Brussels Highlights w/ Mankiyan

Having fled her childhood Knokke to enjoy the capital’s diversity and vast cultural landscape, Mankiyan is conquering the scene with the speed of light. She started DJing three years ago and this summer found herself on line-ups including Dour Festival, KulturA in Liège, C12 and Buda in Brussels or Trix and Onderstroom in Antwerp. Earlier this year producer and DJ Le Motel invited her to open his stage at Listen Festival alongside DJ buddy Vers, a task the duo executed with verve. Hard to grasp in musical genres, this forerunner of a new generation blends bass music and UK influences with shots of dubstep, drum & bass and electro. Curious as we are, we questioned Mankiyan about her Brussels Highlights and asked her to curate our latest Spotify Hundred playlist.

Music: Les Ateliers Claus

The concert hall in St-Gilles is for those who know. Offering both brand new to discover bands and legendary musicians from all around the world, this is where experiment goes before commercial values.  Mankiyan: “Les Ateliers Claus is such a valuable place in Brussels. The programmation is neat, the atmosphere amazing. I love hanging around and have a lot of respect for what they do. You’ll always discover or hear something new there.”  

Food: Msemen at the Market of Midi on Sunday

Every Sunday close to Brussels Midi station, the biggest market in Belgium and the third biggest in Europe happens. Flavours, smells and colors, …,  fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, plants, flowers, household articles, fabrics and leather goods all at unbeatable prices. 

Mankiyan: “Going to the Market of Midi is my favorite Sunday activity. There isn’t a spot where the Brussels melting pot is manifested more. I enjoy the Moroccan stands and its culture. The one close to the bridge is my favorite. They have a mint tea for 1 euro and the absolutely delicious stuffed msemen for 5 euro, a flatbread originally from the Maghreb with olives and everything else you desire.” 

Nature: La Friche Josaphat

The Josaphat Brownfield or Friche Josaphat is a 25 ha piece of land located between Schaerbeek and Evere in Brussels, formerly the Schaerbeek Josaphat marshaling yard. The brownfield has since developed into a biodiversity haven in the heart of the European Union's capital.

Mankiyan: “I live close by and have been attracted by this place since before I moved here. I admire the history of the brownfield and its insane biodiversity, so close to the city, full of birds and bees that found a home there. All of this has been possible because it’s not accessible for anyone, apart from a train that eerily drives through it. We can only appreciate the field from the bridge nearby. Unfortunately the brownfield is at the risk of being demolished, due to project developers who are currently plotting new real estate. A group of people is trying to save the spot. Their Facebook group called “Sauvons La Friche Josaphat” is full of pictures of beautiful butterflies.” 

Hidden gem: Het Ivoren Aapje

A place of pilgrimage for literature lovers in Brussels, the storefront of this secondhand book shop at the Begijnhofkerk is so small you might look over it. But the books are stacked up to the ceiling and everything smells like good old paper. 

Mankiyan: “Unique in Brussels, this secondhand store specialized in dutch books is so much fun to enter. It requires not to be in a hurry, since you really lose track of time. The offer is surprising and the books are sold at a good price. Very charming.”  

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