Recently we took a day trip to Northhampton, Massachusettes. Smith college is there, an all women college that has a long list of well known alumnai including Sylvia Plath, Barbara Bush, Gloria Steinham, Julia Child and Nancy Reagan. According to Wikipedia, North Hampton is the most politically liberal, medium sized city in the U.S. Wikipedia also says “North Hampton is known as an academic, artistic, musical and counterculture hub.”
As we walked down the Main street, we were approached by quite a few political and social activists with petitions and homeless people asking for donations. There were also some talented musicians performing. We happened to run into a Farmers’ Market, on our way to Thorne’s Marketplace. Thorne’s Marketplace was built in 1873 and was originally a dry goods store that expanded into a huge department store and was later converted into a shopping center. It was pretty cool. A lot of the period details have been preserved and there are lots of interesting little stores and restaurants inside.
We had lunch at Paul and Elizabeth’s. It’s a family owned restaurant in Thorne’s that has been around since 1978. Originally it was a vegetarian restaurant but they recently expanded their menu to include seafood. They use locally sourced and organic ingredients. Their breads were delicious and the food was fresh and tasted like home.
North Hampton is a lot different from the other little cities and towns that I’ve been to. I knew nothing about it until I got there. It seems very “crunchy” with lots of patchouli wafting through the air, lol. There was a lot of traffic but hardly any people walking around or in the stores and restaurants. Maybe that was because I visited on a Tuesday, in the summer. Once college starts up, it probably comes alive.