Hippie Fair Ipanema

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 
Doni Clemons

What started out as a small outdoor market by a group of hippies in 1968, has now turned into a maze of 700 vendors selling everything from clothes to paintings and food. The market's official name is Feira de Artezanato de Ipanema (Handcrafts & Art Fair of Ipanema), but if you're asking a Carioca about the market, call it The Hippie Fair, as it is still known. A great stop if you're looking to pick up something made by local craftsmen. Some cool stand outs are the jewelry, Brazilian musical instruments, and leather bags, shoes and purses (you can even get short leather shorts in bright colors). Fashion designer Giorgio Armani, popularized the handmade leather sandals from the Eron booth, when he bought a pair. There is also an entire gallery section of paintings for sell, often of the local landscape. And make sure to sample some of the food as you walk around. Grab a buttery ear of corn, or a tapioca crepe made with cheese or chocolate from one of the smaller booths. If you like seafood, make sure to stop by the Bahian booth. You can't miss the ladies in head-to-toe white selling acarajé, a type of corn bread fritter stuffed with shrimp or frigideira de bacalhau, similar to a codfish omelette. The market has never missed a Sunday in Praça General Osório since it's inception, but take a cue from the locals and go after 3pm for the deals.

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