We strolled down the Avenue of Angels on Small Business Saturday, tasting, shopping and, once again gloating about the magic pull of our downtown.
Anchored on one end by Lawrence University, home of a world-class music conservatory, and on the other by the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, our downtown celebrates art in every form. There’s Makaroff School of Ballet, a nondescript coffee-scented building that is a training ground for grace and discipline, and Heid Music, a nearly 70-year old musical hub, offering quality instruments, lessons and, most recently, a rock school.
Midway through the downtown grows the Trout Museum of Art, an expanding display of visual art, jazz music and rotating exhibits including the current Katharine Hepburn “Dressed for Stage and Screen.”
A pottery, mosaic and glass fusion studio, the Fire, offers opportunities for hands-on creation, while coffee houses like Harmony Café and Copper Rock allow young writers and musicians to showcase their work.
In the midst of all this creativity are specialty shops and boutiques, including the ones we enjoyed last Saturday.
We poked our heads in Blue Moon Emporium, source of the original skirts and T-shirts in our closets, Vagabond Imports, our go-to place for kitschy one-of-a-kind gifts and Lillians, a store we frequent for two equally important reasons — we’re friends with the owners and we love the merchandise.
We can’t talk too much about our purchases on Small Business Saturday, but we can say we knocked quite a few items off our Christmas gift list.
We’d like to think every weekend had a Small Business Saturday and we’ll definitely be heading back out this holiday season to patronize the many cool small businesses in our little city. Check out the small businesses in yours.