Thursday, August 2, 2012

a mangled dime outside of Spruce Salon in Chicopee, MA

The city of Chicopee in Massachusetts is a special place. With a population of just over 54,000, I have been coming to this New England town since I was a child to visit my grandma and grandpa. Chicopee is officially, and unofficially, known for many things. It is known for; its Polish food and residents, the difficulty in finding someone under the age of 55, the Chicopee Falls dam, the excessive number of Dunkin Donuts, the large abandoned industrial buildings, and the birthplace of Edward Bellamy, author of the utopian novel Looking Backward.

In fact, if you Wikipedia the city of Chicopee, the headlining picture featured is a building that is no longer even in use (a picture of the Former Chicopee High School where my mother went in the 70s). However, despite the time machine you have to step in to get to this place, I have always felt welcome and closer to my grandma here (who passed away years ago when I was in college).

While venturing out (loose use of “venturing”), I found a mangled dime on the ground outside of one of Chicopee’s newest establishments (didn’t even know they had new things). The Spruce Salon on Front Street is very cute and quaint hair salon that offers a variety of services and products. Outside of the usual services of a salon, they also have a very friendly staff of 9 to 11 workers and very comfy chairs to sit in while you get your hair done.

The salon opened in 2006 in a small building that used to sell medical equipment. Coming to Chicopee every year since I was born, I had never seen a single person enter the darkened, cramped medical equipment store. Since remodeling the inside, Spruce salon now makes approximately $500,000 to $1million a year, and has brightened up the slightly business-abandoned road section of Front Street.  

In blog news, this post brings me over $1.00! It does pay to look down sometimes.

Total Change Found: $1.02

As a final crazy grandpa note: ever since this salon has opened, my grandfather swears that they make "thousands of dollars" a day and that all people should open salons. He even offered my sister, a current editor at a DC magazine, $5,000 to quit her job and open a salon. Oh the charm (and harm) of Chicopee Mass!


  1. Love this blog! In terms of the change thing, when we left Baltimore I had a big cookie jar full of change that I had put in there of the past year or more. I cashed it in and had over 100 bucks. I told my kids that we were spending that money on snorkels and masks when we got here. We did and have used them - very cool. I now have a new change jar already getting filled up.

    1. Thanks for reading! That's a great purchase with all of your change. Just as eating dinner when someone else offers to pay is sweet, it is equally as sweet to buy things knowing that the money is all from change! Also, if you want to continue the tradition of buying things with change, this is a link to an image from GiveCorps which is an organization that donates to charities. They are running a program right now where if you fill up a Change Jar and send them a picture of it, they send you an invite to Woodberry Kitchen's 1 year anniversary! They can also be found and friended on Facebook. Sounds delicious.

  2. One other note. When we were in New Orleans there was a grocery store that made you put a quarter in the shopping cart. At the end of shopping you would put your cart back and get the quarter back. Made you put the cart back but was kinda a pain. A friend used to drill holes in quarters and use them in the carts. Then when she was done using the cart she would pass the cart along to the next shopper who would give her a new quarter not realizing that there was a drilled out quarter in the cart. Good times.