As an early summer sun began to set for the evening, the flood gates opened up on downtown Torrington as thousands came from all across the region to embark on a wonderful evening of festivities as the award winning Main Street Marketplace kicked off it’s second year of operations. It was a night filled with laughter while enjoying a healthy social interaction with our friends and neighbors, and for me, it was a night I will never forget.
I arrived at the Marketplace shortly before six o’clock, and the first place I arrived to was at the Torrington Downtown Partners office to pick up my partner discount card, which gives me a nice little discount at participating stores at any one of the partners properties downtown. Once I received my discount card, I was on my way to tour the newly remodeled apartment on Water Street which I have heard so much about. I have seen the pictures on Facebook, but now was my chance to actually tour the unit for myself, and my oh my what a beauty she was, complete with granite countertops, hardwood floors, and brand new appliances, and all this with picturesque views of downtown Torrington. If it’s city living you’re looking for, the partners have certainly found a fascinating way to offer it as they have completely restored an amazing piece of work in our towns history.
After signing my name on a list to hear more about apartment rentals, I made my way over to Julia Sloan’s Brazen Betties on Main Street, which is where all the action was unfolding for the evening. It was there where I met my friend Rachel Hannon Harrel of Quailie’s Kids T-Shirts. Rachel and I have known each other through Facebook for sometime now and have networked our way to meeting up at Main Street Marketplace since she had took the liberty of making up this wicked cool shirt for me of Burr Pond, one of my favorite places in Torrington and a place that I frequent quite often. It was great to finally meet Rachel in person, and what a fantastic personality she has. It’s certainly no wonder as to why she has become so talented with the shirts she is making.
While chatting with Rachel, I had discovered that my friend Stephanie was in town and was enjoying a few drinks over at Backstage. I decided to join her and her friends as they unwound on the crazy comfortable big red chairs that overlooked all the action taking place on Main Street. It was the best seat in the house, and I was enjoying it with great company, as well as a great drink of choice. It’s always five o’clock somewhere, right?
After Stephanie and the gang left, it was time for me to get out and about and catch up on all the action and network with those that I have been friends with on Facebook for over a year now. I ran into Tara Lindberg-Stevens and her husband Paul Stevens, at her Candy Bouquet store on Main Street, which is a second location from the one she is currently operating on East Main Street. Business is going well for them and with Main Street being in full swing, it’s certainly a promising future for them ahead. While there, I ran into the one and only Joe “Taco” Kopler, a friend and local artist who says he has networked with Tara to have his paintings on display at the Candy Bouquet on Main Street, noting that it’s certainly the perfect combination of all things fun and local.
My next visit was with Kimberly Fazzino of Fazzino Photgraphy in Torrington. Her booth was marvelous and was diplayed with some excellent portraits she took from around the county, including one that was taken at both of our favorite places, the old train station in East Litchfield, located near Exit 42 off of Route 8. It’s an area few know about, but it’s a charming place for pictures, especially those that involve classic cars since it’s one of the few remaining old train stations left in the region. If you’re ever in need of self-portraits, Fazzino is your gal amd she’ll be sure to cater to your requests while ensuring you’ll receive a top quality portrait.
Last but not least, I absolutely had to meet one of the stars of the show. A free spirit who has been running around town organizing everything just so Main Street can come out to shine in the end, which it most certainly did. Jessica Hodorski is one of the organizers of the event, and there’s not a question in my mind that she is the right one for the job. A heart of gold combined with an astounding amount of energy, Jessica certainly blew me away, along with the rest of the committee for Main Street Marketplace, such as Steve Criss, as they have all done an incredible amount of hardwork to make sure the town came together to take part in an evening filled with optimistic energy as downtown Torrington came alive. Jessica had been wanting to meet me, and if I didn’t show up to the Marketplace, I knew I would be in a world of trouble!
Then, in the corner of my eye, Jessica pointed out another Facebook friend of mine, Marilyn. Marilyn is, simply put, one of the sweetest people I have met. As she came up to me and gave me a hug, she had mentioned that she felt like she has known me for years, and Marilyn couldn’t have been more correct as I too feel the same way about nearly everyone I have networked with in Torrington. This community is more than just a place to live for me. Torrington is my life. It is here where good people reside who work very hard to live a comfortable modest life that is filled with joy. We don’t need to be wealthy, and in Torrington, there aren’t many of us who play the role to keep up with the Joneses. The people of this community are down to earth, and it was so vividly displayed at Torrington’s Main Street Marketplace as we are all creating a summer to remember, together.