The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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BRUSSELS, Belgium —The night before last we managed to find time to sit in the Grand Place and watch the crowds go by as we ate our dinner at a sidewalk cafe. I think the Grand Place is one of the most beautiful squares in the world and I love the buildings all around it.

On a nearby street stands the famous bronze statue of a little boy—best known as "The Manniekien Fountain"—which was cast after a model by Duquesnoy in 1619. This is always an attraction to tourists, but there is a society here that dresses him up in different costumes and by so doing I think the piece of sculpture has lost some of its charm.

After dinner we had the pleasure of going to see the Russian folk dancers who had performed in New York and on American television, and I had the pleasure of meeting their leader Mr. Igor Moiseyev. He told me that in 1960 he expected to bring the same troupe to the United States again. I imagine they will have a different program of dances then, and although I enjoy some of them more than others I would be happy to see the same ones over and over again because they are really extraordinary.

I sat beside Mr. William Warfield, who played the part of Porgy in "Porgy and Bess" when it toured this part of the world, and he found the folk dancers a thrilling experience. He hadn't had a chance to see them in Russia when he was playing there, and sitting next to him watching the performance gave me added enthusiasm to see how much he enjoyed it.

The troop offered to dance the Virginia reel back stage for me because I had not seen it at their last New York performance. But it was discovered that their Russian orchestra did not know the music, so they promised they would give me an exhibition in the early days of their return to the U.S.

The World's Fair our little group met at the Swiss pavilion, and I don't know what urged me to do it but I took one of the foolish little motorcars that run around the exhibition area. Despite some rain, however, I did get a very good idea of where the buildings of the various nations stood, although it was only a passing glance.

Soon we were visiting the United Kingdom exhibits. Britain has divided its area into two buildings—one just to show their industry and the other to show the theme of the whole fair—"Better Living"—for them in England. I thought their exhibits were organized extraordinarily well.

Then, after visiting the Palace of Art, I could not resist riding in one of those ridiculous overhead trolleys in which two people sit in a tub and are transported over everybody's head on a cable. From this contraption one gets a good view of the second story of the fair buildings—no matter how brief—but I am afraid we won't have time to see any of them very thoroughly. I was most attracted to the terrace of the Congo Building, and I still wish to go back and have lunch there.


(Copyright, 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Brussels (Belgium) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 8, 1958

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.