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Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

 

Adapted from an article by Jakky Johnson that appears here.

Stepping into Len Brunson’s cigar shop on Broadway is like strolling into an earlier, simpler, and more authentic time.

There’s no artifice. OK Cigars is really a snapshot of Jim Thorpe – it says, “What you see is who we are, so come on in.”

You’re immediately greeted with Louisiana-born warmth as Len shows you his wares. OK Cigars is filled with historic and vintage artifacts, and, of course, a huge variety of premium cigars.

InsideInfoOKCigar1Notice the display case full of antique lighters and various smoking paraphernalia. Get a quick lesson and description of a handmade lighter from the trenches of WWII.

Len carries himself like a broadcast journalist –  appropriate because he himself was a TV news anchor for three years back in Louisiana. But he wound up leaving that world for New York.

Len owned a cigar shop in SoHo for 18 years, also called OK Cigars, with a business partner, also a gallery owner representing artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Len and his wife, Patricia, were contemplating the end of the lease for the cigar business, and, growing weary of the New York pace of things, they escaped one weekend and happened upon Jim Thorpe, PA – which, by the way, is only two hours from New York’s George Washington Bridge.

Well, we could certainly offer them a more relaxed pace here, so they settled down, had a bite to eat, then went to a concert at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, just up the street.

Maybe that subtle Jim Thorpe embrace was just what they needed. It was an awakening, so to speak. After his SoHo lease expired in May of 2014, they moved to Jim Thorpe, and the rest, as they say, is history.

InsideInfoOKCigar2Watch Len Brunson interact with guests and it becomes apparent that he relishes his exchanges with people.  He enjoys the architecture, the mountains, the river, the kindhearted residents, and the artistic people who live here. He’s a very informative and gracious host to boot.

So, New York’s loss is Jim Thorpe’s gain, and we are able to have somebody like Len in town. If you’re looking for a taste of history, someone who looks you in the eye when you talk, or a wonderful cigar, pay OK Cigars a visit.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out he knows his way quite well around a microphone and a guitar, and so he’ll open for Ten Strings and a Goat Skin (from Canada’s Prince Edward Island) at the Opera House on Friday, May 20. Funny how things work out in Jim Thorpe.

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As you walk up Broadway you will feel you have traveled to a wonderful far away place. Your shopping venture in beautiful Jim Thorpe will start as you step through the door of the first shop and enter the peaceful atmosphere inside – no pushing, no shoving, no distracting music blaring in your ears. After hearing “welcome to my shop” and receiving a smile from the shop’s owner, you will know you are on your way to an enjoyable and friendly shopping experience.

With more than 36 unique shops offering gifts, clothing, jewelry, sporting goods, antiques, homemade foodstuffs, imported items and general merchandise, you are sure to find that something special! The fine quality of merchandise personally selected by the owners will amaze you. And the unbelievably low prices offered to residents and visitors alike will please your wallet. Because our shops are located close together you won’t have to walk a long distance to check out each and every shop.

Let’s go shopping . . . starting at the traffic light by the Josiah White Park and stroll up Broadway, crossing back and forth across the street visiting each wonderful stop. Cross at the traffic light to your first shop.

Pocono Biking (7 Hazard Square) Rental bikes available for all ages, equipment to keep you safe and comfortable as you ride, plus clothing and tee shirts.

For your next shop, cross at the light to the south side of Broadway.

Nature’s Trail (5 Broadway) Large selection of musical clocks and collectible figurines and ornaments. If you want personalized Christmas ornaments, shop owner Anne Marie will be happy to assist you.

Mauch Chunk 5 & 10 ( 9 Broadway) Everything from toys to treats to clothing. Be sure to notice the original wood floor and tin ceiling. This is one of Jim Thorpe’s multi-generation shops. If you meet Tom, the owner, he’ll be happy to introduce you to his son who may be at the register.

IMG_6151Gem Shop (37 Broadway) Extensive collection of beautiful earrings, necklaces, watches and clothing. Be sure to ask owner, Liz, for her guidance when you try on one of the luxurious wraps or shawls.

Flights of Fancy (39 Broadway) specializes in unusual statues and items carved from wonderful woods from Bali, Thailand and Mexico.

Wear It Again (41 Broadway) A consignment shop for women, children and men with an unexpected basement display. Check out the many, gently used toys.

Now cross to the north side of Broadway. There’s no crosswalk, so be sure to watch for traffic. We are a small town, but we still have traffic dashing up the street.

Mulligan’s Toys (38-1/2 Broadway) Od style toys that bring back memories or something more modern. Be sure to ask owner Marge to take you into the dark room – so you can see the latest in light up toys.

Treasure Shop (44 Broadway) General gifts; specializes in Irish imports including Claddagh Jewelry, Aran knit sweaters, perfume and wool caps. Made in USA items and gifts for everyone fill the shop. Be sure to say hello to Peggy, the shop’s second generation owner and maybe you’ll get to meet the next generation, her young sons. Don’t forget to check out the Molly Maguire books by Peggy’s parents, the owners of the Old Jail Museum.

Rainbow’s End (46 Broadway) Nice that they have candy and ice cream that you can enjoy while checking out the quaint gifts and friendly conversation with owners Mike and Sandy.

IMG_8881Somersault Letterpress (60 Broadway) A vintage letterpress shoppe for the modern times – specializing in unique letterpress ephemera and paper goods, including offbeat greeting cards, prints, stationery, postcards, notebooks, journals and more.

Dreisbach House (62 Broadway) Antique clothing, jewelry and accessories from many time periods. Lisa and her mother, Laura, will be delighted to find that something special to please you.

Venus & the Moon (92 Broadway) Antiques and occult curiosities for your selection.

Now cross back to the south side of Broadway to the former YMCA building and continue your shopping.

Vinteragerie (69 Broadway) Vintage treasures including clothing and accessories from the past will delight you and fit into your budget Ask owner Sue for her help if you can’t decide.

Chatelaine (81 Broadway) Jewelry of all types, including earrings, anklets, rings and beautiful necklaces from a wide range of deisgners. Look in the second room for more gifts.

Grammy Bea’s (4 Acorn Court) Country decore, including American custom made pottery, and lovely dolls.

Naturally Yours (103 Broadway) Owner, June, will gladly explain the natural fiber clothing and environmentally friendly fair-trade items stocking her shelves.

Sellers Books and Art

Sellers Used Books (101 Broadway) Books, books, books! Search a bit and your’ll find something to take home. If not, just ask owner, Randy, and he’ll find something to please you.

Time to cross back to the other side of Broadway. But, be careful! It’s a tricky corner for pedestrians.

Rosemary Remembrances II (10 Hill Rd.) Unique, personally designed memory boxes made from trinkets with each box telling a tale. Owner and treasure maker, Marj, will be thrilled to explain her memory boxes and find one just for you.

Now it’s time to walk down Race Street, aptly named because many years ago water from the mill race ran in this area on its way to the Lehigh River. Cross carefully and begin your walk down Race Street.

As you walk down Race Street, look to your right to see the fountain known as Kennedy Springs. The water spout is connected to a natural spring up in the mountain. Until just a few years ago the spring was continually running with wonderful, clear spring water. When we wanted delicious water, we took jugs to the spring and brought the water home. Sadly, the spring has been closed off for a few years. While you walk the next few feet, be aware that the garages and patios on your left are built over the running water of Mauch Chunk Creek. If you listen closely you may be able to hear the water rushing down below ground. Also be sure to look up the mountainside on your right and you’ll see the homes hidden above on a street aptly named High Street.

You are now at the first shop on Race Street.

Horizons (105 Race Street) Head shop with a wide selection of incense to fragrance your home. Ask Shelli, the owner, for a demonstration of a fun hoola hoop.

Serendipity (67 Race St.) Large selection of antiques and books, including rare books. Be sure to check out the custom-made jewelry and silver and goldsmithing.

Country Cottage (37 Race St. Homemade foodstuffs including delicious pickles, salsa and jams all made by Lori herself. Try a sample of her pickles.

13th Moon (31 Race St.) Custom blended facial and hair products. Owner, Selena, will be delighted to explain her custom blended fragrances.

Big Creek Vineyard (27 Race St.) Wide selection of delectible wines for every educated palate. You can even sample your selection before you complete your purchase.

Homespun (12 Race St.) Country crafts for your table and walls. Discover the wonderful homemade soups and gourmet packaged foods to fit all tastes.

You are now at the bottom of Race Street with one more shop to investigte. Be careful as you cross Rt. 209 to the Josiah White Park.

Everything Nice – (41 Susquehanna St.) Candles of all types, including large, decorative candles and small tee lights, general gifts and children’s puzzles, Ask the owners, Judy and Larry, about the wonderful little items made from real coal.

We know you enjoyed your tour of the shops and boutiques of Jim Thorpe. Thanks for shopping small business – the backbone of our wonderful country.

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