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Trip Report Short Trip Report to North Adams & Stockbridge, MA

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My husband and I planned a weekend getaway to North Adams with another couple to visit art museums. They haven’t been to this part of MA before, and although we spent a long weekend in the Berkshires in 2011, we have never been to Mass MoCA. I hope my trip report will help other people who are planning on visiting this area.

It was a 2.5 hour drive from our home to North Adams. We arrived at Mass MoCA when it opened at 11AM. I am not a big fan of contemporary art but I am willing to try and see new things. Well, all 4 of us were very impressed with this museum. It is housed in an enormous old mill factory, which used to be Sprague Electric and I think before that a print/paper mill. Sprague Electric moved out in 1985, and Mass MoCA opened in 1999. The facility itself is very interesting, and huge. It’s a great space to showcase contemporary art, especially large installation pieces. At the suggestion of the tour guide, we visited Sol LeWitt’s exhibit first. His exhibit is on 3 floors, and showcases his early work, mid-career work, and most recent. (he died in 2007). His exhibit is here for 25 years. Then we had a guided Highlights tour at 3PM. We started in the Workers Gallery exhibit, then moved on to Nari Ward’s exhibit, then to Sanford Biggers (which I don’t really understand, but that’s ok). I definitely recommend this tour because it gave us a better understanding and appreciation of what we were looking at, and our guide, Rachel, was excellent. www.massmoca.org/

I had made reservations for lunch at 1PM at Gramercy Bistro, which is located in a building just in front of the main entrance to the museum. It’s part of the Mass MoCA campus. We had a delicious lunch. Between the 4 of us, we had a breakfast tart, goat cheese quiche, banana bread French toast, and rabbit pot pie, and we all loved our meals. www.gramercybistro.com

Then we went to Hudson’s, a vintage shop just across the hall from Gramercy. They have unique and interesting stuff at reasonable prices. I bought 4 beautiful wine glasses. http://hudsonsart.com/

Then we returned to Mass MoCA for our 3PM tour. What we really like is that everything was so convenient. You can take a break from the museum if you wish, to eat & shop, & then go back inside.

We stayed overnight at the Blackinton Manor B &B in North Adams, not far from the museum. The inn is beautiful, the innkeepers are very nice, and we had a delicious breakfast of blueberry pancakes, sausages, & fruit salad in the morning. www.blackinton-manor.com

Saturday night we ate at Coyote Flaco, on Rt 7 in Williamstown. We thought the food (Mexican & Spanish) was very good & reasonable, but the service was like a comedy of errors. (But we would still return.) www.mycoyoteflaco.com/williamstownma.html

Because the majority of the Clark’s impressionist paintings are on tour, we decided to skip the Clark this time, so we drove to Stockbridge to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum. My husband & I have been there before, but our friends have not. We still enjoy this museum, even though we’ve seen it before. There is an interesting exhibit on the author/illustrator and photographer of the Curious George books but I think Sunday was the last day for this exhibit. There is also a special exhibit on pop-up books. www.nrm.org/

After spending about 2 hours at the Rockwell, we drove to Great Barrington to have lunch at the Aegean Breeze. We ate there last year & loved it. The food is delicious and reasonable. One of us had moussaka, two of us had the lamb chops, & the other person had a pasta dish. We also tried several appetizers: octopus, and a dip made with roasted eggplant. Everything was delicious! The outside of the restaurant isn’t very impressive, but the inside is cute & the food well worth it. Then we headed home after a wonderful weekend! www.aegean-breeze.com

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