Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where I live

This is Brussels as seen from Google Maps.  I'm gonna be using it pretty often soon to let you guys know where it is and to demonstrate things like the subway trips and such.  Just for a little more perspective I'll give a comparison.  Brussels is located at Longitude 50 where New York is at Longitude 40 (about).  The equivalent city as far north as Brussels in North America is Vancouver just north of Seattle.  Also, as a measure of scale the width of the big Ring in the center is about half the length of Central Park.  This is a tiny city.  
It is relatively easy to see the big "ring" in the center with yellow lines going out.  The ring is the old town and the city proper.  This is where much of the historical and financial areas are located.  Near the south is Gare Du Midi (Noon Station... doesn't make much sense does it).  Gare Du Midi is where the Eurostar leaves, I will eventually be taking Eurostar to Paris.  The Northern portion has Centre Deux, a big shopping mall where I purchased a duvet cover and network cable my first day in town.  These are the only two landmarks I know well enough to share.  I'll say again, this is a tiny city but there is a catch.  When you begin to look more carefully at the map you'll realize there are almost no thoroughfares or boulevards.  When you look at the distance as the bird flies you have to add almost 40% to that distance to account for zig zagging your way through the city.  This makes for fun moments where you discover things you weren't planning on.  Frustrating moments occur when you realize you got onto a side street that starts south and ends north when you wanted to go only south.  I've learned at this point I'm much better off just taking the Metro and Trams every where I go because trying to traverse through certain parts of the city is just CONFUSING.
The main purpose of this first map is to show my route to work.  The Green dot is pointing to where I start my trip:  Avenue Brabanconne.  I walk south to the Cyan dot, and if you look closely you'll see a pretty cool park at the center of the trip.  I hope I'm around when the trees start to bloom because this park will be absolutely beautiful.  This park is elevated in comparison to the main city and provides an OK view.  If I were a jogger, this would probably be the start point of my trip.    The Cyan dot is my Metro stop, Schuman, and favorite waffle man; the walk from apartment to metro is around eight minutes.  From Schuman I take the metro goes to St. Catherine, the Blue dot.  The Metro ride is usually around sixteen minutes and from there I have about a six minute walk to the Red dot on Rue Des Fabriques.  The whole trip is almost exactly one half hour.  Unfortunately there aren't really any variations in the trip as every other road I take would be very very out of the way.  Walking can take up to an hour even though its barely two miles away.  We'll see what happens when the weather gets a little warmer.
I've gotten a bunch of emails so far and I'll probably do the Mail bag tomorrow but I could always use more questions for future weeks.  scott DOT corey AT gmail DOT com.

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