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24 Hour guide to touring Northampton


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By Vincenza Parella

I recently visited Northampton – “Noho,” as the locals call it – and with only a day to explore, and a treasure trove of adventure waiting to happen, I decided to devise an itinerary.

11:00 a.m. – Botanical Gardens

Take a leisurely stroll through Smith College’s extensive Botanical Gardens. Free and open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

12:30 p.m. – Walking Paths

Explore the grounds of Smith College with its scenic walking paths surrounding the large lake. These dirt paths include one of the largest collections of blue jays I have ever seen as well as a Japanese Garden for Reflection. Although quite rundown now, the Japanese Garden for Reflection still can give peace to the wayward traveler as they embark on their journey for inner and outer beauty. However, do not walk too far on the walking paths around the lake and river as they extend very far and do not loop around.

1:00 p.m. – Museum of Art

Smith College Museum of Art is near the front of the College and is free of charge for five college consortium students. It houses the works of many famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Edgar Degas and Rodin as well as works of local artists. Among the local treasures is a massive wire Buddah sculpture created by a University of Massachusetts Amherst student. Other hidden gems are the artist designed bathrooms in the lower level which redefine one’s bathroom experience. Curators recommend a slight knock on the opposite gender’s door before peaking in, because the artwork inside is something everyone should see.

2:15 p.m. – NOODLES

After leaving Smith College, a stroll towards town brings you to the brightly orange painted NOODLES restaurant, which serves delicious noodle bowls for fair price. The restaurant itself is a small but warmly decorated space with sauces on every table for varying palates. I ordered the Pink Lady, with Udon noodles for $10.65. The soup had a slight kick – as indicated by their spice meter on the menu – with a savory broth filled with shrimp and fish balls.

3:15 p.m. – Art Galleries

There are multitudes of art galleries and uniquely decorated shops throughout Northampton so hop from art gallery to shop to experience many different styles of art. Be sure to check out the arts and crafts store; Guild, FOE, the national bank turned art gallery R Michaelson Gallery, and Kestrel, a beautifully designed store that sells “rustic/modern/goods” according to their storefront. Also, spend some time in the interactive Ape Gallery which features the exhibit “Money Can’t Buy You Love.” The exhibit lets you play cards and spin wheels telling your fortune.

5:00 p.m. – Oh My!

For 18 plus tourists, The Oh My! Sensuality Shop is a fascinating stop and currently features the art exhibit, KINK. Shop owners are kind and helpful, and the art is actually intriguing.

5:30 p.m. – Limered Teahouse

Have a snack break at the Limered Teahouse. Try a bubble tea – tea with boba or other gelatin goodies – for a reasonable price along with small appetizers. I happened to get a peach bliss with boba for only $4.85. The drink filled me up and was a great treat before the theater.

6:30 p.m. – Academy of Music Theatre

Head to the Academy of Music Theater to watch the 25th Anniversary of the Phantom of the Opera. Despite a predominantly older crowd, fun was to be had by all and concessions and tickets cost a grand total of $8. With a performance time of two and a half hours, this show was a great way to end an art filled day.

9:30 p.m. – Diva’s

There’s never a shortage of fun for the college aged crowd at Diva’s nightclub. Events vary every week, from Drag Wars to Ladies Night, and standard regulations apply, 18 plus to party and 21 plus to drink.  For more details, visit http://www.divasofnoho.com/.

 

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The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department
24 Hour guide to touring Northampton