Thursday, August 20, 2009
DDC Day 22 and 23; The Park Slope of Massachusetts
We spent a wonderful tow days in Northampton Massachusetts this week. My friends Dave and Sasha moved there from Park Slope almost 3 years ago. We spent most of our time at the Northampton Country Club's pool (don't look to hard at their website, it is all about golf). I had never been to a country club before and I assumed I would need to get dressed up. Not-so-much, not like that at all. Nothing fancy. The pool is managed by the swim coach at the local university and it was clear his agenda was safety and fun. (survive and come back) As apposed to the Red Hook Pool where you are not permitted to even read a newspaper, let alone use a flotation device. Here they have a giant box of goggles you can borrow. I gotta say there is nothing like sitting in the shade while you kids are having a great time, just 20 feet away. I am also glad my kids have gotten to the age where the antidote to "I am hungry" is a 5 dollar bill. I trust them.
I also got to meet my friend's friends (friend-in-laws?). All very nice people, they would do fine in Park Slope.
I also got to go for a run along Northhamton Rails to Trails Project. What a gift. A Flat, shady route from town to town passing backyards, farms and cooling woods. I would have run more but only came back because everyone would be waiting for me. I think that is the sign of a great run, when you only stop because you "have to", bot because you want to.
The coolest thing along route was Pedal People and their home. Let me back up a little. In that part of Massachusetts you have a choice in how you get rid or your trash. You can pay a guy in a truck to get it, you can bring it to the dump (which really make you make less trash), or you can pay someone on a bicycle to take it to the dump once a week.
Think about it, you don't have to collect a lot of garbage to make a living if you don't have to maintain and fuel a fleet of trucks. They also provide a nice rest stop along the trail and a "donation phone".
Northampton did remind me a lot of Park Slope. Most people oppose any building of a mall and are happy to "shop local". Many people are employed on academia, yet it is not a "college town". Also Hampshire County Mass is high on the list of same sex couples, so is NYC.