A few months ago, Suhita wrote a story about my neighborhood near Ghent, and I illustrated it with this serie of sketches. As I told in my previous post, when taking the old road from Brussels to Ghent, one could be deceived by the ugly dreary ugliness of Ledeberg, which you have to cross before arriving in the splendid old town of Ghent.
Is it a coincidence that the other end of this road is situated exactly in Molenbeek (Brussels)? Didn't you ever hear about Molenbeek? Wake up!BTW: there has no war broken out in Belgium and this is one of the nicest countries to live in. So, potential tourists, don't change your plans. You're always welcome.
But soon, it will be finished with the ugliness. That's what some real estate developers have decided. Not only there will be a new road and a new tramway (I hope it will be a lane with four rows of trees, large cycling paths, and a few cars, but maybe I'm a dreamer.
The owner of the newspaper shop has already closed his doors some months ago. In the morning I like to get my newspaper delivered to the doormat, by the postman. To read it near the stove before my coffee gets cold, without having to put on my shoes, my hat and my coat. So I have never been a good customer for the the poor newspaperman. But when I needed another newspaper or magazine I always managed to find his shop. From now I have to go to the supermarket. Big deal? No, big problem for me whenever I need a foreign magazine or newspaper such as Libération, XXI, or the Wall Street Journal. Even to get a Dutch newspaper as NRC Handelsblad or a French-language papers of my own country, as Le Soir, I have to start an expedition with my bike hoping to find it somewhere else in town.
Yesterday they started to break down the newspaper shop (the building in yellow brick on the left).For many decennia I have been dazzled by the dreary ugliness and the stinking traffic jam on this road from Brussels to Ghent. But now the road is closed for all through traffic. For almost a year now we have to walk in the mud with the bike in the hand, slowly. And I see things I never saw before. The nice art deco architecture of the old newspaper shop. What was the ambition of the man who constructed this building many years ago? I guess he wanted to create a nice place to live and an attractive building to do his business in Ledeberg. What's the motive of the real estate developers who will build a skyscraper here? (I don't know them but I guess it has to do only with money.)
But I have to end this post now, put on my shoes and my coat and return to that place. What will I see today? Maybe only some rubble.