One of our favorite places to go when we’re up here in Vermont is the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington. It’s a fascinating place. It’s always been a draw to me. When I was young it was just a regular street with cars and shops. But there was an eclectic mix of shops and they were tantalizing. There was a Chinese restaurant at the bottom and around the corner on Main Street was a second hand clothing store that had the best stuff in it.
Now it’s all different. And even more fun.
Church Street is a street of about 4 or 5 blocks in length in the middle of Burlington, Vermont. It has end points on Main Street and Pearl Street. On the Pearl Street end is a very large and imposing brick church which may be seen for the entire length of Church Street, which is most likely the source of the street name. As I wrote earlier, when I was a teenager it was a regular street. At some point in the ’80’s the city elders had the very wise idea to brick off the street and turn it into a “marketplace” for pedestrians; an outdoor mall, if you will. Nowadays, you can drive through Church Street on the cross streets, but you have to stop for pedestrians who may wander out in front of you at will and without looking, but you can’t drive on Church Street itself. There are shops, restaurants, carts, entertainers and political booths. One might hear every form of music ever divined by man or God on Church Street in an afternoon. LightHusband noted as we walked along that, “You could squeeze all of Washington, DC and still not get all the diversity in one place that you have on Church Street on a Saturday afternoon.” It’s really an amazing place to be.
Yesterday, LightHusband and I had lunch outdoors at the Bangkok Bistro sitting on Church Street and watched the people go by. I could’ve sat there all afternoon, what an endless source of creative inspiration. There are people from all walks of life passing by our table, leaving snippets of conversation hanging in the air behind them. In particular, I found myself noticing shoes yesterday and percieved that a preferred form of footwear has become the flipflop. But the flipflop has come a long way from the humble drugstore purchase and beachwear of yesteryear. I was fascinated to see all the different versions of flipflop there are. I won’t wear them because I have a weird aversion to having things between my toes, but they fascinate me nonetheless.
We just love the place. And go there to hang out, drink coffee, wander in and out of stores, talk to shop keepers, watch people, day dream, whatever, whenever we get the chance. If you ever find yourself in Vermont I strongly suggest you do the same. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day.
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