belgian

beATL is your friend


beATL is your companion, your friend.  beATL is your guide to all Belgian-related events in and around Atlanta.

But beATL is also you.  You and your family.  You and your Belgian friends.  So if you would like to do something with your fellow compatriots, just send me the logistical info, and beATL will publish it for you and handle the RSVPs.  It can be anything and it doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of work:  just grab an idea from all the events around you and make the call …

Here is  an example: you want to bring your family to the fabulous display of Christmas Lights at the Botanical Garden in Atlanta in December (could be January too) …  Why not team up with other Belgian families who would probably want to do the same … Pick a date and time and let beATL make the announcements for you … Every single family will purchase their tickets in advance (or at the ticket window on the day) so you don’t have to deal with money … Just be at the meeting point to welcome your peers, and enjoy the lights!  How simple is that??

Here are some simple ideas for families: walk with or without picnic, a movie night, a haunted house, a day at Six Flags, peek at the zoo, fun at Snow Mountain, Atlanta streetcar … And for adults: a Segway tour, a visit to the Center of Civil and Human Rights, bond with a mummy, Atlanta Movie Tour, drive a Porsche, dance lessons, bowling…

Or course, you could also organize a wine tasting evening, a themed party, an automobile rally, a treasure hunt, a canoe trip,… which all require a little bit more organization but ask a friend to help you and it will be all fun for all!

What are you waiting for???   Contact beATL and let’s schedule something and have an exciting beATL-Time!

 

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Belgian THIRSTday | 10/5/2017


To celebrate October, let’s revisit The Brass Tap, the sports bar owned by French citizen Samy.  This festive pub offers a myriad of beer options – over 300 craft beers from around the globe – and has a nicely-loaded wine cellar.

This bar could be a serious option for coming Belgian soccer games!

Logistics

  • When – Thursday October 5th, 2017 from 7 pm
  • Where –  4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road in the Park Place Shopping Center across the street from Perimeter Mall | (770) 557-0232.   Easiest access is through the path left of McKendrick’s Steak House.
  • Parking – ample free parking or valet parking.
  • RSVP – a simple yea or a nay would be nice ..

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Farewell Wim | 9/5/2017


Wim Van Cauteren and his lovely wife Luciana have been beATLe fans as soon as beATL started its journey in June 2014.  For sure we will miss seeing them around!

Wim has been appointed as Trade Commissioner for Flanders & Brussels in Mexico-City where he will work at the Belgian Embassy.  There are a lot of economic links between the US and Mexico which has adopted a lot of American business practices while keeping its Latin flavor.   Also Mexico has, apart from Brazil, the largest economy in Latin-America offering many unexplored opportunities that Wim is excited about.

Luciana and Wim are fluent in Spanish, making the move to such a beautiful country even more attractive; they are both really looking forward to live there.

Wim started working for Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) in June 1998.   His first posting was Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; that was followed by a 7-year stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  After Argentina, he went back to Brussels for 2 1/2 years – at FIT’s headquarters, and since 2012, Atlanta became their new home.

His main activities is to give support to Flemish & Brussels export companies, that want to expand into the (Southern) USA.  On the other hand, he also detects US companies that want to cross the Atlantic and invest in Europe which explains why you could see him at numerous conferences, events and exhibitions.

He was also the co-organizer of three large trade missions in his jurisdiction: two Flemish-Dutch trade missions (one to Houston, TX and one to Atlanta, GA) and one Belgian Economic Mission to Texas.

What he loves about his job is getting positive feedback from Belgian and local companies, industry associations and government representatives but the icing on the cake is when a company secures a contract thanks to his introduction!

Wim will never forget the day and night of January 28 in 2014 when a snow and ice storm hit Atlanta!  Here is his story: ‘that night we were organizing a reception for Belgian businessmen that participated at the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta, so we could not leave the office early.  We left the office at 11 PM thinking that by that time the highways would be clear. Wrong ! I-75 north was still clogged with cars and there was a complete stand still. We got off the freeway, but we got lost somewhere in midtown and we feared we would have to overnight in our car with freezing temperatures outside. Luckily a Good Samaritan found us and was so nice to give us a ride back to my office in downtown Atlanta. At the office, we had to make a makeshift bed, made of tapestries and old carpets, but we were so happy that we didn’t have to sleep in the car.’

He will always enjoy and feel proud with the headline on the VRT (Flemish Public Television) news that stated that the first joint Flemish-Dutch economic mission in Houston, TX was a success. After several months of preparation, it was very rewarding.

If you ask Wim about his personal best moments in Atlanta, he will tell you about the Sun Dial restaurant in the Westin-hotel downtown where he had a birthday dinner with Luciana … but what made it very special is that on that rainy day, the view was nonexistent giving them the impression of having dinner in the clouds.   And the Belgian beers at the Brick Store Pub will remain a very good souvenir.

His last day in Atlanta is on September 15 … and no, the name of his successor is not known yet.   Check the blog again soon.

Join Flanders Investment & Trade and the Belgian American Chamber of the South on Tuesday, September 5th, so you too can thank Wim for all the great work he has done in the Southeast, wish him all the best on his new mission in Mexico and say goodbye to this super nice couple.

Logistics

  • When: Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 from 6.30 – 8.30 pm
  • Where: Burr & Forman LLP171 17th Street Northwest – 11th floor, Atlanta, GA 30363
  • RSVP by Sept 1st, 2017

Belgian THIRSTday | 9/7/2017


Guess what is coming up?  Our fabulous Belgian THIRSTday!  Yes, September is pointing its little nose and we will meet at Under the Cork Tree in Sandy Springs.  Under the Cork Tree is a stylish spot for tapas & Mediterranean entrees, plus global wine  … it sounds very ‘wine-y’ but Stella, trappist, and several interesting locals are available to satisfy us.  This time around, a bePHLer will make a special appearance expecting to see many!

Logistics

  • When: Thursday September 7th, 2017 from 7 pm
  • Where: Under the Cork Tree | 5600 Roswell Rd NE #2, Sandy Springs, GA 30342 | Meet our crowd in the bar area.
  • Parking: The Prado has plenty of free parking
  • RSVP – please RSVP as we need to give a headcount this time!

Belgian THIRSTday | 06/01/2017


 

The June edition will take place at the new Terrapin Taproom at The Battery Atlanta, adjacent to SunTrust Park {and no, the Braves won’t be playing!]. This combination restaurant, bar and brewery is already a popular destination.  The menu features Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q favorites, including smoked brisket, pork and chicken!  Terrapin’s ATL Brew Lab, located next to the restaurant and bar, is home to a five-barrel pilot brewery.

Logistics

  • When: Thursday June 1st, 2017 from 7 pm
  • Where: 755 Battery Avenue S.E., Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30339 |  404-494-1202 [located outside the right field gate entrance]
  • Parking: Red parking (Hyundai) is free for 4 hours.  Take entrance on Circle 74 Parkway and go to red parking.  From there, a short walk to the  restaurant area.
  • Curtesy RSVP is kindly requested

watch Cannes Film Festival films via streaming


Since French is one of our three national languages, watching the Cannes Film Festival movies is a good idea, especially since Belgian actors are involved or films have been co-produced by Belgian companies.  The 70th festival takes place from 17 til 28 May and you can stream it via Sling Television [only available to viewers in the U.S.], on TV5Monde Channel.  For those who don’t know: Sling TV is like Netflix but for live television, no contracts.

The Belgian presence at the festival this year is rather meager but still,

  • L’amant double, an erotic thriller directed by François Ozon, stars Brussels actor Jérémie Renier as Paul.  Among the films partners is a co-production agreement with Belgian outfit Scope Pictures.
  • Loveless, about a couple locked in a bitter divorce when their 12 year-old son disappears, is from Andrej Zvyagintsev and opens the Palme d’Or competition program on May 18.  ‘Les Films du Fleuve‘, a Belgian company created by the famous brothers Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne in 1994, is co-producing the movie.
  • The biopic ‘Rodin from Jacques Doillon with Belgian actress Séverine Caneele.  Rodin is being co-produced Belgian outfit Artémis Productions
  • The rider‘, from LA-based Caviar, an award-winning entertainment company founded in Belgium in 2006,  is selected for the Quinzaine Des Réalisateurs.
  • The 12-year old Fantine Harduin [from Mouscron/Moeskroen] is Eve Laurent in ‘Happy end‘, a drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop, from Michael Haneke.
  • And there is also a Belgian documentary La belge histoire du Festival de Cannes from Henri de Gerlache.

 

Belgian honored by Pieter De Crem


Yesterday evening during the re-launch reception of Delta’s non-stop services to Brussels, our compatriot Anton Mertens, an Immigration Partner at Burr & Forman LLP and President of the Belgian American Chamber of the South, has received from the hands of Mr. Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of Belgium, former Minister of Defense of Belgium, the prestigious Knight’s Cross of officer in the Order of Leopold signed King Philippe, King of the Belgians.  A well deserved medal for 20 years of services to our country.

The Order of Leopold (Leopoldsorde, Ordre de Léopold) is one of the three current Belgian national honorary orders of knighthood and is awarded by royal decree.

Congratulations Anton!  We are so proud of you!

 

 

Luncheon with Pieter De Crem | 3/23/2017


Join this luncheon, sponsored by the Consulate General of Belgium, with The Honorable Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of Belgium, former Minister of Defense of Belgium on Thursday March 23rd at the Atlanta Metro Chamber.  Mr. De Crem is visiting our city to celebrate the resuming of the direct flight between Atlanta and Brussels [first flight on Saturday March 25th].

Mr. De Crem will discuss  ‘In the heart of Europe: Belgium, the EU and the transatlantic relationship in challenging times‘ with particular attention to:

  • Trans-Atlantic and bilateral economic relations
  • Business opportunities in Belgium
  • Current situation in Europe and future outlook

Logistics

  • When : Thursday March 23rd, 2017 from 11.45 am to 1.30 pm
  • Where: Metro Atlanta Chamber | 191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 3400, Atlanta, GA 30303
  • Admission: free
  • RSVP: by March 21st to Sarah Saxner
  • Public Transport: 191 Peachtree Tower is located at the Peachtree Center MARTA station
  • Parking:
    • Metro Atlanta Chamber: 191 Peachtree Tower Parking Garage
    • International Garage: 192 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
    • Central Parking System: 218 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
    • Self Park: 221 Peachtree Center Ave, Atlanta, GA 30303
    • Peachtree Center Garage: 161 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

beATL goes to the movie – Fanny’s Journey | 2/5/2017


A French-Belgian co-production largely shot in Belgium. With Belgian actor Stéphane DE GROODT as Jean, who said about his role in the movie: ‘This is the first time I’ve done a period film and the more I continue in this business, the more I want to erase our friend Stéphane de Groodt, who I know well, in favor of characters who are damaged, tortured, hidden and complex.‘ Bruno MULLENAERTS is police chief… and we have a brochette of Belgian kids: Igor VAN DESSEL student at Lycee Martin V in Louvain-La-Neuve as Maurice, Lou LAMBRECHT as Rachel and Fantine HARDUIN, as Erika, from Mouscron…
 
About the Film – Based on Fanny Ben-Ami’s autobiographical novel, Fanny’s Journey is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. When they are suddenly left on their own, these 11 children do the impossible and reach the Swiss border to freedom.
 
Logistics