Aug 242009
 

On my way back to the apartment tonight I was thinking about the good and bad of Brussels. Nothing major, just some of the little things that have caught my attention. Anyway, the good in no particular order:

  • Classical music in the underground stations at night
  • Getting around easily
  • Lots of green space
  • No such thing as architecture ‘in keeping’ with its neighbours
  • Leffe Blond (that’s a beer, in case you’re wondering)

And the bad:

  • Graffitti
  • Dog fouling
  • City prices

  3 Responses to “Good and bad”

  1. Totally agree with your ‘bad’ list. But is architecture out of keeping with neighbours really a good thing ? I can bang on about the constraints of the arty people in 121 and the fossils in Historic Scotland (I jest a little) but there is something to be said for a bit of architectural harmony.
    The numptys in St. Andrews approved a building for a new clubhouse that would have been approved by your theory, but, sadly, it’s a carbuncle (and I’m being nice about it) It hasn’t really mellowed with age.
    The other things on your ‘good’ list are indeed worthy of that label. But stick out architecture ? Not so sure.

  2. There are some seriously ugly buildings in Brussels it has to be said. I have heard others say that many have even replaced, not necessarily beautiful, but certainly far more appealing architecture. ‘In keeping’ is perhaps the wrong phrase – that suggests sameness I think. And you can get lots of ugly ‘sameness’ or lots of attractive ‘sameness’. You can also get a lot of clashing diversity. What I mean about Brussels is what, in Scotland, might be termed tenement streets. In Glasgow or Edinburgh or wherever you’d have miles of identical sandstone frontage. In Brussels, every ‘close’ has a different frontage, or even if they are similar, it’s not a vast expanse of featureless stonework. There are lots of fascinating architectural details, even if it is only a bit of interestingly arranged brickwork. Have a rummage through some of my photos to get an idea. This album has some good examples of what I mean. It also has some examples or pretty horrendous architecture.

  3. I think that ‘in keeping’ was ok as a phrase. What was in my mind was vastly different buildings that had no real connection with each other, which is clearly not what you meant.
    I visualise ‘in keeping’ buildings as having a similar structure but can have differences that enhance identity. having suffered the carbuncle in St. Andrews that has NO similarity with any building around it, save the Old Course Hotel (another carbuncle) my imagination was going into hyperdrive. Sorry to misunderstand you, but I think you can see where I was coming from….

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