The [Unauthorized] GB Primer

The inside track. Beware, locals and visitors alike!

The Town of Great Barrington lies along the Housatonic River in western Massachusetts. (Note to Bostonians: Worcester is not western Massachusetts. Not even close. Neither are Springfield and Amherst. If you want west you have to keep going, you know — west. When you get to eastern New York, you’ve gone too far. Turn around and drive until you feel all tingly and warm inside and you’ll know you’re back in Massachusetts.)

It’s in the Berkshires, which is why it’s great, Barrington that is. In the summer and during the holidays, visitors can outnumber locals by a wide margin and some of them have adopted alternative modifiers for Barrington in an attempt to be, you know, clever. In other cases, locals can be heard to utter variations on the town’s name, depending upon circumstances, by way of commentary on the lifestyles and curious practices of the ambivalently regarded auslanders.

Herewith is a current listing with annotations.

  • Pretty Good Barrington. Because some people are a little hard to please.
  • Meh Barrington. Because some people are really hard to please.
  • This Isn’t Connecticut So Don’t Drive Like A Jerk Barrington. I’m talking to you in the big white Mercedes Benz with the Greenwich license plate frame (like we didn’t know you were rich already just by looking at the car) who cut off the local guy in the Subaru with tens years worth of town dump stickers on his back window who was just trying to pull out of a parking place in front of the Post Office. Be nice. Try, at least.
  • Brooklyn North Barrington. You won’t believe how close the farm is to your table. It’s almost across the street! That’s why it smells like that. Because you’re not in Brooklyn.
  • OK To Root For The Yankees While In Massachusetts Barrington. Do this at your own risk, of course, in case those people from Boston actually find the place. Unlikely, but you can’t be too careful.
  • I Can’t Make The New Melissa Clark Recipe Because I Couldn’t Find Burrata Barrington. It’s called roughing it. It’s called being on vacation. You’ll live.
  • The Natives Don’t Wear Scarves in the Summer Barrington. If you want to blend in, leave your Euro scarf at home when you go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning if the temperature is over 65. No, make that 30. Then again, maybe you don’t want to blend in. Whatever.
  • Not Like It Used To Be Barrington. And Arlo isn’t a kid anymore either. But don’t worry. Any day now you’ll be able to buy weed on Main Street without getting arrested. Not that you would now. Of course, when it was illegal the lines were shorter.
  • I Can’t Believe They Charge The Same For A Latte As They Do In New York Barrington. Yeah, I know. And the coffee beans aren’t even local. They’re from Columbia or someplace like that. So sad.
  • I’ve Been To More Cultural Events/Venues This Week Than You Have Barrington. Only because we got rained out at Tanglewood!
  • Don’t Run Over The People In The Crosswalks Barrington. Is that you again in the white Mercedes? Sheesh!
  • My Bedroom Slippers Are Fuzzier Than Your Dog Barrington. Bigger too. And I don’t have to pick up after my slippers with a blue New York Times bag, so that’s nice.
  • Gluten Free Barrington. Of course it doesn’t taste, look, or feel like bread. That’s what the gluten is for.
  • Not So Great Barrington. Because some people are impossible to please. Try Nantucket.

Can we just make Barrington Great again?