The week-long gap between posts was due to a trip to Brussels, home of the Atomium and Arno Hintjens, capital of a kingdom that had a king who agreed NOT to be king for a day, in short a special place where part of its population is celebrating independence from the Netherlands today. I attended the kick-off of Time Inventors’ Kabinet, a project spanning the next two years whose goals include creating new units of time using wind clocks and observing the passage of time in urban gardens. The culinary was tangential to the focus of my visit, yet my attention is inevitably drawn to food and its production, and Brussels did not disappoint.
On the first evening of my visit, I tried kriek, a cherry-flavored beer made of lambic and sour cherries (including their pits), at À la Mort Subite, a cafe whose name means sudden death. However, I survived the experience, and on the last evening, I ate penne with hazelnuts and gorgonzola at an amazing bistro named after one of my favorite birds. What more can you ask for than delicious food, good company, inspiring conversation, and fabulous music? The bistro had a jukebox with an incredible selection of ’45s – remember those?
In between, I visited rooftop gardens and an art foundation. Here is a motley selection of pictures of gardens and plants.
I stayed at OKNO and had the pleasure of spending time in its peaceful garden. The berries below I have yet to identify. What are they?
Bees make their home in the hives pictured below. I was lucky enough to get a jar from the latest honey harvest.
The hive above is a top bar hive without frames, which allows the bees to make comb as they like. The hive below is a more traditional model.
The following garden atop an old abandoned brick brewery is in its second year of existence. Unfortunately, the building is condemned and the future of the garden is uncertain.
I think I’ll try zucchini or squash in a sack next year.
I stumbled across this lovingly planted flower bed in the middle of the city.
These thistles are from the prairie of the disturbing Verbeke Foundation, whose peaceful grounds are full of tranquil, natural landscapes and honeybees while inside the building it showcases ethically questionable art making use of animal carcasses and other “ecological” material.
Finally, if Simon and Garfunkel are correct and the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, perhaps we should heed the following advice spotted in Métro Parvis de Saint-Gilles:
If you want honey, support bees!