I’ve got Paris on my mind. On Friday night I’m going to attend a concert by the fabulous Björk. That combined with my ongoing quest for the perfect macaroon, vintage hunts and the lovely people going with me, makes me go oooooo all the time. I’m sooo looking forward to it. It seems we are all needing it badly, so we’re going to have a more than wonderful time!
But of course it doesn’t always have to be a fancy and stylish city such as Paris for an entertaining citytrip. Recently I have been both to Leuven and Antwerp. Leuven is the city where my boyfriend studied whereas I went to to University of Antwerp. We both love our own university city which causes a lot of debate sometimes.
He prefers Leuven because it’s smaller, has more pubs within walking distance and because of its student like atmosphere. I appreciate Antwerp because it’s a real city where a lot of things are going on even when the students have gone. I love the fact that it’s a bit rawer and more edgy. I consider Leuven to be a big village. Kristof claims people in Leuven are friendlier. This could be true, but my friend Alexandra claims people are always saying hello in Antwerp… I suppose it’s a matter of perspective and prejudice.
But I’m wandering off – that’s what I like about my blog. Fuck journalistic restrictions. I can wander off whenever I want NAH! But as I said I have citytripped recently. Leuven does have its assets. I have been a few times to the M Museum already and I love their expositions: they have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Usually they choose less known artists to put in the spotlight. This time it was Jan Rombouts, a hitherto unknown-to-me renaissance artist. M showed that painting was still big business in Leuven after local hero Dirk Bouts had passed away. They also have a beautiful (borrowed) Rogier van der Weyden painting in their permanent collection, the Seven Sacraments. I also saw two murals (ink wash technique) designed by Sol LeWitt, which weren’t that interesting, but there was a video that showed the art-in-progress. LeWitt devised the way museums have to paint his works. This so-called instruction-based art caught my attention. Afterwards they just paint over it … I never heard of this before, but find it fascinating.
Other must-visits in Leuven are coffee bar Koffie Onan (lovely tea, wide and unusual selection, great Italian hot chocolates and coffee) and local bookshop Paard van Troje which offers a great choice of literary classics (mainly in Dutch). I also like the Parijsstraat, mainly because of the great retro clothes shop Hippo.
My exploring of Antwerp was great as well. I met up with two fellow Iceland(ic music) lovers and one of them, the fantastic Leo (of course Wim is great too!) always shows us the perfect hidden gems.
Welvaert is an experiment by TimeCircus which investigates sustainability in the city. They have some kind of a boat with a garden on. Too bad it was closed. As a fan of urban gardening I’m definitely returning there later this year to check it out.
Antwerp had its own Badeschiff (Berlin baby), called Badboot. In winter you can go ice-skating there, in summer it’s a swimming pool.
Most of the time we spent in La Campine, a bakery where you can have lovely coffee and tea as well. It used to be a café for dock workers. I adore it: a ghost of the past combined with a very laid-back atmosphere and a cat at heat. Lovely walnut pastry too.