Ah, glorious Northampton, home to Smith College, these things called “trees” that turned out to be quite lovely, and our dear high school friend and his boyfriend who invited us for the weekend. After several conversations that went something like this…
“We’re going to Northampton this weekend.”
“Oh, you’re going to the Hamptons? Fabulous!”
“No, not THE Hamptons. Northampton, Massachusetts.”
…we traveled to our destination and took in the town with a merry stroll.
With plenty of small-town charm and historic-looking homes, it was easy to see why our pals (Chris and Andrew) chose to leave the confines of Manhattan for the verdant scenery and friendly faces of Northampton.
Our delightful hosts had arranged an exotic Ethiopian feast for our visit, and we assisted in the preparations with zeal.
When they asked us to bring African outfits, we only half took them seriously, so we were the fools when our hosts came out in full Ethiopian regalia. Themed dinner parties are so awesome it’s not even funny, and we always like to bring our full game when it’s called for, so this was our bad. However, once the food was served, our cares melted away like so much clarified butter.
Delicious! From the injera to the lentil stew, it was a meal to remember. Stuffed and content, we pondered what to do with the rest of our evening. Luckily, a local landmark which we have previously visited called to us.
Indeed, Ye Ol’ Watering Hole and Beer Can Museum holds a certain charm that can be matched by no other establishment. With an overwhelming classiness, beer cans of old line the walls and shelves as relics to one of our country’s most beloved pastimes. Who knew that Schlitz could be purchased in so many different sizes and varieties?
We somehow managed to avert out eyes from the magnificent exhibit in order to play a few rounds of pool and ogle the local studs (just kidding, it was mostly middle-aged barflies). So far, this town was treatin’ us pretty alright.
With her smooth pool sharking skills, Liz was soon challenging the locals while Laura took bets. Except by locals we mean the friends we were staying with. And by bets we mean beers purchased by Liz.
But our friends had mentioned another bar, and the lure of variety soon proved too strong. Onward! we said.
You might ask “What could possibly be more entertaining than used beer receptacles on display?” Well friends, how about an extremely poor rendition of 90’s classic “End of the Road?”
Yes, it was Karaoke Dance night at the World War II Club…one karaoke song, five minutes of dance party, repeated. Strange but fun! But, as always seems to happen in karaoke, what seemed like a simple pop song was actually quite hard to sing. The DJ had to bail us out with the melody of this Boyz II Men classic a few times, which was kind of embarrassing. We were planning to humiliate ourselves further with a fine Alicia Keys song, but before we had a chance, karaoke night ended.
As we walked home, high on the brief thrill of our mediocre performance, we thanked Northampton for showing us such a good time, and took the opportunity to strut down the alleyways like a cool West Side Story street gang.
On our last day, we took a stroll around our pals’ neighborhood. They alerted us to the fact that Calvin Coolidge’s house was but a short jaunt away, so we made that our destination.
The rain tried to stop us, but we powered on, and finally we reached our glorious goal. It was a pretty awesome sight, what with Laura’s love of former presidents and Liz’s love of looking at historical shit.
Well, alas, it was time to say goodbye to the lush fields of rural Massachusetts, and hello to the mean streets of New York City. A train ride filled with Samuel Adams (it’s legal to drink on the Metro North!) and popsicles was in order.
So that was our weekend in the country. Until next time, dear readers!