My Favorite Walk – We Want to Hear From You
May20

My Favorite Walk – We Want to Hear From You

A small stretch of land between Route 9 and I-91 might not sound like prime walking territory. But out here, you can disconnect. This is farmland — a quick and easy escape to Kansas from downtown Northampton’s Oz. At Sheldon Field, Old Ferry Road branches off from Bridge Street and runs around the fairgrounds, where it connects to Cross Path Road and then Ventures Field Road, before reconnecting with Hockanum Road south of downtown....

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Between the Lines: Advocate Grand Band Slam Is Back, now with more slam!
May12

Between the Lines: Advocate Grand Band Slam Is Back, now with more slam!

Back in the final year of the 1900s, I stood, guitar in hand, on the steps of Northampton’s old courthouse at the main intersection. The occasion was the (then new) Valley Advocate Grand Band Slam. My bandmates and I had won top honors in the “experimental/progressive” category. The proceedings were festive, and they were modest in a small-town way. I didn’t work at the Advocate then, but I was intrigued to meet some of the staff,...

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The V-Spot: Feeling Rough
May12

The V-Spot: Feeling Rough

Ladies, when it comes to bangin’ banging, if you do the crime, you gotta do the time. Though this “time” can come in many forms, such as cramping, bruises, welts, and off-cycle vaginal bleeding, rarely will you get slapped with a life sentence. Sexual pleasure, much like alcohol, has many endorphin- and adrenaline-induced effects on our bodies which can simultaneously allow us to make abnormally hasty decisions and significantly...

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Best Of Winners’ Photo Booth
May07

Best Of Winners’ Photo Booth

On Cinco de Mayo the Advocate threw a party at the Log Cabin in Holyoke for the first place winners of the 2015 Best Of the Valley Readers Poll competition. There was a photo booth there … things got silly, here’s the...

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Selling Crafts — and Holyoke: Alchemy Artisan Fair seeks to bring the people back to downtown
May06

Selling Crafts — and Holyoke: Alchemy Artisan Fair seeks to bring the people back to downtown

Liz Stewart leans forward to point out a series of bracelets made from metal nuts, washers, and wires. “It’s mostly new and repurposed hardware,” she says. “The idea is to take ordinary items and put them into situations you wouldn’t expect to see them. People look at them and see something beautiful, and then they look closer and say: Oh my gosh — I know what those objects are.” This is the idea behind Stewart’s company Lush Beads,...

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Cinemadope: He Shoots, He Scores!
May06

Cinemadope: He Shoots, He Scores!

So often when we talk about film, we talk about the people on either side of the camera. We talk about the great actors and actresses whose performances touch some deep part of our secret selves, revealing surprising truths we didn’t know we knew. We talk about the directors and cinematographers whose larger vision creates a world where those truths feel at home. But there is another behind-the-scenes artist whose work can make a film...

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