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Monday, April 12, 2010

Recoleta Market

Buenos Aires is known for its outdoor fairs and markets, and the weekend really brings these markets to life. Recoleta has a great outdoor artisan market called Plaza Francia that runs each weekend, most commonly referred to as the "Hippie Fair". The early vendors start setting up on Friday afternoons between 3:00 and 4:00pm but the main event is really on Saturday and Sundays from around 1:00pm until 7:30pm or so, depending on how long it stays light outside. Vendors set up all around the Recoleta Cemetery (approximately at Av. Alvear and Posadas) selling everything from jewelry to clothing to musical instruments all for extremely reasonable prices. Later in the afternoon there are acts that set up live entertainment, during daylight hours this will be some sort of acrobatic or slapstick comedy act and at night there will be a live band. This may be my favorite of the outdoor markets that we've been to because it's huge and there is a large variety of items to choose from. I am slightly biased since we live so close to it, we can walk there any weekend we want. Everyone that we have brought to this fair has had good luck when it comes to finding gifts or souvenirs for themselves. Here are some of my favorite finds:
  • Turquoise necklace and earring set - I bought this set a few weeks ago on a Friday afternoon when the vendors were just getting set up. I really liked the set, but the necklace was really long at first so the woman who makes them shortened it for me while I stood there and waited. The vendor I went to gave me the English equivalent of the "early bird special" which included $20pesos off of the price. All in all I walked away with this beautiful set for around US$25.

  • Wood flower and mirror key holder - This was one of our first purchases when we discovered this market. The woman who sells these has all sorts of coat racks and key holders with and without mirrors. I really like the inlaid flowers and leaves and it looks great in our front hallway. We have some crazy dungeon-master keys to get into our apartment so this is really handy for keeping them straight. The only downside is that you have to use two huge screws to get it into the wall, and our walls are different than normal drywall, they tend to crumble when you nail or screw anything into them. We had a large pile of wall on our floors after we were satisfied that the mirror was secure.

  • Green and Blue pendant - This necklace was a gift from my mom when she was here visiting and I love it! It combines my two favorite jewelry colors and has a beautiful silver setting. The man who owns this jewelry stand had so many nice things, we loved almost everything that he made. Technically, this was purchased at the San Telmo market because we couldn't make up our minds when we first say the stand in Recoleta. We wanted to get back to his stand, but forgot to get back to him so we followed him to San Telmo, where he said that he works on Sundays. He was set up at the corner of Defensa and Mexico Streets and we basically cleaned him out when we found his Sunday stand.

Typically, there is not a whole lot of negotiating room in the prices, different than my experience in Mexico or the Caribbean. The exception is when you purchase more than one item from the same seller, there is more room to haggle at that point. I have noticed that the prices do change from week to week, so if you are interested in something - buy it when you're there.


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  2. Ahh I remember going here when I came with my Dad! I got some super cute earrings and a hand woven scarf here!! So cool to see these places! :)