Place Flagey, which is right down the street from my sisters house, has been undergoing renovation for the last 7 years. Apparently, it has seemed as though there was only one or two people working on it at a time
. The original cost was supposed to be around $25 million. Of course, as it is with ALL civil projects, I believe it ended up costing closer to $75 million. This weekend is the beginning of a week long celebration of the grand opening of the (partially unfinished) plaza with lots of street musicians, concerts, walk-in movies (kinda like a drive in, they set up an open air screen and chairs on one side of the Place) . They had a fireworks show to end the festivities (I have bought bigger fireworks on the beach in Mexico). The person lighting off the display would send up about 10 or 15 ariel fireworks and then take a 5 minute break before sending up another sortie. I surmise that perhaps he was stopping long enough to drink a beer between sets. The delay also grew longer between each set. Maybe he likes to smoke after he has a couple drinks... For some reason, the planners of the celebration didn't include food vendors. We were highly disappointed. We were hoping there would be lots of different ethnic foods all around the Place. As it was, we waited 45 minutes to sit down at a REALLY good pizza joint. (gourmet pizza sold by the kilo...) At the end of the evening, my sister was craving fries (It is important not to confuse French fry with French fly, better known as Spanish fly. This is the kind of thing you want to get cleared up right away) (I often crave nachos when I drink). We waited in line for almost an hour for fries at the Frit Flagey. Frit Flagey is a small roach coach that is at the center of a local controversy over who has the best fries in Belgium (apparently, the secret to Belgums great fries is to fry them twice). The Belgians love their fries (not flies) and sauce. Sauce is basically some mixture of spices added to either mayonnaise or ketchup that is smothering the top of the fries. There are no less than 25 sauce choices available at Frit Flagey. My sis had "a l'ail" which is basically mayo and garlic. It wasn't too bad. I tried andalouse, it was ok... My next one to try is going to be either the curry ketchup or provincial... My favorite, so far, is the bernaise.
I have been walking all over Brussels taking random pictures, a lot of them are of people. Its been interesting, apparently all of Europe has a huge sale twice a year, Once in January and then again the first week of July. SOOOO many people out and about, the people watching is amazing! The night life here is amazing too. It is now 2:30am and there are still hundreds of people hanging out on the Place Flagey (plaza) drinking beer and socializing. All the bars are packed and there are over a hundred people hanging out in the street in front of EACH one of them drinking store bought beer and smoking fags. They are literally sitting in the middle of the road chilling. They will sauntering slowly off to the side whenever a car tries to get through.