Beach scenery in June 1915: children dabbling and splashing under the composed eye of adults in Schaerbeek. Holidays at sea or at the countryside, so popular among middle classes before the war, were out of the question. “We are closed up in our neighbourhoods”, complained a clandestine newspaper in 1916. In order to relieve the situation, the municipal administration of Schaerbeek created an artificial beach close to the Palais de Sports, in Josaphat Park. If only for a brief moment, the pre-war carelessness was back.
As the conflict continued, daily life tended to take over. German occupation was still seen as unacceptable, but Brussels became once more a city of leisure and entertainment. The movie theatres were full gain, concerts and balls were given, the “balle-pelote” games at the Parvis de Saint Gilles and the velodrome races in Karreveld, Molenbeek, were organized again, attracting huge crowds.