Berkshires Getaway-Pump, Pack and Pamper
I was fascinated everywhere I looked to see what had been incorporated into the installation. Steel rebar, girders, bamboo that you see on construction sights all over China used as scaffolding, shovels, hard hats, gloves, canisters, tools and heads made of industrial jackhammers. Its hard to translate the effort it must have taken to plan and execute this work. The artistic vision and scientific calculations to create and then transport, by sea, in crates, the pieces for the 100 foot mythical birds… I was awestruck. For someone whose motto is reduce, reuse, and recycle, it was a highlight of the trip.
Town itself has many galleries, shops selling vintage items and plenty of restaurants. The street art pooping up around every corner reminds you that many artists are at work in the warehouses that make up much of the city.
A favorite spot for dinner is Gramercy Bistro. Walking distance from the porches, and in the MoCA complex, it is a spot committed to supporting local food producers and farmers and their menu reflects that.
Early the next morning take a beautiful walk on the Cascades Trail a short drive away. This hidden hike, tucked in behind a residential area is minutes away from downtown and short enough to get in and still have plenty of the day left for exploring. There are plenty of additional activities and hikes listed on the web site.
Head into Williamstown after your hike for an art filled day. The Sterling and Francine Clark Institute houses a remarkable collection of paintings, crafts, sculpture and drawings that reflect the eclectic and comprehensive taste of the couple. Make sure not to miss the Stone Hill Center located on a wooded hillside up from the Clark with beautiful views of the mountains. There are also scenic trails if you want to hit the woods again and usually a special exhibit housed in the modern building. Plenty of spots for lunch in Williamstown, my favorite is Poppy’s Deli with a lengthy list of vegetarian options. Nearby, the Williams College Museum of Art emphasizes modern and contemporay art from world cultures. The thought provoking exhibits dig deep and ask questions that you would hope to find at a leading center of higher learning.
Now that you’ve fed your soul and pampered your brain, time for a taste of spa treatments. We had a good laugh when we discovered this vintage steamer in a shop, but it wasn’t quite what we had in mind for rejuvenation.
Much better were the results at the In Touch Massage and Day Spa which began its life as a grist mill in 1762 and is perched on the banks of the Green River. If you’re there in the summer, make sure to book a massage outside and drift off to the sounds of the water pouring over the rocks in the river. It was a tad chilly for us , but are treatments were heavenly just the same.
On the short drive back to The Porches, we stopped at Wild Oats Cooperative, a purveyor of natural groceries, locally grown produce, prepared foods and beer and wine. After so much art and walking, we decided a picnic dinner was in order and were able to take advantage of the special outdoor space The Porches had to offer.