Corferias – The Expo Fair in Bogota

Really fine handicrafts at Corferias market.
Really fine handicrafts at Corferias market.

When I got here and began shopping for local products like leather, glass, and the like, everyone kept telling me the same thing. “Wait till you see Corferias!” They told me I’d be in a shopping tizzy when I got to Corferias. I imagined a rough-around-the-edges Christmas market. I was wrong. Corferias is like an expo showing with artisans from all over the world. It seemed like everything was hand made. Better still, each piece was made with care.

A magnificent hand made head dress.
A magnificent hand made head dress. For $700.

There were at least nine hangar sized buildings with an entire floor selling only jewelry. On the international floor, they had stalls from Turkey, Iran, India, Bolivia, Peru, Pakistan, and so many others (though not Bangladesh). It was truly a world bazaar.

Local culture being celebrated.
Local culture was celebrated. This lady was wearing one of the headgear that they made to entertain children.

The local crafts were high quality and some were a good price while others were very pricey. The place is organized and there are many signs, a mobile bar, food courts, cash machines, rest areas, and a packing and delivery service.

The local flavors dining area before the rush.
The local flavors dining area before the rush.

I enjoyed the local flavors hall where they gave free samples of all sorts of foods. Roast pork at ten in the morning. Why yes! When I went back later to buy some pork, the vendor gave a friendly wave as I waited in the longest line in the hall.

Bolivian nativity scene.
Bolivian nativity scene.

It’s a good thing that this fair is over many days because I got tuckered out and did not see all the stalls. I’ll be back! Corferias is from December 6-18 (I think). Bring money for the entrance fee and shopping!

These arepa plates rotated.
These arepa plates rotated.

Shamim, My Favorite Framer in Dhaka – Cezanne Gallery

A special lungi frame for my photo of a man in a lungi.
A special lungi frame for my photo of a man in a lungi.

A great delight of living in Dhaka is getting custom made, hand crafted frames. But, much more than that, my framer, Shamim of Cezanne Gallery, is an artist. Like great artists, he grows and develops his craft. I have given him several new styles of frames which I designed for my own photographs and artwork, and he took the ideas and “ran with it” as Americans like to say. I am impressed. Cezanne Gallery also has ready made paintings and artwork for purchase but I prefer the framing experience when sitting in the calm studio on the second level of UAE mall, ceiling fan blowing, and artistic inspiration flying.

Cezanne Gallery in UAE Market on Kemal Ataturk.
Cezanne Gallery in UAE Market on Kemal Ataturk.

The Cezanne Gallery is hard to find because it’s in plain sight. It’s located in the UAE Market on Kemal Ataturk, in Banani. If you drive west on Kemal Ataturk away from Gulshan 2 Circle, then this red brick two level mall will be on you left right before you reach airport road.

Shamim in his frame shop.
Shamim in his frame shop.

He is pricier than some other shops but his frames are cheap compared to the U.S. where a custom made frame can cost $24 per inch. Cezanne’s prices vary depending on what you get done but my frames have cost from $4-$150. Cezanne Gallery will re-do something if you do not like it. They deliver in a week (literally will deliver if your frame is too big or you cannot pick it up). They have an array of frames, mattes, and will match the color of the matte and frame to some part of the artwork or anything you can indicate (I once asked for the frame to match the brick wall outside). I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process of thinking up designs for my frames and I have done a fair amount of framing. Shamim is a gentleman and I have enjoyed the endless possibilities we have discussed while sitting in Cezanne Gallery.

Artwork and frames in Cezanne Gallery.
Artwork and frames in Cezanne Gallery.