Easter weekend: 25th- 28th March

EASTERflowers

 

Please note, this is the information I have about weekend events at the moment. If any are cancelled or rescheduled due to the recent raising of the security threat level, I will update the post as soon as I can and will Tweet additional info. Please comment here, or mention @nessascityblog in your own Tweet if you get information yourself, so that I can RT you, and edit this post. Thank you.

Tonight (Thursday) there will be a requiem mass at MAS and a chance to sign a book of condolence from 7.30pm

Silent Vigil is planned for Friday, at 6pm on Grote Markt.

In Borgerhout on Vincotteplein there will be one at 5pm.

Brussels Airport remains closed at least for today and tomorrow. For train information about the Brussels area you can check here.

Here are the weekend’s events, as usual, which as far as I presently know, are still on course to take place over the Easter weekend.

Good Friday

Assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm for the Easter edition of Critical Mass. After which you could cycle on to Park Spoor Noord where the Cargo Summer Bar is opening for 2016 from 7pm, with music, drinks and food. Unfortunately, the big-screen showing of the football match which was due to take place at Cargo have been cancelled in the light of the attacks in Brussels, as Belgium will not be playing against Portugal on Tuesday.

There’s a new bar and bookshop opening on Grote Markt. Come and check out Kobalt from 7pm.

Easter Saturday

Spoor Oost
Image: Publicity poster, Stad Antwerpen

 

Head to the Spoor Oost Opening Party which kicks off at 11am and promises food, drinks, kids entertainment, playground, sport, fleamarket, BBQ and graffiti art space. Park Spoor Oost is going to serve as an huge public space and events venue for the Borgerhout/ Schijnpoort area of the city. Festivities will go on all day, and on into the night with an after-party starting at 9pm in Bahnhof (event venue/ bar).

For a traditional Antwerp experience, take part in the Semini Celebrations starting at 10am on Grote Markt, with traditional music and dance.
Who is is Semini? From Wikipedia: “At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as “children of Semini”. An organization concerned with the historic preservation of Het Steen and Semini, Antwerp Komitee Semini in Ere (AKSIE), formed in 1986, holds annual celebrations at Het Steen as cultural events.” 

By “reviled by later religious clergy”  what is actually meant is that the Jesuits chopped his phallus off. Prior to that, fragments of it had been supposedly chipped away by the women of Antwerp who believed they would help them conceive. Unlucky, Semini. He is a well known figure here and the people of Antwerp once referred to themselves as “Semini’s Children”.

Nonetheless, it’s still a special day to get married, if you are an Antwerp couple, and after the celebrations on Grote Markt, the procession will make its way to Sint Andriesplaats (coStA) arriving at around 1pm, for free musical performances and folk singers.

standries
Sint Andriesplaats

Not far away at the St Anna Tunnel -AKA Voetgangers (pedestrians) Tunnel- there will be a free urban dance event, The Antwerp Battle taking place just in front of the tunnel entrance, where there is a basketball court (St Jansplein). There’s a vintage/ antique market here each Sunday, but also one today.. If you have never been in the tunnel, it is really worth seeing. You can cross to Linkeroever, under the Schelde, by foot or by bike. The Antwerp Battle is one a a number of different dance events happening as part of Dans Promenade ,all of which are free.

Near Astridplein there is a free art market at the Afrikaans Cultureel Centrum, from midday.

Easter Day

If you are feeling sporty or need to run off an excess of chocolate, then head for Rivierenhof at 11am (meet at the lake in the centre of the estate) where you can join runners training for the Antwerp 10 miles & Marathon taking place this year on the 17th April.

It’s the last chance to see Le Bruit des Choses exhibition Middelheim Museum. Middelheim is free.

Easter Monday

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window of an Antwerp chocolatier

 

Note that most shops in Antwerp will be closed on Easter Monday.

I suggest eating some chocolate.

 

 

 

 

Tip for Wednesday: On the last Wednesday of the month, the permanent collections of the following museums are FREE. It’s worth noting that this Wednesday (30th) is a school holiday and taking the kids at this time will save you quite a bit. It’s useful to know that The Red Star Line museum is often particularly busy though, so have a Plan B if that is is full of visitors taking advantage of the free entrance.

 

ANGEL2
Museum Mayer van den Bergh

MAS

The Rubens House

Rockoxhuis Museum

Museum Mayer van den Bergh

Museum Vleeshuis

House of Literature

Plantin Moretus Museum

The Red Star Line Museum

 

 

 

Temperatures for the Easter weekend look fairly fresh and mild, but there is a distinct chance of rain on both Good Friday and Easter Day. Saturday and Monday are likely to be dry.

The attacks in Brussels at the start of this week cast a shadow over Easter for everyone living in Belgium. Perhaps you have changed your travel plans as a result. I know we are all thinking of those who lost their lives and were injured in the explosions. Let’s stay calm and not lead lives driven by fear. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Easter. X

 

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Second hand Antwerp: buying, selling, recycling & donating.

22ndhandbooks

Regular readers may have noticed that I frequently feature flea-markets on my blog posts.  (or “Rommelmarkten” in Dutch). I enjoy going to these markets -they are often sociable places to hang out, with snacks or drinks also on sale, or take place in a communal space like a local square. I believe that buying second hand, trading hand-me-downs with friends and borrowing are ways in which we can keep costs down and simultaneously reduce our carbon footprint. I often buy second hand clothes for myself and my kids, and I love to get a bag of hand-me-downs, from parents of bigger kids, rather than buy new. Here is a brief guide to some of the second- hand shops in Antwerp, as well as some suggestions about recycling and donating your own used items. Rommelmarkten.be lists secondhand markets all over Belgium and this site enables you to search by location and date.

oxfam
Oxfam books on Quellinstraat

Oxfam has two shops in Antwerp. One is at Quellinstraat 28 (off Keyserlei) and sells second-hand books. It is open from 10 -6 on Mondays to Saturdays and most (but not all books are in Dutch). The other Oxfam store is not a second hand store -it’s a “Wereld winkel” (world shop) and sells goods produced by people in developing countries, often as part of Oxfam initiatives. There is a Permekewide range of Fair Trade goods, and environmentally- friendly products such as those made by Ecover. Talking of books, don’t forget the Permeke Library on de Coninckplein (just through China Town) for borrowing books and DVDs. De Slegte on Wapper also sells (and will buy) second hand and antiquarian books.

My favourite second-hand shop is the “Kringwinkel” (recycling shop) at Sint-Jorispoort 29. It is really big and has four floors of second hand items, always in good condition. I have bought clothes, furniture and baby items at the Sint -Jorispoort Kringwinkel. It also sells toys, jewellery, kitchen and baby items. As well as buying from here, they will receive your used items at the front desk. For larger items, you can call them and they will take away your sofa or cupboard for free, if you arrange a time with them.

kringwinkel

There are a couple of great places for second- hand clothing in Antwerp. Perhaps best known is Think Twice which has three shops in Antwerp: on the Jezus Straat (off Meir), on Lange Klarenstraat (also off Meir) and on Kammenstraat (towards the old town, off Nationalestraat). The prices are more than you would pay at the Kringloopwinkel or at a flea-market, but the stock is in good condition, well chosen and often pretty hip.

THINK2

 

In a similar price range is Episode which also specialises in retro and vintage. It’s a roomy store with space to rummage and plenty of denim if you are looking for jeans, as well as fun fake fur, belts, shades … They are a chain  and also have stores in The Netherlands and in Copenhagen.

If you are buying new and have a reasonable budget Today Is A Good Day on Nationalestraat specialises in eco- friendly shoes and clothing, but as you can see from the website, it is not cheap. However, if you have eco-cheques, and want to use them for clothes or shoes, you can spend them here.

A little further down is the same street is Jutka en Riska selling vintage, retro and second hand clothing, accessories and shoes -this is also a bit more hip than a regular charity store and so some prices are a bit higher here. They do sell new clothes from their own label -these are not cheap, but you can get lucky, as they do good reductions. They will buy in your 60s, 80s & 90s clothing and accessories.

Jutkeandriska
Jutka & Riska, Nationalestraat

If you are looking for labels at second hand prices, cross Astridplein from the station and turn left, where you will find Pardaf on Gemeentestraat. It’s easy to miss and looks like a residence. Inside the rooms are small, but there is a good choice of second hand designer clothes, accessories and bags.

Pardaf
Pardaf

In need of a second hand bike? Try Abakri. They also do bike repairs. Also, if you are going to be living in Antwerp for a limited time, you can buy a bike, return it within a year and get half the cost of the bike back.

Alternatively, there are the now distinctive red and white Antwerp Velos available for a cheap price at lots of handy locations around the city.

Gamers can get second hand games and consoles at Game Mania which also takes your used games for cash or store credit.

Tuneup
Tune Up on Melkmarkt

Antwerp also has a few independent second hand vinyl stores – a couple of these are located not far from the cathedral, coming away from Grote Markt, such as Fat KatThe Vinyl Touch and Tune Up (above the International Magazine Store) which are all within a short walk of one another. Across the road from Vinyl Touch, at Wolstraat 1 is In’t Profijtelijk Boeksken (IBP books) which sells second hand books and vinyl.

ibpbooks
IBP Wolstraat 1

Head south along Volkstraat to Coffee and Vinyl which -as the name suggests -will provide you with caffeine also. Local artists also exhibit here.

Finally, don’t forget to recycle or donate your own used goods. As previously mentioned, the Kringwinkel will pick up larger goods for you, if you contact them and arrange a time. Clean, usable items which are smaller, can be taken directly to Sint- Jorispoort, or books to Oxfam.

brokendog
Some items you may just have to let go …

There are a number of selling pages on Facebook like this one or this one in English, but you might like to consider giving things away on Free & Recycled Antwerpen where you can also look at what others are giving away or post if there is something you need that someone else might be glad to get rid of (I once got rid of a bunch of old wood that had been hanging around on my balcony, but which some one else could put to good use). High street store  H & M is also accepting used clothes as part of a recycling initiative.

A really good cause in the Antwerp area is Moeders voor Moeders which supports parents and families in need by supplying clothing, baby items & equipment and food to those in need of it. On Thursday and Tuesdays between 9 and 4 you can drop off these items at Helmstraat 91, or on the first Saturday of each month between 10 and midday. They are also keen to receive school bags and equipment for local children who need them, as well as sheets and towels.

Antwerp is pretty good for second hand shopping, in my view. All these stores are just about within walking distance of one another, so it would be easy to plan an afternoon and browse them all. These are just a sample, I know there are some I have missed which I need to explore on Koepoortstraat and a couple more on Nationalestraat too, so I am sure I will have to do some updates to this post….

clothes

2ndhandclothes

 

 

So here sporting a gold-knit top from Blanco, a skirt from Morgan de Toi, with coat from Miss Selfridge, bag from Mexx (all second hand; total costs approximately 12 euros). The black and white houndstooth bangle was also second hand, but I don’t know where it is from.