Upper Union Street

Wow!  I took a walking tour of the neighborhood around Upper Union Street, Schenectady, this afternoon.  There are a ton of new businesses that have opened there recently, so I thought that I’d check them out and report.

Okay, I don’t know if you’ve already heard, but my entire moms’ group has been talking about the new kids’ consignment shop on Baker Avenue, Trendy Tots. In fact, while I was there I ran into a friend who’d recently consigned clothing there.  The buzz–great clothes, very cheap–was true.

Of course, their best selection is in the teensy-weensy kids’ section, but there were lots of items that I found tempting for my bigger girls, too.  But they’re so opinionated that I’m just going to have to come back with them later.  In the meantime, could you please do me a favor and keep your hands off that tan jacket at the end of the higher rack?  Because it really looks like M’s style.

Also excellent?  It’s lovely inside, so you don’t feel like you’re at, you know, a garage sale when you’re shopping there.  All tidy and clean and pretty, so that the jeans look exactly like at the mall, except that they’re 3 or 4 dollars.  Woo, hoo!   [update:  Natalie’s offering readers 5% off their total purchase if you mention that you heard about Trendy Tots on Capital District Fun!  Thanks, Natalie!]

I was pleasantly surprised by how nicely decorated it was, and then I went just around the corner to visit Vintage Chic Furniture, which recently moved to Schenectady from Troy.

Okay, really gorgeous inside.  So much so that I took way too many pictures, which I will share now.

There are tons of pieces of furniture that Donna has refurbished as well as all sorts of adorable pieces and other great stuff, like the old-fashioned chenille bedspreads (hanging on the rack in the picture below):

Besides all the stuff, did you notice how pretty the walls are?  They’re painted by Michele of Designs by Michele.

So, my little sister is still waiting to go into labor with her first baby.  If it’s a girl, I am so reporting back here immediately.

Then I  walked along Union Street to  Divinitea, which makes and sells premium certified organic loose leaf teas.  You may have seen them at a farmers’ market near you.  I was just checking out their beautiful website,  thinking, wow, I can contribute to world peace through delightful self-indulgence?  Yes, please:  sign me up!  Anyway, as Linda shows below, they have a tremendous variety of teas:

Many of the tears are made with healing plants, such as blends that are good for folks who have asthma or PMS or just need a little immune-system boost with a big, warm cup o’ antioxidants.  They don’t use any nuts, and they can work around most food sensitivities.

Linda’s  super-passionate about tea, and she loves to teach adults and older children about growing plants, cooking, and making teas.  She says that she’s done tea parties, 4H programs, and visited schools, and if you visit, she’s likely to give you a nice smelling tour of some favorites.   If you’re looking to learn more or to introduce tea to your family, there’s plenty of information as well as tea varieties that kids particularly enjoy.

I’m warning you, now, though:  there are some serious breakables in here (like the case above–yikes!).  If I were you, I’d only bring someone in under, say, 8, if they’re in a sling or strapped into a stroller.  Linda admits that she can get a little tense when a preschooler is examining the merchandise.  Which, of course, would make you tense.  I’d just skip it and leave the kids on the porch or find something else for them to do.

Like, for example, the Candyland Activity & Enrichment Center on Woodland Avenue.

Maya, who used to run the Curves that was there, will be starting up winter session classes for kids ages 1 to 6 soon.  Classes will emphasize fun with learning through music, art, and activities snuck in.  The very youngest class includes parent participation, but that ends as early as the Sugarplums group, which will be made up of 2- and 3-year-olds.  Fees are $110 for an eight-week session.  She’ll also host  birthday parties.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Maya’s continuing the fitness regime with a Fit Teen program designed for ages 9- to 18-year-olds who would like to do some strength training and learn about wellness after school.

Finally, there’s a new restaurant in town, Rubbin Butts BBQ, also on Union Street.  I only have an exterior picture because by the time I made it to Rubbin Butts it was lunchtime, and it was busy enough that I couldn’t take a picture without getting some stranger in the shot.  And most of them were looking a teensy bit sloppy!  The food smelled excellent, though, so I think that this will have to be our family’s next take-out venture.  When it comes to BBQ, I like to order with a group so I get a chance to sample all the side dishes.

There’s a lot more going on, too.  The Head-to-Tail Pet Wellness Center is expanding,  Firefly Florist (which used to be on Consaul Road)  is moving onto Union, and it looks likely that there’s more popping up that I didn’t get a chance to see today.  Anybody have additional scoop on Union Street to share?


  1. Jennifer

    Bel Cibo fine foods just opened at the corner of Palmer and Union. I hear it is amazing–can’t wait to stop in.

    We visited Divinitea last week and are in love. N says he wants to work there when he is older so he can smell the teas.

  2. Hey Katie,
    So happy you enjoyed your experience at Trendy Tots. I think this blog site is such a great idea that so many moms will love to read so I will definately be passing on your site to our patrons. I wanted to offer a discount to your followers. If they mention that they follow their blog during their visit to Trendy Tots. I will give them 5% OFF their total purchase.
    Thanks for popping into Trendy Tots!

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