The most marked different between the cultures of New England and Arkansas is age. Boston saw its inauguration as a city over 180 years before the first big waves of settlers arrived in Arkansas. Massachusetts, by comparison, is a very old place full of very old buildings with very old stuff.
When one also takes into account that antique shops from all over the United States send representatives to Brimfield during its tri-annual fair, the result is an entire town turned into tents, barns, and stalls--the second biggest flea market in the world.
Kerry and I went to Brimfield, which is only about twenty minutes away, on Sunday. We were officially on the lookout for a kotatsu, but unofficially just looking for a way to pass a lazy Sunday afternoon. We walked through the majority if not all of the fair, gawking at the pretties: furniture, cookware, china, machines, cloth, bottles, and everything else one can imagine. I was fascinated to see an old-style log turning lathe, horse-drawn carriages, rickshaws, brittle tomes of Massachusetts congressional records going back to the nineteenth century, a tent full of recovered Civil War medals, badges, and epaulets, and a corgi riding around in a wagon.
We didn't find our kotatsu, which certainly doesn't mean it wasn't there--but we did end up purchasing a cobbler's bench to serve as a coffee table. Good times.
Random Fact: lobster, lobster bisque, and falafel sandwiches are consider fair food in Massachusetts.