The Berkshires – 24 Hours On Culture Cloud 9

Written by Jim Hollister

The Berkshires – 24 Hours On Culture Cloud 9

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The Berkshires is so chock full of cultural and historic attractions that a few years backrepparttar official visitor’s bureau began billing these pastoral hills of western Massachusetts as “ America ’s Premier Cultural Resort.” It’s a moniker that appears to fit. Packed within this roughly 25 x 50 mile rectangular county (bordered by New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) are Tanglewood, summer home ofrepparttar 139225 Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, Williamstown Theatre, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Clark Art Institute, and MASS MoCA.

Here you’ll findrepparttar 139226 former homes of artists Norman Rockwell, and Daniel Chester French, writers Edith Wharton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville. Fromrepparttar 139227 mid-19th Century throughrepparttar 139228 Gilded Age, when some twenty five “summer cottages” for The Vanderbilt’s and other industrial barons were constructed, right up throughrepparttar 139229 Bohemian '50s and hip '60s to today, there is a tradition of artists, actors, writers and musicians living and working in these Green Mountain foothills.

Recently, we visited The Berkshires from Boston, an easy two-hour drive alongrepparttar 139230 Mass Turnpike, on a mission to discover how much ofrepparttar 139231 legendary cultural and historical region we could comfortably absorb in just 24 hours.

4:00 P.M, — Friday —The Red Lion isrepparttar 139232 "King" of country inns.

We've driven ahead of rush-hour traffic and checked into The Red Lion Inn. Made famous by Norman Rockwell’s 1950s painting “ Main Street, Stockbridge,”repparttar 139233 Red Lion is a rambling, white clapboard structure that anchorsrepparttar 139234 corner of Main and Route 102 and it is a landmark for travelers. Originally built as a stagecoach stop in 1773repparttar 139235 inn is a gracious gatekeeper of this southern entrance to The Berkshires. It’s here almost all travelers torepparttar 139236 area come, some for a stay in one ofrepparttar 139237 108 guest rooms, others for a dressy dinner inrepparttar 139238 elegant dining room, still others for a draft and song in one of taverns.

At this hour we are winding down in our top-floor, two-room suite aiming toward full-relaxation mode. Every room atrepparttar 139239 inn is individually decorated and furnished with antiques, oriental carpets, period wall hangings, and luxurious linens. Many feature lace-draped canopy beds or classic four-posters. Our bath has an old claw foot tub; scented soaps and shower amenities are neatly placed in woven baskets. The long hallways connectingrepparttar 139240 inn’s several wings are filled with old paintings, colonial-era maps, and framed embroidery.

In 1968 Stockbridge residents Jack and Jane Fitzpatrick purchased The Red Lion, andrepparttar 139241 Fitzpatrick family continues to operaterepparttar 139242 inn today, with daughter Nancy Fitzpatrick as President. The Fitzpatrick family also owns The Porches Inn in North Adams and Blantyre in Lenox, and has become something akin torepparttar 139243 First Family of The Berkshires through its patronage and support of myriad cultural, historic, and artistic projects.

5:00 P.M. — Rock an’ roll onrepparttar 139244 Red Lion porch. (Viewrepparttar 139245 video.)

We’re sitting onrepparttar 139246 expansive front porch ofrepparttar 139247 inn rocking away inrepparttar 139248 soft light of a Stockbridge summer sunset. Streaming in from points south, mostly New York City and its environs, are weekenders: SUVs with all manner of floating craft mounted on top, coupes with bike racks, sports cars with tops down, and trunks strapped on, motorcycles with leather-clad couples astride. Slowly they approachrepparttar 139249 corner stop sign on Rte. 102, turn right on Main Street, and parade past us in a steady flow. The Red Lion porch isrepparttar 139250 ideal setting to meditate onrepparttar 139251 blissful feelings we’re having right in this moment; even better, it’s a grand vantage point for people watching.

Just next door torepparttar 139252 Red Lion you can findrepparttar 139253 original Alice’s Restaurant,repparttar 139254 one celebrated in Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving saga ofrepparttar 139255 same name. A block inrepparttar 139256 other direction is Austen Riggs Center where former client James Taylor pennedrepparttar 139257 song Fire and Rain, commemorating a sad chapter in his young life. And just past Riggs isrepparttar 139258 Stockbridge cemetery where Edie Sedgwick, formerly of Andy Warhol’s Factory, rests among several Sedgwick headstones that face inward in a large circle. Asrepparttar 139259 legend goes,repparttar 139260 family is buried in this circle so when they rise up on Judgment Day, they don’t have to look at anyone else but Sedgwicks!

Pillow Menus at Hotel Preston, Nashville

Written by Jay Tradler

Pillow Menus at Hotel Preston, Nashville

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These days it seems as ifrepparttar comforts of home are not achievable onrepparttar 139224 road. Most hotels are cold, and utilitarian, but there are exceptions. Hotel Preton is a new hotel (opened just over a year) with fresh ideas and concepts and it is allrepparttar 139225 rage in Music City USA. Hotel Preston, a convenient two mile jaunt fromrepparttar 139226 Nashville International Airport, boasts 196 large guest rooms and are priced at reasonable rates starting at around US$86/night.

Like other hotels, it does sport a full service restaurant and lounge with live entertainment. There's a clean outdoor pool, a well equipped 24 hour fitness center, business center, banquet facilities, meeting rooms and even a spa service provided inrepparttar 139227 privacy of your room if you’d like.

Here's where it becomes a little more specialized . . .

Once you've chosen your room, you're offered a pillow menu. Yes, a pillow menu, outfitted with a plethora of pillows all featuring different textures and fillings forrepparttar 139228 most discriminating 'pillow connoisseur'. Couple this little touch withrepparttar 139229 stock pillow top bed, soft and comfortable duvet, divine sheets, and you're in for a night of sleep that rivals anything you might experience in your own bed!

The personal programming for comfort does not end there. Feel like adding an 'Austin Powers' aura to your room? Add a lava lamp. That's right, order one up, and it will be delivered to your room; pronto!

Missing your pet at home? Call down for a live beta fish to take care of during your stay. Not very snuggly, but a pet allrepparttar 139230 same.

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