A Year And Today in Paradise ❥ Comfort Spots in Northampton

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 12, There’s No Place Like Home

Sushi at Osaka

Sushi at Osaka. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The twelfth Mash Note to Paradise! Really? Over this past year in these notes I’ve loved our bike paths and our college town-y-ness, our farms and our farmers’ markets, our give back mentality and our reverence for all sorts of families and our indie vibes. Much as I don’t love winter, I even embrace the weather. If you were to read these Mash Note to Paradise in a pile and you didn’t already live here you’d probably want to move here, right? You would. So, I find it unsurprising that I know quite a few wonderful realtors.

In honor of this year of Mash Note to Paradise, I want to share a few handy links that might make life (or a visit to) in Paradise that much more enchanting.

I think I’d have to say River Valley Market (the co-op!) is the friendliest store I know. Like Cheers, everyone seems to know my daughter, Saskia (and ask after her if she’s not with me).

Most people find a few comfortable spots to frequent. I’m sharing mine not because they are the very best ones, but because they are the ones I know and love. I am at the moment crazy for the half-and-half ice tea at Woodstar Café—half black tea, half herbal lemon honey ginger, all yum—and I will trump up excuses to go there and happen upon a glass of it. To my surprise I have become devoted to yoga at Yoga Sanctuary. As my friend (met at yoga) notes on her blog: “There is no photo available to show you how the individuals doing downward dog in the photo above would be facing a gigantic window looking across the street to old brick buildings and blue sky.” After class I love the quick GoBerry stop. If I’m with Saskia and following her lead we will end up in the frozen treat Mecca of Herrell’s. While I’m a half-and-half drinker, my writing group meets at Sip, and I love hanging there (and my eldest texted me a tantalizing find—their macaroons are delicious and gluten-free). I may not go out much, but my restaurant of choice is most certainly Osaka, except I have begun a lunch date tradition with a friend at Moshi Moshi and it, too, is terrific. You get the idea, yes?

❥ Maybe though the main point isn’t this series of Mash Note to Paradise to this one place but the Glinda magic invoked in the writing of these loving missives. Tap your heels together and say, “There’s no place like home.” The more you take note in what makes where you live a real home, the more you can revere that home. Tap-tap-tap.


Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

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