Calçadão Sunday Morning Open Market: Open Market of Local Handcrafts
During the days, the big pedestrian sidewalk, created from closed streets, that goes through the central section of Londrina serves as a market for a number of different items, from department store to a few local craft booths.
On Sunday mornings, however, all of the large commercial stores are closed, and there isn't the rush of traffic to get to the banks or to work or many other such places. Also, many of those who create local crafts also have employment elsewhere as well, so they are not able to sell their products during the week days.
Thus, the big sidewalk (the Calçadão as those in Londrina call it) on Sunday mornings features a large number of local crafts, who sell everything from toys to furniture to bamboo kitchen utensils.
What to buy: You may or may not (depending on which people decide to set up their booths) find everything from hand made leather goods to hammocks to jewelry to wooden cooking utensels and toys and clothing.
As the mix depends on what artists / vendors show up, it is hard to say what will be there.
What to pay: In almost all situations in Brasil, it is acceptable (and even expected) to bargain for a price, and that certainly is the case here. Some are much better than others at doing this, and I am not one of the ones that is good at being able to bargain prices. This is definitely a situation where it is good to have some local assistance, as a citizen of Londrina would be able to help you much better.
- Arts and Culture
Feida da Lua (basically Market by Moonlight): Junk, Food, Junk Food, and Unusual Stuff
On Wednesday evenings, there is a street market near the west side of downtown, close to the "Zerão" athletic track and very close to the very large ampitheatre that is located near this facility.
This market is like any street market: what you will find depends on who shows up to sell their stuff.
It is a very popular local market, and not one that a number of people from outside Londrina visit.
Most of the material sold here includes food, such as rice, coffee beans, and already prepared food of various types.
Merchandise booths and salesmen (some just sell their stuff while hung or sitting on the sidewalk) include many of those that sell pirated goods from Paraguay. From time to time those selling local handcrafts also show up to sell their things.
What to buy: There are a couple of Japanese - Brazilians that make very good Pastel breads, and those are highly recommended.
The pirated junk from Paraguay - well, you get what you paid for!
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Gui Lembranças - Shopping Royal: Assortment of T-Shirts and Trinkets
Lembranças is the word used in Brasilian Portuguese for small items that serve as a reminder of a place, and is derived from Portuguese for "remember". It is essentially how we would use souvenir in English, though I have been told there are some differences in what it applies to.
Normally, I would not suggest that anyone go into the Shopping Royal, which is the large downtown shopping center. However, Gui Lembranças is one of the best stores in Londrina for a variety of small souvenir of all sorts. You have to be very careful about what you get, however. Some of what is sold here is Chinese made junk (watches, etc.) that simply have the name "Londrina" glued on by someone at a junk shop factory in Paraguay. Other items, such as the T-Shirts and stone work are genuinely Brazilian in manufacture and are of considerably better quality.
Mall security is quite concerned about people taking photographs of stores in the mall. There is thought that such actions are essentially spying operations for conducting later theft. Thus, unfortunately, I am unable to give you helpful photographs showing you how to get to the store in the mall.
The store has no web site (marketing efforts in Brasil are highly friend of a friend oriented, especially for small stores like this one).
The store will do gift wrapping in the Brazilian fashion: place the item into a specially colored bag that fits well and tape it closed. It looks a lot like the "wrapping" that we would do in the USA, but is in fact a lot less labor intensive to do.
What to buy: T-Shirts
Small Works of Art
Various Small Trinkets of Brasil and Londrina
Londrina is not a big tourist town, and so the market for memorabilia from here isn't too large. You will find that a number of those items that have been created for the city are rather improvised. The photo shows a fairly typical example of this, purchased from this store. It is an approximately 3 inch by 3 inch ceramic tile, like you would find anywhere. On the front has been painted a scene of Lake Igapo with downtown Londrina showing. On the back (photo 2) you will find that it is designed to be hung by two picture hangers that have simply been glued on the back. The piece of wood that holds the key hooks likewise has been glued. So far, the item has held up to a number of years of use, but at the same time I don't subject it to much abuse. You will find other items like this that are improvised hand made, as well as some very excellent quality mass produced items for Brazil use in general and Londrina decorations painted on them in an improvised way.
This also means that a number of items at this store may not be available on any sort of long term basis.
What to pay: Unfortunately, this is one of the stores where generally it is difficult to bargain lower than the marked price, but some of the Brazilians I have seen are able to get them to do this anyway.
- Arts and Culture
CriArTroféus: Not Just Trophies
Originally just a sports trophy shop, it has grown to include an excellent assortment of rock and rock sculpture (including raw rock for those interested in doing their own sculpting) wood carvings, and many other items.
They do not have t-shirts, but a huge number of other items are good to look for here.
What to buy: There are many items unique to Brasil here. Leave about two hours to make your decision about what of their many items you would like to obtain.
What to pay: Some of the smaller items are in the R$5 to R$10 range, but larger stones and detailed carvings are in the several thousands of $R range. It all depends on what it is that you want to get.
If you are in the mood to bargain, it is best to at least try to bargain. They may not give you much of a discount, but they should at least give a small percentage off if you are not paying with a credit card. ("A Vista" - that is, they can see your cash).
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