Archive for July, 2009

Refreshing Downtown Petaluma

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

One of the best things about living in Petaluma is that it has a downtown.

It would be great if Petaluma had a Target too, but if I had to choose between living in a place that had a Target or one that has several blocks of unique shops that provide an opportunity for leisurely strolling like we have here in Petaluma, our local charm would win, without question. Walking through Target can be distracting and even entertaining, but I would never consider it vacation-like. Yet an hour of window shopping along the Boulevard and Kentucky Street leaves us feeling like we’ve had a real break in the routine.

On the Friday before the Fourth of July, when our family was discussing how we wanted to spend the afternoon, being tourists in our own town sounded like the ideal outing. We wouldn’t have to contend with holiday traffic, it would be easy to park, we could enjoy the beautiful weather, and there’s always interesting stuff to look at.

Since we were on “holiday” that day, we wanted to take time to look in the antique stores, something we hadn’t done in six months. However, our first stop was Petaluma Art & Earth so Steve could buy a new sketchbook to for his Argus Courier editorial cartoons. And my daughters had been wanting to leaf through the beautiful papers at Paperwhite next door. They each found poster-size prints, one of the Eiffel Tower and one of an astronomical chart, for $4.50 each. For the price of a Vente Frappuccino they got some great artwork for their rooms.

While Steve enjoyed watching the passing tableau at Starbucks, the girls and I explored the three levels of Chelsea Antiques. There is such cool stuff to discover: marble busts of beautiful women, medicine bottles, huge stained glass windows, mirrored armoires that look like you would find Narnia through the doors, Victorian Christening gowns, solid wood tables that weigh as much as a car, and on and on. But we agreed that the most unique item we saw was a lamp that was made from three deer legs. Did it come from a three-legged deer or is there a one-legged deer hopping around somewhere?

Our last stop was Vintage Bank Antiques. My daughter loves the case of vintage costume jewelry and ever since she bought a necklace and earring set there last year, she looks forward to checking in occasionally to see if there is any new merchandise. She wasn’t disappointed; she’s got her eye on a sparkly necklace for priced very reasonably at $36.

When we headed home, the outing was deemed a major success. And I found exactly what I was looking for: rejuvenation.