A hot drink to keep out the sleet — #berkshireweekend

Today I walked out of the cold drizzle into Dottie’s Coffee Lounge and thought it must be about the warmest place in Pittsfield. I was downtown between errands and feeling bedraggled in the drizzle, and it was soothing, coming into a room full of music and conversation.

Mid-winter can feel quiet here, especially now, when we’re all trying to find our feet. On a wet, raw day, when January is pretending to be April, where can we go to thaw out?

I’ve always liked Dottie’s sense of color and humor. And they’re still one of the few places I know of where I can get a real, strong Americano. (It goes well with a cheese biscuit that comes with a tang of chives.)

This can be a good time of year for quiet comforts. When I have time to sit over a book or a talk, I might be cupping melted thick-enough-to-stand-up-a-spoon hot chocolate at Chocolate Springs, or cocoa at Lenox Coffee … or grinding beans from No. 6 Depot, or brewing hot herbal tea from Wild Soul River, with a feel of roots in the earth.

Or maybe I’ll share a muffin at BrewHaHa, molasses cookies from Bohemian Nouveau Bakery, chocolate bread at Berkshire Mountain Bakery, croissants at the Lost Lamb in Stockbridge …

Sip and stretch


Coffee shops and bakeries give warmth on cold afternoons, from Dottie’s Coffee Lounge in Pittsfield (above) to the Lost Lamb Bakery and Chocolate Springs.

Events coming up …

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

Abbie Chambers joins an exhibition of The Art in Gathering, as Paradise City asks artists to explore ideas of community. Press photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival
May 27 2024 @ 10:00 am
More than 220 selectively curated artists and makers come to Northampton for the annual three-day celebration of art, live music and local food.
Mass MoCA catches sunlight on a summer day.
May 27 2024 @ 11:00 am
Mass MoCA and the Williamstown Theatre Festival present The Plastic Bag Store, an immersive, multimedia experience by Brooklyn-based artist Robin Frohardt.
A Baltimore Oriole looks out from a slender branch. Creative Commons courtesy photo.
May 28 2024 @ 8:00 am
Mass Audubon will explore Edith Wharton's historic home, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows, to find birds by sight and sound.

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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