18 March 2007

Is this it?

Is he really that small…? Yes! That’s it. The most famous symbol of Brussels - the ‘Manikin piss’ - is hardly a foot tall.

I have to say that though I really enjoyed a lot of small experiences in the city like
- the ambiance of the main shopping gallery- some mouth watering chocolates (probably the best I’ve ever had)

- delicious seafood (especially since I was going from the land of BORING food – the Netherlands)- and some good art work (based on comics) drawn out building facades,

I was a bit disappointed at the city at large. It lacked a punch I expected from ‘the Capital of Europe’.

05 March 2007

Antwerp or anywhere…

The city centre has become a huge pedestrian shopping mall made up of the same shops every 200 meters repeating them selves in almost the same order (Hema, C&A, Espirit, H&M, Zara, McDonalds and so on) sadly this is the present and seems to be the only future of every city in Europe.

Meanwhile, less than a kilometer from this orgy of consumerism one can find the rest of the city (where the old industries and sheds are) today lying either abandoned or being occupied by immigrants who help keep these cities alive.

However, I find these areas a lot more of my interest. And thanks to ‘Globalization’, more and more cities around the world look like somewhere else (and in that sense similar to each other) – so this is the geographies of a globalized world?

So as America gets Latinised, the Middle East gets Indianised; Europe gets Turkeized.

The next four photos of everyday life of immigrants from Turkey were clicked in Antwerp (in Belgium) , but it might as well be from almost any big city in Europe (Berlin, London, Paris, Rotterdam…..)

(strangely the only thing that changes depending on which city you are in the language on the billboard of the shops)

A Google map tracing my travels across the globe

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  • In Red cities where I have lived (more than one month);
  • In Blue cities with entries on this blog;and
  • In Yellow cities with no entries yet.