PaperCity Magazine

January 2020- Houston

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66 WANDERINGS T here's no place better for a heat- worn Texan than a domestic drive t h r o u g h N e w England in winter. And, since a Texan will drive two hours for dinner, our breed is primed to cover a lot of ground. As a leaf peeper and one-time cranberry harvester, I've had many excuses to visit Massachusetts and Upstate New York in fall and winter seasons past. This year's trailhead was the Brimfi eld Antique Show, where the famous Pilgrim Sandwich (turkey, cranberry sauce, and dressing served cold on a roll) supplemented the true feast — one for the eyes. If you're like me, the white tents of a fl ea market are the clouds of heaven, and the angels are a host of the country's most quietly prodigious dealers, such as Reese Truesdell of Hare and Arrow, whose Grateful Dead-goes-to-The Acropolis aesthetic I coveted just a bit. I came home with a pair of tie- dye-esque pottery lamps — signs that the junk gods love me. Not far from Reese's groovy setup is Hartford Denim Co. (Hardenco), whose free-spirited founders are right at home amongst the salty-dog dealers of yore. Hardenco's garments are hand-built in a former brick factory in Hartford, Connecticut, and sold to the refrains of yacht rock in a dude shanty just outside Brimfi eld Barn, where vintage-minded shoppers from here to Japan stop for wearable Americana. In fact, amidst the meubles and objets, the sartorial offerings are a huge draw at Brimfi eld, especially in more ephemeral fi elds, such as Dealer's Choice, where the fashion-frenzied undress en plein air for bib and tucker or huddle over heritage heirlooms — Bakelite bangles, Old Pawn jewelry, and cases of men's watches — until eyes tire. Ours eventually did, and the road beckoned. Like a favorite travel tune, this one took us over the river (the Hudson) and through the woods to towns that channel Norman Rockwell's bygone Saturday Evening Post covers and Currier & Ives prints once rendered with snow. This story is actually about the woods, The Catskills and The Berkshires, and the towns within, whose steeples pierce foliaged horizons, leading us to stone churches designed by Charles Follen McKim, Gilded Age mansions, and legendary art commissions, such as the Matisse and Chagall stained- glass windows at the Union Church of Pocantico Hills. Though the art and architecture legacies of famed American families compound with early American and Quaker histories to create a quintessentially New England vernacular, the region's evolution is just as interesting as its origin story. The stewards of this evolution are a new wave of downshifted creative professionals who have taken up shop and home in small towns, blending homespun and fine-spun as they preserve buildings, fi ll farm stands with their crops, and continue regional crafts in new forms. I spent some time with this new breed of shaker (but not COLBY GOETSCHIUS TRAVELS OVER THE HUDSON AND THROUGH THE BERKSHIRES TO 5 PERFECTLY RENDERED HAMLETS OF HIBERNATION. CROWD CROWD THE CROWD CROWD THE CROWD CROWD INN CROWD Deer Mountain Inn, Tannersville, NY

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