Monday, August 6, 2007


Mother Nature brought us two terrific days in a row and we took full advantage by making the trek to Tanglewood yesterday. It’s about a two hour trip door to door - or door to gate, to be more precise. Tanglewood, located in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. When you attend the summer concerts performed in “The Shed”, you have the option of being seated under cover, in the open air hall or out on the lawn. With one impromptu, rainy day exception, we always opt for the lawn.

Attendees cover the entire possible age range of folks. Dress code? From cut-off jeans, tee shirts and flip flops all the way to dazzling summer frocks and the preppy men’s summer uniform of chinos, a buttoned down oxford and a blazer, sans tie - it’s summer after all! Some folks turn the picnic on the lawn into a Martha Stewart vs. Ina Garten case of one ups-woman-ship, complete with charmingly clothed tables, vases of flowers, candles and of course “The Menu”. There are some folks who must have prepped for days (or maybe their staff does it?), others proudly pull out containers from fabulous food emporiums, still others pack the humblest of picnic fare. I’ll admit, I’ve played a few of the games - though never up there with the black-belt picnic queens - and it really was fun. But over the years we’ve settled into something simpler and ultimately more enjoyable and relaxing.

Oh and the music is always very nice too! How bad am I? Two full paragraphs before I think to mention the Mendelsohn and the Rachmaninoff! Silence reigns during the concert. Scofflaws have been known to be frozen in place by icy stares from nearby parties for squeaky chairs, rustling wrappers or squealing children. It may be apocryphal, but I’ve heard that the picnic queens just turn the offenders into ice chips and plate their oysters on them! Seriously, the music is lovely. I generally spend the concert writing - with a very quiet roller-ball pen! Chuck usually does the New York Sunday Times Crossword Puzzle, also very quietly. All in all, it’s well worth the trip!

Our little picnic space in the shade.

The view of The Shed from our spot.

A lawn ticket, on, the lawn...


purpleronnie said...

Oh wow! I just love that sort of thing!! Wonderful!!

George Geder said...

That was a fun read!

I wish the outdoor Jazz festivals could be that noise-free. It seems that when the soft songs are going on, a yak-yak fest develops. Then, when you have six horns blasting, everyone shuts up!

We need the black-belt picnic queens to maintain order! (Not really)

"Guided by the Ancestors"

Pink Granite said...

Hey Ronnie -
I tease about it, but it is a lovely, fun thing to do!
- Lee

Hey George -
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
For maintaining silence during the concert, Tanglewood really is unique. Maybe that's why they open the grounds two and a half hours early. By the time they ring the bell just before the concert, most folks are talked and tuckered out!
- Lee

Roo said...

A concert without a tie - I'm shocked!

I was saying to Clod-Morton the other day that standards are slipping in the colonies

;o) x

Pink Granite said...

Hey Roo -
We really are incorrigible...
I suppose after more than two centuries of independence, that powerful, positive British influence has faded quite a bit!
- Lee

Roo said...

You have independance! next you'll be telling me you have really OLD buildings like our 13th century parlour ;o)

Pink Granite said...

Oh no Roo,
We're not nearly as old and dated as you folks are...
(Did you catch my curtsy?)
- Lee

Nana Fi said...

Gosh Lee that looks so wonderful. We have a lot of those here in Cape Town in our famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Vergelegen (a 300 year old wine estate with an amazing history) etc. It is just one of the best things to do. Celine Dion and Elton John are coming to perform here at Vergelen in early 2008 - we can't wait!!! Fiona

Pink Granite said...

Hi Fiona -
Those kind of venues give us such opportunities for respite and celebration! Sounds as if 2008 is bringing great performers to South Africa!
- Lee