A Market's Day in Brussels

Upon my first arrival to Brussels about twenty years ago, I settled in Ixelles in the neighborhood of Place Flagey. At that time, a place popular with young European students or recently graduated (like myself) surrounded by shops and restaurants from all over the world. I used to shop for fruit and vegetables at the weekly market, but most stands offered cheap knitwear, clothes and plastic gadgets with an occasional Belgian tent offering "escargot".

I am now back in this area after almost ten years and the square of Place Flagey has changed - for the better. Following a refurbishment of the radio tower on Flagey now showing many shows, an underground parking lot, and a modern bus and tram stop nearby, the weekly market has also transformed. The Sunday market has more food stands than seen previously and each week 3-4 wine tents are up and running which means that throughout the year, you really have a holiday atmosphere, where people just hang about, meeting neighbors and friends over a glass of wine and a chat. On this square, you easily come across at least eight to ten different nationalities and languages if not more, just in one morning. Great to feel that the world can get along like this. It should be so absolutely everywhere on this planet.

Also the cafe nearby is buzzing with people. Coming into early afternoon on a sunny day, the patio in front is swarmed with people enjoying life and the sun. Deck chairs are out for us to catch the rare sun.

Great transformation of a square that would have lost out if not taken care of. One of my favorite hang-out places in Brussels on a Sunday morning.