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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Guest post: Five Places to Read and Relax in Antwerp

Timo is a teacher of English Language and Literature at an international school in the Antwerp area, and enjoys reading, cycling, and playing, recording and mixing music in his free time. He was one of the very first people to subscribe to Nessascityblog, and remains a loyal reader to this day. Timo is Dutch/ American, but has lived and worked in Antwerp for over a decade, and also plays in a local band (110). You can listen to his music here.

I would like to share with you some good locations for reading in the central Antwerp area. If you live in an apartment in the city, as I do, you’ll find that it is important to get out once in a while. I tend to go for walks, and sometimes bring a book with me. Here are a five of my favourite “walking & reading” locations.

  1. Harmoniepark

harmonie (1)

About a two kilometre walk from Antwerp Central Station, Harmoniepark (left) is nestled next to the slightly bigger Koning Albertpark; the latter was once Antwerp’s prime location for a hanging! Harmoniepark is great for readers, as it has extended, comfortable wooden benches, both in the sun and shade. The Feestzaal Harmonie building is currently under renovation – scheduled to finish in 2020 – after which it will function as one of Antwerp’s districtshuizen (or town halls). During the summer months, you’ll notice there are a number of free sporting activities taking place in this park, including yoga, for adults and for children.

 

  1. Permeke Library

The Permeke library – about a 5 minute walk from Central Station – contains several good reading places. If you want a quiet  indoor area to read or study, try the upper floor inside the library. You do not need a membership card to enter and use the facilities, and summer opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10 am to 2 pm on Sundays. Do keep in mind the opening times change in winter. A hidden gem is the vast CD and DVD collection in the back on the first floor. On sunny days, you can use the reading courtyard out back (leestuin)  and if you prefer having a coffee or even lunch with reading, you can visit Cafe Kubus right across from the library entrance. This is the only cafe I know of in Antwerp where you are actively encouraged to study and read.

permeke
Kubus Cafe & reading courtyard at Permeke Library
  1. “Den Botaniek”  – botanical garden

Den Botaniek” is a tiny but beautiful botanical garden located next to St Elisabeth Hospital, about a 15 minute walk from Central Station. Sometimes referred to as “the garden of poets”, this is an oasis for readers who like quiet, serene spaces. There are benches throughout the park, and, if you want to stretch your legs, you can visit the greenhouse (a warm place during winter!) or admire the gorgeous Koi fish in the garden’s ponds. Den Botaniek is open to the public from 8 am to 8 pm during summer, and until 5.30 pm during winter.

 

  1. Antwerp Zoo
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Antwerp Zoo

Antwerp has been investing a lot in improving its zoo, and one of my new favourite spaces is the small square just inside the zoo’s main entrance. Access to this area is free. There are numerous benches, and it is surprisingly quiet, given its central location next to Antwerp’s main station. Do keep in mind that the gates to the free area close with the zoo’s closing hours. Inside the zoo itself, there are many places to relax and read as well. If you are interested in this, I suggest you look into their year pass options. If you have children, the family zoo pass is a good deal, given the zoo contains a large playground and several cafes serving relatively cheap food and drink, with a 10% discount for card holders or “abonnees”.

  1. Zaha Hadidplein & Willemdok area

I’m cheating a little bit here by combining two different places, but they are very similar in atmosphere and relatively close together. The Antwerp Port Building, designed by the late award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, is striking and controversial- some people love it; others don’t. There is a big open space underneath the building, with great views of the city and some of its docks. Personally, I think this area could do with a few more places to sit, but there are some stone benches by the waterside, providing a great location to read and relax. Do keep in mind this is slightly further out if you live in the centre of town; it will take you about 45 minutes to walk from the station, but it is well worth a visit. When heading back south and into the centre of town, you’ll find another reading haven: the attractive Willemdok area, with its many benches and great views of the MAS building.

zahahadidplein

I hope you will enjoy some of these mostly free places and read in Antwerp. Next time you feel you need to get out of your apartment or house, why not carry book or e-reader with you, and perhaps even leave your phone at home?

 

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