both systems unless it is a transit ride (hopping from one system to the other is allowed with the same ticket but only if you hop...)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

MARILYN, LIZA, MEG & ME or communication BEYOND


March 29, 2006

Meg Taney Founds, a wonderful poet from the US mailed me this watercolor postcard by Marilyn Dammann from 2002.

I start crying like a baby from the emotional shock.

Marilyn was one of my closest correspondents. She died last year and I developed my first blog as a tribute to her memory.
Please visit http://shadowtributes.blogspot.com



From this blog is also this picture
of Marilyn in Brussels.
She visited me in 1998.
So this is a FLASH BACK again.
She's accompanied here by one of my other close friends, the poet Liza Leyla, who also lives in Brussels.
This picture was taken not far from the pub "the ultimate hallucination" (the green house you see in the back), a hot spot for Brussels' Flemish community.
The pub is constructed with some relics of disapeared "art nouveau" buildings!

Liza wrote the next poem after Marilyn traveled beyond ...




DENTELLE DE MIRAGES

To Marilyn Dammann, in memoriam

Une vague de paix
roule sur l'océan
J'entends son chant
d'amour et abandon
La pluie annonce
le soleil mordant
qui brûle la cité
aux rayons d'églantier
La tour de Méli
promontoire d'été
aux ailes bleutés
messages de célérité
Le gris du ciel
se mua en tapis
aux reflets saumâtres
âmes des nuages
La pluie s'allie
à la sécheresse
marée enceinte
de l'attente inespérée
Elle se baigna
dans l'orée
de ses rubis
rires d'Anubis
Elle se coucha
dans son nid
de feuilles ocres
miroir d'étincelles
Chute des pierres
envolées de siècles
Dentelle de mirages
ancre d'infinitude

Liza Leyla, Brussels BELGIUM

Thursday, March 23, 2006

ST JOSSE's MADOU SQUARE

Madou square with Madou tower is like the entrance to St Josse and makes also the division between St Josse and the Brussels' city center because it is situated next to the inner ring of the town. That ring follows more or less the historical walls and gates around the center. The outer highway ring circles around what Brussels became later in its development.

Madou tower like Rogier tower (at the Rogier square, near the northern railway station, also in St Josse) were amongst the first "sky scrapers" of the country and got renewed in recent years. It created a kind of nostalgia because I remember quite well how these towers looked in the sixties when I was a kid.

I took this picture March 1, 2006 when it was snowing. I like the light in this picture and the contrast between trees and building...


Madou square, entrance to the subway station on the right; strange contrast between the snow, footprints, the trash and the bikes at the bike stand.

Madou square is a nerve point with severel bus stops, the subway, the inner ring with a lot of car traffic and pedestrians crossing the inner ring...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

IF YOU THINK THE LIFE OF A MAIL ARTIST IS EASY!





March 2006

A pile of mail art waiting to be answered ...


Cover of parcel in which an artist book was mailed to me by Christine Tarantino (USA). The artist book productions are the topic of another blog I developed and which is a shared blog with many other artists. Please visit:

http://boklist.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A WEEKEND WITH VIRGINIA


SEA
See Poem
She
March 12, Virginia in Ostend, on her way to the Cursaal to attend the Preisner concert.
Virginia Cubillan drinking coffee in my Brussels's flat.
She came from the USA just "for a weekend"(March 11-13, 2006).
Virginia is a poet and teacher. This is one of her poems and I have chosen this one because it sounded like a perfect echo and comment on the suicide death of Baudhuin Simon, known in mail art as PIG DADA.
SIMILE
Cats are known for
Having nine lives to kill,
By the wag of their tales
You can tell
Which one they're on.
Men are known for
Having one death to live,
By the depth of the holes
They dig you can tell how
Close they are to
Animals.
(c) Virginia Cubillan
Virginia
She has the hands of a butterfly
waving pain to walk out
till time slides
strawberries from her lips
when moon rises but sun remains
(c) Guido Vermeulen