Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Capoue - Parkour Style

Unusual hobbies and peculiar food inclinations have a way of rewarding one in unusual ways. My Brussels wanderings brought me to a popular site, the pissing cherub near the Grand Palace. Denying my tourist instincts to snap that popular picture (I succumbed later), I focused on the green and red awning covering an Escargots stand instead. I was already full, but how many opportunities does a person have to sample 10 sea snails for €3.50? And the snail decor was so inviting.
While I was debating, the proprietor went inside a nearby restaurant. I waited and paced. I settled near the left front support next to another Belgian. "Do you do parkour", he asks. Perplexed, I reply affirmatively, "yes, in Colorado". This led to a discussion of DemonDrills (aka. Ryan Ford of Apex Movement), Colorado parkour, telltale signs of a traceur (backpack, camelbak, bashed shins - if you do this sport resign yourself to being injured 50% of the time [his quote]), serendipity, and that he's waiting for several Germans and a Japanese girl to arrive for a Saturday parkour jam.

Parkour versus snails? Duh! Parkour always wins out. And who wants to run and jump with snails in their stomach? The guy looking directly at the camera is Jo, the person who invited me.
First stop was SQUARE where we spotted two other traceurs training, Bastien and Rodolphe. It's a great area to work on wall runs, cat hangs, supports, climb ups, QM, rail balancing, striding and precisions.
Nearby are functional sculptures. This one was great for vault combinations. The trees near this long stone bench were fun for linking movements also.
Not only is this a great view of Brussels skyline, but also notice the walls, rails, steps, and skate box. Slightly past the above sculpture, this area presents different combo options and the rails are more open here than at the SQUARE. We were practicing wall run dyno combos among other movements. There's more to explore, but people were getting hungry. More specifically, Martin from ParkourOne was craving Capoue ice cream.
But he got distracted by a nearby art piece whose mesh acted as a trampoline. Not only is it great for practicing front flips (Martin above), side flips (Benji below), but if you're feeling good, try muscle ups (John of
To this sculpture's right, we had more wall run challenges, rail balances, climb ups.
One spot, so many options. Great views, fun challenges, new parkour buddies, there's even something for skaters.
Finally, we were all quite hungry and ready to move on. Capoue ice cream was calling. We were informed it was a 20 minute walk from this spot. Distance dictated 45 minutes which was okay since I saw more of Brussels than anticipated especially if I was on my own. I also learned if you want to pick up hot EU Parliament interns, go there on Thursdays.
We finally arrived to Capoue and I was desperately hoping it was worth it. It's an inviting spot, the orange enough to break through the gray monotony.
I wasn't the only hungry one. We were all craving the Glacier Artisanal goodies.
Fromage blanc and pistachio. The pistachio was pleasantly brown. Brown is typically not a pleasant color, but much less suspiciously colored than bright green pistachio ice cream. It was nicely nutty and the pistachio flavor carried through well. The fromage blanc was a delight, slightly sweet with a tang. Read more about it here. If Capoue was closer to Brussels centre, I would have readily returned for the fromage blanc.
Satisfaction after a hard day of parkour. But wait! We're not finished. We discovered a kids' playground without kids.
Meet Phil, king of the playground lache to precision.

Chaussée de Boondael 395A, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

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