Our Towns: Area Overview
While each town or village in the Northwest Corner has its own distinct personality and particular charms, the area is small enough that residents feel part of the larger area and freely use resources throughout the towns of Salisbury, Canaan, Falls Village, Sharon, Cornwall, Norfolk, Litchfield and Kent-and indeed, across state lines to the west (Millerton, NY) and to the north (Gt.Barrington and Stockbridge, MA). They are proud residents not just of a town but a region. Additionally, the unique location at the juncture of Massachusetts and New York state, along with the influence of weekenders and retirees from New York City and Boston, lend a sophistication and a cultural, educational and political liveliness to the area that extend well beyond village confines.
Serving the area is the 100-year old weekly newspaper, The Lakeville Journal, one of the last independent newspapers in the Northeast, where lively debate rages on the editorial pages and cultural listings and local news keep everyone in the know. (See www.tcextra.com).
Want first-rate chamber music? You won't find it in Sharon, but you will in nearby Norfolk, at the nationally acclaimed Norfolk Festival, or in Falls Village, at Music Mountain, the oldest chamber orchestra venue in the nation (it also offers top-notch jazz and choral concerts), You won't find summer musical theater in Lakeville, but you will in Sharon, where TriArts makes its home in the historic Sharon Playhouse (see www.triarts.net).
Salisbury has more shops, but Canaan has more services, while Sharon affords the easiest access to Metro-North commuter rail. And so it goes. East to west, north to south; towns in the Northwest Corner are never more than a half-hour's drive from one another and residents take advantage of that proximity.
Among these towns, you will find great shopping for everything from jewelry to rare books, two movie houses, first-rate doctors and dentists, a fine 78-bed hospital and great libraries. Each town boasts lively restaurants-everything from pizza to fine cuisine- and wonderful holiday traditions, from Christmas tree lightings to Memorial Day parades.
Churches, which play an active role in the life of these communities, are well represented in each town; active synagogues are in nearby Amenia, NY, and Great Barrington, MA.
The local private prep schools, including the Hotchkiss, Salisbury, Berkshire, Kent and Millbrook schools, offer year round programs of dance, music and theater open to the community. The area's regional public high school, Housatonic Valley Regional High, offers an honors program and prize-winning robotics, debate, jazz and doo-wop groups, as well as competitive athletic programs and an agri-business center.
Within easy driving distance are a host of nationally renowned cultural offerings, including Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow, the Berkshire Theater Festival, Shakespeare & Co., Barrington Stage, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum, the Willamstown Theater, MassMoca, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, The FDR Library and home in Hyde Park, NY and the Vanderbilt Mansion.
All the libraries of the Northwest Corner host talks, book signings and readings year round. The area boasts year-round recreation-swimming, boating, hiking, golf, tennis, riding, skiing and skating. Indoor swimming and skating are available at The Hotchkiss and Salisbury schools as well as the new YMCA in Canaan, which also boasts a fully equipped fitness center. In the summer, Camp Sloane offers day and overnight camping for kids, while nature lovers old and young find courses and opportunities at the Audubon Center in Sharon. Ski areas within a half-hour drive include Butternut in Gt.Barrington, MA., Catamount in So. Egremont, Ma. and Mohawk Mt. in Cornwall. For sportscar fans, Lime Rock Park is one of the finest small raceways in the country - and was a favorite of Paul Newman's for many years. The famous Skip Barber Racing School calls Lime Rock home as well.
Just about the only thing not available here is a mall - to our delight. Should you need a Gap fix, a number of malls are about an hour's drive away.