Macaulay in hip Montpelier

  “Why the Chicken Crossed the Road ,’’  by the famed David Macaulay, in the show “Macaulay in Montpelier: Selected Drawing and Sketches,’’ though Nov. 2 at the Spotlight Gallery at the Vermont Arts Council.    David Macaulay, now a Vermonter but previously a Rhode Islander   ,    is a British-born illustrator and writer whose books have sold over 3 million copies in the United States and have been translated into a dozen languages. According to Macaulay, the featured works were "selected in the dark from hundreds of illustrations and at least five times as many sketches," representing "a tiny sliver of the vast amount of flotsam left in the wake of each book.’ ’

“Why the Chicken Crossed the Road,’’ by the famed David Macaulay, in the show “Macaulay in Montpelier: Selected Drawing and Sketches,’’ though Nov. 2 at the Spotlight Gallery at the Vermont Arts Council.

David Macaulay, now a Vermonter but previously a Rhode Islander, is a British-born illustrator and writer whose books have sold over 3 million copies in the United States and have been translated into a dozen languages. According to Macaulay, the featured works were "selected in the dark from hundreds of illustrations and at least five times as many sketches," representing "a tiny sliver of the vast amount of flotsam left in the wake of each book.’

  State Street, in downtown Montpelier.

State Street, in downtown Montpelier.

  Downtown shops, not surprisingly including yoga.

Downtown shops, not surprisingly including yoga.

  Montpelier in 1884. Note the domed state capitol.

Montpelier in 1884. Note the domed state capitol.

Montpelier, in the Green Mountains, while the smallest state capital, is a remarkably hip city with good restaurants (Sarducci’s is terrific), galleries and other small-scale retailing. In the 19th and 20 centuries the city also had a good number of small manufacturers.

The city also hosts the the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the New England Culinary Institute, the latter helping to explain the presence of good restaurants. The main drawbacks are the long winters and the Winooski River, which, while scenic, from time to time floods part of the downtown.