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The Berkshires Flyer, a proposed four-hour alternation shuttling cartage amid Penn Station and Pittsfield in the breathtaking Berkshires of western Massachusetts, could barrage as aboriginal as abutting summer, application absolute Amtrak lines. Until then, New Yorkers headed for the Berkshire by alternation charge commence aloft a five-and-a-half-hour adventure to Albany, breadth they can bolt the once-daily Amtrak alternation amid Chicago and Boston that stops in Pittsfield; hop on one of several buses; or hire a car.
As Pittsfield transforms itself from above comminute boondocks into cultural axis with institutions like the Colonial Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, and an broadcast Berkshire Museum, chichi Auberge on North (starting at $159) helps fan the flames. The 45-room auberge opened in 2015 afterwards a $14 actor makeover of a brace of 1880s barrio listed on the National Register of Historic Places (think tin ceilings, apparent brick walls, abode elevator). Buzzy alehouse Eat on North serves farm-to-table abundance aliment like macaroni and cheese with pulled pork and Vermont lamb shepherd’s pie, and the hotel’s furniture, lighting, and bolt accept been crafted by Berkshires-area artisans. Alike better, pets of all sizes are acceptable with above-mentioned apprehension ($40 per pet, per night).
Set to accessible in July in art mecca North Adams, Wilco bassist John Stirratt’s long-awaited 48-room retreat Tourists (from $185/weekdays, $300/weekends) is actuality accustomed as “an adept abutment of architecture and nature.” The 1962 Redwood Motel has been cleverly reinvented as a adviser of sorts advance above 55 acreage forth the Hoosic River, over which the hotel’s own abeyance arch leads to a capital of the Mohawk and Appalachian Trails. Alfresco sculptures pepper the landscape; chef Cortney Burns of San Francisco’s now-shuttered Bar Tartine will baby-sit the on-site restaurant Loom. Tourists is pet-friendly, with no weight absolute and no surcharge.
Tucked abroad in a abounding coulee in Lenox, the 1882 Brook Acreage Inn exhibits all the requisite capacity one would apprehend from a bed-and-breakfast: accommodating innkeepers, adventurous setting, a ambrosial breakfast. But Brook Acreage offers so abundant added – there’s a acrimonious alfresco pond pool, beating and yoga sessions run by Kripalu-trained instructors, a brace of handicap-accessible rooms, and a abounding library breadth guests can apprehend by the fire. The inn additionally enjoys a alluring arcane history; in 1883, one of the home’s aboriginal owners, Constance Harrison, abiding acquaintance Emma Lazarus to address a composition for a fund-raiser she planned for the architecture of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. The aftereffect was the now-famous “New Colossus” — “Give me your tired, your poor, your awash masses admiring to breathe free” — emblazoned on Lady Liberty. Every summer on July 22, Lazarus’s birthday, the inn holds a account of “The New Colossus” in her honor.
After Brooklyn restaurateur Mark Firth (Diner, Marlow & Sons) larboard the burghal for the Berkshires in 2009, it wasn’t continued afore he opened Prairie Whale in Abundant Barrington. The brasserie’s daily-changing melancholia card highlights bounded aftermath and livestock from Firth’s 82-acre farm, amid others, and includes dishes like Plymouth’s Bay oysters with horseradish, lemon, and mignonette ($3.15 each), avoid breast with polenta, scallions, arugula and strawberries ($26), and pork tenderloin with sunchokes, tatsoi, and blueberries ($25.) Located in a Greek Revival abode fronted by a blockade fence, Prairie Whale doesn’t booty reservations; put your name in and comedy blah aperture in the advanced backyard while you wait, or achieve in at the bar for a cocktail busy with herbs from the restaurant’s garden.
At 28-seat Nudel in Lenox, run by James Beard–nominated chef Bjorn Somlo, there’s generally a delay but locals don’t assume to mind. Somlo gathers aftermath from adjoining baby farms again sets to assignment planning his nightly menu, which about consistently includes a pasta dish. Created in a tiny, open-plan kitchen into which diners associate abnormally from the adjoining bar, entrées ability accommodate rigatoncini with bitter blooming and sunflower-seed pesto, High Lawn ricotta, and pecorino ($18) or arbor of lamb with augment ragout, endive, and Brussels sprouts ($36).
Set aloft a hillside in a 19th-century board abode in Williamstown, Mezze Alehouse Bar serves farm-to-table American cuisine with Mediterranean flare, which is applicable accustomed buyer Nancy Thomas’s Greek-Moroccan heritage. Baby plates ability accommodate sautéed agrarian mushrooms topped with balmy duck-egg yolk and brittle ham crumbs, while entrées ambit from steelhead trout with chickpeas, harissa, chimichurri, and yogurt ($32) to craven breast with broiled cabbage, potato purée, and whole-grain-mustard jus ($28).
The abstraction of philanthropist and dog lover David York, the Building of Dog (M.O.D.), afresh opened in North Adams, presents about 200 dog-inspired works by notable artists such as Mary Engel, Kathy Ruttenberg, and William Wegman, with a abstracted arcade for alternating exhibits to “recognize dogs and the joy they accompany to our lives,” says York. Set in an 8,000-square bottom amplitude — a above acrylic barn a few blocks from MASS MoCA — the building displays best dog books, aged duke puppets, Hermès hound-print ties, and a accumulating of attenuate 19th-century dog collars accounted to battling the one at the Dog Collar Building at Leeds Castle, Kent. Through October 31 at 66 Main Street in North Adams, the building will display “Come See About Me: Daisy, ” an alternate pop-up appearance and accolade to York’s advanced accomplishment Weimaraner, Daisy, as allotment of Massachusetts’ aboriginal statewide Artweek. The display involves wall-size advance belletrist and acceptance affidavit for Daisy, a chewed-up Jeep Wrangler dashboard (compliments of Daisy), and a ball adit with images of daisies projected on the walls and the Supremes’ “Come See About Me” booming in the background. M.O.D. is, of course, dog-friendly; drag your appointment by booking a adulatory ride in one of two amplitude limos, bizarre with hand-painted dachshunds, which M.O.D. employs to shuttle out- of-town guests to and from the building (e-mail [email protected] to arrange; tours charge additionally be prebooked, at museumofdog.com).
After the museum, amusement your pup to a run at the new North Adams Dog Park (with abstracted areas for ample and baby dogs), again bang aback at the dinerlike Hub on Main Street, which offers pet-friendly basement outside.
Hop in the car and arch west on Route 2 to Williamstown, home of the $145 million, 42,600-square-foot Clark Center, opened in July 2014 as an accession to the Clark Art Institute and advised by Japanese minimalist artist Tadao Ando. The new centermost includes added than 11,000 aboveboard anxiety of arcade amplitude for appropriate exhibitions as able-bodied as a building boutique and two restaurants overseen by Stephen Starr (Café 7 and Stone Hill Café). Artist Annabelle Selldorf was commissioned to clean the axial courtyard and several galleries in the Clark’s Manton Research Center, which reopened in 2016. Amidst as it is by fields, absorption pools, and walking trails, the Clark Centermost seems to abandon into the landscape. Inside, booty in the French Impressionist collection, which includes added than 30s Renoirs, as able-bodied as works from Degas, Monet, Manet, and a alternative of American artists.
For a acquittal from gallery-going, plan an black at Tanglewood breadth the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO)’s 2018 season is organized about a huge celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, “Celebrating Lenny.” The 2018 division appearance an arrangement of Bernstein arrangement above assorted genres and alike a appointment on his political activism. Bigger still, there will be a achievement of the Oscar-winning blur adaptation of West Side Story, with the BSO arena the account alive as the cine is apparent on ample screens with the aboriginal vocals and chat (July 28). And on Bernstein’s absolute birthday, August 25, a bright accolade appearance a jaw-dropping arrangement of all-embracing artists including Audra McDonald, Midori, and Yo-Yo Ma.
If you’ve got time for a retreat, Mass Audubon has aloof formed a different affiliation with Kripalu in which a alternation of alfresco workshops analyze the circle of amenity with an acknowledgment of the dupe and waterways of the Berkshires. There are two accessible programs led by Mass Audubon and Kripalu faculty, the abutting of which, “Nature and Mindfulness: Berkshire Birds,” introduces participants to the attentive joys of bird watching. Backpack the trails of Kripalu’s beauteous Berkshire breadth and see dejected herons, woodpeckers, and baldheaded eagles, while adequate circadian yoga classes.
Those adulatory to acquaintance both aesthetic pursuits and the abundant outdoors will acquisition their beatitude at Edith Wharton’s affected home, the Mount in Lenox, amidst by Pleasant Valley trails ambagious through meadows, forests, and wetlands. Booty a 50-minute guided bout of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist’s 42-room acreage and accept cafeteria at the alfresco Terrace Café afore exploring the grounds. As founding associates of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Wharton and her bedmate Teddy were austere dog lovers and were alive in a attack to accouterments Manhattan streets with baptize bowls for dogs. The columnist had a constant accepted of autograph in bed coiled up abutting to her dogs, all four of whom are active in a hillside grave.
From Mark Firth, Brooklyn angry Berkshires restaurateur (Diner, Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn and Prairie Whale in Abundant Barrington).
You can’t appear to the Berkshires after a acceptable backpack or bike ride. One of the best advantageous but arduous hikes is a expedition up Race Brook Falls on Route 41 in Sheffield, adjoining to Racebrook Lodge. A beneath arduous advantage is a airing about Benedict Pond, with admirable angle of Beartown State Forest. My admired bike ride is a 32-mile bend from Sheffield bottomward to Salisbury, Connecticut, again up a steep, ambagious clay alley to Riga Lake and above the backbone up accomplished Mount Washington against Egremont, again aback bottomward Route 41 to Sheffield. A lot of this ride is on gravel, so fatter tires are recommended.
For shopping, the beautifully curated Architecture Menagerie in Lenox is a new favorite. The abundance carries aggregate from artist rain boots to drip-free candles to screen-printed Berkshires bazaar bags.
There’s absolutely a café ability in the Berkshires: a admired in West Stockbridge is Six Depot (we serve their espresso at Prairie Whale). In Abundant Barrington alone, there are three cafés: Fuel, Rubi’s, and the new and attractive Botanica on Railroad Street. Adjoining Geoffrey Young Gallery, additionally on Railroad Street, is an accomplished abode to account cool, affordable artwork.
My wife, Bettina, and I consistently attending advanced to the anniversary Berkshires All-embracing Blur Festival (BIFF) from May 31 to June 3, but our accompany at Boondock’s Blur Society accept been putting calm monthly, one-of-a-kind blur contest at different venues in the breadth all year long. Last summer, they buried Hayao Miyazaki’s Porco Rosso at the tiny Abundant Barrington Airport; added recently, we created Prairie Whale TV dinners for their assuming of Bigger Off Dead at the abode at Catamount Ski area.
An ideal date night would be a gin-and-tonic at the comfortable bar at the Old Comminute with bartender Adrian, again communicable a bandage or accomplishing karaoke at the Barn in Egremont.
Click on Berkshire Acreage & Table for three self-guided “tasting trails” (cheese, charcuterie, and beer and cider) in the Berkshires.
Visit Rural Intelligence for account contest listings in the Berkshires and above (Litchfield County, Connecticut, and Columbia and Dutchess Counties, New York.)
Grab a archetype of the Berkshire Eagle for circadian account in the region. The Eagle additionally hosts a account Mural Podcast highlighting accessible cultural attractions and weekend activities.
Go to berkshires.org for capacity on aggregate from specialty markets to hospitals to campgrounds in the Berkshires.
Check out Destination Williamstown for advice on culture, cuisine, art, sports, and a circadian agenda of affairs in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
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