The Place That Could Be the Most Beautiful That is Instead the Most Ugly Because of Bad Building

Notes from Nan: Back from Summer into Spring Again!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

I am back in Ashfield!

And you know, as I was driving back I decided to take a side turn off into the Poconos. I’ve heard of the Poconos, but I had never been there. I stayed on Route 209 so that I didn’t go deep into the Poconos, but driving up 209 I thought, “MAN are we lucky to live in Ashfield!” Route 209 and the Poconos (I like that word) could get the award that was given to Innsbruck, Austria a number of years ago—The Place That Could Be the Most Beautiful That is Instead the Most Ugly Because of Bad Building. (I’m not sure that’s the official name of it, but it’s how it translates from the German.) Route 209 has all these little places from the 40s and 50s that would be cool enough except that they are in disrepair and look kind of forgotten about. Then it has new places built among the old and they are just New Places like CVS drugstores and casinos and things. So a good stretch of the run is just kind of ratty looking—among, of course, the trees and mountains and the Delaware Water Gap.

So maybe it is the long, dark winter that keeps people from wanting to move here and build things, or I don’t know what, but I sure do prefer it! I had a discussion with a friend the other day who asked, “Doesn’t it drive you crazy up there being so far away from modern conveniences and things?” And I had to say that no, I actually like having to think about what I’m doing to be most efficient at it. It makes life more tangible.

And so that’s my report back from the big city.

The Menu for this week:

  • Thursday: Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan served over spaghetti
  • Friday: Pan seared sea scallops over brandade (mashed potatoes with salt cod) & roasted garlic swiss chard served with a vanilla bean vinaigrette, OR, Thai vegetable curry over rice.

You know, I just got back from Food City and yet, BOY does that sound good!

Elmer’s Store | 396 Main St. | Ashfield, MA 01330 | (413) 62-4003

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