Back

An Afternoon in the Souks

BY Lisa Lindblad

October 30, 2011

We had a delicious late lunch at La Terrace des Epices, a fun rooftop restaurant with perfect views over the winding streets of the souks below.  It’s quite a good idea to have a hungry stomach to carry you past the first floor of independent shops all the  way to the top; otherwise, you will end up, as we did, combing through French stylist Laetitia Trouillet’s selection of handbags, Stephanie Jewels with its threadlike gold necklaces and bracelets, Sissimorocco’s pillows, pottery and paintings with their charming painted  camels and donkeys (we didn’t manage to leave here without some damage).

After lunch we wandered back through the wool dying district, the tanneries and the many babouche shops and cheich shops where the current come-on entails lassoing the tourist with a length of cloth (cheich), dressing her up with yards of cloth and then pressing for a sale.

The streets are remarkably quiet, and remarkably clean.  Not like the days of old.  I know there has been an ongoing initiative to clean up the Medina but the lack of business, I am told, stems from the Arab Spring and, more recently, the bombing of the cafe in Place Djemma el-Fna.

Just before exiting the souks in Place de Mouassine we stopped in at my friend, Viviana Gonzalez’s lovely boutique, Atelier Moro.  A Colombian designer who lived in Kenya prior to moving here, Viviana has a divine shop of home objects, lovely textiles, clothing and jewelry.  She has a wonderful eye and the quiet, curated shopping experience is a huge relief.

Atelier Moro, Souks 114, Place de Mouassine

array(1) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#3735 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(8769) ["post_author"]=> string(2) "17" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-12-07 17:03:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-12-07 17:03:53" ["post_content"]=> string(1871) " Since 2007, when fashion designer and philanthropist Donna Karan founded the Urban Zen Foundation, an inspiringly beautiful holiday market appears at 705 Greenwich Street in lower Manhattan.  Each year, Karan creates a marketplace that combines humanitarianism with consumerism, promoting shopping with a purpose.  The Foundation is dedicated to three initiatives: preservation of culture (past); bringing mind, body and spirit to healthcare (present); education (future.) The opening last night featured more than 40 artisans from countries as diverse as Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, India, South Africa and Mexico, artisans that exhibit at the International Folk Art Market in the Southwest each summer.  The space is the perfect venue in which to display fabrics and objects, photographs and fashion in such a way that they - and you - feel instantly at home. Of particular beauty were the feather light shrugs, coats and jackets of Farzana Sharshenbieva from Kyrgyzstan; the magnificently, finely tie dyed bandhani silk scarves of  Gujarati Abduljabbar Khatri;  the sensuous Zulu pots of Jabulile Nala whose mother is considered a national treasure.  I adored the heavy, indigo dyed raw cotton jackets of Laotian Boukhong Signavong that greet you as you enter this magical space. There is nothing more healing, nothing more inspiring, nothing more warming than to be in the presence of passionate artisans who draw beauty from their souls to share it with others.  It was hard to leave Urban Zen last night, so hard, in fact, that I shall return tomorrow." ["post_title"]=> string(42) "Urban Zen Promotes Shopping With A Purpose" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(42) "urban-zen-promotes-shopping-with-a-purpose" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-12-07 17:03:53" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-12-07 22:03:53" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(31) "http://lisalindblad.com/?p=8769" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }

Urban Zen Promotes Shopping With A Purpose