Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Christmas Spirit on Main Street

Historic Ellicott City Main Street. A couple nights ago, Tim Williams of WJZ, presented a special on Maryland's 23 Main Streets, focusing on Ellicott City's downtown.

I followed this school bus from Safeway down the hill to Main Street. The bus seemed to be saying: "Follow me, then STOP on Main Street!"

Governor O'Malley was quoted as saying, "These communities have established vibrant commercial districts through the "restoration" of historic structures (Note: He meant "rehabilitation" of historic structures, many with the National Park Service's Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit), along with new construction, all in an effort to promote local commerce downtown. Every one of the 23 communities has unique charm."

Right: Little French Market is always
open early and a beacon of spirit on a
cold winter morning. Coffee is brewing
and you can have a wonderful, fresh pasty
item as well.

Then, for me, there is the history, the architecture, and streetscape, and they bring me back again and again.

On the WJZ television broadcast, some of the shoppers cited the sameness and boredom of shopping in conventional malls in contrast to the charm of Ellicott City's Main Street. They come here, as I do, again and again--in all seasons!

People from far away and closer to home drive to Ellicott City Historic District because the streetscape conveys a continuity of the past, from 18th to 20th centuries, and this authenticity has been preserved . The stores occupy old buildings and are respectfully re-used.

Above: The mural on this wall is at the juncture of two roads...Old Annapolis and Frederick
welcomes visitors and locals alike.

In this season, especially, there is a compelling urge to visit Main Street and buy unique gifts from the many shops and many galleries. Then, too, you can eat at any one of the district's restaurants, and just have fun being here! Rather than focus on any one shop here--and several have been featured over time on this blog--I elected to follow that yellow school bus down Old Annapolis Road into the district to enjoy the window decorations in Ellicott City Historic District.

By all means, scour the entirety of this unique historic
district, from upper Main Street, close to the public parking lots, to lower Main Street near the Patapsco River and NHL-designated Railroad Station. Go inside to see the displays and learn more.

For now, just peruse the decorations and offerings in this feature, then take the trip to Ellicott City's Main Street and see for yourself! Here are two more shops that you can investigate, diversely offering presents for baby (above) and grown-ups (below) in your life!

Blog feature and photos: Kay Weeks
December 1, 1009, Updated 12.7.09

For a comprehensive listing of places in Ellicott City--and beyond--visit: http://www.ellicottcity.net/


Anonymous said...

What a charming place. 0 interest in malls but would love to visit Ellicott City. Little too far from Kansas...Harve Newlin

Denee Barr Art News and More said...

We are so lucky to have such a beautiful and historic town in our midst here in Ellicott City, Maryland in the Baltimore/Washington, DC region. The charming ambiance is irresistible. Come enjoy and visit soon anytime of year!

Coastcard said...

It looks amazing! I love seeing how other places 'adorn' themselves for the festive season.