I made my reservation on Friday afternoon -- that's the smoothest reportage possible; more like the ticket I had was set to expire and I had to call a friend at work and persuade him to book the itinerary for me since I was, as they say, about to get some serious dust in my wig over the whole affair.
I fly into Brussels two weeks from today, and from there I think I'll head up to Amsterdam for a day or two and then back down to Antwerp for a few more, then back out via Brussels after a day there (really just long enough to take a peek at the marche oiseaux - seen here in a gorgeously whimsical photo by Robert Kayaert, c. 1955 - on the way to the airport, of course).
It's a quick trip -- about all I can manage right now, given work constraints and my necessary predilection for no-frills chic -- but six fabulous days of promise and delight await me in lovely Flanders and surrounding environs. Lynn Yaeger, no slouch herself in the style department, has a very intriguing piece on Amsterdam's "fashion-forward neighborhoods". I can't wait to hop on a bicycle and cruise around as many of them as possible.
After floating the idea of Rotterdam to a group of friends this weekend, and getting resoundly mocked (despite having enjoyed this recent article on the city's status as an emerging capital for architecture), I think I'll stick with my original plan of spending most of the trip in Antwerp, a city that is, after all, known for its diamonds, beer, chocolate, and avant-garde fashion (oh yeah, and frites, natch), and rather sounds tailor-made for me.
I've got a Lonely Planet guide, the Wallpaper* navigator, and lots of fantastic links online, but if you know of anything that I absolutely must see or do, well then, by all means, please do comment 'til your heart's content...