Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Farm and The Beach

The other week I had a most extraordinary day.  I had read about a patch of land in an urban part of Brussels that had been reclaimed as a farm.  And I'd also heard about a temporary "beach" that the city'd set up on one of the quays.  Turns out, the two were only blocks away from each other, so I headed out to see them both.  This involved transferring to a metro line I hadn't taken before (exciting!).

Just as I surfaced from the escalator at the Yser metro station, I saw this:

Clearly, there's an urban farm nearby.

And here it is!  It's the  Ferme du Parc Maximillien, and it was set up in the '90s to replace a car park.  It is such a glorious respite from all of the traffic buzzing around just outside these fences.

There were fancy chickens with roosters with peacocks all in the same pen.  A little old lady came out to feed them, and the biggest bunnies I've ever seen were chasing each other under the fences and through all of the pens.

This gentleman was very proud of his pen just off the street.  He came closer and posed regally for me.  I think I got his best angle.

Fence-climbing to get up close and personal.

So... more about the farm.  They also have a small vegetable patch and some fruit trees, and I believe they give instructions on setting up your own garden and composting, etc.  They also have a hutch of Guinea Pigs (you know I love this) and smaller bunnies.  I like the way that different species are put in the same pens, and everyone just gets along.  What a great place!

Now... on to the "beach"!  It's called Bruxelles Les Bains, and it's magic!  They've brought in tons of sand, so that there's a beach on the quay.  But the best part is all of the FOOD.  There are booths set up on both sides of the whole stretch, offering Jamaican, Mexican, Argentinian, Brazilian, and... um, some Italian and French food.  But 95% of it is all Latin or South American or island cuisine.  YUMS.  I want to know where are all of these people are cooking when they're not at the beach because I want to go to their restaurants!

I stopped by on a Tuesday afternoon at around 2 pm.  All of the booths were open and there were some people out.  Not bad for a random weekday afternoon.  When B and I came back on a Saturday night, the place was jumpin'!

Random Tuesday afternoon.... but you get the point.