Dr. King’s Atlanta neighborhood
A visit to Martin Luther King Jr.’s hometown offers unexpected insights, said Michael Schuman in The Philadelphia Inquirer. When you see the birthplace of the civil-rights leader, in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn district, “the initial reaction may be surprise.” People often expect “a tidy bungalow or shotgun row house,” not the “handsome,” Queen Anne–style house where King’s parents raised him. Nearby is Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King eventually served as co-pastor with his father. Standing at the church’s front door, you face a large visitors center across the street. “A sidewalk marked with the footprints of civil-rights icons” leads to a statue of King’s role model Gandhi, and the spirit of King’s era is “explained succinctly” inside the center by videos and life-size displays of key civil-rights events. Back outside, at Freedom Plaza, an eternal flame guards the white marble tomb that serves as the final resting place of King and his wife, Coretta.
Off-season in the Berkshires
Art thrives in Massachusetts’s Berkshires region, even in the dead of winter, said Mark Vanhoenacker in The New York Times. Museums you’ll want to visit include Mass MoCA in North Adams, for contemporary art, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown, for impressionists and old masters. Anything from chamber music to zydeco might be found on stage at Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre, a “Gilded Age treasure.” Meanwhile, Lenox’s Shakespeare & Co. “never lets the floorboards cool,” with a winter program that this year includes Molière’s The Learned Ladies. Edith Wharton’s restored Lenox estate is open in winter only to “cross-country skiers wise to its well-preserved grounds.” But if you want a taste of Wharton’s opulent lifestyle, catch a “Dancin’ at the Mansion” soiree at the nearby Ventfort Hall. Held the second Saturday of each month, this swanky get-together is “very much in the spirit of the old house.”