"Remember that famous cartoon that spoofed the average New Yorker’s view of the world? (Kansas city was just past the Hudson River and New Jersey; Las Vegas bordered Nebraska.) It’s not entirely different for the average Greater Bostonian’s view which, when picturing the west, undoubtedly imagines Chicago and LA before North Adams or Stockbridge.
"Mention Monterey to a Bostonian, and they will think of Pacific Route 1, not Massachusetts Route 23.
"Always been that way. And in Monterey, North Adams and Stockbridge—as well as Lenox, Otis, and Pittsfield—they’re used to it. It’s no mystery in Monterey, Mass., or anywhere else in the Berkshires. They know the numbers: Fully two-thirds of the Bay State’s population lives in the Greater Boston area.
“'Do you ever feel like second-class citizens in your own state?' I once asked a woman in Great Barrington on that subject.
“'Out of sight, out of mind,' she sighed wistfully.
"When those in eastern Massachusetts do travel west to the Berkshires, it is almost invariably in the fall or, more likely, in the summer, to take advantage of the many cultural activities (Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, Shakespeare & Co., etc.) there.
"But I recently spent a couple of days on a story about the Berkshires in winter.
"And I can confidently report that, even long after the music stops and the lawn picnics are a distant memory, there is still life in them thar hills. Good life, too.''
-- Ted Reinstein on the Web site of WCVB TV, Boston, in 2013. He's the author of the travel book New England Notebook.