Would you believe me if I told you Ixelles was a colourful area ? The part of Ixelles with Art Nouveau facades is indeed colourful with some nice architecture. Otherwise, you would find in le Bas-Ixelles (downtown), as home of blue-collar workers, white-facaded terrace houses, sometimes with some interesting details but mostly, greyish buidlings. They used to be white but turned grey, lack of maintenance once the ancient buildings in the hands of the brewery business (last brewery, the Lannoy, left the area in the 50s) were left to the Portuguese, Moroccan, Turkish newcomers.
However, current authorities and locals' associations are making efforts to refurbish the area, to make it livable again.. especially since the works at Place Flagey really really affect the local life... it's a nightmare for them.
Some exception here and there, this building in Rue Malibran with its Art Nouveau facade. I love Art Nouveau (in other parts of Ixelles, in Etterbeek, in St-Gilles) but this one is not my fave though !
The day, in October 2004, I decided to snap around, I saw three persons doing the same. Since then, I haven't come across anyone with a camera while walking in this street. Now that spring is there, maybe people would flock in for some picture opportunity again ?
Anyway, I was surprised many people knew about it and planned, as I did, to snap around too. It could be planned, or by chance, it is always a charming sight.
Petite Malibran was a surprise. When I learnt that my workplace was going to be in downtown Ixelles, I had so little expectation as far as the opportunity to see charming places was concerned.
Then, the third day at work, at noon lunch, I decided to walk the streets around my workplace. In fact, those lightly steeped streets abund in the area. Beside the street that goes to Ixelles museum - then, the only one I knew-, you'll find many but the most charming, so far and imho, was Petite Malibran, perpendicular to the very Rue Malibran.
I was told it is now a preserved area, the buildings (dwellings) are being refurbished to have more convenient amenities while facades are left intact.
If you happen to see this rather desert street and get to the point where the man is standing, you can continue your walk, just descending the street at the other end, you'll see a little place fit for kid: a sand bank...