Leo Reijnders is a local Antwerp artist from Borgerhout, who you may also know as De Wolkenbreier (The Cloudknitter) or from Antwerp’s underground radio station: Radio Centraal.
His current project is just right for the present situation and invites participation from all artists -whether you are a professional or enthusiastic amateur. Perhaps you would like create something artistic for the very first time?
Want to take part? Design, draw and send a post-card of your own creation to Leo. It won’t be returned, but it will be displayed in an exhibition at the Albanian Embassy in The Hague and in a Youtube film of the artworks. Here’s a film of a previous mail art project –Let’s Sky The Limit .
The theme of the mail art project is THE LAST SUPPER. The address to send your work to is:
LEO REIJNDERS – THE CLOUDKNITTER
Bouwensstraat 9 2140 Borgerhout Belgium
Participation is not restricted to Antwerp or Belgium: Leo hopes to receive cards from all around the world, so encourage your friends and family in other countries to join in! Previous projects attracted contributions from 30 different countries.
Because of the uncertainty of the current situation, there is no hard and fast deadline, but you definitely have at least until September to get your cards in the post.
Thanks for checking out Nessascityblog now that weekly posts have resumed! This time I managed to find the time to make the usual GOOGLE MAP pinpointing the locations mentioned in this post, so that you can find your way around what is set to be quite a busy weekend in Antwerp. I hope you find something fun here, especially if you are recently arrived in the city.
I’ve found three events for you which are ongoing over the whole weekend. These are:
HAP Food Festival which takes place on Schengenplein in the Cadixwijk from 4pm on Friday and continues on Saturday (12 -12) and Sunday (12- 10pm). This is a food truck festival and entry is free. A good chance to check out this nice area -just beyond Eilandje -which seems to be an up and coming place to hang out.
Also over the whole weekend, it’s the Mechelseplein Feesten on (unsurprisingly) The Mechelseplein, which actually starts on Thursday at 4pm. This is a very small, friendly square surrounded by local bars which are worth checking out. It is a free kid-friendly event. Times are: Friday 4pm -12; Saturday 4pm -12; Sunday 12- 8pm. The festival offers food, drink and live performances: see the full programme here.
Bargain hunters should drop by this garage sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Gierstraat 9 from 1- 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gierstraat is just round the corner from the Vrijdagmarkt which is a cute local square, a little off the beaten tourist track and worth stopping by..
If you are a fan of markets, you might want to head down to Eilandje to scope out this new weekly market which opens today: Dok Markt offering fruit, vegetables and flowers. It’s an afternoon market (3pm- 8pm) so even if you’re working you might be able to catch it in the evening.
Swaajp is an energetic impro theatre group which consistently gets good reviews. Over on Tuinstraat (Natie buurt) you can see them for free as part of events on this local street . You may have noticed “Tuinstraat” (“Garden Street”) on De Pretstraat) -it is near Park Spoor Noord (off Ellermanstraat) and it is currently a car free, attractive green space hosting catering and performance events designed to bring the community together, as well as being a place where locals can sit out and socialise.
For more fresh and local produce head to Borgerhout for Kraakvers -Antwerp’s farmers market: fruit & veg, cheese, bread, preserves, chocolate, local honey, fresh coffee and more, from 9am -2pm on Vincotteplein.
It’s the annual Flemish Culture Market today: many, many cultural organisations (theatre, music, dance, art, literature and more) showcase their upcoming programmes at various locations around the city, offering free performances, freebies and tons of information. The programme is extensive; you can find it here.
Have you been to the brewery Cafe Seefhoek? It’s worth a visit. It’s somewhat tucked away and it’s where Seefbier is brewed. It also features a nice, airy bar and sunny courtyard. The food is good, fresh and reasonably priced (share some tapas with friends) and this weekend they are additionally holding a second hand market there, featuring second hand goods, vinyl and crafts from midday until 6pm.
Lambermonmartre on Leopold de Waelplaats is Antwerp’s summer open-air monthly art fair, enabling local artists and creatives to showcase and sell their work. It takes place from midday, just in front of the Museum of Fine Art (KMSKA). There is also always a food and drink stand, and a band playing at 2.30 and at 5pm to add to the atmosphere.
The weather is expected to be mainly dry, with some brief showers possible on Saturday and Sunday morning. Temperatures will cool off a bit but stay warm, with highs of around 18 degrees.
Don’t forget that Zomer van Antwerpen is not over yet! Here’s the website.
Pop-up summer bars are at the heart of the Antwerp Summer experience, and are always an excellent go-to option for simply getting out in the city with friends or family. I can’t list them all but here is a breif guide to some I have been to. For a full list of all the summer bars in Antwerp (and beyond) this site is very useful and has an English version now too.
The Zomer van Antwerpen summer bar on Sloepenweg is the mother of all summer bars and is completely all-purpose, providing affordable food, drink, an outdoor library, ZVA info-booth, circus tent, and loads of space for kids to play. Professional loafers (like myself during the summer holidays) think of it as ZVA HQ.
In Park Spoor Noord, Bar Noord is similarly all-purpose if you are entertaining kids for the warm summer days (the fountains in which children can play are a big draw when temperatures rise). Bar Noord is open until late with more events and music for when it’s grown-up time.
Another huge bar is Bocadero at Waagnatie. It’s got a great location right by the water and is a pretty hip place to see and be seen. Kids will like the sand but Bocadero is definitely more of a venue for those sans enfants, as is Jardim just a little further along the river. There is more of a cocktail atmosphere at these two bars
Bar Paniek is another bar we have enjoyed: it’s got a more quirky and somewhat arty vibe, and is located on the Kattendijkdok with an industrial waterside feel and a standard drink selection: come for a glass of wine or a Seefbeer, rather than to hang with the cocktail crowd. Bar Paniek has also served as a nice location for food and second hand markets in the past. I get the impression that the Cadix Wijk in this area is an up-and-coming one.
Also part of ZVA, the Zomerfabriek -is a spacious urban- style bar in Zurenborg, with a busy programme of regular events (e.g. urban sports, dance workshops) aimed mostly at a younger crowd, but the bar itself is a really nice place for anyone wanting a food and drink.
Right in the centre of the city is Strandhof at Kavka. Kavka is a youth-club but even as a crumbly middle-aged person, I really liked being able to go to a summer bar here, two years ago, in the courtyard of this attractive building on Oudaan. It was missed last summer. It’s a perfect location if you are shopping or running errands in the centre and want to get away from busy shops or sticky streets.
A Dozen Dates For Your Summer Diary:
1) On the 11th July, head to Groenplaats for Vlaanderen Feest (the kids entertainments start at midday, courtesy of Ketnet) and the evening entertainment begins on the Grote Markt at 17.45. Both squares will have stages, music, drink, activities and dancing. This is the Day of the Flemish Community, not to be confused with Belgium’s National Day (see number 5, below)
2) On the 15th July, it’s the usual second hand book market on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library, starting at 10am.
3) Food and Drinks Festival Fiesta Europa is on Groenplaats for five days from the 18th July
5) 21st of July is a national holiday in Belgium, it being Belgian National Day What better way to celebrate than by going to Roller Disco Dageraad ? It’s on all day from 1pm on Dageraadplaats: bring your skates if you have them (there will be a limited number for hire if you don’t) and dress as per roller disco style!
6) Staying on Dageraadplaats for the 22nd July for Rommelmarkt Dageraad. These second hand markets are pretty good as many of the local residents are quite well-heeled…
7) Art Lovers: on 29th July it’s Lambermontmartre -support local artists, photographers and creatives while enjoying outdoor food, drinks and music. Free, from midday -in front of the museum of modern art (aka KMSKA).
8) On the 3rd August Flying Pig is at Antwerp’s Theaterplein. Outdoor evening drinks, DJs and music from 5pm.
9) Also on the 3rd August and continuing on to the 4th it’s annual music festival Linkerwoofer.Tickets here – this is a kid-friendly event.
10) Stay up late and visit your favourite Antwerp museum on the 4th August because it’s the annual Antwerp Museum Night
11) The next day (5th August) you can sing your heart out at Antwerp Zingt. This is a super-friendly, kid-friendly event based around the simple idea that it is fun for a community to get together in song. As well as local songs, there are usually plenty of well-known tunes that everyone can join in with, and a song sheet to help you along. Free, on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken from 6pm
16) And last, but never least, it is the rainbow jewel in the crown of the Antwerp summer: from 8th-12th August it’s Antwerp Pride. The Parade is on the Saturday, starting at 2pm and taking this route: Route: Vlaamse Kaai (start) – Verschansingsstraat – Leopold De Waelplaats – Karel Rogierstraat – Marnixplaats – Scheldestraat – Scheldekaaien – Sint-Pietersvliet (end). For the full program (including pre- and post Pride events) see here.
Five For The Rugrats
1) For just 2 euros per day per kid there’s Speel -O- Rama at Zuiderpershuis
2) Time your drinking to coincide with kids’ read-aloud: daily stories at the outdoor library in the Zomerbar.
3) Check out these sport programs and activities (you need to register for these and pay a fee when you do so). Choose your activity and click on “inschrijven”. Here is the full list For other types of workshops, it is worth looking at the websites of local museums such as MUHKA who have additional holiday workshops for kids.
4) For cheap indoor play there is Sportopia at the Park Loods building (Park Spoor Noord)
5) The kids’ workshops and activities which have previously been held at Cafe Het Steen have moved to a new venue further along the river on the Drogendokkenweg, and is now called STORMKOP. Here’s their program.
I hope you have a lovely Antwerp summer and I am very grateful to everyone who reads the blog, and who takes the time to contact me with events, information or a positive comment.
Don’t forget that if you would like to write a special post for Nessascityblog or do a short interview (in person, or via email) then please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the other social media in the Find & Follow section. I’d love to hear and share your Antwerp story! Nessascityblog weekly posts will return on 16th August.