VISIT ITAKA LANGUAGE SCHOOL

 

ITAKA Zuidrand language school is pleased to announce that it will hold its annual ‘open door’ event on September 12th and 13th in Edegem. We will offer various activities throughout the day in the garden of the music academy. Visit our Facebook page or website for more information.

Tel: 03 457 59 22 (during the school year)

GSM: 04 86 53 09 15

Email: info@mijnitaka.be

A Spanish Class at ITAKA

Registrations are ongoing. Please rest assured that, in accordance with the government advice, all COVID-19 protective measures have been put into place. Please see the website for course offerings. The 2020-21 school year begins in the last week of September.

The school caters to adult learners, particularly for those over 50 years old and seniors. Courses include English, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Art History, Music History. The school has a no stress philosophy, which means no exams. ITAKA Zuidrand has four campuses in and around Antwerp.

WE HOPE TO WELCOME YOU AT THE OPEN DAYS!

 

 

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Leo Reijnders: An Antwerp artist with a mail-art project that’s perfect for lockdown.

Leo Reijnders is a local Antwerp artist from Borgerhout, who you may also know as De Wolkenbreier (The Cloudknitter) or from Antwerp’s underground radio station: Radio Centraal.

His current project is just right for the present situation and invites participation from all artists -whether you are a professional or enthusiastic amateur. Perhaps you would like create something artistic for the very first time?

Leo’s mail art project – “ALBENE” – is a collaboration with the Albanian Embassy in The Hague, and Dutch Art Collective, Quartair.

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Want to take part?  Design, draw and send a post-card of your own creation to Leo. It won’t be returned, but it will be displayed in an exhibition at the Albanian Embassy in The Hague and in a Youtube film of the artworks. Here’s a film of a previous mail art project –Let’s Sky The Limit .

CardAddressThe theme of the mail art project is THE LAST SUPPER. The address to send your work to is:

LEO REIJNDERS – THE CLOUDKNITTER

Bouwensstraat 9
2140 Borgerhout
Belgium

 

Participation is not restricted to Antwerp or Belgium: Leo hopes to receive cards from all around the world, so encourage your friends and family in other countries to join in! Previous projects attracted contributions from 30 different countries.

Because of the uncertainty of the current situation, there is no hard and fast deadline, but you definitely have at least until September to get your cards in the post.

Card 1Additional links

Cloudknitters.be

Cloudknitters on Facebook

Leo Reijnders on Instagram.

Leo Reijnders on Linked In.

Leo Reijnders on Twitter

An interview with Leo on Borgerhout TV (in Dutch)

And here is another project that Leo is currently working on (pic below) at Transvaalstraat / the corner of Waterloostraat.

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

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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.

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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.
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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.

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Saturday

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

Sunday

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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: 27th, 28th & 29th September

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Water Rant (pic from water-rant.be)

Over this weekend, it’s Water Rant: a festival of seamanship and water-faring, in the Eilandje area which starts on Friday evening at 4pm and continues until Sunday. There will be lots of boats and ships to see, and the chance to go on board and visit them. You can see the full programme here.

Also over two days this weekend it’s Open Ateliers   at Zuiderpershuis: exhibitions and music from local artists

Friday

Water Rant (see above) starts at 4 as a fleet of ships prepare to sail from Kattendijkdok to Verbindings-, Willem- & Bonapartedokken. A good way to start the weekend might be a combination of enjoying this sight from Dokmarkt on the Napoleonkaai.

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 09.44.58If you prefer bikes to boats then Critical Mass is for you: assemble at 6pm with your bike, on Theaterplein for the monthly one-hour ride en masse around the city

This weekend there’s an Antwerp Ghostwalk in English: start at 7pm at the Lange Wapper statue on Steenplein (E12,50 pp)

Saturday

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Reuzenstoet

Giants love Antwerp, and this weekend they are in Borgerhout for the annual Reuzenstoet (Giant Parade). Antwerp’s giant figures appear now and then for city festivities and parades, and are always an impressive sight -the reason for Antwerp’s fondness for giants probably lies with the local legends of Druon Antigone and Lange Wapper.

Head to Harmonie Park for this weekend’s rommelmarkt between 10am- 4.30pm. It’s an attractive park undergoing some renovation at the moment. Harmonie is a nice area of the city, located near the De Koninck Brewery.

For your evening entertainment there’s Swaajp invites at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt at 8pm. Tickets here.

Sunday

Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 16.48.41Come and support Antwerp The Race For The Cure  on Linkeroever!

It’s the last edition of Lambermontmartre monthly art market at Leopold de Waalplaats today. Support local creatives, purchase a unique art work or enjoy the music and drinks available in front of the Fine Art Museum in the south (‘T Zuid) of the city between midday and 5pm. [UPDATE –  helaas, this event has been cancelled, due to a forecast of rain]

The weather should be warm and mild this weekend, with the possibility of some light showers in the early afternoon, on both Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

ITAKA Zuidrand is a language, cultural studies, and art history school, with four campuses in and around Antwerp. It is for adult learners, particularly for those over 50 years old and seniors. The languages which are taught are English, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic. There’s also Art History in Dutch, and Music History in Dutch. No exams, and  no stress – registration is available now and into October  www.facebook.com/itaka.zuidrand/ Tel: 03 457 59 22 (during the school year) . GSM: 0486/53 09 15 email: info@mijnitaka.be

Next week I am away from Antwerp, in London for work reasons, so the post next week may be something of a mini-post, but I’ll do my best, dear readers.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th & 25th August

Friday

ghostwalkAntwerp Ghostwalks are a well reviewed Antwerp city walk to the darkest and spookiest streets of the city, although they are known for their humour as much as for the horror, and this week you can catch a ghostwalk in English -sign up via email (info@ghostwalk.be) for 12.50 per adult and 7.50 per child.

IMG_20190625_211259_resized_20190627_091432217Just in case you didn’t get enough beer at the Bollekesfeest last weekend, the ABC Taproom (Seefbier brewery) is launching a new one. How considerate! Come and taste the new summer beer from 4pm at the brewery on Indiestraat in the Cadixwijk.

Zomer van Antwerpen’s Muziek in de Wijk goes jazzy this evening on Dageraadplaats from 7.30pm (free).

Saturday

It’s the summer edition of  Left Festival on Linkeroever -a large open-air flea market, plus some music, kids’ ents and a bar to enjoy while browsing. Free, 9am -5pm

ABC (Antiques, Books Curiosa) at Den Beulebak is a monthly market in the university area, from 11am- 5pm. Free.

‘T Waagstuk is a lovely old bar serving a wide variety of Belgian beers on Waagstuk. It has been closed for refurb since 2016 and many will be delighted to see that it is opening its doors again this weekend, on Saturday at 4pm.

Sunday

cultuurmarktF
Cultuurmarkt flags on Meir

It’s the annual Cultuurmarkt all around Antwerp today. Meir (museums, heritage, literature), Steenplein (dance, circus, movement), Groenplaats (theatre & musicals), Grotemarkt & Kaasrui (music, arts centres, film) as well as other locations, will all be busy with 100s of local cultural organisations showing off their performances, workshops, courses, activities and other opportunities to become involved in the artistic and cultural life of the city, as well as their programmes for the upcoming season (eg. theatre, dance, and exhibition programmes). Many organisations from beyond Antwerp come to the city to share what they do.

It’s a massive programme and there are many activities for all ages which can be tried out at various stands. Activities and organisations with kids’ activities will be indicated with the familiar “vlieg” symbol. You can either plan what you’d like to find out about, or just head in to town and see what you come across!

Lambermonmartre is another popular Antwerp regular summer event: an outdoor artmarket where local artists sell and promote their creations in front of KMSKA (Leopold de Waelplaats) from midday until 5pm. There’s always a small bar, and a stand selling fresh cake and sandwiches too, as well as some live jazz/ swing music.

It’s going to be a very warm weekend -especially on Saturday and Sunday when temperatures could reach 30 degrees. Bring your sun screen and your water bottle!

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so you can visit Antwerp museums for free. You can see which ones are free here.

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Race For The Cure Antwerpen
(pic courtesy of Think Pink Belgie)

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breas cancer awareness and research).

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 28th, 29th & 30th June

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Summer is underway and it’s the last day of school on Friday. There are a lot of inexpensive events to enjoy, and new places to hangout. This is a great link which provides the names and locations of all the summer bars in Antwerp!

Friday

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Sint-Andriesplaats

Music, food, DJs, performance and kids games and entertainment at the Sint Andries Feesten  (pic right)from 3pm, in the square (Sint-Andriesplaats).

Circus Boelaere takes place over the whole weekend and has an extensive program of music, workshops, kids’ entertainment with a circus theme. It also comes with a reader recommendation from a local who got in touch to recommend that it be included in this week’s post!

Bar Oost also opens this weekend in Park Spoor Oost and they are holding their opening weekend (same venue as Sinksenfoor).

Take part in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride, starting as usual on Theaterplein at 6pm

Aper’eau  are on Leopold de Waalplaats -that’s the square right in front of the fine arts museum (aka KMSKA) with summer cocktails, wines and beers, DJs, and al fresco drinking from 5pm -11pm

IMG_20190625_211259_resized_20190627_091432217
lots on for Beer lovers this weekend!

Down at the Seefbeer brewery and cafe, they’re holding a beergarden opening with festivities continuing over the weekend, starting at 3pm on Friday and including live music, a BBQ and a bouncy castle for the kids. Seef makes some really good beers and this is a lovely, slightly out-of-the way venue -recommended!

And there’s even more for beerlovers: all weekend on Groenplaats it’s the annual Bierpassie Weekend!

Saturday

kiloAt Plein Publiek there’s another vintage Kilo Sale from 12 -5pm, where as the name suggests you make your vintage/ retro/ pre-loved clothing purchases by the kilo (20 euros per kilo).

Lovers of street art should head to the Permeke Library reading garden (leestuin) today where street art festival Colours of Antwerp is taking place; check the agenda on the link since some activities require pre-registration. Most of them are free, except the tour led by Antwerp’s most popular and knowledgeable street art guide, Tim Marschang.

The ZOO summer bar opens today at 4pm; it’s a real little oasis of a summer bar just next to the flamingos at the zoo entrance and a lovely place to hang out right in the centre, next to the station, with frequent live music performances on the bandstand. ZOOmerbar is open until 19th August.

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The Zoo Summer Bar (pic by Zoo Antwerpen)

triodesfemmeRound off your Saturday with something a bit different in the form of this boisterous performance hosted by Antwerp’s English speaking theatre group Mixed and United, welcoming Trio de Femmes (pic right) and their show Girly Show: What We Sacrifice For The Dream of Love. Tickets 10euros, via email to info@mixedandunited.be
(stating: 1. show name: GirlyShow & 2. Names of the attendees).
Sunday

Fabric and craft fans, today is your day: it’s the fabric market on Grote Markt  brought to you by Stoffencircus from 10am -5pm, for all your stitching, sewing and fabric needs.

Around the St Pauluskerk area it’s the Utopia Festival -see the link for the full programme which comprises music, reading, guided tours and kids’ activities.

There’s an hour’s free zumba in the Harmoniepark from 4-5pm.

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Lambermontmartre

It’s the second Lambermontmartre of the season: Antwerp’s most relaxed and friendly art market, Lambermontmartre takes place in front of KMSKA on five Sundays over summer from midday until 5pm. It supports local artists in selling their work and is the perfect way to spend a stress-free summer afternoon. There’s always a band; snacks and drinks for sale and some kid-friendly art activities too.

Not only is Plantin Moretus an amazing place to visit because of what is inside the museums, but also because of what is outside and today is the day to go and find out about their historical gardens because it’s Open Gardens 2019 which is an annual event run by Open Tuinen VZW. This is an extra activity provided for visitors to the museum today (so you do need to pay the cost of visiting the museum, which is a must in itself)

Miscellaneous

 

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Bolt (source: Instagram)

The most important thing in this section this week is Bolt The Bearded Dragon! Just before term ended, I had the pleasure of guest-teaching a class of young bloggers at Antwerp International School who were improving their English skills by beginning blogs and writing blog entries. They all made amazing blogs, but this blog post was voted as the best one: it’s by Julian who blogs about looking after his fascinating and unusual pet -a very handsome bearded dragon who goes by the name of Bolt. Please have a look and give him a LIKE to encourage this young blogger -keep on writing, Julian!

(NB: Bolt also has his own Instagram account!)

On Monday last week, I published a helpful guest post by Jon Kemp all about how and where to learn Dutch in Antwerp

It’s truly summer when Summer HQ opens in the form of the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg which it did on the 24th June (last Monday) at 2pm. It’s a familiar and essential summer hangout that’s very relaxed and kid-friendly. Note: Stad Antwerp summer bars will be cashless this year.

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in quick for ticketed events that you are interested in. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 24th, 25th & 26th May

Friday

deRoma
De Roma foyer

If you’re a movie fan who can’t wait until next week for Critical Mass, head to the beautiful Roma theatre from 4pm -it will be transformed into a cinematic cyclists’ heaven for Bike-In-Cinema -this kicks off Critical Mass Belgium (see the link and find the Antwerp ride for Saturday.

For a more traditional Friday night activity, there this bar crawl in the Dam area. It’s free to join and around 6 bars will be visited -keep an eye on the Facebook event for details.

Saturday

Regular ABC (antiques; Brocante; Curiosa) market is on at Den Beulebak from 11-5 on the pretty Sint-Nicolaasplaats in the university area.

Kraakvers Farmers’ Market (fresh and local artisanal products) is on at PAKT in the Groenekwartier from 10am-3pm (Regine Beerplein)

Critical Mass Belgium.

Sunday

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It’s the fourth annual Brasspartij – this is a fun event involving a “battle of the bands”. Vying for victory will be five Dutch and Belgian bands who will bring an upbeat New Orleans vibe to Harmoniepark. The bands will set off from various cafés and bars at 13.30 (see ‘de routes’ on the hyperlink if you want to stroll along with them)

There’s been a few serious running events shared on Nessascityblog lately, but the Sint Andries Run is definitely more of a ‘fun run’ and a family event in a real Antwerp neighbourhood. There are two kids’ runs, a 5k and a 10k. On Sint-Andriesplaats there will also be food and drink stands to cater for runners and supporters. The fun starts at 11am on Sint-Andriesplaats when you can register to join one of the runs, if you are not already signed up.

Hopefully there will be enough breeze on Sunday to lift the kites high above Linkeroever at this Vlieger Happening. Head to  Park Middenvijver (corner of  Blancefloerlaan/ A. Van Cauwelaertlaan) where amateurs and professionals can show their skills, as well as a variety of kid-friendly activities, food and drink stands and even a circus show – from lambermonmartreF1pm-6pm.

Hurrah! It’s the first Lambermontmartre (pic left) of the season: Antwerp’s most relaxed and friendly art market, Lambermontmartre takes place in front of KMSKA on five Sundays over summer from midday until 5pm. It supports local artists in selling their work and is definitely a Nessascityblog recommend! There’s always a band; snacks and drinks for sale and some kid-friendly art activities too.

Combine two great Sunday afternoon activities: beer, and browsing at this second hand closet sale at The De Koninck Brewery. It’s free entry (that 5 euro ticket applies to stand-holders) and takes place from midday- 6pm.

Good weather expected this weekend: generally bright and dry with top temperatures of 22-23 degrees!

Miscellaneous

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The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) will be online from the 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early for ticketed events that you are interested in.

29th May is the last Wednesday of the month, so you can visit Stad Antwerpen museums for free on that day.

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Last week on Monday I published an extra post: meet Sylwia, a life coach from Poland who has lived in Antwerp since 1996.

And tickets are now on sale for the 2019 BATS Variety Show in June. This is a popular annual event, so get in early if you’d like to catch this fun show!

And here’s another option for theatre in English from Antwerp based theatre and impro group Mixed and United: Loads is a play written by Sebastian Badarau, and the last performance is on Saturday. It’s about student actors preparing a Chekhovian play and you can order tickets online here.

 

loads

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This weekend in Antwerp: 12th, 13th & 14th April

Friday

My two favourite start-the-weekend options are now both open. Both are kiddie-friendly and very enjoyable as the weather improves. There’s Dokmarkt on Eilandje every Friday from 3- 8pm; or Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord which opened for the summer season last week.

Swap Language are holding another meet up at The Irish Times pub at 8pm. No experience necessary -just an informal chance to share your language and culture, with others who in turn will share theirs with you.

swaplanguage

Saturday

Vinyl lovers – it’s your day: Record Store Day. Record shops celebrate this day with special offers, promos and live in-store appearances. Fatkat, The Rocking Bull, Tune Up, Warrecords and Wally’s Groove World will all be taking part and hoping to welcome vinyl fans in their stores.

Last chance to catch this free exhibition of nature-related graphic art in Mekanik: Naturama.

naturama

Nature-lovers may also want to help out at this clean- up activity: an hour picking up the cigarette end around Grote Markt (starting at 11am; meet at Café Den Engel on the Grote Markt).

Sunday

Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm. It’s a small market offering goods made by mainly local creatives such as household items, jewellery, stationery, accessories.

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MUHKA

It’s Family Day at MUHKA -a good day to take the kids to Antwerp’s Gallery of Modern Art. Here is the programme, listing the activities for kids of different ages (note that you need to register your child for the first one -a guided walk around the gallery for kids aged 4 and below).

Palm Sunday will be celebrated at Antwerp Cathedral, with the schedule for the day as follows:

9h Holy Mass.
10h Holy Mass with the bishop. High Mass starts with a procession in the cathedral.
12h Holy Mass.
17h Vespers in the choir stalls.

The weather will be a bit cooler this weekend: 9 -11 degrees, and likely to be dry.

Miscellaneous

If you didn’t already see it, have a read of the special post about The Chef’s Cut which I published at the start of the week. There’s another special post next Monday, of particular interest if you are a new or recent arrival in Antwerp -all about Wwelcome and the services they offer which can help you feel at home here.

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Brocantwerpen is an antiques and bric-a-brac market held on Grotemarkt over the summer months: the first one is Wednesday (24th) from 10am -6pm.

Week van de Provincie Domeinen promotes the great outdoors through workshops, walks, conservation activities and outdoor sports. These cater for both adults and children and some are free. The week coincides with the second week of the Easter school holidays. Here are the activities available in the areas surrounding Antwerp.

Runners! There is still time to sign up for The Antwerp 10 miles and marathon. This event takes place on the 28th April.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 5th, 6th & 7th April

There are two exciting annual events occurring this weekend to delight sports and fashion fans in Antwerp!

The Tour de Flandres/ De Ronde van Vlaanderen 2019 starts in Antwerp, which will mean that the city (including the old town) will be busy this weekend…

While Antwerp Fashion Weekend will mean that it will -as ever -be classy and elegant.

AFW2019

Also over both Saturday and Sunday: the Antwerp Tattoo Convention at Waagnatie, where tattooist from Belgium and beyond show off their latest works and styles.

Friday

Good times! Summer must be in the air when Bar Noord opens its doors for the season, which it does this weekend, from Friday at 4pm … with DJs, VJs, cocktails, fire show, dancing and an open kitchen.

ghostwalkFIf you prefer something a little darker, then Antwerp Ghostwalk (pic left) are offering one of their spooky tours in English this evening, starting at 8.30pm at Steen (by the statue of Lange Wapper). Reservations via this link; pay (cash) on the tour.

Saturday

Before the pros take to the road on Sunday, the We Ride Flanders event will showcase the route on Saturday with keen, super-fit amateur cyclists racing enjoying the thrill of racing along the route that will be followed by the elite cyclists the following day. There are four races of differing lengths but the longest starts in Antwerp: an early start for this race- the starting gun will be fired between 7am and 8am on the Ernest van Dijkkaai (near Het Steen).

Here is the schedule for Saturday.

AFWprogramma2019A fun part of the Antwerp Fashion Weekend are the catwalk shows with take places regularly on the important shopping streets of Antwerp: Meir, Wilde Zee and Nationalestraat and also at The Fashion Exchange (see schedule right).

New this year as part of AFW will be the Fashion Sweep clothing swap on Kammenstraat -bring your clothes to exchange; make a donation to Kamiano- who work with the homeless in Antwerp- and take home a new-to-you, pre-loved piece.

Over at Stormkop you can help out with a clean-up on the banks of the Schelde. Explanation in English and sign-up doc can be found here.

Today is Slow Art Day.  MUHKA is marking the occasion with two tours (at 14h and 17h) and  a workshop (at 15h).

Sunday

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De Ronde on Grote Markt

The pros ride on Sunday: there will be a fan village on Groenplaats from 10am (including a big screen where you can follow the action once the race has departed Antwerp) and a stage on Grote Markt where the sporting slebs will mingle with the autograph hunters, and you can snap a selfie on the podium (see insta pic below).

New this year is the VeloFoor on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken, featuring stunt bikes, a parcours for kids and other fun biking activities to test your skills.

Here is the schedule for Sunday.

It’s the first Sunday of the month meaning shops are open in the afternoon for Sunday shopping, which happily coincides with the Ronde and with Antwerp Fashion weekend.

Escape to the Cathedral at 4pm for Sunday music -you just pay the usual entrance price, but don’t forget that if you can show you’re a local resident (use your ID card) then you are in for free.

This weekend’s rommelmarkt is at Waagnatie from 10am -6pm  and costs 3 euros to get in.

The weather should be mild to warm, with very low chances of showers -top temps around 16 degrees. Nice.

Miscellaneous

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 13.37.58Look out for two Nessascityblog special posts coming up featuring The Chef’s Cut and Wwelcome.

If you have an eye on summer already, you may wish to know that the Open Air Theatre  (OLT) in Rivierenhof has finalised its program which you can see here. Tickets go quickly for the popular acts so get in early.

Similarly, Zomer van Antwerpen are getting ready for 2019 and they’re hiring. If you’d like a summer job with them, see their ‘vacatures’.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th & 17th March

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It’s St Patrick’s day on Sunday, but as the ‘day’ has long since morphed into an entire weekend, it’s worth listing all of Antwerp’s Irish bars on this post. They will all be offering promos, music and other events or offers this weekend.

Nearest the station is Kelly’s – popular with tourists and sports fans, this is the most central of the bars, and the largest.

Also popular with tourists is The Irish Times on Grote Markt, a busy bar with a great location, it’s also known for sports and for live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

MollysFMolly’s Irish Pub is tucked away on Jesuitenrui on the old town -it’s smaller, very friendly and also popular for sport.

And last (but never least) An Sibhin on Nationalestraat -like Molly’s it’s smaller and friendly, with a relaxed crowd, sports and live music (also excellent sandwiches).

In a city the size of Antwerp, these pubs are not far from each other, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t aim high and hope to do a crawl which takes in all four of them this weekend.

Saturday

If you are interested in ebikes, Park Spoor Noord is the place to be for this E-bike test event from 10am- 5pm.

It’s the monthly film night at Het Roze Huis, Draakplaats. Film nights and free and you don’t need to reserve. Starting at 8pm, the film this month is the 2011 Dutch documentary film “Allemaal Lesbisch” by Mildred Roethof.

guinnessFThere’s a Guinness promo (and the chance to pour your own Guinness) at Molly’s all day, with music from 8pm (and a very similar program for the next day too).

Sunday (St Patrick’s Day)

From 10am it’s the usual second book market at the library (“boekenplein”).

Art lovers -enjoy a selection of Antwerp galleries opening their doors on and around the Leopoldplaats: it’s the second of the Leopold Sundays this year (participating galleries are Annie Gentils, Artelli Gallery, (re)D., Geukens & De Vil, mariondecanniere, Philippe Piessens, Keteleer Gallery and Next Door.)

An Sibhin will be great for food with Irish breakfasts being served from 11am and, oysters and stew on the terrace for lunch / afternoon. There will be a live band at 6pm.

If you like a really big, traditional sound, a St Patrick’s Day highlight for you could be the Red Hackle Pipe Band at 3pm in Kelly’s bar.

Irishpubs

A different way of going green on St Patrick’s Day would be these gardening workshops at Rivierenhof 2100 Deurne (near the kids’ farm). They’re free but you do need to register in advance here. Choose a 10am or 2pm start time.

Look out for runners taking part in the Antwerp Urban Trail.

The weather will be reasonably mild (top temps of 12 -13 degrees) but showers likely each day.

Miscellaneous

chocopassFChocolate Week continues in Antwerp – if you are familiar with Pateekes Week, then you will know the format, as it is the same: get your Chocolate Pass (“chocoladepas”; pic right) for 10 euros and then benefit from special chocolatey bargains around the city by exchanging the vouchers on the pass. You can buy the pass at one of Antwerp’s tourist offices (in central station, and on Grote Markt). Chocolate week continues until Sunday and you can see a list of participating chocolatiers and cafés here. Not only do you get bargain-priced chocolate but you can get in free to the Expo Chocolat Martougin which tells the interesting story story of this Antwerp brand (which has been revived and is being sold again in the city from this year) and its founder, Alfred Martougin (1875-1952).  I stumbled across this exhibition on Wednesday and found it all really intriguing. It is in Dutch but there are some lovely images and examples of Martougin products and packaging over the years which anyone would enjoy.

March is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 25th, 26th & 27th January

Friday

critical massIf you are feeling in need of a bracing cycle ride to round off your week, join Critical Mass: assembling at 6pm on Theaterplein for an hour’s cycling en masse through the city (pic right, from Critical Mass Facebook page).

For those who prefer a stroll, explore the Borgerhout area through the lens of its art works: Borger #15 is an art event where participating galleries, within walking or cycling distance of one another open for the evening. The galleries open for Borger #15 are: Zeno X Gallery (Godtsstraat 15); DMW Art Space (Koolstraat 15) ;The Arts Institute (Kattenberg 93); Base-Alpha Gallery, Antwerp (Kattenberg 12); Eva Steynen.Deviations (Zurenborgstraat 28) and they are open between 6pm and 9pm.

Saturday

mas
MAS

Avoid the cold by heading to MAS museum  for an afternoon of social  game and game-playing. This a free event, aimed at families and kids, and it’s on from 10am -5pm.

Monthly show Swaajp Invites is on at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. Beata Rozalska from Poland is the impro group’s guest performer this week. Tickets available here.

Sunday

There’s a mega indoor rommelmarkt at Kinepolis Event centre, from 10am -6pm. 3 euros entry

After the snow this week, it’s going to continue to be cold, with the possibility of snow and showers over Saturday and Sunday

Miscellaneous

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Exhibit from Wonderkamer at DIVA museum

I recently went to DIVA Diamond Museum for the first time to catch the Axel Verwoordt exhibition:  WonderKamer. It’s magical, so if you want to stay out of the cold and see some beautiful, eccentric, curious and elegant objects and art works, I thoroughly recommend it.

Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month, meaning these Antwerp city museums are free.

Last week I published a special post by Daniel McBrearty. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a lively and fascinating account of the history, ideas and current expo behind the Plantin Moretus museum on the Vrijdag Markt: How An Antwerp Immigrant Changed The World In 1550.

Legends of Liondance continues at Permeke library as part of the approaching Chinese New Year festivities. This is a colourful display of the lions which lasts until 10th February, and is free.

BATS panto is now virtually sold out! … apart from Sunday EVENING (17:30pm) performance at Theater ‘t Eilandje. Tickets are available via the BATS VZW website.
bats-sw2018

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