Antwerp Life During Corona Virus Restrictions

Hello, and thanks for reading Nessascityblog!

As you can imagine, a blog which is usually devoted to sharing information about events, is not going to be very busy right now, so I though I would just do a general post about life in Antwerp and Belgium under the new restrictions, and share some useful links. I will keep editing this, so if you think there is a link I have missed, do get in touch.

UPDATE 27th March: Extension -current measures to stay in place until 19th April.

Information and News from Belgium in English

Flanders Today and The Brussels Times are the news outlets which will bring you the latest Belgian headlines and information in English.

The government website with information about Covid 19 is here and available in French, Dutch, German and English. You can also follow the Federal Health Department on Twitter.

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The Stad Antwerpen Instagram page.

(translation of text in image above: Stay home; do not gather with others; keep a distance of 1.5m; outdoor exercise is OK, with max 2 people; look after yourself and each other)

The Stad Antwerpen page is mainly in Dutch, but if you go here and scroll down, you will find .PDFs in a variety of languages.

Last week I published this blog post with information in English about organisations and help lines, if being at home is not safe for you or your children (or if you are anxious that someone you know is not safe).

Kids

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home school

Lessons are suspended and children are learning from home. Only those who work in essential services (and who cannot find childcare) may take their children into school. Colleges and universities are delivering classes and assignments online.

For learners in English, I have this list of educational sites.

Support and interaction

Lots of people want to help at this time. Others needs help. Stad Antwerpen has this page (in Dutch) for those either requiring help, or wanting to volunteer their help. In both cases you need to fill in a form:

Here is the form if you need help

These are slips to download and deliver if you want to offer help to your neighbours who may be in a vulnerable group. NB: you need to do this while observing social distancing as much as is possible. Other forms of volunteer work can be found here 8pm

At 8pm many people are taking to their balconies and windows every evening to applaud the frontline workers who are keeping essential services -especially health services – open and functioning.

It’s important to make time to Skype/ Zoom/ WhatsApp/ Facetime with friends and family.  If your family is in an other country, you may have extra anxieties and feel home-sick. That’s very understandable – so if you are on Facebook you are very welcome in our group Expats in Antwerp. Not just for Covid 19 info- we have a daily chat thread each day, for general conversation, sharing news, recipes and -of course – pet pics!

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Expats in Antwerp on Facebook

Financial support and assistance for incomes and businesses affected by Covid 19

RVA Antwerp

PMV.eu

Finally….

blogging-1168076_640If  you would like to help keep Nessascityblog going by writing a blog post for me, then now is the time! I welcome posts about how you are managing your time; the challenges and achievements of our changed circumstances; creative writing; how you are working and how your Antwerp business has been affected. Feel free to get in touch if you have an idea!

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

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This weekend: 3rd, 4th & 5th March

*****  NEXT POST: THURSDAY 9TH MARCH  *****

Hello, March!

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for all the places mentioned here. Wouldn’t want you getting lost.

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HAP  Food Trucks

JEFF the Youth Film Festival finishes up this weekend with films, activities and workshops taking place until (and including) Sunday.

HAP Food Trucks festival is on over the whole weekend at Park Spoor Noord Cargo Bar.
Friday

There’s a free mini- expo all about chocolate opening at MAS. Chocolate Secrets will be on until the 3rd September.

Permeke Library kicks off Youth Book Month at 6pm, with an evening aimed at 12-15 year olds. The book months has the theme of gender, identity, role-models and stereotyping. The kick-off event includes readings, music, a drink and a goodie-bag for those who attend. Register by emailing info.permeke@stad.antwerpen.be

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And don’t forget that- it being the first Friday of the month- it’s a good chance to had along to the Open Evening at  BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt 111 at 8.30 to find out about their upcoming shows, or to find out about getting involved in BATS English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.

Saturday

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-18-54-39In response to a query on last weekend’s post, alas, I can’t find much in the way of second hand markets in town, this weekend. On Saturday, the nearest one is this one (left) in Deurne (also happening on Sunday)

Kinepolis on the Groenendaallaan is holding a free exhibition of volunteer work opportunities in the Antwerp area, from 1- 5pm.

Sunday

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shoppers on Meir

The first Sunday of the month always means Sunday Shopping in Antwerp city centre. If you are shopping in Grand Bazar, they have a Circus Atelier activity for kids, between 1 and 5pm.

The weather will continue to be largely unimpressive with temperatures between 9 -13 degrees. Sunday will feel cooler and there is the chance of showers on both days.

If you are in practice for the Antwerp 10 Miles, see below for a training run hosted by Sportoase.

Miscellaneous

If you have children (aged 8-14) interested in the Children’s University event on 19th March, you can register them from now. You might also want to know that March is Youth Book Month.

We are fast approaching the very end of the Stadhuis 450 expo, which closes at the end of this month. If you have been meaning to go but haven’t, then time is running out ….

Talking of running -you can now register for the Antwerp 10 miles in April. And Sportoase are holding training runs (10.30 –Sunday, Groenplaats) to help you get in shape for it.

Finally – would you like to write a guest post for Nessascityblog? As you are probably aware, I post on Thursdays, weekly. I’d like to include a guest post for after the weekend is over, but before the new post is out (so Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday). I’d like posts in English which tell personal Antwerp stories -yours. Where are you from? What are you doing in Antwerp? Why? And what are your experiences of living and/ or working in Antwerp? What are the pleasures and challenges of adapting to life here? You don’t need to be Shakespeare and you don’t need to have English as your first language. I will proof-read and edit posts if necessary. Please get in touch via the About page if you would like to contribute. If you have a different idea for an Antwerp-related post I’d also love to hear it.

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on:

Instagram

Facebook (in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter

Pinterest

— NEXT POST: THURSDAY 9th MARCH —

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This weekend: 9th, 10th & 11th September

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Aper’eau in Stadspark

Friday

It’s the last Antwerp Aper’eau event of the season at Eilandje (Napoleonkaai, near MAS). Drinks and snacks from 5pm.

Saturday

The Damsefeesten is a neighbourhood party taking place in the Damwijk area of town -the area just to the north of the city, and bordering Park Spoor Noord. There will be music on Twee Netenstraat and contests and races around the Langelobroekstraat -see the link for the race course and starting point. There will be rommelmarkten (second hand markets) in the streets around this area. The area will be closed off to cars between 9am and 5pm.

If you’d like to do some volunteering check out this 10 Minutes A Day event -litter collecting around the centre of the city. Meet at the gates of the zoo, on Astridplein, at 10am.

A Rommelmarkt (fleamarket)  will be taking place on Sint Jansplein from 9am.

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Permeke Library/ de Coninckplein

And this week on de Coninckplein there is a rommelmarkt (and kids’ activities) just for youngsters aged 6-15. Kids can sell (max. 5 euros) or swap their items, or things they have made themselves. Bring your things, and a blanket to put them on, and register here -click on ‘inschrijven’ on the right hand side. There will be other activities available for kids to enjoy between 12 and 5 -all with a supernatural/ ghoulish theme. Perfect if you feel like an early Hallowe’en…

Sunday

In the Permeke library, which is also on de Coninckplein, there will be a showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at 11am for 6 euros (only 4 euros if you get your ticket in advance). This is part of a series of events for children (and the young-at-heart) marking 100 years of Roald Dahl throughout September.

Sunday is Open Monumentendag (Heritage Day) throughout Flanders. This means that Heritage sites in the area will be open and a number of activities (tours, bike rides, exhibitions and readings) will be on offer. Check the Antwerp area for specific details, but -for example – it will be open-doors at the beautiful  Roma Theatre from 10am, following extensive restoration work which can now be seen by the public. It’s also a chance to see a 1950s projector cabin and check out their program for the coming season. Drinks and refreshments will be served, including free chocolate milk for kids.

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uitmetvlieg.be

If you are looking on the site for family-friendly or kids activities on this day, click on the fly graphic (Uit Met Vlieg) which you might recognise from the kids’ activities which took place a couple of weeks back (Cultuur Markt van Vlanderen).

And there’s a Rommelmarkt (‘Pavement Sale‘) on Walvisstraat, which is near Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg area).

Markt van Morgen (jewellery, accessories, gifts -all made by local creatives) will be on Kloosterstraat from midday.

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This weekend should be dry and warm, with top temperatures occurring on Saturday afternoon evening -possibly up to 26 degrees. Huzzah! Like I said, summer is NOT OVER YET.

Miscellaneous

Click here for the Google map featuring all the locations in this post.

There seem to be quite a few second- hand events this weekend, and coming up, around Antwerp. If you are interested in recycling and buying second-hand goods then here’s a previous post about that from this blog.

SINGERS! BATS choir will be taking place throughout September and October.

ABChoir

And a reminder to artists about this project, which is not yet over:

If you would like to try something creative and think that starting small would be the best way to begin, this project, which is the brainchild of Antwerp-based artist Leo Reijnders is perfect for you:

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Image by Leo Reijnders

To mark its 10th birthday, CLOUDKNITTERS is organising a MAIL ART PROJECT “Let Sky The Limit” and is inviting every artist we know to participate and make a Mail Art Work, the size of a postcard. We also should like each artist to invite all his/ her artist friends and colleagues to do the same:

Our aim is to make an ‘artistic footprint’ of the Cloudknitters network.

These small pieces of art will be exhibited during the CLOUDKNITTERS 10- YEAR festival that lasts from 30th September until 23rd October in the Old Bourse, Hofstraat 15, 2000 Antwerp (Belgium)

This Old Bourse is the oldest stockmarket of Antwerp for international trading. The Pagadder Tower (1533) was a watch-tower whose purpose was to spot ships so they could be compelled to pay excise duties. This happened during the Spanish occupation, and the tower was manned by officers who were considered too small to fight. Pagador means paymaster in Spanish, but here in Antwerp they still use the word ‘pagadder’ (affectionately) for a small girl or boy.

See the Toren here.

Each of the little Mail Art works will be used for a video and will be exhibited on the internet.

On the last day of the exhibition, all of the works will be sold for 20 euros each and this money will be used to fund the Cloudknitters festival.

Thus, all the works that I receive before 23rd October can be part of this project. It starts from the moment you read this …until 23 October 2016.

The theme is “THE CLOUDKNITTERS”.
Please send your postcard-sized artwork to:

Leo Reijnders , Bouwensstraat 9, 2140 Borgerhout  (Belgium)

Let’s make the biggest MAIL ART PROJECT ever!

Further links:
http://www.thecloudknitters.be

Kunstproject “The Cloudknitter At Vauban’s House”

https://thecloudknitteratvaubanshouse.wordpress.com

And …

Storytime slide

Don’t forget: Story Time in English will start September 14 and will be every Wednesday from 1:00- 2:30pm, for children aged aged 4-11. Each week will have a different theme/story, and there will also be activities, music and snacks based around that theme. The cost is 5 euro and the max number of kids is 25. Contact Kay via the Facebook page to register your child.

Location: Centraal Cafe, Sint-Pietersvliet 11, Antwerp 2000

And don’t forget to find Nessascityblog on Instagram  Pinterest and Twitter.

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This weekend: 18th, 19th & 20th March

Happy St Patrick’s Day to Irish followers of this blog! St Paddy’s will be celebrated in Antwerp’s Irish bars tonight …

Irishpubs
An Sibhin                                           The Irish Times                                        Kelly’s

 

And it’s the last weekend to catch the small fun-fair on Sint-Jansplein, which finishes on Sunday.

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Friday

Two art exhibitions open today: one in Gallery Sofie van de Velde (Arnulf Rainer) at 6pm, and the other (photography) at the Ingrid Deuss Gallery,  at 7pm.

If you are interested in seeing  Revolutionary Road and enjoying a  meal of Syrian and vegetarian food for a mere 5 euros (+donation of choice for the movie) the head to ‘T Werkhuys at 6.30pm for their Filmavond + Volxkeuken. ‘T werkhuys are also currently looking for volunteers to help out with their Friday evening program.

hetpaleis

 

Het Geluk on Theaterplein is usually a kid-friendly café but this Friday night it has a more grown-up offering of music, DJs and dancing. It’s free but once it’s full, there’s no further admittance.

Saturday

During the day on Groenplaats and Meir, there are a number of activities aimed at young drivers intended to develop considerate driving habits. These activities take place between 12 and 5 and are free.

De Kleine Hedonist is an immensely likeable  and friendly, small venue, and their Saturday night ‘Gothic Fairytale Party 6: Snow White’s Revenge‘ looks like a fun night if you are looking for something a little different or dark for your evening entertainment.

And there’s more free film at Het Roze Huis at 8pm, when they will be showing Anni Felici.

Sunday

boekenplein
Strip & Boekenplein

On De Conninckplein (in front of Permeke Library), it’s the monthly “Strip- & Boekenplein” which takes place on the third Sunday of every month and is a good place to snap up a bargain if you are into second hand books, collector’s books and graphic novels.

In the library itself, story reading for kids aged 4- 8 (free) starting at 11am for an hour.

On Sint Andriesplaats there’s a second-hand flea market and antique market. This is a pleasant local square to hang out on. There’s a little play area for kids and there’s a nice bar/ bistro called Het Missverstand with outdoor seating where you can enjoy a beer and keep an eye on your kids. I like this place in summer -it’s just slightly off the tourist track and a good place to enjoy good weather.

On a smaller scale The Cappucino Club (Klapdorp 37) is celebrating its second birthday with a party and flea-market from 11am if you are around the old town.

Temperatures are coolish, with reasonably low chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday.

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This weekend: 4th, 5th & 6th March

Friday

Free openings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this exhibition at the Trampoline gallery on Vlaamse Kaai.

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Stadsfeestzaal shopping centre, Meir

Over the weekend in the Stadsfeestzaal, Meir a number of events are planned for Onderbroken Stad which opens on Friday evening at 6.30 This marks the launch of ARIA (Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts). Artists, students, scientists and creatives will be holding debates, readings and demonstrations about their work.

Cafe Kiebooms is a bar I really like and on Friday evening they will be starting the weekend with a some  Swing Jazz music at 9.15.

If you are looking for a regular music night to start your weekends on Fridays, the The Irish Times on Grote Markt has music every weekend. This weekend Irish musician Steve Jones will be playing from 10pm.

And BATS has its monthly Open Evening at its venue on Paardenmarkt 111, starting at 8.30 -an opportunity to enjoy their bar and find out about upcoming productions, or even getting involved in some dramatics yourself!

Saturday

kinepolis

If you are interested in volunteer work in Antwerp and not sure where to look in order to find the right work for you, then this exhibition between 1pm and 5pm at Kinepolis Event Center looks like a good place to start. Volunteers Week 2016 runs until the 6th March.

Registration for the Antwerp Urban Trail is full, but you can see the runners off from Park Spoor Noord on a 12km route that will take them through the city and back to PSN. Runners will depart in groups of 100 from 9am. This year the 10,000 runners will actually pass through Sportpaleis as part of the route.

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Krugerplein

On Krugerplein, Borgerhout, there is a spring edition of the Krugermarkt for drinks, snacks, general hanging out and bargain hunting. Entertainment for kids also promised, but not yet specified.

From the 5th- 20th March it’s Children’s Book Week(s) and there will be various events at libraries around Antwerp, such as this one for kids aged 4-8 in De Poort library, Berchem (2-3pm) which is free. The theme of this year’s events is “Weg van de Stad” (away from the city). Here’s the agenda, but note that some activities are for school classes.

kidsbooks

Sunday

foodtruck

Personally, I am falling out of love a bit with the current trend for Food Trucks, as I find that it often ends up being a lot more expensive than I anticipate (especially if you are en famille) given that it is usually marketed as ‘Street Food’, however for those who are still keen there is Dimange at Felix Pakhuis, in Eilandje.

There is an exhibition opening at Zeno X gallery in Borgerhout (Johannes Kahrs) -the preview for this exhibition takes place between 3 and 6pm..

 

BATS1950sshow

BATS (British American Theatrical Society)  begin preparing for their annual variety show. This year it has a 50s theme, so if you would like to be involved, I have been told that you must put on your blue suede shoes and hot-foot it to Paardenmarkt 111 for 7pm in order to be part of the show, which will take place at the end of May/ beginning of June, and will include music and sketches.

 

 

… It’s the first Sunday of the month so … Sunday shopping.

For kids aged 8 -14 with an interest in science, the Children’s University is taking place at the University of Antwerp (Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen). Children can attend lectures, workshops, quizzes and experiments and need to register here. All activities are free.

brolly

 

 

Although the temperatures aren’t predicted to be freezing cold this weekend, there is a chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, especially during the afternoons. Hope you have fun anyway, and thanks as ever for following and sharing- here, on Twitter @nessascityblog, and elsewhere.

 

 

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