Last week, I traveled out to North Adams, Massachusetts to revisit Mass MOCA. (The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art)
Only open since 1999, it's a relatively new museum, set on the grounds of the old Sprague Electric Company. There are many old factory buildings that make up the museum. One gallery spans the length of a football field and rises a few stories making for a spectacular exhibit space. Much of the charm of visiting the museum is seeing the old spaces converted but preserved, brick walls layered with paint not always masked by fresh sheetrock. I lived in North Adams for about 4 months in early 2001 and was quite fond of the grounds, spaces, and the excitement of the community in renewing a depressed-closed-factory town. The upside-down trees just outside the entrance were my favorite part of being there.
New and fabulous restaurants abound making this a great day trip or even weekend. We had lunch at Cafe Latino located on museum property. My beet salad was delicious, fresh and delicate. We also stopped into an old favorite of mine, brew haha, a cafe just down the street. I remember the pressed sandwiches being delicious and of course they have great coffee.
I hadn't been back to this area since 2001 and will try not to let that much time go by without another visit. If you've never been and you live in New England, it's a must.