Monday, December 17, 2007

Green Giant (of small retail)

After our little 'off-road adventure' on Saturday, we continued on to Greenfield. We stopped for lunch at Athens Pizza again, it was just as good as last time. Kelly thought that the owner seemed a little gruff, (I didn't notice). But digging in to her delicious pizza, she observed a lot of the best pizza shops are that way. Kind of the Seinfeld "soup nazi" syndrome. Stomachs full, and our fingers and toes warmed back up, we began our attack on the small shops and businesses along Main St.

The streets have light posts festooned with wreaths and lights, apparently donated or sponsored by local families and businesses.

There are several cafes and drinking establishments. Some looked kind of hip (can I still use that word?)

You can tell Greenfield is a town loaded with independent-minded people, who's habits die hard. Witness this drinking establishment with a 'Smoke-Free BY FORCE' sign outside.

The first store that caught our eye was called Magical Child. It reminded me a lot of that A to Z science store in Northampton, but geared mainly towards children. All kinds of thought-provoking toys and gadgets.

Not to far up the road, we walked past King's Gym, then the World Eye Bookshop, and decided to check out this store, called Zemi.

Zemi has two parts, with clothing on one side, and what I can only describe as a multi-cultural, multi-spiritual store on the other side.

The place has a relaxed atmosphere, with chairs scattered about so you can sit and browse the book section and other items.

From there, we continued on, stopping at Greenfield Games. A Dungeons and Dragons/ Board Game/ Card Game mecca. The people here don't just sell it, they live it. There are several big tables set up in the middle of the store. All the tables were surrounded by teenagers playing cards and D&D-type role playing, dice throwing games. Great place for them to go and have something to do. There are also exquisite chessboard sets for sale, as well as a full compliment of typical and unusual board games.

We moved on, past a couple of gift stores and jewelers...

We decided to check this store out, Wilson's. Wilson's is the be-all, end-all of old-school, locally owned independent department stores. It's what department stores used to be, not only before the Wal-Marts, but before the whole 'mall' era. It has four floors, stocked with everything a town could need, except food. The whole place just has a 'way back when' feel to it. Right down to the two elevators to get you between floors. You don't see stores like this anymore.

We spent some time in there. I lost Kelly, and finally found her outside, looking for me. It was getting late, but we walked up the rest of Main St. crossed over and walked back to the car.

We passed a war memorial square, with this convoluted sculpture, among others, representing all the major wars:

On the other side of the square was this mural.

It's too bad we didn't have more time, there were other stores I would've liked to check out.

We left as night was falling, and headed back down Rte.5. We made one more stop, at Yankee Candle. A little bit about that coming up, in another post...


Mary E.Carey said...

Fun tour of Greenfield. I've never been in any of those stores, but now I'm interested in checking out Wilson's. We love People's Pint, especially their peanut noodles and homemade ginger ale floats.

Tony said...

I thought I'd balance my Wal-Mart posts with a little local business promoting. Wilson's is unique.

I can't remember which one the People's Pint is, I'll bet I've been in there though...

Mary E.Carey said...

I planning to post about how much I love TJ Maxx sometime.

Tony said...

Now's the time,'tis the season...