Friday, December 30, 2011

Bye Eleven

The Mighty Connecticut in winter.

The old abandoned railroad station along the Norwottock Trail. It's a shame that it is falling into irretrievable ruin.

The building itself has a clear opinion of its fate:


Message on the pedestrian tunnel under Route Nine.

Sister trees on Mount Pollux in Amherst.

Man in a valley.

I like my neighbor's rock and wreath decor.

I love the cakes at the Haymarket Cafe.

Just like in the old days.

Here is a great video tribute to Northampton.

Okay, so here comes another year of adventures.

I can't wait to see what happens next....

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cards

Every year I get several cards wishing me a Very Jerry Christmas. I never tire of them.

Politicians are also always sending me Christmas cards. I can never be sure whether they do so because they like me, or because they hope I'll leave them alone! The highest ranking politician to send me a Christmas card was former President George W. Bush, who for reasons that were never quite clear (I never contacted him in any way) sent me a card all eight years he was in office. They were always religious and very elegant with a gold-embossed presidential seal on top.

Somehow the Obama's keep forgetting to add me to their list. The other day I got a Christmas greeting from Amherst State Senator Stan Rosenberg. It shows the Senator looking somewhat frail while undergoing recent cancer treatments, seated next to his partner Byron, whom I had never seen before. Frankly, he's hot.

It looks like it's going to be a snowless Christmas. New England doesn't look so nice without snow to cover all the dead plants. Even the woodland way into downtown Northampton, usually a majestic cathedral of snow this time of year, is looking drab.

Yet someone decorated this scrawny little pine tree, simply to amuse the passersby on the way. This is the season for good natured whimsy.

What a lucky guy I am. The sun is setting, its a rockin' holiday weekend and as soon as I post this I'm off to downtown Northampton!

Wreaths on the rails of the old First Church, portions of which date back to 1727.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stairway to Art

Looking out of one of the top floors of the UMass Library you can see that only a few cars remain as the students all leave for their winter holiday.

Hurry back kids, lest we die of boredom! A cool thing to do in the UMass Library is explore the stairwells, which also serve as a gallery for student art, most of it dating back to the late 1980's. Here are a few samples:

Washington in the stairwell.

Stairway sunset.

Traversing the woodland way into downtown Northampton yesterday I came upon some city workers still hard at work clearing branches that fell during the Halloween snowstorm.

That storm was a real holocaust for our friends the trees. Not only were many tree branches knocked down, but a lot of branches that didn't fall were none the less weakened to the point that the snowstorms over the rest of this winter will bring them crashing down. Thus there were really two storms, the original one that brought a whole lot of branches down in one day, and another, slow motion aftermath as the branches weakened in the storm continue to fall for months to come.

When I got downtown I took a short cut by the old courthouse onto Main Street.

There I was surprised to see in this shop window dinnerware for Republicans!

Positive beats filmed entirely in Northampton.

Hadley tree on a cold day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A New Day

In the Same Place.

The Northampton Christmas tree last night.

Good Morning Northampton!

Happy Hamp sign.

A naked torso in the window.

I haven't read a Stephen King book in years, having grown bored by his formulaic plots and lack of fresh ideas. His new book looks intriguing though.

Staircase in the Haymarket Cafe.

People waiting in the cold to get into the Green Bean this morning, the hip Hamp Sunday morning hotspot for talking about all the Saturday night action.

A psychedelic corner in Raos.

Pioneer Valley artist Seth Glier has been nominated for a Grammy Award!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Never Forgotten

The Northampton Urban Outfitters is located in an old bank building, as seen in this classic Greg Saulmon photo.

Here's what it looks like inside:

On the wall is this plaque leftover from the bank days, honoring a teller who was killed in World War One in 1918.

In front of it is this rack of ladies clothes.

At first I was inclined to say something to the management about the lack of respect that shows, but then I was struck by the idea that the dead soldier probably would have liked the notion of pretty young Urban Outfitter shoppers pausing all day before his plaque. That's better remembrance than a lot of vets get.

There was another one of those censorship controversies at UMass last week when Professor Andrew Bernstein tried to lecture on the virtues of capitalism and was repeatedly interrupted by screaming leftists. Here one of them is escorted from the hall by campus security.

Newt who? This Northampton van owner is supporting (and has been supporting) Vermin Supreme!

A cow on the roof of an Amherst shed.

Legendary Amherst Bulletin columnist Phyllis Lehrer (right) stopped by the Amherst Survival Center recently with her friend Gale Kuhn.

So did Channel 22's Shannon Halligan and her cameraperson.

The Northampton Chapter.

The Hot Chocolate charity run through downtown Northampton was this morning. Here is sixty-five seconds of it - see anybody you know?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Strictly Commercial

Most of this year's pumpkin harvest has gone rotten by now, although this one outside Carmelina's on Route Nine is still doing fine.

An old tractor at Wanczyk's Farm.

How long ago did Stan's close?

Long enough so that the paper was called The Union-News.

Yes in Northampton is a cool store.

Northampton Wools is in a new and bigger location. I'm told the knitting scene is exploding in popularity these days.

View out the window of Bruegger's in Amherst.

The Amherst Starbuck's is closed temporarily.

The Corporate Flag of America at UMass.

Good advice on the Norwottock trestle.

Thanksgiving Sunset