Les Marolles Review
If the Grand'Place stands for old money, the Marolles neighborhood stands for old—and current—poverty. This was home to the workers who produced the luxury goods for which Brussels was famous. There may not be many left who still speak the old Brussels dialect, which mixes French and Flemish with a bit of Spanish thrown in, but the area still has some raffish charm. The Marolles has welcomed many waves of immigrants, the most recent from Spain, North Africa, and Turkey. Many come to the daily Vieux Marché (flea market) at the place du Jeu de Balle (7–1), where old clothes are sold along with every kind of bric-a-brac, plain junk, and the occasional gem. For more browsing, hit the antiques shops on rue Haute and rue Blaes. This area can be sketchy at night, so you may want to leave by sunset, particularly if you're alone, though groups can enjoy some fun bars and restaurants.