Here’s an interview with local Igor Daems, Spotter for our Antwerp city blog.
First off, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Igor, 35 years old and living in Antwerp. My life is all about sports, music, writing and love :-). Antwerp is a perfect place to enjoy all of that.
How do you like being a Spotter?
I very much believe in the concept of Spotted by Locals. Last year I visited a friend in Brooklyn, New York and all I did were ‘local’ things like a picnic in the park, a visit to the beach, hanging out in coffee bars. I liked it a lot because it gives you a totally different feeling than when you see the city with ‘tourist eyes’. As an Antwerp spotter I hope I can give the same experience to the people visiting my city.
What is a must-do in Antwerp?
Antwerp is a small city with a lot to see. So I would recommend to visit Antwerp on foot or with a rental bike. And without a tourist guide, just use the tips the Antwerp Spotters give you and you will automatically see the best places, drink the best Belgian beers and enjoy the most yummy waffles.
Which is the most popular neighborhood in Antwerp to live in?
The north-side is the most popular neighborhood these days. Three years ago a new park (Spoor Noord) opened which is a real boost for what used to be a very poor and grey area. There is still a lot of work to be done but many young people, artists and entrepreneurs see the potential of the north-side and moved to this area. On a sunny day you should visit the park and enjoy the new bars & eateries nearby.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
My perfect day in Antwerp begins with a run in Park Spoor Noord, then I feel good for the rest of the day. At ZUM you can have an excellent breakfast which will give you a lot of energy. Then I go shopping, but I avoid the main shopping street because of the crowds. Every time I go to 100 gr. design I find something different and great. Then it’s time for a light lunch, for example a bio-soup at Soepmie. A bike ride into the port is a great afternoon activity, especially because of the great resting/reading/writing spots with views on the river Scheldt. In the evening I like to go a bar with friends, Plaza Real (owned by Klaas, a member of Antwerp’s finest band dEUS) is a great spot for a beer or two, three, four …
Check here for more Spotter interviews and more of Igor Daems’ articles.