Walking to the shops makes life better

It often takes an outside eye to help one see things close at hand. Last night, a friend came to my house for supper. I'd made a rhubarb crumble, and mentioned that it really should be served with ice cream. Everyone agreed, and my daughter said, in the most ordinary way, "I'll go get some at the coop." The Berkshire Coop is a small version of Wholefoods and it's about five minutes' walk from my house, straight down the hill and across Main Street. She picked up her purse and [...]

June 27th, 2012|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: , , |

The walk to Main Street

Berkshire Publishing used to have offices on Main Street and my walk to work was down Castle Street - the prettiest and shortest commute in the world, I often thought. It's still my most frequent walk because I'd do just about anything to avoid driving and have the good fortune to live in a neighborhood within a few minutes' of a small-town downtown with hardware stores (yes, that's plural), groceries, library, restaurants, and one of the best cheese shops in the United States. I used to go into Covent Garden [...]

May 25th, 2012|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Spring peepers and poetry

This email is too good not to share with international friends. It comes from our friend Erik Hoffner at Orion magazine, which has offices on Main Street in Great Barrington, only an eight-minute walk from the offices of Berkshire Publishing. A peeper, for those of you who have not lived in New England, is a tiny frog that makes a great deal of noise. They are the sound of springtime here - until the birds arrive, of course. So far, only geese, not flocks of chattering birds. The fact that [...]

March 12th, 2012|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

‘Cash-Mob’ Creates Movie-Like Fairy Tale for Family Behind Ohio Hardware Store – ABC News

The town I live in ("some of the time," my neighbors might say) is known for efforts to promote local businesses as part of a sustainable regional economy. I've written about them and will be writing more. When I came across this article, which mentions the "sense of community," I wondered if such a thing could happen in Great Barrington. And I wondered if the good feeling that motivated the "mob" shoppers would keep them coming back, again and again. While Black has been fending media calls, Shutts and her [...]

55 years later, Pittsfield diner is still all in the family – Berkshire Eagle Online

After rereading The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community over the weekend, I am paying more attention to diners. I might visit Adrien's Diner in Pittsfield - eggs and bacon are the tough part of doing this type of research - and there's a famous diner in Lee I might catch on the way back to Great Barrington one morning. Operating daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Adrien's is also open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from [...]

January 18th, 2012|Categories: The Search for Community|Tags: |

Welcome home

My usual walk is to Lake Mansfield, through the neighborhood we call "The Hill." I occasionally see people but not many. It's a quiet neighborhood, and even quieter along the lake until you get to the beach (busy this time of year). But this morning we needed milk so I walked down the hill to Main Street, to the Berkshire Coop. I had other on-foot errands (dropping boxes of cereal the no one likes at the food pantry and returning hangers to the drycleaners) I could do. More important, I [...]