This weekend in Antwerp: 14th, 15th & 16th June

Friday

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Atlas op het plein is an event organised by Atlas, integratie & inburgering Antwerpen, which provides help, support and information for those arriving from other countries to settle in Antwerp. Atlas op het Plein is a chance to socialise with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, and to have a good time: there will be a conversation café, music, workshops and child-friendly activities -starts at 4pm.

Jazz fans – check out this free Jazz Bar Tour: eleven Antwerp bars offering live Jazz music across the course of the evening. Most are in the Sint Andries area of the city, but some are a little further afield, however I think with a little planning, the walking distance is not too great, and a bike would make this even easier.

This week’s addition to the Antwerp summer bar scene can be found at Plein Publiek where they open their Congé Summer bar from 5pm.

Saturday

62307314_560860957653533_2036524160045285376_oThere’s a lot going on in the Dam area of Antwerp:-

You can come and enjoy some Basketball on Damplein …

Or browse local fresh produce at Kraakvers Farmers’ Market

or join in the Trottinettenkoers (fun bike race) and neighbourhood street party.

Back in the town centre Beerlovers Bar (de Coninkplein) turns three. Lovers of Belgian and craft beer should head to Beerlovers Bar 3rd birthday.

And if you didn’t get enough Jazz at the Friday night event, there’s a mini-jazz festival starting at 6pm in Borgerhout, hosted by Madame Fortuna VZW.

On Groenplaats, look out for vintage trams, music and vintage costume (from 1pm) as the tram museum prepares to open to the public tomorrow (see Sunday). The re-opening will also be celebrated at the Zomerfeest Groenenhoek 2019 neighbourhood party which is nearby the new museum, from 11am.

Sunday

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images courtesy of Kleur je Oma

Kleur je Oma is an event that’s a little further away than those I usually include, but what is not to like about this great idea? It’s an art project for anyone who has a beloved grandparent who is gone but not forgotten. You can submit a photo of your grandparent (Oma or Opa) to the project which makes colouring pages of your picture. You can email the photo to foto@kleurjeoma.be or attend the event (from 2pm -5pm) in Park Sorghvliedt and bring your picture with you. The images and stories will become part of an exhibition, taking place in July. The event is the brainchild of artist Elske van Lonkhuyzen, and Antwerp’s very own city poet Maud van Hauwaert.

Strip en Boekenplein takes place on de Conninckplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month. Cheap books and graphic novels for all lovers of book browsing.

Thanks to Stephanie for getting in touch to let me know that on Sunday the Vlaams Tram en Autobus Museum in Berchem (pic below, courtesy of VlaTAM Facebook page) is reopening (following a period of closure for rennovation) at 2pm. On Sundays throughout July, vintage trams will be riding between Groenplaats and the museum at 1.45pm, 3pm, 4.15pm and 5pm.

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Markt van Morgen with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm.

The weather should become nicer after a drizzly week at times -top temps of 22 degrees, though there could still be showers on Saturday.

Miscellaneous

On Monday on Nessascityblog I am publishing a guest post by Jon Kemp who has experience of various different language courses available to those who wish to learn Dutch in Antwerp. Don’t forget to check in if you think it’s time to brush up on your Dutch language skills -there will be tips about how and where to find a course that’s right for you.

Sinksenfoor has opened at Park Spoor Oost! The traditional Antwerp fair will be open daily until the 7th July.

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 19.28.55It’s show time at BATS VZW! don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual Variety Showhow via their website -this year’s extravaganza is a riot of colour and fun, and there are still a few tickets available (particularly for Sunday night).

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early 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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The Ultimate A-Z of LGBT+ in Antwerp

The Ultimate A-Z of LGBTQ in Antwerp.

A guest post by Timothy Junes

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Timothy Junes (left) was born in Antwerp (1981) and still lives and works  here. He studied journalism and has written for LGBTQ media since 2000, both online and in print. His passions include LGBTQ news stories and travelling to new places. Nowadays he runs the Flemish language LGBT news blog Be Out and the English language travel blog Trip By Trip.

*

Antwerp has a long history of being a safe haven for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Belgium. Let me introduce you, using the alphabet.

First, I’ll start with a disclaimer: this is not a ‘Complete Gay Guide to Antwerp’. That would be impossible since Pink Antwerp is constantly changing. Some blame the internet, some blame the economy and gentrification, some blame youth. There are many factors as to why LGBTQ oriented bars and cafés come and go. I should point out here that bars and cafés mostly cater to gay and bisexual men. Presently there’s no lesbian bar in town.

A

Active Company is Antwerp’s LGBTQ sports group. From athletics to swimming, from cycling to yoga, Active Company has it all. A great way to make friends.

Antwerp Pride is a highpoint of LGBTQ life in Antwerp. Four to five days to party, parade or attend a debate. Mark the second weekend of August in your calendar.

Coupled with Antwerp Pride, there is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival. Exhibitions, performances, parties. While Antwerp Pride is more ‘party oriented’, the queer arts festival is more activist. Both work well together. First half of August.

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MAS museum lit up in Pride colours

B

The Bonaparte at the Grote Markt is a karaoke bar. But with a gay owner, it won’t surprise you there are drag nights and gay parties. Pannekoek on Sundays.

D

I’m not sure the managers of Den Draak like to call their bar a gay bar. Patrons are both LGBTQ and straight. It will throw a very gay Eurovision Song Contest viewing party, and it will also celebrate the Red Devils, Belgium’s football team.

Located at the Draakplaats, it’s very well integrated in the hipster, somewhat leftist neighbourhood of Zurenborg.

Café DeLux at Melkmarkt 16 is in the middle of it all. DeLux is what you could call a ‘mainstream gay bar’. Coffee and tea during the day, alcohol at night. Don’t forget in Belgium a café could both be a coffee and snacks place, and a bar!

E

Enig Verschil is the LGBTQ youth group of Antwerp. Flanders has a tradition of youth groups outside the scouting movement. For many LGBTQ’s in Flanders, such youth groups were a starting point.

F

Are you a student? Why not join De Flamingo’s? Student clubs in Belgium are not really like American style fraternities; they’re more open.  

H

H.I.M is a more or less monthly party concept. H.I.M is really ‘club scene’ as you’d imagine it: beats, shirtless men, flirting… People come from far and wide to attend.

The Hessenhuis at Hessenplein opened its doors in 1993. During the day it serves as the cafeteria of the event space Hessenhuis, but around 6PM the atmosphere changes and it becomes a gay bar.

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Het Roze Huis – çavaria Antwerpen (pictured above) is both a brick ‘pink house’ and an umbrella organisation for LGBTQ groups and associations in the Province of Antwerp. It organises the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival and L-week.

Each January, Het Roze Huis holds a New Year’s reception under the bridge of Draakplaats. An absolute must-attend event for LGBTQ’s in Antwerp. Beware! Due to engineering works on the bridge, the New Year’s reception will for once take place at De Roma. Mark 5 January 2019 in your calendar.

The offices are above Den Draak.

K

The Antwerp gay scene is not shy of kinky spots. The Boots in the Van Aertdtstraat and The Kinkys in de Lange Beeldekensstraat are too nice examples.

L

Leather & Fetish Pride Belgium in February accommodates lovers of leather, fetish and kinks. It consists of parties, socials and a fair. Darklands includes shops, workshops and activities for leather, fetish and kinks. If you open your eyes, you will definitely see men in leather, rubber and other fetishwear in the streets of Antwerp. The event mostly caters to men, but not exclusively.

There may not be L*-oriented bars in Antwerp but you can attend L-week in November. Ten days filled with activities, workshops and parties for women who like women. The asterisk stands for a broad interpretation of the word lesbian.

Q

Que Pasa in the Lange Koepoortstraat 1 is a latin drag queen bar. It organises performances and drag contests. It’s near one of the rainbow crossings.

R

The Red & Blue was founded in 1997. Nowadays it’s called Cargo Club but ‘Red & Blue’ remains its gay brand. It’s the obvious party location and an icon in Antwerp.

S

Sjalot & Schanul is a lesbian run restaurant behind City Hall. The address is Oude Beurs 12.  

SPEK (“bacon”) is a queer, ‘alternative’ party concept. Electro tunes, booze, cigarettes, other substances. Attracts queer, leftwing, hipster crowd.

Café Strange in the Dambruggestraat is the oldest, still open gay bar in town. Manager Armand Everaerts is well in his 80s but still serves you cheap beer. A special place.

Strangelove – A Queer Festival is a June based event. It combines film, performances and parties.

T

T-day is a day of activities, workshops and meet-ups for trans* people, their friends and their families. It is organised by çavaria, the Flemish LGBTQ umbrella organisation.

Café Twilight used to be located in the Van Schoonhovenstraat or Rue Vaseline. In the 20th century, the Rue Vaseline is where all the action happened. Twilight closed there but rose like a phoenix at Theaterplein.

U

The Unicorn Festival in July is not an exclusively gay event, but with such a name it clearly attracts LGBTQ people and their friends. Belgium is famous for its numerous summer festivals and Unicorn is one of them. It’s small but very cosy. It’s on Linkeroever (Left bank) and offers a great view of the Antwerp skyline.

 

All photos by Timothy Junes.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 15th, 16th & 17th June

Just a brief post this time as I am away (again) and starting my summer holidays with a weekend in Namur (insta pics will be hashtagged #nessascityblognamur – last weekend’s were #nessascityblogaachen)

HERE IS THE GOOGLE MAP -it includes all the venues listed for World Cup Football, and for the Jazz Kroegentocht.

silhouette-3178763_640Friday

Alfresco drinking to start the weekend takes place at Apereau Boeienweide this week -just across the water on Linkeroever, from 5pm. Take your bike and enjoy the fiets tunnel.

Alternatively check out CoSintAndries Jazz Kroegentocht– (jazz pub tour): eight bars between the Sint Andries neighbourhood and the Schippenkwartier bring you live jazz music from 8.30pm. See the link to check the program and plan your evening: it’s all very walkable from bar to bar -these bars are all marked on the Google Map for this post.
And very happy holidays to students and staff at Antwerp International School who start their summer break today!

 

Saturday

swaajplogoImpro theatre from local group Swaajp: Swaajp Invites Gael Perry (France) at 8pm at the BATS Little Theatre.

Sunday

Regular fixture for bibliophiles Boekenplein takes place at de Coninckplein just in front of Permeke Library from 10am -4pm: second hand books, magazines, graphic novels, picture postcards and children’s books at low prices.

More second hand bargains at Goegekregen’s Rommelmarkt in ‘t Park (Park Spoor Noord) from 9am- 6pm

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If you are feeling sporty check out the Antwerp Triathlon at Eilandje, or just go along to support the participants and enjoy the atmosphere. If you are not familiar with this part of town (near the city’s iconic MAS museum) it will be a good day to check it out as there will be DJs and a foodmarket as well as the sporting activities. There is even a free Kids Triathlon organised by Jespo: register your child(ren) here 

Temperatures this weekend are predicted to be between 21 -23 degrees. It should be dry and warm, but cloudy

politieprideMiscellaneous

As Pride month begins, and in preparation for Antwerp Pride (August), iconic locations around the city are lit in rainbow colours this weekend! Look out for the rainbow version of the Stad Antwerpen logo (right), and posters with the motto “In Antwerpen Kan Iedereen Stralen” (“Everyone Can Shine In Antwerp”).

Tickets for the ticketed events on the Zomer van Antwerpen agenda are now for sale via the program page of  the ZVA website.

The OLT (Rivierenhof) has a summer music program. Info and tickets here.

The Baroque Antwerpen program is now underway and continues until January 2019.

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Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) is underway in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went  and had a great time. It’s on until 24th June. And you can print out some vouchers for deals and reductions on rides & food here.

For World Cup Big Screen action try the Irish Bars (An Sibhin, Molly’s, Irish Times & Kelly’s). Games are also being shown on the big screen at Dagerraadplaats, The Hyundai Fan Village, Bar Nord, Bar Leon and at de Koninck brewery. Some games are showing at Bocadero. Here is the schedule of World Cup matches. Do you know of other fun venues to watch the games? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

 

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This weekend: 16th, 17th & 18th June

This weekend the Zomer van Antwerp officially begins! For those who don’t know, this is a program of venues and cultural events (cinema, theatre, circus and music) which are in place until the 3rd September. Many events are free, some are ticketed or have an entry cost. The ZVA website is the go-to place online for information and tickets. The Zomerbar on Sloepenweg is one of the hubs of ZVA and it is an ideal place to hang out for everyone really, as it is a great bar and location, but also has a play area for kids and plenty of sand. There’s also food (or you can bring your own), and an outdoor library. It’s also a place where you can pick up ZVA tickets and info.

location-162102_640Here’s the MAP!

Friday

The ZVA kicks off at the Zomerfabriek at 10pm but doors -and the bar- will be open from 5pm.

Those interesting people down at MAF have a vernissage …

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Saturday

At Bato Batu bar from 1.30- 6pm there’s a second hand vinyl sale in the side-street by the bar.

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… and regular rommelmarkts in Appelstraat, Borgerhout and in Berchem from 8am, for early birds…

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Other than that, Saturday seems a bit quiet -I would take the time to either check out one of the summer bars, or spend the day at Antwerp’s regular Saturday market on Theaterplein, which is much more than a place where you can just pick up your weekly fruit and veg: more and more stands are selling food and drinks for on the spot, and it is making the market an increasingly social place to hang out. There’s a busy cava and seafood stand in front of the theatre, but also worth a visit is a stand with a Spanish flavour, a little further along (usually almost parallel with Belgian Wines) which does decent tapas, or egg rolls for a late breakfast, which you can wash down with wine, coffee or Cava, depending on your levels of bon viveurism (or hangover).

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The evening, however, brings the perfect event for the jazz fan: The Sint- Andries Jazz Bar Tour: five bars, all within easy walking distance of one another, each offering a menu of live jazz, starting at 8, with the last band signing off at midnight. Check the link to plan your route (the venues are all marked on the map with the sax image, left).

 

Sunday

swanmarket
Swan Market

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am (design, accessories, clothing, food)

… and the usual strip & boekenplein (second hand books and graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library.

There’s a rommelmarkt (second hand clothes and goods) on  Dageraadplaats from 9am. This is a very nice local square with plenty of cafés, bars and a playground so you can keep an eye on your kids while you have a drink or browse the stands.

Weather forecast: lovely.

Miscellaneous

dereede

Antwerp has a new museum – Museum de Reede which casts a spotlight on the work of Goya, Munch and Rops. It is just opposite Steenplein near the river (Ernest van Dijckkaai 7).

Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.

Summer bar Smokey Jo’s Cantina (formerly Smokey Joe’s Garage) at de Koninck  Brewery is another summer bar (also with kids play area) which is now open.

Get your tickets for BATS Variety Show  (this weekend and next weekend) I hear they are selling out fast!

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If you are finding it a challenge to get around the various roadworks in Antwerp these days (especially since the Leien were closed off on the 5th June) then check slimnaarantwerpen.be to help you negotiate your way around town.

Don’t forget that the Sinksenfoor (funfair) is open daily in Park Spoor Oost until 9th July.

And the View on The Zoo ferris wheel (featured pic) is on Astridplein until August.

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.

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).

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This is actually me

 

Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.

 

 

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on social media, where additional events are also posted:

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This weekend: February 19th, 20th & 21st

Friday

If you are starting your weekend with a night out …

London Calling are hosting a special tribute night to Bowie at a new venue in Borgerhout (Bar Venetie) starting at 10pm.

Or …

For a more unplugged and acoustic start to your weekend, go to Klein Antwerpen for Muziek zonder Elektriek which is open-mic  and free (although you might like to throw something into the hat for the performers). It starts at 7pm, and if you would like to perform, register by email to  dereus-podium@outlook.be .

Or…

Drinks and Dancing at Plein Publiek starting at 4

Antwerp Chocolate week starts today! It works in much the same way as the ‘pateekes week’: for 10 euros you get your vouchers at the tourist office on Grote Markt and these can be traded in at participating chocolatiers around the town.

 

Saturday

 

LBWG
Little Brewers Winter Garden

From 2pm in Little Brewers Winter Garden there is free kids’ entertainment in the form of a candy cake making activity.

LBWG is a winter pop-up bar which will be closing at the end of this month.

 

 

 

Het Roze Huis are offering free film again! This time a chance to see The New Girlfriend (French) at 8pm.

 

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Steen

Kids aged 6- 12 can enjoy a workshop based around the theme of Time at Het Steen for 6 euros from 2 – 4pm. Register by email hetsteen@hetpaleis.be

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An Sibhin

 

For live music head to An Sibhin for some slightly eccentric country rock from Jailhouse Chili at 8pm.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday

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pic from Goedgekregen

 

 

 

In Park Spoor Noord from 10am (free) is the first Goedgekregen Second Hand Market. It’s undercover, so it is still very much worth attending even if the weather is wet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinema Zuid, down by the Kaaien is offering two kids films starting at 10.30am for 5 euros a ticket (so cheaper than the mainstream cinemas). There’s Mini en de Muggen for kids aged 4+, and Phantom Boy for kids aged 6+ (both in Dutch).

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Angst Essen Seele Auf  is the name of a new exhibition opening at LLs 387 at 7pm, with performances. The exhibition will run until 3rd April.

Bookworms and graphic novel fans should make their way to De Coninckplein in front of Permeke library, for a book fair between 10am  and 4pm, featuring new and second hand books. Free.

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de Coninckplein

 

If dancing is more your thing head to an open stage Dance Jam at Costa Sint Andries community centre at Sint-Andriesplaats 24 at 1.30. This is free.

Designer clothing fans, and bargain hunters may enjoy this outlet sale at Expo.

Antwerp Green Party (Groen Antwerpen) are holding a film lunch at cinema Klappei. 10 euros will get you a ticket for the film, a 1-hour panel discussion afterwards, and then lunch. The doors open at 10am and the film being shown is a 2009 documentary called Katanga Business. Email tom.vandenborne@groen.be if you would like to attend. More information here.

Weather is likely to be milder (after a VERY chilly week) but with a fair chance of showers during Saturday.

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend and keep following: here, and on Twitter @nessascityblog

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This weekend: 21st- 22nd November 2015

 

rainystreetSome rainy day outings for grown-ups …. after last week’s kid-centric post. There seems to be a more mature offering this weekend, as the weather turns more wintry …

Saturday

The photography museum celebrates 50 years with a number of events and exhibitions over the entire weekend.

Also for the culturally minded a Zine Fest which is also taking place over the whole weekend as is “Veterans Day” , a symposium of events celebrating 1960s Antwerp (fashion, design, art and music). You can find the full program here.

Festive shoppers may be in luck at the handcrafted market where creatives will be selling their own home-made products. I like the Berlin bar which is nearby, if you are stopping for a drink.

… and a new bar is opening in Antwerp Saturday evening.

Sunday

toys

If, like me,  you are shopping for kids in the near future (in our home we celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas and the birthdays of all three children during winter!) then you may want to head to a second hand toy market at De Roma Theatre.

Science Day is taking place in various locations around Antwerp on Sunday. All activities are free, but you need to register for some of them. These activities will be in Dutch, although for some activities language might not be so significant -like the exhibits and activities around Astrid Plein and Central Station.

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Koningin Astridplein