09 September 2014

found the art nouveau building on my first day in Ghent

Some years ago when I was in Ghent, I saw this building and fell in love. I told my NYU friend and colleague Andrew Lee about seeing this building and he knew about the building because it was built as the festivities hall of a workers' cooperative. The Vooruit building has been a cultural arts center since 1982 and Open Monuments Day is on the 14th. I am back in Ghent and will actually be here on the 14th.

I am still in the haze of an overnight flight, jetlag, arriving too early to get into the room, too little sleep, inappropriate eating but .... I am in Ghent again and noticed the Vooruit building as I walked from the train station to the hotel. I left my bag at the Hotel Erasmus and went to find Den Hoek Af (at the corner) which the hotelier recommended. Basically a coffee house but the organic yogurt and muesli with orange juice and coffee fit the bill.

I looked at the guide book as I ate and noted that the Ghent University Library is by Henry van de Velde and is under renovation and was just a few blocks from the coffee shop. On the way there, I found the Dagblat Vooruit editorial office building:
It was designed by Fernand Brunfaut (1886-1972) in 1930. On to the university library where most of the building is closed because of the renovation. There are pictures and a model on the first floor, in exhibit cases. The pictures of the room at the top of the tower looks really marvelous but it is not currently open. They've painted "Outside of a dog man's best friend is a book, inside of a dog it's too dark to read" on the street in front of the library.

Meandering is a pretty good thing to do when you are in the jetlag haze but I've discovered my memory of the hazy sights is, well, hazy, so I'll go back around on this circuit.

As you know if you've been to this blog before, I don't post too often. Johanna even told me she enjoyed my posts but was rather glad that I didn't post too often. The next couple weeks may drive you crazy then as I think I'll use this blog to post on my Belgium trip rather than doing a separate one as we did for Sicily in March 2013.

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