This weekend in Antwerp: 16th & 17th November

This is a VERY important weekend for the children of Antwerp, particularly the ones who are good and never naughty- which is basically all Antwerp children, of course.

Yep –Sinterklaas arrives from Spain this weekend and will be in the area until 6th December, distributing gifts and sweets to believers.

Saturday

Screenshot 2019-11-13 at 16.50.12The arrival (aka intrede or intocht) takes place at Eilandje (Verbindingsdok-Westkaai at 2pm). Sint arrives on a steamboat and will be welcomed by the Mayor of Antwerp (Bart de Wever) and TV presenter, Bart Peeters. The Sint will proceed to the MAS via the Napoleonkaai, the Nassaubrug en the Oostendekaai, and will address children on the Hanzestedenplaats at around 14.50. This is an important moment where the waiting crowd will be informed about whether there are any children in Antwerp who have been naughty this year.

Belgian children like to write letters or send their pictures to Sinterklaas -each year Bpost enables kids to do this, and this year is not exception: your kid(s) can send a letter to The Sint  until 29th November. Write the sender’s name and address clearly on the back of the envelope, in order to receive a gift in return.

If you need something fixed being it to this repair cafe at Twee Netenstraat 13a (Den Dam) and have it mended for free between 10am -4pm. If you like fixing things for others, then this event is also for you.

It’s “Dag van de Smaak” in the Kringwinkels (second hand/ thrift stores) of Antwerp today. Cooking utensils and recipe books will be centred in this activity where there will also be lots of tasty international treats for customers throughout the day.

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On Saturday night there’s a BATS benefit night at their current home: The Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111. It’s a night of musical entertainment (tickets via the link) whose proceeds go to support the work of BATS as Antwerp’s best known creators of English speaking theatre, shows, entertainment and pantos, as they prepare to move to a new venue!

Sunday

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Vintage postcards on Boekenplein

It’s the monthly Boekenplein on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke library -second hand books, magazines, graphic novels and comics from 10am -4pm

It’s Kunsten dag voor kinderen (Arts for children) today -an annual event across Flanders (and Brussels) with plenty of activities for youngsters to enjoy in and around Antwerp too.

The weather will continue to be pretty chilly this weekend, with temperaturs as low as 7 degrees, and the possibility of showers on both Saturday and Sunday (especially Saturday). Brr!

Miscellaneous

Last week I published a special post featuring photographs taken by people like myself who are not Antwerp born-and-bred but who have made their home in Antwerp: check out these beautiful images of the city.
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Street art fans will be interested in the Walls Of Boho project (pic left from Walls of Boho Facebook page) which was unveiled this week: five striking new murals on display in Borgerhout. Look out for them when you are in the area, or get on your bike and see them all.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 1st, 2nd & 3rd November

Thursday 31st is Hallowe’en of course – for Hallowe’en fun you will find plenty going on at Antwerp’s Irish bars, all of which like to celebrate this date, with drinks promos & gamesdress-up parties and quizzes.

The Antwerpen Boekenbeurs 2019 is underway in Antwerp Expo and continues over the weekend. This is a vast bookfair whose history stretches back to 1932. Most books are in Dutch, but there are stands with English and French books.

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Dia De Los Meurtos (Mexican Day of The Dead) is also marked here in Antwerp: last weekend I went to see the beautiful altars on display in MAS museum, and this weekend parts of that exhibition move to Permeke Library. You can see the programme here.

Friday

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Day of the Dead in Antwerp

Friday is a public holiday in Belgium (All Saints Day) so most shops will be closed, but Goegekregen are holding a holiday Rommelmarkt on Theaterplein.

For kids interested in Day of The Dead festivities there is a programme of events at Zuiderpershuis for children from midday until 5pm. This costs 5 euros (family discounts available) and there are workshops, make-up, snacks and activities throughout the afternoon.

In the afternoon/ evening (3pm-8pm) it’s the last chance to catch Dokmarkt at Eilandje for this year.
Saturday

If you are interested in trying vegan food and products, or would like to get information about including less meat, fish and dairy in your diet, the health-food shop Natuurhuis on Otto Veniusstraat are holding an in-store info day in conjunction with Try Vegan and EVA, from 10am -4pm.

Look out for the Royal British Legion selling poppies on Meir between 11am- 4pm. Poppies are worn annually as an act of remembrance of those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world and those who have been killed as a result of terrorism. Additionally the poppy represents the contribution of families and of the emergency services.

Sunday

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Antwerp Cathedral seen from Suikerrui

On the first Sunday of the month you can hear music for free in the Cathedral at 4pm. NB: it’s only free for locals, or kids aged 0-11, so bring your ID to show that you are an Antwerp resident, otherwise it’s the same price as the usual entry cost to the Cathedral (6 euros; 4 euros concession).

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops are open from midday on various Antwerp shopping streets.

Weather is not looking great this weekend -bring an umbrella with you, as rain is expected on and off over the whole weekend. It’s not going to be very warm either, with top temperatures of around 13- 14 degrees.

Miscellaneous

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De Grote Schijn takes place each evening until 11th November (ticketed) – it’s a special route through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.
Look out for a special Nessascityblog post on Monday – a picture post featuring photos taken by people who have come from all over the world to live in Antwerp.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 27th, 28th & 29th September

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Water Rant (pic from water-rant.be)

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

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

Friday

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

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

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

Saturday

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Reuzenstoet

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

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

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

Sunday

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

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

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

Miscellaneous

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

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

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This weekend in Antwerp: 30th & 31st August, 1st September

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Mechelsepleinfeesten. pic by Stephanie Hughes

The Mechelsepleinfeesten is a fairly new annual event, which unsurprisingly takes place on and around the Mechelseplein. It’s free and is on on Friday and Saturday. You can see the full programme for this kid-friendly neighbourhood party on the Facebook event page. Look out especially for the London Calling set at de Pallieter!

Part of Antwerp is also underway. 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.

Friday


There’s a special edition of Critical Mass this Friday -Kiddical Mass! Critical Mass is always a kid-friendly event, but this one particularly centres children. Small people should assemble with their bikes and their grown-ups at 6pm on Theaterplein, as usual, for an hour’s biking around the city.

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Theaterplein

Also on Theaterplein, it’s Antwerp favourite, Apereau, with their usual offering of DJs, food-trucks and summer cocktails to start your weekend.

Last weekend I made it to Friday Regular, Dokmarkt where Mr Nessascity and I ate delicious Pakistani and Indian food for 15 euros (yes, that was the bill for the two of us). at the Ballywood stand, which is definitely my recommendation if you are at Eilandje for Dokmarkt. They don’t serve beer, but have no problem with you bringing one from the guy serving beer on the stand just opposite.

Discobar Galaxie is this week’s “Free Friday” offering at OLT Rivierenhof, from 7pm.

Saturday

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The famous Zaha Hadid Port of Antwerp building

Goegekregen/ Snitt brings you the Rommelmarkt (second hand market) for the day, at The Market on Scheldestraat from 11am- 6pm

Fans of street art should check out this Street Art Parcours. It’s one of the Part of Antwerp events (see above). Reserve your tickets for this guided walk here (€ 13).

Jazz fans should also head to the Eilandje area for Jazztemblieft 2019 -a free jazz festival on Goedfriduskaai taking place at two venues, from 2pm until midnight. See the fiull programme on the Facebook events page.

Sunday

More free music, but of a different sort on Sint Jansplein at this free open-air classical music concert from the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, starting at 6pm.

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Dageraadplaats

Head to Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg) for more second hand bargains at the Dageraad Rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm. If you’re newly arrived this summer this is a very nice square to discover.

Last chance to visit the Zomerbar: Zomer van Antwerpen wraps up this weekend.

Swan Market is another Antwerp regular, and it’s on Grote Markt this Sunday from 11am -6pm with the usual trendy stands offering clothing, accessories, jewellery, gifts and hand-made items, as well as food and drink and a kids’ area.

Shops are open, as per usual on the first Sunday of the month in Antwerp, for Sunday shopping.

It’s going to be really warm again, with top temperatures on Saturday (31 degrees) and then cooling off significantly on Sunday, when it will still be dry, but much milder.

Miscellaneous

BATS1Please read and share a special blog post which I pressed last Monday: it’s 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 will go on sale very soon via their website.

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: 17th & 18th November

It’s all about Sinterklaas this weekend. If you are new to Belgium, The Sint is the winter gift-bearing Saint, familiar to children in Belgium (on the 6th December) and The Netherlands (5th December). But 2-3 weeks prior to the day of celebration there is the arrival of the Sint (“intocht” or “intrede”) from Spain, in various cities, including Antwerp, where the children are known to be particularly well-behaved. This is a very important occasion.

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Children waiting for the Sint at the Town Hall 

Once arrived, The Sint is presumed to be generally in the area. Now and then -before the day itself – kids can put out a shoe, and in the morning it will be filled with sweets. The Sint travels on a horse, assisted by the “pieten”.  Children might also leave out some form of refreshment for the Sint, and some straw or carrot for his horse. His visits to our home indicate that he is not averse to Leffe. Also Gin.

On the day of Sinterklaas, children receive their presents. There are particular sweets eaten during Sinterklaas (pepernoten, kruidennoten, marzipan) and Sinterklaas songs.

Saturday

 

2018 signals a bit of a change in the usual Antwerp Sinterklaas arrival proceedings, which involved the Good Sint docking (he arrives by boat) near Steen, and making his way to Grote Markt, where he addresses the children of Antwerp and their families from the balcony of the Town Hall.

NB: This year, everything takes place around MAS and Eilandje – so this is now the area to avoid like the black death if you are kiddie-free (you can safely go to the old town instead).

Verbindingsdok-Westkaai is the location for the 2018 arrival, and the whole thing will be broadcast from 13.30 by Ketnet (TV Channel) who also provides the kids’ entertainment. The Sint will be welcomed by the Mayor at 13.45 and then make his way via Napoleonkaai, de Nassaubrug and the Oostendekaai to the square in front of the MAS museum (Hanzestedeplaats) where he will address the waiting crowds of sugar-fuelled youngsters.

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If you don’t have kids to amuse, you might prefer to go to Steez 02: Urban Culture Festival at de Studio, free entrance for the afternoon program from 2pm (also on Sunday)  -Live Music – Urban Art – Streetwear – Lifestyle – Food – DJ – Skate.

Sunday

Today is Kunstendag voor kinderen – day of arts activities for children across Flanders. Use the search facility to find out what is going on in your locality. Here are the activities for the Antwerp area. Many activities are free (such as this cute Miffy activity at Permeke Library at 11, for kids aged 4+) while others have a participation fee. Check also if you need to register (“inschrijven”) your child(ren) beforehand.

rednoseRodeneuzen Dag (Red Nose Day) raises money to support young people in Belgium in need of mental health services and support, and supports schools in attending to the mental and social wellbeing of students, with campaigns and projects. Many schools take part. Join in by visiting the second hand market being held on Groenplaats for Rode Neuzen Dag – from 9am -17h. Rode Neuzen Dag activities continue throughout November.

It’s the monthly Strip en boeken plein (second hand book market) on De Coninckplein in front of the Permeke Library from 10am.

This weekend is expected to be dry, with cool temperatures (8-11 degrees) and bright, sunny periods.

Miscellaneous

Also for Sinterklaas -The Belgian postal service (Bpost) will deliver children’s letters and drawings to the Sint (until 29th November) -details and address here. NB -be sure to write the child’s name and address on the outside of the envelope, so that the Sint can reply and send a surprise.

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I am really delighted to let you know that a special guest-blog post is on the way. Watch this space -especially if you’d like to know more about LGBTQ+ life in Antwerp – talking of which L-Week (10 day festival of events for lesbians) is currently underway in Antwerp, until 18th November.

And if you have been thinking about writing a post for Nessascityblog, do seize the day -I’d love to hear your Antwerp story, or hear about an aspect of Antwerp life that you know well. Drop me a line at nessascityblog@gmail.com.

I am interested in doing a post about Antwerp Apps. Do you use one? What does it do? Which devices is it compatible with and what do you think of it?

Bargain hunters -did you know that Antwerp has a Last Minute Ticket Shop? Well you do now. You can buy last-minute reduced cost tickets from 12- 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, for shows, concerts, theatre performances etc.

Yes, that time of year is approaching and the Winter In Antwerp website is now up!

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