Saturday, July 20, 2013

Church Street: Burlington, VT

Burlington was high on our list of cities to see, and we were excited to arrive on Thursday after a spectacular drive through the Green Mountains. We spent our day hanging out on Church street, the main pedestrian mall in the downtown area. Pedestrian malls are great because they are closed to vehicle traffic and create a great space for people to walk, congregate, and meet. The streets were lined with an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants, and shops. Many of the restaurants had seating right out on the street under big, shady umbrellas. 

Church Street was vibrantly alive, a feeling contributed to by the many street performers, like this guy, who had this happy baby dancing. 

This magician/ jokester was a great performer. 

He had the audience really involved. 

And he had some impressive feats! 

Burlington is known as a progressive city with lots of green initiatives, such as these rain barrels, which were everywhere. 

Each rain barrel was hand painted by a local artist. 

This was a fantastic, colorful wall mural. 

Church Street Marketplace opened in 1981, and has been described as the gem in the crown of the Queen City of Burlington. 

We visited two of Burlington's many coffee shops. This one, Muddy Waters, was located right off Church on Main Street. 

Muddy Waters was a great place for congregating. They did not offer WiFi, which at first we found strange. After sitting for a while, though, we realized the lack of internet had turned the space into a true meeting place. Many groups of people sat around tables chatting, having meetings, or socializing. Others sat reading or people watching out the windows. We really enjoyed this space as we shared a  pot of ginger tea sweetened with honey water and poured from a cast iron kettle.

Our favorite store we went in was Earthbound Trading Company, which had great clothing, art, and trinkets at fantastically reasonable prices. 

Also, it had these lovely ladies, who were warm, welcoming, brought an exuberant energy, and were an absolute joy to chat with. (Hello!)  Dave remarked Burlington felt a lot like Boulder, CO to him, and they told us Burlington VT, Boulder CO, and Portland OR are all actually sister cities, designed by the same city planner. No wonder they are all known as hip, progressive cities. 

Church Street was a perfect place just to people watch. 

It was filled with a spectrum of interesting people of all ages and from all walks of life. 

Some places, like Burlington, carry a certain vibe that seems to infuse the air itself with energy. If only Burlington wasn't located in such a cold climate; we would love to live in a place like this! 


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