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Alternative Markets in West Massachusetts

Jason Fossella writes:

These are two places in the west of the state that are very interesting.

Northampton, Hampshire, Mass.

Great city in general for alternative lifestyles. Main street always has street performers out when the weather is good. Lots of interesting architecture. Home to Smith College. Lots of bookstores, most specialized in an area- women's culture, gay culture, etc. Music stores, independant arts and cinema.

Specific Stores:
Faces- Lots of interesting books and trinkets, as well as clothes. Also a large selection of postcards, and the basement is devoted to interesting furniture, posters, and housewares.

Thornes- A converted department store, portioned off into separate areas. Multi-floor bookstore Interesting clothing shops, including a store of Tibetan jewelry and trinkets.

Amherst, Hampshire, Mass.

Town has a huge number of college students (the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and Hampshire College are all there), and a large number of Goths and various other mutants as a consequence. Downtown has a fair number of independent bookstores and music shops- two of note. Food for Thought Books is run as a commune, and carries a large stock of books on alternative lifestyles. Newbury Comics, part of a small chain of stores, carries interesting clothing, hair dyes, shoes, as well as comic books and music.

Jason Fossella

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