Shopping Keene's Main Street
What’s not to love about the Elm City’s Main Street?
Smack dab in the middle of winter comes Valentine’s Day, a day of warmth, love, appreciation and, to some, yuck. OK, so maybe this isn’t your romantic year, but toss the pity party and celebrate all that you’ve become and will be. You hold the “Keene of hearts.”
Sweeten the day with a quick stroll to Ye Goodie Shoppe and get that sweet tooth taken care of. Time it just right and you can watch the candy being made through the large window. While this is the month for all things chocolate — hearts, boxes, chewy, creams, nuts and more — you would be remiss if you didn’t pick up some of their famous sugar mints. These light, puffy clouds of sugar are ridiculous.
A dozen red roses? How original. Some people prefer yellow or white or, God forbid, different flowers like an exotic orchid. Yes, it’s the thought that counts, but why settle for ordinary? In The Company of Flowers is like Woodstock; there’s a lot of love and freedom. Go in, pick your petals, or take a browse around this funky shop and discover an entire boutique full of unusual gifts, clothing, home décor, toys, even enchanting kimonos. This place percolates; don’t miss it.
Hannah Grimes Marketplace is all about giving your best bear hug to New England. This delightful boutique illuminates the creativity of the region. Look for granite beverage dispensers, fieldstone cheese plates (made from old rocks, shined up and gorgeous, that local farmers remove when plowing) and more. Find candles, balms, lotions, tinctures for cracked hands and chapped lips. Feel the vibe, feel the love, feel at home.
Want to step out and have heads turn? Simple is best and Moe – Momentum Clothing is where you’ll find it. Soft fabrics, great cuts of clothes and a whole lot of snug. Check out the Red Haute line for tops as individual as you are. Layer it on, with leggings, big wraps (with absolutely huge buttons) and sexy skirts. Great lines include BB Dakota, Citizens Jeans (get fitted) and Black Swan tops with a hint of lace and a whole lot of romance. Need a different size? Special orders are no problem.
To perk up your space, use the down time of winter to consult with an interior designer and create the lovely home you’re worthy of. Let’s face it, most of us know when we’re in a gorgeous home, it’s just putting it all together that’s mind-boggling. Ann Henderson Interiors will come out and create a plan. Maybe all you need is a more contemporary couch, better lighting, new paint and window treatments. There’s always a place to begin.
The simple answer is: boxers. That is at least where to begin at Miller Bros.-Newtown, where all the good-looking men in the state go to shop. This haberdashery is an institution (1840s) for fine menswear and total sophistication. Beautifully made suits, shirts with French cuffs, cashmere sweaters and coats, bow ties and confident Stetson hats fill this boutique. Even if you don’t have a special someone to shop for, you have a brother, yes?
Miranda’s on Main is for the smart, sophisticated woman who already has a black dress and pearls. Now it’s on to art, fashion and personality. Every label in this store is handpicked and unique in its own way, whether for the softness of the fabric, the symmetry, huge buttons or other embellishments that make an item of clothing one-of-a-kind. You will want to spend time here and allow the professional wardrobe consultants to cater to you. Bring your teen — there’s a separate room for prom gowns (Faviana) and pumpkin coaches.
Synergy Sportswear is for outdoor people who want to look great, but don’t want to look like they are trying too hard. It’s all about comfort here and the offerings are eclectic. From flannels to high-end outerwear, you’ll find soothing corduroy leggings, North Face outerwear, Life is Good tees, Bjorn shoes, Uggs and boots. There’s an area dedicated to accessories, including Alex and Ani, and a huge display case full of jet set sunglasses including Oakley, Ray Ban and Maui Jim.
We all love bargains and there are plenty to be found at Urban Exchange. Rule of thumb, if there is a college in the town, the consignments are going to be awesome, and that’s what you will find here. The racks are color-coded, so you don’t have to dig and dig. Jeans have their own section and there’s even a wall full of pants for only $5 with a huge number of size 0. Another bonus? Great handbags and a healthy collection of Eileen Fisher.
What’s in your kitchen? If you are a frequent shopper at Your Kitchen Store, there is a card catalog (like an old library) where you can look up what you’ve bought and what you need. This shop is pure inspiration and offers all the gadgets you need to make cooking look easy. Still using that wedding gift cookware? Eww. It’s time to get something more lasting and sophisticated.