Dot’s Downtown Beat

DOT’S BEAT: Bridges of Montpelier

DOT’S BEAT: Bridges of Montpelier

by Dot Helling Movie buffs may remember the films “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “Bridge of Spies,” and “The Bridges of Madison County,” and most women know who Jeff Bridges is. While we may not have a “famous” bridge in Montpelier, we do have bridges, lots of them. On September 4, Nancy Schulz, former […]

DOT’S BEAT: Montpelier: Faves and Peeves

by Dot Helling For those who like to hear me rant, this is for you — pet peeves balanced with some favorite things about Montpelier. After all, Montpelier is a contrast in many respects. Just compare the government bureaucrats to the aging hippies or the historic downtown buildings to the Crowley Center. While Montpelier’s attractions […]

DOT’S BEAT: Montpelier Buildings On The Move

DOT’S BEAT: Montpelier Buildings On The Move

by Dot Helling You’ve probably heard of Montpelier Alive. It’s our downtown organization that networks to build business relationships, and keeps folks moving with festive and community-minded activities. Well, in Montpelier, it’s not only the residents who move. So do our buildings. In 2009 historian Paul Carnahan wrote about some of the buildings that have […]

DOT’S BEAT: ‘The Influencers’

DOT’S BEAT: ‘The Influencers’

by Dot Helling The Influencers. That’s what I call them. Groups of locals who have gathered regularly over the years to make a difference, or not, through friendly debate, opinion, agreement and controversy. The meeting spots in the olden days included Coffee Corner, Capitol Plaza (then the Tavern Motor Inn bedecked with a large fish […]

DOT’S BEAT: Road, River and Neighborhood Names

DOT’S BEAT: Road, River and Neighborhood Names

by Dot Helling Ever wonder how our area roads, rivers and neighborhoods got their names? Some of course are obvious, like Montpelier’s Main and State Streets, Country Club and Three Mile Bridge Road. The bridge where Three Mile Bridge Road tees into the Junction Road is three miles from downtown Montpelier. Junction Road takes you […]

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Have Fun Helping Others: Volunteer Your Time

by Dot Helling Central Vermonters give back. Are you retired? Working part-time? Have no obsessive hobbies that keep you “24/7” on the golf course, trails or water? Simply want more to do? Well, here’s an answer: VOLUNTEERISM. The opportunities in Central Vermont are boundless and the need exists. Here are some ideas to get you […]

DOT’S BEAT: Home Again!

DOT’S BEAT: Home Again!

story and photo by Dot Helling This Rocky Mountain snowbird has returned home to Vermont. I stand with one foot in Vermont, one in Colorado, not wanting to give up either, although my wanderings do make me yearn to be landed. I’ve spent a lot of time weighing the pros, cons, similarities and differences of […]

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: The ‘Five Senses’ of Montpelier

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: The ‘Five Senses’ of Montpelier

story and photo by Dot Helling While cruising the streets of Montpelier I am often struck by the impacts on my senses. In Montpelier we have an inordinate array of sensory experiences to gratify and challenge the five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Most of those experiences are palliative, some creatively stimulating and […]

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: What Makes Montpelier ‘Montpeculiar?’

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: What Makes Montpelier ‘Montpeculiar?’

story and photos by Dot Helling What makes Montpelier “Montpeculiar?” Start by looking at the “which way sign” in front of the visitor’s center. In the 1960s and 70s our community and its suburbs was a hub for “crunchy granola” types and activists, and to a great extent still is. Today however, I find Montpelier […]

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Montpelier Secrets and Getaways

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Montpelier Secrets and Getaways

by Dot Helling In the 1970s I often slipped out of town through the Statehouse “underpass.” The “underpass” was a one-way, narrow passage through a section of the building that housed the cafeteria entryway. We lost that shortcut when the State House underwent restoration in the 1980s. I remember being surprised by the likes of […]