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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tuson’s Lost Barrio Found

    Ari Lerner/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Tucson Barrio. A strip of stores south of Broadway on Park Ave deals antiques and hand made objects from other countries and students art.
    Jake Lacey
    Ari Lerner/Arizona Daily Wildcat Tucson Barrio. A strip of stores south of Broadway on Park Ave deals antiques and hand made objects from other countries and students’ art.

    Tucson Spotlight

    After a short bike ride or drive just south of campus, one will find The Lost Barrio District, a charming strip of culturally diverse retail shops.

    It’s called the Lost Barrio for a reason. UA students and Tucson locals rarely know of this charming strip of culturally diverse retail shops tucked away on South Park Avenue just south of East Broadway Boulevard.

    The dated brick buildings have been transformed from the factory warehouses to shops that house locally made, one-of-a-kind items as well as international imports.

    “”If you like to shop off the beaten path, then this is the place,”” said Daria Sanberg, co-founder of the store Bohemia.

    The Lost Barrio shopping district is a dazzling collection of 11 different businesses that sell and display furniture, accessories, garden designs and architectural elements. Taking a peek into any one of these shops will present the opportunity of finding something that will catch the eye, such as Bohemia’s locally made perfumes that enhance fertility and wealth. College students might lean toward the wealth-enhancing aroma over fertility.

    Looking through each one of the stores is almost like prodding through different museums housed with beautiful paintings and artifacts such as Buddha statues and African tribal masks. Unlike a museum, a shopper can hold, touch and buy the pieces for home dǸcor.

    The themes vary from shop to shop and fortunately do not clash with one another, keeping the dusty strip of shops friendly and not competitive.

    Most items for sale in the shops could be categorized as home dǸcor, making it attractive to interior decorators and designers. On the contrary, everybody, especially students on a budget, can walk away feeling good about their new-found treasures from Lost Barrio.

    Bohemia, 299 S. Park Ave., an artists’ emporium, carries locally handmade items such as furniture, paintings, clothing and all types of funky accessories. Bohemia is a diamond in the rough because it is hard to find a store that sells locally produced goods. Bohemia is an eclectic store that also serves as an art gallery. Looking around the store and admiring all the work and creativity that goes into each piece sparks one’s creativity. Sanburg perfectly describes the shop as an idea factory.

    “”We love supporting Tucson’s artist community by giving them a place to sell and display their work,”” Sandburg explained. “”Our product is one-of-a-kind work, the type of stuff you won’t find at Crate and Barrel.””

    It is not often that one can walk down a street in Tucson and have the opportunity to buy authentic items representing countries from all over the world. Tucson’s Lost Barrio is also home to Eastern Living, a store that carries only items hand-picked from China that have been passionately sought by the owner. The gallery holds many restful-looking Buddhas and an impressive country armoire from 19th-century China.

    Magellan Trading, which carries imported goods from more than 35 countries, has the largest selection of hand-blown Mexican glass in Arizona. The owner, who is currently on a two-month buying trip in Thailand, handpicks each item to ensure quality, according to store manager Ryan Scott.

    “”Each piece has a story behind it, where it came from, who used it before, which makes every thing here so special,”” Scott said.

    Among all of the globally inspired stores is Christy Martin’s Studio Encanto, a designer showroom featuring all of Martin’s award-winning creations. Martin’s invention, the “”booze-elier,”” a hanging bar, suspends in the air on display for all to admire. The stainless steel bar is circular shaped with two shelves for placing bottles. At the touch of a hand, the booze-eleir spins around allowing for easy access to any libation desired.

    The quaint and comfortable atmosphere of the Lost Barrio goes hand in hand with the generous and friendly people who work in each store. Instead of dragging visiting parents to the mall to shop, think again and head down to the Lost Barrio for quality Tucson shopping.

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