Off to Lille

June 2, 2014 § 2 Comments


There are so many places to visit a mere stone’s throw from Brussels, sometimes it’s hard to decide where to go next. So it took a deadline of sorts to get us to Lille, just over the border in France and a little over an hour by car. I’d been eying an interesting-looking museum, LaM (Lille Métropole, Musée de l’art moderne), which was having a soon-to-close exhibition on Meret Oppenheim, the Surrealist artist and muse to the likes of Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. (Unfortunately, her famous teacup wasn’t on view.)

There are only a few galleries of permanent collection on view, so it’s really about seeing whatever temporary show is on. The museum buildings themselves make for an interesting approach—one part of the structure is made up of squat brick buildings, and the other white cubes with delicate cutouts—and you are also greeted by some great outdoor sculpture. We were caught in an absolute downpour on the walk from the car, which quickly gave way to sunshine alternating with cloud-filled skies (hence the fact that these photos look like they were taken on at least three different days).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I would love to see these buildings at night, when they glow like lanterns.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


and an impressive Calder stabile/mobile. (Note sudden lack of menacing clouds!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Daniel Buren cabane éclatée was a source of fun…photo 2-7

…and some unusual 3-3

Stuffed toys in the shape of France seem pretty 4-3OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

LaM is a few miles from the city, but we did make it to the center of town for lunch and a quick walk. I was interested to learn that Lille is in a region known as French Flanders and there is even a dialect spoken in the area called French Flemish. (I wonder what that sounds like?!) You can see the Flemish influence in some of the architecture, notably the use of red brick, which is unusual in other parts of France but of course seen all over Belgium and the Netherlands.


We happened upon a book market in a pretty courtyard just off Grand Place.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAimage

Dressed in her Saturday best (come to think of it, she probably always looks like this).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And a little street “demonstration” of men ironing in honor of Mother’s Day. (Their signs read: “For Mother’s Day, Sir, learn to iron!” and “Here, a man is learning to iron.”) I love Lille!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Though it seemed a little silly at first, it’s actually a serious organization called Zéro Macho.image

We followed this rainbow 5-2

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