Tuesday, September 01, 2009

My Mini-Escape to Fanwood

What used to be a mundane car trip to a neighboring town takes on a different flavor when it has to be planned using the train or bus. Needing both a haircut and a change of scenery, I hopped the 3:12 train from North Avenue for the seven-minute trip to Fanwood. Riders did have to scramble from the eastbound to westbound track to catch the train, but it was on time.

The Fanwood Clipper had moved down the block from its longtime location. While looking for the new place, I came across this very lovely streetscape.

After the haircut, I decided a needed new drop earrings and stopped in at Enchantments, which used to be another frequent destination when I had a car. Helen Ling was marking 20 years in business in Fanwood, now in a charming new space that perfectly showcases her wide array of jewelry, gifts, cards, items for the home ... too many to browse in one visit.
Ling now has a web site and offers online shopping. Click here to see her wares and the inviting interior of her store. The eye-catching stenciling at the top of some walls adds to the ambiance.
Ling helped me select some earrings. I settled on a pair with amethyst stones, but it was hard not to further violate my vow of non-consumerism by choosing more.

Many years ago at Enchantments, I bought this pewter figure of a wizard riding a turtle while consulting some sort of mystical tome. The turtle has an opalescent stone in its head. It's only a little over an inch high, but as the macro lens reveals, it has fine detail. I guess I wanted it to join my other turtle totems and to remind me to keep a little magic in my life.
As I walked around the corner to Martine Avenue, the town clock's chimes were playing "My Blue Heaven." I wondered whether the gaggle of young teens in front of me had ever heard of that song. I had forgotten about the clock, even though I had reported on it many years ago. What a quaint downtown feature!
The place with Italian specialties was closed, but I discovered that the Double Dipper had not only everything ice cream, but soups and sandwiches as well. I took home an old-fashioned deli-style Sloppy Joe and a pecan-pie tart.
Consulting my schedule, I was waiting for the westbound 4:38 when an eastbound 4:38 was announced. Oh no! Did I read the schedule wrong? No problem, the 4:38 westbound rounded the bend and seven minutes later I was back in Plainfield.
--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's such a shame that Plainfield cannot provide this sort of shopping....

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of us who have lived in Plainfield for many, many years can remember when Plainfield was like that. I enjoy telling my children and grandchildren how things were when I was growing up.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that "mini-escape" says it all. Bernice as Snake Plissken; I like it.

I, too, will put a plug in for Enchantments. My wife and daughter have been shopping there for 20 years and keep going back.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure it was Fanwood...it so looks like Plfd with its wide array of shopping experiences available! Add to it the friendly shop keepers and the flower boxes...

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plainfield has installed nice features and landscapes in parts of downtown.

The issue is Plainfield residents destroy anything nice in a heartbeat. Trash, gum, graffiti.

The other is the "bum" factor. It is not nice to shop where someone has taken a leak, sleeping on a bench, getting drunk, or you have gangs of men looking for work, and prostitutes walking the streets to service those men.

New York cleaned up it's "bum" factor -- and now instead of bums, prostitutes, trash -- you see families and prosperity.

By not having stricter enforcements, allowing this population sector to have its way with the city -- that means we're allowing this group to control what our city is and our property values.

11:20 AM  

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