Apparently, small town Main Street USA never really died. It just went straight to a slice of heaven called downtown Northampton, Mass., with Thornes Marketplace serving as the cornerstone business.

Walking Main Street toward Thornes — a wonderful collection of nearly 30 merchants — the 19th streetscape architecture warms the nostalgic soul while satisfying 21st century needs in the form of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and coffee houses. Arriving at Thornes seems like the entrance to a retail version of Camelot with its grand tall green-tiled facade and awning and rising two-story windows.

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