It seems to be a weekend of endings and ‘last-chance-to-sees’, as February draws to a close …
A second hand sale with a difference on Friday at the Oxfam shop on St Jacobsmarkt: they are moving, and so will be having a furniture sale of all office, meeting and kitchen furniture. Go along and make them an offer, is their message.
This is the last weekend of winter pop-up bar Little Brewers Winter Garden. For their “Slotweekend” there are a few different things on, including Gin Day on Friday.
Green fingered individuals may be pleased to hear that the Ecohuis is re-opening its seed library today, offering free seeds and workshops to visitors. There are similar events in Ekeren, Wilrijk and Berchem. Get involved, if you want to know more, and even if you live in the city without a gardening space of your own.
There’s a funfair (kermis) opening on Sint Jansplein for the next few weeks.
A little bird tell me that this garage sale is worth checking out if you are looking for vintage furniture, particularly if you favour a Scandinavian style.
It’s the last day of the year long celebration of Antwerp’s Town Hall. In the evening, there will be free admittance to a wedding celebration, on Grote Markt, of 450 couples for who will renew their vows (from 17h).
Another second hand sale with a difference: Het Paleis theatre are selling off theatre costumes from 10am until 5, in the theatre foyer.
Artists’ collective Sketch are scheduled to be holding a drawing event in Plein Publiek from 4pm, but I was called by a friend to say that it is cancelled and that Plein Publiek is closing until mid-March … no idea why, as yet. Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE: The GVA confirms that Plein Publiek is indeed closing temporarily as they did not renew their permit. Tut! tut!
For kids aged 2+ there is a music show at cultureel ontmoetingscentrum Sint Andries (coStA) for 4 euros (tickets in advance) where children will have the chance to try some musical instruments after the show.
For kids aged 5+ there’s a film showing at the library at 11am. Tickets are only 2 euros if you get them in advance.
MAS is free this Sunday from 2pm, as it closes its Wereld Stad expo after five years. The finissage will include a number of additional activities (drawing, poetry, music, readings).
The weather is predicted to be chilly but dry, with some bright spells. Could spring be on the way…?
For a more unplugged and acoustic start to your weekend, go to Klein Antwerpen for Muziek zonder Elektriek which is open-mic and free (although you might like to throw something into the hat for the performers). It starts at 7pm, and if you would like to perform, register by email to email@example.com .
Antwerp Chocolate week starts today! It works in much the same way as the ‘pateekes week’: for 10 euros you get your vouchers at the tourist office on Grote Markt and these can be traded in at participating chocolatiers around the town.
For live music head to An Sibhin for some slightly eccentric country rock from Jailhouse Chili at 8pm.
In Park Spoor Noord from 10am (free) is the first Goedgekregen Second Hand Market. It’s undercover, so it is still very much worth attending even if the weather is wet.
Cinema Zuid, down by the Kaaien is offering two kids films starting at 10.30am for 5 euros a ticket (so cheaper than the mainstream cinemas). There’s Mini en de Muggen for kids aged 4+, and Phantom Boy for kids aged 6+ (both in Dutch).
Bookworms and graphic novel fans should make their way to De Coninckplein in front of Permeke library, for a book fair between 10am and 4pm, featuring new and second hand books. Free.
If dancing is more your thing head to an open stage Dance Jam at Costa Sint Andries community centre at Sint-Andriesplaats 24 at 1.30. This is free.
Designer clothing fans, and bargain hunters may enjoy this outlet sale at Expo.
Antwerp Green Party (Groen Antwerpen) are holding a film lunch at cinema Klappei. 10 euros will get you a ticket for the film, a 1-hour panel discussion afterwards, and then lunch. The doors open at 10am and the film being shown is a 2009 documentary called Katanga Business. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend. More information here.
Weather is likely to be milder (after a VERY chilly week) but with a fair chance of showers during Saturday.
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend and keep following: here, and on Twitter @nessascityblog
I get asked if I go to all the places I mention on my blog… well, no. With three kids and a (virtually) full-time job, that would be pretty difficult, but here -in no particular order – are some things that I have done, either by myself or with friends and family -so far this year:
My son and I went to the Ecohuis for the JEFF film festival, made a robot and had lunch at the Ecohuis café.
… Checked out some vintage design at Winkelhaak …
Enjoyed some snacks at HAP food trucks festival, Park Spoor Noord.
Thank you for following and reading this blog. Thank you also to my clever daughter, Hannah, who is techie and artistic, and who helped me edit some of the pictures using Pixelmator. Other pictures were edited using Picmonkey.
The photos were taken by me -just on my Nokia Lumia phone. But I’d love to include readers’ photos -especially if you have a talent for photography – so if you would like to contribute to a future photo post, please email pictures to email@example.com, stating your permission to use them and how you would like them to be credited to you.
Young photographers might be interested in these free workshops from Stamp Media. Register by mail or their Facebook page. Saturday’s workshop is about online tools.
Sunday (Valentine’s Day)
If you are feeling a love of running this Valentine’s Day, head to Rivierenhof for the Valentine’s Day Run. It is free, but pre-registration via Antwerp Athletics (scroll down for the form).
Fitness seems to be a Valentine’s Day theme this year as Think Pink host a free Zumbathon on Groenplaats from 2pm
MAS seems pretty busy this weekend, with activities and guided tours for visitors of all ages. Some activities need to be booked in advance and a couple are fully booked already. In particular, the “Wereldstad” exhibition is closing after 5 years at the end of this month, with the last guided tours for this now taking place on Sundays.
For more costly eating, there seem to be a number of brunch events occurring, if you are in the mood to splash the cash on your beloved, such as this one at Plein Publiek, this one at Local Store or this one at Umami. For a Scottish take on the Valentines Brunch, contact The Highlander Café (for details and reservations) who are also holding one.
This week’s fleamarket is at Kinepolis , starting at 10am and costing 2,50 in.
Weather looks not to bad, with temperatures of around 6 degrees, and some light showers expected on Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening.
For fans of second-hand, vintage & retro (clothes, books vinyl) I published an extra post this week on the subject of second- hand shopping, recycling and donating in Antwerp. Please check it out if you haven’t already done so, and give me a follow on Twitter @nessascityblog for midweek updates and Antwerp- related Tweets.
Regular readers may have noticed that I frequently feature flea-markets on my blog posts. (or “Rommelmarkten” in Dutch). I enjoy going to these markets -they are often sociable places to hang out, with snacks or drinks also on sale, or take place in a communal space like a local square. I believe that buying second hand, trading hand-me-downs with friends and borrowing are ways in which we can keep costs down and simultaneously reduce our carbon footprint. I often buy second hand clothes for myself and my kids, and I love to get a bag of hand-me-downs, from parents of bigger kids, rather than buy new. Here is a brief guide to some of the second- hand shops in Antwerp, as well as some suggestions about recycling and donating your own used items. Rommelmarkten.be lists secondhand markets all over Belgium and this site enables you to search by location and date.
Oxfam has two shops in Antwerp. One is at Quellinstraat 28 (off Keyserlei) and sells second-hand books. It is open from 10 -6 on Mondays to Saturdays and most (but not all books are in Dutch). The other Oxfam store is not a second hand store -it’s a “Wereld winkel” (world shop) and sells goods produced by people in developing countries, often as part of Oxfam initiatives. There is a wide range of Fair Trade goods, and environmentally- friendly products such as those made by Ecover. Talking of books, don’t forget the Permeke Library on de Coninckplein (just through China Town) for borrowing books and DVDs. De Slegte on Wapper also sells (and will buy) second hand and antiquarian books.
My favourite second-hand shop is the “Kringwinkel” (recycling shop) at Sint-Jorispoort 29. It is really big and has four floors of second hand items, always in good condition. I have bought clothes, furniture and baby items at the Sint -Jorispoort Kringwinkel. It also sells toys, jewellery, kitchen and baby items. As well as buying from here, they will receive your used items at the front desk. For larger items, you can call them and they will take away your sofa or cupboard for free, if you arrange a time with them.
There are a couple of great places for second- hand clothing in Antwerp. Perhaps best known is Think Twice which has three shops in Antwerp: on the Jezus Straat (off Meir), on Lange Klarenstraat (also off Meir) and on Kammenstraat (towards the old town, off Nationalestraat). The prices are more than you would pay at the Kringloopwinkel or at a flea-market, but the stock is in good condition, well chosen and often pretty hip.
In a similar price range is Episode which also specialises in retro and vintage. It’s a roomy store with space to rummage and plenty of denim if you are looking for jeans, as well as fun fake fur, belts, shades … They are a chain and also have stores in The Netherlands and in Copenhagen.
If you are buying new and have a reasonable budget Today Is A Good Day on Nationalestraat specialises in eco- friendly shoes and clothing, but as you can see from the website, it is not cheap. However, if you have eco-cheques, and want to use them for clothes or shoes, you can spend them here.
A little further down is the same street is Jutka en Riska selling vintage, retro and second hand clothing, accessories and shoes -this is also a bit more hip than a regular charity store and so some prices are a bit higher here. They do sell new clothes from their own label -these are not cheap, but you can get lucky, as they do good reductions. They will buy in your 60s, 80s & 90s clothing and accessories.
If you are looking for labels at second hand prices, cross Astridplein from the station and turn left, where you will find Pardaf on Gemeentestraat. It’s easy to miss and looks like a residence. Inside the rooms are small, but there is a good choice of second hand designer clothes, accessories and bags.
In need of a second hand bike? Try Abakri. They also do bike repairs. Also, if you are going to be living in Antwerp for a limited time, you can buy a bike, return it within a year and get half the cost of the bike back.
Alternatively, there are the now distinctive red and white Antwerp Velos available for a cheap price at lots of handy locations around the city.
Gamers can get second hand games and consoles at Game Mania which also takes your used games for cash or store credit.
Antwerp also has a few independent second hand vinyl stores – a couple of these are located not far from the cathedral, coming away from Grote Markt, such as Fat Kat, The Vinyl Touch and Tune Up (above the International Magazine Store) which are all within a short walk of one another. Across the road from Vinyl Touch, at Wolstraat 1 is In’tProfijtelijkBoeksken (IBP books) which sells second hand books and vinyl.
Head south along Volkstraat to Coffee and Vinyl which -as the name suggests -will provide you with caffeine also. Local artists also exhibit here.
Finally, don’t forget to recycle or donate your own used goods. As previously mentioned, the Kringwinkel will pick up larger goods for you, if you contact them and arrange a time. Clean, usable items which are smaller, can be taken directly to Sint- Jorispoort, or books to Oxfam.
There are a number of selling pages on Facebook like this one or this one in English, but you might like to consider giving things away on Free & Recycled Antwerpen where you can also look at what others are giving away or post if there is something you need that someone else might be glad to get rid of (I once got rid of a bunch of old wood that had been hanging around on my balcony, but which some one else could put to good use). High street store H & M is also accepting used clothes as part of a recycling initiative.
A really good cause in the Antwerp area is Moeders voor Moeders which supports parents and families in need by supplying clothing, baby items & equipment and food to those in need of it. On Thursday and Tuesdays between 9 and 4 you can drop off these items at Helmstraat 91, or on the first Saturday of each month between 10 and midday. They are also keen to receive school bags and equipment for local children who need them, as well as sheets and towels.
Antwerp is pretty good for second hand shopping, in my view. All these stores are just about within walking distance of one another, so it would be easy to plan an afternoon and browse them all. These are just a sample, I know there are some I have missed which I need to explore on Koepoortstraat and a couple more on Nationalestraat too, so I am sure I will have to do some updates to this post….
So here sporting a gold-knit top from Blanco, a skirt from Morgan de Toi, with coat from Miss Selfridge, bag from Mexx (all second hand; total costs approximately 12 euros). The black and white houndstooth bangle was also second hand, but I don’t know where it is from.
Opening on Friday evening at 5, and continuing over Saturday and Sunday too is The Image Generator II an art ‘happening’ comprising events, performances and talks at Extra City (Eikelstraat 31, 2600 Antwerpen).
Also on Friday night is BATS Antwerp monthly open evening (also with a quiz this Friday) so feel free to head along to Paardenmarkt 111 from 8.30pm if you enjoyed their recent panto and would like to know more about getting involved in English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.
At Plein Publiek there is a design market from 11-5pm for a 2 euro entry cost.
On Krugerplein in Borgerhout the Krugermarkt is taking place from 4pm, offering food, drink and locally made products such as textiles and jewellry. It’s worth checking out this cute neighbourhood if you don’t already know it. The square where the market is taking place is socially the heart of the neighbourhood and has a play area for little ones. This blog post has some really nice pictures of previous markets held there.
Another neighbourhood event is taking place on Dageraadplaats: starting at two and continuing until midnight there is a winter festival including music, dance, DJs, kids’ entertainment, and food & drink stands.
There’s a food market (local produce, food trucks and kids’ entertainment) at Felix Pakhuis, down at Eilandje (near MAS).
And two reasons to visit Madam Woll today: a 2 hour kids’ knitting atelier at 10am (8 euros; register beforehand via email: firstname.lastname@example.org & bring your own materials) and a kids’ clothes exhibition at 12.30 from Titi and Paca.
Take your brolly -there is a high chance of showers on all days over the weekend, alas.
Finally, a reminder that next week is half-term holiday for all Belgian schools (Krokus Vakantie). If you haven’t done so already have a read of this post which contains links to a number of activities, workshops and camps which are running for kids at this time. There may be some spaces left on some of the activities.
Do comment, mail & Tweet your feedback and suggestions -are there events I am missing? Let me know.
Until next Thursday 🙂
For midweek updates and Antwerp related tweets, follow me on Twitter@nessascityblog