Friday, March 22, 2013

Shopping in Ojai Village

Bart's Books.  Bohemia.  V is for Vintage.  Love Heals Jewelry.  White Sparrow.  Chameleon.  You won't find Gap or Forever 21 in this shopping arcade.  Oh, no.  And this is exactly why I love coming to Ojai Village.  The arcade itself is an historical landmark.  Built in 1917 with the financial support of Edward Drummond Libbey (of Libbey Glass fame) who wintered here, the shops that line the arcade continue to be independently owned and absolutely charming.
The Ojai Post Office Tower anchors one end of the shopping street.  It, too, is an historical landmark built in 1917.  The architects modeled it after the Christopher Columbus Cathedral in Havana, Cuba.   The tower, the pergola and the arcade all blend together to make walking (and shopping) in Ojai a pleasant experience.
HOWEVER, because there is no Starbucks here, my travel buddy tagged along as Mimi and I toured the shops.  Now, you have to understand, most of the clothes in Ojai are made of natural fabrics in muddy colors.  Loose and comfortable.  Our buddy went bananas.  This is the first time (EVER) I have gone on a shopping trip and not bought a single thing.  He bought a shirt and some other items.  Mimi was very confused.
But herein lies the rub.  Men cannot wear women's clothes, but women can wear their clothes!  Mimi immediately borrowed his shirt.  "I guess I don't mind if he comes along," she generously consented.
 Besides the shops, the town is loaded with art galleries.  After lunch we spent two hours looking at art (and wishing we were rich).  In one gallery, an exhibit of photographs taken at last year's Burning Man really caught our attention.  Burning Man.  Hmmm.  We talked about the possibility of going there.  We had no idea the art was so incredible.  Three-story structures of pure imagination built within a few days.  The creativity alone is a reason to go.  We're going to look into it despite the heat, the crowds and the craziness.  And, of course, we'd take Mimi!

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