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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Brimfield Antique Mart Comes Around Again

Buying antiques is one of the best ways to give the planet a longer shelf life.  From the obvious furniture to pottery, china, and silver with long bloodlines, outfitting your home with things from the past is always an investment in the future.   
The most famous  -- and perhaps largest and oldest -- outdoor antique sale in the United States is the Brimfield Show, a week long extravaganza that takes over a quaint town in central Massachusetts for one week in May, July, and September every year.  The May event, which starts on the 17th, is arguably the best time of year to really make it a fun, sustainable trip while you find new Bakelite jewelry, architectural elements (because every house needs a stained glass window and a decorative arch), and more.    May is beautiful in Massachusetts and while you are bargaining side by side with men in t-shirts that read "I collect old coins" or dealers looking to stock their shops for the winter, you can rest assured knowing that more parts of your visit are geared towards re-use and recycling.  
Although the mile-long stretch of antique dealers runs all week, sections are divided into various "fields" that open on different days, providing new items and excitement each time you go.  You may start out interested in folk art but end up coming home with depression glass, wrought iron plant stands, and vintage toys.

Coming into Brimfield from the airport in Hartford, consider using the show's number one service, a car pool service that reduces the number of cars coming to the area and tracks the savings in tons of Co2 not entered into the atmosphere.  There are many typical New England bed and breakfasts between Connecticut and Massachusetts, all less than half an hour to the show site.  One of the best, a little farther away but worth the drive, is Delta Organic Farm B&B, which boasts local sustainable meals (mostly harvested right on the premises) and a certified allergy-free environment. 

Although there are many food vendors at the site, with some vegetarian and locally sourced options, if you fly into Hartford, before you head east, consider stopping at  Alchemy, which features excellent vegan, vegetarian, and raw foods as well as smoothies: a great option is packing a lunch of their delicious vegan wraps.

aerial image of opening day at May's Field
previous image from Old Good Things, selling architectural finds at Brimfield.

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