The Berkshires of western Massachusetts—the region that includes Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey and Stockbridge—might be the prettiest area in the whole country. Only three hours from New York City, it has everything one could want in a weekend place or vacation: culture (music, theater, art, dance), recreation (hiking, boating on many lakes, skiing in winter), and all-around beauty and relaxation. My husband and I have been coming here, off and on, for years. Last week we stayed at a homey B&B on Monterey’s Lake Garfield, home base for hearing Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood, visiting friends, checking out the artisans’ handiwork at the Berkshire Crafts Fair, like these cool earrings I bought for myself; and swimming and rowing around the lake. Just driving the country roads there is fun: around every bend is another rural view, lovelier than the last.
On Route 23 just past the village of Monterey are two “honor system” farm stands: take what you like, figure out the total price, and leave bills and coins in the tackle box. From the one above we brought home just-picked corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. The one below, right next door, sells local goat cheese and just-laid eggs. Farmers, we honor you for your service and your trust in fellow citizens!