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Beat the hustle – and hassle – of shopping at the mall and find one-of-a-kind gifts at the West Side Bazaar

As the doors open to one of your favorite department stores, you make a dash over toward the handbags. There it is! A diamond in the rough, your sister’s dream purse. The elegant black handbag is decorated in intricate gold studs, and not to mention, it’s half off.

Your boots click on the hard tile floor as you run toward it. A maze of people overruns the store. How are you ever going to make it? As your hands grace the bag, an angry shopper swipes it away. It’s gone, the perfect gift. Your shopping journey has now left you stranded. What are you going to do now?

For many people, the holiday season is a stressful time of the year. Everything has to be "just right" to achieve a stress-free holiday season, many claim.

When looking for that perfect gift, a great place to stop is the West Side Bazaar. The West Side Bazaar is a stress-free local market located at 25 Grant Street in Buffalo. Here, you can find friendly faces, great food, and cherishable gifts.

At the West Side Bazaar, you will meet refugees and immigrants from all different backgrounds who are living the "American dream," selling their homemade products and delicious food. For many refugees, the West Side Bazaar has opened a new door for the refugees of the world. The bazaar is a nonprofit organization that consist of several retail and food vendors.

From Nepali Clothing and Cosmetics to Macrame by Nadeen, you can find authentic products from all over the world.

The West Side Bazaar has a welcoming environment with retailers ready to help you find the perfect gifts. This one-stop shop also offers an array of great food from all over the world.

On a recent visit, I stopped by Rakhapura Mutee and Sushi and met the friendly Win W. Win hand rolls her sushi and uses fresh products to make her delicious cuisine. If you plan to shop, make sure to stop by for a bite to eat.

The kindhearted Nadeen Yousef is the proud owner of Macrame by Nadeen. Her shop offers macrame, wall hangings, plant hangers and jewelry; these gifts are all handmade says Nadeen. She now offers personalized products for anyone interested in buying a unique gift.

The West Side Bazaar is full of friendly faces and unique gifts. When adventuring through the big department stores and while waiting in the endless lines, keep the West Side Bazaar in mind. Make sure to stop by during the holidays. I guarantee you that you will find that perfect gift.

Jenna French is a junior at Williamsville South High School.


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