This review is frightfully delayed, but better late than never!
I popped into Changes on a whim after I saw a friend of mine immediately after she had her hair cut there, and booked an appointment with Elysa for the next day. After spending the last two years growing out my hair, I was a bit nervous about getting it styled, but I was absolutely blown away!
Elysa did a fantastic job on my hair -- we talked for a good bit before she started styling, about what I wanted from the cut, and that alone helped to banish my worries. And the haircut itself -- well. I strutted out of the salon when she was finished.
I've gone back to Elysa at least three times now, and each haircut/color has been exactly what I wanted. I get compliments on my hair all the time, even when I'm lazy about styling it, and it's thanks to her giving me an easy, but flattering cut!
Everyone at the salon seems lovely -- easy to talk to, friendly, and funny. It's such a nice treat to go to Changes, and I'm sure my future appointments will be just as great. I play on staying loyal for a LONG time!
If you're looking for a treat, then the Roost is perfect. I highly recommend their desserts/pastries (the Noho Hoho is so delicious I may have actually dreamed about it) and the ambience is great -- games for grown-ups, and lots of lush leafy greens. On the downside, they're definitely lacking cheap, quick breakfast staples. Since they're across the street from a major bus stop, it seems strange that they wouldn't have that on the menu. Service can be hit-or-miss. You may get someone at the register who's polite and cheerful, and you can get one of the glowering Northampton hipster types who sneer no matter what you've ordered. If you want to linger over a sweet treat, then the Roost is great, but the lack of consistently good service and good breakfast foods is very disappointing.
Joe's was my Monday night staple for almost a year, and I still try to get down there at least once or twice a month. You'll know it by the sombrero!
Be prepared for a wait -- there are almost always people waiting outside before Joe's opens, and between 6pm and 8pm it's packed. Joe's offers a special Sunday through Thursday nights, so if you're going for the first time, go on a Wednesday night and try the $5 spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs are the size of your fist and are the BEST I've ever tasted.
Joe's pizza is also excellent, offered in a wide variety of sizes, from the one-person-sized "Little Joe" to a family-sized version. Try the white spinach pizza, or just the plain cheese.
Other recommendations: the baked ziti and the chicken marsala. Take a couple friends and look for the sombrero!
I'm a dedicated customer of all the used bookstores in Northampton, but I only recently visited the Old Book Store for the first time. Like most used bookstores, the organization doesn't progress much past "Fiction", "Poetry", etc, but that's understandable considering how much shuffling goes on as customers breeze through. It takes time to go through all the shelves, but you'll always find a treasure. Check out the huge fiction section along the back wall!
You won't find better prices, and the Old Book Store is a great refuge from the hot Western Mass summers. Spend an hour, spend an afternoon!