Who Would’ve Guessed?

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Now, who would have guessed that Forest, another one of the 19 municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium, has Weirdo Windows too?! We were taking the road less travelled–the sun was shining; the breeze, it was blowing. We were hunting for docile cats in windows, and we found exactly what we were looking for:

1190The person who lives behind these windows surely loves cat figurines, even though they are a bit bizarre at times. But so cute, cute, cute. Almost as good as the real ones!

1190Low and behold, we also stumbled on a window trying to tell us something:

1190“Thank you for respecting the city…” by putting the weirdest things possible in your windows:

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What a surprise !

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Who knew that Etterbeek, one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium, would be home to so many weirdo windows?!? Surely, not I.

In fact, on another errand (…this time, headed to Troc.com on a wild goose chase in search of a 1950s Pinocchio marionette…), I found the most amazing collection of little porcelain figurines–in a few adjacent windows!

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But, as I continued walking, something awfully frightening popped out at me:

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And then, thankfully, I was quickly comforted by something that was oh-so-cutie-pie:

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What a roller-coaster of emotions Etterbeek has in store! Go there; you WON’T be disappointed!

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Les voisins, Video Express, 1060

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Here we go again… We only wanted to watch a simple movie–to sit on the couch at home and zone out for an hour or so. But, on our walk to Video Express on Chaussée de Waterloo in the neighborhood of St. Gilles (1060), we found some peculiar windows that peaked our interest–ever so much.

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Sometimes, I think it might be a better use of my time (and an ever-so-intriguing experience, to boot) to set out on a weirdo-window-watching excursion, than it is to rent a “blockbuster.” You see, renting a movie (when you know which one you want) is easy. If you’re lucky, however, weirdo-window-watching can be perplexing…and insightful.

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I’m assuming (of course, the following is a broad generalization:) that the person who lives behind these windows is a woman, perhaps at an older stage of life, fascinated by miniature, unfettered, hand-painted dogs who do not bark, and by the protracted durability of fake flowers.

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She is, almost undoubtedly, also taken by marble-like sculptures, busts, “orchid art” and rocks.

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These weirdo windows took time to prepare; the presumable female inhabitant spent at least a minute creating awe-inspiring showcases as a work of art, something for all to see–a window into her eclectic and romantic soul.

En route to Delhaize

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On today’s early evening walk through the neighborhood of Parvis de St Gilles (the bustling heart of the St Gilles commune, 1060, in the Brussels metro area), en route to the Delhaize (a super market chain headquartered in Brussels) at the bottom of the hill, we spotted several of your “not so average windows”.

We ventured along the Parvis back streets with a mexican dinner in mind, headed to Delhaize in search of some ingredients: avocados, a lime and a bit of ground beef.

This is what we found:

delhaize

delhaize

delhaize

delhaize

delhaize

Windows, a brief history

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… pulled from Wikipedia

The earliest windows were just holes in a wall. Later, windows were covered with animal hide, cloth, or wood. Shutters that could be opened and closed came next. Over time, windows were built that both protected the inhabitants from the elements and transmitted light: mullioned glass windows, which joined multiple small pieces of glass with leading, paper windows, flattened pieces of translucent animal horn, and plates of thinly sliced marble. In the Far East, paper was used to fill windows.

The Romans were the first known to use glass for windows, a technology likely first produced in Roman Egypt—In Alexandria ca. 100 AD, cast glass windows, albeit with poor optical properties, began to appear—but these were small thick productions, little more than blown glass jars (cylindrical shapes) flattened out into sheets with circular striation patterns throughout. It would be over a millennium before a window glass became transparent enough to see through clearly, as we think of it now.

Modern-style floor-to-ceiling windows became possible only after the industrial plate glass making processes were perfected. Modern windows are usually filled with glass, although a few are transparent plastic.

Which leads the Weirdo Windows team to wonder…

when did people start adding bizarre accouterments to their windows? And WHY, oh why, do they do so?

Mons, Belgium

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Yesterday, we took the train to Mons, a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, of which it is the capital. Our purpose was to attend the 11th edition of City Sonic, a sound art festival held each year in the small city of Mons. However, as is typical in Belgium, we stumbled upon more Weirdo Windows! What a joy!

Look at what we found:

monsmonsmonsmonsmonsmons*and check out the doorbell, above: it’s a pink bike bell 🙂

 

Tournai, Belgium

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Yesterday, we went weirdo-window-watching in… Tournai, a Walloon city and municipality of Belgium located 85 kilometers southwest of Brussels, on the river Scheldt, in the province of Hainaut.

Although we ventured to Tournai to attend “Les [recontres] Inattendues”, an annual classical music and philosophy symposium, we were delighted to stumble upon weirdo windows galore!

Our first specimen –> Windows which try to tell us something of somewhat practical use:

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Our second specimen –> Windows which try to sell us something (sometimes, of somewhat useless use):

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The third specimen –> Windows which are just simply weird:

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Tournai

Tournai

And last, but definitely not least, a fourth specimen –> Windows which try to perplex us–they are simple, no funny business, straight to the point:

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