The Espace Maigret, installed behind the city hall, is located near to the house where Simenon was born on Rue Léopold. The ground floor was occupied by the Cession millinery and the young Georges was born on 12th or 13th February 1903. Simenon himself claimed it was Friday the 13th, but his superstitious mother is said to have insisted that the 12th featured on the official documents. Simenon went to the city hall every day: “For professional reasons, I had to be at the central police station at eleven o’clock every morning, where four fellow journalists and myself were given the daily reports”.
To the right stands the Maison Hosay, where Hosay Chocolate is made and sold. A vast basement window covered by an iron grill is lit up by Auer lights. From this basement window, heat and a nice smell of chocolate rise up, spreading several metres over the pavement. You can smell the Maison Hosay three buildings away before you reach it. The fragrance follows you, only taking its leave three houses further on. In the meanwhile, you cannot help but admire the shop window, standing on the grid that warms your feet, taking in the aromas.
[Georges Simenon, Je me souviens, 1945].