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Double Take Fringe Festival Greenfield MA Oct 16-17, 2015

Linda McInerney is up to her wonderfully clever old tricks once again! Formerly Old Deerfield Productions, her company is now Eggtooth Productions, but this is the fifth year of a most exciting and creative idea--bring together eight short plays, find unusual places to produce them, and then let it rip! If you love surprises, being outdoors (between venues) in the crisp October air, and want to support Linda's generous vision of vibrant local arts, then GET TICKETS! Only $20 for eight unique plays, happening within 0

At an agritourismo in Cabras, Sardinia, enjoying a 100-foot meal

In our earthy crunchy Pioneer Valley, we like to talk about eating local. We talk about 12-mile meals, and eating farm-to-table, but tonight, I have them all beat. Once again, on a visit to Italy's magic island, Sardinia, I've eaten a 100 foot meal, and boy was it good!  We drove out toward the coast, to the Sinis Peninsula, to Agritourismo Il Sinis. Here, brother and sister Salvatore and Magdelena Porcu brought out dish after dish of simple food that all came from their farm. They 0

A trio of sailors brings the Santa Maria back to the sea

Daniela Meloni, Anton Marco Musso, and Jean Paul Bassaget share a love for a vessel and for sailing the sea. We joined this unlikely trio for an afternoon sail at the marina in Cabras, on the Sinis Peninsula, Sardinia where they all spoke glowingly about the 42-foot long boat they love, the Santa Maria, and how they all got here.  It was a story of determination, and of finding the perfect person for the job. The vessel, built in Italy and designed by Sparkman & Stephens, 0

Sardinia: still a wild place with beauty everywhere

Seven years ago I first came to this second-largest island in the Mediterranean that the Romans and Phoenicians called Ichnusa. Sardinia today is an autonomous region of Italy, but as my guide Davide told me, it's not Italy -- the natives even speak a unique language on this island, though most people here also speak Italian. Sardinians, like the Corsicans to the north, are a proud and independent people who don't need the mainland to control their laws and their lives. We arrived at the 0

At Sleep Medicine Services in Amherst, snoring sleepers get help

I have always been a noisy sleeper--snoring like a banchee and known for falling asleep while sitting in my favorite chair. To many people, this might indicate that I have sleep apnea, and with this in mind I met today with a friendly nurse practitioner named Cathy Burbank at Sleep Medicine Services in Amherst. I play music with Cathy's husband John, so she knew I was coming in, and I shared my various issues including waking up four and five times a night and my 0

Leader in South Deerfield clears away an eyesore, and makes room for expansion

This old yellow house has stood next to the Leader Home Center in Deerfield for decades. Today it was torn down, to make way for a new store building. For as long as I remember, there has been an old yellow house right next to Leader Home Center in South Deerfield. This is one of the most important businesses in our small downtown and they have an interesting history. Back in the 1990s, the owner, Grant Gagnon, called the store Elder Lumber, and he had 0

Take Magazine starts off with a bang at the Ashfield Lake House

Michael Kusek was all smiles as he launched Take magazine at the Lakehouse. Cars lined the road leading to the Ashfield Lake House last night as rain drizzled down. Inside, the place was packed, and big stacks of magazines were piled up for all to peruse. It was the launch party for a new magazine published by a man well-known in Northampton, Michael Kusek, and his big smile expressed how happy he must have been to have all of these people there to celebrate the 0

At Baltimore's Bo Brooks, cracking crabs for dinner

I trained it down to Baltimore for one reason. My friend Pam Scott, VP of Communications for Red Lion Hotels, told me her company had just opened a new hotel, and I wanted to check it out. Well, maybe there were a few other reasons too, namely, that Baltimore is a fun city and I wanted to try eating cracked crabs.   Last night we piled into the HotelRL Baltimore's 1973 Volkswagen Bus, which is tricked out with limo-style seating and a new diesel engine (still 0

Aboard the Amtrak, thinking of the possibilities

How about this for a cross country train? Many people don't want to pay for the sleeper cars, so this might be a better way to relax on long trips. I'm heading southbound on the Amtrak train out of Greenfield, the second time I've taken this journey. Today my destination is Baltimore, where I am going to check out a new hotel that's been opened by Red Lion hotels. Once again, I marvel at the amount of debris that the recent track upgrade left on 0

Tully Lake Awaits

Tully Lake is located north of Athol, a beautiful state park great for camping. We're heading for four days of relaxation around the campfire at Tully Lake in nearby Athol. This state park is unique, because the camp-sites are located away from where the cars are parked. So we don't have to put up with that familiar car-camping sound of car doors opening, alarms going off, and especially, music blaring from car stereos.  Instead, at Tully, they provide garden carts which are used to transport all 0