Monday, December 8, 2014

Maynard's Downtown: Two Different Ends at the Sip & Stroll

I braved the rain to make it to my first ever Maynard Sip & Stroll! You're wondering how such a Maynard aficionado could have missed it these last few+ years. It was easy, the ArtSpace Holiday Sale would get out late, and I'd be too hungry and exhausted to make it. But this year the show ended a little earlier on Saturday, so I swore I was going to go.

With all that rain coming down, I wasn't quite sure where to go, so I just started near the beginning and ended near the end—simple enough, no? And I wanted to make it a point to go into stores that I haven't been in before, stores that I've heard people say marvelous things about. I'm so glad that I did. 

My first stop was Collector's Paradise (35 Nason St.). I've only seen the shop from the outside, and only in passing. It's worth a visit—you'll likely find something that reminds you of your youth. The owner's name is Bernie. He's a bit of a joker and, of course, an avid collector of all kinds of things. I was amazed at the number of different things he has in there and how very organized it all is. Star Wars?—oh yes, lots, and still in the original packaging. Vintage Battleship—yup. There are also skeleton keys, board games, still-in-the-wrapper Pez dispensers, blue-glass bottles, a display of vintage, cast-iron pans, and a gazillion other things! You can be sure that whatever you get in there would only otherwise be obtained through a vigorous Ebay bidding war. 

My last visit on my sipping tour of shops was to Bon Marche. Are you wondering where that is? Well shame on you and me as well! This is a lovely little antiques gift shop that is at 41 Main Street, after Willy's Philly's, but before Aubuchon. 

Annie and Paul Smith are the owners. I spent half an hour talking to them—really lovely people. While there I was shown their collection of millinery embellishments, which I invested a few dollars in. They are from Carlisle and were telling me how much they love our downtown. The specifically mentioned that they have felt a lot of support from the business community. I brought up how there seems to be some kind of mental hurdle that people need to make to get them to walk beyond Halfway Cafe to go anywhere—myself included. They agreed, but said they are really looking forward to Jimmy MacDonald's building across the street being completed and having more life come to their end of Main Street.

Annie and Paul were gracious and didn't point out to me that the Sip & Stroll had actually ended. When I realized, I did my best to say a quick goodnight, grab a picture of them in their space, and let them go home. I then grabbed my umbrella, ran into a friend outside and we went and had a cup of peppermint hot cocoa at Serendipity Café, where live music was still playing into the night.


  1. It was a fun event indeed! Why did you skip Gallery Seven and Aim for Fitness though?!

  2. Did you make the tree lighting? Small crowd due to the weather, but still festive!

  3. I didn't. We missed it because we were eating dinner at El Huipil.

  4. I believe in all you say about the downtown.but this has been going on for years. A store opens and closes.why?Its not the shoppers fault the stores have no can see thrift stores with the same old stuff ruN it like a hobby and no one returns.the places you might go are so dated.grungy inside and do nothing to improve.

    1. Even good, clean stores will close if nobody goes to them, though. Some of the places could really use an improvement. If you've got any ideas on how we can help to make it better, I'd love to talk to you.