Hometown Shopping

This barbershop in Florence, Alabama, is where my husband gets his hair cut. (No. That’s not his truck!) He likes it, he says, because it’s simple and direct — he walks in, gets his hair cut and beard trimmed and then walks out. Nothing fancy but it gets the job done in an authentic sort of way. And that describes this part of Florence — called Seven Points –perfectly: Easy to get to, shopper-friendly and full of local folks with real shops doing real business. Such as Hodgepodge Antiques Mall, 11142 N. Wood Ave. It’s three rooms full of treasures, and you can rummage around all day if you want to. No pressure. Another must-visit Seven Points retailer is Scent-Sations Candles and Gifts, 1123 N. Wood Ave., where you can buy hand-poured candles in almost any fragrance imaginable — visit http://www.pouredbyhand.com to see the list. One of the best things about Scent-Sations is that you can turn your own containers into candles — a great way to recycle. Then head to Peck Ace Hardware Co., 1118 N. Wood Ave. , one of those true hometown hardware stores that’s been there for decades and still has what looks like the original wooden floors. You’ll get a friendly “hello” when you walk and an equally friendly “come back soon” when you leave, regardless of whether you’ve bought anything or not — browsing is encouraged. And then there are some of the most interestingly named businesses in Florence: Crazy Carolyn’s Fashions and Wigs, 1148 N. Wood Ave., actually run by a woman named Carolyn; Polly’s Radio and TV Service, 1128 N. Wood Ave., not run by a woman named Polly (although the building is where I took ballet lessons about a million years ago); and the fast-Chinese-food Wok N Roll., 115 Edgewood Drive. The McDonald’s at Seven Points also is fun — it’s decorated entirely in purple and gold to support nearby University of North Alabama.

Isn’t it amazing what you can find in your own backyard?

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