Thames River's knowledgeable staff procures potions from all corners of the globe, gathering them in their elegantly designed waterfront store. The fawned-over Root: 1 cabernet sauvignon ($14) from Chile elicits boisterous Peter Gabriel melodies from taste receptors and chardonnays by Toad Hollow ($15) and Central Coast ($18) bring sweet flavors to the summer season, ideal for backyard gatherings or pool-side sipping.
Since setting up shop in 1881, The Day Publishing Company has earned a reputation for journalistic integrity, amassing numerous awards and remaining one of the few publishers to operate as a public trust. The company produces the printed and online editions of The Day, a daily periodical dedicated to the happenings of southeastern Connecticut. Sports and entertainment sections track local and national figures, and the business section compiles up-to-the-minute commerce headlines alongside stock quotes. Each issue also includes such newspaper mainstays as coupons, job postings, and real-estate listings, and weekly features crop up in the paper's Sunday edition, which doubles as a projectile with which to threaten demonically possessed paperboys from the next town over.
For more than a century, Ring's End has put quality home improvement products in the hands of homeowners and contractors. A Stanley FatMax level ($30.99) ensures all paintings and ouija boards are hung correctly, and a gallon of Benjamin Moore Regal Classic paint ($40.19) creates a vibrant new hue on staid interior walls. Fiberon composite decking ($2.95+/ft.) helps to craft sturdy, colorful backyard-grilling platforms and arrives backed by a 20-year limited warranty. Handymen and women can keep tools easily accessible, organized, and ready to travel with a Veto Pro Pac tool bag ($144.99), which holds more than 100 hand tools and includes six zippered pockets to hide worksite snacks from Bob Vila.
Thanks to the careful gardening of its "fiercely independent" local owners, Bank Square Books' shelves teem with all manner of pencraft, mingling best-selling fiction and nonfiction with lesser-known novels as well as the most expansive assemblage of children’s books in the area. Guests can nestle into cozy seats and browse the adventures of ex-Navy SEAL Max Moore and his wise-cracking sock puppet in Tom Clancy’s best-selling Against All Enemies ($28.95) or feast eyes on the bookery's numerous staff picks. Tyler recommends The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet ($15, paperback), which follows a young Dutch clerk as he navigates the dangerous political intrigues of samurai-era Japan's sole port to the outside world. Annie, meanwhile, loves Kristin Kimball’s The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love ($15, paperback), which chronicles one woman’s flight from New York City to start a farm in the North Country. Henry Kissinger's negotiation strategies in On China ($36) will prove invaluable to recreational diplomats who are tired of navigating the land mines in their feuding roommates' DMZ.
The Blue Horse has been a Downtown Mystic institution for over forty years. Combining her academic background in fashion and textiles with her love for the local community, owner Margaret Macris bought The Blue Horse in 1992 when her youngest son started kindergarten. Since then she has dressed generations of children and
Pennywise freshens up the wardrobes of ladies, gents, and juniors with threads from name brands, such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Ann Taylor, and designer duds from the fashion houses of Diane von Furstenberg, Elie Tahari, and Nanette Lepore. Treat stems to the cottony caress of name-brand denim ($20–$85). A kaleidoscope of tops and sweaters ($3–$65) saves upper halves the trouble of trying to wriggle into burlap sacks every morning. Adorn yourself in one-of-a-kind retro jewelry ($4+) that adds a touch of vintage glamour to modern life vessels. Pennywise's inventory changes daily and the downtown location also stocks garments for wee ones. Visitors to the fashion hub can gossip about Garfield's horrible taste in formalwear with Steve Madden, Pennywise's cat mascot.