Nessascityblog Winter Holiday Post

edf_softI am taking a break so that I can get ready for my own family Christmas now, so here are a few dates for your diary to see out 2019. Have a wonderful winter break, and a very happy Christmas -see you again in 2020. Thank you for reading and sharing Nessascityblog in 2019.

Winter In Antwerp is now open: this is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

From the 18th – 24th December it’s the Warmste Week -a week of charity events and fundraising across Belgium. You can search for activities and good causes in your area here. Look out for the Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 10.56.17flame logo which accompanies De Warmste Week events (pic left, taken from the Warmste Week website).

Grand Cafe Capital in Stadspark are celebrating their first Christmas with a Christmas market on daily from the 19th -29th December.

Friday 20th December: BATS Open Evening starts at 5pm at The Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. A chance to find out about the theatre group and maybe join in, as well as to enjoy some festive cheers, songs, soup and Gluhwein.

On Sunday 22nd December Goegekregen are in the shelter at Park Spoor Noord once more -it a great space for this event and the shelter means that the second-hand market can’t be rained off, but it is a bit drafty at this time of year, so wear a good coat!

Friday 27th is the last Critical Mass ride of 2019, setting off as usual from Theaterplein at 6pm for an hour’s cycling through the city before finishing up at Winter in Antwerp.

For carol services and Masses in English, see the calendar page of St Boniface Anglican Church.

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Antwerp Zoo

The Jungle Book Light Festival  is on at the zoo until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always enjoyed seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary!

Because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

To see in the new year, here is an overview of different parties and ideas for 31st December.

And looking ahead to next year, why not finish the festive season with a trip to the annual BATS panto, which this year, is Sleeping Beauty? (pic below, from BATS website) Tickets via the BATS website.

BATS-carrousel-SB2020

 

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

Thursday 31st is Hallowe’en of course – for Hallowe’en fun you will find plenty going on at Antwerp’s Irish bars, all of which like to celebrate this date, with drinks promos & gamesdress-up parties and quizzes.

The Antwerpen Boekenbeurs 2019 is underway in Antwerp Expo and continues over the weekend. This is a vast bookfair whose history stretches back to 1932. Most books are in Dutch, but there are stands with English and French books.

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Dia De Los Meurtos (Mexican Day of The Dead) is also marked here in Antwerp: last weekend I went to see the beautiful altars on display in MAS museum, and this weekend parts of that exhibition move to Permeke Library. You can see the programme here.

Friday

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Day of the Dead in Antwerp

Friday is a public holiday in Belgium (All Saints Day) so most shops will be closed, but Goegekregen are holding a holiday Rommelmarkt on Theaterplein.

For kids interested in Day of The Dead festivities there is a programme of events at Zuiderpershuis for children from midday until 5pm. This costs 5 euros (family discounts available) and there are workshops, make-up, snacks and activities throughout the afternoon.

In the afternoon/ evening (3pm-8pm) it’s the last chance to catch Dokmarkt at Eilandje for this year.
Saturday

If you are interested in trying vegan food and products, or would like to get information about including less meat, fish and dairy in your diet, the health-food shop Natuurhuis on Otto Veniusstraat are holding an in-store info day in conjunction with Try Vegan and EVA, from 10am -4pm.

Look out for the Royal British Legion selling poppies on Meir between 11am- 4pm. Poppies are worn annually as an act of remembrance of those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world and those who have been killed as a result of terrorism. Additionally the poppy represents the contribution of families and of the emergency services.

Sunday

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Antwerp Cathedral seen from Suikerrui

On the first Sunday of the month you can hear music for free in the Cathedral at 4pm. NB: it’s only free for locals, or kids aged 0-11, so bring your ID to show that you are an Antwerp resident, otherwise it’s the same price as the usual entry cost to the Cathedral (6 euros; 4 euros concession).

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops are open from midday on various Antwerp shopping streets.

Weather is not looking great this weekend -bring an umbrella with you, as rain is expected on and off over the whole weekend. It’s not going to be very warm either, with top temperatures of around 13- 14 degrees.

Miscellaneous

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De Grote Schijn takes place each evening until 11th November (ticketed) – it’s a special route through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.
Look out for a special Nessascityblog post on Monday – a picture post featuring photos taken by people who have come from all over the world to live in Antwerp.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 25th, 26th & 27th October

Friday

De Grote Schijn looks nice and opens Thursday evening until 11th November – a special route (ticketed) through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.

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De Grote Schijn

(image from De Grote Schijn Facebook page)

Antwerp Ghostwalks also offer an extra walk in English as Halloween approaches. These are ticketed (obtain tickets via the link) and start at 8pm from Steenplein. Consistently well reviewed, these walks are known as much for their humour as their horror. There is also a walk on Hallowe’en itself – this one is in English too.

Critical Mass is joining in with the Hallowe’en theme: assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm (with yourself and your bike suitably attired for the occasion if you wish!) for the monthly hour’s ride en masse through the city.

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Saturday

For bargain hunters, the weekend’s fleamarket can be found on the Desguinlei (Antwerpse Singel) from 9am -5pm (free).
Sunday

sugar-skull-4452682_640The Day of The Dead is marked at MAS museum with this free event  (no reservation needed). The programme and exhibits were created in collaboration between Mestizo Arts Platform and the Mexican Embassy.

Why not head to beautiful Borgerhout for this Repair Café and ‘shared’ fleamarket from midday until 4pm. The fleamarket works by vouchers, not cash -each visitor receives three. You can also bring your own items to donate to the market (clothing, toys, household goods).

Beer lovers may wish to head to de Koninck brewery to mark the arrival and launch of the de Koninck winter beer for this year, which will take place in the brewery’s bar between 3pm and 7pm.

The weather will be typically autumnal again -not cold, but the possibility of showers from time to time on both Saturday and Sunday, although Friday is likely to be dry. Max temps around 18 degrees.

Miscellaneous

pumpkin-988231_640Next week is the autumn break for Belgian schools, happily coinciding with the last Wednesday of the months, when Antwerp City museums are free.

Thursday 31st is Hallowe’en of course – for Hallowe’en fun you will find plenty going on at Antwerp’s Irish bars, all of which like to celebrate this date, with drinks promos & games, dress-up parties and quizzes.

(You can factor Friday 1st November- a public holiday- into your hangover plans.)

Film fans might want to check out De Cinema which is at De Studio on Maarschalk Gérardstraat (next to Mechelseplein).

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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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This weekend in Antwerp: 20th, 21st & 22nd September

consciencepleinfestThis weekend is the final weekend of Part of Antwerp festival.

Art lovers can enjoy Open Ateliers at Zuiderpershuis: exhibitions and music from local artists (also on next weekend see: http://www.openateliers.be/).

Down on the Conscienceplein, restaurant owners BOHM en Berkel are organising a festival of drinks, performances and whirling dervishes, in the form of Turkish dancing on this pretty square on both Saturday and Sunday (pic right).

 Friday

Beestenbos is a bar on Sint Andriesplaats celebrating its first birthday this Friday from 5pm with food and music: there’s a square where kids can play while their grown-ups get a beer in this relaxed neighbourhood.

Saturday

Today is World Clean Up Day. If you’d like to help out you can find details of Antwerp Clean Ups of the Schelde (on the Nieuwe Zuid and at Stormkop) on this Facebook event page.

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This is Molly. Honest.

Beer lovers will be pleased to learn that over in Borgerhout, microbrewery Cabardouche opens its doors today with an opening party starting at 3pm.

Molly’s Oktoberfest is on from 3pm -music, food, general good cheer and of course pitchers of beer will be available in this friendly and popular Irish bar in the old town (Jesuitenrui). Because we all need an Oktoberfest in September (just like they do in Munich).

For kids, there’s a day of fun on de Coninckplein in front of the Permeke library: Coninckskinderen children’s festival starts at midday and continues until 5pm: games, dress-up, outdoor play and even a climbing wall.

 

Sunday

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Baby Pinoy

There’s a small Rommelmarkt on Giraffenplein behind the zoo, courtesy of the cycling and coffee bar, Vitesse. Just round the corner the lovely Baby Pinoy restaurant is selling up a bunch of stuff too (its furniture, plus some vintage clothing) as it prepares to move on to pastures new. We are sorry to see this eaterie leave.

Bouger Bouger on Krugerplein, Borgerhout is a fun local vintage and fleamarket, which always has a few extras in terms of food and music, and a great neighbourhood feel. It’s on from 10am -6pm.

And why not round off your weekend by enjoying the last Bar Salsa of the season at Bar Noord, Park Spoor Noord from 3pm – 10pm.

It’s going to be another warm weekend- especially on Saturday when temperatures might get up to 26 degrees. Sunday will be warm too, but take your umbrella as there could be some showers.

Miscellaneous

On the last Wednesday of the month (next week), these city of Antwerp museums are free.

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

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This weekend in Antwerp: 13th, 14th & 15th September

There are a three fun festivals taking place over the whole weekend this weekend. They are Ramblas AntwerpenZuiderburen and Part of Antwerp. Las Ramblas in particular is lots of fun and very family friendly -the food, street theatre, and music which form this big neighbourhood event reflect the variety of communities which can be found around this part of town, and it’s really a great street party. It starts at 6pm on Friday, and the full list of events and performances can be found on the site if you click on “programma”.

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Ramblas Antwerpen

Zuiderburen takes place on the other side of town, in the area in front of the Gallery of Fine Art (aka. KMSKA). It’s on over Saturday and Sunday. The full programme is on their site under “Timetable”.

Screenshot 2019-09-11 at 18.24.41Part of Antwerp is a five week festival celebrating the harbour, and Antwerp’s status as a port city. It’s a mix of free and paying events and continues until next weekend.

And Comic Con Antwerp 2019  takes place on Saturday and Sunday (this is a ticketed event) for lovers of sc-fi, manga, comics, fantasy and cosplay.

 Friday

Start the weekend at Antwerp’s most sky-line altering building: it’s Aper’eau on Zaha Hadidplein from 5pm, or not far away at Dokmarkt near MAS (from 3pm).

Saturday

Saturday seems to be market day in Antwerp this weekend: as Part of Antwerp, there’s this retro and vintage market from midday until 6pm (again on the Zaha Hadidplein) and also offering food trucks and live music -all with a retro feel.

Over in the Dam area of the city from 8.30am Damsefeesten Rommelmarkt will be one enormous second-hand trading area, as this market takes up a number of streets: Twee Netenstraat, Lange Lobroekstraat, Rupelstraat, Demerstraat, Dijlestraat and Weilandstraat -all car-free -until 5.30pm

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Rommelmarkt in the Dam area

Kraakvers is a local food market for fresh and homemade produce. Find them on Sint Andriesplaats between 10am and 3pm, and if you are recently arrived in Antwerp, you will want to know about the biggest weekly food market in Antwerp, weekly on Saturdays on the Theaterplein and Oude Vaartplaats.

If dancing and coffee are more your thing, check out this Antwerp Underground festival organised by Viggo’s coffee car on de Coninckplein. I like this coffee shop, so this might be fun -mainly electronic music, and some food, from 2pm -10pm
Mollys30

There’ll be another fun party happening at Molly’s -one of Antwerp’s Irish bars (on the Jesuitenrui) as the pub celebrates its 30th birthday from 2pm. Swing by if you are in the old town; the Jesuitenrui is always car-free, which means space for revellers on the street. Enjoy plenty of music and food: the party continues until the taps run dry.

 

Sunday

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de langste veggie tafel

Every year, Antwerp holds a car-free Sunday (it should hold more of these) when locals can claim the streets for their own activity, and also explore alternative forms of personal transport in a fun way. There is a variety of events and activities on around the city, including on Groenplaats, Operaplein, and the Kaaien. Do not try to drive into the city between 10am and 6pm. If you have kids to entertain the Schedekaaien will be the best destination for you; cyclists will enjoy the bike based activities on Operaplein, but there are many, many additional activities which are listed hereI definitely recommend the veggie table (pic left) on Grote Markt for foodies.

There’s more street theatre and entertainment for children from Sinjor Circo: this weekend on Sint Andriesplaats from 1pm -6pm.

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Antwerp City Park (stadspark)

There’s also the monthly second hand book and magazine market on de Coninckplein from 10am until 4pm, or another enormous second hand market as Goegekregen bring their usual neighbourhood mix of selling and socialising to the Stadspark from 9am- 6pm.
The weather is not looking too bad; after a week which saw some distinctly autumnal temperatures, it should be mild and dry, with Sunday seeing an upturn in sun and warmth with top temps of 25 degrees.

 

Miscellaneous

 

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Bike path on Linkeroever

Last weekend I rode my bike with my daughter, simultaneously with women riding in the UK (a female peloton), to support The NIA Project -an organisation which provides essential support and services to women and girls who are victims of violence. The Ride For Murdered Women was organised by UK feminist and campaigner Jean Hatchet. We rode from Opera Plein in a circular route which took in Linkeroever and we saw some surprising sights on the way (see the Instagram shot below). Violence against women and girls is a problem all over the world. I do not ask for any donations to this blog, not do I make money from it but if you have some spare euros I would encourage you to donate to this to support the services we rode for last weekend, via Jean’s Just Giving page .

The peloton might become annual; give us a shout if you are a woman aged 18+ and you’d like to help make the Antwerp branch of the ride grow, by joining us next year.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th September

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commemorative peace doves made by Antwerp school children

This weekend Antwerp Commemorates as the city marks the 75th anniversary of its liberation at the end of the Second World War. Cities in Belgium join with other cities to remember, and there are liberation events across Europe on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Belgian kids went back to school this week after summer holidays, so will no doubt be ready for the weekend. On de Coninckplein there are street theatre and circus activities for free from Sinjoor Circo XL on Saturday and Sunday. We took ours to a similar event on Falconplein not long ago, and they enjoyed it.

Part of Antwerp continues. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.

ABCTaproom
ABC Taproom

Friday

Start your weekend at this Flying Pig event at the Café Seefhoek (aka ABC Taproom) courtyard from 5pm – food trucks, DJs, cocktails and local beer.

Saturday

Here’s the Saturday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events. The Liberation Ball from 6pm on Groenplaats is a particular highlight and is free – dress code retro, if you can!

From 1pm -6pm there’s this vinyl sale at Bar Bato Batu. It takes places in the small side street next to the bar, and is a chilled way to spend the afternoon for lovers  and browsers of second hand vinyl bargains.

Sunday

Here’s the Sunday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events.

 

openmonumentendag2019-volledig campagnebeeld-1000x14x14 (1)It’s Open Monument Day across Flanders. This is an annual heritage event which sees museums and other sites of cultural and historical interest open to the public for free. Naturally, many of the venues are in and around Antwerp and you can see them all listed by doing an Antwerp search on the website. Last year, we went to the Groen Kwartier and discovered the Military Hospital, and PAKT. This is a really nice area to hang out in and there is also a rommelmarkt, which will be held again this year too.

I also received a top tip from a reader, recommending De Sterrenkijker School, Durletstraat 8-10: it was originally an orphanage for boys and was designed by the architects who also designed the magnificent Districtshuis Borgerhout – it arose out of a competition 1875, organised by the forerunners of the OCMW (its siblings from the same competition were a girls orphanage in Albert Grisaarstraat (now apartments) and a home for the elderly in Lange Lozanastraat (but destroyed in WWII)).

Durletstraat is named in honour of renowned city architect, Frans Andries Durlet …..Come and discover more of the story! Dip into the past- there will be a small exhibition of posters,  original drawings, photos and articles (retrieved from the archives and some private collections) a timeline, artworks, and photos by current pupils, inspired by the building. This is a great example of the sort of local stories and histories you can unexpectedly stumble upon on Open Monument Day.

sterrenkijker
De Sterrenkijker. Photo: Torsten Louland

Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm. Around 30 stands where local designers and entrepreneurs show and sell their fashion, jewellery, graphic and interior design products – DJs and a drinks truck take care of the music and refreshment.

Record lovers are spoiled this weekend: there’s another Vinyl Market on Giraffenplein (behind the zoo) hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling, from 10am -5pm.

cycling-312533_640Cycling fans will enjoy the Antwerp Port Epic – a one day annual cycling event which starts on the Schengenplein, with competitors taking to the stage at around 10, before the race starts, just after 11.

Helaas, the really summery weather is going to fall away this weekend, although it won’t be too chilly, with top temps of around 17 degrees. However, it could be showery now and then, especially on Friday.

Miscellaneous

Please read and share a special blog post which is all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God)  in their current home on Paardenmarkt are on sale now via their website.

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image courtesy of Think Pink

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breast cancer awareness and research).

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th, 17th & 18th August

Hi again! It’s back to weekly posts on Nessascityblog and I hope you have enjoyed a great summer so far -don’t forget that the summer post will still contain relevant information, but let’s get back to the specifics for the coming weekend.

It’s Bollekes Feest 2019! For those newly arrived in Antwerp, this is a great way to see the city at its best. “Bollekes” are beers, from the local De Koninck Brewery (as well as the usual pils -aka a ‘pintje’- a bolleke is always standard in Antwerp bars and restaurants) and Bollekesfeest is a festival which showcases De Koninck beers as well as others, in an annual festival of beer, foods, music and general bon viveur-ism.

Bollekesfeest is on over the whole weekend, at various locations. It’s a family friendly event, and if you have kids with you, Steenplein will be ideal -there’s always activities for children to enjoy while their parents have a drink.

The other main locations for Bollekesfeest are Groenplaats, Grote Markt and Suikerrui – just head to the old town (Historic Centre) and you can’t miss it. Payment this year (as last year) is cashless -a system which worked well. Get your Bollekesfeest card, load it up at the kassa, and off you go.

bollekesfeest
Bollekesfeest on Steenplein

It is also Jazz Middelheim (ticketed) all weekend.

Friday

Dokmarkt is on every Friday from 3pm until 8, and if you want to stay out later, you’re very close to summer bars like Jardim, Sommar and Bocadero -all of which are along the Schelde.

dageraadplaats
Dageraadplaats

You could also start your weekend on Dageraadplaats with Muziek in de Wijk from 5pm, or at this weekend’s Free Friday gig at OLT Rivierenhof, from 7pm with Pink Floyd tribute act, Floyd Matters.

Here’s the Bollekesfeest Friday Programme

Saturday

Here’s the Bollekesfeest Saturday programme.

Sunday

It’s the monthly second hand book and comics/ graphic novels sale on De Coninckplein
in front of the Permeke library, from 10am- 4pm.

BibpermekePride
de Coninkplein

And there’s more browsing to be had on Dageraadplaats at the secondhand market there from 9am- 6pm. This is always a good market, and the location is nice and very kid-friendly.

Here’s the Bollekesfeest Sunday programme.

The weather should be warm this weekend, with top temperatures of around 22- 23 degrees. It should also be dry with the possibility of light showers only on Saturday evening.

Miscellaneous

Always keen on finding new places to eat and drink at an affordable price in Antwerp you will be pleased to learn that this summer I discovered three new (or fairly new) places to dine, which I am happy to recommend to you. These are (in no particular order) :

shad
dinner at Shad

Shad on Tabakvest near Theaterplein, does a lovely curry, very reasonably priced and handily located near other bars (Theaterplein) for going on with drinks with friends too.

Baby Pinoy is more of a lunch venue. It serves delicious Philipino-inspired meals in a pretty restaurant near the zoo. I also enjoyed the Korean iced coffee that they do there.

Bentosan is a very recent arrival in China town on Van Wesenbekestraat. My daughter and I were hugely impressed by the vegetarian hotpot. A great place to take your time with your food in a friendly environment.

All of the above are very different in their style of food, but I’d give them all a recommend for some qualities they have in common: reasonable prices, informal ambience and really friendly service. Also, I am always on the look out for places with good veggie options (I am vegetarian, but most of my friends are not) so that I can enjoy a meal out alongside my omnivorous companions.

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Race For The Cure Antwerpen (pic courtesy of Think Pink Belgie)

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breas cancer awareness and research).

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

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This weekend in Antwerp: 12th, 13th & 14th July

Hello! This is just a quick post, as I am about to go away for a few days. I’ll be back within the week, in time to write a summer post on July 18th, before taking a break until mid-August.

Here’s the post for this weekend:

Friday

Start your weekend with Aper’eau and some outdoor drinks on the Bolivarplaats from 5pm -11pm.

turntable-310450_640Or head to the Zomerfabriek for a vinyl bargain at this record fair from 4pm; retro music lovers can stay on to dance all night at the mod all-nighter (Northern soul, Ska, Latin Jazz) which starts at 10pm in the same venue, and continues to 4am.

Or – did you know that the Open Lucht Theater in Rivierenhof which has a  program of musical gigs and performances over summer, which are ticketed, also offers “Free Fridays” events -you need to turn up on time (because once full -that’s it). This week it’s Antwerp DJs Discobaar A Moeder -doors open at 7pm.

Saturday

From 10 -6pm on the Sint Jansplein there will be one of the regular second hand local markets over the whole square.

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Rukinzo Vibes

From midday – 9pm at Park Spoor Noord there will be a multicultural festival (Rukinzo Vibes), showcasing music, dance and percussion from Burundi, West Africa and Rwanda. There will also be food and drink to enjoy.

Sunday

Join in with The Big Jump -part of a campaign for clean local rivers. In Antwerp, the Big Jump will take place near the Droogdokken and will be organised in conjunction with Stormkop: be at the Kattendijkdok, Droogdokkenweg 4 to take part at 3pm, although there will be a number of activities taking place, and you can see the full Antwerp program on the Big Jump Facebook event page.

There’s a program of dance events next to the Schelde during summer: see Antwerpen Danst for details of the Sunday event, which includes contemporary dance for both adults and kids.

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Bocadero

Also by the Schelde there’s a Closet Cleaning market at Bocadero summer bar from 9-5pm
Weather should remain reasonably warm, dry and pleasant; although there could be a few summer showers on Friday.
 

Miscellaneous

If you are scratching your head looking for something cheap and cheerful to occupy the kids on their summer holidays, then have a look at Speel-O-Rama at the Zuiderpershuis, starting next week: it’s on from 15th July -9th August and costs only 2 euros per day, per child. It’s for kids aged 7-13, and offers workshops, activities, creative play, theater and water games.

 

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With the translation skills of Carlo Cinque of Italians ad Anversa I am delighted to offer Nessascityblog in Italian -see the new button at the top of the home-page, and don’t forget to tell your Italian friends all about it!
This week I published a guest post by Frederik Rombach, a glass blower in Antwerp, who makes his amazing creations from waste glass.

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

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This weekend in Antwerp: 17th, 18th & 19th May

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Antwerp Art Pavilion, Hanzestedenplaats

It’s Antwerp Art Weekend over the whole weekend. Galleries -both large and small- around the city open their doors to spotlight and celebrate contemporary art. Over 80 venues are participating and you can find a list of them here. This is the fifth edition of Antwerp Art Weekend.

 

 

Friday

Friday evening should be dry and mild, so here’s three possible options for starting the weekend with a few outdoors drinks:

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Sommar

Sun-lovers will be pleased to know that another summer bar is opening for the season. Sommar under Hangar 27 (near Eilandje) opens at 5pm.

 

Aper’eau is on Grote Markt from 5pm with its usual brand of drinks, summer cocktails, food trucks and DJs until 11pm

And regular Dokmarkt is on Napoleonkaai (Eilandje). If you’re out the office early that starts at 3pm and combines music, outdoor drinks with stands which sell a variety of quality, small-batch products from local businesses.
Saturday

For kids: encourage your smallest ones to begin enjoy books and reading at Bib Festival Voor Kleintjes: read aloud, creative fun, workshops and activities based around books, stories and reading for babies and toddlers from

On Sint Jansplein there’s the regular mega grote openlucht rommelmarkt (huge second hand market) from 10am -6pm
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Plein Publiek

And at Plein Publiek it’s the revive market from 10am- 4pm, which is a classy closet sale of vintage and sustainable fashion, where there’s also a bar, and bites available. NB: most stands are cash only

Why not jump on your bike and head to Park Spoor Oost for Festa Primavera? Music and food from 5pm. It’s free but the buffet costs 15e (8e for kids) and it’s advisable to reserve via parkspooroost@outlook.com

On the other side of the water, you can also enjoy festival feelz at Left Festival on Linkeroever: food, music, games and a rommelmarkt from 10am until midnight. This event is free, kid-friendly and takes place on Thonetlaan 133, 2050 Antwerpen

Sunday

Goegekregen are in Park Spoor Noord from 9am with their usual vast array of second hand good, antiques, curiosa, vinyl and second hand & vintage fashion.

Bouger Bouger is a nice neighbourhood party on Krugerplein in Borgerhout from 10am -5pm and features music, food and again, a second hand market.

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Piano Marathon 2018

Openwervendag gives members of the public the chance to go and see building projects which are currently underway in various regions. Here are the sites which will be open in the Antwerp area.

A Piano Marathon will take place alongside the usual second-hand book market on de Conninckplein today from 10am-4pm

And if that isn’t enough secondhand eco-friendly goodness for you, head to nightspot Ampere and get your vintage fashion by the kilo from 10am -6pm.

The weather should continue to be pleasant (20-21 degrees over Saturday and Sunday) with the possibility of a bit of stormy weather on Sunday afternoon.

Miscellaneous

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Pint of Science

Pint of Science is coming to Antwerp to explain some cutting-edge scientific ideas and developments, and some of their presentations and discussions will be in English. Here is their program for Antwerp venues – events take place next week from 20th- 22nd May in bars around Antwerp.

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This week on Monday I published an extra post: meet Sylwia, a life coach from Poland who has lived in Antwerp since 1996.

And tickets go on sale for the 2019 BATS Variety Show in June. This is a popular annual event, so get in early if you’d like to catch this fun show!

And here’s another option for theatre in English from Antwerp based theatre and impro group Mixed and United: Loads is a play written by Sebastian Badarau. It’s about student actors preparing a Chekhovian play and you can order tickets online here.

loads

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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: 26th, 27th, 28th April (& May 1st).

There’s a three day festival over the whole of this weekend on the Moorkensplein (Borgerhout). The Fiesta Fortuna starts on Friday at 17.30h and continues until Sunday night. Here’s the full programme. This event is hosted by arts organisation Madam Fortuna which is based in Borgerhout and celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

Friday

The last Friday of the month means Critical Mass: assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm as usual for an hour’s cycling through the city.

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Bar Paniek

And perennial summer favourite Bar Paniek on the Kattendijkdok re-opens for summer 2019 at 11am.

Saturday

On Sint-Jansplein there will be a great big fleamarket from 10 – 6pm. I like this part of town and my favourite bar on this square is Rode 7 -check it out, for reasonably priced, tasty home-cooked food and a friendly atmosphere.

From 1pm community centre coStA Sint Andries celebrate their 25th birthday on Sint Andriesplaats with the Fiesta de San Andres -expect live music, food, and entertainment until 11pm (free).

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At Permeke Library there’s a story-telling festival from 10am – 6pm, which takes place every two years and has a programme for various age groups. Here’s a general overview of the programme, and here you can find links to programmes and events for the specific age groups.

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The Rubenshuis (on Wapper, off Meir; pic right) has renovated the museum garden and is open to the public from 12 -5pm for an Italian Garden Party. It’s free and there will be characters in costume, guided walks, games, workshops and music. The museum will also be free. You can bring your own picnic to enjoy in the newly restored gardens.

dance-310022_640If you are more of a dancer than a reader than check out Dag van de Dans which is today. Here’s a .pdf of all the events (Antwerp events can be found on pages 4-5). Four performances will be held in MUHKA.

Down at Eilandje on the Napoleonkaai, there’s a vegan street festival from 10am- 10pm: speakers, street-food, drinks and music.

swaajplogoAnd Swaajp offer their unique brand of improvised comedy and storytelling at BATS Little Theatre with Swaajp Invites -this time with a whole gang of guests for their two-hour show, starting at 8pm. Tickets here.

Sunday

Today is the Antwerp 10 Miles & Marathon -have a great run if you are taking part. Here a Google map of the route if you are planning on cheering on the runners, and there’s an NewLogooverview of times and info here.

If you need to relax after running, or a busy weekend, you might like to check out two workshops held at the Biologisch Dynamische Bakkerij Lapin on Mechelsesteenweg 72, run by Mindful Thinking at Play. Each workshop costs 10 euros, and is in English. To register, email Kym@mindfulthinkingatplay.com   

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 22.18.12And if you want more dancing -there’s free Salsa dancing at Bar Noord from 3- 10pm.

If you’d like to learn more about repairing and maintenance, head with your broken or faulty items to Plein Publiek at for FIXT!- Bike Maintenance & Repair Café -free from 11am- 4pm.

After last weekend’s tropical temperatures, the weather will be a bit of a disappointment. Friday should be nice but there are strong chances of rain on Saturday and Sunday (less so). Top temps of around 15 degrees. There will be some bright spells too though.

May 1st -Public Holiday

May 1st (Labour Day) is a national holiday in Belgium: there will be a Labour Day Parade, which starts on Leopold de Waalplaats (from 10am in front of KMSKA), and makes its way to Grote Markt for 1pm, where there will be music and kids’ entertainments on Grote Markt until 5pm.

Also on May 1st there will be an extra ‘Holiday Market’ (Feestmarkt) on Theaterplein from 8am -6pm.

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Whilst over at Park Spoor Oost, Goegekregen/ SNITT will be holding their usual brand of retro/ vintage/ secondhand rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm.

I was recently contacted by Sharifa from ITAKA language school. They are holding a fun open day on 1st May (see poster below). As it’s a holiday, it would be a good chance to go and find out about the work that they do offering language learning for people who are over 50 years of of age, including  Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, English, Spanish, Arabic, and Art History in Dutch. See the website for more information, of have a look at their Facebook page.

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Miscellaneous

Two recent special Nessacityblog posts are available now: one about The Chef’s Cut, for foodies, and one about the VZW Wwelcome, which has a variety of services for newcomers to the city, to help them settle in and integrate into local life.

tapwaterI recently saw this interesting campaign to encourage Belgian restaurants and cafés to serve tap water. Being forced to pay for bottled water in restaurants and cafés is something I resent: I consider it an unnecessary cost to both the environment and myself. The page offers these template letters in French and Dutch which you can C&P to establishments which refuse to serve tap water, and this Google map enables you to see which places do serve tap water, so that you can make a more economical and environmentally-friendly choice of watering-hole, should you wish to do so. You can also find them on Twitter and Instagram.

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