The secret of Joe's Diner
When my bacon and eggs arrive waitress Shelley tells us Joe Sorrentino, the original owner of the diner featured in the painting, is still around and comes in regularly with his pals. On the wall behind her is a photograph of the boy and the cop many years after Rockwell painted their image. The boy is an adult. I feel as if Joe's has never changed.
The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, in is a wonderful introduction to his story and his significance to the US. Rockwell has been described as America's greatest middlebrow artist. But his idealised images of small-town America serve as a social history in a changing twentieth century. He illustrated over 300 Saturday Evening Post covers over the years with his iconic images.
Rockwell lived in Stockbridge where you can find the splendid Red Lion Inn and it's hotel ambassador Simon Treadwell Gato. Simon was a bit stand offish at first when I met him but soon he was lying on his back so I could tickle his tummy.
Simon, above, has been immortalised in his own portrait in the lobby. Just one of the aspects of the hotel which I loved. It has a feeling of faded grandeur. A waiter in a red waistcoat will server you iced coffee on the expansive porch and inside the dark and cosy Tavern the barman will happily pose for pictures next to the BBC beer pump. (Berkshire Brewing Company).
|BBC beer in the Red Lion, Stockbridge|
Although the hotel appeals to older ladies who lunch it also has young people hanging out on the porch drinking lattés and children posing for pictures next to the lion statues (I want it for my blog, I overheard one ten-year-old say)
|Simon Treadwell Gato: portrait of the hotel ambassador|
We're here for Tanglewood and on warm evenings what better way to see a concert than from a picnic blanket on the lawn. Hundreds of others do the same and we enjoy the opera The Great Gatsby by John Harbison while drinking a glass or two of wine. Others were more organised with candles and what looked like a full dinner. We spend a pleasant evening as birdsong and the gentle hiss of bug repellent being applied, compete with the singers. Back at Hampton Terrace B&B we take a late night dip in the pool (open all night) before bed. Another civilised day at Tanglewood.
Another post about eating: this time Scones in Montreal.
For more on things to do in the Berkshires : Berkshires.org
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