When the 60’s turned into the 70’s and we re-elected President Nixon, most of the hippies in the Washington, DC area moved to Takoma Park, circled the wagons, and declared the place a nuclear-free zone. Then they elected Sammy Abbot, a leftie who was blackballed during the McCarthy era as their mayor. He reigned for a couple of decades and now has a municipal building named in his memory.
This town sits on the DC/Maryland line, and it has a mix of wonderful old Victorian homes, Sears bungalows, and a few mid-century architectural statements. And there are a lot of aging hippies who still live there.
Many of the early 1900’s homes have been updated, as the flower children of the 60s picked up law degrees, real estate licenses and six figure incomes. But the flavor of the place is still hippie funk. And the lawyers there all work for environmental groups and the real estate agents drive Priuses.
If you want to find Christmas presents that were not made in China, you’re in luck. I did some shopping in the historic downtown today, and found it not too crowded with a huge selection.
The House of Musical Traditions, for example, carries not only banjos, drums, violins and fifes, but also attire for that belly dancer on your shopping list.
Amano (no, not Armani) has a shoe selection perfect for real estate professionals who spend so much of their time walking around and need something a bit more comfortable than Manolo Blohniks. While I was there, I bought a beautiful velvet scarf and pair of gloves for my niece and found a scarf for myself with golden threads that will go very nicely with my flute.
Then there was a lunch at the Savory, where I frequently stop for a break with clients when I’m showing houses. They have organic treats for vegetarians and carnivores alike.
The townspeople are committed to recycling. There are a lot of vintage clothing stores, including Polly Sue’s and Rerun. The Rerun was burning enough incense to cover up a 60s style pot party you’d expect to find in the back room (but didn’t). It was a little overwhelming.
You can take your recycled hippy dress to S&A Beads, and you’ll find all of the supplies you need to customize it.
Before I headed home, I decided to stop at the Takoma Park Coop for some produce.
I also stopped by the smell good counter to check out the essential oils, and left smelling quite interesting.
It's probably better that I didn't have a client in the car on the way home!
If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping, a trip to Takoma Park to pick up those last minute gifts is a lot easier than trekking or schlepping out to Tyson's Corners or Montgomery Mall. And it's not just a shopping trip. It's sort of a trip down memory lane, at least if you used to be a hippy.