Being one of the rare people on travel forums who actually likes Brussels, I was happy to learn this weekend that it is a lively contemporary art scene. Unfortunately, the author of the article called it "the new Berlin".
I agree with Kerouac about the London architectural mishmash though. The only parts of London I like now are the big parks and the river, although I confess I really liked it the first time I came from Toronto at the age of 19.
bjd, I don't dislike Brussels at all; I've always enjoyed my (rather brief) stays there. It is extremely varied, not only because of Flemish, French, Europudding and other influences, but because it is made up of so many small independent communes. The first time I stayed there, I was staying at the house of a friend in Forest/Vorst (he stayed with his girlfriend at her place). It does have a high hill (by Brussels standards) that was fun to climb. Parts of it, all of these a very short walk from each other, were very elegant, and others downright poor and dilapidated; where I was staying was somewhat in-between.
What is that magnificent building on the left in the fourth photo?
Assuming I'm counting correctly, that's the "Walkie-Talkie". Built that shape to maximise the amount of office space that can be squeezed on top of a relatively small footprint on the ground, it acquired some notoriety when the architects got a real-world demonstration of the effect of a concave wall of glass when it faces south on a sunny day: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-23930675
So they had to come up with some sort of additional screening. But they did put a garden and bar at the top for the general public to access (and without the ridiculous fee at the Shard).
Thanks for the thorough reply, Patrick. I'd forgotten all about Bixa's question, but probably couldn't have answered it anyway.