The Secrets of Downtown Frederick

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by Madison Lawson

As microscopic and unimportant Frederick may be on a map, it offers so much life to its residents within the city. The decorative, worn-out brick walls of Downtown Frederick hold many quirky stores and restaurants that even the people who live there don’t know exist! Boutiques, cupcake shops, and antique collectors are a few examples of the local businesses that occupy the Downtown area. Many people underestimate Frederick, but believe it or not, this town has much more to offer than what meets the eye.

The Frederick Partnership is an organization that plans fun events like First Saturday and In The Streets. As advocates for the arts, The Frederick Partnership willingly incorporates local musicians, artists, and comedians into their events. Once a month, Downtown hosts an exhibition for artists; a whole day dedicated for people to exploit their talents. For people who may not be skilled with their hands, you can participate in other forms of art such as photography classes,  poetry out-loud, motivational speakers and musical performances.

In addition to the visual arts, Frederick has been known for its vast achievements in the culinary arts. Zoe’s Chocolate Company, a dessert store in the heart of the city, creates distinct fudge flavors; from Spiced Pear to Aegan Pistachio, this store has added its own twist to chocolate candy. As odd as these flavors may be, Zoe’s has won the 2015 Good Foods Award for their Greek Honey Yogurt chocolates and were the highlighted dessert at the Emmy’s and Oscars!

As newly famous Zoe’s Chocolate Co may be, other little mom & pop shops also make Frederick so unique. Pizza Pretzel Creations, a tiny pizza shop on North Market Street, has been serving residents for years. Its mouthwatering cheese pizzas served on soft, hand-made pretzel dough is something everyone must try in their lifetime! Closing around 3 am on the weekends, this restaurant brings midnight snacking to a whole new level.

“After taking one bite of their pizza, I thought I was in heaven.” Junior Erika Benswanger said.

For all the rock and roll lovers in town, The Record Exchange is a must-see store that intertwines old classics with new trends.

Vinyls, one of the stores main features, has worked its way back into pop-culture, “I love listening to music on record.” Junior Gabby Redpath exclaimed, “it’s so retro.”
Other nostalgic items such as turntables, stereos, cassette players, CD’s, and video game systems are also available for purchase. Got any old memorabilia you don’t want? The Record Exchange follows a reuse & recycle policy; they’ll purchase any unwanted electronics that could be collecting dust in your attic. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Speaking of treasures, Downtown is also a host for many antique shops and trendy clothing stores. Velvet Lounge, a boutique, shoe, and jewelry shop on the corner of West 2nd Street, offers apparel from various online brands such as Free People, Wildfox Couture and Hudson Denim. With warmer weather on the horizon, Velvet Lounge ensures in-season, unique clothing that cannot be bought at your typical Forever 21.

Before declaring Frederick as boring or uneventful, try looking deeper. Inside the heart of the town lies many new adventures that may spark your interest; coin collections at Emporium Antiques, vegan pastries at Glory Doughnuts, homemade coffee and bagels at Cafe Nola, knick-knacks at Retro Metro and the annual scavenger hunts at Colonial Jewelers are just a few examples of what Frederick has to offer.

“I wanted to work in Frederick because the Downtown area is very cultured.” exclaimed English Teacher Ms. Lauren Graziano. “It’s very beautiful and classy, not all towns have that.”

Next time you’re looking for something fun to do on the weekends, look no further — Downtown is just a mile away!