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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

Atkins Farms now open in North Amherst's Mill District

It's been quite a long road for Cinda Jones, who has a vision of her North Amherst Mill District becoming the next bustling commercial neighborhood in Amherst, and yesterday was a big day. Cinda knows that food and drink are the keys to get people to visit a new shopping destination, and so far she's done well by recruiting a first-rate restaurant, Bread and Butter, and now, a grocery store. Atkins is officially a part of the Mill District on Cowls Lane!   Be prepared to 0

Greenfield Rec Tennis League: Losing ain't all that bad

Ever since I visited my old friend Harry in Atlanta I have been interested in playing more tennis. During my visit, we set out on a Friday night and played doubles with his regular group, and I realized that I loved the game and vowed to find a way to play more. Then my local friend, Curtis Rich, told me about the Greenfield Recreational Tennis league, where three divisions of players have regular matches throughout the summer.   I signed up and soon I was facing 0

South Deerfield's downtown: The good and the sad

Are the empty storefronts in our little town indicators of what is to come in the future? I was saddened recently when the one high-end restaurant in South Deerfield, called MRKT, closed its doors in July. There is now a sign that says 'for lease' and like the general store around the corner, it seems unlikely that the for lease sign will go away any time soon.  I did my time trying to revitalize our village. I opened and ran the GoNOMAD Cafe for five years 0

Art in the Orchard: What a wonderful stroll in Easthampton

'Song of the Birth of the Stars, by Mark Fenwick, is one of the most memorable of the 28 outdoor sculptures you'll find at Art in the Orchard this year. We had a magical summer evening last week when we visited the Park Hill Orchards in the rolling hills around Easthampton for their bi-annual celebration of outdoor art known as Art in the Orchard. New for this year are spiffy handicap accessible men's and women's bathrooms, along with a new roster of art by sculptors 0

A South Deerfield to Greenfield bike path: Can we create it?

Above: The path for bikes along the newly resurfaced Routes 5 and 10 is best between Yankee Candle and Magic Wings, but after that gets too narrow to safely ride -- such as the section shown below. What if there was a safe and easy route to ride a bicycle between South Deerfield and Greenfield? I think a lot of people would ride this route. I have a dream that we could create such a bike path, and provide not only a tourist attractor, but 0

Let’s Go to The Hops!  To Northfield, with the Aeronauts

On Saturday I'm going to a concert amidst many very very tall plants....20 feet high, beautiful green hops plants are what they grow at Four Star Farms in Northfield. They also grow other grains, but on Saturday it will be all about the hops.  It's their first ever Aeronaut Field Day, sponsored by the Somerville MA brewer of the same name.  The brewers are celebrating their hops supplier out here in rural Northfield. It sounds like a most excellent place for a big party with two stages, 0

“Mr Burns a post-electric play” at New Century Theatre: a long night

In the play's third act, the actors don masks to look like The Simpsons characters. As the Bart Simpson and Mr Burns characters sang what felt like a nearly endless string of songs about dying in the third act of "Mr Burns a post-electric play," I gazed at my watch. My God, man, just die, so this long, long series of songs can finally end, and we can all go home.  New Century Theatre's most recent production of Anne Washburn's dark comedy is a long theater 0

Wineglass holders are common accoutrements for any fashionable Tanglewood picnic. Max Hartshorne photo. Tanglewood almost made the cut last week, except for our fear of pending rains that detoured us to another destination to the north. Every season Tanglewood looms as an important event I don't want to miss, but when I examine the calendar, the window seems to shrink and shrink. But once we settle into the comfort of the great expanse of Tanglewood lawn, and set out some of our picnic and get 0

Two Down in Deerfield

Two local retail businesses have closed down in South Deerfield. Sadly, it was a chef-owned bistro, a small celebration sort of restaurant, which could not keep going. The staff was notified by a text, then the next day, they were closed and gone.  When MRKT first opened, it took me a while to understand what they were doing with the place. Then after a series of glowing reviews and good word of mouth, they got some people in the door. But there were too many bad 0