Faces

//DAMIEN//

DAMIEN JALET //Choreographer & Dancer// Brussels 1000

 

 

/ Damien's favorite places in Brussels /

 

The Temple of Human Passions

A Brussels’ secret. I used to play in the Park du Cinquantenaire when I was a kid and keep a vivid memory of this secret pavilion built by Victor Horta nearby the Great Mosque. This temple holds a spectacular marble relief of Jef Lambeaux representing the human passions, which was censored at the time as it was judged indecent. The pavilion was closed to the public since the scandal it created during its inauguration more than a century ago, but has is now open during the summertime.

 aub/svp

Great food can change your mood. Here is an amazing restaurant with only three choices on the menu, which changes every day. Fresh, virtuose, and contemporary cooking in the center of Brussels for a reasonable price. The cook is a true artist, and the place has an interesting history too.

 Cinema Galeries

Probably my favorite cinema, because of its atmosphere and the films it programs. I’ve seen many films here that marked me. A year ago or so, there was a great installation by moviemaker Tsai Ming-liang in the basement.

 The lift Marolles-Poellaert

I love this lift between the low and high part of the city. One of the most beautiful views of Brussels gets unraveled as you stand against the window, and as the Brussels’ sky can often be too low, at least here you have a bigger picture. It really gives you an ascending feeling. Place Poellaert also has some amazing sunset parties during the summer.

 Tagawa

I’m addicted to Japan, and it’s food in particular, so this place is great when I miss it too much. Fresh sushi, ramen, tea, rice, spice, seaweed, etc… a bit pricy though.

 

 

 

www.damienjalet.com

/ production by MICHAEL MARSON & photo by MEREL HART /

//KIM//

KIM POORTERS //Architect// Brussels 1190

 

 

/ Kim's favorite places in Brussels /

 

Longchamps pool

For the obligatory morning dip before heading of to work I usually end up at the nearby Victor Boin, but with some time to spare on the weekend, this is truly the nicest place to go for a swim in and around Brussels. With the sun pouring in from all sides, you can almost be thankful for the original wooden cladding to have been (temporarily) taken down, and the intriguing hyperbolic parabaloid concrete ceiling made visible.

Greenwich

I guess a love-hate relationship with this place came naturally after working for over three years on its intensive renovation for Robbrecht en Daem architecten. You won’t find me having diner here anymore, but I highly recommend everyone to check out the marble and bronze façade of this 1916 Grand Café, as well as its remarkable interior. Look beyond the horribly anachronistic attributes that were added recently and walk straight to the pinky wintergarden in the back to marvel at its stained glass cupola and wood-and-mirror panelling. Make sure you check out the tile-clad restrooms before you leave.

 Hôtel Wolfers

I rented a flat just around the corner when I first moved to Brussels in 2006 and had been wondering ever since what the interior to this 1929 Henry Van de Velde masterpiece looks like behind its imposing brickwork facades. Last summer I finally got a chance when Maniera hosted an exhibition on the (emptied) ground floor. The current owner considers the space as an artwork in its own right, to be left untouched and subject to decay since the seventies. I haven’t figured out just yet if this is a crime or a blessing. Fascinating.

 La Clef d’Or

I was a bit sceptical about this place at first when a friend dragged me in for a quick lunch some years ago after browsing the Jeu de Balle flea market, but with the Marché Bio des Tanneurs right around the corner La Clef d’Or has made its way to the top of my preferred-lunch-spot-list on the weekend. Fight for a seat on their terrace looking out onto the market, or sit in the front section of the brasserie: the waiter serving this part of the bar is hilarious ! Try their ‘Complet’ and Pistolet pain de viande.

 Kokuban

Agreed, their ramen don’t match those of the former Yamato or Samuraï Ramen, and yes, it’s quite a noisy place. But with the first closed since earlier this year and the second situated in the no-go-centre of town, Kokuban has become my absolute favourite spot for a fast, affordable and uncomplicated dinner. Go for the Gyoza, Edamame and Karaage Ramen, and be sure not to miss out on their cherry and green tea flavoured Yukimi Daifuku, or ice-cream and rice-dough balls !

 Cinematek

Excavated underneath Victor Horta’s Centre for Fine Arts, Cinematek lies somewhat hidden between Bozar’s entrance and the stairs leading to the Warandepark. With only two projection rooms, they offer a cosy and affordable alternative for Brussels’ blockbuster movie theatres with a program that is a perfect mix between classical and cult, and a small, yet careful selection of new movies. Check out the lovely David Bowie in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, and Michael Douglas in Falling Down !

 Royal Building

Today I don’t call it ‘home’ anymore, but, having moved literally just around the corner, I still peek out through our living room window every now and then, or look up while having a drink on Bar du Matin’s terrace, overwhelmed by some sort of sweet nostalgia. With its 50+ years of age, Cuisinier’s modernist tower might be getting a bit rough around the edges, but the demanding views out over the city are without a doubt among the most impressive ones around.

 

www.kimpoorters.be

/ production & photo by MICHAEL MARSON /

//FRANCOIS//

FRANCOIS DETHOR //Acrobat Dancer// Brussels 1060

 

 

/ Francois' favorite places in Brussels /

 

Canvas White

A place of peace and beauty by my friend that I love so much Armelle. A space between Versailles and Murakami in the heart of Dansaert. A perfect selection for a woman's dressing.

Cafe Panisse

This was the first restaurant I went to when I arrived in Brussels. Since then it has become my "cantine". I've tried many other places but always come back here: simple, and as good as home.

Senteurs d'Ailleurs

The place where I can travel only with my nose. From Byredo to Frederic Malle, each Cologne is a story in which I love to lose myself and spend hours smelling everything.

Esac 

A hive of creation for the contemporary circus, a magical place where everything is possible for the young students who are lucky to be there. You can feel the story of this school in its stones.

My home

Because no place is better than home. For the colors I put in there and all the good moments I have with my friends.

 

 

/ production & photo by MICHAEL MARSON /

//CHARLOTTE//

CHARLOTTE PASTERNAK //Founder of La Meute// Brussels 1050

 

 

/ Charlotte's favorite places in Brussels /

 

Domaine Solvay / Château de La Hulpe next to Gare de Boitsfort

Best spot : La Roseraie.

Maison Corica

Best coffee in town.

Maison du Miel

Oldschool & delicious.

Tram 44

Riding through the forest to reach Tervuren.

Maison Erasme

Great museum with wonderful gardens.

 

LA MEUTE  

/ production & photo by MICHAEL MARSON /

//ASLI//

Asli Cicek //Interior Architect// Brussels 1190

 

 

/Asli's favorite places in Brussels/

 

The complex of state administrative centre (RAC)

When I first came to Brussels in 2001 this complex was one of the first sights I’ve been taken to. I liked the beautiful modernist buildings, two terraces connecting two levels of the city, the view and the melancholy of the place at that time because the complex was kind of abandoned. Recently the facades are being renovated one by one and ‘updated’, in a very banal way, but I still like passing by there.

Victor Boin Public Swimming Pool

I spend quite considerable time in this beautiful Art Deco pool, by going there three to four times a week to swim. Though always interested to see some nice buildings I am not  into architecture- tourism; I rather prefer architecture you can enjoy while using it. Victor Boin is a good place for that: an elegant interior, small but individual changing rooms over three floors aligned on both sides along the pool, spacious, simple. There is nothing else to do than swimming; no other sports activities, no music or leisure possibilities around the basin and I love that! It is a great way of starting or ending the day, I arrange a lot in my head while swimming. There is a turkish bath as well, but typical for Brussels: its renovation takes ages.

Sale Pepe Rosmarino

Over the ten years I live now in Brussels this little Italian restaurant became an evident place to go, with friends or alone, sometimes late in the evening but always welcomed warmly by the owners Aurelio and Antonio. The food is great, a nice pasta or fish, but my favourite being the gambas with rosemary as a starter...

Palace of Justice

The inside of this building fascinates me always: the dome covering the central hall is on 100m height, it is pure interior, overwhelming and somehow absurd in proportions. What is  nice is that the building serves still as a justice palace and can simply be visited throughout the working hours, with attorneys running around, people getting consultations in the main hall, everything pretty much at its normal course, ignoring the crazy interior that intrigues me so much.

Taverne Esperance

Two years ago a  good friend of mine made me discover this silent bar with its original art- deco interior, also the entrance of the hotel with the same name, in a small street off the terribly irritating Rue Neuve. Very peaceful to have this hidden oasis in the middle of the centre, but there isn’t much of an atmosphere with music or many clients occupying the boots or the tables. For people expecting entertainment as in L’ Archiduc at Beurs this bar would certainly be a boring place, but I guess that’s exactly the reason why I like it: Calm conversations or reading something on your own without disturbance, along a (or some) half en half(s)...

 

/ production & photo by MICHAEL MARSON /

//BERT//

BERT VERMEIRE //Creative Software Engineer// Brussels 1000

 

 

/ Bert's favorite places in Brussels /

 

The top of the Basilica Of The Sacred Heart in Koekelberg

I think the basilica is one of the most underestimated buildings in Brussels. Much more a futuristic art deco temple than a church, it would perfectly blend into Dune or any other sci-fi classic. The panoramic dome offers a great view on the city.

Le Vismet

You know you’re a regular at a restaurant when the staff kisses you hello when you walk in. Ravioli of stockfish, grilled zucchini and antiboise sauce.  Best starter on the planet.

The main hall of the Museum of Fine Arts

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is less popular than the well-known Bozar but they have a huge collection to go explore. The main hall is really impressive. My favourite piece is the triptych on the life of Saint Anthony by Bosch. 

The crypt under the Laeken cemetery

Officially closed to the public for renovations… But they ‘re quite chill about their security measures. A very calming place where all the Brussels beau-monde from the past has gathered. You’ll find Joseph Poelaert, Fernand Khnopff and many others who helped build Brussels and its unique style.

Librairie des Galeries

I’ve spent too much money here. Careful kids, art books are addictive. 

Thurn & Taxis

Named after a noble family that was the DHL or UPS of its day, this 19th century industrial site and its area are an interesting urban experiment. It’s cool to stroll around the enormous warehouses and venture further into the newly created park. 

The staircases at the entry of the Palace of Justice

Every time I’m caught in a surprise rainstorm -Belgium after all- I seem to end up here. It feels a bit like hiding in a Greek temple with the Gods performing a celestial spectacle. Great sculptures, especially the ones of Lycurgus and Demosthenes.

Au Suisse

Martino with anchovies or baguette tomate-crevette. Yes please!

The Henri Le Boeuf concert hall at Bozar

Undoubtedly the whole building is one of Horta’s masterpieces… But the concert hall is just out of this world. Also a good hangout to run into the Royal family. 

Easy Tempo

I love sitting in the kitchen at restaurants. But especially here, with the slightly hyperactive but charming owner and all the internal conversations going on in Italian. Great food and great prosecco.

The flower part of the Marché du midi

I try to get here every Sunday for fresh flowers. I admit, sometimes coming straight from clubbing. But a last stiff drink and a pair of sunglasses get you a long way.

 

/production MICHAEL MARSON & photo by MEREL HART/