Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Strolling Downtown

It has been very pretty today, so this afternoon I decided that Eler Beth and I would do something I've been meaning to do for quite some time now, and that was visit the Historic District downtown. There are certain little shops that we visit irregularly, but -- especially in this economy -- there are new store fronts popping up all the time. Some new venture will fail and move out and a new one will move in. I remember it was about a year ago that I discovered Jeff Book, a wonderful little bookshop run by and for a charitable organization, and it had been there for a couple of years before I found it. So I'm sure I've probably missed some good ones that have come and gone. (If you click on that link you'll see a small shot of part of Spring Street.)

The buildings on Spring Street remind me a lot of those on Main Street in Hardinsburg, KY, where I'm from. I don't know enough about architecture to teach anything about it to Eler Beth, but there are books at the local library about our historic district and the type of architecture that Downtown Jeff boasts, so we'll probably tie our downtown visits in with some local history lessons. What I do know is that I love looking at the old buildings like those, and it is pleasant just to stroll up and down the street window shopping. Today I particularly wanted to check out any new shop I hadn't noticed before and that looked interesting.

So we parked on Spring St. near the big Chase bank and began our walk going South toward the river. Our plans were to browse all the way down to the overlook and walk back up North Spring to our car. Another day I figured we'd do the intersecting streets as well as Court Avenue, the main four-lane street in the downtown section of town. I forgot my camera, of course, so I won't have pics this time. But if you click on this link and then on the "Historic District" link at the top of the page, you can see some of the examples of architecture there, including Italianate, Victorian Goth, Queen Anne, and others, if that sort of thing interests you. Clicking on the thumbnail picture will enlarge it.

We had only gone a few paces when we found a shop that was new to me called Forever More II. I found a write-up about it in one of the local papers just now. It has been open since June, but I'd never seen it or heard of it. I guess I really should read the local paper more often. The lady who owns it does estate sales and decided that she'd open up a shop to help sell some items. The shop is very well stocked and everything was very prettily arranged, not crowded or slip-shod like some antique stores. Eler Beth and I spent a good 40 minutes browsing and talking to the owner.

Eler Beth found a very old, very pretty French-made fan of bamboo and black lace that we had to have. And in the course of talking to the owner we mentioned Eler Beth's collection of foxes. The owner said at one time she'd had a painting of a fox but thought it had sold, and she gestured over to the area where it had hung. So as we were leaving Eler Beth was keeping her eyes open for it, and she spotted it hanging with some other paintings but partially obscured from our sight by a lamp. I don't know how we had missed it. We had to buy that too of course. It's an actual painting and not a print, and it is very well done.

As for me, I saw a lot of things I would have liked to have had, but I restrained myself. I did get a couple of old books and four beautiful old neckties, the kind that Thomas and Andrew really like, the narrower ties from the sixties. I mentally "bookmarked" a few things, though, that I may have to get if they're still there when my budget allows.

When we left we went next door to Schimpff's to buy a little bit of candy and continued our walk. But we didn't go inside any other shop. We made mental notes of the next places we wanted to visit, walked as far as the newspaper office, then turned and went back to our car. I'm going to try to get back down there again this week while the weather is nice, and I'll take some pictures. Visiting and writing about Downtown Jeff should provide some nice posts this month!

P.S. I should probably link to Eler Beth's blog in case some of you don't have it any more. So here it is.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Sounds like an excellent day. Hope the weather holds for you for a while.

Coelha :B said...

I love browsing in old antique stores! What a nice way to spend an afternoon! Julie

Nelishia said...

This sounds like my type of day. I'll have to go to our little downtown area as I've been wanting to for a long time. They've just moved our Historic Museum into the old courthouse and renovated it. We have fascinating history here too. I love doing those sort of things and particularly those old shops. I'm glad you both got such great finds. That's wonderful for Eler Beth. If I see anything 'fox' I'm sending it her way.

Rose said...

how fun!! I live a couple of blocks from our downtown and try to regular browse the shops.

Paula said...

Nice to see you back. Hope to see the fox painting in Eler Beth's blog soon.

That corgi :) said...

sounds like a wonderful day; I bet it is fun to go and explore the stores downtown (and the stop at the candy store is always a winner for me :)

its good that if one store closes, another new venture tries their luck at it; we have soooo many empty buildings here; everyone I guess afraid to take a chance (don't blame them)

sounds like that estate shop is a keeper to visit again and again :)


Kattytrick said...

I know what you mean about small towns and nostalgia. Everything seems to always be changing.The really interesting thing about this area where I live is that we here in the Valley grow and feed almost half of the free world! But with the population boom of the past few years, more and more good farm land is being sacraficed. It's like that old song "They took paridice and put in a parking lot!"

Martha (Menagerie) said...

I love strolling our little downtown area. It sounds very similar and always such treasures to discover. Take your camera with you next time! :-)

lisaschaos said...

Sounds like a great way to spend some time. :) I love walking downtown and checking out shops. :)

Anne said...

That reminds me of when I met you and Eler Beth! I hope you had a piece of candy for me! Anne