Friday, June 15, 2007

The Globetrotter

A short way up Route 35 North from Lavalette on the NJ shore - just as you pass from the quaint bed & breakfast lined streets of Bay Head into the boardwalk and amusement park buzz of Point Pleasant - you will find my favorite shop in the entire world: Globetrotter. We've been coming back to this amazing little place every year since first coming to the NJ shore in 2004. There is something about it that pulls you in, lulls you with good karma, and makes time stand still.

Outside, Globetrotter in a colorful mix of ceramic pots, exotic plantings, giant Buddhas, driftwood furniture and every imaginable form of eastern statue art, all sun splashed beneath fluttering Indian cloth sari's.
Every element is painstakingly and lovingly placed, mixed, and matched by Dean Fengya, Globetrotters' founder and owner and his staff. The effect is a dazzling maze of paths that wind around the property. You can wander for what seems like hours, around and around, and never seem to take it all in. Your eyes keep landing on something you didn't see before.

Dean procures all the goods at Globetrotter in the "off season" - that is January 1 through April 30 - while he literally travels the world - from Vietnam to Africa. A self taught craftsman and carpenter, and a longtime lifeguard on the nearby beaches, Dean is one of those rare souls who is more at home on the road than anywhere else. He exudes a grace and peacefulness that surrounds the entire place and it often reminds me of the feeling I get when I'm in Sedona AZ. Just good karma all around. I liked him the moment I met him.

And just when you think you've got your hands around Globetrotter and all the amazing outdoor pieces, you notice the little doorway, you smell the incense, and you hear the mystical music playing and it beckons you in and then you really get blown away.

Inside the store, bright sunlight gives way to a darker more mysterious environment. Once your eyes adjust - your jaw drops.

All around you - in every nook and cranny, on every shelf or flat surface, hanging from every fixture - is the most fascinating and dense array of jewelry, vases, artwork, baubles, mirrors, statues, bags, candles, glassworks and lights you can imagine. Hidden here and there are engraved copper plates with wonderful quotes about peace and travel, and Buddhas on which people have placed monetary offerings.

In every shape and color, from every imaginable corner of the world. All packed into a space not much larger than our living room - and again - a maze of narrow paths through it all that keep you walking in circles for what seems like hours never quite taking it all in.

After a while you step back outside and wander some more. And then back inside. And then back out. Over the years we've actually developed a system for handling our visits to Globetrotter. We start with a scouting mission - usually an hour or two - seeing what jumps out at us or what we think might look cool somewhere in the house. We take a bunch of pictures and come back to the beach house and discuss. Next day we return and spand another hour or two - narrowing the search, measuring items, placing them side by side, making the inevitable but difficult decisions, and then giddily handing over gobs of our money to Dean!

We've collected several unique items from Globetrotter over the past few years and they always elicit comments and questions from friends about where we got them. This year we're more than doubling the number of pieces we have, and purchasing several pieces for friends as well. We are so drawn to Dean and what he has created here - more art exhibit than retail shop it seems - and the peace and good energy that Globetrotter exudes - that we feel it's only fitting we spread the word and share a little piece of it with others.

I look forward to visiting Dean and Globerotter each year we come down to Lavallette. It's a highlight of the trip. And it's become almost a spiritual pilgrimage in some ways, as I tend to visit on the anniversary of Dad's passing (June 14) and find it offers me a contemplative and peaceful place to be on that day. I've never experienced that kind of connection to a store ever in my life.

So...if you are EVER on the NJ Shore near Point Pleasant - between May and New Year's - you owe it to yourself to stop by and check out this amazing little shop. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. And tell him JP & Suanne sent ya!

1809 Ocean Avenue
Rt 35 South
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742


1 comment:

brenda belleville said...

You are a true salesman. :) I want to go today!