Friday, March 25, 2005

Topic: Where the good music is tonight!

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Club Helsinki Rocks!

Sunday, March 27, 2005 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Middle class need not apply to Lenox

Letters

The Berkshire Eagle

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

To the Editor of The EAGLE:

I'd like to thank Mr. Steinhacker for explaining the rules for visitors to Lenox (Letters to the Editor, June 22). Let me see if I understand them:

1. A Doctorate of Fine Arts, to obtain admission to Tanglewood and the plethora of art galleries. (Uneducated people can't possibly enjoy art or music).

2. A minimum of a half-million dollar annual income, so one can afford the new generation of Lenox McMansions. Potential visitors must purchase one of the McMansions and plan to spend the entire summer, not just a few days.

3. Don't even think of attending an event as vulgar as a craft show. If it's not a Rockwell, Neiman, or Pollock, it's not art.

4. Curb your appetite at the town line. Eating lunch or having ice cream in Lenox is too middle class.

5. In conjunction with rules 2 and 3, visitors must have no debt and plenty of disposable income available for investments in fine art.

Will checkpoints be constructed at the Lenox town borders? Will these rules be incorporated with the new passport requirements? For those of us who do not meet all five criteria, can we still pass through Lenox, or should we use alternate routes so that we do not contaminate the elite citizenry of Lenox?

PATRICK SMITH

Sheffield, June 25, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

THE BOSTON GLOBE

Bliss in the Berkshires
Six perfect Saturdays of fine arts, dining, hiking, and shopping
By Karen Campbell, Globe Columnist | June 28, 2007

Every summer when the heat gets impossibly oppressive, the Berkshires beckon like a cool green oasis. How could they not? They offer activities from hiking and horseback riding to antiquing and leisurely strolls through the area's quaint towns. Canyon Ranch and Kripalu have their special spa cachet, and there is a flurry of crafts festivals throughout the summer.

But one of the area's biggest draws is the performing arts, transforming the Berkshires into a virtual cultural mecca. On any given weekend, you can see first-rate dance, theater, and music by acclaimed stars from around the world.

Based on geography, here are six Saturday itineraries to make a trip down the pike well worth your while. Follow the plan or mix and match. . . .

This one's a family-friendly jaunt. The Sharks and the Jets rumble at Barrington Stage Company's production of "West Side Story," the groundbreaking Bernstein/Sondheim musical that transports "Romeo & Juliet" to the streets of New York City. This one never gets old. (30 Union St., 413-499-5447. barringtonstageco.org)

But start the day off with a visit to Hancock Shaker Village (routes 20 & 41, 413-443-0188. hancockshakervillage.org), where you can explore 21 historic Shaker buildings and one of the nation's premiere collections of Shaker furniture and artifacts. Then head back into town to the Berkshire Museum (39 South St., 413-443-7171. berkshiremuseum.org). This charming, very friendly museum is one of the few to combine art, history, and the natural world -- from Native American crafts to ancient mummies. There's lots of kid-friendly stuff, too, like a "please touch" aquarium. You leave feeling enriched but not overwhelmed. For dinner, the new hot spot in town is Spice (297 North St., 413-443-1234. spice-restaurant.com), which offers familiar food with a twist -- try the crispy shrimp and crab cake with sweet chili remoulade.

Downtown Stockbridge is all of a block long, but on Saturdays it's one bustling berg, with the streets offering everything from galleries (don't miss the spectacular Holsten's Galleries of Contemporary Glass Sculpture, 3 Elm St.) to the domestic bliss of the Country Curtains shop behind the Red Lion Inn.

If the weather's nice, Berkshire Botanical Garden ( routes 102 & 83, 413-298-3926. berkshirebotanical.org) offers a quiet refuge of brilliant color and scent, with 15 acres of display gardens, a woodland trail, a tropical greenhouse, and an arboretum. A little farther down Route 183, the Norman Rockwell Museum ( 9 Glendale Road, 413-298-4100. nrm.org) features the world's largest collection of the famed Stockbridge artist's work, as well as work by other masters.

As the day ends, you can't beat a drink and people-watching on the gracious porch of the Red Lion Inn (30 Main St., 413-298-5545. redlioninn.com), which has welcomed travelers to the Berkshires for more than two centuries. Traditional and contemporary New England cuisine is excellent in the inn's romantic dining room, with candlelight twinkling in the prisms of crystal chandeliers and antique teapots lining the walls.

For the evening's entertainment, the dynamic Jonathan Epstein and "Terminator" guts-and-glory-girl Linda Hamilton headline Berkshire Theatre Festival's (6 Main St., 413-298-5576. berkshire

theatre .org) new production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," based on Ken Kesey's powerful and provocative novel.

The industrial town of North Adams

has been transformed by the develop-

ment of MASS MoCA (87 Marshal St.,

413 -MoCA-111. massmoca.org), the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country. It is, in fact, a mammoth place, once a 19th-century factory; its cavernous exhibition spaces house some of the edgiest installation art around. Go explore for the afternoon, then come back at night for a concert by New York's hipster chamber ensemble the Bang on a Can All-Stars, with Czech avant-garde songstress/violinist Iva Bittova as a special guest. The concert also features a premiere by Cornelis de Bondt commissioned as part of "NL: A Season of Dutch Arts in the Berkshires."

In between gallery closing and concert, try dinner at the Northern Italian restaurant Milan@55 Main (413-664-9955, milan55main.com) -- save room for the homemade desserts. (They change nightly, but if they offer the chocolate polenta cake, grab it.)

If you think you'll have the steam, save a little time in the morning for a little hiking. The way up Route 8 to North Adams goes right by Mount Greylock, the state's highest peak (Rockwell Road, Lanesboro. 413-499-4262. mass.gov/dcr/parks/mtGreylock). Though the roads are currently closed for construction, the visitor's center and trails are open, and it's a gorgeous area to just muck around for a bit.

This weekend simply begs for a double bill. At Tanglewood (Tanglewood Shed, 147 West St., 413-637-5165. tanglewood.org), the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under James Levine, tackles Verdi's powerful "Don Carlo" in full-length concert performance with an internationally renowned cast of singers. Plan on taking a gourmet picnic (yes, wine is fine) for the lawn -- it is the thing to do. Just don't pack too much, as you might have a bit of a schlep from the parking lot.

If you'd like the whole experience with almost zero muss or fuss, leave the car at home and take the late afternoon chartered bus from Symphony Hall (888-266-1200) and order a meal-to-go ahead of time to be picked up on the grounds (413-637-5240). This year's new menu features bagged lunches, boxed dinners (drinks are extra), or the full-course picnic tote for two, which includes a bottle of wine and water.

But if you're going for the whole day, you have the chance to bop over to Shakespeare & Company (70 Kemble St., 413-637-3353. shakespeare.org) for a matinee performance of Shakespeare's challenging and rarely performed "Antony and Cleopatra," with the inimitable Tina Packer as the Egyptian seductress and Nigel Gore as the Roman superhero. If you've got any remaining time, Lenox is a great place for window shopping and gallery hopping. It's basically two square blocks along Main and Church streets, just north of the monument. Park anywhere (there's a free lot at Church and Housatonic), and just let the wanderlust take you.

It's a slightly longer drive to Williamstown -- about an hour once you get off the pike -- but the vistas are lovely, and it's a great place to spend the day. Start with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (225 South St., 413-458-2303. clarkart.edu), better known simply as the Clark. It's truly a delightful and accessible small museum with an outstanding collection of French Impressionists as well as Old Master and American paintings. In keeping with the Berkshires-wide celebration, the visiting exhibit this summer is "Dutch Dialogues."

Walk around the charming downtown and later to Williams College Museum of Art (15 Lawrence Hall Drive, 413-597-2429. wcma.org), which features an eclectic range of visiting exhibits and houses more than 12,000 works spanning the history of art.

For dynamite Mexican food or a simple burger, you can't beat dinner at Desperados (246 Main St., 413-458-2100) before heading over to the Williamstown Theatre Festival (1000 Main St., 413-597-3400. wtfestival.org). Allison Janney (of "The West Wing") headlines Lillian Hellman's "The Autumn Garden," a funny, searing portrait of seven friends confronting middle age at a resort on the Gulf of Mexico. The playwright believed this one to be her finest.

One of the most memorable productions at Jacob's Pillow in recent memory is Zaccho Dance Theatre's "Invisible Wings," a dance-theater work inspired by the Pillow's history as a stop on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century. It premiered in 1998, and the Pillow is reviving it this year. Choreographer Joanna Haigood has set the piece in the woods around the Pillow (358 George Carter Road, Becket. 413-243-0745. jacobspillow.org), and the audience walks in near darkness from station to station, hearing stories and live music and becoming a witness to moving scenes along the way. Just thinking about it gives this admirer goosebumps all over again.

If you want to make a day of the Pillow, the ever-popular and dynamic Hubbard Street Dance offers a matinee of mixed repertory, and Blake's Barn houses a special 75th-anniversary exhibit as well as the Pillow's archives, where you can browse through treasures spanning modern dance history. There are also free pre-performance talks and student performances.

If you're more in the mood for a little afternoon shopping, Prime Outlets just off the Turnpike in Lee (50 Water St., 413-243-8186. primeoutlets.com) is a favorite haunt for back-to-school needs (yeah, September is just around the corner), with dozens of designer label stores as well as a food court.

But definitely save room for dinner just up the road at the Bombay Bar & Grill at the Black Swan Inn (435 Laurel St., Lee. 413-243-2700. fineindiandining.com), with its panoramic views of Laurel Lake and terrific Indian food, from succulent grilled tandoor offerings to the tangy sauces of South India, including variety of vegetarian dishes.

Whether you go just for the day or get inspired to make it a weekend, use your imagination, plan wisely, and hit the road. The mountains are calling.

For more information on the Berkshires -- including tips on lodging -- check out the Berkshires Visitors Bureau's website at berkshires .org. Or call 800-237-5747.

Friday, June 29, 2007 3:31:00 PM  

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