Friday, July 18, 2008

the Berkshires - home of sustainable living and mostly serene

I used to live in the rolling green hills of western Massachusetts, better known as 'the Berkshires'. When I left there about 10 years ago, the summer tourist trade was brisk and annoying, but valuable to many folks who had tourist-dependent businesses.

It has gentrified significantly in these last 10 years. Great Barrington, my home town for many years is now a bit more like the Village in NY - artsy-funky-chic. It was sort of the last bastion for full-timers that has now gone NY in the summers. Getting from one end of this small town to the other used to take about 5 minutes by car, now it could take up to 45 minutes any given Saturday!

Okay, enough bitching. This is where I got my sustainable living chops. Being part of the wonderful Berkshire CoOp Market, learning and experimenting with so many other green folks over 20 years ago when this was all considered fringe behavior.

We got to be tourists this past weekend. Stayed in a gorgeous cottage across the street from the Stockbridge Bowl lake, with Tanglewood at one end of the road and the Norman Rockwellian Main Street of Stockbridge on the other end.

I actually shopped in Lenox. When I lived there, I only went to Lenox to go to a workshop or a class I had taken that happened to be up there. Nice place, but I'm just not one of those village, vacation-type shoppers. And I most certainly wouldn't have gone near it on a summer Saturday, what with all those crazy New Yorkers and New Jersey folks!

Guess what we did Saturday???? After going to Tanglewood, another experience I rarely enjoyed when I lived here, we went to Lenox and ate Lunch at a very classy restaurant called Zinc and sat two tables away from Hugh Downs, retired veteran TV news and anchorman. By the way, the food was amazing!

Then, I decided to walk around and shop like I was from New Jersey - although I live in New Jersey, I'm not exactly at home there. Found this fantastic little shop called, The Old Country Store. Hands down the coolest country store I've ever been in - complete with a full line of hysterical gifts from local company Blue Q, great organic baby clothing and gifts, and many other sustainable products and locally grown crafts. If you get up there, please visit this shop. Owners Carrie and Bill Wright obviously have a great sense of style AND humor.

Sunday we had brunch at Martin's in Great Barrington. Wow. I sold Martin my old house 20 years ago and I helped clean this restaurant up and get it up and running. Still a great low-stress breakfast joint - if you don't mind standing in the road and waiting for a while. I just went over to my favorite new age shop - Crystal Essence and did some more tourist-style shopping!

GD Meg

1 comment:

megha said...

I have been there in zinc and food is really good.

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