Apple pie and roasted chestnuts — #berkshireweekend

Where would I explore this weekend, if I could be anywhere at the blink of an eye? I might head east over the ridge on Saturday for hot roast chestnuts and live music at Big River Farm near the Deerfield River.

We’re at the height of the leaves now, and the back roads are turning brighter. While the weather holds, we might take a fall walk … or catch the last days of Edvard Munch at the Clark, or the new Chinwag podcast at Mass MoCA … or move with the fiddles at a contra dance in Williamstown, or compare apple and pumpkin pies in Sheffield.

On Sunday, another look eastward, the Yiddish Book Center re-opens with a global exhibit on the reach of language —in theater and music, women’s voices, fiction and memoir and the press. And ‘English,’ Sanaz Toossi’s Pulitzer prizewinning play, finishes the fall season at Barrington Stage. I’ll explore tell you more about both as I see them.

I’ve seen beauty in both of them — resilience, the deep strength of human connection. They hold the wonder of coming close to someone and seeing the world open out around you.

They remind me how I feel, alive, awake, gentle, when I stand in a sukkah on a fall night as children shake palm fronds to celebrate harvest time and I breathe the lemon scent of the citron, and when I talk in my kitchen with a Fulbright TA from Cairo as she makes coffee warmed with sugar and cardamom and tells me stories of home.


Edvard Munch paintings show Norse forest and lights in the distance at the Clark, in the show’s final weekend, as chestnuts ripen in the hills.
Points of light show in a blue-green sky over dark hills in Edvard Munch's Starry Night, 1922–24. Munchmuseet. Artists Rights Society , New York. Press photo courtesy of the Clark Art Institute.
Edvard Munch

Points of light show in a blue-green sky over dark hills in Edvard Munch's Starry Night, 1922–24. Munchmuseet. Artists Rights Society , New York. Press photo courtesy of the Clark Art Institute.

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

A reader holds Emily Dickinson's poems in the sunlight.
Apr 16 2024 @ 10:00 am
What would happen if a library could hold every book that ever can be written? Everyone is invited to a free, open conversation about the mystical library in Jorge Luis Borges' story, 'The Library of Babel.'
John Ruskin, Sunset over the Mountains, c. 1845, Watercolor and gouache with graphite on beige wove paper. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007. The Clark Art Institute
Apr 16 2024 @ 11:00 am
The Clark invites visitors to look contemplatively as a way to engage with works of art from the museum’s collection.
A boy and a lamb walk by the pasture at Hancock Shaker Village.
Apr 16 2024 @ 11:00 am
Hancock Shaker Village welcomes visitors to meet their newest farm babies – lambs, piglets, calves, chicks and kid goats, and enjoy events and activities throughout the Village.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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