Downtown, Islamabad’s version of Diagon Alley

Every city has a few spots, which although may not be in the spotlight for the world to see, the local residents know about and visit often. One of those places is Downtown.

One can liken it Diagon Alley, the hidden market in the Harry Potter series, because although it is not there for the world to see, it is in plain sight if one knows what they are looking for.

Almost every local resident of Islamabad, as well as any outsider who visits the overly peaceful city, almost always pays a visit to Jinnah Super Market, which is situated at the heart of F7. A market where one can find almost everything in plain sight, from books to food and electronics to jewellery, there is one more thing it is known for.

Seasons; not the summer, winter, monsoon kind, but rather shoppers can find the complete seasons of any Television series under the sun. Be it House or Grey’s Anatomy, Suits or Mad Men or even Spartacus and A Game of Thrones, Downtown has it.

Not only that but the prices are just downright ridiculous. Compare it to any other shop in Islamabad such as Radio City, Illusions or even Spiral and the prices on offer at Downtown puts its competition to shame.

Shoppers can also ask for the shopkeepers who ply their trade in this hidden mini-market which season they want and the next time they come, more oft than not, they find a copy of it on a DVD waiting for them.

If one is imagining Downtown to be anything close to being modern or a feast for the eyes, well they are surely in for a bit of a shock. That is because Downtown is subterranean and barely bigger that many of the shops in Jinnah Super.

In fact, it consists of three or four shops, where it is hard to differentiate where one ends and the other begins, that is, unless one is a regular customer.

That leaves one small matter and that matter is where people can find this mysterious place. The answer is simple, all the reader has to do is open his eyes, look deep into his soul and the path will show itself.

Or they could walk between Illusions and Levi’s and look for stairs going down under the sign painted ‘Downtown’.


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