Bazar Independiente is a shining example of the artisan festival circuit that has become more than a trendy way to spend a Sunday. Specialty items for sale ranged from handmade body creams to gooey brownies. While all the clothing started to blend together after an hour, the specialty food items like the homeade granola and organic coffee stood out on an otherwise dreary Sunday. Artists and musicians alike showed off their talents, making the festival a delightful experience for everyone.
Last Sunday, it seemed like everyone in Miraflores flocked to the Wong sponsored carnival, closing off major streets and attracting huge crowds. However, for those who knew the secret of Bazar Independiente, there was a cozier and more unique experience awaiting guests just a few blocks away. Held in an old yellow mansion on Avenida Arequipa called “La Moneda,” the Bazar Independiente drew crowds from friends of the musicians and artisans to tourists who followed the music inside. An amazing amount of variety was crammed into the small space creatively, with a wide array of booth food and unique clothing. One could have shwarma or choripan for lunch, with the option of chorizo or an argentinian sausage with the finest herbs with complimentary Fanta. There were plenty of bakeries representing themselves, such as La Bodeguita, selling some of the most moist blondies I have had in a very long time. Another bakery stand represented Cream, offering cupcakes with any frosted emoji or cartoon face your heart may desire. In the corner behind the stage, a sushi chef prepared fresh makis for anyone craving a finer meal than choripan. Terrcafe offered samples of their warm coffee among the two rows of amazing treats on toothpicks.
Much like the fairs held every weekend in Barranco, Bazar Independiente offered a plethora of independent artisan products and baked goods. The aesthetic was much like a flea market you would find in an empty parking lot in Brooklyn, New York. One could indulge in homeade spa and beauty care products at the Mati stand, or splurge on a handmade bralet, made with care from lace or turqiouse velvet. Rusta offered classic hippie jewelry a quality level above what you might see on the bridge of sighs in Barranco. Several vintage and boutique stores, like Nuva Moda, dolled out summer clothing in bins for 20 soles or less. In general, the faces of the bazar were the familiar circuit of artisans who frequent these festivals every weekend. It is clear in how the artists interact with their neighboring shops and regular customers, that seem to follow wherever the artist goes. Some vendors were lucky with their location at the front of the mansion, while other shops were tucked away in far corners of the house, making them harder to find.
As the music played throughout the day, tables were set in the front of the house for drawing and painting workshops. Families in particular enjoyed it, while the hipsters flocked to the music. I arrived as Calles de Sal was performing classic American rock covers. Andrea Neuenshwander followed, along with her talented back up band on cajones and guitar. Francisco Gomez de la Torra performed with his classic acoustic guitar. However, the musical highlights were clearly the women, with Micaela Salaverry ending the festival with an impressive finale of melodic hits. All in all, the venue made for a great Bazar Independiente, and a wonderful alternative to the crowded Wong festival a few blocks away. The festival is a great testament to the independent alternatives to mass consumption.
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