LUDDITES: a new book shop & wine bar on Hopland, run by Richard & Jorien.

Hi Richard! Can you start by telling us about Luddites -where and what it is?

We’re at Hopland 34, which is in the city centre; the street that goes by the back entrance of Stadsfeestzaal. We’re a bookstore, wine bar, and hideout from the modern world, all rolled into one, and lodged in a beautiful 1902 townhouse.  We have classic wooden bookshelves and no wifi; hidden just upstairs is our wine bar, where you can lounge and read a book or converse with your friends and family over one of our delicious wines. The idea is that if you buy a book, or make any purchase of €10 or more, that first glass of wine becomes half-price. I find that wine drinkers get excited about that deal, whereas book readers are more indifferent and, if you are both, then you are over the moon.

Also, our book selection is about half Dutch, half English. We have about three thousand titles, so if you are looking for a book in English, look no further.

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Luddites can be found at Hopland 34


What about yourselves? Where are you from and what’s your work background?

I moved here from New York, but grew up outside of Philadelphia, and studied mainly Classics and Literature. Naturally, there’s not much of a market for that, so I turned to contract killing. It worked for a while, but suddenly I was getting too much heat from the Feds, so I had to move to a city no American could point to on a map. Antwerp was an obvious choice. I had so many friends back home congratulate me on my big move to Germany.

Jorien was a librarian in a small Flemish town for a number of years, so she is keyed into the Dutch book scene, and has been dreaming about opening a bookstore since she was an adolescent. 


Ja, Antwerpen ist sehr schon: what do you like about living and working here?


It is cosy, perhaps sometimes too cosy. The city has this way of sucking in unsuspecting people, such as myself. I was only supposed to spend two years here, and when I first moved to Antwerp, which was during the winter, I didn’t think I would make it that long. But then the summer hit, and I experienced the beauty of the city: the long, warm nights sitting with friends on terraces, the thriving arts and music scenes, all of the great restaurants and shops. You could feel the collective sigh of relief from everyone after the first rays of the spring sun hit—followed, of course, by a mad dash to the closest terrace to bask in them. I realised that the city had been hibernating all winter, and that I had to re-evaluate everything I thought I knew about it. Now, it has been six years.


What do you read yourselves? Any good book recommendations for us to keep usLuddites3 occupied during lockdown?

Well, we try to cater book recommendations to the tastes of our customers; Jorien is exceptional at that because of all of those years working as a librarian. Personally, the last book which struck me as poignant and left me wanting more was Paul Auster’s 4321, in which he examines the four vastly different arcs one character’s life can take, based on small decisions by his parents. The first one hundred pages are a bit of a struggle, but then you get hooked (I guess I have a type). At 880 pages it is a whopper, so it is great if you are stuck inside with nothing to do. Perhaps also Crime and Punishment? We have this lovely Norton Critical edition of the novel, which provides a lot of footnotes and makes the classic much easier to digest. Now, I think, is the time to read those long books that have been on your list forever—those books that are marriages rather than flings—because if you don’t read them now- at this perfect moment for them- when will you? 


5) We can’t -unfortunately- avoid mention of the C word. It must have been gutting for you to have to close so soon after opening, because of Covid 19. How are you planning to cope over the next few weeks, and are there still services you are able to offer?

Good question! I’m frantically building a webshop (update: it’s now live- see links below) at the moment, but that probably won’t be up and running for another week or so. In the meantime, people can still inquire and order books (and wine) from us through our general email address (hello@luddites.be). We offer free delivery within the city of Antwerp, and delivery at cost everywhere else in Belgium. I’m also in discussions with a couple food delivery services, so in a few days you should be able to order our wines through your favorite food delivery app.

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Lastly, if you want to support us now but would prefer the full Luddites experience, you can order gift cards through that same email address, and come visit us when our doors are open again.

 

 

Links & Contact


Website: https://luddites.be/

Webshop: https://shop.luddites.eu/

Facebook                                   Instagram

Email: hello@luddites.be

All images in this post courtesy of Luddites.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 11th, 12th & 13th October

Nessascityblog: A Market Edition

It seems to be market weekend in Antwerp so keep reading if you enjoy food markets, retro markets, browsing  for second hand goods or visiting lifestyle markets: there’s loads to choose from this weekend. And if you need to stop for a snack, Smaakmeesters 2019 Food Festival -a two week food event at various locations around the city- finishes up this weekend.

What’s your favourite market? If I’ve missed one, let me know!

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Dokmarkt

Dokmarkt is the market where you can also start your weekend: food and drink stands

sell everything from curry to cavas for consuming on the spot with friends, but a number of stands offer local products to purchase and take home. My favourites are the pickles and chutneys from Spijs & Valies, and gin from Save The Queen.

Saturday

The Mega Grote Rommelmarkt on Sint Jansplein from 10am- 6pm is indeed mega-big: you can find anything here, from clothing to bikes to electrical parts. It’s a busy, local market in a diverse area of the city. If you’re stopping for a drink after the market, I recommend the bar Rode 7 which is also on the square, and also serves good, fresh food. Rode 7 supports local artists by displaying their work.

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Sint Jansplein

Back in the city centre, Swan Market is a totally different type of market: the stalls are held by individuals, start-ups and local creatives, some of whom come from The Netherlands, where Swan Market also hold events. Swan Market is hip, and always insta-ready. You can find stationery, accessories, clothing, jewellery, household items and food stands. There’s usually music, and it’s quite kid-friendly too. Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am- 6pm.

Foodies will also enjoy Kraakvers on the Sint Andriesplaats from 10am -3pm. Kraakvers also sells locally made food products -including beers, preserves and bread – as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

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Sunday

Cyclists will enjoy this small bike market on Giraffenplein (behind the zoo) from 10am- 5pm. Hosted by Vitesse Coffee Bar, you will be able to browse vintage bikes and pick up any spare parts you need for your bike.

Markt van Morgen is a little like Swan Market, but I like it better -it’s smaller and less busy and stressful, but does a great job of packing in a wide variety of nice products into a small space. The location is also nice, and many of the shops along Kloosterstraat are worth browsing while you are there, especially if you like antiques.

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Markt van Morgen (image source Facebook)

Lovers of all things retro should make their way to The Vintage Market Live -6th Edition at the Sint-Jan-Evangelistkerk (aka De Peperbus Kerk) in Borgerhout. Vintage clothing, toys, design and furniture will be for sale. This is the only market that isn’t free, but it’s only 2 euros to go in.

Goegekregen is one of the best known providers of second hand markets in Antwerp, holding frequent events across the city. This weekend they can be found along the Singel (Desguinlei/Kielsevest) from 9am-6pm. This is always a big market offering clothes, toys, furniture and household goods. There’s always a stand selling food and drinks at Goegekregen markets too, and a friendly atmosphere.

We could see some scattered showers on Friday, but temperatures will rise on Saturday (18 degrees max) and Sunday (23 degrees max) when it should also be dry (though cloudy).

Miscellaneous

For details of other regular Antwerp markets see  Visit Antwerp

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English speaking bookworms: this reading club has just begun holding sessions in Permeke Library. Meet at the main desk at 10am on the dates listed on the link. It’s free and you don’t have to register, but it’s recommended that you do via info.permeke@antwerpen.be or tel: 03 338 38 00

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Guest blog post: Glass blower, Frederik Rombach

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Frederik Rombach

Hi, my name is Frederik and I am the owner of Rombachs Glass. I was born in Belgium, and raised in Benoni, Johannesburg until the age of 14 . From there, my parents and I moved to the Netherlands where I learned to speak Dutch. At aged 17 I decided to continue traveling the world and spent time living and working in San Diego, and later on in Puebla, Mexico. Leaving the warm Southern Hemisphere I spent time living and working in Bergen, Norway. About 6 years ago I moved to Antwerp and decided to settle down here (…for a while at least).

Rombachs glass studio is the first public glass studio in Belgium that works solely with waste glass. We host demonstrations where we make sculptures out of waste glass such as boxing gloves, scorpions and all kinds of other weird stuff! We also host team-building events for large and small companies looking to have some fun together and make a communal object out of glass. If you feel like do something fun after work then you can also check out the workshops that we do in the evenings!

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We are also setting up an exciting new experiment where we help people learn Flemish through glassblowing. If you are interested in this trimester program then please get in touch for more information!

But that’s not all we do: we also make company gifts. If you and your company are looking for a lasting memento, and want something truly unique then we will be able to help!

So, from sculptures to events, and a mix of products in between, that’s pretty much what we do -and we do it all with waste glass!

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, ideas or projects you would like to pass on.

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a workshop at Rombachs Glass

Last but not least, on Sunday 14th of July we will be hosting our monthly Second Sunday, from 2pm – 5pm. We ask a 5€ contribution which is also your raffle ticket! At the end of the demo we will raffle off the pieces we made to a few lucky winners!

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages and do come to see what we do LIVE!

Rombachs Glas GCV
Frieslandstraat 23,  2660 Hoboken BE
T  0032 4 86 95 96 54
www.rombachs.com

 

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