January 1, 2017 §
I have already crossed Brussels off my list, as much as I love Brussels Grill and Cafe du Dome, and Cine ABC and Cine Paris; and I have already crossed Munich off my list, as much as I love Rechthaler Hof and Atlantic City; now I disappointedly cross Vienna off my list as well—I have found nowhere that I would want to come back for. Nowhere did I enjoy a nice meal, and nowhere did I have any great erotic arousal at all. Vienna actually worked out quite cheap, as there was nowhere I wanted to stay any longer than I could finish my bottle of beer. Trying to down the beer so quickly is why I felt like I was going to die last night, and had alcohol-induced fever again. What happened to the excitement I felt when I came to Vienna in 2002, 2005? If you keep coming back to the same place I suppose you will lose the excitement. I think I was so desperate back then I was excited by any crumbs of eroticism—now I am very hard to please indeed. The Fortuna Kino was the highlight of the whole trip, and that says it all. So that just leaves Berlin as the only place I would still want to go back to. I feel at home there.
November 28, 2016 §
The Brussels underground system has improved a bit since I first used it 10 or so years ago, but it is still quite bewildering for visitors. The signage is very poor and it is very difficult to work out where you need to go to get to the platform you want. It can be difficult even to find where to buy a ticket. Once you have familiarised yourself with it, then it becomes very quick and easy to use, but it can be intimidating for beginners. And the stations themselves look so rough, like some bodge it builders have just knocked them up in a few days, all rough edges and rough surfaces and rough walls. Nothing looks finished. They all look half-built, and then they thought “that’ll do”. Rogier in particular, as that is closest to the Hotel Max-Hotel le Dôme-Ciné ABC nexus that has become my home in Brussels, is especially rough looking. Nul points for presentation, or ease of use, that’s for sure.
November 28, 2016 §
In such a small area of Brussels are all the places I love: Hotel le Dôme, Brussels Grill, Hotel Max, Ciné ABC, Ciné Paris, McDonald’s, Gascogne, (California now gone), Empire strip club. And a very short walk north is Gare du Nord and the window girls, the beautiful Esmeraldas of the Rue d’Aerschot. (A very short walk south will bring you to the Hotel Metropole (last of the great 19th century hotels still existing in Brussels), La Monnaie, the Bourse, O’Reilly’s Irish pub, American Guest Bar). Brussels does not have enough to recommend it on its own, but it is great to spend a first night there before getting the train across Europe to somewhere else, or, even better, to spend a last night here on the way home from somewhere else. It is great to be watching pornography in the city of Horta.
November 27, 2016 §
Memories of this holiday? The two gorgeous steaks in Brussels Grill. The ham & egg roll from the Gare du Midi café. The good film in the ABC and the good film in the Paris. That is all. The pleasurable hours spent drinking in the Café du Dome. It has been a pleasant dipping my toes back in the cold icy water. When the Ciné ABC stripper (black African) came on stage for two songs, me and the other man in the front row carried on w—king as we watched her dance (paying her the ultimate compliment). You can’t do that in London. And you don’t have adult cinemas as big as they are here in Brussels. The ABC is gorgeous, like an old bathhouse. And the Paris is veritably plush. I didn’t see ANY of the roving bands of North Africans and so no one tried to rob me for the first time in years. I think because I did what I had to do in the afternoons and early evenings.
November 26, 2016 §
Turning on to the Boulevard du Jardin Botanique at 630AM I was hit by a cold icy headwind, which reminded me of the calamitous visit to Brussels 8 years ago. Well, it started calamitously anyway, but turned into one of those incredible unbelievable trips that I used to have all the time back in those days. A pleasant second day in Brussels. After several large Stellas in the Café du Dome, I bought some boots and a cardigan for —– in the Rue de Neuwe, then went to Brussels Grill for the most beautiful steak I have ever had in my life. To follow it up by having a second one was probably a mistake, but I could not help myself. I could not finish the second steak, nor the large beer that came with it, and somehow waddled out of there, like a bomb that was about to explode. I sat dozing in the Ciné Paris for a while, then walked all the way up to Gare du Nord and back again. I checked the Guest bar but it was still dark, so finishing the night in Ciné Paris, I returned to the Max Hotel to sleep. Pitch black as we leave Brussels now this 8AM morning.
November 26, 2016 §
So not a great first night in Brussels, but very pleasant. It is so lovely just to spend 48 hours away from home, from work, just 48 hours to eat and drink and wander around as I like. To spend 48 hours like this every month would be so precious, and I would happily work every other day of the month to pay for it. This is my ideal way of life. My priority today is try to find some boots for —–. After that I can relax in ABC and Paris, perhaps pop back to the Paradise, and perhaps finish the night (briefly) in the pointless American Guest Bar and Gascogne.