Diane Hennebert on Brussels

Last September, Diane Hennerbert (1957), director of the Boghossian Foundation, launched Out of the Box in Brussels, a creative pedagogy program for young people between the ages of 15-19 from diverse backgrounds, whose great potential is not met by the traditional school system. Here she takes time from a bottle necked agenda to share with us a few addresses she enjoys when wandering around town.

I have been living in between Brussels and London for three years, though Brussels has a special place in my heart, London is still a spectacular city, and Brussels still remains a bit disorganzied, but that’s what gives it its charm. I consider my self a sort of philosopher/ maid, I’ve always mingled all my interests: philosophy, art, literature, architecture, education, nature, animals, organic farming, gardening, DIY… I really like spending time uptown, especially since the pedestrian zone was created. It feels a bit like a barrier more than a pedestrian zone. I had the chance to travel a lot during my younger years, and was able to visit a lot of museums, so I’ve spent a lot of time abraod. Going out in Brussels is a bit difficult, especially with a schedule as busy as mine. Same goes for restaurants and bars. If I do go it’s on a rare basis and often to places that don’t take much time, like Kokuban, it’s nice and fast, and not expensive. I like having breakfast at Gaudron, on their outdoor seating area, where I can also read a book and just watch people pass by. Near where I live there is also Mess, which is good and organic, and the owner is super enthusiastic. There is also Café Belga at Place Flagey, a nice place to meet and feel the spirit of the youth in Brussels. My biggest pleasures when I am in Brussels for the weekend, which is quite rare, are: going for a swim at l’Aspria on Avenue Louise, they have a cozy atmosphere that feels as though you are in the spa of some hotel far from here. I like going to a couple of boutiques and galleries such as Ciel mes bijoux on Sablon, I love their selection of jewelry, even if it’s overpriced. Scènes de Ménage on Brugman is great for gift shopping as they have a playful and surprising collection. As for art galleries, I like Aeroplastics, because they don’t take themselves too seriously, and really support unique artists. And Nathalie Obadia, which always has a good selection of artists. I also like spending an hour or so at Tropismes, especially late in the day, or before heading off to the country side or London. It’s always a pleasure, and more than just a book shop, it’s a place where children are always happy to spend an hour or two. I also really like Isabelle Baines, which is so minimalist and not so commercial… though I wonder if it still exists? (We checked, and it does).

Out of the Box
95-97 Boulevard Louis Schmidt – 1040 Bruxelles
www.ofthebox.be
 
Aeroplastics
Rue Blanche 32 1060
aeroplastics.net
 
Ciel mes bijoux : Vintage
5 rue Ernest Allard, 1000
cielmesbijoux.com
 
Isabelle Baines
Rue de la Longue Haie 4
isabellebaines.com
 
Kokuban
Vilain XIIII 53, 1000
 
Gaudron
3 Place G.Brugmann
gaudron.be
 
Le Mess
Boulevard Louis Schmidt 1
lemess.be
 
Cafe Belga
Place Eugène Flagey 18
cafebelga.be
 
Librarie Tropismes
5 Prinsengalerij 1000
tropismes.com
 
Nathalie Obadia
Charles Decosterstraat 8 1050
galerie-obadia.com
 
Scènes de Ménage
Place Georges Brugmann 4 1050