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Shopping the Local Culture

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No matter where I travel, I refuse to leave without taking a piece of the local culture back home with me. Through the three C's- clothing, comestibles and collectibles - I'm able to make sense of a place and walk away not only with a memento, tangible or intangible, but a connection.
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Plaka, Athens, Greece
We picked up some gyros to-go during our stroll through the historic Plaka neighborhood below the Acropolis. Thespidos street was particularly memorable for the cafe we stopped at and discovering Brettos bar, which we decided to come back to enjoy...
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399 Lujiabang Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200010
Shanghai tailors are the best in the world, says fashion designer Christy Holzer, whose label, Dowry Designs, was inspired by the city. She suggests visiting the South Bund fabric market to order custom garments. DRESS: STALL 308 “A fun...
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173 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
Astier de Villatte is well known for its light weight white porcelain plates and dishes, all shown in a big wooden closet at the entrance hall of the store, alongside home perfumes, candles and other colored decorative dishes. It serves as a...
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7 Rue de Prague street, 75012 Paris, France
Petit Pan is a kid-wonder brand. It has a few stores in Paris (in fact, in other locations all over Europe) but the one I’ve visited was at a tiny store in the heart of the Latin Quarter at rue du Bac. The brand Petit Pan is known by its colorful...
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5 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, 75003 Paris, France
A few steps away from Merci store, you can find its kids version at the colorful concept store Bon Ton, which sells kids clothes, shoes and toys. The brand has more stores in the city but this one is a three level high, filled with Kids...
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Bitozeves, Czechia
A cyberpunk sensibility pervades this twice- yearly event as independent Czech clothing and jewelry designers take over a former slaughterhouse. DJs, dance performances, and runway shows enhance the festive spirit. The next market takes place...
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Calle Carmen Alto 227, Cusco 08000, Peru
This store is just a little ways off the main street of the San Blas arts district in Cusco, but definitely worth the diversion. Inside, funky, modern jewelry and handbags are mixed with neatly hung vintage dresses, shirts, and jackets. The walls...
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220 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
For a dose of culture, head to Park Life in the Inner Richmond. The goal of this gallery-cum-retail space is to feature today’s most engaging contemporary art. Located in a 1,400-square-foot former furniture store, Park Life showcases 10 exhibits...
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Riad Laarous, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Everything glitters in this breathtaking shop: antique Berber silver, amber jewelry, inlaid mother-of-pearl furniture, and ceramic bowls full of gleaming beads and stones. 3 Fhal Chidmi, Rue Mouassine, 212/(0) 24-442-2578. This appeared in the...
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75009 Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is worth a visit if only to stand under its magnificent glass dome. The family business has survived as a one-stop-shopping hub for five generations, thanks to steady innovation and an emphasis on high fashion and...
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Caraíva, Porto Seguro - State of Bahia, 45810-000, Brazil
A 200-year-old Bahian tradition, fitas, or bonfim ribbons, are said to bring good luck. The writing on the ribbon says ”Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia”, or in remembrance of the savior of Bahia, or Souvenir from the God of Bahia. Wrap the...
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1 Château du Petit Thouars, 37500 Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne, 37500 Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne, France
It only looks like pita but this round, airy Fouée bread, a traditional specialty of the Touraine province in France, has a distinct story and utility of its own. According to legend, the Fouée emerged when bakers would test their wood ovens by...
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6 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France
Nestled in a corner of shops off the well-heeled boulevard de la Madeleine, the shop approaches many of their 50 some mustard varieties like beer, offering them fresh and on tap. Flavors range from the ultra classic (course ground à l'ancienne,...
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C/ Fermín Calbetón 9, 20003 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
If you're in San Sebastián to eat, chances are you'll be wanting to eat Pimientos de Gernika and Guisantes Lágrimas long after your trip is over. Semillas Elosegui is a classic stop in the Old Part of San Sebastián, and they have seeds for all of...
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Prim Kalea, 16, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Vinos Ezeiza is a store of a dying breed. A knowledgeable owner stands among dusty wine bottles, able to answer any question you might have about his collection. Headed out to a fiesta? Bring your wineskin and fill it by volume. Buying Rioja wine...
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When in Bora Bora, Tahitian pearls are a girl’s best friend. Often known as "black pearls," they actually come in all sorts of colors, including black, blue, green, and pink. Even though the pearls aren’t produced in this...