This weekend: 26th, 27th & 28th May

[Next post: 1st June]

Yasssss …. it’s a long weekend and the weather is going to be toasty. We will respond to this winning combination in the traditional Antwerpian fashion by sloping around in the sunshine, eating and drinking. What luck! For this weekend seems to hold many opportunities to do just that. Just watch out for a wee bit of drizzle or thunder on Sunday, but nonetheless temperatures are set to be high …

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HERE’S THE MAP!

A fun event which is fairly new to the Antwerp Summer scene is Vakantie op T’ Zuid
which describes itself as a holiday market. This event is very much focused on food or drink and it is fairly easy to tailor your consumption to your budget, as the food ranges from small snacks and sweets to larger meals. It has a truly international feel with stands from all over the world, as well as some performances (we saw some Indonesian dancing last year). It takes place down on the Vlaamse Kaai, so there is also a handy playground for kids, as well as a play area for the event itself. Starts Thursday at midday and continues until Sunday.

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Mercado on Groenplaats is also having a food festival that takes place over the whole weekend (25th -28th May) offering -in addition to their usual stands – outdoor stands, street musicians and magicians, and kids’ entertainment.

Friday

Update: No picnic today apologies for the error!

Critical Mass takes place as usual for the last Friday of the month, meeting at 6pm -also on Theaterplein. Bring your bike for the musical edition of this monthly communal bike ride

Aper’eau is back for the summer -their kick-off event takes place on Groenplaats from 5pm. Outdoor drinks and cocktails in the sun in Antwerp’s most famous square. Sounds like a good way to start the weekend…

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Groenplaats

Saturday

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Brick Boat in Stadspark   This plinth (where different exhibits are featured) is a project from Middelheim Museum

Middelheim -Antwerp’s free  sculpture museum is a beautiful place to visit, but even more so when the weather is good. So this weekend should be a good time to take advantage of the opening event of the Richard Deacon exhibition, complete with a free guided tour.

Or enjoy a browse round the ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market at Den Beulebak from 11- 5pm. Free.

Sunday

Snitt are holding a second hand market at a fun location today: at Stack (formerly Convoi)  the container village down by Waagnatie. It’s free and you can bring your own secondhand items to donate to local initiative ‘de Collectie’.

Lambermontmartre is another regular presence on the Antwerp summer scene. It’s not only a chance to browse or buy lots of art works by local and amateur artists, and to support their work, but there is always a band and some good, cheap food and drinks. The area has some lovely cafés (Finjan’s is a favourite of mine for great Falafel and middle-Eastern food) and there is usually a table where kids can paint a canvas of their own for a small price.

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Ascension is the reason for the long weekend. If you would like to enjoy some choral music, head to the Begijnhofkerk at 3pm, where for 5 euros you can hear the Cathedral Singers of Oxford with special music for Ascensiontide.

Reserve by calling 03 232 01 03

Miscellaneous

Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.

Next week Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month so Antwerp City museums are free (Plantin Moretus, Rockox, Mayer van den Bergh, The MAS and The Red Star Line Museum).

During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

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I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

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This weekend: 19th, 20th & 21st May

It’s a busy weekend this weekend. You get a gold star if you can do all of this lot. Here’s the GOOGLE MAP to help you find your way…

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There are two events which takes place over the whole weekend. The first is the opening of Bar Noord (formerly The Cargo Summer Bar) in Park Spoor Noord. After nine years, the bar and is having a re-furb and getting a new name. This part of town has changed and developed greatly over recent years and Bar Noord has stated its intention to strengthen its position as a place for the community and for families, in what is becoming a distinct area of the city. This summer Bar Noord promises more sporting activities and live music than it has in the past, and aims to engage more members of this increasingly diverse, multicultural community. I’m curious to see what that is going to look like, as for my family this location has been the go-to destination when the weather is good during school holidays -it’s a great location. Bar Noord opening party kicks off on Friday at 6pm, with further events on both Saturday and Sunday.

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Antwerp Art Weekend is also on over the whole weekend, from Friday at midday. There is more information on the Antwerp Art website (click on ‘venues’) to see which galleries are participating.Although larger museums are involved, Antwerp Art Weekend is a celebration of the many smaller galleries which display contemporary art around the city. For example, this temporary exhibition at Gallery M146, which opens on Friday evening with a reception.
The best way to work it, is to figure out what you want to see and go by bike from gallery to gallery between midday and 6pm. For night owls, there’s Nacht van de Beeldende Kunst or Night of the Visual Arts, at de Studio on the Saturday, costing a tenner and starting at 9pm.

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Untitled 3 by Michael Laird @ Open Systems, M146. Antwerp Art Weekend

At Antwerp Expo there’s a book & hobby fair. It’s free in, and opening at 10am on all three days.

Friday

Fabrik is a relatively new café venue near Theaterplein. They also offer live sessions on Fridays. This week, the wonderful 110 (a trippy, three piece improvisational electro rock band from the city of Antwerp) will be playing, starting at 9pm. Here’s a sample of what they do!

You can still get tickets for the one and only performance of A Sunburnt Country: a unique celebration of Australian music, dance and literature by Maddi Goodwin at de Singel. Hurry, hurry!

Fabrik
Fabrik

 

Saturday

TheMagicFluteforchildren

If you have musical children, head to the Antwerp International School for this special children’s performance of The Magic Flute at 2pm.

Borgerrio is a free, colourful, carnival-style festival that takes place along the Turnhoutsebaan from 2.30, when it begins with a parade. Check the full program for the food, stalls, and other entertainment that will be on offer.

Runners – head to the Rivierenhof for the park runs starting at 2pm. There are 300m (14h) and 800m (14.15h) races for kids, which are free;  and then 5km (14.30h) and 10km (15.30h) races for adults, costing 5 euros. If you have not already registered, you can do so there from 12, before the runs begin.

Sunday

It’s the third Sunday of the month, so as usual, there will be a second hand book and comics market in front of the Permeke Library from 10am; on this occasion accompanied by a piano marathon.

Food, live music, DJs and a flea market taking place for Bouger Bouger #11 on Krugerplein between 10am and 5pm.

Piano

There’s a Re: set Closet sale at Het Eiland from 10am- 5.30pm

And Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am.

The weather this weekend is predicted to be warm and dry (around 18-19 degrees), so not as hot as temperatures enjoyed earlier this week. It could be cloudy a times, and there is a chance of rain -particularly on Friday.

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A Sunburnt Country: Friday at de Singel

Miscellaneous

AkaartF2During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

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This weekend: 12th, 13th & 14th May

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

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Dries van Noten, Nationalestraat

Belmodo Fashion Days  (overstock sales) continue, finishing up this weekend on Sunday, offering the chance to get designer items from big names like Dries Van Noten, A.F. Vandevorst, Ann Demeulemeester, and Stephan Schneider among others. Belmodo sales also to be found on the first floor of Mercado on Groenplaats from 12- 6pm (not Sunday). There’s a map of participating outlets, or download the app.

Antwerpen Vertelt is a festival of story telling (Dutch) which takes place every two years. De Roma, Permeke Library and The Red Star Line Museum are the key venues for events. You can see the full agenda here

Friday

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Bocadero, Waagnatie

Another summer bar opening! This time it’s the Beach bar-style Bocadero at Waagnatie, down by the Schelde which opens at 5pm for the summer (until September)

Saturday

During the day, from midday, it’s the Damse Feesten, a very child-friendly, free, local street party, comprising of races (bikes, scooters … even a unicyclist took part last year) for people of all ages, kids entertainment and a fleamarket.

The Eurovision Song Contest is of course the highlight of any right thinking person’s musical year, so embiggen your hair and make sure your contouring is on point:  Café Den Draak will be holding a Eurovision Night and showing the contest on the big screen.

Sunday

There’s a big fleamarket on Dageraadplaats from 9am. A good opportunity to go and discover this attractive local square if you don’t already know it. It’s a good place to hang out when the weather is warm and dry, with numerous café terraces, a playground for the kids, and space for them to play basketball or football.

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Sint Anna Tunnel

If you ventured over to Linkeroever for the Left Festival (which was excellent) as mentioned in last week’s post, you might be interested in returning for an evening market on Frederik van Eedenplein from 3pm. Frederik van Eedenplein is immediately on the right when you come out of the Sint Anna Tunnel.

Another summer bar (and restaurant)  Banningville opens at 2pm. I think this is a newcomer to the Antwerp summer bar scene this year, as I have only recently heard of it.

… And don’t forget that it is Mother’s Day in Belgium today. Need a last minute gift? Try Markt van Morgen on Kloosterstraat from midday …

The weather this weekend is looking a bit patchy. Temperatures are decent (18-19 degrees, tops) but there is very likely to be rain on Friday, and possibly on Saturday too. Sunday should be dry, but cloudy at times.

Miscellaneous

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I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines!

If you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

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Guest post: Dolrish Aguillon, vlogger and nurse.

BEING AN EXPAT

What’s it like being an expat? What are struggles you’re likely to face when you leave your country of origin? How would you start a new life when all the things you’ve cherished, treasured and loved are 10, 718 kilometres away?

I am Dolrish Aguillon, a Filipino. And this is my story.

DolrishGraduation
Graduating, in 2011

It’s September 2011, and I’ve just got my license to practise as a registered nurse when I decide to leave everything behind and go to Belgium. The reason is to have immediate work and earn. My mother was already working here so bringing me from the Philippines wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t have much time to prepare, to say goodbye to my friends and loved ones. I’ll never forget the day when the plane took-off: I was crying like a baby;  it hurts so deeply.

The first week of staying here was exciting and full of promise. I was curious and anxious at the same time. The separation, anxiety and sadness came after a month and it lasted for almost four months. Every night before I went to sleep I would think about how life might have been if I hadn’t left The Philippines. However,  I used all my uncertainties as a fuel to become a better person and to succeed. Here, I’d like to share the things which totally caught me off-guard when I came here:

LANGUAGE

Learning Dutch or any foreign language isn’t that simple. During my first months here, I experienced the frustration of not understanding others, and not being understood. I’ve gone to different evenings schools, followed intensive courses (university and adult courses) just to learn the language. After four years, I got my level 5 certificate from Linguapolis in Antwerp.

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MAKING FRIENDS AND MEETING PEOPLE

What makes it harder is the fact that you don’t know anyone in the city. There is no one with whom you can spend time and enjoy activities. There is no one who would give you a tour of the city, nor advise you on how to live and survive there. Being new to a country, without acquaintances, is hard.

I have made friends through attending Dutch lessons, going to events and activities in Antwerp and by joining groups like Expats in Antwerp on Facebook. My friends are mostly foreigners, like myself.

FOOD

All of us can relate to the experience of suddenly not be able to get the foods we are used to. I didn’t eat much potato before. I am used eating rice and noodles; they have both here but it was seldom cooked at my new home. One dish I really miss is chicken adobo (chicken prepared with soy sauce and bay leaves) – a typical Filipino food, usually served with rice.

WEATHER

Belgium is known to have pretty terrible weather; a lot of rain, cold, wind and snow. You can’t plan anything without consulting the weather first. This is a problem I never had when I was in the Philippines, so it really took me some time to get used to it.

CULTURE

Different country, different culture. What do I expect? I had to accept, mingle and respect the new culture I found myself in. Throughout the years I have seen a lot of Belgian culture and their way of living. I would say that they are very organised and careful in all aspects of their lives. Something that we Filipinos don’t have. We are used to living day by day; not worrying about what tomorrow may bring.

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Dolrish in 2017 – ready to vlog!

Those are the 5 things what made my integration process challenging here Belgium. I wish I knew those things  before I came here and had researched more deeply about Belgium, its people and  its culture. And for these reasons I decided to produce a Youtube channel which gives insights and tips about being an expat – not only in Belgium but also in general. I make 1-2 videos per week, so don’t forget to check out my channel

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Vlog posts on Dolrish’s Youtube channel

Inspired by Dolrish’s post?

If you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

If you are on Facebook, you might also like to check out Expats in Antwerp and connect with people from all over the world who have made Antwerp their home.

This Weekend: 5th, 6th & 7th May

NEXT POSTS:
Guest blogger Dolrish, Monday evening, 8th May
Next ‘Weekend’ post: Thursday 11th May

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As the weather gets warmer, festivals are starting up and summer bars are opening!

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend.

This amateur arts festival also concludes this weekend at various locations in Antwerp and in surrounding areas like Ekeren. Check the programme to find an event which interests you!

Friday

Summer bar, Bar Jardim opens for the summer season at 5pm with drinks, tapas and a BBQ. Bar Paniek opened last weekend.

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And BATS vzw hold their monthly Open Evening where all are welcome to come along and find out about the upcoming theatrical programme or about getting involved in English speaking theatre in Antwerp.

Saturday

This weekend it’s Festiveuzzel in Berchem today and also on Sunday. Tickets are 10 euros and under-12s go free.

fblogo left festivalOver the water, in Linkeroever it’s Left Festival  which is free, and kid friendly. There will also be a fleamarket, kids entertainment and food trucks. There’s even a Highland Games, for teams of 6-9 people. You can register your team via the site (costs 25 euros per team). And if you are a townie who has never taken the beautiful  St Anna tunnel -by foot or by bike -under the river, Left Festival is a good reason to do so.

It’s a good day to head down to your local second hand shop with clean usable items that you no longer need because it’s Dag Van de Gever -the second hand shops are open to receive you and your donations with an event that celebrates those who donate to the Kring winkels by offering some chocolate and a bunch of discount vouchers for in the shops and elsewhere. The largest second hand store in Antwerp is on St Jorispoort (29).

 

Sunday

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Shopping in Stadsfeestzaal (Meir)

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops will be open for Sunday shopping.

From 1pm -10pm there is a Turkish Cultural day  (2600 Turkije) in Berchem at the Cultuur Centrum.

And the Sunday garage sales at Steegsken 6 have been extended to continue throughout May (11am- 6pm).

Markt van Morgen is also on Klooster Straat from midday.

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And at Het Eiland there is a mini-flea market hosted by Het Eiland and Ieder Zenne Meug, free, from 11am -6pm

The weather is predicted to be warm and dry this weekend -although sometimes cloudy – with top temperatures of 19 degrees.

Miscellaneous

Coming up: Belmodo Fashion Days

Check out the newly re-opened Museum of Modern Art (MuHKA)

And if you are looking for information about other Belgian music festivals this summer here’s a list.

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Next week – Look out for a special blog post: Nessascityblog first guest post, from a reader about living and working in Antwerp. Feel inspired to write a guest post of your own? Do get in touch via the About page.

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