Ditching navigation maps and apps, we return to the origins of The Side Trek magazine column, seeking hidden gems along the back roads of New England and beyond.
Photos by Dr. Gary Levine.
So long, Western Massachusetts! July 2016.
We’ve loved our Side Treks along the byways.
Signs of the Times. May 2016.
Sapping Around on a Snowless Winter Afternoon. February 2016.
Last Peak. October 2015.
Autumn Sojourn with JeanJean. October 2015.
Ashfield and Conway.
Ashfield Lake House. Lunch.
Bikers with a sense of humor. Krusty the Klown. JeanJean amused?!
Van Gogh Side Trek. July 2015.
En route to Clark Art, Williams College campus walk on a perfect summer day.
Clark Art Institute’s Super Bowl win. Patriots beat Seahawks, so Seattle Art Museum loaned Albert Bierstadt’s wall-sized masterpiece Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast. Stormy beauty. A bonus. But, we went for Van Gogh and Nature, a limited exhibition. Vincent’s study of the impressionists in France. Arles. Auvers.
Expanded grounds. Granite walls. Pools. Against the Berkshire hills.
On the way back, saw a sign for Susan B. Anthony’s birthplace. Who knew?
An hour trek from Florence along the scenic byways.
Strawberry Picking Polka Dots. June 2015.
We pick our own ’round here.
Sprouting Spring. May 2015.
Turn of the Calendar. December 31, 2014.
Half Autumn. Connecticut River Valley. October 2014.
Quonquont Farm. August 2014.
Spring in the Valley. May 2014.
Smiarowski Farm Stand and “Creamy”.
Photo Contest. October 2013.
mAdBen or Dr.Dad. Who took which?
Winter Hilltown. January 2013.
Autumnal Still Life. November 2013.
Mystery of Blue Hill. April 2013.
Mid-summer night’s dinner at Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village. Famous for fresh produce from its farm. Locavore award. James Beard winner. Alas. Our dinner’s vegetables disappeared. They never appeared on our plates. So, we decided to search Blue Hill Farm, the eatery’s namesake to investigate. Up the road on a pristine day, we found the culprit, overlooking the Housatonic River. We didn’t spy a stalk of corn or a wandering squash. Just a Jewish cow family. The Holsteins. Way down the hill. A view. To a kill?
Gorge-ous Trek. April 2013.
Along General Lafayette Trail, Route 143 West, up hills and down vales to Ireland Street in Chesterfield, Mass. Take a right toward the Westfield River and then… a natural wonderment surprise.
Farm Foliage. October 2012.
Connecticut River Valley.
As pumpkins pop out on their vines, landscapes turn from red and green to orange and gold. Back roads with no numbers past Pioneer Valley barns and farm meadows. The calm before blustery snowstorms blow.
The Bridge of Flowers.
Must stop at Wandering Moon jewelry boutique. Head out to Route 112, where a metal sculpture guy bids adieu.
The Good Time Stove Company.
You have got to stop and look at this place. It’s a quirky cacophony of twisted metal and hidden gardens in Goshen to Ashfield on Route 112N before you get to Shelburne Falls. A larger than Oz Tin Woodsman greets you. Go through the store, see the stoves & sculptures from spokes to caps to the botanical maze, Three Sisters Sanctuary, with local artists’ works. Click on photo to get full effect!
Indian Summer. October 2012.
Farm Table Restaurant at Kringle Kandle.
Hopped over on Route 10. Meandered along the Connecticut River on a back road that parallels Route 63.
Weekday Trek. Spring 2012.
On a respite before the next rain, enjoyed a weekday side trek. Meandering up Route 5, we happened upon School Street in Hatfield, Massachusetts, where we found an Old Mill Inn and Pioneer Valley Vineyard. Little vineyards are cropping up along the Connecticut River. Will it be the next Napa? Not with our typical winter weather. Some varietals can do well here as in upper New York State.
William Cullen Bryant Homestead.
Where he retreated to pen pastoral poetry and think Thanatopsis thoughts.
Long Island, New York.
The Lonely Umbrella. September 2015.
Favorite semi-annual beach view. Hermitage ocean front condo.
Nobody around after Labor Day. Yay. Breezy days. Cool nights.
Montauk Fishing Village. September 2015.
Gossman’s Dock. Coast Guard Station.
Shelter Island. June 2015.
Dr.Husband’s “Lunch” stop for over 40 Years. Lobster Roll.
Same walkway. Different year.
Spur of the Moment Beach Getaway. June 2014.
North Fork Return. June 2014.
3 Ferry Day. Sag Harbor to Shelter Island. Shelter Island to Greenport. Quick stop at Kontokosta Winery, to pick up a couple bottles of rosé on the way to the last ferry at Orient Point back to New London, Connecticut.
New London. Orient Point. September 2013.
Interesting even on a murky morning.
Just down from the dock, on Peconic Lane, you’ll find Hadley & Daniele’s vintage treasure chest, NorthFound & Co.
Sag Harbor. Amagansett.
Along the way, wineries galore and lots of restaurants, B&B’s, seaside haunts. Northfrkd. For a longer stay, take the two Shelter Island ferries to Sag Harbor. Jewelry makers, boutiques, then over to Amagansett.
CENTRAL PARK WEST
Imagine. Again. Central Park. Fall 2016.
Iron Art. Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Fall 2016.
Bonaparte on the Park. Summer 2016.
West 74th. Summer 2016.
Ventanas with varied views.
Spring West 70’s. April 2016.
Columbus Avenue. September 2014.
Heirloom tomatoes. Farmer’s Market at Natural History Museum.
Room with a View at Dawn. Excelsior Hotel.
Nice to see a happy face at Engine Company 74. Thirteen Years after 9/11.
Madison Park Birthday Weekend. March 2014.
Saturday in the Park. PopUp Piano Man. Warm sun.
WATCH HILL, RHODE ISLAND
After Labor Day Crowds Leave 2014.
A little over 2 hours away on the back roads from Northampton. Get to Route 32 South in Massachusetts into Connecticut. Then to Route 2 in Norwich, Ct. into Westerly, Rhode Island. Watch Hill is a little spit on the Atlantic Ocean.
For the big 60. Route 32 to 2 to Westerly. It’s even gorgeous in late Winter. Room with a View.
See that white house on the left above? Taylor Swift bought it. 5/13.
NYU in LONDON. 2009.
Chelsea Arts Club, Bibendum, Charlotte Street Hotel, Roka, and Moody Goose Priory in Midsomer Norton, outside of Bath, above. Photo below taken from our room at Charlotte Street Hotel, the Fitzroy on the corner of Windmill.