There are undeniably some strange things about the city that likes to call itself the capital of Europe - Brussels.
"Belgium's capital is so ugly and so dirty that the shock of arriving risks knocking people off their feet," wrote Jean
The divisions between the high-powered Brussels that aspires to be Europe's federal capital and the city's struggling poor neighborhoods often draw comparisons with Washington, DC. But the jumble of nondescript late 20th-century architecture that makes up Brussels' European Quarter is a sorry reflection of other capitals' elegance.
About a third of Brussels' population is made up of muslims. But there’s little interaction between the well-heeled Eurocrats and Parisian tax-exiles from the leafy suburbs in the south and east, and the mostly Moroccan immigrant communities living in the tightly packed neighborhoods around the inner city.
Brussels is the third-richest region in the European Union — behind London and Luxembourg — according to data released in March by the EU's statistics office.
A large part of Brussels' wealth comes from the presence of the European Union and NATO headquarters, which have brought thousands of well-paid expat officials to the city and attracted legions of lobbyists, journalists and business executives.