Brimfield is hard to compete with on an early autumn weekend for a spot of entertainment, even when you can't afford anything you'd even be slightly interested in there. But we found a good rival.
I had heard about the Mattoon Street Arts Festival in downtown Springfield a year or so ago via Townhouse Turnaround. Last year, we didn't have too much time to spare to head down and check it out. This year, we had a whole Saturday free! Imagine that!
So instead of immediately heading out to Brimfield to explore the acres and acres of old junk, we started out to the arts festival downtown.
Okay, so, I'll admit. We've been living in this city for almost four years and I had no idea what the Mattoon Street area was like. We parked in a church lot, which we probably shouldn't have done, and walked in. This neighborhood rivals Boston's charm. I don't think it was just the festival's presence. It was full of charm and character... I would have never guessed it was there.
The city already has some impressive architecture, if you just stop and look. Even some of the more run-down buildings still impress me with their stonework and craftsmanship.
It's even more difficult when you drive through some neighborhoods of the city which are quite clearly struggling, and you find these absolutely stunning homes with incredible detail that you would die for, if only they weren't in such a state of disrepair and in an arguably unsafe part of the city. I grew up in Worcester, and while Worcester has its fair share of beautiful old homes, some of the ones I've seen here in Springfield make me just a little more proud to live here.
We had a really great time at the fair, and I even bought some yarn from Hampden Hills Alpacas to play with. Super, super soft yarn if you're into that kind of thing. Now I just have to select the perfect thing to make with it!