Dot’s Downtown Beat

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 […]

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Montpelierites on the Move

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Montpelierites on the Move

by Dot Helling Now that you’ve enjoyed your Montpelier sweets, it’s time to work off some of those calories. Our city has a wide variety of social recreational groups that meet regularly to get fit, lose weight, study the environment, or simply enjoy the camaraderie and conversation with others while being outdoors. This spring, epicurean […]

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Montpelier Sweets

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Montpelier Sweets

by Dot Helling Sweet tooths have always been easily satisfied in Montpelier. Creemees, pastries, chocolate and candy have always been within walking distance. In the 1970s and 1980s Norma’s Donut Shop had a single creemee window open onto State Street during the summer months. If we ran out of jurors during voir dire at the […]

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Who are Some of Montpelier’s Friendliest People?

DOT’S DOWNTOWN BEAT: Who are Some of Montpelier’s Friendliest People?

photos and story by Dot Helling Have you walked down Main Street, looked a familiar face in the eye and said, “hello,” only to get a blank, “I don’t know you” expression or no expression at all? I realize it’s hard to stay on track in downtown Montpelier when you’re on a tight schedule, especially […]

Dot’s Downtown Beat: Remembering Horn of the Moon

Dot’s Downtown Beat: Remembering Horn of the Moon

by Dot Helling Last time I wrote about an existing Montpelier breakfast hub, the Coffee Corner. In the 1970s there was another hub. While the conservatives were eating at the Coffee Corner, a different crowd gathered regularly at the Horn of the Moon Restaurant. Owner Ginny Callan first opened Horn of the Moon on East […]