The magic of downtown

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 4, 2015

I’ve always felt there was something magical about a small town’s downtown area.
For the most part, the buildings are historic and tell the tale of the various business owners and tenants who previously inhabited the abodes.
Last week I visited my sister, brother-in-law and nephew in the quaint town of Saugerties, New York. The last time I was there, snow and ice covered everything, so we didn’t get the chance to venture out.
However, this time, we went sightseeing. We ate at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, went shopping in Poughkeepsie and attended the Duchess County Fair in Rhinebeck.
I had a wonderful time, and aside from spending time with my family, my favorite adventure was visiting downtown Saugerties.
Our day began with lunch at the Love Bites Café, where I feasted on salmon eggs benedict.
Afterwards, we took a stroll down the street in the cool breeze to a bakery, where we picked up some homemade pastries.
Next, we browsed some local clothing, home goods and children’s boutiques.
Our last stop was the Inquiring Minds Bookstore, which, I read, is the Hudson Valley’s largest independent bookstore.
The smell of books hit me as soon as I walked in the door and the faint hint of coffee wafted from the store’s coffee shop. I was in heaven.
I have yet to jump on the bandwagon of electronic books. I prefer to hold the novels in my hand because there’s something so satisfying about turning those pages.
They had an eclectic variety of books, a children’s play area, a sitting area and a music selection that left my husband drooling as I mentioned the blues and jazz artists to him over the phone. Of course, I picked him up a few souvenirs.
I would have stayed there all day given the chance, since independent bookstores are my favorite. You can find many obscure books from wonderful authors and also sip on coffee while jazz music plays softly in the background.
Here in Pearl River County, Picayune and Poplarville both have wonderful downtown areas and some days, if I have the time, I enjoy perusing the shops and visiting with the friendly owners.
A small town’s downtown area is a wonderful and necessary asset. The shops are owned by locals who display a true love for their home and the people who visit their shops.
So, if you ever find yourself in need of a new outfit, home décor or just good conversation, head on downtown and you won’t be disappointed.

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