Wednesday, August 5, 2009

His and Her Beach Shops

My husband and I are spending some time in Montauk, the place of his every summer vacation as a young boy. It is always so much fun to watch him light up at the memories sparked by entering a store that was integral to his childhood.

One of his favorites, not surprisingly, is a store called A Little Bit of Everything. Typical beach shop meets toy store, this place does has something for everyone, from sunscreen to candy to gag gifts, recalling an old five and dime store. Bouncy balls, toy trucks and silly putty - I think he probably spent hours here as a child.

Yesterday, we took a day trip to Sag Harbor, and I found my equivalent of A Little Bit of Everything in Sylvester & Co. (billed on their Web site as "a contemporary general store"). In addition to housewares and an impressive rack of cookbooks ranging from Alice Waters to the Hampton's own Barefoot Contessa, there is a coffee counter with candy galore. From the more adult ginger slices to a "retro mix" featuring Bubble Yum, candy dots, Tootsie Rolls, and Smarties, this was my kind of summer store. I spent most of my summers at overnight camp in the Poconoes and a long anticipated trip each year was to the penny candy shop, Appies. Appies has since closed. I guess penny candy is not profitable anymore, or perhaps the owners became too old to run the place. Sylvester & Co. reminded me of a grown up version of Appies, taking the concept of penny candy to a whole new level - at $4+ a box.

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