I had the chance to spend a chilly week in New England recently and there is no way I would exchange B'game for a return to my native region, but one aspect of Yankee thinking is superior to our California sensibilities--historic preservation. With all of the historic structures in New England--churches, covered bridges, town commons, residences and commercial buildings--one might think Yankees would value them each a little less. But that is not the case. I had a chance to visit two different restored historic theaters and America's Oldest Restaurant and each venue treasured its history.
The Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, Mass and the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington, Mass made me a little sad. Neither of these towns are economic powerhouses nor is Berkshire County where they are located. Yet each venue has a board that rallied to save them from The Claw over the last 15 years. As you can see, the Mahaiwe is now gorgeous.
Contrast that with B'game where the Encore Theater on California Dr. was demolished for just-another-bland-retail-outlet. Same with the Fox Theater on the Avenue. It makes me sad. Here's the old Encore.
At least we have the folks like Tom Gray and the B'game Historical Society around to save the photos of what we have lost.