i decided to take it slow at the beginning of this week (friday is shaping up to be a blockbuster!) and visited just two places, both in the heart of the old town. which makes riding bikes a true challenge, by the way.

#1: de brakke grond. this multi-discipline institution focuses on the promotion of flamish culture and just opened a visual arts exhibition in cooperation with design hotel/shop droog. this installation, cloud crafts by maisoncaro…


…is intended to raise questions about the future of work in today’s digital world. i’m a writer, tell me about it!

#2: little saigon. located in the hotbed of tourist hell that is chinatown, it’s a surprise this little joint isn’t a rip-off. quite on the contrary, the simple vietnamese streetfood dishes – basically, you decide between pho soup, salad, and sandwhich and add different meat toppings – are super fresh and tasty and come with a manageable pricetag. the place calls itself the “little sister” of the rather posh saigon at leidseplein and came to life as the owner really wanted to focus on pho. mission accomplished.


as you can see, i went with summer rolls (which for some obscure marketing reason are called “fresh salad rolls”), the pho special (all toppings, including the somewhat challenging tripe), and a glass of lovely homemade lemongrass ice tea. there is also a delicious strawberry version of it.

one more thing: this week sees the opening of imagine at the spacecraft-like eye. running through april 18, the 30th (!) edition of this film festival again features a full slate of sci-fi / horror / mystery flicks. the opening movie (tonite 7 pm) , christophe gans’s take on the classic “la belle et la bête” lacks vision ans is, frankly, a bit dull, but it gets better from there.


“+1” (april 10, 1.20 pm) promises gore and sex galore, as numerous doppelgängers crash a student party, “escape from tomorrow” (april 11, 1.30 pm, pictured above) takes us on a halicogenic trip to disney world, and denis villeneuve’s mind-boggling “enemy” (april 12, 2.05 pm) has the audience split like few other films in recent years. its ending has been called by some the most shocking in movie history, and while that may overdo it, its image definitely stays with you for way too long, trust me!

those are just what i consider this weeks highlights of the program, which also features symposia, several selections of shorts, and the apparently very popular “night of terror” (april 12, mi-mi-midnight).

as always: check out my instagram for additional photos…