The Advocate Guide to Winter in Western Mass
Dec04

The Advocate Guide to Winter in Western Mass

We know our winters in Western Massachusetts. As the last of the color fades from the leaves, the realization sets in that it’s going to be a while before the warm and colorful days of spring. But winter doesn’t have to be all about darkness and cold. Winter is a time of roaring fires and warm soups and teas. The colorful twinkle of holiday lights are already brightening the longer nights and the New Year offers a chance for a fresh...

Read More
Full Shelves, Empty Calories: Springfield Neighborhoods Still Waiting For Healthy Food Options
Nov27

Full Shelves, Empty Calories: Springfield Neighborhoods Still Waiting For Healthy Food Options

It’s been more than two years, since former Valley Advocate staff writer Amanda Drane wrote an article about residents in the Mason Square neighborhood of Springfield who rallied together, collecting 1,300 grocery receipts totaling more than $50,000, to entice businesses to build a grocery store in the community. But that hasn’t happened yet. Organizers with Gardening the Community and the Food Policy Council in the city of...

Read More
Advocate Staff Picks: Cotton Mill, Debussy, Elephants for Autism, and Valley Music Showcase Finals
Nov27

Advocate Staff Picks: Cotton Mill, Debussy, Elephants for Autism, and Valley Music Showcase Finals

Cotton Mill Open Studio & Holiday Sale // FRIDAY – SUNDAY Put simply, open studios are awesome. The chance to peek in at an artist’s work space and see how they set things up and where the do their creative work really gets the creative juices flowing for me. This weekend at the Cotton Mill in Brattleboro, a more than 100-year-old mill building off of Exit 1 on 91, there’s an opportunity not only to check out the studios,...

Read More
The Advocate Guide to Open Mics in the Pioneer Valley!
Nov20

The Advocate Guide to Open Mics in the Pioneer Valley!

The Pioneer Valley is home not only to a bountiful music scene, but to dozens of open mics where artistic communities blossom. Open mics are places where the generational lines between artists blur while they’re jamming out to a bluesy ballad or talking about their favorite Beatles album. Open mics can be a mixed bag at times — you might hear a jaw dropping original song followed by one of worst renditions of your favorite song. But...

Read More
Courtesy, Melted Ice Cream, and Conspiracy Theories: Out on the Street in a Power Outage
Nov15

Courtesy, Melted Ice Cream, and Conspiracy Theories: Out on the Street in a Power Outage

In front of Northampton Market, employee Rilshad Azez shoos away potential customers as they pull into the lot. “No power,” he says. The mailman he welcomes, but he asks a question: “You didn’t bring the power?” “Sorry, not today,” is the answer. As Azez enjoys a cigarette, he watches cars at the intersection in front of the store go by. The traffic light is out, but the cars are moving...

Read More