Sunday, February 01, 2009

Westfield Ho (So To Speak)

Shopping in Westfield is addictive. All you have to do is catch the 59 bus by City Hall and within 15 minutes a world of consumer attraction is at your feet. Push the yellow buzzer strip and get off at Broad and Elm, literally on the doorstep of Smith & Hawken.

Broad and Elm is the starting point for an enticing combination of walkability and a treasure trove of commodities. It's a real downtown, as the blue banners remind you, but it has several iconic national chains as well as the unique shops that lend hometown character.

Takeout from Trader Joe's can ward off the drudgery of cooking or reliance on mundane fast food for days at a time. My Trader Joe's cloth bag was stuffed with treats after a recent visit.

Amenities for trippers include this informative bus schedule posted by a nice shelter that wards off the elements. Shoppers can plan ahead by consulting this comprehensive web site.
While not a big spender, I do enjoy the scope of goods one can find in downtown Westfield.
I, er, highly recommend a visit by car, train or the humble 59 bus as Valentine's Day approaches. Show some love to this paragon of a downtown which is just minutes away.
--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if Plainfield had it's version of a diverse downtown? Shoe Repair, Chocolate shop, cheese shops along with a bistro type restaurant to go along with those eating places already in town?

I am weary of hearing how no one in Plainfield would shop at stores that were more upscale. What am I chopped liver? I am getting sick and tired of paying for most of the taxes, and getting nothing for it. We ALL live in Planfield, and there is an appetite for nicer stores and eateries - we have just been ignored, not to mention the administration not having the vision to be able to set goals to make it happen.

For now, I will spend money I would rather spend in Plainfield somewhere else.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the 8:38am mystery shopper above: When was the last time you shopped downtown? Rather then waiting for Saks Fifth and Tiffanys to set up shop, you can do your little part by shopping downtown now. If you bother to look, you will realize that there already is something for many.

So rather then complaining about complainers, lets look around - just have to look - you will probably see something you like.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree .....what is really sad is the fact that Plainfield once looked like Westfield.....

12:00 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Like you Bernice, I'm a pedestrian by choice in Plainfield, albeit with a recent knee replacement. I take the train to work and often do shopping in Westfield. I'm a Trader Joe's addict. Is there a cure?

I sometimes just stay on the train coming home from work in Bridgewater. Then, once I've done my shopping at TJ's and sometimes Stop and Shop, I walk back to the train station area and catch the 113 bus which stops right across from my Plainfield apartment or the 59 which has me walking a block.

I do enjoy downtown Plainfield shops and think some of the shopkeepers themselves are great folks. But Westfield is a different shopping experience indeed. And I do it about once a week!

It's odd. I introduced a friend of mine from Somerville to the Westfield shopping and restaurant scene. I'm not originally from NJ like she is, yet she never knew!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Bernice said...

For the record, I do buy what I can in Plainfield and both my son and I got eye exams and new glasses in Plainfield the last time. I am very fond of Park Hardware, Park Florist, Breadbasket Bakery and even the Family Dollar for some items. It's just all those other things I can't get here that cause me to look to online shopping or downtown Westfield.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous victoriouslauren said...

I am a lifelong Plainfield resident and remember when Macy's was downtown. Do you know how convenient it was for a teenager with a singing engagement to select an outfit and shoes downstairs and run up and get their hair done upstairs? Sweet...things have changed a great deal downtown but I still have plainfield pride. Now I only shop at Golden Jewelers. For the past 4 years, I travelled to Westfield to Castle Bootery, Children's Place, Coach and L&T faithfully. Then after reading a very annoyed Westfield resident's opinion of Plainfield this summer in the Courier News I have not returned.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the 11:50am writer - I am not looking for SAKS - however, a Trader Joe's, a shoe shop, a cheese shop, a jewelry store, a candy store, a hair salon not ethnically geared (no disrespect intended - and I hope they all thrive), a nice sidewalk on which to "window shop" that contains nice looking windows without tacky advertising in them, a downtown with no trash, a butcher shop and last but not least a jazz club.

I have my clothes cleaned here and do some grocery shopping, but for a nice evening walk during the summer, I go to Westfield town center.

10:56 AM  

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