The Brussels Bike Hundred

100 portraits, stories and bicycles

We’re teaming up with Bike for Brussels to put together a 100-strong selection of local heroes shaping the city each in their own way. From designers and DJs to performers and publishers, these are the creatives riding Brussels forward.

Charlotte Pasternak

Charlotte Pasternak, 1975

Founder at Le Meute

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

After I graduated from La Cambre, I worked as a photographer. Then, about five years ago, I opened a gallery-cum-shop in Ixelles: La Meute, which means wolf pack in French. It’s a kind of modern cabinet of curiosities where I show my own vision of the world, selling natural history, antiques, young designers’ creations and art. On top of that, I’m also part of the artists’ team behind Café Fontainas.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?

Brussels is a capital city and a village at the same time, which has its pros but also its cons. It did give me the freedom to grow at my own pace, without the pressure of a big city, however I also had to stay focus and work without any help or infrastructures… It’s easy to get lazy in Brussels. The city gave me the opportunity to be surrounded with all types of people and that social mixture is great to keep an open and curious mind.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • Its human scale and location right in the centre of Europe
  • Its inhabitants’ sense of humour, creativity and freedom
  • Its underground parties

Biking is one of the simplest ways of moving around the city: it’s cheap, light and ecological.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • Biking is one of the simplest ways of moving around the city: it’s cheap, light, and ecological.
  • A bike is a beautiful object – I personally own a vintage Raleigh.
  • I find public transport expensive, slow and complicated.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • Through the Bois de La Cambre / Ter Kamerenbos in the early morning to reach the other part of Ixelles.
  • Louise Avenue at nighttime: the city is mine.
  • To be fair, I simply prefer cycling at night because it feels much safer. I truly love cycling, but Brussels’ cobble stones, hills, road works and car drivers don’t always make it easy.