This weekend in Antwerp: 9th, 10th & 11th February

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Here’s your GOOGLE MAP to help you find the events listed in this post.

This weekend, it’s the Asia In Antwerp event which takes place over both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be reserved online here. There will be food and drink stands from all over Asia (as well as cooking and food preparation workshops) and performances of Asian music and dance from a variety of countries: Bali, Indonesia, Korea, China and Thailand. (Images courtesy of Azie in Antwerpen)Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 19.52.20

Antwerp Pateekesweek continues until 11th February. During Pateekesweek, various bakeries, patisseries, coffee & tea houses take part, and the idea is to allow cake-lovers to sample a variety of treats at different places. To take part, you buy a Pateekes Pas for 10 euros which has 10 bonnetjes (vouchers) on it. These can be exchanged in the participating venues which are listed here and you can buy the Pateekes Pas at the tourist offices on Grote Markt or at Antwerp Central Station.

 

Friday


Hear a musical story in English at ‘T Werkhuys (Inter-Musikas – ‘Measure 23 of Life’): Adam Clarke, Canadian composer who studies here in Antwerp. Adam composes pieces for guitar, guitar duo, bagpipe and- for the first time- flute. He will tell his migration story and how it changed his way of thinking, and his style of composing. The story will be told totally in English.

Saturday

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Old City Wall visible on the Frankrijklei last year

This weekend you can view the foundations at Kipdorpbrug which are exposed as a result of the building work on the Noorderlijn in the centre of Antwerp. Last year, a similar opportunity occurred on the Frankrijklei, when the old city wall was visible and it was possible to go and see it. It’s worth doing as it is just for this weekend that the public are able to go this archeological site. You can visit the site from 1pm -10pm. This continues onto Sunday (10am -6pm). The pop-up café Opera Plein 1 will be exhibiting some of the objects found at the site. The site is likely to be muddy, so wear your sturdiest boots. A food archeologist will be around between 2 and 6pm, and DJ Barok will be playing very old-school hits, so you can party like it’s 1799.

More music at this free choral concertat 8pm at St Andries Kerk. “Inner Voices” is a youth choir from London established in 2011, and with a wide repertoire of different songs.

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If you have younger kids, you will know Het Steen Café. We have been here often since we moved here, for play facilities, workshops and even our son’s birthday party. Het Steen is closing this weekend and is holding a free closing party (from 3pm) to say goodbye. The kids facilities will move to Droogdokkensite (in the Eilandje area) and re-open in June under the new name “Stormkop”.

Sunday

Kipdorp archeological event -see above (Saturday)

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It’s the annual Rivierenhof Valentines Run with 5k and 10k runs, you can arrive from 9.30am and the starting pistol is fired at 11am. To take part costs five euros on the day itself, but is free if you register beforehand. 

It’s Goegekregen in the Parkloods (Park Spoor Noord) a secondhand/ retro/ vintage market with something for everyone -free.

It’s not exactly bikini weather. Friday looks particularly chilly (2 degrees) even with the possibility of some snow. It’s a little warmer on Saturday and Sunday, but Sunday could be showery.

 

Miscellaneous

This month sees the start of some blog posts that I am writing for Visit Antwerp this year. Check out my FIVE FEBRUARY FAVOURITES

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At the Permeke Library the free exhibition Legends of Liondance is on until 25th February. I recommend this as I went last year with my kids. It’s also a good chance to see the relocated children’s section of the Permeke library.

Schools are off next week for the February break (aka Krokusvakantie). Museums across Belgium are putting on some special activities for kids. Here’s the selection from the Antwerp area.

Valentine’s Day is next Wednesday.

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Guest Post: Laura Soave, designer and blogger from Italy writes about how there is no place like home …

Laura Soave is an Antwerp blogger and designer from Italy. Check out her blog: nonnative and find her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter  Read her story here:-

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No Place Like Home …

Breathless, I’m completely breathless, not because I’m admiring a beautiful view from a fancy skyscraper in some fancy big city like New York. No, the reason why my ex-smoker lungs are loudly screaming is because I have just ascended 65 stairs (yes, I counted) just so I could reach the top floor of a building in Kipdorpvest, a street in the heart of this small city. And all of this effort just so I could visit the last apartment available te huur (to rent). That day I made my first big decision in a foreign country: quit smoking! This is one of the first memories I have of moving to Antwerp and one of the first time I saw Leopold de Waelplaats. I thought it was one of the most charming places I had ever seen: foggy, a little grey, but incredibly charming. I remember I was sitting in this café while waiting to check the last apartment for the day. It has been a long time since I’ve thought of that first day in this strange, new land.

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Leopold de Waelplaats

My name is Laura and I am an Italian from Napoli living in Antwerp since 2011. When I moved here with my Italian husband we did it to get a better life, sure. But we weren’t running away from La Bella Italia; we were homesick everyday, and we still are. Were we leaving everything behind – family, friends, our apartment – in order to try this new experience that might get us a better job and a better future? The hope for better opportunities fused with a curiosity to explore a new culture won the battle between “shall we go?” and “we’d  better stay”.  

So the answer was yes. Even though during my first days of Belgian-life I perceived some kind of hostility, I wanted to feel part of the culture and understand the everyday mechanisms of a society that I could not yet comprehend. While observing people crossing the street I couldn’t help but wonder how could they go around with just a light t-shirt or shorts while an unstoppable rain was coming down! And as soon as a timid ray of sunlight emerged, everybody was sitting outside, no matter what temperature: that was a complete mystery to me. But yes, I now forgot cars and traffic and rode around Antwerp on my purple bike, crossing streets of a city so diverse that it can make your head spin. I noticed there is less queuing at the bank or at the post office, and less stress caused by things like late buses, however, you’ll feel the need to take advantage of enjoying a day outdoor in the sun, because it might be the last you’ll see in a long time. Due to this and many other reasons, I became passionate about this place. I started working as designer, began to attend Dutch classes and discover more of this new culture. I made both Belgian and international friends.

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When you live abroad for a while, you realise your life will always be split into two perfect halves. Half of me is still in my hometown; and then there is other half that has tuned out of my own culture a little, and has adjusted to a new way of life and new rules. At first, this new feeling created a sense of non-belonging, not belonging to Antwerp but also not to Napoli, because not living my culture for so long made me forget what’s it like to live there. A dawning awareness enabled me to at last realise that I do belong to both places at the same time, so to make a better record of my life here and experiences, I recently started a blog about Antwerp (nonnative.blog), which is a collective of expat voices. Nonnative is a place where people can write about this city from the expat point of view; it’s like an online home.

Sometimes I think of what Dorothy says “There is no place like home” right before clicking her heels for three times to go home. Home can be in two different places at the same time: in one place you have your heart, and in the other your have your soul. One cannot live without the other.

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Inspired to write a guest blog post telling your Antwerp story? Please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com -I’d love to hear from you.

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Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

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Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

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