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: 6th, 7th & 8th September

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commemorative peace doves made by Antwerp school children

This weekend Antwerp Commemorates as the city marks the 75th anniversary of its liberation at the end of the Second World War. Cities in Belgium join with other cities to remember, and there are liberation events across Europe on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Belgian kids went back to school this week after summer holidays, so will no doubt be ready for the weekend. On de Coninckplein there are street theatre and circus activities for free from Sinjoor Circo XL on Saturday and Sunday. We took ours to a similar event on Falconplein not long ago, and they enjoyed it.

Part of Antwerp continues. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.

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ABC Taproom

Friday

Start your weekend at this Flying Pig event at the Café Seefhoek (aka ABC Taproom) courtyard from 5pm – food trucks, DJs, cocktails and local beer.

Saturday

Here’s the Saturday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events. The Liberation Ball from 6pm on Groenplaats is a particular highlight and is free – dress code retro, if you can!

From 1pm -6pm there’s this vinyl sale at Bar Bato Batu. It takes places in the small side street next to the bar, and is a chilled way to spend the afternoon for lovers  and browsers of second hand vinyl bargains.

Sunday

Here’s the Sunday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events.

 

openmonumentendag2019-volledig campagnebeeld-1000x14x14 (1)It’s Open Monument Day across Flanders. This is an annual heritage event which sees museums and other sites of cultural and historical interest open to the public for free. Naturally, many of the venues are in and around Antwerp and you can see them all listed by doing an Antwerp search on the website. Last year, we went to the Groen Kwartier and discovered the Military Hospital, and PAKT. This is a really nice area to hang out in and there is also a rommelmarkt, which will be held again this year too.

I also received a top tip from a reader, recommending De Sterrenkijker School, Durletstraat 8-10: it was originally an orphanage for boys and was designed by the architects who also designed the magnificent Districtshuis Borgerhout – it arose out of a competition 1875, organised by the forerunners of the OCMW (its siblings from the same competition were a girls orphanage in Albert Grisaarstraat (now apartments) and a home for the elderly in Lange Lozanastraat (but destroyed in WWII)).

Durletstraat is named in honour of renowned city architect, Frans Andries Durlet …..Come and discover more of the story! Dip into the past- there will be a small exhibition of posters,  original drawings, photos and articles (retrieved from the archives and some private collections) a timeline, artworks, and photos by current pupils, inspired by the building. This is a great example of the sort of local stories and histories you can unexpectedly stumble upon on Open Monument Day.

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De Sterrenkijker. Photo: Torsten Louland

Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm. Around 30 stands where local designers and entrepreneurs show and sell their fashion, jewellery, graphic and interior design products – DJs and a drinks truck take care of the music and refreshment.

Record lovers are spoiled this weekend: there’s another Vinyl Market on Giraffenplein (behind the zoo) hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling, from 10am -5pm.

cycling-312533_640Cycling fans will enjoy the Antwerp Port Epic – a one day annual cycling event which starts on the Schengenplein, with competitors taking to the stage at around 10, before the race starts, just after 11.

Helaas, the really summery weather is going to fall away this weekend, although it won’t be too chilly, with top temps of around 17 degrees. However, it could be showery now and then, especially on Friday.

Miscellaneous

Please read and share a special blog post which is all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God)  in their current home on Paardenmarkt are on sale now via their website.

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image courtesy of Think Pink

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 (breast cancer awareness and research).

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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.

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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: 22nd, 23rd & 24th February

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Theaterplein

Friday
It’s the last Friday of the months and it’s a special Critical Mass: it’s the sixth birthday of the Antwerp group. Assemble at 17.45 on Theaterplein (look out for The Hangover Bar).

Saturday
JEF is an annual film festival for children and young people in Belgium, with events taking place in various locations across the country. There is of course, a JEF program in Antwerp featuring screenings, activities and workshops for all ages. Most of these take place in the Zuiderpershuis, with a few at the Ecohuis too. JEF runs from today until the 10th March and is well worth looking at if you have kids to entertain during the Spring half-term break (“Krokusvakantie”).

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JEF at Zuiderpershuis

Now that the weather is cheering up, why not head to Plein Publiek and check out the upcoming Circulair Zuid area? There’s a Revive closet sale at Plein Publiek (now at D’Herbouvillekaai 19, 2000) from 10am -4am.

The seed library at the Ecohuis re-opens today, and is a great idea for green-fingered people and gardeners in the city: borrow seeds, and bring back more seeds from your own harvest. Open from 1- 4pm; this is a good time to go along and learn about the work (advice, exhibitions, workshops) of the Ecohuis if you do not already know it (the cafe is really nice too!)

It’s Dag Van De Academies; celebrating the work of those who attend arts academies and follow courses on a part-time basis, with a number of activities, performances and exhibitions in the Antwerp area, including an art trail for children (5-15), starting at Meechelseplein (by the Willem Elsschot statue) at 11am.

Finish your Saturday at BATS Theatre on Paardenmarkt, for a show (in English) from energetic impro group Swaajp, starting at 8pm (and this week hosting “de Boterbrigade“). Tickets here.

Sunday

Cyclists – it’s the Noordkasteel Cross. It’s 10 euros to take part and forms part of the Ronde van District Antwerpen. Register via the email on the link. Men and women ages 15- 95 may take part.

Temperatures will be mild (13- 14 degrees) cooling off on a Sunday to around 10 degrees. It should be a dry weekend, with some sunshine.

Miscellaneous

The last Wednesday of the month means free city museums in Antwerp.

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Colour Collective (photo by Marc Tops)

… and if that doesn’t provide you with enough cultural enrichment, why not check out this musical event in Merksem (also on Wednesday) which I head about this week, and includes a beautiful classical music set based on dance and fantasy. The second part of the evening there will be a guitar & piano duo playing chansons.
The event (pic right) is free entrance and if you would like a meal before the concert starts, there will be a Volxkeuken providing dinner for  just €6.

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

Are you, or do you know, a young person who has taken part in the Climate Marches recently? If so, he/ she can get a 20% discount on any purchases from any of Antwerp’s eight second hand stores. To get the discount -show a selfie of yourself on the march. It’s available until the 8th March.

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This Weekend in Antwerp: 25th, 26th & 27th May

banner nieuwsbrief

It’s Antwerp Art Weekend all weekend. Take the opportunity to discover some of the many galleries  and art spaces around the city. Here is the agenda for the weekend, and don’t forget to swing by de Studio, which functions as a hub for the event, and provides information and directions about what is happening as part of Antwerp Art Weekend.

Here’s the Google map you need for this weekend!

Friday

Critical Mass assembles on Theaterplein at 6pm to mark 20 Years of Critical Mass in Belgium with an hour’s cycling through the city.

Flying Pig is on Grote Markt from 5pm

Saturday

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 22.14.26At Bocadero (Waagnatie) it’s Feria Andaluza -a festival of Spanish culture, which is free to enter, and which continues on Sunday. It’s open from 12- 12. Enjoy traditional music, dance, food and drink from Spain.

Also showcasing its national -the Thai Embassy are hosting a Thai Weekend on Groenplaats, also over both days from 10am – 7pm. Dance, music, food and handmade Thai products will be available at over 70 stands on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s the ABC-markt (Antiek, Boeken, Brocante & Curiosa) at Den Beulebak from 11am -5pm.

If you are feeling energetic, it’s the Rivierenhof Run 2018 and if you did not register, you can do so on the day between 12 and 3pm. Kids run for free.

And London Calling celebrates all things Morrisssey and The Smiths at Ampere. Come and enjoy the tunes of England’s favourite musical curmudgeon, along with other Britpop tracks.

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London Calling at Ampere

 

Sunday

ATWA2018 Poster

 

Feria Andalusa is open from 12 -10pm (see above).

Thai weekend continues on Groenplaats.

Billed as a ‘slice of New Orleans on The Schelde’ Brasspartij 3 takes place at Harmonie Park thought other styles will also be represented:  funk, balkan, ska, drum’n’bass … as five Belgian bands battle for the winning title, from 1.30pm onwards.

 

 

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Photo by Murat Ustuntas on Unsplash

Kite flying enthusiasts will enjoy this Vlieger Happening on Linkeroever from 1.30pm featuring some professional kiteflying stunts, kids entertainment and the chance to make your own kite if you do not have one. Vlieger Happening takes place on the Middenvijver (August van Cauwelaertlaan).

And art lovers will be pleased to know that Lambermontmatre is starting up again for the summer. This monthly art market showcases and offers for sale the work of local artists, painters and photographers. There’s a Ricard bar, as well as other drinks and snacks. There’s also always live music (2.30pm and 5pm) and a relaxed atmosphere, just right for a warm Sunday afternoon.

Finally, best wishes and congratulations to Grade 12 students of Antwerp International School for the graduation ceremony today!

The weather is predicted to be warm again (21 -22 degrees) though with some clouds. There may be a little rain on Friday.

Beyond Nessascityblog

It’s been really great to have worked with other interesting people recently. I’ve been pretty busy!

Firstly I wrote  Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …

Next I wrote this guest post  about 5 Antwerp destinations for the blog Discovering Belgium.

NonnativeblueyellowLast Monday, I was delighted to publish a guest post by Laura Soave of Nonnative – a must-read if you are new or recently arrived in Antwerp.

I also thoroughly enjoyed myself in conversation with comedian Nigel Williams  of Stand Up Antwerp. You can hear the podcast of that conversation here. It is the first of a new series of weekly podcasts that Nigel is working called “Babbel Without A Cause” about members of the expat community inAntwerp.

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Stand- Up Antwerp

I was also interviewed for The Bulletin and look forward to sharing that soon.

Anyway, this all serves of a reminder of how nice it is to work with others, so if you have an Antwerp idea for Nessascityblog that you would like to contribute, or something you would like written for your own publication, please get in touch.

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so Antwerp city museums are free on that day (30th May)

Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) is underway in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went last weekend 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.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 30th & 31st March, 1st April

It’s Easter weekend, but also a big weekend for you if you are a cycling enthusiast.

Here’s your GOOGLE MAP.

 

Friday

Good Friday

barnoordopeningparty

I think we are all feeling fed up of the seemingly endless winter, so the opening party of Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord will hopefully usher in some warmer weather and some spring and summer vibes.

The party is free and starts at 4pm. It kicks off a weekend of events to mark the opening of this popular Antwerp summer bar. Check barnood.be for details of events on Saturday and Sunday too.

Warm up for the big cycling event by joining the Critical Mass Easter Ride which departs from Theaterplein at 6pm for approximately one hour of biking through the city, returning to the Theaterplein at about 7pm. This edition of the regular bike ride promises music and chocolate as part of its Easter theme. Kid friendly and always free.

criticalmasseaster

 

Saturday 

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Check the Saturday Programme for the Tour of Flanders information.  The actual race starts on Sunday, but the pre-race builds up will be very much underway in the Fan Village on Groenplaats which opens Saturday at midday

Browse the regular open-air flea market on the Sint Jansplein from 9am -5pm and pick up a bargain in this bustling and diverse neighbourhood.

Sunday

Easter Day

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The Tour begins! Here’s the Sunday Programme . Early birds can see the cycling slebs from 8.30am on stage at Grote Markt, and the starting gun will be fired at Steen at 10.30. This is the second time that Antwerp has started this famous Belgian cycling race. Big screens on Groenplaats will be showing the race until 6pm.

Snitt and Goegekregen will be holding one of their big second hand, retro & vintage markets at Parkloods from 9am -6pm. It’s free and ideally located to combine with a visit to Bar Noord (opening this weekend -see Friday)

There’s Sunday shopping in town and also in the Quartier National for Easter and the Tour.

Miscellaneous

The weather looks likely to be dry and mild for the most part (9-12 degrees) with the possibility of some showers on Friday.

Antwerp’s Pancake Boat starts up for the season this weekend.

Kids are off school of course. You might want to check out these Easter Holiday Activities  and enrol your child(ren) using the form. The city museums in Antwerp are also offering a number of ateliers for kids aged 5-12. Search here.

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Pics courtesy of Bar Noord, Critical Mass Antwerp & Pixabay.

This weekend: 9th, 10th & 11th June

 

NEXT POST – 15th June, for the weekend of 16/ 17/ 18 June – start of Zomer van Antwerpen!

HERE’S THE MAPTASTICALLY GOOGLY GOOGLE MAP for this very weekend …

Friday

Start your weekend at Antwerp’s most striking recent architectural addition -the new Port of Antwerp ‘Haven Huis’ -with Flying Pig (drinks, music, DJs) on Zahahadidplein from 5pm until midnight.

Saturday

Bar Nord (previously Cargo Summer Bar) celebrates World Gin Day from midday until 10pm, with 30 brands, offering 60 types of gin, and DJs providing music. After party: HAVN Church, Italiëlei 8, 2000 Antwerp.

worldGinday

The Geefplein at Costa Sint Andries seems to be becoming a regular event on the second Saturday of the month, at the shelter near the Sint Andries community centre. I think ‘freecycling’ is the best translation to describe this event: bring household items which you no longer need and simply give them away. Take what you need from what others offer. Free, 11am – 6pm.

At T’ Werkhuys between 1pm and 5pm there is a Rommelmarkt (flea market), supported by the Antwerp Kringwinkels (second hand shops) featuring drinks, and also an exhibition about Ghana. Proceeds go to 11.11.11 which works with local organisations and volunteers for a fairer world. On Sint Jansplein there is also the regular rommelmarkt from 9am.

Grand Bazar Shopping centre has some treats and activities for a nostalgic old-school  Fathers Day between 1 and 5pm.

Meanwhile Scoop store on Kloosterstraat open a Live Art Weekend at 6pm, with online bidding for works at hammertime.be until 15th June. The proceeds go to Moeders voor Moeders which supports struggling families in the area with food packages, children clothing, school equipment and other essentials.

 

Scoopstore
Live Art Weekend @SCOOPstore by Duverger Home and Raphaël Kettani

On Saturdays in June, July and August (excl. 5th & 19th Aug) Port of Antwerp offers free cycling tours of the port between 12 -5pm, covering 45km in all (but with regular stops for breaks) and starting at MAS. This is free but you need to register by clicking on ‘schrijf je in’. Make sure your bike is in good condition, and bring your own picnic in a backpack or panier.

Sunday

RoseF

Provincie Antwerpen offers ‘Rose Day’ at Rivierenhof. Gardening friends of mine gave this event a glowing review last year. See the roses grown at Rivierenhof between the Rozentuin and Kasteel Rivierenhof. Purchase roses, enjoy music and entertainment with a rosy theme; between 11am and 6pm. Free.

It’s the Silver Run today -not just a run but a social event which also includes foodtrucks, drinks, music and lots of other entertainment.

Children aged 6-13 will enjoy this Henna tattoo workshop activity at Permeke library, from 11- 1pm. Free, no need to reserve.

ShoobilSacha
Patent Pending Painting by Sacha Eckes

 

Art lovers can get a Sunday afternoon fix at the opening of an exhibition of the work of Sacha Eckes and cartoonist, Ansu.

Markt van Morgen is on the Kloosterstraat from midday until 6 – very handy for a last minute gift or card for Father’s Day, if you need one!

After the weather nose-dived this week, the weekend is looking a bit better, with warmer temperatures (especially on Sunday where the top temp is predicted to be 25) and a low chance of showers.
Miscellaneous

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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.

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Construction works on the Leien

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 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).

I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

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This Weekend: 31st March, 1st & 2nd April

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Tatt time in Antwerp this weekend

[NEXT POST: 6TH APRIL 2017]

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP!

If you are into your ink, then it’s the 18th Antwerp Tattoo Convention this weekend, at Waagnatie on both Saturday and Sunday. 

(pic courtesy of Yael Greenhalgh)

 

 

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Critical Mass sets off from Theaterplein

 

Friday

It is the Easter edition of Critical Mass. Assemble as usual at Theaterplein at 6pm, with your bike. Enjoy a spring bike ride with other cyclists around Antwerp. Rumour has it that this edition involves chocolate.

 

 

 

Saturday

7000 cyclists will be taking part in a  warm-up event (We Ride Flanders) for the Tour of Flanders (see Sunday) They are going to be setting off between 7 and 8am and following the same course as the Tour

Sunday

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Tour of Flanders flags on the Town Hall

The Tour of Flanders bike race starts today from Antwerp! It sets off from Het Steen at 10.30 but the festivities will be up and running from 8am on Grote Markt which will be transformed into a fan village for the day, with music, DJs and big screens to follow the action until 6pm.

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so many of the shops in the centre and the old town will be open for Sunday shopping.

Alternatively head to Parkloods (Park Spoor Noord) for Goegekregen’s rommelmarkt (secondhand with lots of retro and vintage bargains) from 9am -6pm, or to Markt van Morgen on Kloosterstraat from 12 -6pm. This market offers clothing, jewellery, accessories, stationery and household goods made by local creatives. There are usually snacks and drinks available, and it is a great place to pick up a special card or gift that you won’t find in the high street.

Or why not Tango on Draakplaats from 3 -8pm?

The weather is predicted to be warm and pleasant again, with some clouds at times; a 50% chance of a bit of rain on Saturday.

Miscellaneous

If all the biking this weekend has strengthened your resolve to cycle more, then check out Antwerp’s City Bike Scheme (Velo). And don’t forget kids: kids love to cycle but children’s bikes can be pricey. Apen op Wieltjes enables you to pay a one-off annual fee and then borrow bikes for your kid(s), returning them when they have grown out of them. They also offer workshops in bike maintenance and other activities. If you have a kid’s bike knocking around in your cellar or garage, you might want to donate it to this scheme, whose aim is to to ensure that every child in Antwerp gets to have a bike.

Random rec: Cafe de Kat (Wolstraat 22) an established, attractive ‘bruine kroeg’ in the old town, which I found myself in recently. It doesn’t look special from the outside but inside it’s roomy, fairly noisy and with a lovely, authentic interior.

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There’s still a small funfair on St Jansplein until 9th April.

 

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NEXT POSTING: 6th APRIL

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This weekend: 25th & 26th March

[NEXT POSTING: THURSDAY 30TH MARCH]

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with the locations from this post…

Saturday

This weekend it’s Antwerp’s annual “Semini viering” [Semini Celebration] from 10am on Grote Markt. There will be local song and dance, followed by a procession which will arrive at Sint Andriesplaats at 1.30. This is a very local festivity, dating back a long time in reverence of Semini, a fertility figure who can be spotted (sadly, minus his original phallus) in the stonework above the entrance to Het Steen. You can read his story here.

Also from 10am, there is a big second hand market on St Jansplein, where there is presently also a fun fair until 9th April.

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Holi will be celebrated at Cargo bar in Park Spoor Noord from 2pm until 9.30pm. This is a free event which is nice, as although Holi has been celebrated before in Antwerp, I have only ever seen paying events. There will be music and dance performances throughout the afternoon. Holi is a Hindu celebration of spring and of colours, which is observed in India and Nepal. Don’t wear your best clothes if you plan on attending as you could end up covered in an assortment of coloured powder which is traditionally thrown around at this occasion.

If you aren’t partied out by Holi, head to London Calling at Bar Venetie for Let’s Make Antwerp Rock ‘n’ Roll Again at 8pm. Expect to dance into the wee hours to your favourite Indie and Britpop tracks.

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Sunday

Jeugdboekenmaand (Youth Book  Month) finishes today. Permeke Library will be running a varied program to mark the conclusion of the book month, from 10am, for kids, young people and their parents. This is free and there is no need for prior registration.

Another family-friendly event is taking place over near Middelheim. It’s a chance to try out less well known sports which take place in Antwerp but with which you might not be familiar. It’s free and takes place between 1 and 5pm. There will be drinks and snacks afterwards. Come along if you would like to try your hand at cricket, frisbee, baseball, ice-hockey or cheerleading.

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Middelheim Sculpture Museum

If you are in that part of town and the weather is good -as it is rumoured it will be – take the chance to visit Middelheim Museum Park if you do not already know it (or even if you do). It’s a unique outdoor sculpture park; a beautiful green space incorporating some really special pieces of art. Great to take kids and a picnic. It’s free and open until 5pm.

The weather is going to be pretty decent this weekend. Maybe cloudy at times, but also a good chance of sunny periods. No rain forecast. Scorching top temps of 14 degrees!

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday -being the last of the month -many museums are free in Antwerp.

Cycling fans are already looking forward to the Tour of Flanders on April 2nd. From this year Antwerp will be the start location of this famous race.

We are fast approaching the very end of the Stadhuis 450 expo, which closes at the end of this month. If you have been meaning to go but haven’t, then time is running out ….

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NEXT POSTING: 30th MARCH

 

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This weekend: 2nd, 3rd & 4th December

NEXT POST: TOMORROW (8TH DECEMBER)

Bit of a short post this week because I am away for most of this weekend. I think it’s also a fairly quiet weekend before the Antwerp winter and Christmas events open.

Over the whole weekend (again) is the De Markies stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis. Most of the books are in Dutch but last year there were some art and travel books in English too. If you have Dutch- speaking kids to buy for (Sinterklaas or Christmas) the children’s book sections will definitely have good bargains.

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Friday

BATS Theatre group hold their monthly open evening at their Little Theatre and bar on Paardenmarkt 111 from 8.30. This week there’s a music quiz and cocktails too.

Just a bit further out of town is the opening of Winter Festival Deurne Wintert. Most of the activities are free, but some require registration beforehand. The program include theatre, music and children’s activities.

Saturday

There’s a print & ceramics sale between 3- 6pm on Britselei (also Sunday).
Sunday

A couple of options if you have a child or children who would like to see Sinterklaas:  first on Meir; then there’s Grand Bazar between 1 and 3 (be prepared to queue for a bit, but it is generally fairly efficient) -no pre-registration needed; just show up.

This option in Schipperskwartier at 2pm at the Cultureel Ontmoetingscentrum Stadsmagazijnrequires pre-registration for each child and costs 3euros.

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Stadsfeestzaal Shopping centre, Meir

It’s the first Sunday of the month so shops will be open in and around the town centre (some open a little later -e.g. at midday)

For a thriftier and more eco-friendly way to acquire what you need head to de Roma Theatre for their Give-away & swap fleamarket. As well as being able to swap items or receive them for free from stand-holders, the Ecohuis will also be at the event running a repair café for clothing, and giving you the chance to sign up for the Apen op Wieltjes scheme, which enables you to borrow a bike for your child as they out of their existing bike, or to exchange the existing bike for a better fit. There will also be gift-making and upcycling workshops.

Weather looks not too bad for this time of year. Some cloudiness but it will also be bright at times. Top temperature of 10 on Friday. Should be dry.

Miscellaneous

Find Nessascityblog on TwitterPinterest and Instagram -recent snaps include some of Science Day (Dag van de Wetenschap), a Sinterklaas activity in Grand Bazaar and some of the festive lights that are now being put up around town.

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image courtesy of BATS Antwerp

If you are looking ahead to the winter season and have kids to entertain, I recommend that you book Antwerp’s only traditional, old -school panto in English, for January in the Arendberg Theatre, by BATS theatre group. Another recommended from me -this time it’s Jack and the Beanstalk.

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This weekend: May 27th, 28th & 29th

(New Google Maps feature: this is in the Miscellaneous section at the bottom of this post)

Friday

From 5 at Theaterplein it’s Aper’eau promising summery food, drinks and music.

It being the last Friday of the month, Critical Mass bike ride takes place as usual -assemble with your bike -also at Theaterplein (6pm)

Saturday

A special mention to my Grade 12 IB students who are graduating from Antwerp International School. I am missing you already!

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Publicity image from BATS

Also a special mention for BATS whose 50s themed variety show opens tonight at their Little Theater on Paardenmarkt -with performances also on Sunday and Monday.

At 2pm at Kleine Hedonist there is a presentation and concert for this underground record release.

Saturday sees the arrival of a new market in Antwerp: an  Evening Market on the Vlaamsekaai (near the playground), starting at 3pm and continuing until 9pm, promising 100+ stands offering food, jewelry, leather goods & snacks.

On the same day, at the same location, is a second hand children’s toy market.

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Kelly’s on Keyserlei

 

At 4pm, footie fans might want to catch the Belgium -Switzerland friendly. This will be showing on the big screens at An Sibhin and Plein Publiek. It will also be showing at Kelly’s on Keyserlei and at  The Irish Times, who will additionally be screening Real Madrid v Athletico Madrid later on (as will An Sibhin, offering pitchers of Stella or Jupiler for just 8€ during the game). When UEFA 2016 starts in June, Cargo Summer Bar will be showing all games on the big screen there. Take your pick.

 

 

 

 

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Antwerp Stadspark

 

In the Stadspark, Klein Antwerpen will be holding walks, storytelling and a chance to try some Taiko (Japanese drumming) from midday -bring your picnic! I couldn’t see exactly where in the park they will be starting, but they usually meet at the large statue on the corner at Belgielei/ Van Eycklei.

 

 

Sunday

Den Hopsack is a small, friendly and diverse music bar in the old town -just a little off the beaten track (off Sint Jansvliet). On Sunday they are having a jam of traditional Irish music starting at 3pm. This is a monthly session, and is free.

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SKETCH at Lambermontmatre

Lambermontmartre opens this weekend! This is a really nice monthly art market which takes place on the last Sunday of each month throughout summer, enabling local artists to sell their work, but also offering great snacks, a small bar and music. As well as checking out the art work on sale, you can take part by creating some art of your own, courtesy of SKETCH, and there is a space for children to paint too. You can find Lambermontmarte in the square directly in front of the Fine Art Museum from midday. Music from gypsy swing band Croque Manouche.

It’s also the last chance to catch this exhibition on the Mechelsesteenweg.

clouds-1293230_640Temperatures are going to be good this weekend (21 +) but with a chance of showers (some stormy) throughout the weekend. Enjoy the warm weather, but bring a brolly, just in case! (image: Pixabay)

 

Miscellaneous

I’m trying out a Google map facility this weekend: Click here to see all the locations mentioned in this post (plus central station to help you orientate yourself!) If you want directions from a specific starting point, click on the red pin of the location you want to find. Let me know what you think of this function and whether it is working properly for you.

Photos from last weekend (Swan Market and Antwerp Art Weekend) can be found on the Nessascityblog Instagram page. Look out for pictures of this weekend’s events, as they are posted.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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….

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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.