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A reborn Ozarks art community and America’s oldest family-owned store

A reborn Ozarks art community

“From the end of the Civil War to the end of World War II,” Hot Springs, Ark., was known as “America’s Spa,” said William Schemmel in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Babe Ruth and Al Capone were among thousands of annual visitors who soaked themselves in the mineral baths at more than two dozen bathhouses. Penicillin and other antibiotics eventually rendered thermal cures obsolete, and by 1985 the Buckstaff was the only establishment on Bathhouse Row that remained open. Now the city is enjoying a renaissance, driven not by sitz baths, needle showers, and massage tables, but by modern art. An Italian artist named Benini opened a studio across from Bathhouse Row in 1987. “He attracted scores of artists from around the country and abroad, then, like the Pied Piper, moved on.” A gallery walk— the country’s longest-running—is held on the first Friday of every month, attracting thousands of visitors to exhibits at a dozen downtown galleries. Contact:

America’s oldest family-owned store

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Walking into Frisbee’s Market in Kittery Point, Maine, is like “stepping back in time,” said Sacha Pfeiffer in The Boston Globe. The town’s main street is usually filled with shoppers flocking to outlet stores. Thankfully, Frisbee’s occupies a quiet corner on “pretty, peaceful Pepperrell Cove, blissfully removed from the trafficky hubbub.” The old-fashioned grocery store features wood floors and shelves, tin ceilings, and an antique cash register. Established in 1828, it’s been operated by the Frisbee family for six generations. A typical sign from the 1940s advertises smoked knuckles for 37 cents a pound. In a bid to be more than just a curiosity stop for tourists, the small store stocks fresh fruit and vegetables, locally raised eggs, and other grocery items, as well as such New England specialties as lobster stew and honeys. The store is set near the town landing, a pier overlooking Portsmouth Harbor.


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