This photo was taken in Antwerp, Belgium at a park right around the block from our hotel. If you look closely, you can see people using this rock structure to practice their rock climbing skills. Just out of frame, people lay in the non-manicured grass scape and chat with friends, play music, or read a book. Almost immediately, the group I was walking with came to the conclusion that a space like this would not last a minute in America. “We would have already put a gate on it with a five-euro entry sign on the front,” one of them joked. Of course, there is something to be said for the American eye, one that can find profit in any scene. However, I thought it was so special to see the way that the people in this park interacted with the earth so organically. Each person came with intentions of just checking the world out for what it was. Antwerp in itself was almost like the antithesis of America as a whole. As one of the largest cities in Belgium, it did have pretty normal roads to accomodate for high traffic flow, but there were just as many if not more sections of “road” that prioritized foot traffic and bikes more than anything. Many restaurants and shopping areas were limited to foot traffic only. As mentioned earlier, the landscaping was so very un-american. Everything just grows as is, but it was planted in such a way that when it grows out to its full potential things lie in such a way that can be described as none other than picturesque. American landscaping can be so structured, often imitating british gardens in certain elements. In Antwerp, that idea was thrown out of the window entirely. Antwerp offered a sort of charm that wasn’t easy on the eyes at first, but as you took the time to get to know it, it quickly became one of my favorite spots.