Shima Moves To Larger Location
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Shima, the downtown children and maternity store, has expanded.
The store is nearly double the size by moving down the street to 65 Main St. The new location opened Wednesday after six weeks of painting and building shelves in preparation with 500 additional square feet of floor space, according to owners Suzy Helme and Libbie Pike.
Expansion was a year away in the owners' minds until the duo received an offer to rent the former Sports Corner location at a "good price."
"We couldn't really pass it up," Helme said.
The space was renovated by the pair with material left behind in the space, supplies they had laying around and customer donations. The store has all new shelving and a new floor.
On Wednesday a few boxes were being unpacked and the sign for the Gallery 51 annex still hung over the storefront but customers still found their way in. A small chalkboard out front advertised the new location. By the afternoon, the old sign was removed and the owners said they will soon be moving the handcrafted sign from the old location as well as building another one.
"We reused a lot of stuff from Sports Corner," Pike said.
Shima was closed Sunday through Tuesday so the owners could move. There is still some inventory that needs to be moved down the street, the owners said.
|Tags: Shima, moving|
Santa's Spending Time In Downtown North Adams
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The elves may be busy in the North Pole but Santa Claus is spending his days on Main Street.
|Tags: Santa, North Adams, Main Street, Christmas|
Good Grief, Charlie Brown! You're a Winner
|Doug and Manna Mason of the Party Place on Eagle Street hold up the gift certificates they won for the best-dressed holiday window. We caught them at supper in the new Desperados.
The Hometown Holidays' best-window contest resulted in not two, but three winners on Thursday night.
Manna Mason of the Party Place on Eagle Street won a night for two at the Porches and dinner at Gramercy Bistro for her Charlie Brown Christmas-themed windows.
The judges (Mayor Richard Alcombright, Rep. Daniel E. Bosley and Mass MoCA director Joseph Thompson) were quite taken with the fetching illustrations on the Party Place that were painted like stained glass. Thompson in particular liked the three-dimensional effect created by the grids inside the windows.
That's about as evocative as the judges were about the more than two dozen businesses and shops that decked their halls — and windows — with cheery and bright displays. Alcombright did step into nearly every open storefront to at least say hello. (Though our boasting over our own lovely windows fell on deaf ears.)
After the judges perused the windows, pointing out particularly interesting pieces, they graded each display based on creativity, effort, holiday festivity, wow factor and overall look. The Party Place was followed closely by I Got Goodies in second and Petrino's Cafe in third.
The runners-up, however, didn't lose out. They were the favorites of the more than 60 shoppers who voted; possibly their proximity to each other played a role, but the wins were well deserved. Both shops have some serious eye candy in the windows, literally in I Got Goodies' case.
Colleen Taylor of Taylor's Restaurant graciously offered a second gift certificate so both Mark Petrino of Petrino's Cafe and Janice Esoldi of I Got Goodies received a prize for People's Choice.
"It was definitely a success," said Jonathan Secor of MCLA's Gallery 51 and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. "It's a beginning ... It was great to see the lights and all the effort and everything. ... It looks like there's life on the street."
Janice Esoldi of I Got Goodies and Mark Petrino of Petrino's Cafe won People's Choice.
|Tags: Hometown Holidays, shopping, contest|
Quiet carolers are caught midnote in the iBerkshires window.
Anyone who's been downtown lately has noticed the spirit of the season on full display.
Storefronts have been blazing with lights, decorated with trees and Christmas balls, snowflakes and Santas, giant nutcrackers and all kinds of interesting merchandise.
On Thursday night, downtown shoppers will have the chance to decide which is the best.
The decorating idea sprang up during meetings held earlier this fall by downtown merchants to promote the "Buy Local" campaign locally. (Members pointedly reminded those on the "shady side" of the street to dress up, too. And we have, just you see!) To encourage participation, the group decided to create a contest for the best window and offer a prize.
Judges will be perusing the city's best-dressed windows at this week's Hometown for the Holidays event on Thursday night to select the storefront with the best holiday spirit. Since judges' choices rarely please everyone, downtown patrons will decide the People's Choice.
The contest is part of the Hometown Holidays events that kicked off with the tree lighting on Thanksgiving Eve and has continued on the traditional Thursday shopping nights. Merchants and restaurants have been offering specials and discounts; the Mystery Shopper has also returned after decades of absence to lure shoppers downtown with the promise of gift certificates.
This Thursday, celebrity judges Mayor Richard Alcombright, Rep. Daniel E. Bosley and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Executive Director Joseph C. Thompson will be peeking in windows of participating businesses around Main, Holden and Eagle streets beginning at 5.
The judges will announce their choice at 6 p.m. at Petrino's Cafe. The winner gets a night at the Porches and dinner at Gramercy Bistro.
Then the public gets to weigh in. Local stores and volunteers with the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center will have contest forms available beginning at 5; get them back to Petrino's by 6:45 for the People's Choice winner to be announced at 7. The winner gets dinner for two at Taylor's.
While you're downtown, don't just look at the windows, step into the shops and check out the merchandise. Most stores will be open until 9 so there's plenty of time after the contest to circle back to that must-have item.
|Tags: Hometown Holidays, shopping, contest|
Lights, Cameras, Action
|The new, massive mast-arm traffic lighting has been going up around the downtown area for the past couple weeks. When the new system comes online, the very visible cameras will be able to detect traffic waiting to enter the intersections and change the lights accordingly. A small bubble light at the intersection of Main Street and American Legion Drive will go on when fire vehicles turn onto Main.
The lights, part of the $3.2 million streetscape project, are designed to smooth the flow of traffic and increase safety. The cameras aren't recording anything but could be hooked into a recording system at the Department of Public Safety at a later time.