Brussels, by Anita

Finding 5 things I love in Brussels was not a piece of cake.

Not that I had trouble coming up with any number of them… actually there were just so many I had to struggle to pick just a handful.

Also, in a quest for fairplay, we can’t rule out another post on 5 things we don’t like about our cities…

But for now, let’s start with the +

A small multi-everything city

Having lived in Montevideo and Strasbourg, I like cities that feel human-sized. I hate huge cities where everyone seems a tiny ant running around scathered in a time-dictated frenzy.

Brussels is the perfect size for me. Small enough that you can walk pretty much everywhere if you’re not too rushed. Big enough to hold enough people and places to keep you interested.

The Bad-boy Rad corners

I find certain corners of Brussels to be absolutely exhilarating in their destroyed-attitude. Rad walls and rebel spots that remind me of Berlin and the street-art spirit.

The plethora of food trucks and street markets

Now that they’ve spread like a healthy virus, food trucks have invaded the city and mark a fun pause to the traditional food scene. And not greasy burger stalls, either. Real gourmet, healthy & organic ones! From El Camion’s Belgian cuisine to Le Petit Nuage‘s waffles on a stick or Mellow’s frozen yogurts… the offer is varied and creative. Find an interesting food truck map here.

And for the Food Truck fans like me, don’t miss Camping Gourmet, on the weekends of October 2014 in Antwerp. A dedicated post coming up soon!

Sainte-Catherine and the old Chicago

The area is full of teasers. For an openly foodie and a self-assumed fashion-addict, Ste Catherine is just like a mean drug-dealer, always lurking and tempting me to the nicest treats.

The Dansaert and Rue du Marché au Charbon shops: from the fast-fashion brands like Maje and Sandro to the concept designer stores like … rue Blanche et …

The endless list of food addresses: Les Filles, Chicago, Walvis, Bonsoir Clara, Pubblicco…

Gives me such a high…

The absolute multicultural experience

I love wandering the streets trying to guess what language the next bypasser is going to speak. How you can meet people from all over the globe, from Swedish Green idealists to American uptight diplomats, from Flemish Finance Boys to Taiwanese lobbyists. There’s a place for everyone and everywhere seems like around the corner.

Paris, by Sara

Oh la la. So much beauty in Paris, how to pick 5 things? Well… I tried to focus on “things” I love from my usual, everyday life. Turns out, it’s not always easy to illustrate ^^

The 11th arrondissement

I feel so lucky to be were I am right now. I live in the 11e arrondissement, and I’m loving it more and more everyday. The 11th might not be the most beautiful one in Paris, however, it’s authentic. It definitely is less touristic than others, it is calm yet lively, it is different, it feels like the “true” Paris. It has everything: cool & trendy bars/restaurants, neighbourhood shops, green spaces.

Walking

My way of living has changed a lot since I moved. One of the most obvious ones: no more daily driving! By walking to get basically everywhere, I remembered how much one can discover. How much it’s a healthy thing to do. It empties your mind and fills your eyes. Stilettos not welcome.

Squares everywhere

Paris is filled with parks & squares (= how small parks are called here). We all know the biggest and most famous ones, but smaller green squares are the cutest. They’re the green islands of the city.

Countless Concept Stores


No week goes by without me coming across a new place to try. New names appear all the time. Unexpected concepts, amazing decoration. Not always vital, I’ll grant you that, but oh so exciting to discover. A few names on my to visit list:

SoWeAre

Papier Tigre

Krea_99

Observing

The view is lovely from basically everywhere. My apartment, the physician’s waiting room, the coffee just around the corner of the street… No matter where your eyes stop, you’ll find something wonderful. If you pay attention, you’ll see the buildings have many different styles according to the period during which they were built. My favorites? The so called Louis XIV, Louis – Philippe and of course, Haussmanian styles. I feel like I’m living a permanent citytrip.