Or Better Yet, I Shop In Woodstock! Day 1
Who could ask for a better job right?! As the first step of our new effort to bring our clients as much information as possible about the areas where we sell Real Estate I went shopping in a bunch of Woodstock shops. Most of you I am sure would say “Hooray! Shopping for a living!” But I’m THE anti-shopper. I hate sifting through racks for bargains, I can’t stand settling for something less than fantastic just because I have to find something, so most of the time I get nothing. I even belong to a food co-op where once a month a tractor trailer truck drops off our all-natural groceries at a PARK and me and some friends distribute the groceries amoung picnic tables and then head home and NOT to the grocery store. In other words, I’d rather freeze my tootsies off at 7am in a park and measure out who gets how many raisins then go to a store.
But, since shopping was now in my job description I grabbed my camera, headed out of our Woodstock, New York office and down Tinker Street. My first stop was Tinker Toys Too – this is a store that I do in fact shop in on occassion because I have a five year old daughter and she needs toys! Baby-steps for the non-shopper – I was starting with a personal touch stone. Tinker Toys Too is packed to the ceiling (literally) with toys that are intelligently designed, colorful, out of the ordinary and really short on plastic. They carry gorgeous sets of blocks in really bright colors that I would use to decorate my house. I’m planning on picking some up this week for my best friend who’s having a baby (I only actually buy gifts – just in case you’re under the misapprehension that this post is going to become about my wild spending spree through Woodstock shops!). The woman at the desk was nice and helpful. They always know what’s right for what age and they know what they have (which is good, since it’s so packed in there it’s easy to miss some items when you’re looking by yourself).
Fortified by having successfully made it through a store I’m comfortable in without a panic attack I headed next door to Clouds Gallery. Clouds sells pretty, shiny things. I love glass art (gift buyers for Amy take note! Because, just to reiterate, I’ll NEVER buy it for myself), and Clouds has some beautiful examples. They represent many local artists. They also specialize in jewelry. I want to note as well that their website doesn’t do the gallery justice, so don’t judge the book by the e-book. Here’s a few pics that I snapped (again gift buyers take note!!!) Clouds has the potential to be a stuffy gallery, they’re in one of the most prominent spots in Woodstock, right on the green and they sell some lovely high end things. But in true Woodstock style there was no stuffiness to be found! I still wouldn’t take my kid in there, just to be on the safe side, but I’m sure they’d give you a smile if you wanted to risk it.I had now been shopping for about 45 minutes and no hyperventilation! I was even enjoying myself! It’s been a very warm winter here and it was a gorgeous day, the sun was shinning, Woodstock was looking as cute as a button, and I was remembering why I had said to my husband “why don’t we move here” when we first drove through Woodstock by chance about eight years ago. We were living in the city and I wanted to move back to Maine where I grew up. But my husband couldn’t bear not being in driving distance of Yankee Stadium, so Maine wasn’t happening. When we first drove through Woodstock it reminded me of New England (lots of white, clapboard buildings) and my heart did a little jump. But I digress, back to the Woodstock Shops. Despite my good spirits I knew I only had one more store left in me. So, I headed to Woodstock Outfitters which had intrigued me the last few times I’d walked by. It looked from the window as though it must carry some LL Bean type goods (which my nostalgia for New England dictates that I gravitate towards) of the high-end ilk. This proved to be the case. But, the best thing about this store is not its merchandise (which is really nice, well chosen, and smells good) but its merchandising. Woodstock Outfitters gets the award for the most clever merchandising I’ve seen since my trip to the Brooklyn Flea Market in the Fall. Rather than going for bulk and stuffing the store with median priced goods of middling quality, they’ve carefully chosen a small number of high quality items and displayed them cleverly. I may not like shopping but I inexplicably love pretty marketing. Usually walking into a store with only a few items (think a Manhattan boutique with 12 black dresses hung 3 feet apart from each other on two racks) makes me feel incredibly inadequate, like I can never hope to live up to an item that has been granted it’s own 12 square feet of high priced retail display space. But the displays in Woodstock Outfitters are homey, artistic, cheeky, and smarty-pants all at the same time. Even though the black boots below were given a very wide berth, their down to earth pedestal of an antique ironing board made me feel like I was probably worthy to wear them. And the bag below is the one thing from the Woodstock Shops of the day that I’m still thinking about, despite its $300 price tag. So I’d made it, I’d shopped, I’d survived. I was totally not any the worse for wear. I hadn’t bought anything….but I’d considered it! On my way back to the office I needed to stop at Jarita’s Florist to pick up some flowers. My house is on the market and I always have fresh flowers in the living and dining rooms and in the master bedroom to make it feel alive, at least that’s how I justify the three or four bunches of flowers I’m buying a week to myself. Jarita’s is a tiny shop with fabulous window displays (there’s never a plastic ribbon or horrid florist stuffed animal anywhere in sight) and they always have some really nice flowers by the bunch as well as wonderful arrangements which they put together in a larger space upstairs. I picked up some Lily’s and some tulips and headed back to the office. To shop another day! Stay tuned for my next shopping excursion. Maybe I’ll buy something that isn’t meant to contribute to a real estate transaction….MAYBE.