The Ultimate A-Z of LGBT+ in Antwerp

The Ultimate A-Z of LGBTQ in Antwerp.

A guest post by Timothy Junes

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Timothy Junes (left) was born in Antwerp (1981) and still lives and works  here. He studied journalism and has written for LGBTQ media since 2000, both online and in print. His passions include LGBTQ news stories and travelling to new places. Nowadays he runs the Flemish language LGBT news blog Be Out and the English language travel blog Trip By Trip.

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Antwerp has a long history of being a safe haven for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Belgium. Let me introduce you, using the alphabet.

First, I’ll start with a disclaimer: this is not a ‘Complete Gay Guide to Antwerp’. That would be impossible since Pink Antwerp is constantly changing. Some blame the internet, some blame the economy and gentrification, some blame youth. There are many factors as to why LGBTQ oriented bars and cafés come and go. I should point out here that bars and cafés mostly cater to gay and bisexual men. Presently there’s no lesbian bar in town.

A

Active Company is Antwerp’s LGBTQ sports group. From athletics to swimming, from cycling to yoga, Active Company has it all. A great way to make friends.

Antwerp Pride is a highpoint of LGBTQ life in Antwerp. Four to five days to party, parade or attend a debate. Mark the second weekend of August in your calendar.

Coupled with Antwerp Pride, there is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival. Exhibitions, performances, parties. While Antwerp Pride is more ‘party oriented’, the queer arts festival is more activist. Both work well together. First half of August.

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MAS museum lit up in Pride colours

B

The Bonaparte at the Grote Markt is a karaoke bar. But with a gay owner, it won’t surprise you there are drag nights and gay parties. Pannekoek on Sundays.

D

I’m not sure the managers of Den Draak like to call their bar a gay bar. Patrons are both LGBTQ and straight. It will throw a very gay Eurovision Song Contest viewing party, and it will also celebrate the Red Devils, Belgium’s football team.

Located at the Draakplaats, it’s very well integrated in the hipster, somewhat leftist neighbourhood of Zurenborg.

Café DeLux at Melkmarkt 16 is in the middle of it all. DeLux is what you could call a ‘mainstream gay bar’. Coffee and tea during the day, alcohol at night. Don’t forget in Belgium a café could both be a coffee and snacks place, and a bar!

E

Enig Verschil is the LGBTQ youth group of Antwerp. Flanders has a tradition of youth groups outside the scouting movement. For many LGBTQ’s in Flanders, such youth groups were a starting point.

F

Are you a student? Why not join De Flamingo’s? Student clubs in Belgium are not really like American style fraternities; they’re more open.  

H

H.I.M is a more or less monthly party concept. H.I.M is really ‘club scene’ as you’d imagine it: beats, shirtless men, flirting… People come from far and wide to attend.

The Hessenhuis at Hessenplein opened its doors in 1993. During the day it serves as the cafeteria of the event space Hessenhuis, but around 6PM the atmosphere changes and it becomes a gay bar.

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Het Roze Huis – çavaria Antwerpen (pictured above) is both a brick ‘pink house’ and an umbrella organisation for LGBTQ groups and associations in the Province of Antwerp. It organises the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival and L-week.

Each January, Het Roze Huis holds a New Year’s reception under the bridge of Draakplaats. An absolute must-attend event for LGBTQ’s in Antwerp. Beware! Due to engineering works on the bridge, the New Year’s reception will for once take place at De Roma. Mark 5 January 2019 in your calendar.

The offices are above Den Draak.

K

The Antwerp gay scene is not shy of kinky spots. The Boots in the Van Aertdtstraat and The Kinkys in de Lange Beeldekensstraat are too nice examples.

L

Leather & Fetish Pride Belgium in February accommodates lovers of leather, fetish and kinks. It consists of parties, socials and a fair. Darklands includes shops, workshops and activities for leather, fetish and kinks. If you open your eyes, you will definitely see men in leather, rubber and other fetishwear in the streets of Antwerp. The event mostly caters to men, but not exclusively.

There may not be L*-oriented bars in Antwerp but you can attend L-week in November. Ten days filled with activities, workshops and parties for women who like women. The asterisk stands for a broad interpretation of the word lesbian.

Q

Que Pasa in the Lange Koepoortstraat 1 is a latin drag queen bar. It organises performances and drag contests. It’s near one of the rainbow crossings.

R

The Red & Blue was founded in 1997. Nowadays it’s called Cargo Club but ‘Red & Blue’ remains its gay brand. It’s the obvious party location and an icon in Antwerp.

S

Sjalot & Schanul is a lesbian run restaurant behind City Hall. The address is Oude Beurs 12.  

SPEK (“bacon”) is a queer, ‘alternative’ party concept. Electro tunes, booze, cigarettes, other substances. Attracts queer, leftwing, hipster crowd.

Café Strange in the Dambruggestraat is the oldest, still open gay bar in town. Manager Armand Everaerts is well in his 80s but still serves you cheap beer. A special place.

Strangelove – A Queer Festival is a June based event. It combines film, performances and parties.

T

T-day is a day of activities, workshops and meet-ups for trans* people, their friends and their families. It is organised by çavaria, the Flemish LGBTQ umbrella organisation.

Café Twilight used to be located in the Van Schoonhovenstraat or Rue Vaseline. In the 20th century, the Rue Vaseline is where all the action happened. Twilight closed there but rose like a phoenix at Theaterplein.

U

The Unicorn Festival in July is not an exclusively gay event, but with such a name it clearly attracts LGBTQ people and their friends. Belgium is famous for its numerous summer festivals and Unicorn is one of them. It’s small but very cosy. It’s on Linkeroever (Left bank) and offers a great view of the Antwerp skyline.

 

All photos by Timothy Junes.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th & 25th November

Lego
Brickmania

At Zuiderpershuis there’s the annual book stock sale over the whole weekend. It’s free in and there are usually some English books, as well as other books (e.g. children’s books) which make good presents if you are one of these organised people who is ready to do some Christmas shopping already. It’s free in, open from 10- 18h on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and is also on next weekend too.

Also over both Saturday and Sunday, it’s another popular annual event: Brickmania – a must for Lego fans of all ages. Note, it’s at a different venue this year; not Waagnatie but Antwerp Expo. You can get tickets for 5 euros in advance (they are 7 euros if you buy them on the door) and kids up to 6 years old go free.

Friday

Buurthuis t’Pleintje is holding an Autumn Market  for the first time. On sale will be local handmade and craft products and foods, from 15h -20h. Syrian food is on the menu while you browse the stands which will offer products such as local honey, scarves and accessories, soaps, household items, candles, stationery and more.

Also offering local food products is Dokmarkt at Eilandje from 15h -20h.

Saturday

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Swaajp guest: Jacintha Damstrom. Photo by Quentin Le Gall

After Brickmania, or a day at the book sale, you might like to head to BATS Little Theater on Paardemarkt for an evening of impro theatre with Swaajp. Their guest this week is Jacintha Damstrom, who will bring an element of circus excitement to the show.

Sunday

It’s Dag van de Wetenschap today (Science Day) and Antwerp has a wide and varied programme of activities in various locations.

At De Roma Theatre there’s a kids’ rommelmarkt from 13.30h -17.30h. The kids themselves are the stallholders, and will be selling all sorts of children’s toys and books, so go and support them and pick up a bargain. It’s only 50 cents in for kids, and a euro for grownups.

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Dag van de Wetenschap

 

Another second hand market by Goegekregen will take place at Park Spoor Noord (in the shelter where Bar Cargo is). It will be on from 9h -18h and also promises street-food and drinks.

More second hand bargains at Plein Publiek (now up and running at its new location) with this Closet Sale from 10h- 16h.

Weather is mixed -Friday might be quite bright and pleasant (9 degrees), but there may rain on Saturday, and both Saturday and Sunday will be colder (only 5-7 degrees)

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month, so city museums are free (the Plantin Moretus, the Rockox, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum).

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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: an LGBT+ special; posting on Monday! 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.

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De Warmste Week

De Warmste Week (The Warmest Week) is an annual week of fundraising and charity events taking place across Flanders. If you wish to organise an event or activity you can do so and register it via the website. For more fundraising events, look for the Warmste Week logo (left). Charity runs are a big part of De Warmste Week and you can now register for the Antwerp Run which takes place on the 21st December. The first step is to pick the cause you would like to run and raise money for. You can do this as a group or an individual, and will need to be able to make a minimum donation of 15 euros when you register to participate.

 

 

Don’t forget: 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.

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

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

LauraS

No Place Like Home …

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

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Leopold de Waelplaats

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

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

GroenplaatsLaura

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

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

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

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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

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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

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on social media, where additional events are also posted:

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This weekend: 2nd, 3rd & 4th June

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Battle re-enactment

NEXT POST: 8TH JUNE

I am away this weekend and the thing I am most sorry to miss is De Quaeye Werelt, which is on the Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 6pm. As a family, we go to this every year. It is a re-enactment event and the year is 1477 and Sterckshof (Rivierenhof) is transformed into a Medieval Village for the weekend. It’s great to see the re-enactors in character roles and wearing their medieval costumes. There are also all sorts of stall and stands selling olde worlde food, drink, clothing and accessories. There is even a medieval apothecary. For kids, there is a puppet theatre and usually some beheading, as well as the space of Sterckshof to run around and enjoy. There is also music. One of the main attractions is a battle re-enactment that takes place at 3pm. This is very noisy and action packed. You may wish to bring ear-defenders for youngsters. It is free, and the food and drink are reasonably priced, but it’s also fine to take a picnic of your own. I totally recommend this event!

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Barrio Cantina

Also over the whole weekend is  Barrio Cantina Food Truck Festival on Steenplein, from midday on the 3rd, 4th & 5th.

HERE’S THE MAP!

 

Friday

BATS hold their regular Open Evening from around 8.30pm. This seems like a good opportunity to also plug their 60th Variety Show  at The Little Theatre, which will be a ‘Best of …’

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The BATS Variety Show: June 17th-19th, and 24th-26th

Head to the Harmoniepark for their neighbourhood party: dancing, music, DJs cocktails from 6pm…. to reserve for the BBQ go to www.harmoniewijk.be

Saturday

Dedicated followers of fashion may wish to see the Royal Academy of Fine Arts fashion students’ Graduation Show at the Paardenmarkt Campus.  Tickets are 10 and 5 euros.

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The biggest fleamarket this weekend can be found on Sint Jansplein from 10 am, while on Groenplaats there’s an Indian festival from 1pm. Find out more here.

Thrill seekers! Antwerp’s annual funfair –Sinksenfoor -opens at Spoor Oost. The Grand Opening starts at 2pm. Sinksenfoor will be there until the 9th July.

… For something a bit different – catch a brass band or two at Veemarkt from 2pm …

Sunday

First Sunday of the month means Sunday shopping and it would be a good idea to combine this with Boulevard National which takes place round the Nationalestraat and the Kammenstraat. Shops will be open but there will also be stands, food, tastings and music between midday and 6pm. Alternatively, stop for a pint and a great sandwich at one of my favourite Antwerp bars – An Sibhin.

Go dancing under a bridge at Draakplaats at 3pm, or enjoy bands for free at Borgerhout Bougeert from 4pm.

Register for The Sint Andries run in the area on the same day, or check out Ieder Zenne Meug design market on Bogaard Plein if you are not feeling quite that energetic.

Temperatures are going to be pleasant this weekend, but cooling off to the early 20s after Friday, which will be pretty hot at 26 degrees. Friday afternoon could also see some storms, and there is the possibility of light rain on Saturday at around lunch time. Sunday will be the coolest day, but should be dry all day

Miscellaneous

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.

Monday is a public holiday (Pentecost) and there will be a Goegekregen fleamarket on Theaterplein, from 9am -6pm.

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).

Runners -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down tower blocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

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

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

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This weekend: 26th, 27th & 28th May

[Next post: 1st June]

Yasssss …. it’s a long weekend and the weather is going to be toasty. We will respond to this winning combination in the traditional Antwerpian fashion by sloping around in the sunshine, eating and drinking. What luck! For this weekend seems to hold many opportunities to do just that. Just watch out for a wee bit of drizzle or thunder on Sunday, but nonetheless temperatures are set to be high …

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HERE’S THE MAP!

A fun event which is fairly new to the Antwerp Summer scene is Vakantie op T’ Zuid
which describes itself as a holiday market. This event is very much focused on food or drink and it is fairly easy to tailor your consumption to your budget, as the food ranges from small snacks and sweets to larger meals. It has a truly international feel with stands from all over the world, as well as some performances (we saw some Indonesian dancing last year). It takes place down on the Vlaamse Kaai, so there is also a handy playground for kids, as well as a play area for the event itself. Starts Thursday at midday and continues until Sunday.

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Mercado on Groenplaats is also having a food festival that takes place over the whole weekend (25th -28th May) offering -in addition to their usual stands – outdoor stands, street musicians and magicians, and kids’ entertainment.

Friday

Update: No picnic today apologies for the error!

Critical Mass takes place as usual for the last Friday of the month, meeting at 6pm -also on Theaterplein. Bring your bike for the musical edition of this monthly communal bike ride

Aper’eau is back for the summer -their kick-off event takes place on Groenplaats from 5pm. Outdoor drinks and cocktails in the sun in Antwerp’s most famous square. Sounds like a good way to start the weekend…

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Groenplaats

Saturday

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Brick Boat in Stadspark   This plinth (where different exhibits are featured) is a project from Middelheim Museum

Middelheim -Antwerp’s free  sculpture museum is a beautiful place to visit, but even more so when the weather is good. So this weekend should be a good time to take advantage of the opening event of the Richard Deacon exhibition, complete with a free guided tour.

Or enjoy a browse round the ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market at Den Beulebak from 11- 5pm. Free.

Sunday

Snitt are holding a second hand market at a fun location today: at Stack (formerly Convoi)  the container village down by Waagnatie. It’s free and you can bring your own secondhand items to donate to local initiative ‘de Collectie’.

Lambermontmartre is another regular presence on the Antwerp summer scene. It’s not only a chance to browse or buy lots of art works by local and amateur artists, and to support their work, but there is always a band and some good, cheap food and drinks. The area has some lovely cafés (Finjan’s is a favourite of mine for great Falafel and middle-Eastern food) and there is usually a table where kids can paint a canvas of their own for a small price.

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Ascension is the reason for the long weekend. If you would like to enjoy some choral music, head to the Begijnhofkerk at 3pm, where for 5 euros you can hear the Cathedral Singers of Oxford with special music for Ascensiontide.

Reserve by calling 03 232 01 03

Miscellaneous

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.

Next week Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month so Antwerp City museums are free (Plantin Moretus, Rockox, Mayer van den Bergh, The MAS and The Red Star Line Museum).

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).

Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

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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

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

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This weekend: 19th, 20th & 21st May

It’s a busy weekend this weekend. You get a gold star if you can do all of this lot. Here’s the GOOGLE MAP to help you find your way…

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There are two events which takes place over the whole weekend. The first is the opening of Bar Noord (formerly The Cargo Summer Bar) in Park Spoor Noord. After nine years, the bar and is having a re-furb and getting a new name. This part of town has changed and developed greatly over recent years and Bar Noord has stated its intention to strengthen its position as a place for the community and for families, in what is becoming a distinct area of the city. This summer Bar Noord promises more sporting activities and live music than it has in the past, and aims to engage more members of this increasingly diverse, multicultural community. I’m curious to see what that is going to look like, as for my family this location has been the go-to destination when the weather is good during school holidays -it’s a great location. Bar Noord opening party kicks off on Friday at 6pm, with further events on both Saturday and Sunday.

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Antwerp Art Weekend is also on over the whole weekend, from Friday at midday. There is more information on the Antwerp Art website (click on ‘venues’) to see which galleries are participating.Although larger museums are involved, Antwerp Art Weekend is a celebration of the many smaller galleries which display contemporary art around the city. For example, this temporary exhibition at Gallery M146, which opens on Friday evening with a reception.
The best way to work it, is to figure out what you want to see and go by bike from gallery to gallery between midday and 6pm. For night owls, there’s Nacht van de Beeldende Kunst or Night of the Visual Arts, at de Studio on the Saturday, costing a tenner and starting at 9pm.

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Untitled 3 by Michael Laird @ Open Systems, M146. Antwerp Art Weekend

At Antwerp Expo there’s a book & hobby fair. It’s free in, and opening at 10am on all three days.

Friday

Fabrik is a relatively new café venue near Theaterplein. They also offer live sessions on Fridays. This week, the wonderful 110 (a trippy, three piece improvisational electro rock band from the city of Antwerp) will be playing, starting at 9pm. Here’s a sample of what they do!

You can still get tickets for the one and only performance of A Sunburnt Country: a unique celebration of Australian music, dance and literature by Maddi Goodwin at de Singel. Hurry, hurry!

Fabrik
Fabrik

 

Saturday

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If you have musical children, head to the Antwerp International School for this special children’s performance of The Magic Flute at 2pm.

Borgerrio is a free, colourful, carnival-style festival that takes place along the Turnhoutsebaan from 2.30, when it begins with a parade. Check the full program for the food, stalls, and other entertainment that will be on offer.

Runners – head to the Rivierenhof for the park runs starting at 2pm. There are 300m (14h) and 800m (14.15h) races for kids, which are free;  and then 5km (14.30h) and 10km (15.30h) races for adults, costing 5 euros. If you have not already registered, you can do so there from 12, before the runs begin.

Sunday

It’s the third Sunday of the month, so as usual, there will be a second hand book and comics market in front of the Permeke Library from 10am; on this occasion accompanied by a piano marathon.

Food, live music, DJs and a flea market taking place for Bouger Bouger #11 on Krugerplein between 10am and 5pm.

Piano

There’s a Re: set Closet sale at Het Eiland from 10am- 5.30pm

And Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am.

The weather this weekend is predicted to be warm and dry (around 18-19 degrees), so not as hot as temperatures enjoyed earlier this week. It could be cloudy a times, and there is a chance of rain -particularly on Friday.

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A Sunburnt Country: Friday at de Singel

Miscellaneous

AkaartF2During 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).

Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

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

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

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This weekend: 12th, 13th & 14th May

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

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Dries van Noten, Nationalestraat

Belmodo Fashion Days  (overstock sales) continue, finishing up this weekend on Sunday, offering the chance to get designer items from big names like Dries Van Noten, A.F. Vandevorst, Ann Demeulemeester, and Stephan Schneider among others. Belmodo sales also to be found on the first floor of Mercado on Groenplaats from 12- 6pm (not Sunday). There’s a map of participating outlets, or download the app.

Antwerpen Vertelt is a festival of story telling (Dutch) which takes place every two years. De Roma, Permeke Library and The Red Star Line Museum are the key venues for events. You can see the full agenda here

Friday

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Bocadero, Waagnatie

Another summer bar opening! This time it’s the Beach bar-style Bocadero at Waagnatie, down by the Schelde which opens at 5pm for the summer (until September)

Saturday

During the day, from midday, it’s the Damse Feesten, a very child-friendly, free, local street party, comprising of races (bikes, scooters … even a unicyclist took part last year) for people of all ages, kids entertainment and a fleamarket.

The Eurovision Song Contest is of course the highlight of any right thinking person’s musical year, so embiggen your hair and make sure your contouring is on point:  Café Den Draak will be holding a Eurovision Night and showing the contest on the big screen.

Sunday

There’s a big fleamarket on Dageraadplaats from 9am. A good opportunity to go and discover this attractive local square if you don’t already know it. It’s a good place to hang out when the weather is warm and dry, with numerous café terraces, a playground for the kids, and space for them to play basketball or football.

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Sint Anna Tunnel

If you ventured over to Linkeroever for the Left Festival (which was excellent) as mentioned in last week’s post, you might be interested in returning for an evening market on Frederik van Eedenplein from 3pm. Frederik van Eedenplein is immediately on the right when you come out of the Sint Anna Tunnel.

Another summer bar (and restaurant)  Banningville opens at 2pm. I think this is a newcomer to the Antwerp summer bar scene this year, as I have only recently heard of it.

… And don’t forget that it is Mother’s Day in Belgium today. Need a last minute gift? Try Markt van Morgen on Kloosterstraat from midday …

The weather this weekend is looking a bit patchy. Temperatures are decent (18-19 degrees, tops) but there is very likely to be rain on Friday, and possibly on Saturday too. Sunday should be dry, but cloudy at times.

Miscellaneous

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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!

If you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

socialmediaFbPTw

Instagram

Facebook (in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter

Pinterest

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