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Shop downtown

you might be surprised

December 02, 2002|by BOB MAGINNIS

If you live in Hagerstown, you've heard it a million times:

"There's no place left to shop downtown."

But hearing something a million times doesn't make it so, as I found recently when I decided to do a downtown tour, asking merchants the following question:

"If I had $25 or $40 to buy a Christmas present, what could I get in your shop?"

  • My first stop was Maggie's Hang-Ups, at 105 N. Potomac St. Located in the old Junior Fire Company station, Peggy Cushwa and her staff do custom framing, but also have a wide assortment of gift items.

    The holiday items that fit my price range were the Plum Pudding Snowmen, a collectible line of creations that are wintry-looking rather than Christmasy, Cushwa said, so that you don't have to put them away until springtime.

    Store hours: Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.. Saturdays until Dec. 25.

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  • My next stop was Atomic Comics, 86 W. Washington St. where more than 300 titles sit neatly in racks. Owner William Haberlein said I could get a porcelain bust of my favorite super-hero for about $40, or a year's subscription to a comic like Marvel's X-Men for just $25.51.

    Store hours: Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 11 to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

  • Next door at Manny's Oriental Rugs, 72 W. Washington St., there are plenty of expensive carpets, but there's also a display case full of Chinese porcelain that start at just $2. Some of the Oriental rugs also start as low as $30, according to owner Manny Shaool.

    Store Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • At Morning Glory Emporium, 27 W. Washington St., I saw something I've never seen before - a teacup garden stake. Owner Patty Kucharski takes a polished copper pole, then glues a teacup, saucer and spoon to it.

    It can be placed on the porch, she said, where a vine can wind up to the staff, or out on the yard, where she says you can fill the cup with birdseed, making a perfect feeder for smaller birds.

    Store hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday Dec. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m.

  • At Carol & Company gift shop, 25 W. Washington St., owner Rachel O'Connor offered three interesting items. There is a set of three Malca candles for $35 that float atop transparent glass cylinders that can be filled with anything seasonal, like cranberries of holly leaves.

    For the Christmas tree, there are handpainted egg ornaments from Austria for $6.50 apiece and for $10, there's Santa's Key, which homeowners without chimneys can leave on the front door so their children know Santa will have a way to get in.

    Store hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m., to 5 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 15 and 22, both of which are Sundays.

  • At Saum's Jewelers, 2-4 W. Washington St., manager Robin Harmon said bargain hunters can get a sterling silver necklace and earrings for $30, as well as a selection of gold chains. Then there are reproductions of Civil War-era jewelry favored by re-enactors and those who like its antique look.

    Store hours: Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • At R. Bruce Carson Jewelers on Public Square, you can spend a great deal more, but in our $25 to $40 range, sales associate Debbie Giles suggested holiday pins in sterling silver as well as a large selection of rings, pin and bracelets. There's also some pewter items, she said, including Christmas ornaments and assorted small cups.

    If someone you know has recently had a child, Carson's also has an ornament for baby's first Christmas and baby's first cup as well.

    Store hours: Monday, Thursday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Friday, they're open until 7 p.m. Starting Dec. 8, Carson's will be open until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

  • At City Style, a new clothing shop at 3 N. Potomac St., next to Rocky's Pizza, owner Buddy Dickens says that in my price range he has shirts, CDs, body oil, cologne and watches.

    Store hours: Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m., to 5 p.m.

  • At Bikle's Ski Shop, 7 N. Potomac St., co-owner Barbara Tritle says for the skier in your life - or someone who just wants to avoid the cold - you can buy an assortment of gloves, goggles and hats, including some nice children's hats with animal faces on them.

    If you want to maintain your own skis or snowboard, you can buy gear to do that and goggles and long johns, too.

    Store hours: Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until Dec. 31, they'll be open Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

  • Jane Anderson Brides, 11 N. Potomac St., is probably more familiar to those seeking a formal dress than a small gift. But according to LeighAnn Hewitt, a sales associate, in my price range they have formal gloves, costume jewelry, tuxedo accessories, garter belts and earrings.

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