While shopping at Blain's Farm & fleet on my way to the cabin, I asked again if I could buy the Wisconsin State flag off the wall, or if they sold them somewhere in the store. "No, sorry" replied the cashier. However, a few seconds later she followed up with "...but there is this place called The Local Store in downtown Eau Claire that sells all kind of weird Eau Claire and Northern Wisconsin stuff that might have something". After thanking her for the recommendation and paying for my blaze orange camo hoodie, I headed southbound towards downtown Eau Claire, the exact opposite of the cabin.
Holy shit. I believe I fell in love with this store at first sight and wanted to give them all of my money, immediately. Between the giant wall of well-designed Eau Claire and obscure Northern Wisconsin beer t-shirts, the wall of silkscreened posters featuring the artwork of Aaron Draplin, one of my favorite designers, and the incredible postcards, books and archival DVD footage of Eau Claire public access TV shows, this place was incredible. It seems that the success of Bon Iver has brought about an arts-based cultural revival on Eau Claire as The Local Store also houses an art gallery in addition to a musical performance space. Fucking rad.
Naturally, I bought one or two grips worth of shit there and encourage all of you fellow Wiscsonsin lovers to check out their online store filled with all sorts of cool Wisconsin stuff.