Tag Archives: shop

Retro Pop Shop (Lee, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 2, 2017

Location: 395 Laurel St, Lee, MA (2 hours west of Boston and 45 minutes northwest of Springfield, MA)

Hours:  call for hours (413-243-0025)

Parking: there is room for about 10-15 cars in the parking lot

Handicapped Accessible:

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: sale of vintage and hard to find items, ice cream shop

Website: Retro Pop Shop – Facebook

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Are you looking to relive old memories and go back to an easier, simpler time?  While it’s not literally possible to go back in time, Pop’s Retro Shop can make you feel as though you’ve gone back in time, or that you’re living in your parent’s hey day.  Odds and ends older than many of you reading this post are scattered throughout this vintage shop in Lee, MA.

Coke and McDonald’s memorabilia take up much of the space at the Retro Pop Shop.  In fact, Ronald is there to greet you when you walk in the front door.

Old coke bottles, lobsters, Simpson dolls and toy trucks lie scattered around the shop. Walking around the store was much like walking around my childhood room (or present day apartment).

Vending machines, refrigerators and even old gas station filling tanks are stored inthe garage of the shop.

Just walking past the old lunch boxes and lava lamps brought back so many memories and happy thoughts.

But, be aware.  There are lots of creepy statues, dolls and other items that seem more suited for Halloween.  Of course, it only made me like the store all that much more.

Retro Pop Shop is truly a family run business.  While Pierre runs the store, his daughter owns and operates the Local Lee Homemade ice cream store attached to the Retro Pop Store.

Keeping with the decor of the inside of the shop, the outside of the store has some vintage and offbeat items lying around.  They must get some pretty big rats out in western MA based on the trap by the entrance.

Although dogs are not allowed in the store (Pierre said a customer had complained about dogs being in the shop in th past), they are welcome on the grounds outside.  I spotted this cute Samoyed in front of the shop.

Today’s featured site is a website for a store that is very similar to retro Pop Shop. While walking through the Retro Pop Shop, I couldn’t help but think of another store in New England that caters to the fans of vintage memorabilia.  But, Wild Bill’s Nostalgia hs so much more .  

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Kittery Trading Post (Kittery, ME)

Date Of Visit: January 21, 2017

Location: The Maine Outlet Shopping Center, 301 US-1, Kittery, ME

Hours:Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (they have extended hours during the holiday season)

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Parking: There is a big parking lot behind the store

Highlights: large shopping center, wood carvings

Web Site: Kittery Trading Post Facebook Page

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While Maine may be best known for its majestic lighthouses and popular beaches, there are other attractions for the less outdoorsy types.

At first glance, the Kittery Trading Post looks like a group of shops.  It’s easy to make this mistake since the Kittery Premium Outlets are located farther down the same road on US-Route 1.  But, the Kittery Trading Post is one store.The three story building is known as much for its decor as it is known for its wide selection of goods.  Originally geared for the outdoor aficionado, evident by the hunting apparel and accessories, the Kittery Trading Post is so much more now.

Although the store is a lot of fun to browse and shop at, the outdoor attractions may be even more entertaining.

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Wild Bill’s Nostalgia (Middletown, CT)

Date Of Visit: December, 28, 2016

Location: 1003 Newfield St, Middletown, CT

Cost: Free

Hours:Open everyday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Parking: There are about a dozen or so parking spots right in front of the store, and, in a pinch, parking is available on the front left hand side of the store as well as on the grounds.

Handicapped Friendly: The outside area is.  The aisles in the store are a bit too narrow for wheelchairs unfortunately.

Dog Friendly: The outside area probably is

Highlights: Memorabilia, outdoor attractions, clothing, toys, games and other items from the past available for purchase

Web Site: Wild Bill’s Nostalgia

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While the flag signifying the entrance to Wild Bill’s Nostalgia may seem plain,  the store and grounds is anything but.

“Relive memories and take lots of photographs”, “Wild” Bill Zeigler told us as we entered his unique shop.  So, I did.

Even as you walk in the front door, you are bombarded with unusual items and nostalgia.

The shop is so unique and , at times bizarre, that I stopped at the register expecting to have to pay an entrance fee.  But, despite it’s museum like feel, there is no fee to enter Wild Bill’s.  You’ll still end up leaving with your pockets a little lighter, though, after you browse the items inside.

One of the first things that caught my eye and sent me walking down memory lane immediately were the trading cards (love love love the trading cards for the old t.v. shows) and “cigarette candies” in the glass case by the register.  And who could forget the pins we all used to wear our denim jackets?  C’mon I wasn’t the only one.  Of course, what is a grown man doing buying trading cards and candy cigarettes, or the real ones for that matter?  But, that is the theme of this store; relive your youth and be a kid again for a little while.

“Wild” Bill Zeigler has run his business for 34 years.  Over the years, the shop has changed somewhat but he has always specialized in the unusual.

Speaking of the unusual and hard to find, items from the dust bin of yesterday overflow the shelves and aisles at Wild Bill’s.  Whether it is a Terminator statue, vintage shirts and posters,  G.I. Joe and Barbie figures or a weird horseshoe tree, you’re sure to find something you will like.  I still am kicking myself for not buying that Luke Skywalker poster.

Wild Bill’s even has items hanging from, and on the ceiling.  Not sure if some of those posters on the ceiling are for sale.

Another favorite part of the store for me was the selection of media, including old school video games.  And, there is a voliumnous collection of vinyl.

There is even an “adult section.”  Yes, I did check it out.  Strictly for research purposes.  Old beer cans, a few Playboys and other jokey gifts line the shelves.  I did spot these really cool old cameras and police detectors there.

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While shopping there, I couldn’t resist buying this cool KISS lunchbox and a Grease poster.

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If you think that is all there is to Wild Bill’s, then you’re sadly mistaken.  Even before you enter the store, attractions are visible.  So, the shopping experience is only the beginning of your Wild Bill experience.

A variety of exhibits, artistic displays and even a few abandoned haunted houses, which made them seem even creepier, occupy the grounds of Wild Bill’s.  Who knew Michael Jordan was a zombie basketball player! Rumor has it the amusemtnpark rea may be open during the warmer seasons at some point.

This orange and yellow “Rube Goldberg” looking contraption is actually a mailbox.

These cars are, keeping with the nostalgia theme, are Yugos.dsc_0432

Those aren’t the only cars on the grounds of Wild Bill’s.  Love the hippie mobile.

Cars aren’t the only vehicles on display at Wild Bill’s.  These boats are also on display.  If you do try to get close to these boats, as I did, be warned, it is very muddy in this section.  At least I hope it was mud.  I think they use a special chemical or add something to the soil to make sure the boats stand up and so I sort of sunk into the soil a bit and tracked muddy soil around the grounds.

There is also an assortment of artistic renderings and statues.

There are also some sheds or other enclosed huts on the grounds.  The first one looks kind of cozy.

It’s hard to say which is more fun; the inside or outside of Wild Bill’s.  But, whichever your preference, Wild Bill’s is sure to grab your attention and take you down memory lane!

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Montague Bookmill (Montague, MA)

Date Visited: March 28, 2016

Location: 440 Greenfield Rd, Montague, MA

Hours: Mon-Wed 10 a.m. -6 p.m., Thu-Sun 10 a.m. 8:00 p.m.

Parking:  there is lots of parking on the side and back of the book store.  There is also a lot across the street from the bookstore.

Montague Book Mill

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Do you like books?  How about mills?  Then I have just the place for you.  But, this is no ordinary book store.  A former gristmill now operating as a used book store, the Bookmill has gone through many changes throughout its history.  But, it still keeps true to its beginnings.  The structure is largely the very same one that operated as a mill so long ago and the brook that runs along the two floor book shop is the very same one they used to power the gristmill so long ago.

Upon arriving at the Bookmill, the first thing you notice is the brook fed by a waterfall adjacent to the shop.

A short easy to walk path takes you to the source of the stream of water.

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The short waterfall and stream can be pretty fast in some spots.  But, when I came to visit it slowed down after it plummeted down the waterfall.

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After the short walk back up the trail, you can access the bookstore by a wooden walkway with some more views of the waterfall and stream.

Or, you can just walk straight across (the easier route, less scenic route).

The great thing about the Bookmill is that it has kept much of the original charm and design of the past.  Narrow stairwells and cozy corners are the hallmark of the shop.  Memorabilia, such as old style typewriters, are scattered throughout the store.  The staff doesn’t rush you nor do you feel a sense that profit is their main driver.  Service and a respect for books seems to be the most important thing t the staff.  It’s a great place for any book lover and anyone who loves to lounge around historic places.

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They even have newspaper clippings and memorabilia along the walls in the more private areas.

The Bookmill is not the only shop in the area.  In the shopping area there is also a cafe, The Lady Killigrew Cafe, located next to the book store and The Alvah Stone, a restaurant. There are also two art studios and an entertainment/media store called Turn It Up.  Turn It Up specializes in selling cd’s, dvd’s, vinyl and even cassette tapes.  They also sell other memorabilia.  It’s a unique store in a very unique shopping area.

The owner of Turn It Up let me photograph his 10 year old  dog and part owner, Daisy.

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Below is a video of the waterfall and stream next to the Bookmill.

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Yankee Candle Village (Deerfield, MA)

Date visited: December 23, 2015

Every year during the holidays, I make my annual trip to Yankee Candle Village in Deerfield, MA.

 

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The flagship shop of New England, the Yankee Candle Village is known for his decorative and at times eccentric displays.  But, during the holidays they go the extra mile.

From the moment you walk onto the property, the Yankee Candle Village welcomes you with holiday cheer and some unique decorations.

Inside the store, there is an assortment of holiday decorations and not just holiday decorations.  Wizard of Oz statues, model cars and other displays can be found throughout the shop.

There are Christmas trees galore.  Every where you look it seems there is a tree decorated in a unique way.

 

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There are also Christmas village light up displays located in one room.  They also have a Halloween village set up.

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There is also a stream with koi fish

Try as we might, we could not find Santa.  He wasn’t at his regular place

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He wasn’t at his desk either

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Finally, I found him in the shopping area

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There is also an area where customers can make their own candles with the colors and scents they choose.  They can also have a candle made in the form of their hands whether it be a fist, peace sign or index finger extended (no middle fingers allowed)

 

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There is also a fountain in the shopping area and a mechanized band that plays for the children.  It looks kinda creepy to me, though.

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As I left the shop and day turned into night, the lights from the trees and decorations outside lit up the area.  It was raining pretty hard so some of the images produced spots that almost look like snow.  Sadly, it was only raindrops.  There will not be any snow on Christmas for us this year.

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There are also many automated attractions at the shop.  For instance, in the front of the store there is a toy train that runs along the wall.

Every 4 minutes, it “snows” at the Snowplace Factory in the North Pole of the store.

 

To get a full appreciation of the light display, I am including a short video showing off all the lights outside the store.