Saturday, August 22, 2009


according to

Port Jervis, N.Y.
Manitou Springs, Colo.
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Mazomanie, Wis.
Point Reyes Station, Calif.
Belfast, Maine Population: 6,840 Nearest City: Portland, 102 miles
Shoe factories and a sardine cannery used to be Belfast's lifeblood, and visitors were few. Now, the cheap real estate and relative lack of summer tourists are luring new residents, especially artists. Bob Hansen, a former accountant, was one of the early pioneers when he moved from Dallas 11 years ago to open the White House Bed & Breakfast in an 1840 Greek Revival home (1 Church St., 207/338-1901,, from $125). He says the changes in the past several years have been amazing: "Belfast is becoming an artisan enclave, and not just people with paintbrushes—there are jewelry makers, glassblowers, and weavers." • Catskill, N.Y.
Truth or Consequences, N.M. Population: 7,163 Nearest City: El Paso, Tex., 123 miles
In 1950, Hot Springs renamed itself Truth or Consequences in a publicity stunt to boost tourism. Fame has faded over the years, but the odd name still pays dividends. "When I saw it on the map, I knew I had to check it out," says Susan Morrongiello Koenick, who ended up quitting her job as an art therapist in Washington, D.C., in 2004 to relocate to T or C, as residents like to call it. Koenick's vintage-clothing store, Dust & Glitter, was one of the first businesses to move in downtown (404 Main St., 575/894-3613, Other places have opened up in recent years, including MoonGoddess, a recycled-textile art shop (415 Broadway, 575/744-0011); Cafe BellaLuca, an Italian restaurant with art exhibits (303 Jones St., 575/894-9866,, pastas from $8); and Blackstone Hotsprings, a retro motel with mineral baths flowing straight from the 110-degree aquifer (410 Austin St., 575/894-0894,, $75).
With its wide-open skies, T or C also appeals to space enthusiasts. A spaceport that's being built just outside town will be the future home of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic flight program ( "At night, you feel like you can touch the stars with your hands," says Tobias Katz, organizer of the annual Truth or Fiction Film Festival (, Feb. 6–8).
Livingston, Mont.
Livingston, Mont.
White River Junction, Vt.
White River Junction, Vt.

I hope to check out each of these in person.....

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