After lunch last Sunday, Tina and I explored the tiny town of Edison (2010 population: 133), a one-intersection town that somehow manages to support several quirky gift shops, a bakery, an art gallery and custom woodcraft shop, a wine/cheese place, and a cafe that serves things like chile rellenos with manchego cheese wrapped in prosciutto. Seriously? How do these businesses survive?
The first place we went into had jewelry, clothes, dishware, soaps, oils/perfumes etc, and lovely brick walls:
It wasn't that quirky of a shop because at least I could describe its wares. That wasn't the case in the second shop -- I told my mother that I couldn't describe some of the weird stuff we found in these places, and you can see why here:
The best I can do is "odd decorative artsy stuff with natural elements".
The next place was pretty much the same:
This shop owner sells stuff from many local artists -- I'm thinking "local" must include all of the Skagit Valley and then some.
I resisted buying anything here, though I did find this winged unicorn giraffe attractive:
Then there were these things -- I think they're supposed to be vases. I'm not sure. The shop was full of things that, as I said, were difficult to describe:
The shop owner was busy working at a vintage sewing machine, stitching old maps together into customer shopping bags. Go figure.
He said that hundreds of maps were left behind by the building's previous tenant, a mineralogist, and now they are being put to creative use.
We also looked in on the art gallery (very high quality paintings and wood carvings), and peeked in the bakery and cafe. Smack dab in the middle of all these artsy places stood a bar where several leather-clad bikers (of the motorcycle, not bicycle variety) stood about smoking. Quite the contrast.
One of the shop owners told us that all these places started up around ten years ago, and seem to be doing well off the weekend tourist trade. According to the 2010 census, the average household income was $50,000 and no one in all of Edison lived below the poverty line. So I guess they're doing okay. If you're ever in the area, it's definitely worth a look.