Antwerp

Photoblog: Antwerp’s Docks

The North of Antwerp, or as we locals call it ‘t Eilandje – intermezzo: ūüėČ 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.

Love,

SJ

  (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 · 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď the pogroms. One of the more famous passengers of the Red Star Line is the future prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir.

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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.

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

Red Star Line Museum

Montevideostraat 3
2000 Antwerp
Belgium
tel. +32 3 298 27 70
redstarline@stad.antwerpen.be

Antwerp · Lifestyle · Shopping

The Story of Pola & Charles

It reads like a fairytale. Pola, a loving grandmother who lived in Antwerp, met Charles, who moved to New York after World War II. They fell madly in love with each other, and Pola followed her heart all the way to the Big Apple. Now, almost 20 years later, their granddaughter (and pride) Laurence Lapa runs a multibrand boutique, named after her two biggest inspirations in life.

Almost 1 year ago¬†Laurence opened the Pola&Charles-store in the Nationalestraat in Antwerp. The interior is based on the city she came to love: that of a typical New York boutique. It’s probably best described as cosy with a raw edge.

“This place used to be a little dark shoe-shop, ran by a very old lady. By opening up the whole first and second floor and by using elements of a more industrial nature (for example the metal stair), we created a more lofty-feel to the place.” It’s true, despite the fact that the shop is quite small, you have a feeling of openness and light. The mixture of raw elements and soft clothes give the store a special attitude.

The cosiness isn’t limited to the interior of the store. It can also be found in the philosophy behind Pola&Charles. It’s all about individuality and personality. This reflects in the clothes, handpicked by Laurence herself, based on her personal choice. Laurence travels back and forth between New York and Paris to find those special brands that stand out. My personal favorite? Gat Rimon!

Gat Rimon was founded by three friends who went to Israel, sat themselves down in a street called Gat Rimon in Tel Aviv and decided to leave their jobs and dedicate their life to fashion. It’s safe to say that St√©phanie Mardokh, Ya√ęl Benhini en Cynthia Pariente have succeeded as well as Laurence Lapa to make their dream come true.

Perfect fits and soft materials make this little store the reference for “basic chic”. New addition is the home collection, expected to arrive mid-february!

Visit Pola & Charles РNationalestraat 21 Р2000 Antwerp 

Mon – Sat: 10.30 am- 6.00pm

Brands:¬†Vince – James Perse – Band of Outsiders – Gat Rimon – 7d – Swildens – Wren – Resin – Fine Collection – Current/Elliott – Brooklyn We Go Hard – My Pant’s – Sundek – Le Fabuleux Marcel – Jane Carr – Ela Stone – LnA – Veja – A Peace Treaty – Petite Mendigote – Officine Creative

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