Once upon a time, Old Town was the original elementary school. Then Old Town became a fun artist "commune" in the 70s. I remember Mud in Your Eye, and the Leathermakers or Leathermasters were anchors. You could go there on any given weekend, and small artists would have booths set up along the back. There were some booths "built in" that would close like wardrobes and lock during the week.
Along the side was a wonderful candy shop. I would always buy my mom marzipan figurines there for her birthday. And across the walkway was the original home of The Wooden Horse. This place is the best for fun and creative toys that last longer then the afternoon. I saved up my allowance to buy a marionette of a snake charmer. And I still have it.
Upstairs was Mimi's Cafe. It was always packed for breakfast and brunch on weekends. Sometimes, my mom would keep me home sick and we'd sneak over there for breakfast during the week. The blintzes were divine. It was always fun to sit out by the windows.
And then downstairs on the other side was Walden Pond, an independent bookstore. They had a nice layout of their shelves and wooden floors that were very inviting. They were forced out, and reopened in downtown San Jose as the Phoenix Bookstore, but it wasn't the same...and they shut down within a few years of moving.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
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I remember all those shops! I also recall a place just across the way called "Puttin' on the Ritz", they sold costume jewelry and clothing, specializing in art decco style. I loved window shopping there. Also near (across the way or catty-corner from them) was a great lingerie shop and the original Bare Escentuals. They used to make bath and body care goods before they started making makeup... now they are huge and all they make is makeup. I used to stop in at Old Town on my way home when I was attending West Valley, and I miss all those great places.
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