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Adliya’s Wee Wonderland a.k.a Market 338

10 December 2012 21 Comments

Every so often, every couple of years marks my return to the place of my birth…(it’s not what you think…)…Bahrain. And a lovely place lay in store for me this year…

Adliya has always been the place where my folks (gypsies in spirit) moved into, back and forth, in my growing years. So, my childhood landscape has always been filled with KFC, Habara snacks, walks to Salmaniya Garden and Andalus Garden, African n Eastern next door…It has these lanes and streets criss-crossing each other and you continuously find yourself new parks to discover, empty grounds and little shops you just wouldn’t notice in a drive-by…

Imagine my delight to discover Market 338, just at the back of Century Hotel. So, Market 338, reminiscent of the design quarters and squares of Europe, wants to be the destination for all things art and design in Bahrain. Conceived by Al Riwaq Artspace, Market 338 finds itself on the streets of Block 338 with recycled seating and temporary environments of sales stalls. Eateries, designers and artists occupy these stalls. The fluidity of cafes due to its verandahs with sheeshas and the rigidity of upmarket restaurants form and border as the built space of this block. But as you walk along-  one just couldn’t miss the fabric cushions that soften the stance of vehicular tyres but would totally miss the ongoing construction taking place in the area thanks to the barricades of (seems japaneses manufactured) fabric.

The Al Riwaq Art space nestled within the block is a pretty little gallery cum cafe. I did check out the current exhibition going on in its space and at the moment, an artist has carefully ripped the insides of the carpets to be shaped as the building blocks of the white walls. That’s just the technicality, however, the concept of this…still figuring it out… 🙂

I seem to go to this area every second day during the morning hours and the furniture lies there rather eerily. The market seems to come alive only on the weekends with live performance and music ( Do check their webpage).This is a total shame!! It could have functioned every evening as this wonderful interaction and discussion place, bringing in Bahrain’s finest to the forefront. Of course, there may the issue of the skill, labour and time (as always) but lot of ideas for what could happen here!!

However, I do feel the bit of inclusivity is missing as Bahrain has been home to all, to me- I am yet to see someone like or resembling me put on this forum. As a concept that has just arrived, it has a lot of potential to catch up…

But till then, here are snapshots of the place…I am going to keep adding them up as well…

 

 

 

 


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