Blast From the Past
They say, "Time waits for no man", but have you ever heard of time ceasing to exist? Or better yet, have you ever heard of a town being stuck in time? No? Well neither had I until I stepped into the time warp, also known as Yellow Springs, Ohio. Located in the South-western area of Ohio, and only about one hour away from Columbus is the small town of Yellow Springs. A town ahead of our time while simultaneously being stuck in the age of love, better known as the 60's. But before venturing to Yellow Springs I wanted to get more acquainted with the town, and what better way to do that than by digging up a little history?!
Staking its claim in Southwest Ohio during the first decade of the 19th century, Yellow Springs was born and it came booming with dreams of a society where everyone could live peacefully among one another. The first known settlers of Yellow Springs were the Owens family, saddled up with their hopes and dreams of Utopian world. The city grew and grew as settlers filtered in, and soon small shops filled the the main part of town, which is now on Xenia Avenue. Some may deem it impossible for humankind to live peacefully like that, but the inhabitants of Yellow Springs seem to think otherwise.
For someone who has been called a "flower-child" all of her life, I couldn't have been more ecstatic when my grandma agreed to traveling with me to Yellow Springs. She had been there before with her close friend, who is a regular visitor of the cozy town, so I knew it would be a great experience. With our personal tour guide in place we set off on our adventure Saturday afternoon.
As we drove the hour long trek excitement kept building and building, and thoughts raced through my head. "What would it look like?", "Would there be older hippies around every corner?", and "Do they actually have trees with knitted cozies on them?" Caught in a twister of thoughts, I gazed out of the window hoping to see any sort of sign that would tell me we were close to our destination, and just like that I saw it. It was just like any other green sign letting you know that you have entered a new town but for some reason it seemed ten times more vibrant than any other I had seen before. This could have been due to my nerves tingling with anticipation, or it could have been the magic that Yellow Springs held inviting us in with open arms.
As we passed Young's Jersey Dairy, I was reminded of a friend telling me that they served the best ice cream. I was so tempted to ask my grandma to pull over, but remembered that this trip was all about Xenia Avenue. Which is where the vast majority of the shops and restaurants are located. As we drove further into town, I could feel all the emotions that had been bouncing around begin to surge through me. I felt like a kid who had just left the candy store with all their favorite goodies in hand, and was now sitting at the top of the roller coaster, waiting for it to make it over the adrenaline-rushing hill.
Brightly painted doors, adorned with personal artistic flares of all kinds greeted us as we drove down Xenia Avenue. It was just as I had imagined it would be. There were small shops on both sides of the street, with a cafe or restaurant here and there, and people from all walks of life traversed around cheerfully. We couldn't have planned to come at a better time as well. Not only was the sun shining down on us with blessings of a great trip in each ray but it was also the towns Gay Pride Festival. So everyone was either carrying a rainbow flag or wearing rainbow, tie-dye shirts.
It almost seemed too perfect, and I had the urge to look around make sure I wasn't on the set for the movie Pleasantville. Though this town was opposite from the movies philosophy of a "perfect town", it still stayed true to the idea of a simple and pleasant life style. Another thing that I love about this town is how together, they fight to keep it that way. If you venture their yourself one day, and I urge you too, you will not find a single fast food chain. Nor will you find any housing developments or an excessive amount of shopping centers.
Once we located Debbie, our friend and tour guide for the day, we were off to see the stores. La Llama Place being the first one we ventured to.This store had me in its snare once I saw all the hand crafted hats and other clothing items. Though I told myself I wouldn't buy anything I caved in and did. You've got to buy something to get the full experience, right? Whether I'm right or not, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Along with the knitted items they had decorative house pieces. This store had such a wide variety of trinkets that I found myself circling around the store over and over again, just to be sure I saw every single thing they had to offer. For a small store they sure did have a lot to offer, and I'm certain I missed a few things, but that just gives me an excuse to travel there again! As if I really needed one.
After that it was on to the Tibet Bazaar, a store filled with handcrafted jewelry, clothing, purses and other novelty items. From talking to several of the store owners I've learned that a lot of them travel to other countries such as Bangkok or India to get the items they showcase in their stores. This makes for an eclectic inventory, and also adds a personal touch since the owner hand picks the items being sold. Seeing new and exciting things, rather than same old items from competing stores was refreshing.
I could have stayed in La Llama or Tibet Bazaar for hours, but there were still plenty of other stores to see. Plus the foodie in me was ready to try something new. Before dinner though, we ventured to another store called Asanda Imports, which is run and owned by a very friendly Englishman who travels to Bangkok to gather all the lovely items I saw before me. The most eye catching one being this magnificent bed frame. If memory serves me correctly I believe it was called, a "Chinese Wedding Bed". I fell in love with it once I saw the beautifully carved wood, and imagined how I could drape brightly colored fabrics on the canopy style bed. The store also contained a variety of novelty items and some clothing as well.
This is another wonderful store that I will have to visit again, and I wish I could have stayed longer but my stomach was rumbling and The Winds Cafe and Bakery opened at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. So we were on our way. I will be posting a separate review for the restaurant, so be on the look out for that! I must say though their food was full of flavor, extremely fresh, and surprising. Surprising because I never would have thought a cake made out of sourdough bread would be so delicious! It was also a perfect way to end our adventure in Yellow Springs. I hope the magic of Yellow Springs touches you and feeds your inner "flower-child" as it did mine. Safe travels and happy foodie filled adventures!
P.S- Here's a sneak peak for The Winds Cafe and Bakery review...
Doesn't that look divine?! Bye for now!