Today we have an interview with Yamina El Atlassi, Spotter for our Brussels cityblog
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have a regular job that I love, but in my spare time, I’d like to see myself as a ‘non tourist’ guide of my own city.
I have several passions: I love to listen to stories involving people in general, and if the story is based in Brussels, it’s even better ?. I’m also a story teller (improvisation with a Kalimba, or in writing).
I also enjoy reading many books and spending times in parks or forests, so I’m very glad that Brussels is such a green city…!
I’m also a night bird: you’ll find me mostly dancing in the funky/groove/hip hop scene of Brussels or sometimes in some Jazz’s live concert.
And…I also like to sing.. but only if I’m alone at home!
I didn’t choose to be in Brussels, as I was born here, but I did choose to stay…
I like the fact that Brussels is a little city and you get to know everyone quiet easily.
But still; Brussels, being a Capital has a lot to offer: restaurants, events, parties, exhibition (even if I never go to such events, by the way!)…. So you never get bored.
So I have the feeling that I’m “safe” in Brussels: knowing the city and the people but still having room for new discoveries…
I would recommend a visitor to leave himself get lost in the city… that’s how I discovered many places myself!
There’s no places that I would not recommend … there’s places I wouldn’t go because it’s not my cup of tea, but I cannot decide for others…
What do you know about Brussels what no tourist will know?
I would say to any tourist: “feel free to visit the Tourist free areas… it’s free!”…
Most of the tourist goes only to downtown (Grand Place, Bourse, Museum) and to Atomium. All the rest of the city is not really taken into account by them, but it’s where the real life goes on. I don’t go often to the Grand Place… but I don’t get bored in the city and I really enjoy it’s beauty…
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Brussels at this moment?
One of the most popular neighborhood is Ixelles and especially the area around Flagey: the place is again open to the public after many years of renovation, so people are ejoying this big open space surrounded by many bars, snacks and by the green area of ‘Etangs d’Ixelles’.
You can just go there and entertain yourself by looking to the people around (as suggested in the Place Flagey article:).
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
Start your day with a breakfast at the Natural Cafè.
For some shopping I’d go to rue du Bailli (and area) and buy a book at Librairie Voltaire.
Then take the tram 92 and go for your pique-nique lunch a relaxation afternoon at the Parc Fond Roy.
Around 6 o’clock I’d meet my friends at Bar du Marché, in order to organize the evening.
I’d have a light dinner at la Perle d’Orient. Then prepare I’d prepare for the night: depending on the program, I’d enjoy a concert at the Sounds or a party at Strictly Niceness. If I’m not in the mood for music I’d check out some theater at Arsene 50 or a movie at Styx .
And don’t forget that this program has to be subject to any change depending on the weather, the people you meet, the mood, the friends… just go with the flow and you’ll enjoy the city!
Check out the other interviews with our Spotters