Saturday, February 7, 2009

Re-Visiting Yesterday...Today ~ Downtowns Across America

In today's struggle to stand-out, be unique and offer the community an alternative to the hustle and bustle of shopping and dining at those cookie cutter, "big box" chains, cities across America are giving their downtown districts a fresh new face lift!

While many people do prefer going to the "mall" to shop at many stores under one roof, have lunch, see a movie, or even enjoy some time goofing off in the arcade, there are still many more people who enjoy strolling from boutique to boutique, sitting outside with friends enjoying a latte and/or lunch while taking in the fresh air and creating memories.

Travel across this fine country and think about the areas that you are drawn to visit and I am sure it will include a downtown somewhere in America. Each time we visit a new city, we are compelled to explore...and that usually means heading "downtown" to the heart and soul of the city.

The place where it all began.

The place where it all happens.

The place where memories are made.

Whether you are a hunter of history, a connoisseur of local delicacies, a boutique diva looking for that unique piece that no one else has, there are downtown's across America calling you to explore all they have to offer.

Cities were originally "born" around the downtown. Everyone gathered there to do all of their business and socializing. It is only in the last sixty or so years that the need for space has moved the core of living away from out "downtown" beginnings. But, in the last 10 years we have seen a great movement to get back to that simpler way of living. So, if you are excited again about getting out and visiting the places around you, then check out my downtown and be sure to comment and add yours here, too.

Downtown Belleville, Illinois (

"...There's always something happening in Downtown Belleville. Spend a day visiting our one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and services. Spend a lifetime in one of the historic neighborhoods that add to Downtown Belleville's charm.

Afternoons, walk along the shaded streets of our 190 year-old Shopping & entertainment District, sightsee among the fabulous architecture, enjoy lunch and a latte, and be a part of the spontaneity and fun that semi-urban life offers. Evenings, take in a show at our historic
Lincoln Theatre, check out a local or touring band at one of our clubs, enjoy a play or an art opening in one of our galleries, have dinner, and finish it off with a glass of wine. Downtown Belleville is a place for art, dining, and most of all, people!

Don't forget our special events!
Art on the Square in May. Music on Main, our
outdoor Summer concerts that highlight Belleville clubs at a great destination for music and fun. We're a fantastic, family-friendly neighborhood of St. Louis."

This is my downtown, the reason my husband and I moved our family out of St. Louis and back to Illinois. We wanted to be part of a community that was seeking to revitalize their rich history while incorporating a new and vibrant one at the same time.

Here are links to just a few of my favorite shopping and dining places:

Candid Gifts (also where you will find my Distinctively Downtown Jewelry)

Circa Boutique & Gifts

Dave's Home Brew & Allison's Common Sense

The Wine Tap (Check out Dave's myspace page --- yes, that's Dave of Dave's Homebrew!)

Castletown Geoghegan

Oregon Trail Roasting Company

Other eateries definitely include The Acropolis ~ the best place to go for Greek & an amazing slice of chocolate cake...mmmmmm!!!


  1. Hi Ali! Looking forward to blogging with you! Lori

  2. This is such a unique idea--and enjoyable and interesting, too. Wow! That sounds like YOU! The photos turned out great. Your designs are fabulous. Someone tried to buy your bracelet off my wrist at a winery last month; I sent them to your Etsy site.LOL. Good luck with everything although with your talent, who needs luck?

  3. I need more of your business cards, Ali...I have people ask about your jewelry all the time when I'm wearing it. Can you get me some by next Thursday (our Coldwater Creek "date")? : )