Please join me on the last day, September 2, for a celebration photo walk! Registration details are here.
|There was a “trunk show,” featuring trunks!|
|For my daughter, Lauren.|
Big doings were going on in New Market this afternoon. Today was the first ever “Second Sunday” event, where participating shops welcomed visitors and passersby to walk the streets, go in and out of the shops, and rediscover New Market.
Once the “Antiques Capital of Maryland,” New Market has seen a decline in business in recent years. Some attribute it to the closing of Mealey’s, a restaurant that for years was a destination. Mealey’s has tried to make a go of it in the past year, opening twice under different management, but it closed again on July 19, and the building is once again for sale. Foot traffic has suffered in this small town, located on the National Road, and once popular stores like the New Market General Store, have been closed for more than a year.
|Ice cream sold here — sometimes.|
But New Market is soldiering on! There are a few new businesses in town, such as The Willow Tree, and a pottery will be opening soon. Milo’s, a restaurant on the opposite end of town from Mealey’s, is doing well. So well, in fact, that they are short-staffed. On three separate occasions this summer, I have tried to get ice cream at their little standalone ice cream shop at the back of the restaurant, and despite the doors and windows all wide open, I have never found anyone there. I went inside the main restaurant today, and a somewhat harried server came out to fulfill my order. Just as I was leaving, a line was starting to form.
|Not a real boy — yet!|
|Not your average iPod.|
And today, for the first time, every business in town was open — at the same time! I have lived in New Market now for more than three years, and this was the first time I have ever been in about half of the ones I went into today. So many of them are open “by appointment only,” and not even knowing what they have inside, I have never felt the need to make an appointment.
I talked at some length to Sarah Patton, who was weaving baskets outside her home. She was full of optimism for the town, telling me about its charm (as if I needed to be sold on it), the upcoming events, and the evident pride of the organizers of this new Second Sunday movement. She says the town is evolving more into an artisan district than an antiques district, which I am fully in favor of. It’s the right way to go.
|Some visitors dressed too casually.|
I also talked for a while to Kelley Hill, one of the owners of the Hill Chapel. In September, they will resume their popular Thursday night live music events in this former Episcopal church turned event hall. The chapel is beautiful inside, with its original stained glass windows. Kelly and her husband Paul are also venturing into the wedding business, offering a full slate of services for holding weddings at the chapel.
|Hill Chapel Triptych|
I love my new “hometown,” and I am all in favor of seeing it thrive. I’m definitely going to be coming back for more “Second Sunday” events, and I might even try out a few of the live music events on Thursday nights. And, if anyone is looking for a part time job selling ice cream cones, I know a place that might be hiring.
disaster relief, and I will send you a 5×7 print of your choice from
any of my daily photo walks or from my website. Offer good until
September 2, 2013.