Archive for June, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Peanuts & Crackerjacks

I don’t follow sports, but I can’t help but think of the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” a few times each summer (I was going to end that sentence with “here in Red Sox Nation,” but I know quite a few local Yankees fans who would disagree with me!)  Each year, Porches sponsors the North Adams Steeplecats – an odd name for a team, but one that makes sense once you notice the five prominent steeples crowning the North Adams cityscape.  The Steeplecats’ are on a mission to give some of the best college ballplayers in the US a place to fine-tune their impressive skills – the result is great family entertainment right here in North Adams! So, if you would like to be entertained outdoors by America’s favorite pastime, consider adding a rousing Steeplecats home game to your next Berkshire adventure. Please click here to view a schedule… 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Only $45?!

It’s about a 45-minute drive from Tanglewood to our neck of the woods. The drive up Route 8 is beautiful, with views across placid lakes to Mount Greylock and plenty of rolling green hills to lose yourself in. If you’re heading to the Berkshires this summer, I suggest you consider this amazing deal… Tanglewood and the Clark Art Institute have partnered on a $45 package that includes two Tanglewood lawn tickets and two admissions to the Clark. To hear a sublime classical concert and visit a great museum for just $22.50 per person?! Super! Treat yourself to an extended weekend that you finish off in the Berkshires: Start with a Sunday afternoon concert at Tanglewood with a huge, decadent picnic; head north to take advantage of Porches’ thriftier Sunday night rate (and fabulous digs!); then head to the Clark the next day… Check out this link for more details on the Tanglewood/Clark package…


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Longest Days of the Year

A massive thunderstorm is blowing through the Berkshires as I write this – for about an hour, it was almost pitch black during a time when we usually swoon over the ever-lasting daylight. The tempest forced me to discontinue my brief putter in the garden and instead just think about being outside. Each week, I try to hike a different Berkshire vista; so I decided to use my time sequestered indoors searching for a new spot to explore. Surfing around on the ‘net, I came across a couple of fun things to do outdoors next week. Natural Bridge State Park and Western Gateway Heritage State Park, both in North Adams, offer great programs and hikes for nature and history  buffs. The WGHS is celebrating the longest day of the year with Summer Solstice Astronomy Sky Theatre (constellations & flying saucers!) on June 19th beginning at 7pm. At the Natural Bridge State Park, there are a couple of informative walks taking place on June 24th — this one exploring the history & geology of the park and on June 25th, a morning stroll observing Mother Nature… Please click here and scroll to the bottom to see links to events at these sites.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bring Your Walking Shoes

One morning last month, I settled into a chair with a cup of French Roast in Porches’ living room.  A book on the history of North Adams caught my eye… flipping through it, I saw photos of a thriving manufacturing city.  From the Gilded Age to the post-war era, North Adams had vibrancy typical of a place where business thrived and families took root. When MASS MoCA stepped into the footprint of the Sprague Electric plant, the city was reborn – it now flourishes again as a dynamic mix of arts professionals and artists, college staff and students, and IT specialists carry on the enterprising tradition of  the city. 

I looked on the events page on North Adam’s website and found a fun, free event on Saturday, June 20—Local Historian Paul W. Marino is presenting an “entertaining historical walk” around North Adams. Participants are warned to “be prepared to have your ears talked off!” I’m thinking this could be an early Father’s Day excursion with dad… (Meet on Veazie Street at 2:30PM; email historyman@copper.net for more information.)


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Calling All Fashionistas!

This weekend, Porches will be welcoming the families of Williams College students for graduation weekend. We’re fortunate to be in a college town – between Williams and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, these fine institutions offer all kinds of programs for the community, many for free. The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) is one of the finest college art museums in the US, focusing on American art, modern and contemporary art, and the art of non-Western civilizations.  

Anyone interested in fashion will want to see the two exhibitions of Edward Steichen’s photography opening June 6th at the WCMA, where 300 rarely-seen prints are now on view. One exhibition includes images from Steichen’s work during the 20s and 30s for Vogue and Vanity Fair (think Chanel, Schiaparelli, Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper!) and the other explores the technical and artistic issues of the artist’s career.  This is a chance to see the work of an American modernist who influenced generations of artists and photographers—Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Bruce Weber are among his stylistic successors. Steichen’s work helped shift the public perception of American women from soft, romantic creatures to direct and engaging commanders of their femininity and power. 


Monday, June 1, 2009

Copy Writing

Attendees at MASS MoCA’s Tenth Anniversary Ball were treated to a first look at George Cochrane: Long Time Gone, one of three new exhibitions to open last month at the museum. Brooklyn-based painter George Cochrane is creating a graphic novel with his six-year-old daughter Fiamma and shares the first two chapters of that work with MASS MoCA audiences this summer. Fiamma’s nightmare ignites Cochrane’s interpretation of the 24 hour period that he is presenting in the novel… and the resulting illustrations are at once sweet and whimsical while beingintense and, at times, moody.  Not to be missed! For more info, go to www.massmoca.org.


George Cochranes Long Time Gone at MASS MoCA

Detail from George Cochrane’s “Long Time Gone” at MASS MoCA