Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Power of Signs...

So I thought I would share a few glimpses of Vermont with you. It is really beautiful here...very green, pretty meandering rivers, small villages, winding roads, old houses and farms. The people here are kind, which I feel is important.

One of the things about a lot of Vermonters is they really believe in businesses being locally owned...very cool, as far as I am concerned. These businesses are found in old houses, in old buildings with apartments in the upper floors and just road stands and sheds. What strikes one about these businesses is they are often very colorful (I can just imagine how they stand out all winter in the snow)...with bright purples, blues, yellows, reds, oranges and some greens. And where the buildings themselves are not brightly painted, the signs to these businesses are...take a look:

Now how cool is this? Positive Pie is a pizza place. You go through this door (don't you love the old wooden screen door, too?), walk up to a counter and order the most delicious gourmet pizzas. Inside here there is room for 3 people to perch on a stool and have a slice. But Positive Pie has a large sit down place in nearby Montpelier where they also have live music! I also think the name of this place is so cool...

And how about this sign for the local whole foods co-op (most towns have one of these) and the community center? The thing about this place is I couldn't find where to go into the building for the co-op! But I thought the sign was great.

Now this place isn't about the colorful sign, but about what the sign says:

This is one of many used book stores. This place is only open from 2-5 (14:00-17:00) five days a week! That is it! Now go ahead and click on this to enlarge it and read the sign. If you can't, here is what it says: "Hours Tue-Sat 2-5 Sun/Mon By Chance or Appt." Then it gives a phone number. This sign is written on an old piece of cardboard.

Now here is the thing about this shop. At 2:00 we walked in, and although we saw someone outside go into the residential part of the house no one came around to see us. We wandered around for about 30 minutes, but in the end we did not purchase anything since we could never get anyone to come take our money!

So this is a quick glimpse of Vermont. I will share more next week.

Everyone have a beautiful weekend and to my American friends: Have a Fun and Safe Labor Day Holiday.


Anonymous said...

I've seen farm fruit and veggie stands with Honesty Boxes to leave your payment in. Perhaps they have the same system. But what if you don't have any change? (shrug)

marianne said...

Wonderful pictures Kim!
Love the sign on the green door! It make me laugh and gave me a happy feeling!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Chewy,

You know I thought of that, but this place did not indicate that at all. The other thing is they had a desk with multiple options for payment. And it wasn't as though the price of the books was mainly pocket change. I know what you mean about "shrug"...that is the way I felt.

Thanks Chewy!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Marianne,

Yes, it sure made us laugh, too! I am glad it brought you a happy feeling...that is the point, I think! :) We giggled a lot here...don't tell my son I said HE giggled (for him it was probably more like a harumph).


~Babs said...

More great photos,,,thanks Kim!
Loved getting this glimpse into Vermont,,,it's very 'quaint'.

We've stopped at veggie stands alongside the road to the lake where they use the honor system sometimes,,,,as in if they're inside having lunch. They have a little sign, and a scale, and charge by the pound. They tell you on the sign that if you need them, just honk, and they'll come and assist.
Different from honking for change, huh? We've just left without change before,,,but it's always been just a small amount due us, and not worth honking and bothering someone about. I can see you wouldn't want to do that however,,,if much money was involved, and then too,,,,it seems someone would want to come around within 30 minutes to see that you weren't stealing them blind!
(I'm shrugging too)

Katiejane said...

Don't you just love quirky old towns? I do. They have their own way of doing things and that's just that! They work on their own time table too. I love it.

Andrea and Kim said...

Well, this has a lot of people shrugging, doesn't it? It is unusual, but clearly an adventure, too.

So you have been at the lake...I had a feeling you were!

Okay, I will catch you on the flip side.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

An interesting way of doing business. I wonder if they sell much? Love the signs. Vermont sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing. Have a safe trip home.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Kate,

I sure do! They are fantastic...this is a fun place.


Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Cris...I have no idea, but they had a ton of books! :)

Vermont is really fun...I love the way the people here are so independent.


sukipoet said...

Independant perhaps but it is NH that has the liscence plate "Live Free or Die." I think Plainfield is where Mary Azarian hails from or maybe Marshfield. She does woodcuts that I just love.

Thanks for the signs and the chuckles. I too am puzzled by the bookstore. I assume you hollered down the hall? As Alice said, "curioser and curioser." Lots of cash boxes to leave your money in around here too. Refreshing really.

thanks for the tour. Have a great WE

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Suki,

You know Vermonters are really very independent types...and they are also very, very trusting. And, like you say, it is very refreshing.

I spent a lot of time in Plainfield and Marshfield...tiny places, but very interesting. I will look up Mary.

Glad you liked the signs and the giggles...isn't that the lovliest thing about traveling.

You also have a great weekend!

San said...

Delightful pictures, Kim! Wow, I could sink my tooth into a big piece of Positive Pie about now. I too love the name of the place. With that kind of name, I would expect the very best pizza.

The bookstore episode reminds me of an experience I had yesterday and today at a nice little restaurant here that recently changed hands. I went in yesterday on my way home and said I'd like to buy a gift certificate. A waiter rushed to the back, then returned and said, "I'm sorry we don't have that together yet." Then the chef/owner came out and reiterated, "I'm sorry. I don't have that together yet. I guess I could just write up something by hand." I said, "Sure." Then he began to think out loud and ramble about the possibilities for a gift certificate. So I said, "Well, I'll stop by tomorrow. I want to give it tomorrow. Maybe you'll have it figured out." He said, "OK, then. That's great." Today I called. The lady who answered the phone said I needed to talk to the owner. He started the same song and dance. "I guess I could write something by hand...." I said, "The idea is the recipients love your food. They won't care in the least what the gift certificate looks like." I named the amount and said I'd drive over in less than an hour. Got there. The bartender pulled a lovely gift certificate from behind the bar. "Oh, that's really sweet," I said. The waitress said, "I'll have to get the owner. I've never sold a gift certificate before." She disappeared for a LONG time. Came back, looking stressed and said she couldn't find him. Then she asked the bartender, "Do you think you could sell her this gift certificate?" "Why not?" Then to me: "I just charge the face amount, don't I?" I shoulda said. "No, on gift certificates, you always charge half the value. That's part of the gift." In the meantime, the lone diner piped in, "Could I see a menu,please?'

The place does have very good food. But as my husband remarked, "I hope they'll be in business long enough for the recipients get around to using it."

Andrea and Kim said...

Isn't that the greatest name? I love it, too...and the pizza is fabulous!

What a hilarious story about the gift certificate! I just love stories like that...some people just don't have the patience for them, but really they are so interesting! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I just love them. I will be interested in hearing about how the owners get along with the running of the place...I hope they get things together soon, though :)

Thanks San

Lesley said...

Hi Kim,

I just love the signs and the stories.

Golden Bay is soo like that! When you're not in a hurry and everythings going along well, I just love it, but when I want/need to be organised it can drive me crazy.

There is the most gorgeous cafe in the main street that serves the best (mostly organic) food, and when they're good they're wonderful - which is most of the time, however we do catch them sometimes when no-one there can really be bothered to serve you, and the place is grubby and unfriendly. I guess they're only human, and they're having a bad day. The trouble is that I might have picked that day to take visitors from out of town to my favourite cafe, and they cant understand my feelings :o).

I'm planning to have a sign rather like the one on the green door on my studio if/when we go back - there are lots of those around the Bay. However the door wont be open if I'm not there...haha!

It's lovely to see that there are still people embracing alternative values in the US.



Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Lesley,

Oh, I know it isn't funny when you have taken the time to go to the cafe and they are having a bad day, but it is rather refreshing to understand it just happens sometime.

When you get that sign on your studio door...PLEASE send me a photo! I can't wait to see that! I keep thinking I need to start taking photos of these funny signs...there must be a ton around...some not so much interesting, but just down right stupid.

Oh there are some serious "pockets" of alternative values here in the US, I suppose.

Thanks Les and have a great day! Is tomorrow nice there?

Lesley said...

Hi Kim,

"Tomorrow" is overcast and cloudy with a hint of rain in the air...spring is on it's way here!

In Bali they hang little signs on the doors of the shops when they're closed, and the word they use is "Tutup" always makes me laugh. They say the word as tootoop, but I always think of it as sounding like "shut-up".

Signs are fun, and a collection would be fun to amass!

I guess you're home and getting caught up with yourself?



Andrea and Kim said...

Ohh, that is nice for you to hear that spring is on the way to you. I know how much you love that!

"Tutup" funny! I read it like a child saying "shut-up" too! Mmm, maybe we need to adopt that for "Closed" would clearly bring some smiles to faces...and that is what it is about, right?

I am thinking about that sign collection...

Trying to catch up...I am running very slow, though!

Thanks for tomorrow's weather report! I will be looking for that :)

Unknown said...

Kim, love these pictures, especially the one with the plainfield coop, it is just gorgeous. Everything looks so neat and welcoming there!
In the meantime you must have re-adapted to home (or do you:), today is still holiday at your end, isn't it? Have a wonderful Labourday Monday, and talk to you soon,

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Andrea...and Welcome Home!

It is lovely in Plainfield, VT

Today is a holiday here and I am trying to acclimate to all of the changes which have and are happening lately! It is good to have a holiday to give me a bit more time.

Thanks Andrea!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kim for sharing this little glimpse into the life of Vermont. A very interesting one too! I do love the personal touch and local business, there's too much of the franchises around everywhere these days aren't there?x

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Jess,

I have been so crazy I haven't had time to visit all of my friends.

...and you are so right about there being too much franchise in the world.

I will be around to visit you soon!