Guest post by Grade 10 students of Antwerp International School: Environmentally Friendly Shopping in Antwerp

Where do you buy your groceries in Antwerp?
This blog post is about two different types of grocery shopping in the city, and will be of interest to you if you are keen to reduce your carbon footprint when you make your shopping choices.
By Vasco, Charlotte, Hendrik, Yumiko and Michelle 

Antwerp International School Grade 10 students went on a trip on Wednesday the 8th of January by train to the BeO Versmarkt and a Delhaize grocery store to contrast and compare them with one another: to study the pros and cons of both stores, and to also get a better understanding and learn new things based on what it’s like to shop in them. In this blog post, we will focus on the differences and similarities in looks, packaging, prices, and transport to, later on, conclude and give advice for more sustainable meal preparation.  We are studying a sustainability unit in our language classes so this experience connects to that topic.  

The Set-Up 

roots&grnaatappels
photo by Charlotte

When we first walked into the BeO store (image left), it was noticeably different from the grocery stores we are used to.  It was refreshing not walking into a store where you have to walk around for hours before finding the thing you were looking for. The store was really organized compared to normal grocery stores, partially due to the fact that there weren’t as many products and as big of a range of brands. The store wasn’t as big as Delhaize (grocery store) so there weren’t as many staff working, but that was no problem because it was easy to find staff if you needed help. the fact that almost nothing was wrapped in plastic and the food looked different from the processed food we are used to eating was a real eye-opener. You could tell that the food was organic by the way it was clearly not meant to look ‘perfect’, but instead looked like it came fresh from the farm.  The boxes that the food was placed in indicate where the food came from blue if the food was Belgian-made and in a different box with the name of the country on the label if it wasn’t domestic. But still, 90% of the non-Belgian-made products were produced in Europe. 

Packaging 

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Differences in packaging. Image created by Charlotte & Michelle

One of the bigger differences were the packaging: for the Beo store there were containers filled up with all kinds of nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, spices, and pasta but for the Delhaize store they were all in plastic bags.  Which after visiting the Delhaize store seemed very unnecessary, as so many plastics were being used for proportions not everyone wants. The BeO store had an amazing self-service system, you could bring your own glass containers or buy one in the store and fill it up with oil, vinegar or honey. This way you don’t spend money on the extra packaging while also being sustainable. A lot of other products also had a self-service system, such as nuts, pasta, and seeds. It was a really innovative system, you can buy as much as you need and not waste any food.  

Prices

kerstomaatprice
Top: Delhaize; Below: Beo

We did pricing exercises for similar products in both the BEO V and the Delhaize. The products we’ve compared are simple and well-known, such as red tomatoes and eggs. We saw a big price difference between the tomatoes. The tomatoes in the BEO cost € 3.45/kg, which is € 1.14 more expensive than a kg of tomatoes in the Delhaize, which cost € 2.59 (pic left, by Charlotte). There is a big difference in price between tomatoes, but luckily it’s not the same for the eggs. A box of 6 eggs in the BEO cost € 2.28 as you can get the same amount in the Delhaize for € 2.35, that’s € 0.07 cheaper. So, the idea that eco-shops are always more expensive than regular ones is not true.

In the picture you can see both the difference between the tomatoes in the Delhaize and in the Beo store. 

Transport

Did you know that food production is one of the main causes of CO2 releases in the world? 

Most eco-friendly stores are spread out around the country than the normal stores. The number of eco-friendly shops is significantly smaller compared to the average supermarket. All these factors lead to fewer people going to these shops and when they go they might need to travel longer distances which produces more CO2 pollution.

If there is not an eco-friendly shop near you, you could go to the Exotic Market that opens on Saturdays from 8AM to 4PM in Theaterplein which offers natural products from nearby farms. The products in this market can sometimes be cheaper than in the eco-friendly store. All this contributes to not polluting our environment because the products don’t travel long distances and the customers that use that market can bike there.

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Staff at the Beo Versmarkt

Conclusion

We concluded that the Beo shop that we visited is more eco-friendly than the Delhaize; a regular supermarket. For some people, it might not be the most convenient for them,  since it can take more time, money and transport to get to the few environmental stores depending on where you live in Antwerp. However, despite the challenges, a suggestion from us would be to do your groceries on a Saturday. You could look up ways on how to store and keep your products fresh for the week. You can prepare your meals so you don’t have to worry about having food on the table during weekdays. Also, you don’t have to do all your grocery shopping at an organic store, but every little step helps!

Could you take the time to make your shopping more eco-friendly?

Let us know in the comments!

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This weekend in Antwerp: 24th, 25th & 26th January 2020

Happy New Year to everyone who is celebrating the beginning of the Year of The Rat this weekend!

Saturday

chinatownSaturday will be the busiest day for New Year celebrations in Antwerp’s Chinatown. The most popular part of the day is the Lion dance which takes place on van Wesenbekestraat. Come and enjoy the drama of the dance, and be prepared for the firecrackers, which are plentiful and LOUD. However, there are lots of accompanying events this year, so have a look at the full Chinese New Year programme as there is a lot going on in the Permeke Library, and in front of it on De Coninckplein, where there will be a new year’s market and a Tai Chi demonstration.

On Saturday evening Swaajp Invites (impro theatre) offers an evening of improvisational humour designed to delight all Potterheads.  The evening’s entertainment is in English and begins at 8pm. Reserve your tickets here.

Sunday

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The impressive Districtshuis of Borgerhout on Moorkensplein

Enjoy a new year’s drink with the good people of Borgerhout on the Moorkensplein from 3pm. It’s a free neighbourhood event with soup, drinks, kids’ fun and even a chance to see a giant or two -for which Borgerhout is justly famous.

Alternatively, head back to Viggo’s on de Coninckplein for coffee and Sunday afternoon music from 4pm, with DJ and saxophonist, Eric Morel.

The weather this weekend is likely to remain quite cold, but mainly dry. There might be some showers on Sunday afternoon. Top temps of 8-9 degrees.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

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MAS

Don’t forget that some Antwerp museums  are free on the last Wednesday of the month (next Wednesday, the 29th). These are the Museum Plantin Moretus, the Rockox Museum, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum.

Look out for a guest post on Monday – I am especially proud of this one as it has been written by my students at Antwerp International School. We are studying a sustainability topic, and their post is about sustainable shopping in Antwerp.

 

LOL4_Facebook_cover
image from Legends of Liondance Facebook page

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This weekend in Antwerp: 17th, 18th & 19th January 2020

 

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Cafe Capital, Stadspark

Friday

Café Capital in Stadspark are starting the weekend with a fundraiser night to help wildlife organisations currently working to save animals affected by the fires in Australia, and also organisations which are fighting the fires. Sister events will be held in other cities in Europe and beyond.

Celebrate the birthday of Art itself at MUHKA’s Art’s Birthday event from 5pm. This is the 12th year that this has been marked in Antwerp; it was established in 1963 by the artist Robert Filliou: “Filliou first proposed “Art’s Birthday” in 1963. He suggested that 1,000,000 years ago, there was no art. But one day, on January 17 to be precise, Art was born. Filliou says it happened when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. He also proposed a public holiday to celebrate the presence of art in our lives. Art’s Birthday was first publicly celebrated in 1973 in Aachen (i.e., Aix-la-Chapelle), Germany and at the same time in Paris, France.” (from Wikipedia)

At the Irish Times Bar it’s Swap Language Night and a chance to brush up your language skills for aspiring polyglots -from 8pm.

Saturday

Screenshot 2020-01-15 at 13.56.08On Astridplein there’s the chance to go tulip picking from 1pm – 4.30. The tulips on Astridplein looked beautiful last year (pic left), but you might have to be prepared to queue a bit to pick your own bunch.

It’s free movie night again at Het Roze Huis (Den Draak) at 8pm. This evening it’s Loving Annabelle. If you are new and not familiar with Het Roze Huis -it’s your first port-of-call for all things LGBTQ+ in Antwerp.

Sunday

Screenshot 2020-01-15 at 14.00.37It’s the monthly second hand book market on de Coninckplein in front of the Permeke Library. Books, comics, graphic novels, postcards and more for very reasonable prices. 10am -4pm.

It should be dry this weekend – with the possibility of light showers on Friday afternoon. There could be some bright spells, but it’s going to be quite cold with top temps of 11 degrees on Friday, and 8 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

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image from: Legends of Liondance Facebook page

Don’t forget to book your tickets to the annual BATS panto, which takes place this weekend: Sleeping Beauty? (pic below, from BATS website) Tickets via the BATS website.

BATS-carrousel-SB2020

 

Need a productive, achievable new year’s resolution that doesn’t involve giving up something you enjoy? Let 2020 be the year you write your Antwerp story for Nessascityblog! Please get in touch with your idea. I’d love to have more guest posts, reviews, tips, personal stories and accounts connected to the city of Antwerp.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 10th, 11th & 12th January 2020

2020new-years-eve-4647528_640Happy New Year!

Welcome back to Nessascityblog, and to the first weekly post of 2020. Here’s a short post about the coming weekend to ease you into the new year. Winter In Antwerp has finished for the season and sometimes this can be a less busy time of year, but here are a few local events to start off your 2020 in Antwerp city …

Friday

Start your weekend with the first Antwerp  Apereau event of 2020 on Theaterplein from 5pm – a good way to wind down after the working week if you are still readjusting to being back at the grindstone after the festive season.

Saturday

LOL4_Facebook_cover
from: Legends of Liondance Facebook page

Chinese New Year (the Year of the Rat) approaches, and there’s a lot going on in the small but lively part of the city that comprises Antwerp’s China town. It’s a place where I spend quite a lot of time with my family, and this year there seems to be more than ever on the program-  including this walking tour of the area  today and the Legends of Liondance expo opening at Permeke library – a free and exciting exhibition which transforms the library with a display of the lions which form part of the traditional New Year celebrations.

Do plan ahead -some events and activities are ticketed or require registration so check out the full programme of readings, workshops, cinema and other events here.

zoolightsjunglebook
Jungle Book Lights at the Zoo

Sunday

 

Last chance to catch the Jungle Book Light Festival at Antwerp Zoo.

 

There’s a film and vinyl sale at De Roma theatre on the Turnhoutsebaan starting at 10am. It’s 4 euros in and includes a tour of the old projection room. There’s also a bar, and music throughout the event (DJ).

Miscellaneous

Monday 13th January is “Verloren Maandag” (“Lost Monday”) -a Belgian tradition explained in this recipe post which I found. Expect sausage rolls and appelbollen at your local baker. Update – a reader got in touch to advise reserving yoursausage rolls as most good bakers only bake as much as they need. Thanks for the tip!

Don’t forget to book your tickets to the annual BATS panto, which takes place next weekend: Sleeping Beauty? (pic below, from BATS website) Tickets via the BATS website.

BATS-carrousel-SB2020

 

Need a productive, achievable new year’s resolution that doesn’t involve giving up something you enjoy? Let 2020 be the year you write your Antwerp story for Nessascityblog! Please get in touch with your idea. I’d love to have more guest posts, reviews, tips, personal stories and accounts connected to the city of Antwerp.

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Nessascityblog Winter Holiday Post

edf_softI am taking a break so that I can get ready for my own family Christmas now, so here are a few dates for your diary to see out 2019. Have a wonderful winter break, and a very happy Christmas -see you again in 2020. Thank you for reading and sharing Nessascityblog in 2019.

Winter In Antwerp is now open: this is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

From the 18th – 24th December it’s the Warmste Week -a week of charity events and fundraising across Belgium. You can search for activities and good causes in your area here. Look out for the Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 10.56.17flame logo which accompanies De Warmste Week events (pic left, taken from the Warmste Week website).

Grand Cafe Capital in Stadspark are celebrating their first Christmas with a Christmas market on daily from the 19th -29th December.

Friday 20th December: BATS Open Evening starts at 5pm at The Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. A chance to find out about the theatre group and maybe join in, as well as to enjoy some festive cheers, songs, soup and Gluhwein.

On Sunday 22nd December Goegekregen are in the shelter at Park Spoor Noord once more -it a great space for this event and the shelter means that the second-hand market can’t be rained off, but it is a bit drafty at this time of year, so wear a good coat!

Friday 27th is the last Critical Mass ride of 2019, setting off as usual from Theaterplein at 6pm for an hour’s cycling through the city before finishing up at Winter in Antwerp.

For carol services and Masses in English, see the calendar page of St Boniface Anglican Church.

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Antwerp Zoo

The Jungle Book Light Festival  is on at the zoo until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always enjoyed seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary!

Because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

To see in the new year, here is an overview of different parties and ideas for 31st December.

And looking ahead to next year, why not finish the festive season with a trip to the annual BATS panto, which this year, is Sleeping Beauty? (pic below, from BATS website) Tickets via the BATS website.

BATS-carrousel-SB2020

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 13th, 14th & 15th December

edf_soft
Winter in Antwerpen- Wishing Wall

Saturday & Sunday

Winter In Antwerp is now open: this is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

There’s a smaller market on over both Saturday and Sunday at Wintar – the winter bar on Boomgaardstraat 17 (near the de Koninck brewery).

Screenshot 2019-12-11 at 13.58.47On Saturday the Vlaams Tram & Autobus Museum rides the Christmas tram to and from the Christmas Market for free. The route is Groenplaats – Bolivarplaats – via the new Line 1 to P+R Luchtbal – back to Nationale Bank – Groenplaats (for times see pic left; taken from the Vlatam website)

Book browsers can get away from the Christmas rush on Sunday by heading for de Coninckplein for the monthly second hand book market from 11am-4pm.

Also on Sunday this Arts & Crafts market called Winter Mart from 2pm -9pm at Koolkaai, near the river, in the old town.

Sunday shopping -because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

It’s going to be a bit rainy this weekend unfortunately, although on Saturday and Sunday the rain should have cleared up by the afternoon.

DiscoveringBelgiumLogoMiscellaneous

If you are looking for Carol services in Antwerp (or even elsewhere in Belgium) over the Christmas season, see this post full of handy information on Discovering Belgium, which is always an absolute treasure trove of information for English speakers wishing to get to know Belgium better, whether as visitors or settlers.

And looking ahead to next year, why not finish the festive season with a trip to the annual BATS panto, which this year, is Sleeping Beauty? Tickets via the BATS website.

BATS-carrousel-SB2020
Sleeping Beauty (image from BATS VZW website)

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 10.56.17Next week it’s the Warmste Week -a week of charity events and fundraising across Belgium. You can search for activities and good causes in your area here. Look out for the flame logo which accompanies De Warmste Week events (pic right taken from the Warmste Week website).

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This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th December

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 15.49.40The  Markies Stock Sale (of books) at Zuiderpershuis, which is definitely a nice way to get discounted gifts for bookish loved ones -although most books are in Dutch, there is also a selection of books in English (and coffee table books) as well as picture books for children. It’s free and takes place from 10am -6pm on FridaySaturday and Sunday.

It is Sinterklaas avond in Belgium on Friday.

Saturday

Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 18.05.46
Christmas wheel

Winter In Antwerp starts today with a special opening celebration from noon. This is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

Before the Noorderlijn events  on Sunday, come and see the Kipdorp Nocturne . The programme starts at 6pm and it will be the last chance to see this archaeological site, which will be specially illuminated with lights and projections.  There will also be a food truck selling hot snacks and drinks.

operaplein
Operaplein

Throughout December, look out for local winter festivities such as this one in Deurne: Deurne Wintert, which starts at 4pm – and which take place in different neighbourhoods around the city.

Sunday 

On Sunday the first trams will run on the Noorderlijn and the metro station Opera will re-open after four years of intensive construction works.  You can check out the pdf programme for the opening party here. There will be entertainment for the opening on and around Operaplein (also at Kinepolis and the Haven huis)  from 10am -6pm and a chance to ride the new tram routes (1 and 24).

On Kloosterstraat there’s a special Christmas edition of Markt van Morgen from midday until 6pm: locally and hand made fashion, jewellery interior and graphic design goods plus hot soup and glühwein for added warmth.

MVMxmas
Markt van Morgen (image from Facebook)

From 11am -7pm at Plein Publiek there’s a vegan Christmas market featuring food trucks, and a market of 40 stands of vegan and eco-friendly products.

This weekend should be (mostly) dry, cold and bright again with the possibility of some light showers on Friday evening.

Stadsfeestzaal
Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre

Miscellaneous 

Test your festive knowledge skills at the An Sibhin Quiz Night next Friday -participants should pre-register. It’s a general knowledge quiz for teams of maximum 5. Entry 5€ per person. Prizes for winners, fun for all! Reservations a must -via the Facebook page.

Throughout December, the shops in the city will be open on Sundays , and again on January 5th 2020.

Winter bars are starting to open, including Wintar on Boomgaardstraat 17,  near the Antwerp City Brewery (De Koninck) for drinks, food (especially cheese!) and events until the start of February.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 29th, 30th November, and 1st December

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 15.49.40
book browsing at Zuiderpershuis

There are three events over the whole weekend this weekend firstly – the  Markies Stock Sale (of books) at Zuiderpershuis, which is definitely a nice way to get discounted gifts for bookish loved ones -although most books are in Dutch, there is also a selection of books in English (and coffee table books) as well as picture books for children. It’s free and takes place from 10am -6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if you don’t get the chance to go this weekend, it’s also on next weekend too).

Steez Festival is a free festival of urban arts, music, dance DJs and even a skate zone at de Studio on Maarschalk Gérardstraat 4 from 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

And for Lego lovers, there’s Brickmania at the Expo on Saturday and Sunday (ticketed).

 Friday

At 6pm it’s the monthly bike ride with Critical Mass Antwerpen – assemble as usual on Theaterplein with your bike for a kid-friendly hour’s cycling en masse through Antwerp, returning to Theaterplein for 7pm. 

If, like me you are somewhat averse to the whole concept of the annual grabfest horror that is Black Friday, you could head instead to the Kringloopwinkels (second hand shops) of Antwerp to check out their deals (there will be 50% reductions on many items), or to the  Kammenstraat fleamarket (cash only).

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Antwerp Zoo

The Jungle Book Light Festival  begins at Zoo Antwerp this evening and runs until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary!
Saturday

LoveislandAntwerp artist Sacha Eckes opens a new exhibition at Shoobil Gallery so why not take the opportunity to slip away from the increasing busy-ness of the town centre, to view works characterised by skill and humour inspired by the theme of reality TV?  Love Island opens at 2pm with a vernissage (Museumstraat 4).

If you have children who want to see Sinterklaas, then you can find him at Grand Bazar shopping centre from 1.30pm, but be aware that this can be popular and there is sometimes a queue.

missiontoseafarersxmas

If you are more organised than me and ready to make some Christmas purchases (or just to enjoy a traditional British-style Christmas Bazaar) then head to the Antwerp Harbour hotel between 11am – 4pm and check out their Christmas goodies and treats, while also supporting the Mission to Seafarers in Antwerp.

Sunday

If you’re still missing hanging out at Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord, head to Goegekregen second hand market which takes place in the shelter there this Sunday from 9am -6pm.

For those who can’t get enough of the high street, there’s Sunday shopping in the city from midday. If you have little ones who are excited about Sinterklaas, you may well catch a glimpse of him on Meir this afternoon.  And because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 16.01.36Sinterklaas (due to an uncanny ability to be in more than one place at a time) will also be at Wintar (see below) from 2pm enjoying waffles and other treats.

This weekend should be (mostly) dry, cold and bright with the possibility of some showers on Sunday morning.

Regular readers and wine- fans may remember this special blog post about Antwerp start-up Fine Wine Junkies. On Sunday they are holding a pop-up event to celebrate their first birthday and to invite wine lovers to taste and purchase some of the specially selected wines which they offer.
fwj

Miscellaneous

Winter bars are starting to open, including Wintar on Boomgaardstraat 17,  near the Antwerp City Brewery (De Koninck) for drinks, food (especially cheese!) and events until the start of February.

Stad Antwerpen have released the Winter in Antwerp programme! #WinterinA starts on the 7th of December and will be featured on Nessascityblog in more detail next week.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November

For Kunstendag voor Kinderen last weekend the smallest and I ended up in Museum van der Bergh and then Plantin Moretus Museum; these are beautiful Antwerp museums and well worth a visit. Coincidentally, these same two museums are together holding a Breugel Weekend this weekend so this would be an opportunity to visit both.

Foodies -it’s Week Van De Smaak, which continues until the 24th November: food related events taking place across Flanders which centres colour as its theme for this the 13th edition of the event, so there’s a food photography contest for those who can capture #kunstopmijnbord [“art on my plate”] on social media – tag @weekvandesmaak. Here’s the  program which comprises workshops, tastings, reading and more.

weekvdsmaak19

Saturday

There’s an ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market in the lovely setting of Den Beulebak from 11am -5pm for bookish browsers.

Sunday

dagvandewetenschap2019.jpg

Today is Dag van de Wetenschap (Science Day) across Flanders: see up-to-the-minute science in action via workshops, readings, activities and demonstrations for young and old. Our family have really enjoyed Dag van de Wetenschap in the past and I recommend it.

Here’s a selection of events taking place in and around Antwerp.

At De Roma theatre there’a special children’s rommelmarkt (fleamarket) just for kids’ toys and clothes. It starts at 1.30 and it’s just 50 cents in for kids, and a euro for grownups.  The theatre’s café will also be open throughout.

Miscellaneous

Stad Antwerpen have released the Winter in Antwerp programme! #WinterinA starts on the 7th of December and will be featured on Nessascityblog in more detail over the coming weeks

WallsofBohoStreet art fans will be interested in the Walls Of Boho project (pic left from Walls of Boho Facebook page) which was unveiled last week: five striking new murals on display in Borgerhout. Look out for them when you are in the area, or get on your bike and see them all.

Belgian children like to write letters or send their pictures to Sinterklaas -each year Bpost enables kids to do this, and this year is not exception: your kid(s) can send a letter to The Sint  until 29th November. Write the sender’s name and address clearly on the back of the envelope, in order to receive a gift in return.

It should be slightly less cold this weekend (10-11 degrees) and dry with bright spells.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th & 17th November

This is a VERY important weekend for the children of Antwerp, particularly the ones who are good and never naughty- which is basically all Antwerp children, of course.

Yep –Sinterklaas arrives from Spain this weekend and will be in the area until 6th December, distributing gifts and sweets to believers.

Saturday

Screenshot 2019-11-13 at 16.50.12The arrival (aka intrede or intocht) takes place at Eilandje (Verbindingsdok-Westkaai at 2pm). Sint arrives on a steamboat and will be welcomed by the Mayor of Antwerp (Bart de Wever) and TV presenter, Bart Peeters. The Sint will proceed to the MAS via the Napoleonkaai, the Nassaubrug en the Oostendekaai, and will address children on the Hanzestedenplaats at around 14.50. This is an important moment where the waiting crowd will be informed about whether there are any children in Antwerp who have been naughty this year.

Belgian children like to write letters or send their pictures to Sinterklaas -each year Bpost enables kids to do this, and this year is not exception: your kid(s) can send a letter to The Sint  until 29th November. Write the sender’s name and address clearly on the back of the envelope, in order to receive a gift in return.

If you need something fixed being it to this repair cafe at Twee Netenstraat 13a (Den Dam) and have it mended for free between 10am -4pm. If you like fixing things for others, then this event is also for you.

It’s “Dag van de Smaak” in the Kringwinkels (second hand/ thrift stores) of Antwerp today. Cooking utensils and recipe books will be centred in this activity where there will also be lots of tasty international treats for customers throughout the day.

BATSbenefit

On Saturday night there’s a BATS benefit night at their current home: The Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111. It’s a night of musical entertainment (tickets via the link) whose proceeds go to support the work of BATS as Antwerp’s best known creators of English speaking theatre, shows, entertainment and pantos, as they prepare to move to a new venue!

Sunday

boekenplein
Vintage postcards on Boekenplein

It’s the monthly Boekenplein on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke library -second hand books, magazines, graphic novels and comics from 10am -4pm

It’s Kunsten dag voor kinderen (Arts for children) today -an annual event across Flanders (and Brussels) with plenty of activities for youngsters to enjoy in and around Antwerp too.

The weather will continue to be pretty chilly this weekend, with temperaturs as low as 7 degrees, and the possibility of showers on both Saturday and Sunday (especially Saturday). Brr!

Miscellaneous

Last week I published a special post featuring photographs taken by people like myself who are not Antwerp born-and-bred but who have made their home in Antwerp: check out these beautiful images of the city.
WallsofBoho
Street art fans will be interested in the Walls Of Boho project (pic left from Walls of Boho Facebook page) which was unveiled this week: five striking new murals on display in Borgerhout. Look out for them when you are in the area, or get on your bike and see them all.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 8th, 9th &10th November

The Antwerpen Boekenbeurs 2019 is on for the second (and last) weekend for 2019 in Antwerp Expo. This is a vast bookfair whose history stretches back to 1932. Most books are in Dutch, but there are stands with English and French books.

boekenbeurs2019

 

Screenshot 2019-11-06 at 17.09.47Friday

The Irish Times pub on Grote Markt is the venue for this Language Swap Event Hosted by The Irish Times and by swaplanguage.com it’s a chance for international people from all walks of life, to meet, network, socialise and broaden their understanding of other cultures and languages. Swap Language starts at 7.30pm.

Saturday

Local producers’ market Kraakvers is on Sint Andriesplaats today from 10am -3pm. Kraakvers also locally made food products -including beers, preserves, honey and bread – as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Along similar lines, there is more good news for local, organic and sustainable shoppers in Antwerp: The Bio Barn (pic below, courtesy of Bio Barn) opens its doors for the first time, on Verlatstraat at 10am this weekend. The Bio Barn already has branches in Brussels, and is coming to Antwerp too -it’s a covered market selling fresh and local sustainably- sourced produce, with less packaging.

biobarn

Sunday

Full Circle Antwerp is a one day and night festival in Antwerp. It is ticketed and there are still some tickets remaining which you can order here. With day and night programmes, Full Circle hosts events at 12 venues across the city. This vinyl market at de Studio is a free event, however.

Brrrr …. it’s definitely getting chillier now that we are into November. Temperatures will be no higher than 10 degrees this weekend, BUT at least it looks like it will be dry this weekend.

Miscellaneous

This week I published a special post featuring photographs taken by people like myself who are not Antwerp born-and-bred but who have made their home in Antwerp: check out these beautiful images of the city.

Monday 11th November (Armistice Day) is a public holiday in Belgium and Goegekregen vintage and second-hand market will be on Theaterplein.

Screenshot 2019-10-23 at 17.00.19

De Grote Schijn takes place each evening until 11th November (ticketed) – it’s a special route through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.

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Antwerp People: pictures of the city taken by those who have made Antwerp their home.

These photos have been taken by people who live in Antwerp but who come from other countries. They spring from a post which took place in the Expats in Antwerp Facebook group; it resulted in the sharing of many lovely photos -some from serious photographers; others just snaps taken on mobile phones.

What do they tell us about how we immigrants feel about our adopted home? I don’t think there’s a single answer to that question, but they are certainly beautiful and personally I think that does show that when people come from other countries to make their home in a new country and – despite the challenges of doing this – they look for what is positive and uplifting in their new environment.

(1) By The River

05riversideviewbyRohitash Kumar
Down By The Schelde by Rohitash Kumar

 

Rohitar is from India and arrived in Antwerp nearly two years ago. He came to Belgium seeking a better life for himself and his family.

(2) Park Bridge

03parkbridgebyJohn Anthony Furnari
Parkbrug (Park Bridge) by John Furnari

John Furnari: “I’m originally from Knoxville, Tennessee but moved to London in 2011 where I met my wife who is from Ekeren. In 2016 we decided to make the jump to Antwerp where we settled in the Jewish Quarter just off the Belgiëlei.”

You can see more of John’s photographs on his Instagram page

(3) An Antwerp Sunset

06sunsetinAntwerpbyJennyVirta
Tram tracks leading to Sunset by Jenny Virta

Jenny is Finnish and has lived in Belgium since 2008, and in Antwerp since 2013. She came to Belgium for work purposes and may be moving on to new adventures again shortly.

(4) Playing in the fountains

08BarCargobyFilipe Pedro
kids playing at Park Spoor Noord by Filipe Pedro

Filipe is from Portugal and has lived in Antwerp for two and half years. “Those moments watching children playing always made me remember my son and his beautiful smile, and always make me miss home.”

(5) Antwerp Rooftops

rooftopsbytheSceldebyAnna Kurmanova
Antwerp Rooftops by Anna Kurmanova

Anna is from Russia and moved to Antwerp a year ago, from Prague to be with her boyfriend. “This photo was taken from MAS in December 2018 on a sunny day. A friend of mine was visiting and I took him all the way to the top to have a panoramic view of the city.”

(6) Bike near MAS

04BikesnrMASbyCharlotteMorphyMorris
Bike parked next to the water by Charlotte Morphy- Morris

Charlotte is British, and moved to Antwerp about a year ago, due to her husband’s work. “My husband, sister-in-law and I had cycled down to the MAS to have a ‘sundowner’ as it was such a beautiful evening. I snapped the pic using my phone ! I guess I was in the right place at the right time. “

(7) Birds flying next to the Schelde

09birdsby Silvia Stanziano
Person walking by The Schelde by Silvia Stanziano

Sylvia is from Italy and very recently arrived in Antwerp – in the last month!

“I’m not a professional photographer though my dad was, and he passed a love for this art on to me.  I believe that in every shot we take there is something of ourselves, that often only we know … and this photo reminds me of my mood when I captured it: alone as the person with his back to me and full of hope as the faint rays of sun!” 
(8) The bike path by The Schelde
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Bike path next to The Schelde & The Big Wheel by Manoosh Majdzadeh

Manoosh is from Iran and moved to Antwerp about six months ago, having visited the city on a number of occasions while travelling. She works as an actress here. “The main reason I prefer living in Antwerp to any other city in Europe is the peace, the dynamic city life and the artistic side of it.”

You can see more of Manoosh’s photos here.

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