Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Montague Book Mill and Northampton

On Saturday I took a drive up to the Montague Bookmill, a used bookstore housed in an 1842 gristmill on the banks of the Sawmill River in Western Massachusetts. The grounds are also home to a variety of businesses such as a cafe, restaurant, antique shop, artist's studio, and record store.

Our first stop at the mill was at The Lady Killigrew Cafe, where this delicious iced coffee (and grilled nutella and peanut butter sandwich) was consumed outside at a table overlooking the river. (Dave had the regular coffee and grilled cheese with tomato.)

Our view from the table. You can see some of the indoor seating in those windows. Not sure which would have been nicer. While I do like sitting outside, I was visited at length by a bee that might have been in love with my chair.

A closer look at the falls, which it seems the employees of the bookstore have been known to raft down on hot days.

The view from a second-story window in the bookstore, where there are many chairs and tables inviting you to sit down for awhile and read.

Some old typewriters sitting above the staircase.

The view from outside.

The stairs up to Rick Dodge's antiques, where there were many beautiful things that were mostly out of our price range (i.e. a $750 vase).

The verdict is that I like the idea of this place more than the place itself. I did buy some books but the ones I picked up were more or less the only ones I wanted (no having to decide between too many amazing choices). Not that this means it is not a good store, just not one catering to my taste. I did like my sandwich, and it was a beautiful view, so I just might stop back again someday after all.

After leaving the mill we drove down to Northampton, a town we enjoy visiting. Every time I go there I think how nice it would be to live there, until I see all of the tie-dyed shirts (read: too many hippies!).

Above you see the railroad bridge and the faded lettering of the "Boston & Maine RR". One of the last times I was in town I tried exploring the tracks and was accosted by a bicycle cop, who told me it was "an arrestable offense."

Someone left behind this Cadbury egg for others to enjoy.

We took a walk along a path behind an apartment complex, where all of the streetlamps were decorated with this drippy silver paint.

We went into the Thornes Marketplace to use the photobooth but found it was only taking quarters for the moment, and I did not feel like scrounging up three dollars worth. I did go into the Acme Surplus Store, which offers up a weird variety of art, hardware, and kitchen supplies. Note the doll parts. (Not pictured is a display of children's gas masks.)

In addition, delicious Mexican food was consumed and great books were purchased at my new favorite store in Northampton, Metropolitan Books and Records. Everything was crowded into two cramped rooms, there were no gorgeous views, no comfy chairs, but there was much more for sale that I was interested in. They had the odd price scheme of "half off the penciled in price." I suppose there's a psychology behind the appearance of offering a discount, but why not just price it at what you want to sell it for? Either way, no real complaints, just sayin.

No comments:

Post a Comment