The Love for Wine Spread Over The Andes – Vina Montes and Kaiken

They say “like father like son” but in the case of the Montes, they stand for different sides of the Andes. Aurelio Montes, Sr. represents Chile and Vina Montes. Aurelio Montes, Jr. exemplifies Argentina and Kaiken. Although they are different countries and wineries, they have a lot in common, especially their passion for wine.

An exuberant passion for both wine and winemaking are two important components for producing an outstanding wine. This is true for both Aurelio Sr. and Aurelio Jr. I met Aurelio Montes, Jr., winemaker for Kaiken, a few years ago. When you’re in his company, his enthusiasm for his craft is quite apparent. You immediately sense his fervor for wine, the terroir and the entire winemaking process. This is also true of his father, which I sensed at a father-son tasting recently.

aurelio-montes-and-aurelio-montes-sr

Auerelio Montes Jr. and Aurelio Montes Sr.

For Aurelio Jr., his love of wine started at a young age. His father made sure of this by dragging his son around the world with him as he was expanding his winery’s reach. Aurelio Jr. also worked in the vineyards starting at a young age.

At the time, Aurelio Montes, Sr. discovered the viticulture and terroir of the region east of the Andes – Mendoza, Argentina. As a result, he was moved to expand his winemaking prowess. He achieved this by having a hand in creating wines in a country very close to his native Chile, yet very different in the styles of winemaking. Hence, Kaiken was established in 2002.

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Montes Apalta Estate – Chile

Kaiken’s name represents the wild geese, caiquenes, that cross the Andes between Chile and Argentina during migration season. The name of the winery not only symbolizes this wild goose but also the Montes team that crossed the Andes to create the marvelous wines that embody the Kaiken label.

The Caiquen is also a very social bird and thereby suggests Aurelio Montes Jr. and Aurelio Montes Sr.

the social aspects that bring people together over a bottle of wine and food. It also represents the social responsibilities the winemakers feel they have in both Chile and Argentina.

 A Passion for Wine Through Sustainability

The Aurelios are very civic minded and the community plays an important role in both wineries. Sustainability is important in every aspect of the vineyard. For Vina Montes and Kaiken, this means protecting the environment and biodiversity, as well as attention to operations management and social responsibility. In other words, it is the mission of both wineries to  “respect the environment, embrace sustainable practices, work in harmony with the local community and create value for both the shareholders and employees.”

At Vina Montes, the Angels program speaks out in the wines, winery community, and the local surroundings. Aurelio Sr. does this through a learning project he finances that includes complimentary health and life insurance for his employees and their families. As he puts it, “Happy people means happy wines.” The angel is their symbol and also the guardian of the Vina Montes winery. Some of his wines are dedicated to this program, including the Purple Angel and Sparkling Angel.

Montes Sparking Angel

Montes Sparking Angel

Another unique aspect of Vina Montes is music. You can always hear it resounding in the barrel room and the vineyards. Often, Gregorian chants echo throughout the winery.

Perhaps to further the importance of a sustainable approach to winemaking, Aurelio Sr. hired a Feng Shui architect to design and construct the winery building in 1990 and ensure that its environment is attuned to the wines. Even the water flows through the winery in a certain way.

Exploring Philadelphia’s Culinary History

Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in America. Most first time visitors go to the usual sites like Independence Hall and stand in line for half an hour or more to see the Liberty Bell, before walking through Independence Park and Reading Terminal Market. Maybe they visit Valley Forge National Park. However, a walking tour is one of the best ways to experience this city.

I had been there five times previously, visiting the regular attractions and walking the city. This time, I wanted to go deep into Philly’s history and find some new food hot spots.

 Home base

My base at the Windsor Suites Hotel put me right near Philadelphia’s epicenter and its major sites – City Hall, Drexel College’s Academy of Natural Sciences, The Franklin Institute, The Barnes Foundation, Chestnut Street, Market Street and more attractions.

However, the plan to get to know Philly better was to pass on these usual attractions and head into the neighborhoods. When William Penn laid out the city plan for Philadelphia, he was one of the first to use the grid pattern now common in North America. The grid design makes Philly easy to walk and find addresses.

My wife joined me the next day, and we took the City Food Tours “Flavors of Philly” option. This 2-1/2 hour tour took us in and around Philly’s core. Our plan was to try the famous tomato pie, soft pretzels, cheesesteak, cookies, and donuts before ending up at Reading Terminal Market.

We met our guide Judy, a fourth generation Philly native, and lined up for the briefing along with 11 other ready and hungry souls.

joe-s-pizza

Our first stop was Joe’s Pizza for tomato pie, which is somewhat like pizza, except this pie has no cheese; it’s just dough and sauce. The owner – Zio Toto – had left Sicily after an earthquake destroyed his farm where he grew San Marzano tomatoes. Zio packed up his family and moved to the U.S. instead of rebuilding in the shadow of the destructive Mt. Etna and the earthquakes it spawns.

Joe’s Pizza is where we found Mr. Toto’s son, Ernesto, carrying on the tradition. Even though he is around 90 years old, he still comes in every day and makes this delicious red sauce from San Marzano tomatoes. Our group went upstairs to hear the story of the disputed origins of the tomato pie. Some say Trenton, New Jersey or Utica, New York are the home of the saucy red pie. Who cares? I just wanted to taste this regional treat and hear the story.

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Ernesto Toto of Joe’s Pizza

Upstairs we saw a gorgeous wall-to-wall mural of the owner’s home in Sicily showing the fertile green landscape and the menacing volcano that ushered his family to Pennsylvania. Our pie arrived and we devoured it. All agreed it was a great tasting, low-calorie version of pizza.

On our way downstairs, 1 noticed Mr. Toto and asked if I could take his photo before leaving. I told him how good the pie was, even though he doesn’t speak much English, and thanked him. We then sped off to join the group on the way to the Philly Pretzel Factory.

Here we learned that Pennsylvania makes 80 percent of the pretzels in the U.S. We were given a hot pretzel each and led to the mustard station. There was regular “ballpark” mustard, spicy brown, and very hot mustard to paint on our pretzels. I passed on the boring ballpark mustard and tried the very hot variety plus a bit of the spicy brown just for good measure. While the pretzels were tasty, I thought they needed a beer to make the most of the experience.

Burgundy’s 16th Century Eglise Saint-Florentin Brings Back Old Vibes

In the 2016 French barging season, Michael and I barged on our Betty B from Auxerre into Migennes and along the Canal de Bourgogne, accompanied by our barge partners, John and Margaret. This canal is a beautiful stretch of waterway with some lovely, historic and fascinating  towns. You might remember that there were floods in northern France in May 2016, so our barging proved to be challenging, dealing with canal and river closures, as well as eclusier (lock keeper) strikes!

Along the route, I fell in love with one town, Saint Florentin and its fabulous Eglise Saint Florentin. We visited it twice, and the second time was just as special as the first.

The township of Saint Florentin overlooks the junction of the Canal de Bourgogne and the Armancon river. From some distance away as you barge toward it, you can see a huge church on top of a hill, as is the norm in France.

We moored on the right bank opposite the marina since the marina mooring was in disrepair. The large, imposing church, which we assumed was a cathedral, towered above us. At night, it’s floodlit and looks glorious bathed in lights.

It rained during the night again, and another grey day dawned. After breakfast, we set off to walk into the Centre Ville of Saint Florentin to find the Sunday market. On the way, the rain started again, lessening the joy of our walk up the hill.

We popped into the Office de Tourisme to inquire about the church and were told we needed to collect the key from the office prior to our visit. We walked past the two antique shops called hrocantes and took a look inside, as I’m always on the lookout for antique French asparagus plates. But no luck. It was then on to shop at the marche convert, a covered market, which we found next to the elaborate, ubiquitous war memorial with its flags and flowers saluting the war dead from WWI and WWII. It’s always sad to see how many young French lives were lost in these tragic wars.

The covered market was a large hall, but the day we visited, there were only a few stall holders. This was possibly owing to the bad weather, but also possibly due to our late arrival around 11:00 a.m.

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Local cheese, Soumaintrain, made by cheese-maker Ferme Leclere

One stall was devoted to the local cheese, Soumaintrain, made by the cheese-maker at the Ferme Leclere. She told us that this cheese is made in the Yonne Region, called Le Soumaintrain terroir d’Armange, after the local river. 1 was told the Ferme Leclere farm has been making cheese from their Montbeliarde cows since 1984, and the cheese is with the affineur (cheese maker) for maturing for 21 months. It’s a pale yellow to orange color, has a strong smell and soft, fine, creamy texture. It tastes of hazelnuts, champignons and the undergrowth.

We were thrilled to find this artisanal cheese and buy it for our guests arriving in a week’s time.

Since 2008, this farm has also made Le Chaource AOP, another great local cheese and a favorite of ours.

At another stall, the white asparagus looked lovely, so we bought some for dinner. We added some bright red strawberries to the collection, along with a freshly roasted chicken from the rotisserie man, which completed our lunch with the fresh baguettes.

Garden Route National Park

The Tsitsikamma is one of the most beautiful coastal regions in the world. (And the surrounding Garden Route needs your support after devastating wildfires in June this year.) Get to the gate as soon as it opens at 7 am and follow the tar road down to the sea. Watch out for small antelope in the road. Drive past the various campsites and the log cabins to the parking area next to a huge marquee tent that is the temporary home of the Cattle Baron restaurant. (The restaurant building higher up the hill was damaged by a fire -unrelated to those earlier in the year – and is busy being renovated.)

Garden-Route

Start your day right with a bacon-and-egg breakfast served with coffee in a tin mug. If the weather allows, one side of the tent will be folded up and you can watch the waves pummel the rocks only 50 m away. If you need cooldrinks or snacks, you can stock up at the shop opposite the restaurant. Then it’s time to hit the trails. The longest two are the Keurpad Trail (15 km) and the Waterfall Trail (6 km), which follows the first section of the Otter Trail.

Not keen to work up that much of a sweat? After breakfast, follow the kilometre-long boardwalk to the suspension bridge over the Storms River. There are lots of benches to rest on along the way – even toddlers can manage. In the afternoon, walk the Loerie Trail (also an easy kilometre) through dense indigenous forest. Sit on one of the benches and lookup at the canopy-you might see the red flash of a Knysnaturaco’s wing. In summer you can have all kinds of fun in the water. Kayaking, snorkelling and scuba-diving are on offer at Untouched – their office is next to the beach. When the sun disappears behind the high hills inland, light a braai at the day visitor’s area. Take your time if you like your chops well done-the gate might close at 6 pm, but day visitors are allowed to stay until 9.30 pm.

How to get there? The gate into the Tsitsikamma section is off the N2 about 195 km west of Port Elizabeth and 68 km east of Plett.

Gate times: 7 am to 6 pm.

The Perfect Match Between Food andn Wine – Stellenbosch, South Africa     

From the majesty of Table Mountain and the magic of Cape Town Harbour, it’s only about 50 kilometres to South Africa’s premier wine region, Stellenbosch. With more than 150 wineries and estates, first-class accommodation and wines at very reasonable prices, the region offers great value for the visitor.

Stellenbosch is in a valley with a variety of soil types and a Mediterranean-like climate of hot dry summers and cool wet  winters. The main wine varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and the unique South African Pinotage. Stellenbosch is where Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, originated. Bordeaux-style blends are also very popular in South Africa and account for a significant proportion of wine production in the region.

We visited three of the region’s iconic estates for what could only be described as some very lekker wine matchings. In case you’re wondering, lekker is a Dutch and Afrikaans word that means good, pleasant or nice. It can also mean ‘slightly intoxicated’ which was very appropriate in this case.

delheim-estate

Delheim Wine Estate

You walk into Delheim through blooming gardens and leafy trellises, and on a sunny day with a view down the valley, there’s no better place for lunch or its unique wine pairing with cupcakes. Delheim says it’s a process of ‘spreading the love’ to pair four of its classic wines with some carefully crafted cupcakes. I know cupcakes have been a food fashion for some time, but I’ve never really been a fan. I must say, though, that a nice wine does wonders for the cupcake.

The pairings include a pomegranate cupcake, matched with Pinotage Rose; a Rooibos cupcake infused with lemon and topped with a cream cheese and honey icing, paired with Chenin Blanc Wild Ferment; a pumpkin and vanilla cupcake infused with star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with diced pickled pumpkin, paired with Delheim Pinotage; and a traditional African makataan (wild melon) cupcake, topped with makataan syrup icing, paired with Gewiirztraminer.

cupcake-delheim-estate

Cupcaketasting at Delheim Estate

I decided that I could get to like cupcakes and marvelled at the fact that Pinotage actually goes very nicely with pumpkin cupcake. A unique experience and very lekker.

South Africa’s first female winemaker, Elizabeth Catherine English, established Lanzerac in 1914 on land that had grown grapes since the 17,h century. Lanzerac was the first vineyard to sell Pinotage commercially in 1961. Chocolate and wine may be a common pairing but Lanzerac has taken great care to match its wines with some beautifully produced chocolates. All chocolates are made by Marionette’s, a chocolate maker in Knysna, especially to go with Lanzerac wines, and with each vintage they look at the pairing to see if it still matches.

The 2016 Lanzerac Sauvignon Blanc is a tropical fruity wine with almond and peach flavours and gets a special lift paired with white chocolate. The 2015 Chardonnay is a light golden colour and coming out of nine months in the barrel, it pairs smoothly with a lemongrass/ lemon verbena flavoured chocolate. We also tried a 2014 Merlot 2014, 12 months on French oak with dark cherry and cigar flavours, paired beautifully with a 60% dark chocolate.

The standout pairing at Lanzerac was its 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon matched with a Cape Malay spice flavoured chocolate, combining cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. This was absolutely lekker.

You may not be able to go back to Constantinople, but the best thing is that Turkish Delight is now available all over the world, and Lourensford Winery in Stellenbosch is using it to offer one of the most unusual and ‘wow’ pairings I’ve ever tried. The Turkish Delight is produced nearby with flavours to complement some of Lourensford’s best wines.

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Delheim Estate in South Africa’s beautiful Stellenbosch region

Its MCC (Methode Cap Classique) is made by the same method as Methode Champenoise. This Brut style is in the bottle for 58 months and made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. This MCC has green apple and nutty undertones, which when paired with an almond Turkish Delight nicely picks up the nuttiness of the Turkish Delight.

Lourensford’s Rose MCC is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir and having spent 36 months in the bottle, it has distinct strawberry and rose flavours. It was beautifully paired with a Rose Turkish Delight.

Lourensford has three wine ranges: River Garden (entry level); Estate Range; and a Limited Release Range, which is only produced in exceptional years. 2014 was one of those years and its Limited Release 2014 Chardonnay is a standout. Having spent eight months in 80% new oak, it was a sensational match with Orange Turkish Delight.

The most unusual pairing was with Lourensford’s Honey Liqueur. The bottle had been frozen, a technique that balances the sweetness of the liqueur, which is not fermented but is made from honey, spring water and added alcohol bringing it up to 24%. Lourensford produces its own honey and pairs this liqueur expertly with Ginger Turkish Delight.

Stellenbosch is a beautiful region with some excellent wines, attractive cellar doors and very good cafes and restaurants. However, if you are looking for something different there can be nothing more lekker than these fascinating wine pairings.

 if you go

  • Wine Route
  • Stellenbosch Experience

Addo Elephant National Park

A herd of elephants push their way through a spekboom thicket to drink at the waterhole. The adults unwind and the calves play in the mud. Yes, you could spend all day watching them, but the rest of the park awaits… There are five sections to Addo. The Colchester section is the most popular among day visitors and you can explore it on your own in any vehicle. Enter at the Matyholweni gate in the south, off the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, and drive north along the main game-viewing route. Get your kids to tick off all the species they see on the free map you get from the reception office. With a bit of luck you’ll see black-backed jackal, buffalo and Cape grysbok.

Next, turn onto the Ngulube Loop and look for lions – the park has 15 lions and they like to hang out in this area. After the loop, head north and turn off at Jack’s picnic site for coffee and rusks. Closer to the main camp, also pull over at the Hapoor waterhole. It’s like the local hipster coffee shop, where all the elephants want to be seen. Have lunch at the Cattle Baron in the main camp. The springbok leg is delicious.

Addo Elephant National Park

Addo Elephant National Park

Afterwards, visit the Interpretive Centre, learn some new facts to share around the campfire and check out the mounted head of Hapoor, the park’s most famous elephant. Hapoor was the dominant bull from 1944 to 1968. The story goes that a hunter’s bullet nicked his ear and he took a dislike to all humans after that. If you have time, there are routes to explore around the main camp. Drive up the hill to the Zuurkop viewpoint, where you can get out of your vehicle. Take a pic of the view of the plains below, with the Zuurberg range in the distance. It’s also worth pausing at the Domkragdam and Gwarriepan waterholes. End your day at the underground viewing hide in the main camp. You sit very close to the waterhole, which gives you an almost voyeuristic glimpse of animal life.

How to get there? The Matyholweni gate is about 40 km east of Port Elizabeth via the N2; the main gate is about 50 km north-east via the R335.

Gate times: 7.am to 6.30 pm.

Camdeboo National Park

The Valley of Desolation, limitless space, rock formations up to 120 m tall, deep breaths of fresh Karoo air… Hang on, we’re getting ahead of ourselves! This is how you’ll end your perfect day in the Camdeboo National Park. To start your day, get to the main gate off the N9 when it opens at 6.30am.The park curls around Graaff-Reinet and has several entrances. At reception at the main gate, get a key for the Kroonvale gate in the eastern part of the park. Then drive the Driekoppe 4×4 Trail. You can do the trail in a 2×4, but during the rainy season you’ll need a vehicle with a high ground clearance.

Keep your eyes peeled for Cape mountain zebra, mountain reedbuck and klipspringer on your way to the Waaihoek picnic site, which has a great view of the Camdeboo plains. Settle down around a picnic table and unpack your coffee flask and sandwiches. From here, drive down a gorge called Diepkloof and exit the park at the Lootsfontein gate. There’s no restaurant in the park for lunch, but there are plenty in Graaff-Reinet – and you have to drive through town anyway. Our pick is Polka Cafe for lamb cutlets with potato chips and vegetables.

Camdeboo National Park

Camdeboo National Park

Now go back into the park at the main gate and remember to drop off your key. Drive past the statue of Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius and explore the network of game-viewing roads (about 20 km in total). Look for flamingos and secretary birds east of Nqweba Dam. There aren’t any predators in the park, but you’ll be able to take photos of buffalo, gemsbok, eland, springbok and red hartebeest.

Around 4 pm, it’s time to head to the Valley of Desolation. This gate is about 5 km from town next to the R63 towards Murraysburg. Follow the winding road for 9 km to the parking area and walk the easy Crag Lizard Trail (1,5 km) to the viewpoints, overlooking the famous dolerite pillars, estimated to have been formed about 100 million years ago. Sit on a rock at sunset and let the silence of the Camdeboo whisper to you.

How to get there? The park is just outside Graaff-Reinet, about 250 km north of Port Elizabeth.

Gate times: 6.30 am to 7 pm.

Danube’s Gems Aboard a Fancy River Cruises

The Viking Tor swiftly glided through the river. It was smooth sailing down the Danube as my husband and I sat on our balcony, watching the ever- changing vistas of castles, churches and small European villages pass by. Centuries of history now became part of my memory as I thought about the thousands of vessels that sailed the same routes.

 Each day was a new adventure

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Cruising down the Danube with Viking

Our eight-day journey on The Danube Waltz started in Passau, Germany with stops in Linz, Melk, Durnstein and Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovak Republic; and ended with three days in Budapest, Hungary. This is the beauty of river cruising – the opportunity to visit so many lovely cities, towns and countries but unpack only once. Viking created a masterful experience – from the first-class surroundings to the exquisite dining to the port stops to the evening entertainment. The ship had only four decks with 190 passengers, creating a truly intimate setting. With open seating at every meal, guests had a chance to meet in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Perhaps that’s why so many guests re-book for future cruises. Upon talking to others, I discovered many of them have sailed on several Viking cruises and felt the line offered an extraordinary experience and outstanding value.

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Schloss Schönbühel, a private castle on the Danube River – Austria

 Dining and entertainment

The chef-inspired meals were a delectable combination of local cuisine paired with wines as well as more traditional culinary choices. Guests could dine in the main dining room or the Aquavit Terrace for lighter fare with great views. The highlight  was the Taste of Austria menu that featured authentic Austrian cuisine from hot pretzels with dipping sauces to hearty stews and pastries, and of course, beer! Servers were dressed in leather breeches or lederhosen, while an accordion player and his band entertained with festive tunes.

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Guests enjoy the Taste of Austria onboard Viking Tor

Every night, Viking offered another enrichment program, ranging from a lecture, live chamber music, opera, to folk dancing, to enhance guests’ cultural understanding of the ports.

 Exciting ports with local guides

Having cruised on ocean liners before, I had not come to expect complimentary excursions. But Viking includes a local excursion at almost every port, giving guests the opportunity to engage with a knowledgeable tour guide whose commentary enhanced our understanding of history and culture. Indeed, there was ample time to explore the cities on our own or choose from optional excursions like expansive city highlights, home visits, winery tours and classical concerts.

 Austria comes alive

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The exquisite Melk Abbey is an included excursion aboard the Viking Tor

In Linz, we set off for an all-day excursion to the Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. We toured the castle, walked around the main square filled with Renaissance buildings and enjoyed a lunch of wild mushroom soup and goat cheese salad. When we returned, we walked around Linz and discovered works of painter Gustav Klimt (most famous for The Kiss and The Woman in Gold) in every shop window and imprinted on every imaginable souvenir.

With a stop at the 900-year- old Melk Abbey, we explored the famous site of this Benedictine Monastery, still in use today. I admired the frescoes, courtyards and medieval manuscripts and yes, the 365 windows in this splendid treasure.

West Coast National Park

Postberg is open! The wildflowers in this special section of the park attract thousands of visitors during August and September. Come early and enter the park at the main gate on the R27. Follow signs to Kraalbaai, about 20 km away. On the way there, turn off to the viewpoint overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Have coffee and sandwiches at Kraalbaai and look out over the turquoise water that laps against green hills in the distance. Houseboats and yachts bob in the bay and it’s easy to imagine that you’re on a tropical island – if the water weren’t so cold!

Postberg

Postberg

Walk along the beach to the Preekstoel rock formation, which looks like a pulpit. Spend some time here if you want to, but make sure you get to Postberg by 9 am. You’ll see eland and springbok grazing in fields of yellow, orange and white daisies and maybe even a bat-eared fox darting across the road. Once you’ve driven all the roads in the Postberg section, pull over at Plankiesbaai. Stretch your legs and walk up the hill for a view of the pristine beach below. If you do the two-day Postberg hike, this is where you’ll spend the night.

For lunch, visit the park’s Geelbek restaurant. The bobotie is delicious. End your day at the Seeberg viewpoint on the eastern shore of the lagoon, where the wildflowers are just as pretty as they are in Postberg. On a clear day you can see Table Mountain in the distance. The Langebaan gate is beckoning – as is the road home -but give yourself an extra few minutes to soak up the view of the peaceful lagoon.

How to get there? The park is about 120 km north of Cape Town.

Gate times: 7 am to 7 pm. Postberg is only open during August and September, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Fake Big-Brands Products Are Everywhere in Canal Street, Chinatown – New York

The heart of Chinatown, Canal Street is hectic with pedestrian traffic and vociferous street vendors. It has long been the place to go for counterfeit designer products, but a police crackdown has cut down on the number of knockoff handbags, watches, jewelry, and shades displayed in the open on this crowded street. Customers are not at risk of arrest, but vendors are. Still, it hasn’t dissuaded intrepid salespeople from reaching out to tourists who crowd the street in the afternoons and on weekends – they’ve simply become stealthier.

canal-street-fakes

Some fake bags, but they’re still looking good

If you’re looking for a fake designer accessory, watch for men on street corners with wallet-size plastic catalogs of product photos. Then, either they’ll lead you down the back stairwell of a store, or around a corner to another address. What happens afterwards is not for the faint of heart: you’ll be taken into rooms that may then be locked behind you. Spread out on the floor will be a selection of faux brand-name accoutrements to choose from – Gucci, Cartier, Prada – you name it, there’s a fake for it.

Alternatively, locate one of the minivans parked just off Canal Street, used by mobile vendors who are ready to move on at the slightest sign of police activity.

How to shop for a fake

  • Don’t be afraid to haggle, especially if you’re buying more than one item
  • Do your research on the latest trends before you buy if you don’t want an out-of-date fake
  • If you don’t see what you want, ask. Chances are someone will have it ‘in stock’.
  • Be sure to look carefully at the items, and look for shoddy workmanship like zippers that don’t close, or seams that aren’t sewn together correctly.
  • Remember to carry cash, but not too much, as visible wads won’t help in your negotiations
  • Avoid buying pirated DVDs – usually shot by home video cameras in theaters and terrible quality.
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