Something’s in the air. No one knows quite when it began or how, but people are stopping in the street, heads are turning. What’s going on here? What’s happening to Brussels?
Once isolated, the symptoms have become a rash. Mysteriously and without warning, we find good coffee in our streets. New restaurants are no longer an annual event, they’re opening by the week; some are Tibetan. The city is kicking its dirty car habit and flushing the arteries that once clogged its heart. And a posse of young artists has moved into town, a parade of new galleries marching behind them. Even Louise has let down her bourgeois guard. Whisper it softly, but a city best known for its stodgy comforts might now be discovering its cutting edge. If the Economist ever designs a global hipster index – measuring cities’ growth in beards, check shirts and gin bars – Brussels is quietly working its way up the ranks. Craft ales? We invented them.