Les, over at A Tidewater Gardener, sponsors a Winter Walk-Off each year on his Blogger site. He’s a great horticulturist and I enjoy following his blog. You should check it out. I try to enter his walk-off each year but it’s hard when you look out the window and only see white. It’s still the dead of winter in New Hampshire!
There are rules… such as ‘On your own two feet, leave the house, and share what can be seen within walking (or biking) distance of your home.’ He’s relaxed those rules a lot but I’m sure my walk is beyond acceptable since it was an hour and thirty seven minutes from home today. However, I am supporting Les in a small way by walking down the main street in Keene NH before visiting a son in town.
It’s a funky, low-key college town (Keene State College and Antioch University) that has a nice hippy vive to it. There is a healthy vitality to the downtown and a community interest in preserving historic architecture. And, of course, it was where Jumanji staring Robin Williams was filmed. Here’s the evidence painted on this brick wall.
I captured a little of the fun of Keene as I walked around the city on this cold, blustery day today, the last day of Les’ walk-off. Main Street is a beautiful tree-lined wide boulevard into downtown Keene. We always enjoyed this approach to the business section of the city.
We parked, zipped up our down jackets and hit the street. The popular coffee shop pictured below also has a barber’s pole…up the stairs for coffee and down steps for a haircut.
The Barbery is located beneath the coffee shop, beneath ground but not quite a full basement, almost an English basement. This is not the only business like that. Quite close is another that I think is a music store. I love the sign.
Restaurants and pubs are numerous, good, and supported by locals and visitors. I’m always happy to see lots of vegetarian options on the menus. We have enjoyed several ethnic restaurants in the area as well.
We have an old theater in Exeter that stands unused and almost abandoned, but Keene has a community theater on Main Street that is to be envied. First opened in 1924, declared a nonprofit in 1991, created a support group and mission statement, raised funds, restored it, and now it is the vibrant site of movies and live performances. Jealous….
As mister gardener and I walked, I had to take a photo of our favorite coffee shop, Prime Roast…. the one we always frequent and take a bag or two of coffee home with us.