Antwerp · Music

The Oddword

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Ever seen an electro crowd doing a mosh pit? With The Oddword you can even expect the most unexpected.

Antwerp based DJ duo Boy Kortekaas and Ylli Engels are no strangers in the music industry. Boy Kortekaas started playing music when he was 15. At the age of 18, he already released his first track on the label of Dj Hell “Gigolo records”. That’s the same label where Tiga and Boys Noize began their career. A couple of years later, Boy met Ylli Engels, another great dj from Antwerp. Until then Ylli played in underground clubs in Belgium. They had such a good connection so they began “The Oddword”. In 2009 The Oddword started making music. It didn’t take long before the world started noticing them. In 2010 their first EP “Kortelas” was released on the American label Crux Records. A lot of remixes followed for artists such as Antention, Dumme Jungs, The Subs, Haezer and other great producers. In 2011 they released their second EP called “The Fire EP” on the German label Mähtrasher records. 2012 was without a doubt a fantastic year for The Oddword playing at the biggest festivals in Belgium such as Tomorrowland, Laundry Day and many more. The Oddword brings raw electronic bass music in a whirlpool of electro & techy beats. Their hyped up beats make the crowds go crazy. Not only did they conquer Belgian territory, also Miami WMC & the rest of Europe followed. Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland and France were not left unharmed.

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The best experience they have had (until their feature on Marilyn & Josephine of course ;-)) was without doubt debuting in South Africa, hitting up Cape Town and Johannesburg, start of 2013.  Now the boys from The Oddword are back in the studio, working on a new EP, several remixes and some kick-ass collaborations…

Being internationally recognized does not make them love Antwerp any less. There is only one club however where they feel appreciated the most: Petrol. “There aren’t a lot of clubs in Antwerp who play our kind of music, that’s why we mostly play in clubs outside of Antwerp and Belgium. But when it comes to festivals, Belgium is a great country!” Music to the Oddword ears as they will be playing this years edition of Pukkelpop, the second largest festival in Belgium! And how about Israel? “We haven’t played in Israel yet, but we have heard it’s nightlife is better than Ibiza’s, so we wouldn’t mind being invited over? (laughs)”

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You can find the Oddword this Summer at:

SUNRISE FESTIVAL 29/30.06 Lilse Bergen – Belgium // OSTEND BEACH 13.07 Oostende – Belgium // BUTTERFLYBEATS FESTIVAL 20.07 Gits – Belgium // ZWARTE CROSS 27.07 Lievelde – The Netherlands // PUKKELPOP 16.08 Hasselt – Belgium

More dates to be confirmed on their Facebook fanpage.

WORLDWIDE BOOKINGS:
Beat Me Up Agency
Marijn Kin
kin@beatmeupagency.com
+32473365317
Fashion · Tel Aviv · Travel guide

What to wear to …

(c) a fly guyTomorrow I will be leaving Belgium’s Winter Depression behind and I will soak up the sun in Tel Aviv. I have been so tired of this cold weather, like literally exhausted, I can’t wait to feel the hot sand between my toes. I’m looking forward to my  “10 days off ” so much, I’ve been planning what to take with me for days now. Yes, i finally have an excuse to buy 3 bikinis and 5 different dresses.

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Headphones: Urbanears (Zalando) – Bikini OndadeMar (Zalando) – Top MinkPink (Zalando) – Shorts Tigerhill (Zalando) – Sweater MinkPink (Zalando) – Blouse CheapMonday (Zalando) – Dress Mint&Berry (Zalando) – Sunglasses Wasteland (Zalando) – Sneakers Nike (Zalando)

(c) a fly guy

what to wear 1 Ring House of Harlow (Urban Outfitters) – Handbag The Cambridge Satchel Company (Urban Outfitters) – Bracelet Hipanema (Urban Outfitters) – Watch Timex (Zalando) – Bracelet BE by Magali PinchasiSandals (Forever 21) – Bracelet Fiona Paxton (Zalando) – Pants Anna Field (Zalando)

(c) a fly guy

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Straw hat (H&M) – Sunglasses (Komono) – Sweater Filles à papa (Bluepoint) – Shirt (H&M) – Shirt Zoë Karssen (Bluepoint) – Swimsuit (We Are Handsome) – Shorts (Mango) – Sandals (NewLook)

See you in Tel Aviv!

Pictures of Tel Aviv by International Fly Guy

Entertainment · Judaism

Dating a Jew or two.

When you write a blog between Tel Aviv and Antwerp, it was bound to happen someday. Yes it’s time for a personal statement that I know isn’t shocking anybody who knows me: I have a thing for Jewish men.

I’ve given “the Reason Why” a lot of thought lately. I don’t care much about God, Jesus or any other prophet. I never fully understood the concept of how something that is supposed to be a good higher power actually divides so many people. I never really made a difference between someone who read the Bible, the Koran, the Torah or just believed in karma. So my preference to date Jewish guys has nothing to do with their belief, that’s for sure. I feel however that most of the guys I go for are Jewish (or, if they’re not, they probably look Jewish). Needless to say that when it comes to their looks, Jewish men are very “interesting”: the intelligent gaze of a young Leonard Cohen, the funny Adam Samberg, my high school crush Jeff Goldblum and the ultimate stud James Franco. My grandma always told me “van een mooi bord kan je niet eten” (freely translated as: you can’t judge a book by it’s cover), so Jewish men must also have a lot of good inner qualities. They are known to be smart and treat their wives with respect. They are family oriented and most of them have a good sense of humor. What sounds better than that? Another reason that I think of a lot is that it might be a more personal challenge, since dating someone who’s not suppose to date you makes you feel all “13 years old and secretly kissed a boy at school” again (minus the teen giggles).

Ari-Gold-Yom-KippurAnyway, who cares about reasons. Leo Dicaprio didn’t have a reason not to get on that piece of driftwood with Kate Winslet when he was floating around in icy water, so I don’t need a reason to like someone. Let’s say: I just do. But I am not Jewish. I’m a Shiksa, as they say in Yiddish (after looking up that word on Wikipedia I most definitely am a Shiksa: “Shiksa refers to any non-Jewish (gentile) woman or girl who might be a temptation to Jewish men or boys, e.g., for dating, intermarriage, etc.“). And this is kind of a problem.

But who am I to burst my own bubble? Let the men do that for me! So, after some serial Jew dating I learned that – like all men – Jewish men possess qualities that make me want to run in all sorts of directions, preferably faster than Forrest Gump on energy drinks.

Of course, I don’t generalize. The experiences I write about are totally my own. I would also like to point out that this article is purely written for entertainment, I am not out to hurt anybody and surely not to make fun of someones religion. It could very well have been Belgian Boys, or Italian Stallions.

1. The “I like dating you, but we have no future together… Or maybe we do… No we definitely don’t” guy.

There’s always this moment in time that you think “where have all the heroes gone?”. At that point I mostly meet a handsome dark curly-haired Mediterranean guy and I’m like “There he is!”. We talk a while, we go out together, watch a movie, have dinner, etc. Basically we’re having a very good time and all seems like a little fairytale with a handsome prince who’s really making an effort to make me feel every inch a women (for readers who’d love a soundtrack to this, click here). Who cares that he’s Jewish? I do what every normal girl does and I already start fantasizing about big family shabbat dinners (who doesn’t like a table full of food) and romantically lighting candles together on Hanukkah. A fairytale indeed. At the moment one least expects it (probably while watching re-runs of Sex and the City to remind myself again how Charlotte handled her Jew-man) he drops the Bomb (bomb being the awkward word). “I’ve thought about it and although you’re great and I have such a good time with you… you’re not Jewish and my parents would never approve.”

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2. The “Let’s keep it casual” guy.

According to Jewish tradition, dating plays a very specific role. Dating is a serious matter and is not intended for entertainment purposes. Well, thanks for the heads up, but some Jewboys don’t seem to share that thought (they are probably the ones who invented the phrase “Shickses are for practice”). But then again, who cares? One can only appreciate honesty. And a busy girl like me doesn’t always have the time for serious dating. A little fling here and there never hurt anyone. So yes, let’s keep it casual! All seems to be going well for a few weeks, but then Drama kicks in. All of a sudden a statement like “you can see other people if you want, we’re casual” seems to be as untrue as Anna Anderson being the long-lost Russian princess Anastasia. Even if I didn’t see anyone else (why would I, when I have a gorgeous Jew man to satisfy me on daily basis), I’m being called names I’d rather not repeat. Maybe it’s the Jewish sense of entitlement, or just the mere thought of me actually living up to his self-proclaimed statement. Eitherway he turned into the Boy who cried Wolf. (I must admit though that drama in this story went both ways. I guess keeping it casual isn’t always that easy.)

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3. The “I don’t care you’re not Jewish” guy.

Ah yes, they do exist. Some of the Jewish men don’t really care if they date a non-Jewish girl. But by then, i was already so submerged into Jewish tradition due to all previous experiences, I was like: “What? You’re not a very good Jew!” This is when I found out that I actually love the Jewish traditions and the “we’re one happy family”-feeling. How could I be part of The Family if he didn’t really care about being Jewish or not? And here come the question marks. Well, at least I found another reason to add to the long list of why I like Jewish people so much.

1I must say, even though a lot of these stories ended in agonizing heartbreak (no not really), I have enjoyed every experience I had so far and the people I’ve met along the way. I would never wish for things to be different. Being the romantic naive fool I am, I’m sure that every experience made me grow and made me wiser about what I want, and how far I would go for someone who really deserves it. And I’m pretty sure we will all get where we want to be, with a wonderful person. In my case preferably Jewish. 🙂

Antwerp

Young & Promising

Last week more than 70 young creatives from Belgium and the Netherlands perched in Antwerp to display their work. “De Invasie” (tr. The Invasion) wants to create opportunities for young designers. This platform organises events and offers spaces for exposition and work and plays an important link between designers and companies. Visit the website, because it offers a complete online shop of all the creatives that participated!

Here are some of my favorites:

Veil and reveal – graduation collection by Vanbrit:

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Titi & The German Kid: (fell in love with the tigersweater!!)DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPENmodo-furniture by Xavier Coenen:Xavier Coenen momodul0-1

Jewelry by Karen Kennis:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN2

Retro pictures in Photomatique:photomatique

Best collection ever !! Daphny Raes:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN3

Leather carpets by Lio de Bruin:leatherneedlewor

Cute prints and postcards by BonBon Bazar:  il_570xN.443334892_pjn0

Amazing work! Jef Claes Photography: DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN6

I WANT THAT RING! Lore Van Keer:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN5

Practical & stylish camera bag. Deruwe: Cameratas met uitneembare beschermingselementen en lensrol (2)

Skate-furniture by Bruthaus:Bruthaus

Geo-jewelry by Danielle Vroemen:DE INVASIE VAN ANTWERPEN4

Antwerp · Fashion

Urban couture: Antwerp as a Fashion capital.

Antwerp is known to deliver great talent, especially when it comes to fashion. The era and influence of the avant-garde Antwerp 6 is still a story that captivates experts and students all over the world. This article hopes to provide a better view on Antwerp’s fashion and the influence of the Antwerp Fashion Academy on Antwerp itself and on the world as well.

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Above: The ready to wear Spring 2013 collection by some of Antwerp’s former fashion students.

Romain Brau, fashion designer and owner of concept store RA (Antwerp & Paris), knows both fashion and Antwerp due to his studies at the Antwerp Fashion Academy (part of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts). “I chose to study at the Antwerp Academy, because it’s an Art School before everything else and I like the freedom that art holds. I wanted to feel at home and relax. I knew I would be happy in Antwerp. I am Parisian so when you have to choose between a city where you can get a flat of 200 m2 for the price of a 10 m2 in Paris you don’t think twice, especially when the international press tells you the Antwerp Academy is the best school of the world! When I started studying it all made sense to me. The Academy taught me to mix art and fashion. I just loved it!”

Romain Brau (c)Above: Romain Brau wearing part of his own collection.

The less technical, more artful approach of the Academy is probably one of the biggest reasons of its success. “A lot of international students come to study at the Antwerp Academy, often after finishing a more technical Fashion design course. The fact that the Antwerp Academy offers the freedom to express your individuality through design and really treat your work as an art form makes the Academy a magnet for fashion students everywhere. Last year we had 40 nationalities in a class of 200”, explains Karen Van Godtsenhoven. Since 2009 she has been working as curator at the Antwerp Fashion Museum, which resides in the same building as the Antwerp Academy.

Antwerp FashionLeft: Karen Van Godtsenhoven, curator to the Antwerp Fashion Museum. Right: Romain Brau, contemporary fashion designer.

Where did all this success come from? “Since 1960 Antwerp offers a department in fashion. Back then it was very amateurish. During the 1980’s the Academy presented 6 designers with a distinct radical vision for fashion. They established Antwerp as a notable location for fashion design. The breakthrough occurred when the Antwerp 6 set out for the London fashion fair with their collections. They have put this city on the fashion map ever since.” The Antwerp 6 (Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter van Beirendonck, Dirk van Saene and Marina Yee) all own their very distinct style and trademark. Note: Martin Margiela was also a student at the Antwerp Academy at the time of Antwerp 6. However, he did not join them to the London show and is therefore not part of the original group.

antwerp6Above & under: the Antwerp 6

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The Antwerp 6 have set an example for their continuators at the Flemish academies, such as Raf Simons, Veronique Branquinho, Haider Ackermann, etc., and they have set a solid ground for fashion in Antwerp. “Individuality is the most important trademark for the Antwerp Academy. Designers that graduate from the Antwerp Academy are known to create collections in which the wearer becomes part of the designer’s world,” Karen explains. The minimalism of Demeulemeester, the drama in Dries Van Noten, even the theatrical in Romain Brau: each designer has their own signature. Romain agrees: “it’s true that individuality is an important factor that is being emphasized. My personal style is more dandy and opulent in a contemporary way. I love the 1920ies and I love luxurious material. I never had the feeling that I had to restrain my own style while studying at the Academy. Au contraire, I feel that the Academy helped me develop my style even further! It’s when I saw the work of Angelo Figus and Cristopher Devos (half of the duo behind Peter Pilotto), both also Antwerp Academy alumni, that I felt less alone in my way to create.”

(c) Romain BrauAbove: collection Romain Brau.

How about the future? “It’s very striking that most students nowadays choose security by choosing to work for a designer. The current financial crisis is probably the main reason for this shift. That’s why we are working on new initiatives to offer fashion students the possibility to present their collections worldwide without having to spend a lot of money. We are working on a digital platform for example, through which we encourage students to film their collections, we also present the best collections in the Museum,” Karen continues.

And how about the influence of all this high fashion on Antwerp itself? Helen and Tine are 19-year-old twin sisters that have a blog about Antwerp street style. Their blog was nominated for the 2012 Blog Awards. Almost everyday they hit the streets of Antwerp, armed with a camera, to document the fashion this city oozes. “Antwerp fashion is very obstinate and careless. People in Antwerp have a very distinctive style and know very well what pieces to combine to get the best result. They play with details, like sneakers or colored lipsticks,” states Helen. Tine agrees: “In general, Antwerp street style contains a good mix of trends and own style. People in Antwerp are very realistic. They want to look good for their own pleasure and not to impress others. This sometimes leads to extravagant looks, especially with the students of the Fashion Academy.”

Desktop3Desktop4Antwerp fashion students are welcome features in the Antwerp Street style blog. “Their presence in Antwerp often serves as an example for others, like some sort of living trend-guide. People here are very proud of ‘their’ Academy. It determines the Antwerp identity and has turned a lot of us into chauvinistic fashionlovers.” On the question which Antwerp designer is their favorite, both girls choose Dries Van Noten. “His new collection is so beautiful. Dries has developed his very own style throughout the years, but his collections are always innovative.”

And my personal favorite? Even though I’m not that big of a fashion junk, I have to admit that both Ann Demeulemeester en Haider Ackermann are on my list of favorite designers. Both Haiders en Anns cuts are simple, but their creations are often asymmetric and sewn of different materials, which gives them not only a resolutely modern and dynamic feel, but also makes them more urban, without losing anything on the sophistication of the feminine silhouette.

Special thanks to Karen and Romain for their time and devotion and to Tine and Helen for getting back to my emails faster than bullets 😉

Sien Josephine


Focus on

Focus on: Magali Pinchasi

We always like to hear stories about how people get inspired, develop their talents and chase their dreams. It’s even more interesting when the story is about a young girl from Antwerp who found her inspiration in Tel Aviv. This particular story is about Magali Pinchasi, a young creative girl with a passion for jewelry, fashion and color. I met Magali in a little coffee bar. Modest but proud and continuously smiling she talks about her life, her jewelry collection and her connection to both Antwerp and Tel Aviv.

423398_10151036661998429_581808444_n22 year old something Magali Pinchasi has been fascinated by jewelry ever since she was little, which isn’t all that surprising since her dad works in the diamond industry. Magali holds a degree in communication sciences and did her internship in Public Relations. After graduating from University she took a jewelry design course at London’s Gemological Institute of America, but it was a vacation in Tel Aviv that did wonders for Magali’s inspiration. While walking past the little souvenir stalls in Neve Tzedek, an idea started to develop: creating unique mix & match jewelry that would not only suit everyone, but would also be affordable for everyone. Back in Antwerp she ordered a whole lot of rope and trinkets and started making bracelets. Why rope? “Rope has unlimited options: colors, textures, etc. It’s a very affordable material for a large audience. Rope is very flexible and manageable. Since I make every bracelet myself , it’s much more interesting time-wise.”

A night out made Magali decide to turn her hobby into an actual jewelry business. “I constantly wear my own bracelets. One night, a girl approached me at a party and asked me where I got them from. This was the push i needed to actually get my bracelets out there.” Magali named her brand “BE by Magali Pinchasi”. “BE stands for Beautiful and Belgian, since all the jewelry is 100% made in Belgium”. She started selling the bracelets online on her website. Magali quickly build a reputation by using social media. Soon bloggers contacted her and not much later Magali scored an interview for Steps City magazine. This interview was proof that her business was getting more and more serious and orders started pouring in. Her collections are now being sold in stores such as Princess Blue (Antwerp) and Blue Rose (Wilrijk). Every bracelet is handmade by Magali herself, which makes every piece even more unique. Customers can also personalize the bracelets if they want to by filling in the request form online.

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Onlangs bijgewerktFor the new collection Magali will use diamonds in her bracelets. “My first motivation is to create, to discover new things. That’s why I work with diamonds, but with every intention to stay affordable. A diamond doesn’t have to be expensive. I don’t want to be a high-class brand. I want to create a more luxurious line within BE that remains affordable for a larger audience. And of course it would also remain as colorful as the other collections.” How about an international career? “I don’t dare to dream of an international business just yet. For now I prefer to keep production in my own hands – literally. But if Colette in Paris would ask me if they can sell my bracelets, i wouldn’t refuse! (laughs)”.

When Magali is not working our creating, she likes to walk around in Antwerp. “Every Saturday afternoon I go to the city, to shop or to walk around and watch people. I think Antwerp is a very cosy and fashionable city with a lot of diversities. There are so many kinds of people, it’s inspiring to just sit down and watch them pass by.” Her affordable mix&match-policy is not limited to her brand. When it comes to her own style Magali likes to combine Belgian brand Essentiel with Zara. “I like everything, as long as it’s colorful.” And what about Tel Aviv? “My grandmother lives in Tel Aviv, I visit her every Summer. I love to walk around Neve Tzedek, have pancakes at Benedict or just enjoy some sun at Golden Beach. Actually, I’m a big fan of all the Tel Aviv classics (smiles). Even though I could never live there, Tel Aviv is important to me. It’s where I found my inspiration.”

BE by Magali Pinchasi can be found at:

  • Princess – Meir 51 – Antwerp
  • Princess Blue – Schrijnwerkersstraat 7 – Antwerp
  • Just Folie – Turnhoutsebaan 186 – Schilde
  • Blue Rose – Jules Moretueslei 402 – Wilrijk
  • Vandenbalck Optics – Bondgenotenlaan 57 – Leuven
  • Zappas – Boornstraat 50 – Bornem
  • and of course online!
General · History

For all the women that made us women.

Today is International Women’s Day. This is the day to thank all the women who have ever fought or are still fighting for women’s rights somewhere in this world. Here are a few of the women we believe kick ass!

WOMEN who KICK ASS2-001(From left to right)

Nawal El Saadawi has been called the godmother of Egyptian feminism with the rebel gene. She has written many books on the subject of women in Islam, paying particular attention to the practice of female genital cutting in her society. She is founder and president of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founder of the Arab Association for Human Rights.She has been awarded honorary degrees on three continents. In 2005 she won the Inana International Prize in Belgium.

Fauja Singh. Fair enough he’s a man. But men deserve some credit too. Fauja is the oldest runner alive. He runs for women’s rights. Recently he organised a mini-marathon to register his concerns over the recent incidents and generate social awareness for the rights and security of women in India.

Golda Meir was an Israeli teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of Israel in 1969. Israel’s first and the world’s third woman to hold such an office, she was described as the “Iron Lady” of Israeli politics years before the epithet became associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion used to call Meir “the best man in the government”; she was often portrayed as the “strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people”. A famous quote by Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

WOMEN who KICK ASS1(From right to left)

Ellen  Johnson Sirleaf. Africa’s first female President (Liberia) and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Her work has had a significant impact on women’s rights and peace movement. Prize motivation: “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

Margaret Cho. Korean American comedian and women’s rights activist. She is best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially those pertaining to race and sexuality.

Gloria Steinman. A leader of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960s and 1970s, Steinman helped create both New York and Ms. magazines, and helped form the National Women’s Political Caucus. An intelligent, independent woman who cleared the path for all us writers!

WOMEN who KICK ASS1(From left to right)

Ayaan Hirsi. Ali is a Somali-Dutch feminist and atheist activist, writer and politician who is known for her views critical of Islam. She wrote the screenplay for Theo van Gogh’s movie Submission, after which she and the director both received death threats, and the director was murdered. The daughter of the Somali politician and opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse, she is a founder of the women’s rights organisation the AHA Foundation. On visiting Israel she said: “My main impression was that Israel is a liberal democracy. In the places I visited, including Jerusalem as well as Tel Aviv and its beaches, I saw that men and women are equal.”

Coretta Scott King. Civll and Women’s Rights activist and the widow of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. During a solidarity speech in 1968, she called for women to “unite and form a solid block of women power to fight the three great evils of racism, poverty and war”.

Manal al-Sharif. principal campaigner for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. One of her more famous campaigns is the 2011 women driving campaign, for which she was arrested for a week.

WOMEN who KICK ASS3-001(From right to left)

Amelia Earheart. The first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. “One of my favorite phobias is that girls, especially those whose tastes aren’t routine, often don’t get a fair break. It has come down through the generations, an inheritance of age-old customs which produced the corollary that women are bred to timidity.” She disappeared during an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937.

Eleanor Roosevelt. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Roosevelt was a controversial First Lady for her outspokenness, particularly for her stands on racial issues. She was the first presidential spouse to hold press conferences, write a syndicated newspaper column, and speak at a national convention. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Japanese Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees.

Benazir Bhutto. The first woman to lead a Muslim country in modern history and become prime minister of Pakistan.

Desktop(From left to right)

Hilary Rodham Clinton. American Politician. Her famous speech in Beijing in 1995, in which she declared that “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights”, inspired women worldwide and helped galvanize a global movement for women’s rights.

Shirley Chisholm. First black female elected to Congress. She later became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The second female justice (after Sandra Day O’Connor) and the first Jewish female justice. Before becoming a judge, Ginsburg spent a considerable portion of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of women’s rights as a constitutional principle.

Happy Women’s day to all us women!

Marilyn & Josephine

Antwerp · Hotel

Sleeping Around

Next to pop-up stores, pop-up restaurants and pop-up windows, there is now a unique pop-up hotel called “Sleeping Around”. “These days, we are all in search of a lot more than just comfort and luxury,” says Ellen Wezenbeek, PR-manager of the Sleeping Around concept. “Authenticity, comfort, adventure, design and the unexpected, these are experiences we all seek. We are all carried away by the thought of a relaxing yet stimulating retreat whether it be in our vibrant cities or in the quiet countryside.”

The idea originated when the owner of the Sleeping Around hotel, Didier Opdebeeck, was renovating his house. Sleeping in a container, decorated as a living area, made Didier think about this new concept:  a compact yet luxurious hotel room, equipped with all the mod cons: a box-spring bed, rain shower, iPod docking station and air conditioning – all contained in a 20ft recycled sea container.

(c) sleeping around

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“We think green and employ only ecologically responsible materials. The containers themselves are produced in China, after which they are used for worldwide transport. As it is not always profitable to return the containers empty, they are often left behind in ports, including Antwerp’s. This unique concept offers the ideal mix of adventure and comfort at some of the most impressive locations in the city,” Ellen continues.

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Sleeping Around contains 4 hotel room containers, a breakfast/lounge container and a sauna container. The hotel rooms provide a superior and comfortable night’s stay.

The hotel containers are currently located at the Antwerp Waagnatie, close to the Scheldt river. Who knows where they ship of to next. Maybe Tel Aviv? “Presenting our concept in Tel Aviv would be amazing,” Ellen replies. “Bring on the proposals!”

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4517_web20121206_sleeping_around_2306 (c) sien josephineAbove: trying out the bed (much approved!)

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For more information about the current location and online booking visit www.sleepingaround.eu or visit their Facebook page

Antwerp · Architecture · History

Antwerp from both sides.

They say “the river Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde) owes its existence to God, and Antwerp owes its existence to the river Scheldt”. Thanks to this river Antwerp is the 2nd largest harbour in Europe and the 4th in the world. Both the Right (the historical city) as the Left Bank of the Scheldt are unique places to visit. There’s the vivid historical city center, with tons of shops, restaurants and tourist attractions on one side, and there is nature and 20th century nostalgia on the other side. With its Casino’s, the restaurants and even a small beach the Left Bank was indeed a popular place for entertainment.  There’s not much left of those glory days now, but you can still feel the swing of the 60ies and the 70ies when you go for some delicious moules-frites (mussels with fries) on the terrace at Sint Anneke beach, while enjoying the view on the historical city across the river. The Sint-Anna pedestrian tunnel, build in 1932-1933, is a true beauty (if a tunnel can ever be called beautiful) which is definitely worth a visit. Let me just tell you with some pictures I took today what I can’t express with words:

(c) sien josephineAbove: The statue of Pieter Paul Rubens, Antwerp’s most famous painter, keeping an eye on the Groenplaats (historical city)

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Above: view on the guild halls on the Grote Markt (16th Century) (c) sien josephine

Above: detail of the wrought iron gates which used to indicate the line between the docks and the public street (late 19th century) (c) sien josephine

Above: easy Antwerp transportation: these city bikes take you everywhere as long as you dock them in another station within 30 minutes.(c) sien josephine

Above and under: enjoying a nice stroll on the boardwalk along the Scheldt between Antwerp’s North and South side

(c) sien josephine

(c) sien josephine

(c) sien josephine

Above: time for some nice Belgian fries, while enjoying the view on the Cathedral (under)(c) sien josephine

Under: view on the Left Bank from the boardwalk.(c) sien josephineUnder: the entrance of the Sint Anna pedestrian tunnel (build in 1933)   (c) sien josephine (c) sien josephine  Above &under: inside the pedestrian tunnel (the wooden escalators also date back to 1933)(c) sien josephine

Under: inside the pedestrian tunnel: 572 meters long and 31,57 meters underground.(c) sien josephine

Under: the Left Bank in the windows of the Sint Anna pedestrian tunnel exit

(c) sien josephine  (c) sien josephine

Above & under: view on historical Antwerp from the Left Bank(c) sien josephineUnder: Sint Anneke beach (by (c) Jens Mollenvanger)

(c) Jens Mollenvanger

All pictures are copyright protected 

(c) 2013 Sien Josephine

Antwerp · Music · Travel guide

Josephine’s Treasure Map to Antwerp (3)

Turn up the music, fill your cup and drink it down! Part 3 is all about Antwerp nightlife. Antwerp has a lot to offer when it comes to clubbing. Here are a few of my favorite dance floors:

PETROL – Deep down an abandoned road on the South part of Antwerp lies an old industrial warehouse which is rebuild to a club with an underground vibe. Its minimal and dark interior make it a perfect location for techno parties as well as rock concerts. When i dance i “just can’t get enough”, so Petrol offers two dance floors. Usually the club is used for concerts. I once saw an excellent YACHT concert here, somewhere in 2010 – shame we don’t hear anything from these guys anymore. (Petrol – d’Herbouvillekaai 25 – 2020 Antwerp)

MAGIC – One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal: it’s a kind of magic. Freddy Mercury himself would twist and turn on this magical dance floor. Entering this club, literally under ground, feels like being warped back to the decadence of the 70ies. Electro Pop music and Eighties Kitsch in the mix with modern dance tunes, the music in Magic is as divers as its crowd: from underground artist to fashion diva. The only thing that happens in this place is dancing. On my agenda: the Filles a Papa party this Thursday! Important note: you can only get in when you’re on the guest list. Check the website for more information. (Magic – Desguinlei 94- 2018 Antwerp)

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Click the video to see a recap of some magnificent parties going on at Magic Antwerp:

SCHELD’APEN – On the same road as Club Petrol lies an even more abandoned house, also rebuild to a (smaller) club called Scheld’apen. This place has played an important role to a lot of experimental and underground artists. The primary goal of this club is to create a platform for Antwerp artists. From time to time however, you can party hard here. I’m personally looking forward to the Mykki Blanco concert this Wednesday! (Scheld’Apen – d’Herbouvillekaai 36 – 2020 Antwerp)

ULTIMATUM – Another personal favorite are the monthly parties held in bar Ultimatum. Located in the heart of the city Ultimatum is in fact a restaurant/bar, but once a month owner Olivier turns the place upside down (and round and round) to host some of the best parties in Antwerp (and the one’s with the biggest crowd on a Sunday night – don’t these people have work on Monday?!). With names as Thirsty Thurdays and Sunday Funday – let’s be honest – you get what you came for: great music, great drinks (damn those 6 EUR gin&tonics) and great vibes. Definitely on my calendar: another Thirsty Thursday on February 28th. (Ultimatum – Grote Markt 8 – 2000 Antwerp)

(c) Scheld Apen

(c) Ultimatum

After all this dancing our feet hurt and our legs are all tired. So why not indulge yourself for a moment and sleep in one of the comfortable beds of Hotel The Black. This hotel, located in a mansion on the Antwerp Leien, feels like an old Hollywood film, not only ’cause of the colors (black and white) but also because of the glamorous yet mysterious atmosphere. Kim Soeffers, interior architect and personal friend, decorated each room as if she would live in it herself. Every room is provided with a a classic bathtub in which I for one can soak for hours. Another glass of champagne to close the night and then I lay myself to rest in a heavenly set of pillows. Aah.. this is the good life indeed. (Hotel The Black – Amerikalei 113 – 2000 Antwerp)

(c) Sien Josephine

GIVE AWAY TIME:

Because you all have been so good and sweet to us it’s time we do something back.

We offer you a one night stay in the Hotel The Black (according to availability).

Want to dream away just like I did? This is what you have to do:

  1. Like the Marilyn & Josephine Facebook page
  2. Like the Hotel The Black Facebook page
  3. Send us an e-mail with your name and address

The lucky winner will be contacted by the end of March!

Well, this concludes the treasure map (for now). I hope you enjoy your stay in Antwerp as much as I enjoy living here!

xoxo

Josephine

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