After a week of spring here in north Alabama, we were hit with winter again. It’s been rainy and cold for a few days now and everybody’s going around coughing and sniffing and complaining. ( I know, I know. Cold weather doesn’t really cause colds. But it can’t help.) My older daughter and I, however, recently braved the chilly rain and went out in search of spring. We found it at Al Christopher in Huntsville, Alabama — a wonderfully warm and cheerful shop in the historic Five Points area. We were charmed as soon as we walked in the door and saw candles, table ware, baby gifts, stationery and spa products that made me immediately want to go home and take a bath — in a good way. Also, those soft and silky pajama sets demand you lounge around the house all morning with a cup of espresso and a good book. (And of course you’d be wearing makeup and have your hair combed brushed and your teeth brushed. And the dishes washed and cat boxes cleaned out. Sigh.) Al Christopher is one of those shops that just makes you happy when you go in and wander around, which we did as long as my 11-month-old grandson allowed us to. Then we ducked into the nearby Olde Town Coffee Shoppe for that espresso and found touches of spring there, too, with this delightful recycled decor in the women’s room. I am so going to steal this idea.
Five Points, an Historic Preservation District, was a working-class neighborhood near downtown Huntsville. Dedicated supporters have preserved the area and encouraged its emergence as a vibrant arts and music venue. Most shops and eateries are in restored and remodeled bungalows that add so much character to retail spaces. Go here, http://fivepointshistoricdistrict.org/, for details.