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Friday, October 21, 2011

Do You Instagram?

We’re having fun with our Instagram account which is an application on the iPhone,  snapping pics of all sorts of things on the Porches property. Read more about Instagram below:

Pick from one of several gorgeous filtered effects or tilt-shift blur to breathe a new life into your mobile photos. Transform everyday moments into works of art you’ll want to share with friends and family.

Share your photos in a simple photo stream with friends to see – and follow your friends’ photos with the click of a single button. Every day you open up Instagram, you’ll see new photos from your closest friends, and creative people from around the world.

If you’re not on Instagram, follow our feed here on Gramfeed and we’ll be doing more with this images soon! Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Live Music in the Berkshires: FreshGrass Festival @ MASS MoCA

FreshGrass: A Festival of Bluegrass + Art @ MASS MoCA
Sept 24 – Sept 25
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$68 Festival Pass / $48 Sunday only / $38 Saturday only
You’ll find some of the finest pickin’ and grinnin’ anywhere in the country this weekend in North Adams on this weekend as  MASS MoCA presents some of today’s most exciting young bluegrass artists — along with one of the genre’s living legends — in the Hunter Center and Courtyard C plus pop-up performances in the galleries in FreshGrass, their first ever bluegrass festival. Ticket prices include gallery admission.
The festival kicks off on Saturday with a short outdoor acoustic set by Dave Mayfield, during the reception for our new expansion called, The Speed Way, an outdoor extension of the MASS MoCA campus including three new works of art, and 1.5 acres of “asphalt meadow” landscaping. The festival will then pick ups at full speed at 7pm in Courtyard C with Sarah Jarosz then moves indoors to the Hunter Theater at 8:30pm.

Click here to see the full schedule, videos of the performers and more!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane Irene: Travel Updates in Northern Berkshire County

Things are safe and sound at Porches, but our thoughts are with our neighbors and friends in area communities that were impacted by Hurricane Irene. We wanted to inform those coming our way this weekend of road closures. Our beloved Mohawk Trail has experienced significant damage, as well areas in and around North Adams and Northern Berkshire & Franklin County and beyond.  If you are interested in learning more about the local relief effort, click here.

For those traveling in Massachusetts and points North/East: please check Mass Department of Transportation website for road closures and updates. They have also created a Google Map outlining these as well.

For those coming from New York and points West/South (outside of MA) please check New York’s 511NY website. In the map legend, make sure to click on Incidents/Closures as that will show places there is road damage or closures.

Route 2 between Williamstown and Albany is not open (it was a recommended alternate route in the directions below).

Directions from both Boston and NYC: Take 90 to exit 2 in Lee, MA. From there take Route 20 West. It will join with Route 7. Continue into Pittsfield and take a right onto Route 8 North. Follow Route 8 into North Adams. You will come over a bridge that is under construction. Continue until the 3rd stop light and take a left onto River Street. We will be on the right. (From NYC take 87 or the Taconic to get to 90.)

If you have any questions, please contact us at 413-664-0400.

Have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend.

-SGW

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hit the Road: The Mohawk Trail

Porches is located right near the end of the Mohawk Trail, which was historically a Native American migratory game path, now known as Massachusetts Route 2. Not only has it been recognized as one of the best scenic routes in the country, it’s a nice way to get from A to B without going on an actual “highway.” From the famous Hairpin Turn to the rich Native American history, the Mohawk Trail makes for a great day trip! Here is a map from the Porches to Greenfield (with a couple of cool stops along the trail). Happy Trails!

Here are a few fun links if you’re planning a drive up the trail while you’re at Porches :

  • Here’s a video of cars going up the Hairpin Turn (and here’s another…with over 3,000 views!)
  • driving tours
  • Check out a superbrief history or an in-depth history of the Mohawk Trail. Either way it’s neat to see how it became the “
  • The Learning Channel recognized the Mohawk Trail as a scenic ride in Massachusetts Scenic Drives: Mohawk Trail
  • Itinerary from WikiTravel.com Things to do, see, etc…
  • You can have lunch 1700 feet above sea level at the Golden Eagle, on the Hairpin Turn (great lookout point, complete with coin-operated binoculars.)
  • In National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways, the Mohawk Trail is named third in the category Best Fall Foliage.
  • “What right minded retro roadside attraction loving person would dare pass by this wonderful and colorful souvenir shop on Route 2 in Shelburne Falls, MA?” Find out on RetroRoadMap’s blog about The Big Indian Shop Gift Shop on Trail. (Also check out the Flickr page for the Big Indian Shop. It’s a phenomenon!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

See Art More Often: Brill Gallery II

Art in a museum, gallery, school, even outdoor art we’ve seen before. Something we hadn’t seen before – an art gallery that is not only located outside, but is located on the exterior of the building! Ralph Brill opened Brill Gallery II this summer on the outside of the Cariddi Mill on in North Adams and we got a chance to see it. In a recent article from BerkshireOnStage.com, writer Charles Giuliano talks about Brill’s exterior gallery along with his many art projects in the area:

“In addition to the Brill Gallery in the Eclipse Mill you are using large images attached to some of the windows of the Cariddi Mill between North Adams and Williamstown. You are calling it Brill Gallery Two and it is intended to create an awareness of your gallery in the Eclipse Mill. You have mentioned drive by visibility during the season in the hundreds of thousands”

Have you seen the Brill Gallery II while you are making your way to Porches? What’s your favorite piece of outdoor art?

Brill Gallery II
Cariddi Mill Exterior
Route 2, between North Adams and Williamstown
On view 24 hours

- May / Sept “Changing Displays”
Visual art and light shows on exterior of Cariddi Mill.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pic of the Week: Sabine the Cat Relaxes (& other ways to unwind @ Porches)

Our Feline-in-Residence Sabine (or Bean, as she’s known to the Porches staff) is a quiet presence at the Inn, whether she’s keeping guests company in the lounge area or taking in the sun on the second floor walk way (where she matches the carpet!) We even caught Sabine doing some yoga poses (pictured here is the Downward-facing-Dog, obviously not her favorite). She is the queen of relaxing and we wanted to share with you a few ways to unwind while you’re at Porches:

If you enjoy yoga like Sabine, our Dharma Days package might be right for you! Spend two days practicing yoga at the nearby Frog Lotus Studio and one night in our serene digs. This package aims to rejuvenate your body and soul and includes a total of four yoga classes per package (2 per person or however you’d like to divvy them up!) along with our balanced continental breakfast in the morning.

After a day exploring the Berkshires with the gang, if you’d rather Hunker Down, retire to your guestroom for a movie and an extra large pizza with this package! Choose from our extensive movie library while we order up the pizza (or four subs) along with four sodas; we’ll make popcorn for you too!

If the outdoors are your thing, check out our (heated in the winter!) outdoor pool and hot tub. Those looking to cool off will find an array of museums, galleries, shops and restaurants to explore while you are in town!

What are some of your favorite ways to unwind while traveling? Comment on our Facebook page or Tweet us at @porchesinnmoca!
-SGW

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Downstreet Art Opening this Thursday!

Get Down! Hit the streets of North Adams on July 28, from 6 – 9.

New exibition openings, performance, live music and murals.
Restaurants, shops and bars open late.

DownStreetArt returns this Thursday with six new exhibitions including the work of renowned photographer and artist Carrie Mae Weems, live performances on the street by Mark Steward, Paul Simon’s Guitarist and Bang On A Can All Stars member and his orchestra of homemade instruments and live aerial song cycles by artist C. Ryder Cooley.   Now in it’s fourth year DownStreet Art celebrates the arts community of North Adams.  ”It is great on the last Thursday night of every month to see hundreds of people in downtown North Adams, just like back in the day when payday was the night to go out”, says Jonathan Secor, MCLA’s Director of Special Programs. “And to have contemporary art and performance as the catalyst for those hundreds recognizes a new beginning for the City”. Read more about this Thursday’s schedule of openings, click here.

-SGW

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pic of the Week: Porches Visit to Eagle Street & Beaver Artist Mills!

Last month, the marketing department along with the Porches Inn’s new Innkeeper Mel (who will be featured on our blog soon!) visited this summer’s Downstreet Art galleries to see what kind of exhibits we can tell our guests about. This month, MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center Director Jonathon Secor took us to two former mills that were transformed into artist live work spaces.  It was exciting to see the difference between these spaces and a traditional brick-and-mortar retail gallery space.

Our first stop was the Historic Beaver Mill which is home to over twenty artist work and/or live spaces and several galleries. The first studio we visited was  Leibman Studios were Rebecca Leibman gave us a tour of her live/work space as well as the show 4 Concepts of North South East West by 4 artist. Rebecca also gave us a tour studio21south as the gallery managers Jaye and Thor were out of town.  In addition to these two galleries, the Beaver Mill is also home to the Frog Lotus Yoga Studio and many other artist spaces.

The next stop in the artist mill tour was the Eclipse Mill which is home to a community of artists, living and working in a former textile mill. Our first stop was the Brill Gallery, where Ralph Brill showed us around the his current show featuring photography from the Powder Ridge Rock Festival. Gail Sellars from River Hill Pottery gave us a mini tour  of the shop and of their studio, as well as a tour (with Ralph Brill) of the Eclipse Mill Gallery and the “Reflections on Melville” exhibit which features photographs by Kay Canavino and abstract paintings by Arthur Yanoff telling the story of Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Arrowhead, Mt. Greylock, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Monument Mountain.

We also stopped by Grover Askin’s book store: G.J. Askins Bookseller where he shared some of his favorite ways to find books (estate sales, auctions, thrift stores, etc…)

Check out our Facebook page for pictures from our visit and here is the info for each gallery:

Historic Beaver Mill
189 Beaver Street
Route 8
North Adams, MA

Leibman Studios
Historic Beaver Mill: Liebman Studios
Natural Bridge State Park
McCauley Road off Route 8
(877)904-2362 (call for hours)

studio21south
Saturday, 10-5; Sunday 10-1; and by appointment in the summer.
http://www.studio21south.blogspot.com
413/652-2141

Eclipse Mill
243 Union Street, #102
North Adams, MA

Brill Gallery
Loft 109 (first floor)
Hours: Friday-Sunday 12-6 and by appointment
http://www.brillgallery109.com
800 294-2811

River Hill Pottery
Loft 104 (first floor)
Open Daily 10-5 and by appointment
http://www.riverhillpottery.com
413-664-0197

Eclipse Mill Gallery
Loft 102
Saturday-Sunday, 12-5.
www.eclipsemillgallery.com

G.J.Askins Bookseller
Loft 108
Weekends or by chance
or appointment
413-664-6493

Friday, July 15, 2011

Porches Pic of the Week: Have enough plates?

We thought it’d be fun every Friday to do a “Pic of the Week” feature where we share an image from The Porches Inn whether it’s from of our extensive, eclectic art collection or our resident feline Sabine! This week’s pic is one of our many vintage plate collages that adorn the Porches hallways.

We love all things vintage at Porches, where do you find your flea-market finds?
Have a great weekend! -SGW

Friday, June 24, 2011

Keeping it Local: Eagle Street Market during Solid Sound Festival

Eagle Street Market during Solid Sound Festival
Stop by the Eagle Street Market in downtown North Adams on Saturday, June 25th, for a once a year market of unique, quality handmade wares, curiosities, pretty things and delicious local edibles! Browse dozens of area artisans, entrepreneurs, local shops & farmers and meet creative folk with a shared love of a beautiful place, nice people, local talent and good music.
Here is some info about the shops on Eagle Street (from the Market Facebook page) – “Historic Eagle Street is home to some really cool local businesses. Jack’s Hot Dog Stand has been around since 1917! You can also grab a bite to eat and sit on the patio at Desperado’s Mexican Restaurant,or grab a slice from Supreme Pizza or Village PizzaPersnickety Toys is one of the best toy stores in New England and a must if you have little ones. If your little ones are of the furry variety the Bark’N Cat should be on your list of places to visit this weekend, too.
Papyri Books offers used & rare books. The Warp Gallery is new with a collection of unusual offerings. There’s also Martha Flood Studio, Clarksburg Collectibles, Mia’s Exchange (for the thrift store junky), the Party Place (great party supplies, silliness & $1 noise makers that the kids will love), Kim’s Cut’s & the Klipper Kingz…. AND Eagle Street Music!”
According to event organizer and shop owner Suzy Helme, “We have 31 vendors coming this Saturday! There will hand knits, silk-screened clothing and houseware, ceramic tableware, funky pottery, felted wool coolness, vintage game piece jewelry, beaded & porcelain jewelry, quilts, totes, re-purposed unique house decor, blown glass, candles,hand knit toys, photography, original paintings, copper & leather accessories, gourmet cookies, locally raised meats, jams, plants and maple products. PLUS, the wonderful shops on Eagle Street will be open so you can browse all of their unique goods, too!
Check out the event’s Facebook page for more info!