This weekend in Antwerp: 14th, 15th & 16th June

Friday

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Atlas op het plein is an event organised by Atlas, integratie & inburgering Antwerpen, which provides help, support and information for those arriving from other countries to settle in Antwerp. Atlas op het Plein is a chance to socialise with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, and to have a good time: there will be a conversation café, music, workshops and child-friendly activities -starts at 4pm.

Jazz fans – check out this free Jazz Bar Tour: eleven Antwerp bars offering live Jazz music across the course of the evening. Most are in the Sint Andries area of the city, but some are a little further afield, however I think with a little planning, the walking distance is not too great, and a bike would make this even easier.

This week’s addition to the Antwerp summer bar scene can be found at Plein Publiek where they open their Congé Summer bar from 5pm.

Saturday

62307314_560860957653533_2036524160045285376_oThere’s a lot going on in the Dam area of Antwerp:-

You can come and enjoy some Basketball on Damplein …

Or browse local fresh produce at Kraakvers Farmers’ Market

or join in the Trottinettenkoers (fun bike race) and neighbourhood street party.

Back in the town centre Beerlovers Bar (de Coninkplein) turns three. Lovers of Belgian and craft beer should head to Beerlovers Bar 3rd birthday.

And if you didn’t get enough Jazz at the Friday night event, there’s a mini-jazz festival starting at 6pm in Borgerhout, hosted by Madame Fortuna VZW.

On Groenplaats, look out for vintage trams, music and vintage costume (from 1pm) as the tram museum prepares to open to the public tomorrow (see Sunday). The re-opening will also be celebrated at the Zomerfeest Groenenhoek 2019 neighbourhood party which is nearby the new museum, from 11am.

Sunday

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images courtesy of Kleur je Oma

Kleur je Oma is an event that’s a little further away than those I usually include, but what is not to like about this great idea? It’s an art project for anyone who has a beloved grandparent who is gone but not forgotten. You can submit a photo of your grandparent (Oma or Opa) to the project which makes colouring pages of your picture. You can email the photo to foto@kleurjeoma.be or attend the event (from 2pm -5pm) in Park Sorghvliedt and bring your picture with you. The images and stories will become part of an exhibition, taking place in July. The event is the brainchild of artist Elske van Lonkhuyzen, and Antwerp’s very own city poet Maud van Hauwaert.

Strip en Boekenplein takes place on de Conninckplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month. Cheap books and graphic novels for all lovers of book browsing.

Thanks to Stephanie for getting in touch to let me know that on Sunday the Vlaams Tram en Autobus Museum in Berchem (pic below, courtesy of VlaTAM Facebook page) is reopening (following a period of closure for rennovation) at 2pm. On Sundays throughout July, vintage trams will be riding between Groenplaats and the museum at 1.45pm, 3pm, 4.15pm and 5pm.

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Markt van Morgen with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm.

The weather should become nicer after a drizzly week at times -top temps of 22 degrees, though there could still be showers on Saturday.

Miscellaneous

On Monday on Nessascityblog I am publishing a guest post by Jon Kemp who has experience of various different language courses available to those who wish to learn Dutch in Antwerp. Don’t forget to check in if you think it’s time to brush up on your Dutch language skills -there will be tips about how and where to find a course that’s right for you.

Sinksenfoor has opened at Park Spoor Oost! The traditional Antwerp fair will be open daily until the 7th July.

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 19.28.55It’s show time at BATS VZW! don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual Variety Showhow via their website -this year’s extravaganza is a riot of colour and fun, and there are still a few tickets available (particularly for Sunday night).

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early for ticketed events that you are interested in. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 10th, 11th & 12th May

 

Friday

There’s a good choice of Antwerp places and events where you could kick off your weekend this Friday evening:

Another summer bar opens up today at midday: Bocadero at Waagnatie, by the River Schelde.

And for another option for drinks by the river, head to Flying Pig on Steenplein, where they are starting their summer season from 5pm, with wine, summer cocktails, DJs and street-food.

Meanwhile, there’s an evening market in Borgerhout, starting at 4pm on the Gitschotellei, Borgerhout. Open until 9pm

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Saturday

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It’s the Twintig Achttien (2018) Festival on the Konijnenwei (pic right) from midday until midnight: music, bands and DJs will be performing over the 12 hours of this free festival, which is also kid-friendly and will offer spaces and activities for children.

Antwerp Museum the Letterenhuis, is an exhibition space and archive housing Flanders’ largest literature collection (texts, pictures, documents, manuscripts, letters, magazines and other publications relevant to the history of Flemish texts and publishing from the last 200 years).

Today in various locations close to the Letterenhuis, a Letterenhuisfestival is taking place for the third time, bringing together writers, poets, artists, musicians and story-tellers. See the hyperlink and in particular the Programmakrant to find out what is going on, for free between 2pm and 6pm in this neighbourhood.

Fans of the Permeke’s monthly secondhand book market will be pleased to lean that as part of the Letterenhuisfestival, there will be an extra bookmarket on the Conscienceplein from 2pm.

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Antwerp’s farmers’ market – Kraakvers– takes places on the Sint Andriesplaats, from 10am- 3pm. Definitely check out this market if you are one of the many people who would like to eat more locally sourced food and products.

Sunday

Markt van Morgen returns to the Kloosterstraat (Antwerpen-Zuid) today from midday until 6pm, with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale.

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Dageraadplaats

A rommelmarkt is taking place on the Dageraadplaats today too, from 9am- 6pm. A nice chance to check out this relaxed, kid-friendly, pretty local square in the Zurenborg area if you don’t already know it.

Come and enjoy the Damse Pijl (bike races) on the Damplein from midday. This used to be part of the Damsefeesten, but is now a separate event in its own right -you can also register on the page if you would like to take part in one of the three events.

The weather will be mild (13- 14 degrees) with the possibility of showers on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be a little brighter and dryer.

Miscellaneous

Guest post on Monday! read the story of Sylwia, from Poland who has made Antwerp her home since 1996.

If you’re a runner enthused by the Antwerp 10 Miles at the end of April, you may want to sign up for the annual Silver Run but be warned -this is no ordinary run: it consists of running up and down 1-3 tower blocks. Think you’re up to it? You can register here.

Why not have a look at this exhibition on Markgravelei? Offering painting, graphic work, ceramics, photography and jewellery, it’s hosted by Collegium Artificium which promotes the work of artists of various disciplines in the area. It’s on until 12th May. Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 20.51.36

Featured Photo (summer drink) by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Other photos courtesy of Twintigachttien (festival goers) and Antwerpse markthandelaars vereniging  (evening market publicity poster)

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This weekend in Antwerp: 1st, 2nd & 3rd March

ghostwalkFriday

Take advantage of what should be a dry Friday evening to enjoy an Antwerp ghostwalk in English, which sets off from Steenplein at 8pm. You can order your tickets via the Ghostwalk website.

Meet speakers of other languages and practice your language skills at The Irish Times pub over a pint, with the Swap Language Night from 7.30pm -11pm. The Irish Times is on Grote Markt.

Saturday

The philosophy cafe at Den Hopsack bar is holding another discussion event in English today. It starts at 2pm and is free. No previous academic knowledge of philosophy is required to take part, or just to come along and listen.

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Kavka

There is a stocksale at Kavka on Oudaan, starting at 11 and offering discounted womenswear, menswear, accessories and deco items from a variety of brands (plus the Kavka bar will be open). This event continues on Sunday, also from 11am.

London Calling is holding its annual indie/ britpop birthday night extravaganza at Ampere! There are still a few tickets available for this birthday party, featuring London Calling DJs and a Doors tribute band.

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Sunday

Hip hair salon The Pony Club are also holding a Yardsale from 12am -6pm. TPC are on the Charlottelei.

redstarlineSunday is family Day at one of Antwerp best-loved museums: The Red Star Line, and this Sunday there’s a special activity for kids “Op Reis Met Verhalenvertellers” (A Journey with Story-tellers) with a story being told every half hour from midday, and an activity for the children to enjoy. And if you have very small children, they’re not left out: there’s a buggy tour from 10 -11 (this costs extra after the usual museum entry price)

Temperatures will be lower than the (somewhat alarmingly) warm midweek days of this week, coming down to 11-13 degrees. Friday should be dry, with some showers on Saturday and Sunday

Miscellaneous

Screen Shot 2019-02-23 at 13.12.10This week I was delighted to showcase the work of three University of Antwerp students in a special blog post  -meet Rani, Lotte and Ellen who made a vodcast all about Le Labo fragrance store on Wapper in Antwerp

This week, many schools celebrated carnaval -you may have seen kids coming out of school on Wednesday all dressed up. Carnaval celebrations continue next Wednesday (during spring break) for kids aged 4-13 at two locations courtesy of District Antwerpen.  for only one euro (no need to pre-register).

JEF2019JEF is an annual film festival for children and young people in Belgium, with events taking place in various locations across the country. There is of course, a JEF program in Antwerp featuring screenings, activities and workshops for all ages. Most of these take place in the Zuiderpershuis, with a few at the Ecohuis too. JEF runs until the 10th March and is well worth looking at if you have kids to entertain during the Spring half-term break (“Krokusvakantie”).

March is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.

Are you, or do you know, a young person who has taken part in the Climate Marches recently? If so, he/ she can get a 20% discount on any purchases from any of Antwerp’s eight second hand stores. To get the discount -show a selfie of yourself on the march. It’s available until the 8th March.

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Special post: How An Antwerp Immigrant Changed The World In 1550

NEW EXHIBITION AT PLANTIN- MORETUS SHOWS THE CITY’S IMPORTANT ROLE IN PAVING THE WAY FOR THE ENLIGHTENMENT.

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A trip to the Plantin Moretus museum (left) provided the inspiration for this guest post by Daniel McBrearty.

Are you deluged by data, fazed by fake news, or stressed out from trying to find a teaspoon of facts in a sea of information? What you need is some historical perspective, and Antwerp’s Plantin Moretus Museum is the perfect place to find it …

Christophe Plantin, a native Frenchman and Humanist who became a powerful Antwerp businessman, could reasonably be called the Steve Jobs of the 16th century. He founded one of the three most important printing presses in Europe, and by 1550 he was one of the biggest publishers in the world, with sixteen operational presses and employing fifty people. The technology he used, along with much of his considerable wealth and countless books, are lovingly preserved in the Plantin Moretus Museum, on the Vrijdagmaarkt.

As well as physical artefacts, the Museum has done a wonderful (and timely, given the impact of the internet on our own times) job of placing Moretus’s considerable influence in a historical context. Their current exhibition, “Baroque Book Design”, fuses the work of Rubens and others -as part of the city’s the publishing industry- with insightful observation on social conditions of the time.

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Antwerp was at the centre of an information revolution

After Plantin’s death, the business was taken over by Jan Moretus, his son-in-law, and the family continued to dominate European publishing for the next 150 years. The printing press was a real challenge to the Catholic church, which had relied on the inability of an illiterate public to interpret the Bible without the help of priests. Gutenberg’s invention broke forever that monopoly of belief.

Books – now twenty times faster to produce, and much cheaper- became more widely available. An information revolution as big as our own, was underway. Schools of language, medicine, science and religion serviced a knowledge-hungry public, and created huge demand, which the Plantin-Moretus family was more than willing to supply. With a technology based on pouring lead into stamped copper moulds to make type, which was then manually assembled into pages, their team of craftsmen produced, over several years, a staggering 500,000 copies of one small book of language exercises – this being just one of countless volumes from the house.

Revolutions of belief soon led to violence, followed by a formidable backlash from the Vatican. Europe was beset by rebellion and repression. Catholic Spain and the Protestant Netherlands went to war, and Antwerp caught right between them. As well as Bibles in many languages, The Plantin Press had been publishing translations of Latin and Greek philosophers, and works which spread new scientific research. But a crackdown from the church forced an end to the dissemination of such dangerous ideas. The Plantin-Moretus family, however, were clearly astute diplomats as well as businesspeople, managers, and technicians. Not only did they survive, they became at various times, official printers and typographers to the Dutch, the Spanish and the Church.

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The museum is also a favourite of my daughter

Then, as now, the real benefits of the new technology were not immediately felt by common people. In fact it took several hundred years, and much argument and bloodshed, before they led to real improvement in living conditions.

As well as his beautiful drawings and engraved copper plates, the Museum possesses many paintings by Rubens, who was one of the favourite illustrators used by the Moretus family. Everywhere you feel his portraits gazing at you. His subjects included (as well as the nobility and the clergy) workers at the house. For me, they show an honest astuteness which lesser artists lack – rather like a modern artist such as Milo Manara, he has the rare ability to capture something of the soul of his subjects.

Entrance to the Museum is inexpensive (6€ or 8€ depending on age), or free with an A-kaart. Staff are friendly and helpful, and on a weekday the space is fairly uncrowded. You can take refreshment in one of Vrijdaagmaarkt’s excellent cafes and restaurants and then stroll back in with no problem. Photography is permitted without flash.

So, if the internet revolution has left you dazed and confused, or if you simply fancy an entertaining, thought-provoking few hours, I highly recommend Plantin-Moretus Museum. After all, we’ve been here before, and it helps to be reminded of that.

Daniel McBrearty is a father, jazz clarinet and sax player, singer-songwriter and electronics whiz who has made his home in Antwerp since 2001.

Music website :  www.danmcb.com

Audio electronics : www.mcbeeaudiolabs.com

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This weekend in Antwerp: 4th, 5th & 6th May

There is so much on all of a sudden -Zomer van Antwerp has not yet officially started, but the sun should be shining this weekend and it is starting to feel like Antwerp is getting its summer on, so here is your GOOGLE MAP so you can catch some rays at all the locations mentioned in this post …

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Diamond museum DIVA holds its grand opening weekend, starting Friday. If you have not been able to book one of the hour long slots, you might still want to swing by Suikerrui “and join in the festivities

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Until 6th May (Sunday) its Amateur Arts Week (Week Van De Amateurkunsten). Search the link for events in your area.

And it’s Belmodo Fashion Days , also until the 6th (Sunday). These are fashion and designer stocks sales taking place at participating outlets (listed on the Belmodo site). A chance to grab a designer bargain or pick up something unique from a local or Belgian designer …

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Abelone Wilhelmsen/ Belmodo Fashion Days

Abelone Wilhelmsen (right) is a local designer based in Borgerhout, taking part in Belmodo Fashion Days.

 

 

Friday

Hungry? Picnic on Theaterplein between midday and 2pm. Organised by Broederlijke Delen and Oxfam Wereldwinkels, bring your own food and don’t waste what you have: the purpose is to raise awareness of food waste.

Antwerp locals will be familiar with Aper’eau, providers of alfresco summer drinks, music and food. On Friday from 5pm they begin their season with the summer kick-off event on Grote Markt

 

Saturday

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Shout out to our favourite international school, who hold their unmissable International Day event just once every two years, making it extra special (particularly as this year is the 50th anniversary of the school). Experience the countries and cultures that make up this diverse learning community of young people, families and staff, as they showcase food, activities, performances and music from around the world, from 10am -5pm on the school’s campus in Ekeren.

It’s Dag van de Gever in Antwerp’s second-hand stores, so a good time to make space and take down unwanted goods which are in good condition to one of the “Kringloopwinkels” in the city. Get a free potplant, and the chance to win a weekend away. There are 8 shops in the Antwerp area: Abdijstraat 104, 2020 Antwerpen-Kiel; Bredabaan 397, 2170 Merksem; Kapelsestraat 237, 2950 Kapellen; Kroonstraat 166, 2140 Borgerhout; Sint-Jorispoort 29, 2000 Antwerpen; Venstraat 153 b, 2900 Schoten; Vosstraat 305, 2100 Deurne and Bredabaan 651, 2930 Brasschaat

A choice of street parties back in town: it’s the Marnix Feest (pic below left) on Marnixplaats from 2pm, where there will be a street party, complete with kids’ entertainment, music, food and drinks until 10pm or the Twintig Achtien free festival (pic below right, courtesy of Twintig Achtien) along the Konijnenwei from 13.30.

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Sunday

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so … Sunday shopping in and around the city centre.

Go and discover creative Berchem at the Made In Berchem and learn why it is becoming a hotspot for innovative and artistic ventures taking place in these locations around the district. Map and brochure to download here.

It’s the annual PVDA Divercity Festival at Park Spoor Noord from 2pm -8pm. Music, food and a footie tournament. Also in Park Spoor Noord it’s the Pink Ladies Games.

Open Werven Dag opens up construction and development sites in and around Antwerp to the public. This is more interesting than it might sound (if you are someone who is often frustrated by the amount of construction which seems to take place around the city, you might feel averse to visiting an actual construction site). Last year, we went on a cool below-ground tour of the Noorderlijn works. This year, I’m thinking of seeing this building.

Goegekregen are holding a Vinyl Sale at HAAR from 10am -5pm and Swan Market are on Grote Markt from 11 -6pm.

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It’s to be a weekend of sunshine, with increasingly warmer temperatures – getting up to 23 degrees on Sunday!

 

 

Miscellaneous

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Stad Antwerp website

I’m pleased to share this blog post: Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published last week on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …

Open- air swimming pool De Molen is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from  midday until 6pm.

Summer bars now open: Bar Jardim and Bar Paniek.

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This weekend: 16th, 17th & 18th June

This weekend the Zomer van Antwerp officially begins! For those who don’t know, this is a program of venues and cultural events (cinema, theatre, circus and music) which are in place until the 3rd September. Many events are free, some are ticketed or have an entry cost. The ZVA website is the go-to place online for information and tickets. The Zomerbar on Sloepenweg is one of the hubs of ZVA and it is an ideal place to hang out for everyone really, as it is a great bar and location, but also has a play area for kids and plenty of sand. There’s also food (or you can bring your own), and an outdoor library. It’s also a place where you can pick up ZVA tickets and info.

location-162102_640Here’s the MAP!

Friday

The ZVA kicks off at the Zomerfabriek at 10pm but doors -and the bar- will be open from 5pm.

Those interesting people down at MAF have a vernissage …

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Saturday

At Bato Batu bar from 1.30- 6pm there’s a second hand vinyl sale in the side-street by the bar.

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… and regular rommelmarkts in Appelstraat, Borgerhout and in Berchem from 8am, for early birds…

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Other than that, Saturday seems a bit quiet -I would take the time to either check out one of the summer bars, or spend the day at Antwerp’s regular Saturday market on Theaterplein, which is much more than a place where you can just pick up your weekly fruit and veg: more and more stands are selling food and drinks for on the spot, and it is making the market an increasingly social place to hang out. There’s a busy cava and seafood stand in front of the theatre, but also worth a visit is a stand with a Spanish flavour, a little further along (usually almost parallel with Belgian Wines) which does decent tapas, or egg rolls for a late breakfast, which you can wash down with wine, coffee or Cava, depending on your levels of bon viveurism (or hangover).

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The evening, however, brings the perfect event for the jazz fan: The Sint- Andries Jazz Bar Tour: five bars, all within easy walking distance of one another, each offering a menu of live jazz, starting at 8, with the last band signing off at midnight. Check the link to plan your route (the venues are all marked on the map with the sax image, left).

 

Sunday

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Swan Market

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am (design, accessories, clothing, food)

… and the usual strip & boekenplein (second hand books and graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library.

There’s a rommelmarkt (second hand clothes and goods) on  Dageraadplaats from 9am. This is a very nice local square with plenty of cafés, bars and a playground so you can keep an eye on your kids while you have a drink or browse the stands.

Weather forecast: lovely.

Miscellaneous

dereede

Antwerp has a new museum – Museum de Reede which casts a spotlight on the work of Goya, Munch and Rops. It is just opposite Steenplein near the river (Ernest van Dijckkaai 7).

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.

Summer bar Smokey Jo’s Cantina (formerly Smokey Joe’s Garage) at de Koninck  Brewery is another summer bar (also with kids play area) which is now open.

Get your tickets for BATS Variety Show  (this weekend and next weekend) I hear they are selling out fast!

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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 (featured pic) 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).

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This is actually me

 

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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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: 30th September, 1st & 2nd October

Greetings! Here’s the Google Map with locations for this post…

This weekend, there seems to be a huge choice of activities which happen over the entire weekend.

I’ll start with Antwerp Fashion Weekend as I really enjoyed the Fashion Festival a few weeks back, so another fashion event in this city, which seems to have a constantly snowballing reputation for great shopping and design, is very welcome. Here’s the programme for the weekend which kicks off on Friday night.

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Shopping on Meir

If you are more of a foodie than a fashion fiend, then Smaakmeesters will be more your bag than a Delvaux … Smaakmeesters (‘Tastemasters’) continues throughout October but this weekend will see all the opening events -around the Zuid area, Eilandje and the Old Town, which are set to become food markets offering a busy programme between midday and 6pm.

And if you’re only here for the beer as they say then check out  Modeste Bier festival at the de Koninck Brewery. It’s a much smaller affair than the Bollekesfeest but very enjoyable -busy and friendly with a chance to sample a good range of beers and accompanying locally produced snacks such as meats and cheeses.

For chocoholics -this opening event on Meir at La Maison du Chocolat Belge.

Born in Antwerp marks the end of a successful and diverse season of creativity, events and activities with a weekend of closing events over at the Kattendijdok.

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And  it’s still Antwerp Coffee Week  – until the 2nd. You can find the full program in English  here. You will need theYelp app for some of the events. Flair Magazine have a handy guide to the bars taking part.

On the Vrijdagmarkt the renewed and renovated Plantin- Moretus Museum re-opens and will be free to visit this weekend.

 

Friday 

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Flying Pigs

Foodies Flying Pig will be offering food and drink stands on Theaterplein from 5pm, and there will also be music. Summer is not dead yet, right?

It being the last Friday of the month, Critical Mass will be assembling – also on Theaterplein at 6pm for a special student edition of their bike ride, concluding with a beer at Het Bos (Ankerrui)

There is a selection of art nocturnes in Borgerhout, Berchem and Zurenborg. Best way to enjoy these is by going from gallery to gallery by bike. A full list of participating galleries can be found on the Facebook page for this event (Borger #10).

And a yoyo event in Stadsfeestzaal Shopping centre featuring demos and free workshops on both days (10- 18.30 on Saturday and 12- 18h on Sunday).

Saturday

There’s a Revive Market at Plein Publiek from 10am -6pm (vintage, retro, interior, second hand)

… and a big fleamarket on Sint Jansplein

And MARTA (local produce, organic produce, vegetables) at Kattendijkdok/ Born in Antwerp from 9am- 5pm

And a second-hand vinyl sale in Bato Batu.

Sunday

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The Colour Collective

Round off your weekend with a free classical concert from The Colour Collective at Born in Antwerp/ Kattendijkdok. Bring a cushion or blanket and a picnic to enjoy while the musicians play a selection of works by Rachmaninov, Sciarrino, Berio, Glass, Ustvolskaya …among others. (Image courtesy of The Colour Collective)

 Sunday shopping this weekend -will coincide with Antwerp Fashion Weekend events

Miscellaneous

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Omnishambles

I’m shamelessly plugging my next post which is going to be of a different kind. As you might be aware, I’m a British national who has been living in Antwerp for 10 years. My next post is about my feelings on Brexit (you don’t get any prizes for guessing that I am NOT in favour) and the decision I made to apply for Belgian nationality after the disastrous outcome brought about by a small majority of the British electorate on 23rd June this year. I’ll be pressing that on Sunday evening, once all the events listed on this post are winding down. I hope you’ll read it and respond in the comments with your thoughts. I’d be very interested to hear the thoughts and experiences of anyone who has been through a similar process, or is considering it. By that I don’t mean just British readers, but anyone who has had the experience of changing their nationality, or applying for dual. (Brexit image: Pixabay)

Weather looks pretty promising -everyone’s talking about the Indian summer and I think it’s going to carry on for this weekend. There’s a slight possibility of passing showers on Sunday  (around lunchtime/ afternoon) -otherwise, warm and dry with top temperatures of 17 degrees.

Don’t forget to find me on Twitter, PinterestGoogle+,  and also Instagram, where you can see pictures of events featured in the regular weekly posts.

Have a great weekend!

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This Weekend: June 17th, 18th & 19th

Friday

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Bar Gloed is on the 4th floor

For after-work drinks, many of the summer bars are now open including  CargoBocaderoThe Next LevelBar PaniekSmokey Joes Garage (previously Bar Josephine) Bar Gloed on the Keyserlei (Antwerp Tower) and Zomer Fabriek. A couple more will open their doors toward the end of the month.

 

 

 

 

Saturday

On the Grote Markt, MUHKA will be holding Acid Brass, presented by Jeremy Deller and the Festival Brass Band, 1.30- 3pm. In the event of bad weather this will be held on Theater Plein. It’s bass band music with a difference -I saw this once in Glasgow, many moons ago, and it was thoroughly entertaining to hear tracks like ‘What Time is Love?’ and ‘Voodoo Ray’ rendered by a full-on brass band. This is part of a MUHKA Exhibition on rave culture.

UEFA

UEFA: The Belgium -Ireland game is going to be the big match of the day. I have mentioned already some venues which are showing the games on big screens (Plein Publiek, Cargo, Dageraadplaats and Chatleroi). This one will also be showing on Groenplaats -kick-off is at 3pm. Alternatively it’s sure to be very lively in the Irish bars in town (An Sibhin, Kelly’s and The Irish Times) for this one …

(image Pixabay)

 

Sunday

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International Day of Yoga 2015 attracted over 1000 participants.

The International Day of Yoga  (copyright image courtesy of AWDC) in Antwerp is a wee bit further out than most events I include but I am putting it in because it is a must for those who practice yoga. It’s a big event and it is totally free. Don’t forget to register if you would like to attend. The event is suitable for those aged 12+. The host of the event (Reetu Mehta) will also be teaching ‘Mudras’ this year (hand gestures, used in conjunction with breathing techniques and chanting).

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Goegekregen fleamarket from 10am -6pm on the Kattendijkdok and Swan Market will be on Grote Markt again from midday until 6pm. Right near central station there is a second hand clothing sale on Van Leriusstraat starting at 10am.

It’s the third Sunday of the month, so there is the book and magazine fair in front of Permeke Library on De Coninckplein from 10am -4pm. Meanwhile, inside the library itself between 11-12 in the auditorium there is a read-aloud for kids aged 4-8, with a dinosaur theme.

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Middelheim Museum

Here is a unique type of tour of Middelheim Sculpture Museum: this tour is specifically designed for those with mild to moderate dementia (and their caregivers). It is free and you do not need to reserve. It is in Dutch. If you think you know someone who might benefit from this, do watch the film on the page, which is subtitled in English, and explains the purpose and style of the tour.

 

 

 

The weather is predicted to be mild/ warm, with light showers on Friday and Saturday. Sunday looks like being cloudy, but dry. (image: Pixabay)

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Miscellaneous

Here’s the Google map showing all the locations for the events mentioned here.

Zomer van Antwerpen has officially started (even if the weather isn’t quite on board …yet) On this page you can find two .pdfs with info in English about events.

It’s the last chance to get to Sinksenfoor (funfair) at Spoor Oost this weekend.

Here’s a complete guide to all the big- screen venues for watching UEFA in and around Antwerp.

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A shout out to the Antwerp International School whose school year finishes this week. Lots of love -and safe travels -to staff and students who will be heading to family and friends around the world over summer. And a special mention to wish all the best for those students who will receive IB and IGCSE exam results soon … especially the students from IB English B 😉

(image from Pixabay)

 

Check out Nessascityblog Instagram page with pictures from last weekend of Parkbrug, Markt van Morgen, football watching UEFA at Grand Bazar, views from The Antwerp Wheel, and Flying Pig on Steenplein. And of course the blog can also be found on Twitter and Pinterest.

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This Weekend: 13th, 14th & 15th May

It’s Pentecost weekend, so maybe you have a long weekend due to Whit Monday, which is a public holiday in Belgium. Once again there are a few events occurring over the whole weekend (and some on Monday too). These include:-

BarriocantinaTRUCKpic– The Barrio Cantina Food Trucks Festival at Steen. This is a great location for this event, although some of the food is pricey -if you are planning on going with your family, it will be expensive if you are all eating the equivalent of a meal. However, it is OK for a snack, and there are usually some nice kids activities (last year they had cupcake decorating and face painting). Also on Monday.

– Five Years of MAS (also until Monday)- Follow the link to order tickets for the whole weekend which will get you access to all museum rooms for 3 days for 5 euros (free to under- 12s). There will be other events on the square around the museum. As you are probably aware, I am keen on recycling/ upcycling and eco events, so I am going to particularly draw your attention to an Upcycling Workshop from Het Vindingrijk at 5pm on the Saturday!

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Plein Publiek

 

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– ‘Fierensweekend’ at Plein Publiek -DJs, exhibitions, brunch, music, second hand market….

– And Sinksenfoor – Antwerp’s annual funfair-held previously at the Zuiderdokken -which will be on until 19th June at Spoor Oost.

 

 

Friday

Do you need your bike fixed? Take it along to the  Repair Café at ‘t Werkhuys from 5pm.

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A-Tower

 

Klub Goud is opening on the 21st floor of the A-Tower (11pm) Tickets are 10 euros on the door or order online beforehand. Alternatively at the same location there is Bar Gloed on the 4th floor, which has been open for a couple of weeks now for food and drinks. It has a nice terrace (complete with sand pit for kids) with views of the station building and of Meir, and Pretbederf from 9pm.

 

 

Another summer bar, Bocadero opens today at midday (near Waagnatie) by the river, until the 4th September.

 

 

 

Saturday

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Café Storm & MAS

 

International Fair Trade Day will be marked in the Oxfam ‘Wereldwinkel’ on Minderbroedersrui and focuses on the sugar trade.

Concept store st vincents opens its doors at 3pm for a festival of food, design, fashion, music and gin on Kleine Markt.

This weekend’s fleamarket can be found on Sint Jansplein, 9am -6pm.

Café Storm at MAS (also celebrating its 5 year birthday, as previously mentioned) celebrates six years with a party -free entry before midnight.

 

 

Sunday

Permeke Library has its regular monthly Sunday book market on De Coninckplein and at the same time there will be a  piano marathon taking place (10am -6pm). Both the book fair and its musical accompaniment are free.

The PVDA have a full schedule on offer at their 2016 Diversity Festival in Park Spoor Noord from 2pm

 

sun-159378_640Alas, the weather is unlikely to be as good as last weekend. Friday likely to be warmest, but with a high chance of showers. Saturday and Sunday predicted to be mild and cloudy, with some sunny spells on Sunday. Showers possible.
(image: Pixabay)

 

 

Miscellaneous

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basketball on Sint- Andriesplaats

Still three more chances to get free basketball sessions for your 6+ kids in various squares around the city (2-4pm; 3-5pm on Sint Jansplein).

 

Born in Antwerp is a Stad Antwerpen supported creative initiative taking place until October of this year. An app will keep you informed of events, or you can follow the agenda online.

 

 

 

50If you’d like to see some free midweek stand- up comedy, then head to Kelly’s Irish Pub on Keyserlei on alternate Thursday nights (starting this week). They are starting a program of international comedy acts, starting with Jason Waddell, described as “straight outta Texas with jokes and a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. What that exactly is, is something for you to find out during the show!”

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…Yes, I know it has a new logo, but no one likes it!

 

!!! New for Nessascity: The blog is now on Instagram -Give us a follow for additional pictures of weekend events which are mentioned here- as they happen, or shortly afterwards.

 

…And of course, Nessascityblog is still on Twitter.

 

 

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