If you are feeling in need of a bracing cycle ride to round off your week, join Critical Mass: assembling at 6pm on Theaterplein for an hour’s cycling en masse through the city (pic right, from Critical Mass Facebook page).
For those who prefer a stroll, explore the Borgerhout area through the lens of its art works: Borger #15 is an art event where participating galleries, within walking or cycling distance of one another open for the evening. The galleries open for Borger #15 are: Zeno X Gallery (Godtsstraat 15); DMW Art Space (Koolstraat 15) ;The Arts Institute (Kattenberg 93); Base-Alpha Gallery, Antwerp (Kattenberg 12); Eva Steynen.Deviations (Zurenborgstraat 28) and they are open between 6pm and 9pm.
Avoid the cold by heading to MAS museum for an afternoon of social game and game-playing. This a free event, aimed at families and kids, and it’s on from 10am -5pm.
Monthly show Swaajp Invites is on at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. Beata Rozalska from Poland is the impro group’s guest performer this week. Tickets available here.
There’s a mega indoor rommelmarkt at Kinepolis Event centre, from 10am -6pm. 3 euros entry
After the snow this week, it’s going to continue to be cold, with the possibility of snow and showers over Saturday and Sunday
I recently went to DIVA Diamond Museum for the first time to catch the Axel Verwoordt exhibition: WonderKamer. It’s magical, so if you want to stay out of the cold and see some beautiful, eccentric, curious and elegant objects and art works, I thoroughly recommend it.
Last week I published a special post by Daniel McBrearty. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a lively and fascinating account of the history, ideas and current expo behind the Plantin Moretus museum on the Vrijdag Markt: How An Antwerp Immigrant Changed The World In 1550.
Legends of Liondance continues at Permeke library as part of the approaching Chinese New Year festivities. This is a colourful display of the lions which lasts until 10th February, and is free.
BATS panto is now virtually sold out! … apart from Sunday EVENING (17:30pm) performance at Theater ‘t Eilandje. Tickets are available via the BATS VZW website.
Part of Antwerp is a 10 day festival which started last weekend and finishes this weekend. It is focussed on the area from Eilandje, taking in Schengenplein, Sloepenweg, Red Star Line Museum … up to the Zaha Hadidplein (at the new port of Antwerp building). Expect events which celebrate the city’s status as a major port, as well as food, music and parties in this much gentrified and historic area of the city. See the full program here. There’s lots on but personally I am especially pleased to see the reopening of the wonderful Red Star Line Museum which has been closed over summer for some improvements, and which is also celebrating its 5th birthday.
Flying Pig will be on Theaterplein to start your weekend with their usual line-up of drinks, DJs and food.
UPDATE: Alas this event has been cancelled 😦
Come and have a uniquely local Antwerp experience at the Reuzenstoet (“Giant Parade”) in Borgerhout. This is a very old and annual tradition, involving a procession of giant puppet-like figures. The details (and map) are here. The parade starts at 1pm and takes the following route: Gitschotelhof, Vosstraat, Gitschotellei, Bacchuslaan, Berchemlei, K. De Preterlei, Lt. Lippenslaan, Morckhovenlei, Griffier Schobbenslaan, Collegelaan, Stenenbrug, Turnhoutsebaan, Helmstraat, Groenstraat, Laar. Tournhoutsebaan would be a good place to see the parade (from around 3ish). There will be other activities in the area around the Roma Theater, and many people like to follow the giants on their journey.
And while you are in the area, you might want to pick up some fresh and local produce at Farmers’ market Kraakvers.
If you have kids to entertain, head to de Coninckplein at midday for a day of fun activities for the smalls: “ConincksKinderen” will have outdoor play, a bouncy castle, henna and other activities for them to enjoy.
Music, food stands and a market on Krugerplein: It’s Bouger Bouger from 10am -6pm in this attractive, family oriented square in Borgerhout. Good for kids. UPDATE: bad weather expected so alas this event has also been cancelled.
It’s the last chance to enjoy a drink and some live music on Flamingoplein (zoo entrance) at the zoo summer bar from 5 – 7pm.
Weather …. hmmm, it should remain mild (and possibly dry) so we can continue to pretend that it’s still summer, but there may be some showers on both Saturday and Sunday
Antwerp Art Fair is coming to Antwerp Expo in October and I will have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to Nessascityblog readers, so watch this space for more info and a chance to win soon!
Runners! still time to register for the 6km Race For The Cure (there’s also a 3km walk if you don’t fancy running). A lovely event, and a very important cause, organised by Think Pink: the National Breast Cancer Campaign in Belgium. I will be running again this year, having had a great experience last year Come and support survivors, runners and supporters of this cause.
Click here for Bats Variety show info & tickets. “Around The World” on this weekend: Friday, Saturday & Sunday night.
Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month which means free access to city museums: Plantin Moretus, Rockox, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, & the MAS.
Hello, Fellow Antwerpenaars! It’s good to be back after a bit of travelling and an October break from blogging. Having been away, I’m way behind and have a backlog on my personal Antwerp to-do list. I still haven’t properly scoped out the new Zaha Hadid Port House Building, the renovated Plantin Moretus Museum on Vrijdagmarkt (which family members visited *gasp* WITHOUT ME in my absence and heartily recommend) or Mercado on Groenplaats (well, I did go in but it was crazy busy. Will return when it’s settled down).
However … for now let’s take a more detailed look at what is going on this Hallowe’en weekend, as autumn gets well underway. Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with all the places mentioned here, so that you can find them …
It being the last Friday of the month, it’s Critical Mass -assemble as usual at 6pm on Theaterplein, but this month is a special Hallowe’en Edition so get dressed up for this one, and decorate your bike!
For a night out with a difference, and costing a mere 3 euros, head to FOMU at 8pm for Nightwatch (performance, poetry & party …).
If you have a younger reader in your family then this book presentation at the Sjokkel Toy Shop will be of interest to you, as local children’s writer, Vered Ben Kiki shows a number of her books, such as’De Andere Kous’, ‘Arthur nodigt je uit naar zijn event’, ‘Hanna is bang om naar school te gaan’, ‘Elias Opa & Het Amsterdamse Piratenkantoor’ and ‘Dick De Draak wordt verliefd’. The books are available in a variety of languages: English, Dutch, French, Hebrew and Arabic, wth one story (‘Hanna is bang om naar school te gaan’) also in Japanese.
Singles organisation Sling opens its doors to everyone (you don’t need to be single) at the ICU Art Expo at the Mosterdfabriek right near Par Spoor Noord. It’s free, but the afterparty is ticketed (7 euros)
Creative autumn shoppers might like to hang out in Grand Bazar shopping centre, where between the 29th October and 6th November, you can join in decorating a mug and get some free pumpkin soup -from 1.30 each day, except Sunday.
At 11.30 at the Sint Carolus Borromeuskerk The Manchester Chorale will sing for an hour. This is free. It’s also a very beautiful church -perhaps it gets overlooked, dwelling as it does in the shadow of Antwerp’s much better known OLV Cathedral.
The weather this weekend is expected to be cool and dry this weekend (13- 14 degrees) with highest chances of showers on Sunday.
Monday is Hallowe’en in case you have failed to notice. The Irish pubs in particular are always big on this event -there’s always a busy dress-up party at Kelly’s (Keyserlei) and this year there is a Rocky Horror Picture Show party at An Sibhin with the film showing at 9pm. This party at music pub Cabron (right near Grote Markt) also looks promising.
Don’t forget that (happily for those with hangovers) the next day- 1st November – is a public holiday in Belgium. From 9 -6 on Theaterplein, Goegekregen will be holding a big second hand market. There’s usually a very reasonably priced bar for those requiring a little hair of the dog.
Great news for street art fans who read this blog: Street Art Antwerp (AKA Tim Streetwerpenaar) are indeed going ahead with tours in English on Wednesday mornings. Discover the hidden world of graffiti and street art in Antwerp during a tour which last 90 mins -2 hours, starting at 10am (Berchem Station). There is no official charge, but participants are encouraged to make a voluntary donation, which will be gifted to charity -in this case Music For Life. Make contact with Tim via his Facebook page or on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join a tour. Additionally, Street Art Antwerp offers this sparkly new app so you can find your own way too.
There’s free live music at The Irish Times (Steve Jones) at 10pm, and if you are around earlier, you can see Augustana (currently supporting Dixie Chicks at Lotto Arena!) at Cafè Ami at 3pm for a matinée. If you are looking for after-work drinks, Gusta is serving from 5pm with music from Böky Bros. Gusta is also a useful address to know if you need gluten -free and dairy-free resources.
A big shout out to the Antwerp International School in Ekeren! Today is their International Day where all the various communities come together to show off their nation’s food, drink, and culture. There’s much to see and enjoy -both indoors and outdoors. It only happens once every two years and is a chance to see the school at its very best!
It’s a day to get planting, if you live in Antwerp. You can pick up a free sack of potting soil, courtesy of Stad Antwerpen, between 11 and 4pm today as part of Dag van de Potgrond -an initiative to encourage residents to add some greenery or flowers to their street. Pick up at Cargo Summer Bar (Park Spoor Noord) or at coStA.
It’s Flanders’ largest running event: The Antwerp 10 miles & Marathon! Good luck to everyone running today. Here’s the schedule if you would like to go and cheer the runners on. You can cross the river by free ferry on the day of the run, between 11.30 am and 7.30pm (Steenplein -St Annastrand)
If you prefer a less energetic type of recreation you could Travel The World in 80 Games (that’s board and table games) at Atlas on Carnotstraat for free. It’s not far from de Coninckplein where the book fair will be taking place right in front of the library between 10am and 4pm.
This week’s free flea market takes place at Skate Planet, near Sportpaleis between 10am and 6pm.
On Sundays at Rivierenhof, there are fairytale readings (in Dutch) for 5 euros from 2 -3.30pm. Reserve for your kid(s) via the link.
The weather is predicted to be mild (tops of 12 degrees) with the possibility of a some showers on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Some bright spells on Sunday too.
For beautiful Antwerp views …did you know that during the summer period the roof of MAS museum is free and open until midnight, Tuesday to Sunday?
… and the project Coming World Remember Me has started and will continue until the 8th May. At workshops at Steen, you can make a sculpture out of clay to honour one of the Belgian fallen of World War One. These sculptures will form an installation in Ypres which will be opened in 2018. Each one will incorporate a dog tag with the name of a soldier. You will be provided with the dog tag.
It is free to take part but you need to register by calling 03 292 36 51 or mailing email@example.com
Sporting A is offering free basketball coaching for kids aged 6- 14 years of age every Wednesday from 20th April until 25th May. It’s on in various locations from 2pm -4pm (except Sint-Jansplein where it’s 3-5pm). No need to register, just show up if you are interested.
If you follow the blog on Twitter, you will know that I spent some of my weekend trying to counter some misinformation that was being spread by a Belgian blogger who claimed that the police had issued a warning to stay away from Meir. I tweeted the police who confirmed that this was not true. Members of my own family were on Meir and were clear that all was well there: it was sunny, and packed with shoppers as usual. The police had extra security in some places because of information they had received.
It was a useful lesson in cross-referencing, as one Tweet and a bit of Googling demonstrated that the blogger in question was spreading misinformation and alarm. In times where it is not unreasonable to be anxious about such things, we tend to focus on information sources that seem to keep us up to date (especially if you require the information to be in English). Although I demonstrated that the content of the blog post was false in this regard, the blogger has unfortunately declined to alter it.
I will do my best to keep you informed about the official advice as best I can; here and on Twitter. I am happy to correct any information that is shown not to be correct, so don’t hesitate to let me know if you spot a factual error. However, Nessascityblog is for weekend event information and I’d like it to stay that way, so here are a couple of sources where you can check for yourself: if there are any precautions advised by the security authorities, I am sure that the Gazet van Antwerpen will report the news very quickly. If you need news in English, check out the very useful Flanders Today. Additionally, you can aways check the page of the Antwerp police, or follow them on Twitter. Another good source for security information in Belgium is the Crisis Centre, who are also on Twitter with tweets in Dutch, French and English. It’s always a good idea to check with sources like those before sharing anything that adds to the general anxiety or causes worry to our loved ones, especially those in other countries. The current situation is that the threat level is at 3, and there are no warnings to stay away from Antwerp city centre, or any other area around Antwerp.