Antwerp · Tel Aviv · Tel Aviv & Antwerp · Tourism · Travel guide


Meet Marilyn! Marilyn is from my hometown Antwerp but moved to sunny Tel Aviv in 2007, where she works in the music business. This girl even toured with Leonard Cohen, very cool. You can read all about Marilyn’s love for Tel Aviv on her blog Marilyn & Josephine. Here are her highlights!

Age  35

Born in  Antwerp

Profession  Concert promoter and freelance producer

Favorite quote  “You can become anything you want in life”


“I’ve lived here since …”  2007

“I came here because of …”  I didn’t really have one reason and didn’t really plan on moving or staying. I just came for a few months to “check things out” and see if I’d find myself, my job etc here.

“Taty and I know each other from …”  Via via via via many ways but mainly via both our dj brothers.

“When family/friends come to visit, I always take them to … first”  The beach and the best food spots… and then to a night out in Tel Aviv, 24/7 city.

“If I want to get to know new people, I go to …”  Any bar around my corner on Rothschild Boulevard.

“If I want to have an amazing breakfast/lunch/dinner, I go to …”  Breakfast: Delicatessen, The Norman, Benedict, Ben Ami, Max Brenner, DaDaDa, Lachmanina. Lunch: Hummus Nahmani, Mezze,Arcaffe, Rothschild12, Cafe Noir, Tachtit, Buddha Burgers, Shishko. Dinner: Cantina, Cafe Europa,Nanuchka, Jaffa Flea Market, Manta Ray, Fortuna del Mar, Abraxas North, Messa, Port Said.

“When the night is young, I go to …”  Radio EPGB, Alphabet, Nanuchka, Jimmy Who, Pollym Tangier,Pinguin, Sputnik, etc etc etc.

“My morning routine consists of …” Capuccino on the boulevard…

“I like the locals more than Belgians because …” They are always up for a chat, intimate talks with strangers, familiarity and being comfortable.

“I like Belgians more than the locals because …” They have distance and manners.

“If I miss one thing here, it’s … “  My mom’s kitchen and den Delhaize… en rijsttaartjes.

“If there’s one thing that frustrates me here, it’s …”  The ignorance of the world. People who’ve never been to Tel Aviv and have the falsest image of this place.

“I get inspired here by …”  Anything around me can be a source of inspiration if one is open to see…

“Since I live here, I’ve changed my mind about …”  Not that many things…

“If I could go back in time, I would go grab a … with … ”  Coffee with Golda Meir – look her up!

“The one thing I’d like to accomplish still, is …”  More kids 🙂



Coffee or cocktails? Since i became a mom: coffee

Wine or beer? wine always

Red carpet or red lipstick? carpet

USA or Europe? both

Organic food or fast food? organic cause it’s hip but it’s expensive and fast food is also welcome every once in a while

Movies or musicals? movies

Island life or city life? city life for real life

Spicy or sweet? sweet

Bike or car? bike if possible

In control or out of control? in control is reality

Meat or fish? meat

Christmas or Easter? none of the above

Spanish or Italian? depending for what: food? language? boys?

Early bird or night owl? when you’re a mom: early bird

Chocolate or vanilla? none of the above

Adele or Celine Dion? hmmmm…. celine dion cause HELLO ruined it

Chandler or Joey? ROSS

Cats or dogs? love both but no need to have one of my own

Vacation or staycation? STAYCATION – when you live in a city on the beach with 300 days of blue skies a year its also a vacation

Mountains or ocean? mountains

Chicken or pasta? better together

Scandinavian or Latino? LATINO

Ski or surf? surf

Finding true love or winning the lottery? finding true love

Oscar/Grammy or Nobel Prize? whatever they wanna give me

Instagram or Facebook? Pinterest

Antwerp · Bauhaus · Cooking · Food · General · History · Israel · Jaffa · Judaism · Kitchen · Restaurants · Tel Aviv & Antwerp · Tourism

‘Belgian Culinary Week’ in Tel Aviv – special guest: chef Viki Geunes

Tel Aviv’s popularity is growing in the European media, finally! In the context of the Belgian Culinary Week in Tel Aviv, we had the pleasure of having chef Viki Geunes here, accompanied by a tv-crew for ATV – Antwerp Television and a reporter from the renowned cooking magazine ‘Culinaire Ambiance‘. In the videos below you’ll see their discoveries in the city…

Part one: Chef Viki Geunes from the renowned ‘t Zilte restaurant in Antwerp discovers the city of Tel Aviv and meets Yossi Shitrit, chef from Kitchen Market, as part of the “Belgian Culinary Week” held at the new Namal Tel Aviv. Viki visits the Carmel Market and enjoys local flavors…

Part two: Viki Geunes and Yossi Shitrit share their local knowledge and host a cooking demo for the Israeli chefs and press. Then Viki meets with Marilyn Ambach and while telling her story, she takes him to her favorite spots around Rothschild Boulevard.

Part three: Viki and Marilyn wander around Jaffa and its charm…

You can watch the ATV reruns here and wait for the May edition of Culinary Ambiance…

Thank you: Willem Asaert, Viviane & Viki, Raf de Mot, Walter Schrooten



Photoblog: Antwerp’s Docks

The North of Antwerp, or as we locals call it ‘t Eilandje – intermezzo: 😉 allegedly, it was called ‘t Eiland, but this name was pronounced in Antwerp dialect as “Thailand” and it caused a lot of confusion between the poor souls working at the Antwerp docks – anyway – ‘t Eilandje has seen some crappy times, but it is well on its way to become  a mini version of New York City (ok a very tiny mini version, but still…) High rise towers are being build faster than you can say “my place is on the 38th floor and the elevator is down… FML” That’s pretty fast, right? While on one of my many weekend-phototours i took some shots to give you an idea of the atmosphere. Enjoy!

Oh by the way, had lunch at an amazing place called Balls & Glory (amaze-balls!). Will write about it very soon.



  (c) Sien Josephine

(c) Sien Josephine

(c) Sien Josephine

(c) Sien Josephine (c) Sien Josephine (c) Sien Josephine

(c) Sien Josephine

(c) Sien Josephine

All pictures are owned by © Sien Josephine

Please do not use them without consent of the author.

Antwerp · Tel Aviv · Tourism

Guestblog: Joy Anna Thielemans in Tel Aviv


“Mommy mommy, I’m going to Tel Aviv for work!”‘ – “Isn’t that dangerous?” – she immediatly replied. Keep that conversation in mind when I tell you that it repeated itself in every other conversation I had the week before I left. Do replace “mommy” with any other name. Exactly. That. Conversation. Every time. Everyone.

I was extremely excited to go abroad for work. All I had to do was meet interesting, talented and sweet people. And smile, always for the camera but that’s not really hard when you have the best crew ever. With all my love I introduce to you: Dimi(tri) and Karolien. Without these two, I wouldn’t have been smiling all the time. They are the reason why I was able to make these amazing reports. They made them, I smiled and met talented people. I am one spoiled brat that can call smiling and meeting people my job.


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Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv. In every conversation I realized more that I knew so little about the city. Let me make you a list about everything I knew. The weather must be better than in Belgium (that’s not really hard) It is located in Israel. And that’s about it. So I left. Didn’t know what to expect. And I came back. Overwhelmed. Tel Aviv is an amazingly lively city filled with talented, happy and welcoming people. The first guy I met in the city…

– Wait let me tell you how I met him ’cause I do like the story: At around 8 am, on our first day we were sitting in a coffee bar on the ground floor of our apartment building. Enjoying the early sun, good coffee and cereal. He passed us by and walked towards me: ‘You are amazingly beautiful’ he said. I didn’t really know what to reply. Me, not knowing what to reply, that’s a first. I’ll blame the (non existing) jetlag. Couple of minutes later he came out of the bar, holding a cookie and coffee. He gave me the cookie, “cause” – and I quote – “you are worth it”. I loved Tel Aviv from then until forever. Dimi, my lovely cameraman joked around that guys would have all the attention for me the entire trip. Funny thing is, mister cookie guy was the only who saw me. Dimi, the pretty looking dude, got all the attention. –

So, this guy told me the city has this continuous party atmosphere 24/24h. Oh boy was he right. I went to several bars and restaurants, open 24h (almost all of them). I ate the best food ever (including grilled Kale, soooo yumm!) at Port Said, most of all loved Hotel Brown’s cozy bar, Café Europe’s excellent food and the diversity of music in the clubs. Cabs take you anywhere you want or you can choose to stay at Rothschild Boulevard. That includes restaurants, café’s, clubs, anything you need for a perfect night. At 2 am we left our last party and closed the night by eating ice-cream on Rothschild, next to a restaurant where people were mailing, drinking, working and laughing. No one ever has a bad mood in Tel Aviv.








The full nightlife report 23/01 in Lust For Life on Belgiums public broadcasting net één, 22u30. Fun, laughter, pretty buildings (Bauhaus much, my favourite. A report about that 16/01 on één), flawless design, lovely people, party’s, good food (and drinks), amazing rooftop views, the perfect weather for nice outfits (no jackets needed), a city with a beach (that’s so perfect) sweet people and sun. That’s what Tel Aviv is. I loved every second of my (too short) trip. And I could tell you so much more. But what really explains are the video’s. 16/01 and 23/01 the last one’s will be online.

Things I want to do next time I go? The shopping area – be amazed, I didn’t go there -, Café nachmani, Baranowitz Kronenberg, and the Tel Aviv museum of Art and every single beach/street/corner I haven’t been to. We’ll meet soon sweet Tel Aviv. Very soon!





Joy Anna Thielemans (August18 1992) is a Belgian actress/host for national television. She is mostly known for her role in the Flemish soapseries ‘Thuis’ She presents the new show Lust for Life in which the most vibrating cities of this time are visited. It’s a show about design, culture, fashion, travelling and everything in between & beyond. But most of all Joy Anna is a dear friend, always in for some coffee and a chat. Love you longtime, Joy!  Superspecial thanks to you and your crew.

x Sien Josephine x 



Antwerp’s best swimming pools.

With a new year come new resolutions. 2014 for me will be a year of mostly travelling, but i also plan on being a bit more sportive, preferably by swimming. Let’s get a round up of Antwerp’s best indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Olympic Pool Wezenberg

The Wezenberg Olympic Pool was erected in 1920 when Antwerp hosted the Summer Olympics. Wezenberg is a 50 meter eight-lane swimming pool with seating for 800 spectators.

wezenberg 2

wezenberg 6

Olympic Pool Wezenberg, Desguinlei 17-19, 2018 Antwerpen

Veldstraat Art Deco Swimming Pool

Antwerp’s oldest pool is a true gem. Built in 1933 in complete art deco style, it is undoubtedly one of Belgium’s most gorgeous pools. Note: the Veldstraat swimming pool also houses a great spa (photos: Jef Claes).



Veldstraat 83, 2060 Antwerpen

Outdoor fun at Badboot

Since 2012 a giant boat-construction houses an outdoor pool right on the river Scheldt. The construction itself is about 120m long. It feels like swimming in the Scheldt itself. Since this outdoor pool is such a great succes, it is advised to make reservations. In wintertime the pool is traded for a giant iceskating slope (photos: City of Antwerp).



Kattendijkdok-Oostkaai, 2000 Antwerp

Boekenberg Park

Antwerp’s Boekenberg park is a completely natural, eco-friendly swimming pool that used to be a pond. Contrary to most pools, it has nothing of their usual artificialness and beautifully blends in with the green surroundings (Photos: Jef Claes).



Boekenberg park, Van Baurscheitlaan – 2100 Deurne-Antwerp

Inspired by The Word Magazine.



Guestblog: Marie-France Vodikulwakidi showing us ‘her’ Antwerp.


On a Saturday afternoon, Sien and I met up, and we took a stroll to the places I love in Antwerp.
First and foremost we stopped by Corto, a lunch bar with a homely feeling, where we had a succulent chicken pasta soup.




Hanging out at the exotic market, in the same neighborhood, we took the opportunity to buy some scrumptious chouchous also called Caramelized Peanuts.


To stay away from the crush of Antwerp’s main shopping area, the Meir, we’ve passed by the Stadsfeestzaal a neo-classic, very bling bling 20.500 m2 space, housing numerous shops. Always at the same spot, a recognizable group of skilled Israeli salesmen is so good at selling the magical products from the dead sea.


To avoid the threatening weather, we hopped in the subway which took us to the main train station.



I used to come to work by train but due to my irregular PR working hours, traveling in my own car ‘bubble’ seemed a much better option to me! This summer during the heatwave (unusual in Belgium, counting approximatively 200 raining days per year) Marilyn and I showed  the city around to a friend.  Antwerp Central station was on top of our list!  This railway cathedral  from the 19th century has been named by the american magazine Newsweek as the fourth most beautiful train station in the WORLD!

1400769_10152045948770837_2048453932_oCopyright Amir Feingold

We went to the same place with Sien to capture the hugeness of the edifice.


As daylight faded we headed to Lombardenvest ( a posh-er shopping area) where all the christmas lights displayed reminded us that christmas is just  around the corner.



Marie France

Antwerp · History

The Red Star Line Museum

It’s the 19th century. America’s industries are flourishing, promising Europeans, poor and rich alike, a new world and a better life. With their whole life packed in a few suitcases, millions of people sail to the United States and Canada. For many people, the trip to the New World begins in a warehouse in Antwerp. Red Star Line ocean steamers pave the way to a new life for about two million men, women and children between 1873 and 1934. It is in this warehouse that the Red Star Line Museum opened its doors only some days ago, telling the story of millions of Europeans who were courageous or desperate enough to leave their old life behind and look for a better existence.


1. A brief history

The Red Star Line was created as a trade name in 1873, and was co-operation between the International Navigation Company (Philadelphia) and the Company Société Anonyme de Navigation Belgo-Américaine (Antwerp).  A complex of three brick-red buildings faces the Rijnkaai (Rhine landing stage), a section of the docks in the old Antwerp harbor district. For more than sixty years the Red Star Line ocean steamers docked right there.  They took on passengers by the hundreds from all over continental Europe, all pursuing the American Dream.

Belgians, too, were among those who sought a new future on the other side of the ocean. However, Belgians figured only as a small portion of the Red Star Line’s passengers. Belgian emigration to countries outside of Europe was relatively limited. Antwerp was however a particularly popular port of emigration among Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. These people constituted a sizeable proportion of the Red Star Line’s passengers. To take one statistic: of the 2.8 million people to exchange tsarist Russia for the United States between 1899 and 1914, 40% were Jewish. In many cases, these were people of very limited means who were assisted by several Jewish relief organisations in Antwerp. Many Eastern European Jews emigrated because of the socio-economic situation, but also because of the climate of discrimination against them and outbursts of anti-Semitism – the pogroms. One of the more famous passengers of the Red Star Line is the future prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir.



2. The museum

The former warehouses of the Red Star Line were reopened as a museum on September 28, 2013. The main focus of the museum are the travel stories that could be retrieved through relatives of Red Star Line passengers. Visitors follow in the footsteps of the emigrants. The exhibition shows the different stages of the journey. Eight themes are presented over two floors: a travel agency in Warsaw, a train compartment, the city of Antwerp, the Red Star Line building, the deck of an ocean steamer, the interior of a ship, arrival at Ellis Island, and a new future in the US. The exhibition depicts how the average European emigrant would have experienced his or her journey at the beginning of the 20th century via attractive images, striking scenography and authentic objects. A strong focus is placed on the personal stories of Red Star Line passengers. Six star witnesses are central to the story. Some of them are still alive, for others the well-documented story is told by a descendant. The witnesses include Albert Einstein and Irving Berlin, two icons of the rich Red Star Line history.


For more information on the Red Star Line Museum visit the website.

Red Star Line Museum

Montevideostraat 3
2000 Antwerp
tel. +32 3 298 27 70


Goodbye Summer.

As you probably have noticed, we were not very active this Summer. Blog-active that is. And it’s all because of one hot thing: SUMMER. As days get colder and leafs start to fall from the trees, it’s time to start a new season of articles from your dearest Marilyn & Josephine. But for now, I just leave you with some impressions of what went on these last few months!

Collages11Second hand market, dancing at Remembrance of the Liberation Day, Festival in the Park, Holland Sea Side, chilling at Bar Left.

Collages12View on the Galgeweel Lake on the Left Bank of Antwerp, homemade cake for SunCake Day @ Bar Left, jumping in the river in Holland, shooting at the poolside for BE-By Magali Pinchasi

Collages13Dad posing in front of some tall ship in the Antwerp harbor, and some nice Antwerp views.

Desktop9On the roof of the MAS Museum, sipping on milkshakes with friends, losing my clothes to boys at Bar Left, summer legs, some more shooting for Frederick Schnieders, flowertime at the market place.

I hope you all had a great summer as well. We are fully recharged and ready for autumn. Well… kinda. Time for sweater-weather! Here are some of my favorite tracks to make it easier to say goodbye to Summer 2013! ON TO THE NEXT ONE!



Antwerp · Tourism · Travel guide

Touring with Tanguy

I have been so incredibly busy these last few weeks that Antwerp wasn’t well represented on our blog. Thank you Marilyn for making up my lack of free time with some great articles about (her life in) Tel Aviv.

Being busy isn’t always that bad though. For example last weekend, i was booked as a photographer for the nice people of the Yelp Community. Yelp is a social local review website, founded in America, with a focus on the “Real Reviews” feature where users could write and publish unsolicited reviews. And the more reviews you write, the more Yelp gives back to you. So from time to time a group of selected Yelp Elite members can enjoy a good Yelp Event, and this time this event was no less than a tour through Antwerp with – according to CNN – “one of the 7 savviest guides in the world”: Tanguy Ottomer.

Tanguy is quite the know-it-all when it comes to Antwerp and he has an entire wall filled with books exclusively about Antwerp to prove it. Like music is to John Miles, Antwerp is to Tanguy: his first and last love. Touring with Tanguy through my favorite city has been on my wishlist for quite a long time. However, our agendas never seemed to match so I was quite thankful to be booked on the special Yelp Tour. Tanguy talks with such fun and passion about his beloved city, it’s hard not to fall in love with it yourself (or re-fall, since i had actually already fallen for Antwerp’s charms when I moved here 10 years ago). He unfolds Antwerp’s little secrets in such an interesting and fun way. Even I didn’t know half the things he told us about Antwerp. Next to a brilliant guide, Tanguy is also a fashion-fixer, a personal shopper or just a guy with the proverbial key to some of Antwerp’s coolest and most unreachable fashion walhalla’s. Of course I’m not gonna spoil the fun and share the secrets here. If you wanna know, you’ll have to book a tour yourself. Tanguy offers a whole lot of special tours on his website. Go check it out. Can’t wait and want a preview? Watch a little tour Tanguy did for the Flemish TV show ‘Fans of Flanders’ here. Typical Belgian weather included 😉

Here are some of my pictures for the Yelp Community Event:





DSC_4699  DSC_4725










Antwerp · beauty · General · Lifestyle · Music

Josephine’s Summer Essentials

With temperature rising in Antwerp it’s time to dig up the old Summer Essential’s theme. Here are some things, i can not spend any summer without:

After spending a day with my face in the sun my skin tends to feel dry and looks dehydrated. And we would not want to look like our mom’s old leather handbag, do we now? Not only is my skin easily dehydrated, it is easily irritated as well. That’s why i only use Kiehl’s. Their products are made out of the finest naturally derived ingredients so my face doesn’t turn all red from bad chemical reactions.

Summer Essentals

Summer Essentals2

Great summermusic and pretty summerdresses!

Summer Essentals3

What’s a summer without a great read? Since free time is more or less becoming a luxury, i can really enjoy those moments when the evening sets, and i’m sitting in the garden totally losing myself in a good book.

Summer Essentals1


Places you can only reach by bike, like Bar Left on Linkeroever. Perfect for a little swim as well, as the Galgenweel lake is only 50m away from the entrance. (Right picture by the lovely Alain Deloin)

fille do

La fille d’O swimwear and things that put my hair back (under: this double wire head band is from Urban Outfitters)



Another very essential summer must have: a swimming pool.

And of course: your friends

And if you combine the last two – you’re guaranteed to have a great summer!


Summer Essentals4


Enjoy your Summer!


Sien Josephine


Antwerp · Hotel · Travel guide

Rosier 10

Two years ago, interior designer Roxanne Stevens had the opportunity to rebuild a historical townhouse into a bed&breakfast. Roxanne chose to mix modern with vintage, while also adding a lot of personal elements. There are 4 rooms, each representing a moment of day: morning dawn, noon, evening glow and vibrant nighttime. Together with her amazing hosting skills, this Bed&Breakfast turned into a place where you feel at home, even if it’s for only a few days. Roxanne makes a nice continental breakfast for her international guests every morning, presenting a wide variety of cheese, meat, fruit and different bread spreads. She also makes personalized maps of the city, depending on the type of day you want to spend: some shopping, some culture, or maybe a culinary adventure? Roxanne will happily draw you a marker pen-road in all colors of the rainbow and share with you the places she likes visiting herself.





Collages1 Collages2 Collages3Rosier10


Rosier 10 is located between the trendy South district, the Antwerp port and the Old City. Rooms are provided with flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. Rates are starting at €115,00 a night.

Roxy’s golden citytips for Antwerp:

1. Pay a visit to the pedestrian tunnel & use Europe’s oldest (wooden) escalators
2. Go antique & vintage furniture shopping at Kloosterstraat on Sunday (what else did you expect from an interior designer?)
3. Enjoy some coffee at Vitrin Café (Marnixplaats) or Kloonies (Kloosterstraat)
4. Enjoy the sun at ‘t Eilandje (Antwerp’s marina) and have some starters at Markt
5. Go for dinner in Ferrier, located in Antwerp’s trendy neighborhood ‘t Zuid
6. Or go all out and enjoy a delicious, innovative meal at De Godevaart, located in the Old City centre.
7. Visit the MAS museum right before closing time, go all the way up to the Panorama Deck and enjoy the breathtaking view on Antwerp by sunset/night.


Rosier 102000 Antwerp+32/ (0)489 27 99 99
+32/ (0)3 345 46 36

All pictures by (c) 2013 Sien Josephine



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