Leaf Peeping

This week my friend Nan visited me from Sheffield in the UK, and we took a little road trip up to New England to see the World-famous fall foliage — an activity described on talk radio as “leaf peeping.”

We spent the first night in Brattleboro, Vermont, in the Latchis Hotel, an interesting art deco hotel and cinema that unfortunately caught fire as we were getting up the next morning, forcing us to evacuate and forage for breakfast at a nearby bagel shop (Nan still wearing her pajamas!).

We spent the second night in Bennington, Vermont, in a lovely old late Victorian B&B called the South Shire Inn. Fortunately there were no fires there.

On the way home, we stopped off at Mass MOCA in North Adams, which had several of the most interesting contemporary art exhibitions I’ve seen in years — I particularly liked Inopportune Stage One by Cai Guo-Qiang, a series of nine white Ford Crown Victoria cars suspended tumbling at various angles from the ceiling of a 300′ long gallery with flashing illuminated rods emanating from them. The Becoming Animal exhibition was also good, although some of the pieces featured live animals (rats and birds) and were quite disturbing.

High points of the trip were playing pool with the locals in Brattleboro, driving down windy country roads in the Fall foliage, and Mass MOCA. The low point was definitely the weather — the tail end of Hurricane Wilma conspired with another weather system in the Atlantic to dump heavy rain for almost the entire duration of the trip. But we still had lots of fun!

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