Hot Intersection: Hamline and Grand Avenue, St. Paul

Sixth Chamber bookstore, St. Paul
Sixth Chamber bookstore, St. Paul

I’m one of those people who still keeps a paper calendar. I love to see a month at a glance. Sure Facebook and Google Calendar are great for reminding me of meetings or events I’m interested in, but there’s nothing like turning a real paper page and starting a new month. It’s a physical passage of time a digital device can’t replicate.

This calendar turn of year we all think about ways to simplify or organize our lives. We look for new sources of inspiration and encouragement too. A new year is a chance to leave things in the past and discover new opportunities. A quiet little intersection in St. Paul embodies “out with the old and in with the new.” Happy New Year!

Sixth Chamber — Used Books, New Toys, Games & Gifts

Named for poet William Blake’s place where books are made in an alternate world, the Sixth Chamber is packed to the rafters with a well chosen collection of used books.

The neatly organized shelves of art, philosophy, cooking, wellness, fiction, history, poetry and travel are bound to have something to inspire your new year. Quirky games, toys, Mad Libs, stuffed animals and puppets fill spaces between book- shelves.

Clear out your own shelves and make an appointment to sell or trade.

Where: 1332 Grand Ave.

Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Sun., noon–6 p.m.

Info: sixthchamber.com

Treadle Yard Goods

Founded in 1976, Treadle Yard Goods is one of the last independent fabric stores in the metro area. Whether you’re new to sewing, an experienced designer or just a dabbler in fabrics, this cozy store stocks opportunity and inspiration.

Fabrics include cotton designer prints, Liberty Of London, Pendleton, silks, velvets, bamboo, wool and a huge selection of happy, retro oilcloth. It’s not too early to start planning for summer picnics!

Treadle is also known for their extensive collection of funky to unique buttons; silk, satin and velvet ribbon; patterns; and notions.

For instruction or encouragement, attend their monthly fashion sewing club, discussion salons, workroom socials or any number of sewing and embroidery classes for kids, teens and adults.

Where: 1338 Grand Ave.

Hours: Mon.–Thu., 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.–5 p.m.

Info: treadleyardgoods.com

Keys 4/4 Kids

You’ve probably seen them: lone pianos on summer streets, in parks, at the State Fair or even in the concourse at MSP airport, begging to be played.

That’s the work of the St. Paul non-profit organization Keys 4/4 Kids who provides opportunities for musical expression to people of all ages regardless of experience or income.

If you have a piano that’s not being played anymore, give it a new life here. Donated pianos are professionally repaired, tuned up, then offered for sale with proceeds supporting community programs.

How long have you dreamed about taking piano lessons? Fulfill your dream here and bring musical happiness to others as well.

Where: 1326B Grand Ave.

Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Info: keys44kids.org

Bella Galleria

Interior designers claim you can lift your spirits by refreshing your environment. Do you have a piece of furniture that just doesn’t fit? Is your living room ready for a change?

Welcome to the world of home furnishings consignment. You don’t have to spend a fortune to freshen up your home. And you can deaccession pieces that don’t work on the same trip.

In business since 1993, Bella Galleria consigns and sells high- quality home furnishings from this store and one in South Minneapolis.

Check their website for pictures of current inventory because the stock of contemporary and vintage pieces is always evolving.

Bring photos of large pieces you’d like to consign. Items are priced for a 50/50 split, and the price goes down the longer it’s in the store.

It’s a chance to sell your quality furnishings and try something new. Bella Galleria carries estate jewelry.

Where: 1330 Grand Ave.

Hours: Wed.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun., noon–4 p.m

Info: bellagalleria.net

Just Truffles

Their name says it all! The display case over- flows with a tempting assortment of 28 flavors including Baileys, Caramel, Key Lime, Guiness Stout and Tenor Temptation — a mix of milk chocolate, coconut and Malibu Rum named after Luciano Pavarotti who once thanked the owners for truffles left on his concert stage.

Indulge yourself and invest that holiday spending money in chocolate.

Where: 1363 Grand Ave.

Hours: Mon., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tue.–Fri., 10 a.m.– 8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun. noon–5 p.m.

Info: justtruffles.com

LUNCH TIP:

Options abound at this humble intersection. The very first (of nearly 30) Green Mill Pizza still operates here in its original location, but the Grand Avenue entrance now leads to a Colossal Cafe. Grand Shanghai Restaurant carries the classic Minnesota favorite, Chow Mein, along with other Chinese favorites.

Browse , , , , , , , , , ,

More in Weekend Tourist