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TABLE OF CONTENT. P 5

In this winter edition of This is Antwerp we will hook you up with the girls of XXSOME,

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show you collective working by — Brabo’s Hand — Caffènation — Noord/Bar Leon — Konichiwa Crew — Studio Collect — Kop vzw — and Creating Collective,

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show you Antwerp street style,

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venture in the mind of musician Tijs Delbeke,

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show our most popular ‘Pics of the day’,

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hand you a handy map, with a detailed legenda and tips.

Colophon: This magazine is a publication of the city of Antwerp. It was edited with great care. The city of Antwerp cannot be held responsible for printing errors or changes. No part of this publication may be used by third parties without prior written consent of the city of Antwerp. None of the addresses mentioned in this magazine paid for mentioning in any way. Publisher: The city of Antwerp Grote Markt 15, BE2000 Antwerp Editors in chief: Tourism & Conventions Design & Layout: Afreux Cover: XXSOME: Louise Mertens, Oona Smet Depot: D/2014/0306/17

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Photography: XXSOME Antwerp Tourism & Conventions Tine Van den Poel Vincent Van Reusel Ikram Annouri Erik De Beukelaer Laurent James Jonas Beldé Elisabeth van Flierpop Creating Collective Instagram photographers: catamcat, marsmonkeydreams, bartjanssens188, diplohipster, julianeborths, lorebontenakel, nicolabuydens, phil_eggen Copywrite: Antwerp Tourism & Conventions Vincent Van Reusel, Ikram Annouri, Cleo Klapholz, Joke Tourné,Erik De Beukelaer, Laurent James, Tine Van den Poel, Jonas Beldé, Swa Van Dam, Joachim Sohie,


Both online or in our magazine, This Is Antwerp always strives to give visitors the hottest tips and most inspiring city secrets, all with a local point of view.

COLOPHON.

We bring you a fresh and useful take on what’s happening in the city that never stops moving. To achieve this, we work closely with a wide network of Antwerp locals who provide us with all of our information. That’s why we’re so proud of the This Is Antwerp magazine #8 you are holding. When we sat down with our locals to discuss what we wanted to do with the magazine, the discussion was short and clear. We needed, they said, to emphasise one key force that fuels this city: its creative talents. It was a tough choice to select seven out of the many brilliant people across so many disciplines. But we somehow managed, and proudly present the shortlist… You can read all about Sir Yes Sir frontman Tijs Delbeke, his new projects and his love for Antwerp. And learn more about graphic designer Louise Mertens and fashion photographer Oona Smet’s joint venture XXSOME - whose very first project is on the cover of this magazine. For more practical tips on how to get around easily, where to sleep or where to find free Wi-Fi, just turn to page 37. Looking for some more useful local tips and tricks? Our website, Facebook page, Twitter account and free (really!) app are stuffed with them. Experience our city like a local, and let us know what you think.

Throughout this magazine you’ll see numbers and symbols next to locations. Turn to page 32-33 to find out where they’re located.

Join us online, share your life and your own favourite haunts in the city. You can connect to This is Antwerp via all major social media networks:

Use #thisisantwerp on your Instagram and become our ‘Pic of the Day’.

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INSPIRING ANTWERP: XXSOME.

This Is Antwerp wants the world to get to know our young, local creative talents and entrepreneurs. More than ever, they are the beating heart of our dynamic city. In fact, we are so committed to spreading the word that we offered the cover of our magazine to some of these up-andcoming Antwerp artists as a platform to display their work!

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This issue’s artists are the talented women of XXSOME, the brand new collaboration between graphic designer Louise Mertens and photographer Oona Smet. We got a behind-the-scenes look at the cover shoot, and had an animated chat about visual arts, fashion and – of course – Antwerp. by Vincent Van Reusel and Ikram Annouri

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A new symbiosis When Louise and Oona first met on a fashion shoot, they both felt an undeniable creative chemistry. A few months later, XXSOME was born. Their new business is anything but a momentary infatuation, though: “We had been checking out each other’s work for over five years before we did that shoot. When we finally worked together, it just clicked.” Louise explains why it was the perfect time for XXSOME to happen: “Over the past year, I felt the urge to give more priority to my artistic side. Thinking this through, I soon realised I wanted to go back to my true passion: photomontages. That meant I was going to need a like-minded photographer, up till then I had always worked with a different one for each project. When I asked Oona if she was interested, I was so surprised and happy she said yes.” “I could feel that Louise’s work and mine are very similar, even though we use different media,” Oona says. “We take each other to the next level. It’s important to us that our visuals don’t steal each other’s spotlight, but rather create something new and exciting. That’s also what we tried to do with the cover for This Is Antwerp.” The cover Oona and Louise wanted to create a cover image that is both typically Antwerp and typically XXSOME. “We love details. That’s why we took pictures of the Antwerp Cathedral (1) – the main landmark of the city - from different angles. The stone of the cathedral has this beautiful colour, which is almost the shade of skin. It also perfectly matched the image of the model we photographed. In the model’s pose, we put a subtle second reference to Antwerp: the hand.” Although this is their first project as XXSOME, they have already developed a clear style: combining pure sophistication and subtle details, with some mystery added by concealing and revealing parts of the picture. “One strong detail can say more than a bombastic image.” Louise believes that this vision is shared by the many artists and designers from Antwerp she respects: “Look at Ann Demeulemeester or Dries Van Noten, for

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example. Their work is very detailed, but the overall look remains pure.” Ambition and the city Oona moved to Antwerp about a year ago, close to the Meir, Antwerp’s main shopping street. Coincidentally, Louise found a co-working space at Idealabs (2), just around the corner. At this venue, creative talents can rent workspace on a monthly basis, without all the big expenses that come with an office space. “Before, I worked at home or hopped around the coffee bars in Antwerp,” Louise explains. “But now I’m at Idealabs, surrounded by like-minded people. It’s perfect for the projects I handle on my own, because we continue to do separate projects as well.” Both women completed internships at various Antwerp-based design and photography studios. “We learned so much thanks to those internships, especially on a technical level. Still, we both felt our higher education didn’t really address our vision and ambition to work with fashion. There is a stereotype of what a graphic designer or photographer in Belgium should produce. We want to do something else. By Belgian standards, what we are doing is quite new, so it’s exciting to see where it will go. We believe Antwerp is the perfect place to start a project like this. This city has all the advantages of a small village and a large city combined: whenever you think you know everything about it, a surprise pops up around the corner. ”


Short Q&A Where do you go for a good coffee or something to eat? Oona: “Not far from my place is Tartine (3), where I like to have lunch. For a good cup of coffee I go to Caffè Internazionale(4); they also serve insane pastrami sandwiches.” Louise: “Coffeelabs, the coffee bar of Idealabs: you can bring your laptop and enjoy a good coffee on your own. Camino (5) at Vrijdagmarkt is nice as well. My favourite Italian restaurant is Civilta Del Bere (6) in the South district of Antwerp.” What bars/pubs do you like to hang out at? Louise: “We regularly end up at Vitrin (7) because I live nearby. I’m also a fan of the Dageraadplaats square, with its buzzing pub ZeeZicht (8). For amazing cocktails in a great interior, you simply must go to DoGMA (9). It’s a little pricy but absolutely worth it.”

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Oona: “I really like the atmosphere at Cabron (10). They have live musicians playing almost every night.” What’s your favourite hidden gem in Antwerp? Louise: “I love the second-hand designer store Rosier41 (11). Make sure to check out their display window, which they reserve for upcoming artists!” Oona: “When I had just moved to Antwerp, I was charmed by the little cinema Cartoon’s. (12) They play more alternative films, mostly European.”


Antwerp is on a roll - there’s no denying it. When people ask us what makes this city a well-oiled creative machine, we can only answer: Antwerp is fuelled by the presence of so many inspirational and talented locals with clear visions. We know this might sound like a cliché, so we’re here to prove to you that it’s all true, bringing you real people & real stories.

We talked to seven different collectives who are doing their own, unique thing in art, fashion, music or crafts. Enjoy getting to know them – we certainly did!

COLLECTIVES.

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Tattooing is an art, one that’s been around for centuries. Many men and women have practised it as a profession, but only a few have excelled as true artists.  When you think about tattoos in “the old days”, you probably picture tough sailors whose arms were covered in pictures of anchors and hearts, a real illustration of their adventurous lives.

Antwerp, the “City by the River Scheldt”, has had a steady base of tattooists for as long as the red-light district has existed (another colourful side effect of booming business in the Antwerp harbour).

COLLECTIVES:

by Joke Tourné

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These days, however, tattooing has become an art form that everyone seems to enjoy and embrace; in A-town there are so many tattoo parlours you might find it difficult to choose. So we’ll tell you a little about a true Antwerp collective of tattoo artists: Brabo’s Hand (13). These tattoo-loving friends aim to return to the old school spirit of tattooing. They always save a few precious hours for walk-ins: people who just can’t resist, and have to get inked right there and then (if not yesterday)! You can pop in any day and ask for a piece of permanent art, and the artists will do their utmost to fit you into their crazy schedules and create something amazing. But there’s more to this collective than just tattoos! If you take a second to look at the shop next to the tattoo parlour, you’ll find one of the first “new-age barbershops” located in the centre of town. This “men only” salon works with old school products, and gives clients a moment away from the women-ruled streets of the city centre. (Is it any wonder, with all these clothing stores?)  We were fortunate to have a friend who was more than willing to get his hair done by Chavez, one of the barbers, and tell us about his experience. Now, we could give you all the details but instead we’ll give you a few tantalisers that will make you so curious, you’ll want to pass by the salon yourself: no girls/women allowed so guaranteed bro-time; no girly hair products, just classic quality stuff; lots of Playboys (the magazine); the slickest shave; hairstyles for manly men; personal care...


Drinks They don’t have a favourite bar because they just chill out with friends in the shop, in the comfy corner with sofas.

BRABO’S HAND.

Food And seeing as they love to chill and drink here, they also love to eat here! Good thing they are in the centre of town, with so much food right at their doorstep. Their all-time favourite is Greek restaurant Mandraki (14) next door. Great food, great price, Greek style!

Coffee A little bit down the road on the Minderbroedersrui, is coffee bar Normo (15), an amazing place with a lot of different flavours: every coffee addict should check it out at least once.

Both shops have an old school feel to them, which is hard to explain - but just check out the pictures and you’ll understand exactly what we’re saying. So who are dem’ boys from the hood? Working in two very cosy, must-see shops in the centre of our town? Laidback dudes covered in ink who love to entertain while making history on your skin come to life or giving you that tough yet classy head of hair. When asked why they reside in A-town, the answer was crystal clear: they’re all from here, it’s their town, it’s just A-town! How can one not love it? No-one who lives here would ever choose to leave (voluntarily), and that’s exactly why they didn’t. They have established places where you can hang and chill, and that’s what they do as well. Don’t be fooled, though: these guys are not always hiding out in their shops. They can also be found at some of the best parties and events. The barbers have even worked their magic at Rock Werchter.

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Eleven years ago coffee geek Rob started Caffènation (16), probably Antwerp’s most famous coffee bar. After six years of brewing specialty coffee from roasters around the world, the Caffènation crew rented an old warehouse in the “Eilandje” neighbourhood. They bought their first roasting machine and some bags of green coffee beans, and started making their own coffee. Today they produce about 50 tons of high quality coffee every year, and supply some of the best coffee bars in Belgium and abroad.

We’re meeting with two of the master roasters: highly esteemed coffee aficionados Jeff and Simon. Both have earned their stripes as baristas, including winning several gold medals in international barista competitions.

COLLECTIVES:

by Erik De Beukelaer

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What makes Caffènation coffee so special? We’re all genuine “new generation” coffee addicts. By new generation we mean we have a different way of enjoying coffee. Our parents grew up believing coffee needed to be heavily roasted, dark and concentrated, much like Italian espresso. We prefer the Nordic approach of roasting coffee beans a little less, to really bring out the fruity and floral flavours. We also experiment with different ways of brewing our coffee, such as cold brewing, drip coffee or with an Aeropress. There is a lot more diversity nowadays, both in the types of coffee and in the different ways you can roast, grind and brew it.


Why is Antwerp a good place for coffee enthusiasts? Antwerp is actually the biggest hub in Europe for green coffee beans. At any given moment there are between 4 and 8 million tons of green beans stored in the port of Antwerp, waiting to be transported throughout Europe. We have the first pick of the freshest and most special coffee beans, so there is no way we would move away from here!

CAFFÈNATION.

Drinks Stanny (17), ‘t Oud Arsenaal (18): there are always nice people, good beers and a great vibe.

Food Bistrot Miro (19) and Bistrot du Nord (20), both for their no-nonsense, old school bistro cooking. Aahaar (21) for a nice, spicy vegetarian Indian buffet.

Coffee Definitely Broer Bretel (22): Toon is really a perfectionist when it comes to good coffee. Normo, Viggo’s (23), Kolonel Koffie (24) are favourites, too.

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For years, Bert Van Lommel has been one of the uncrowned kings of Antwerp’s underground nightlife. Over time, he has taken on more and more parties, opened up a bar, and put together an alternative second-hand market. Naturally, behind every strong man stands a strong, ...er…, group of people. Meet Bert and his collaborators, the people behind Antwerp café/hotspot Bar Leon (25), party concepts NOORD Feesjes and SPEK, and flea market Bouger Bouger. It’s a prime example of what happens when music, nightlife, culture and great minds come together.

Tell us more about how you started throwing these amazing parties! About six years ago, I was working as a psychologist. I was very drawn to these dodgy, slightly off-putting locations; places that were so uncool that they became very cool. That’s how I got the idea for my first party concept, NOORD. The first three or four NOORD parties took place at Café Strange (26), Antwerp’s first gay café, which really lives up to its name. It is indeed a very strange place: small and grimy, with pictures of seventies porn stars all over the walls… The crowd loved it. I started looking for more dodgy places that could be morphed into a club at night. In the following years, I threw parties in a museum, a library, a go-go bar, a Moroccan cabaret and even a church on a boat. Nothing was and is crazy enough. It all started out in Antwerp’s northern district, hence the name, but since then we have thrown parties all over town. I have also thrown parties in collaboration with Lindsey Daems, called Kelly Splinter. Those were a big success as well. Together with the guys from HOLGER, Stijn Hoebeke (DJ SixSixSixties) and Ewald Dupan, we organised another series of parties titled Pullover. Right now, Stijn and I are working on Pullover’s little gay brother, SPEK. We had a first alternative, heavy gay club night scheduled on November 22. NOORD is ongoing, as well.

COLLECTIVES:

by Laurent James

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How did you morph from throwing all of these parties into creating a bar? The parties take a lot of planning and organising, which I enjoy tremendously, but after that everything goes by very quickly. You prepare the venue and set things up the day of the event, at night it’s party time, and in the morning you take everything down and clean up. Then you do it all over again. It’s a bit tiring after a couple of years. A bar seemed more like a continuum to me. And it is! You can reopen the next day, regardless of what happened the night before. That’s how Bar Leon was born, in collaboration with my good friend Mathias Van Steenbergen. The bar is named after his son, Leon. We recently celebrated Bar Leon’s 4-year anniversary, the weekend of November 7. Bar Leon is not your regular café. We occasionally invite DJs, hold small exhibitions and parties, and together with Natalie Schrauwen from Les Odettes, we host Bouger Bouger. These are second-hand markets right here on Krugerplein, in front of our café. The 7th edition will be sometime next spring.

a lot of older folks who love us. Then there are the students and, of course, an open-minded, left-wing kind of crowd. We love everyone! From Day One, we have worked with the neighbourhood and city officials in order to get everyone involved. We have a lot of events of our own, but we’re also involved with initiatives such as summer music festival Muziek in de Wijk and the Borgerhout summer parade Borgerrio. We truly have a great relationship with the neighbourhood and the district. We hope to be a place for people, by people. And to have a great time along the way.

NOORD/BAR LEON. Drinks

Other than Bar Leon we love to get a drink at Plaza Real (27), another nice bar in Borgerhout.

Food A few years ago young chef Michael Roelants started his own little restaurant in Borgerhout. Bistrot Miro equals delicious food in a very nice location next to the Borgerhout District city hall.

Coffee We love our cup of coffee at Mokkakapot (28), a nice coffee bar/exhibition room right across the street from Bistrot Miro.

Bar Leon has been credited with being the hotspot that catapulted Borgerhout into a cool neighbourhood, tell us more about that. We hear that quite often, but to us it’s a big overstatement. The guys from Plaza Real, for example, have been rocking Borgerwood, as we like to call it, for over 15 years. I like to think we were a catalyst rather than a cause. All of these people already lived here. Borgerhout was already on the edge of change, people just needed a place to go to. We have a great, eclectic mix of clients. There are young families who come here on Sundays for brunch, but there are also

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COLLECTIVES: Everywhere you look in Antwerp Konichiwa Crew is present. Whether it’s at a party, a museum or a dance performance. They’re everywhere! We met with two of the crew members to find out more. by Tine Van den Poel What makes Konichiwa Crew unique? David: We are nine friends who each have distinct talents and interests. Although we lead very different lives, Konichiwa is the element that brings us together. Peter: Each one of us is specialised in a different art discipline, and this variety of talents and skills makes us stronger as a collective. We really are complementary as artists, but we all share the same philosophy in life: work hard to reach your goal. David: We believe that together people are stronger than as individuals. We believe the sum is greater than the parts. As a collective, we want to pass this idea to other solo-artists. You can achieve so much more if you work together with

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other creative people. You don’t even have to make art together; sharing ideas will already help you progress. Peter: By working together as a group, we try to optimise our result – truly unique art no longer exists anyway or is hard to define. The idea for Konichiwa Crew came up for the first time when we wanted to organise a party together. We began to think about who could add which qualities to make it the best and most original party in town. Nowadays we have shifted more towards showing our skills to people in our own way. That is: as laid-back guys who love to experiment and take opportunities as they come. David: See, all nine of us have very versatile groups of friends. They run from pumped-up fitness guys to alternative rebels. We appreciate everyone as they are. How would you describe Konichiwa Crew art? David: Difficult to describe but I’ll give it a shot. We do a lot of dance performances, produce our own music, play DJ sets at parties, and make a ton of graphic designs. Everything we do is always a mishmash of everything I just summed up. Some of us are part of big dance productions. They recently even began to create their own choreographies. Our hard work is now starting to pay off. For


instance, just the other day Konichiwa Crew performed at FoMu (29) (the Antwerp photography museum) as “young emerging talents to keep an eye on”. For a year we have been developing our own sound by producing music. We’re not at the point yet of wanting to release our music, but when we feel we have made something amazing, we definitely will. Before, our crew members were represented by other art companies, but now we try to do all those things ourselves.

KONICHIWA.

Peter: We are continuously learning from each other. Our crew activities basically consist of three pillars: producing music, organising parties and doing dance performances. We try to do our thing in a wide range of different art disciplines. What we make is the result of our multicultural habitat. Our crew includes Ghanaians, Rwandese, Angolans and a Belgian. We have all been friends for a long time, despite our age and cultural differences. David: We are the perfect reflection of the multicultural feel of metropolitan Antwerp! Why exactly did you choose Antwerp as headquarters for Konichiwa Crew? David: Our collective is a success thanks to the fact that Antwerp is such a multicultural city. Most of us were born and raised in this city. Although I grew up in a small village next to Antwerp, it was in the city I finally discovered who I am. To get to that stage I needed the influence of all those different people. I can’t imagine living in a small village again. Peter: My story is quite similar, since I am originally from Hoogstraten. Six years ago I came to study in Antwerp. And six years ago I decided I would never go back! David: What’s appealing about Antwerp to me is that, although it is a goodsize city, it sometimes has the feel of a village. Whenever I go out, I run into people I know.

Coffee David: A friend of mine owns the coffee place associated with Het Bos (30), Cordon Coffee. It is a very calm place just outside the city centre.

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Food Peter: I often go to Life is Art (31) because my girlfriend works there, and as the name suggests it is the perfect place for an artist to hang out. David: Go to Borgerhout for the best bakeries! And if you’re looking for a bit more, next to Pallieter (32) and Korsakov there is an amazing sandwich shop: Baubergine.

Drinks Peter: We don’t actually go to bars; we just hang out at each other’s places. David: We don’t have a regular pub, but we do like the Dageraadplaats (33), Mechelseplein (34) and Vrijdagmarkt. (35)

Hang-out spot David: We are big fans of Kavka, (36) where we regularly organise parties. You can go there for great gigs and parties. It is also the perfect place for professional meetings, because it is in the middle of the city but still tranquil. A real chill spot is Park Spoor Noord (37), which is right between new fancy buildings and the old Dam with its mix of cultures. The people from these very different neighbourhoods come together in the park. There, you see Antwerp in all its colours.


What is the driving force behind Studio Collect? Passion, definitely! We all met in the jewellery department of the Antwerp Academy. We have the same academic background, but we quickly realised things could be done in a different way. The most important lesson we took from the Academy was the ability to purify our vision and to re-evaluate ourselves in order to move forward. Since we left school, we have found our own way, but we have never lost the urge to continue learning about the world of jewellery. By forming Studio Collect, we can inspire and be inspired by one another. We are each others’ teachers and pupils, at the same time.

COLLECTIVES: The Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp has always been a magnet for bright minds and creative souls. Not only does it have a good international reputation for creativity, but the institute also acts as a ‘switchboard’ for people. It was in this context that Saskia, Hermien, Hannah and Magaly met each other five years ago. What started as simply taking the same classes, resulted in a profound collaboration that goes further than their shared passion for jewellery. by Vincent Van Reusel and Jonas Beldé What is Studio Collect? As our name suggests, we are a collective that happens to work in the same studio, on the same product. The end result may be a homogeneous collection, but each of us has personal input.

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What makes Studio Collect special? You could say we’re like a chain necklace. Each of us forms a link that holds this construction together. If one piece goes missing, the necklace falls apart. We play on our individual strengths and


STUDIO COLLECT. qualities, but in the end the final decision is collective. This means that we are all involved in all aspects of the process. When we design a collection, we present our ideas individually. Then we continue to play with all the ideas and merge them together. And that has advantages when we sell the collection to our customers: every piece has already been approved by four very different women. What does the word ‘jewellery’ mean to all of you? With jewellery, you can catch and enhance the character of the person who wears it. It adds personality to an outfit. Someone who wears a piece of jewellery can reveal certain aspects of their life and personality. At the same time, everyone can have their own interpretation of the same piece. We feel that this versatility is typical for our business. Why Antwerp? We never consciously chose Antwerp. As we mentioned, the academy attracted us. Then, the city and its pleasant surroundings suited us quite well. We began building our lives here. Besides that, it’s quite surprising that a small city like this has such a big demographic of creative people in all kinds of disciplines. Antwerp can feel like New York or Paris, but it is much cheaper. This has some nice

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consequences, such as a large availability of ateliers and workspaces. Especially in this area, Borgerhout, where we’re surrounded by a lot of young people with tons of ambition and motivation.

Drinks Bar Leon is the perfect place for us to get a drink: it is close to our workshop and always filled with interesting people.

Food Eating at Duval (38) is like heaven on earth. The food is delicious and experimental, and the wines are almost poetry! The unpretentious character of the place makes it even more wonderful. For something less expensive, we strongly advise restaurant Den Druiventros (39) across the street, which is more worldfood inspired. And if you want a quick bite ‘Belgian-style’, go to Frituur 2010 (40).

Coffee We don’t drink it a lot, but one place we like is Mokkakapot.


Behind the walls of an old Total garage lies KOP vzw, a platform supporting (young) artists from across the entire art spectrum. With their project ‘t Pand KOP provides these visionaries with a space to work: repurposing an old squat and bringing it back to life with creative souls.

COLLECTIVES:

by Ikram Annouri On a sunny Saturday afternoon I found my way to the squat, situated in the south of Antwerp, for a chat with the brains behind this collective. Entering the space for the first time I felt a pressing urge to explore every nook and cranny. With no artists about, I felt as if I was entering the Batcave while Batman was absent. The workspaces of the various artists showed clear signs of on-going creative processes, and gave glimpses into the minds of the geniuses behind them. KOP (Dutch for ‘head’) currently supports about 26 artists. Not all of them have a corner of their own, but each gets assistance in other ways. KOP also provides support for art-related challenges such as figuring out administrative issues or setting up permanent projects, to name a few.

The strong shoulders that carry this ‘kop’ belong to the capable Joesra Meeusen and Daniela Castro Ramirez. A fusion of mutually beneficial and complementary talents is probably the best way to describe the relationship between the two. Joesra is the left brain and Daniela the right (except when it’s the other way around). ‘Creativity takes great courage’: Joesra and Daniela certainly took these words of Matisse to heart when they launched their organisation. Having some experience with art, whether through education or internships, both were looking for a way to satisfy their creative cravings. It took just one conversation to get things going, leading them to where they are today. A meeting with Entrakt, an organisation specialised in repurposing vacant properties, set things in motion, and in March 2014 the contract was signed.

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After some blood, sweat & tears, a lick of paint, and the addition of furniture sponsored by Antwerp thrift shop Kringloopwinkel (41), the old squat was ready to receive the creative souls. Joesra and Daniela began by looking for artists themselves, but as word got out about the new collective, the talents quickly lined up. Besides being the points of contact, the two women have been busy with plenty of other projects, including Fabrikage, a crossover festival of fine arts, music and audio-visual art.

KOP VZW.

Amazingly, they do all this on a voluntary basis! They do get help of course, for example from El Neoray, the illustrator who designed the logo and other visuals for KOP. Another helping hand belongs to Natalie Meeusen, who has acted as production assistant on several projects. Sarah Meeusen, Joesra’s niece, is part of the support team, too, taking care of press releases and handling the copywriting duties for KOP. And what about the future of KOP? The women mentioned a new edition of Fabrikage, Projector and some other new projects. If you want to stay tuned to their activities, just subscribe to their newsletter or visit their website.

Hang-out spot

Our co-working space ‘t Pand (when the sun is shining, we have the best rooftop terrace in town!), Het Bos, the exotic market (42) on Saturday morning, the city park (43) and the docks (44) that offer a view over the River Scheldt.

Food, drinks

Overvloed (45), Zeezicht, Ahaar, Bosbar, Caffènation, Perruche (46), Koek & Zopie. (47)

Antwerp in a few words?

It’s a city with the air and grace of a metropolis, but all the charm of a village.

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The city of Antwerp is filled with creative people making waves in an endless array of disciplines. This can be anything from a real “old-school” artisanal craft like shoemaking, over more modern art forms such as contemporary dance, to futuristic creative technologies including 3D printing. The members of innovative project Creating Collective aim to push the Antwerp creativity envelop to the next level. We had a little chat with Stijn and Sam to find out just how they are doing just that.

from progressive companies to join our collective. For example, the people from Antwerp-based 3D laser cutting company Maakbaar might work a day or two in the workshop. Anyone who wants to try laser cutting could meet them there, and ask for their help and insights on products and materials.

COLLECTIVES:

by Joachim Sohie Who and what is Creating Collective? At the heart, we are three guys from Antwerp who want to break down the boundaries that can exist between people who are active creatively - artists, producers, engineers, marketeers, etc. To put it briefly, we want to create an environment in Antwerp where all these people can come together in an informal yet professional way to create better products. How will you achieve this? To get things off the ground, we are currently focusing on two key initial steps. The first is to start up an inspiring, open atelier where everyone can work on their own designs and products. We will provide a large space with all sorts of equipment. To encourage people to innovate, we will invite professionals

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In addition to the workshop, we also want to create an online platform where like-minded people can connect, even if for some reason they can’t physically come to the workshop. Then, in a later phase we want to grow as a collective offering, for example, administration support to smaller collectives, entrepreneurs just getting started and artists. Is Creative Collective a full-time project for you? We are always working on it: it’s always on our mind and we grab every opportunity to network and get our project all the attention possible. In addition to this project, Sam takes part in Urban Crafts, a craftwork competition for start-ups, with Ottokar. As a designer and a craftsman, Sam recycles old wood from the Antwerp Harbour and turns it into cool, vintage, toy race cars– the kind that appeal as much (or more) to the dads as to their kids.


CREATING COLLECTIVE. What does “collective” mean in the context of Creative Collective? We are a collective in that we work with a lot of organisations and companies in order to gather knowledge, experience and equipment. Besides this practical aspect, we also believe that when people work together and overcome the boundaries between disciplines, this results in better products. Do you believe Antwerp is the right city for a project like this? Absolutely! Antwerp needs a creative meeting- and workplace like this. We, for example, both studied Product Development. During our studies we had access to all the equipment and technology we needed. But once students graduate, they no longer have the possibility to create what they have trained for. For most of them it is not financially realistic to buy all of the material they need and rent a studio. Creating Collective will help them overcome this practical problem. None of us can do it by ourselves. That’s why we believe in the strength of working together. We want to encourage designers, artists, etc. to keep on creating.

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In Rubens’ time, Antwerp was one of the most important creative cities in the world. We believe the creative talents here still have what it takes to put Antwerp back in that spot. Where is the project right now? We are still in the first phase: we are networking and bringing people together. We recently convinced some strategically important partners to join us, and since then things have been on a roll. We are still looking for more young creative talents to join the project. What are your favourite places in Antwerp? Stijn starts his day with a coffee at Viggo’s: he’s really into coffee. Then he might go to Maurice (48) for another coffee and get some work done there. Sam isn’t a coffee person, but he’ll tag along for a homemade ice tea or a lemonade. And a piece of raspberry pie - a real treat! For dinner Stijn likes Brasserie Duval in Borgerhout, and afterwards he’d meet up with Sam again at Moby Dick (49).”


STREET STYLE. Basil

Berthe

Céline

Jesica – “I like going for a drink at Verso Café (Lange Gasthuisstr. 9).”


Dagou

Malik – “My girlfriend and I often go to Starfish and Coffee, a cosy coffee bar at ‘t Zuid.” “The flowers are for my motherin-law.”

Zohra – “My friends and I always hang out at Caffènation.”

Kevin – “Harlem (Lange Klarenstr. 23) is definitely one of the coolest stores in Antwerp.”


MUSIC: Life is moving at a fast pace for Tijs Delbeke, full time musician and temporary curator of Antwerp’s Permeke library (50) . We’re meeting at vegetarian restaurant De Broers van Julienne (51) for a good dinner, to chat about his favourite city and some of his current and upcoming projects. by Erik De Beukelaer


Thank you for making time for us. We know you’re quite busy with several – mostly musical – projects. Could you sum up some of the things you’re doing?

Any references? I would love to catch the early Beck album sound, but without the psychedelics. Just lo-fi and straightforward. I’m also a big fan of Elliot Smith, who really masters the skill of making “calm music”.

TIJS DELBEKE.

First of all, there’s my own band: Sir Yes Sir. We’ve been touring all year to promote our first album. Last week we played our final concert of the tour. But don’t worry: there are new songs already piling up for a second album, so we’ll probably hit the studio sometime in the near future. I’m also playing a lot with Roosbeef* and Dez Mona**, but my number one project at the moment is getting my first solo album released. *(a Dutch singer-song writer project) **(a mixed bag of gospel, spirituals, jazz and traditional music) What can we expect from that? It’s a more intimate album. Aside from the drums, I play all the instruments myself. I recorded the album in a living room, rather than in a studio. Most of the producing and mixing was done while recording in that same living room.

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We can hardly wait hearing your new material! Any other projects you’re involved in that we should know about? In October 2014, I took over the reins from Bart Moeyaert as artist-in-residence at the Permeke library. I will be there until June 2015. Isn’t it a bit unusual for a musician to be artist-in-residence at a library? A library is more than just a place to borrow books. That’s why the people from the Permeke public library decided to co-work with artists-in-residence to set up artistic productions and provide new insights on the library. They have an impressive music and film collection at Permeke. And there is an amazing openair courtyard where you can escape from the city hustle and bustle. You can relax, read the newspaper or enjoy a drink. As artist-in-residence, I really want to stress the accessibility and diversity of the library. It is not the dull, musty place some people tend to think it is.


I will organise at least one event every month, varying from concerts to film nights to reading clubs for children. Sounds great. Keep us posted! Now let’s talk some more about our city. Were you born and raised in Antwerp? I’m originally from a small town 10 kilometres to the south, in the Antwerp suburbs. But I’ve studied in Antwerp and have lived here since I moved out of my parents’ house. What is so special about this city? Throughout the world, Antwerp is known as an innovative place, and a cradle for a lot of talent. There’s always room for new, daffy ideas. And I love the interaction between creative people. It doesn’t matter whether they are mainly active in theatre, music, dance, fashion... There’s always that mutual vibe. What I also appreciate about this city is that it is just big enough to make it interesting, but not so big that it feels cluttered and diffused. It may sound like a bit of a stereotype, but once you get to know Antwerp, it really feels like a large village.

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What are your favourite spots in Antwerp? The bars at Mechelseplein (Pallieter, Hypothalamus (52) and Korsakov (53)) all have their own vibe and uniqueness. I’m also really fond of Witzli Poetzli (54), in the shadow of our beautiful cathedral. We did a legendary, really small concert there with an occasional band called “The surprised surprises”. Around 100 people were packed like sardines in the tiny bar, enjoying our music. Still one of the highlights in my musical career! Do you have a favourite spot to write/ compose your songs? Actually, most of my musical ideas come to me while riding my bicycle. I often record ideas with my smartphone as I cruise the city. My favourite wandering spots are Rivierenhof Park (55) and the banks of the Scheldt River. We hope you’ll have a lot of inspiring rides along the city. Thank you for the nice conversation and good luck with everything.


For a year, Tijs Delbeke will be artist-in-residence in public library Permeke. These are some of the things he’s up to: 24th of January: Hotel Permeke - spend the night at the library and enjoy a performance by Roosbeef and Tijs. 11th of March: Sound of Film - the effects of sound on cinema. 23rd of April: Permeke celebrates its 10th birthday and World Book Day. 14th of June: an intimate music festival at the Library by Tijs and friends. Program on www.permeke.org/ bibliotheek

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Pic of the day by @marsmonkeydreams 12.8 Franklin D. Rooseveltplaats

Pic of the day by @julianeborths 24.10 Sint-Jorispoort

Pic of the day by @catamcat 24.10 Linkeroever

Pic of the day by@diplohipster 8.9 De Keyserlei

Pic of the day by @nicolabuydens 16.10 Conscienceplein

Pic of the day by @bart_janssens188 2.10 Sudermanstraat

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Pic of the day by @phil_eggen 4.8 Ernest van Dijckkaai

Pic of the day by @lorebontenakel 4.10 Linkeroever

PICTURE YOURSELF.

Every day, we carefully choose a #thisisantwerp ‘Pic of the Day’ among all the photos posted on Instagram. Want to take part? Just share your pictures with us using hashtag #thisisantwerp and maybe next time it will be your photo here for everyone to see! Today, we’re sharing eight of the most popular ‘Pics of the Day’ from the last six months. Turn to page 3233 to find out where each is located.

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This is a list of addresses mentioned in the articles, in order of appearance. They are followed by a code referring to the grid of the map on page 3233.

18. ‘t Oud Arsenaal, for drinks, Maria Pypelincxstraat 4 – e4 19. Bistrot Miro, no-nonsense, old school bistro cooking, Moorkensplein 28 – f8

WHERE IS WHAT?

1.

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp landmark. Groenplaats 21 – d3

2.

Idealabs/Coffeelabs, for coffee and lunch, Lange Klarenstraat 19 – d4

3.

Tartine, for breakfast/lunch, Minderbroedersrui 60 – c3

4.

Caffè Internazionale, insane pastrami Sandwiches, Volkstraat 21 – f2

5.

Café Camino, for lunch, Vrijdagmarkt 5 – d2

6.

Civilta Del Bere, great Italian food ,   De Burburestraat 43 – g1

7.

Vitrin, for drinks, Marnixplaats 14 –

8.

ZeeZicht, for drinks, Dageraadplaats 7-8 – g8

9.

DoGMA, best cocktails, Wijngaardstraat 5 – d3

f2-g2

10. Cafee Cabron, for drinks/live music, Kaasrui 1 – d3 11. Rosier41, second-hand designer store, Rosier 41 – f3 12. Cinema Cartoon’s, cosy little cinema, Kaasstraat 4 – d2 13. Brabo’s Hand, Tattoo and Barber shop, Korte Koepoortstraat 8 – d3 14. Mandraki, Greek restaurant, Kaasrui 13 – d3 15. Normo, microroastery for coffee, Minderbroedersrui 30 – c3

20. Bistrot du Nord, no-nonsense, old school bistro cooking, Lange Dijkstraat 36 – b6 21. Aahaar, indian vegetarian food, Lange Herentalsestraat 23 – e5 22. Broer Bretel, for coffee, Nassaustraat 7 – a3 23. Viggo’s, for coffee, De Coninkcplein 21 – d6 24. Kolonel Koffie, for coffee, Montignystraat 51 – h1 25. Bar Leon, for coffee/drinks, Reuzenstraat 23 – e9 26. Café Strange, gay bar, for drinks/ parties, Dambruggestraat 161 - c6 27. Plaza Real, for drinks, Kattenberg 93 – e9 28. Mokkakapot, for coffee/drinks/ exhibitions, Sergeyselstraat 2 – f8 29. FoMu, photography museum, Waalsekaai 47 - g1 30. Het Bos, food/drinks/art/parties, Ankerrui 5-7, b4-b5 31. Life is Art, gallery/lunch/brunch, Sint-Jorispoort 20  – f3-f4 32. Pallieter, for drinks, Mechelseplein 17 – e3 33. Dageraadsplaats, cosy square with bars - g7-g8 34. Mechelsplein, cosy square with bars - f3 35. Vrijdagmarkt, cosy square with bars - d2 36. Kavka, hang out/party, Oudaan 14 – e3 37. Park Spoor Noord – ab-6-7

16. Caffènation, for coffee/drinks/, Mechelsesteenweg 16 – f4

38. Brasserie Duval, delicious food, Kerkstraat 72 – d8

17. Café Stanny, for lunch/ dinner/ drinks, Stanleystraat 1 – i7

39. De druiventros, world-food inspired, Kerkstraat 75 – d8

34


40. Friterie 2010, best fries, Kerkstraat - d8 41. 41, Kringloopwinkel, thrift shop, Sint-Jorispoort 29 - f4 42. City park – f5 43. Exotic market on Saturday morning, Theaterplein – e4 44. The docks, hang out - g1-b3 45. Overvloed, for food, Dageraadplaats 7 – g8 46. Perruche, for food and drinks , Oude Vaartplaats 61 – e4 47. Koek & Zopie, for coffee/drinks, Korte Altaarstraat 24 – g8

We asked a couple of our This Is Antwerp locals to sum up their favorite places in town they would definitely take their foreign friends to. They are followed by a code, referring to the grid of the map on page 3233. This is the list they came up with. Enjoy! FOOD

48. Maurice pop-up coffeebar, for coffee, Boerentoren, Schoenmarkt – d3 49. Moby Dick, for drinks, Bredastraat 4 – a6 50. Public library Permeke – d6 51. De broers van Julienne, for dinner, Kasteelpleinstraat 45 – f3-g3 52. Hypothalamus, for drinks , Mechelseplein 19 - e3 53. Korsakov, for drinks, Sint-Jorispoort 1 – e3 54. Witzli Poetzli, for drinks, Blauwmoezelstraat  8, - d3 55. Rivierenhof, park - d9+

A. Café Bazaar, for lunch/dinner/ drinks, Lange Leemstraat 443 - h7 B. Cafématic, for breakfast/brunch/ lunch/drinks , Vleminckveld - e3 C. Copper, for breakfast/brunch/ lunch/drinks, Belegstraat 80 - h2 D. De Taloorkes, for lunch/dinner, Lange Koepoortstraat 61 - c3 E. El Warda, for Moroccan lunch/dinner, Draakstraat 4 - h8 F.

Esco*Bar, for breakfast/lunch, Quellinstraat 32 - e5

G. Krokbar Fabiola, for lunch, Sint Antoniusstraat 4 - e2 H. Falafel Tof, for lunch/dinner, Hoogstraat 32 - d2 I.

Fez, for Moroccan dinner/drinks, Kloosterstraat 52 - e2

J.

Flamoush, for healthy lunch/dinner/ drinks, Huikstraat 2 - c3

K. Lara kookt voor u, vegan & veggie food for breakfast/lunch/dinner/ drinks, Van Schoonbekestraat 158 - h4 L.

Mama Matrea, Latin food for dinner, Lange Nieuwstraat 13 - d3

M. Native, Organic food for lunch, Muntstraat 8 - e2 N. Tinsel, for breakfast/lunch, Vlaamse Kaai 40 - g1

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O. Rachel’s Falafel,for Jewish lunch/ dinner, Lange Herentalsestraat 60 - e5 P.

Urban Story Deli Shop, for breakfast/lunch/dinner, Godefriduskaai 2 - b3

AG. Goldwood, vintage interior store, Offerandestraat 1 - d6 AH. Graanmarkt 13, high end fashion concept store, Graanmarkt 13 - e4

WORD OF MOUTH.

Q. Walrus, for lunch/dinner/drinks, Jan Van Beerstraat 2 - h1

COFFEE & OTHER DRINKS

R. Bar Buenos Aires, for empanadas/ drinks, Koepoortbrug 3 - c3 S.

Bar Lucy, for drinks/live music, Koepoortbrug 4 - c3

T.

Buchbar, for books/coffee, Scheldestraat 79 - f2

AI. Henri, savy man’s life store, Volkstraat 11 - f2

AJ. MAS, museum/view on the city, Hanzestedenplaats 1 - b3 AK. Mekanik Strip, comic book store, Sint Jacobsmarkt 73 - d5 AL. MoMu, fashion museum, Nationalestraat 28/1 - e2 AM. Moose in the City,Scandinavian concept store, Ijzerenwaag - e3 AN. M HKA, contemporary art museum, Leuvenstraat 32 - f1

U. Café RoodWit,for drinks/live music, Generaal Drubbelstraat 42 - i7

AO. Street Art Gallery Artifex, a nice street art shop, Oude Koornmarkt 53 - d3

V. De Duifkes, for drinks, Graanmarkt 5 - e4

AP. Sun Wah, Chinese supermarket, Van Wesenbeekstraat 16-18 - d6

W. Koffieklap, coffee/locals, Klapdorp 41 - c3

AQ. The Recollection, selling high end ‘objects of desire’ Kloosterstraat 54 - e2

X. Kolombo, for coffee/drinks, Kribbestraat 15 - a4 Y. Kornél, co-working studio/exhibition room, Sint Lambertusstraat 1 - i6 Z. Quetzal, chocolat bar, Lijnwaadmarkt 11 - d3

TO CHILL, HANG OUT & SHOP AA. Atelier Solarshop, fashion workshop and store, Dambruggestraat 48 - d6 AB. Café the Joker, standup comedy bar, Kleine Markt 16 - e3 AC. Designcenter De Winkelhaak, center for design, Lange winkelhaakstraat 26 - d6 AD. de Roma,vintage concert hall, Turnhoutsebaan 327 - f9 AE. deSingel, international art campus, Desguinlei 25 - i4 AF. Gallery Louiza Antwerp, nice art gallery, Louizastraat 13 - f3

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AR. Vrijdagsmarkt, a nice square in the city center - e2


Good to know

How to get around

Most stores are closed on Sunday.

By taxi Sometimes it’s easier to use a taxi to get from point A to point B but here are some ground rules:

Only every first Sunday of the month most stores are open.

TIPS TIPS TIPS.

Except for the ones in Hoogstraat and Kloosterstraat, they are open every Sunday. Most stores are closed on holidays like Christmas and New Years Eve You often have to pay a fee to use the toilet A beer, or as we say a ‘pintje’ will set you back approximately ¤2 (so don’t get ripped off) Most museums are closed on Mondays Most markets take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Vrijdagmarkt, Exotic Market, Bird Market,…) We have 4 cinemas in our city center: UGC (approximately 20 screens), Cinema Zuid (quality programming and re-runs), Cinema Klappei (a small location theater, re-runs) and Cinema Cartoons (quality programming and re-runs) Don’t overpay for fries: there are a lot of great frie shacks (‘frituur’). Keep it around ¤2,8 for a big one (without sauce). We have a pop-up culture, so check our (free and offline) app to see where the party’s going down. If you get into trouble (which you won’t) and you need help from the police, medical emergency team or the fire brigade, call ‘112’.

1) you can’t wave your arm around and expect a taxi to stop. You have to call one (or use the app) or go to one of the taxi stands. 2) you can fit 4 people in a normal sized taxi and up to 8 in a van. It’s a lot cheaper to share a cab! 3) You have to pay extra to pay a cab at night. Starting rate is ¤5.45 from 10pm till 6am. Download the Antwerp-tax or DTM app for iPhone or Android. You’ll find taxi stands at: Arenbergstraat e4 Bolivarplaats h1 Dageraadplaats g8 Franklin Rooseveltplaats d5 Godefriduskaai (MAS) b3 Groenplaats d3 Kievitplein (Central Station) e6 Leopold De Waelplaats f4 Pelikaanstraat (Central Station) e6 Steenplein c2 Waalsekaai f1 By public transportation Antwerp has an extensive network of public transportation (bus and tram). You can buy a single ticket for ¤2 on the bus or buy one in advance at the machines on the platform. If you are partying the night away on Friday or Saturday you can always take the night buses. They leave at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts g1 Groenplaats d3 F. Rooseveltplaats d5 Definitely check the time schedules in advance because they change during the month of July and August.

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By bicycle

Free Wifi

VELO Biking is always a nice way to explore a city. You can rent a red bioke (you see them all over town) with your credit card in three different ways. 1) go online to www.velo-antwerpen.be and buy a day or week pass. 2) call the information desk +32 (0)3/206 50 30. 3) visit the info desk at Kievitplein 7, 2000 Antwerp (closed on the weekends). f6 SPINLISTER You can try Spinlister (www.spinlister.com) and see if there are any available bikes for rent. This site allows people to rent bikes from locals.

Where to sleep? Youth Hostels in Antwerp: ABHostel – Kattenberg 110, 2140 Borgerhout e9 +32 (0)473 57 01 66 www.abhostel.com Pulcinella – Bogaardeplein 1, 2000 Antwerp e3 +32(0)3 234 03 14 www.vjb.be Scoutel – Stoomstraat 3-7 2018 Antwerp f6 +32 (0)3 226 46 06 www.scoutel.be Alias – Provinciestraat 256 2018 Antwerp g6 +32 (0)3 230 05 22 www.aliasyouthhostel.com Hotels with a This Is Antwerp touch: Scandic Hotel – Luitenant Lippenslaan 66 2140 Borgerhout f9 +32 (0)3 235 91 91 www.scandichotels.com/antwerpen Antwerp City Center Hotel – Appelmansstraat 31, 2018 Antwerp e5 +32 (0)3 203 54 00 www.differenthotels.com

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It’s always handy to know where you can get free WIFI so we listed a few spots. Café/bars: Vitrin – Marnixplaats f2-g2 Chatleroi – Graaf van Hoornestraat g1 Bar Leon – Reuzenstraat 23 e9 Korsakov – Sint Jorispoort 1 f3 Vagant – Reyndersstraat 25 d2 Baah Bar – Sint Jorispoort 2 f3 De Kroon – Kerkstraat 91 d8 Café Mombasa – Moorkensplein 37 f8 Bartilia – Falconplein 43 b3 Coffee Bars: Coffeelabs – Lange Klarenstraat 19 d4 Caffènation – Mechelsesteenweg 16 f4 Broer Bretel – Nassaustraat 7 a3 Normo Coffee – Minderbroedersrui 30 c3 Kolonel Koffie – Grote Pieter Potstraat 30 d2 Coffee & Vinyl – Volkstraat 45 f2-g2 Mokkakapot – Sergeyselstraat 2 f8 Viggo’s Cofeebar – De Coninckplein 21 d6 Kornél – Sint Lambertusstraat 1 i6 Eating Out: Perruche – Oude Vaartplaats 60 f4 Café Camino – Vrijdagsmarkt 5 d2 Café Stanny – Stanleystraat 1 i7 Plein Midi – Sint Paulusplaats 23 d3 Caravan – Damplein 17 a6 Felixpakhuis – Godefriduskaai 30 b4 Café Storm- Hanzestedeplaats 5 b3 Krokbar Fabiola – Sint Antoniusstraat 4 e2 ViaVia – Wolstraat 43 d3 Barrio – Hoogstraat 77 d2


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