Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The New York Times
Walking Over the Hudson: Lofty Valley Views Where Trains Once Rumbled

The longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world is Poughkeepsie, N.Y.‘s Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.

Architectural Digest
The Art Capital of New England is a Former Factory Town

Contemporary art continues to redefine North Adams, Mass. an industrial gem at the heart of the Berkshires.

Architectural Digest
A Hillsdale, N.Y. Couple Turn a 1970’s Ranch Home into a Modern Farmhouse

Jade-Snow Carroll and her husband, Ian Rasch, kept only the foundation during this completely modern remodel.

Design Tips from an Ultra Modern Farmhouse

Pilar Proffitt and Robert Bristow of Poesis Design offer advice and a look inside their Lakeville, Conn. home.

Linda Lavin and Husband to Open Restaurant in Claverack

The former “Alice” star and Broadway actress, and her actor-husband Steve Bakunas, have purchased the former Yorkshire Farms Restaurant and Tavern.

The Boston Globe
Tanglewood Presents Plan for Big Expansion

The Boston Symphony Orchestra will expand its Tanglewood campus in Lenox with a new complex of performance, dining and rehearsal buildings set to open in 2019.

Our Own Rural Gardner

Ralph Gardner Jr., who divides his time between Columbia County and NYC, is the Wall Street Journal’s former “Urban Gardner” columnist. His weekend commentaries on country life can be heard on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio.

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Governor’s Tavern Takes Over For The Iron Horse

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For locals, the old Iron Horse bar in Hudson, New York was an institution. To their dismay, when the owner passed away in 2013, the quaint dive went vacant. But now there’s new life in the place, reopened and renovated into the handsome and welcoming Governor’s Tavern. Respecting its past while accommodating modern tastes, Governor’s is a worthy steward of the building, which has been a tavern since at least 1883. RI’s Jamie Larson revels in the history and the food now being served.

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BIFF Puts A Focus On Our Local Celeb, Karen Allen

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At a dozen years old, the annual Berkshire International Film Festival, which starts June 1, continues to delight and inspire us. We’ve been hearing things about actor/director Karen Allen’s latest project, her film adaptation of the Carson McCullers short story A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud., and now we’ll finally get to see it at BIFF. RI's CB Wismar talked to Allen about the experience of transitioning from stage direction to filmmaking, and also gives us a quick summary of the lineup you won’t want to miss.

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Chef Mariana Bergtold Opens The Vegan-Friendly Shire Kitchen

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Fans of the former Dancing Vegan takeout restaurant in Pittsfield, Mass., along with foodies of all stripes, will be pleased to know that Chef Mariana Bergtold is back in the Berkshires. The Cordon Bleu-trained chef now heads up Shire Kitchen at Shire City Sanctuary, where she creates ethnically inspired community dinners on the first Friday of each month, leads a cooking class on the first Saturdays, and makes her own tempeh and seitan. Last month, RI editor Lisa Green attended the Cinco de Mayo-themed dinner, and is convinced that even non-vegans will love Bergtold’s delicious new projects.

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It’s fascinating to look at a garden tour through the eyes of a professional. Writer Madaline Sparks sees and contemplates facets where the rest of us might just see pretty flowers. Last week, Sparks attended the Trade Secrets Garden Tour, and thoroughly inspired, gives us her top 10 reasons to take in these kinds of events.

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In their annual performance on Saturday, students of Community Access to the Arts (CATA) expressed that we’re all everyday people who are more alike than different. On Sunday, it was a less every day occasion: the opening of Turn Park, a contemporary sculpture park and community gathering spot in West Stockbridge.

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There’s room for everyone on these expansive properties that feel more like family compounds. Invite friends, relatives or summertime renters to stay in your guest home, pool or carriage house, converted barn or caretaker’s cottage. You’ll have plenty of space in the main home, and everyone will enjoy the surrounding acreage.

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Galette can mean different things to different people, as we learn this week. It could be a savory pancake, a Belgian waffle, or this bit of deliciousness, which eschews the savory in favor of the sweet. It’s got a good crumbly crust, and soft and fragrant strawberries that are beautifully in season. Now, that’s our kind of galette!

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It’s not often that we get to witness the creation of a park. Turn Park Art Space (TPAS) in West Stockbridge, Mass., was designed as both a showcase for contemporary sculpture and a beautiful outdoor experience. Founders Igor Gomberg and Katya Brezgunova imagine TPAS as a gathering spot and a scene of creative collaboration.

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Old Chatham, New York resident Derek Delaney is the artistic director of the Union College Concert Series, which serves as a warmup venue for musicians who will be making appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. The Long Island native shares with us what made him fall in love with Columbia County.

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Instant Intelligence

For even more information about upcoming events, check out our Dining, Music & Dance, Visual Arts, Shopping, Books, Theater, Movies, and Save the Date sections. Please submit your own event to

May 22, Lenox VIM Chef’s Dinner The Volunteers In Medicine Berkshires fundraiser will include cocktails, live music from Swing Theory & dinner by Chef Jeffrey Thompson. Funds support free healthcare services for local uninsured & underinsured individuals. Wheatleigh, 6:30 p.m.

May 24, Great Barrington Mahaiwe OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, presents author and commentator Cokie Roberts, who will give the 2017 Mona Sherman memorial lecture. 6 p.m. 

May 25, Lenox The Mount Journalist & cultural critic Kate Bolick presents the first event in a new season of Touchstones: Conversations at The Mount. Former longtime New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy will discuss her new memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply. 5 p.m. 

May 26, W. Stockbridge 1854 Town Hall The West Stockbridge Chamber Players, featuring members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will perform works by Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Barber, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate & Osvaldo Golijov, followed by a reception. 6 p.m.

May 26, Millerton The Moviehouse A screening of the new movie Year by the Sea, starring Karen Allen, followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Alexander Janko. 6 p.m.

May 27, Hillsdale Hillsdale Flea Market 40+ vendors will offer antiques, household & vintage items, pottery, garden tools & handmade items including birdhouses, bowls, pillows & bags. David A. Gallager of “Antiques Roadshow,” will appraise the public’s heirlooms. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

May 27, Ghent OMI The Fields Sculpture Park Summer Exhibition Opening: view the new works, and enjoy refreshments, tractor rides throughout the park and a special art project for children. 1–4:30 p.m.

May 27, S. Egremont The Barn at The Egremont Village Inn Linda Purl & musical director Tedd Firth present a night of cabaret. Singer & actress Purl has appeared on the TV shows Happy Days, True Blood, The Office & Homeland, and on Broadway. 8 p.m.

May 27 & 28, Chatham Columbia County Fairgrounds Hudson-Berkshire Wine & Food Festival: Sample & purchase award-winning wines & spirits from HV & the Berkshires, along with cheeses, baked goods, grass-fed meat & more gourmet foods. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sat. & 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sun.

May 28, North Adams MASS MoCA Building 6 Grand Opening: The museum celebrates doubling in size & becoming the largest contemporary art museum in the country, with live music, a parade, food trucks and a late-night concert by the band Cake.

May 28, Sharon Raptors & Riesling Meet the resident raptors and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in a tent on the lawn at Audubon Sharon. 5-7 p.m.

May 29, Great Barrington The Mahaiwe Rusted Root has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide since forming in Pittsburgh in the early ‘90s. Their 1994 album, When I Woke, featured the hit songs “Send Me On My Way,” “Ecstasy” and “Martyr.” 7 p.m.

June 1–4, Great Barrington & Pittsfield Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) A showcase of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short & family films, panel discussions & special events, including a tribute with Christopher Plummer, opening night galas & more.

June 3, Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village Food for Thought: Enjoy a 3-course seasonal meal prepared by Chef Brian Alberg, wine & a signed book from Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-author of Journey of the Universe, which weaves modern science together with humanistic traditions. 6 p.m.

June 3, Falls Village NextFestival at Music Mountain Grammy-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh, along with the young musicians of the NextFestival of Emerging Artists, will perform works by Anna Clyne and Caroline Shaw. Free. 7 p.m.

June 3, Pittsfield Colonial Theatre Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month at the 2nd Annual Berkshire Dance Party & Cabaret. Walk the pink carpet, break in your dancing shoes with DJ BFG & enjoy local performance artists and talent on every stage. 7 p.m.

June 3, Annandale-on-Hudson The Fisher Center at Bard College The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle presents The Juilliard String Quartet in a program of Bartók and Beethoven. 8 p.m.

June 4, Pittsfield Temple Anshe Amunim Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will speak at the Spring into Summer Brunch, and read from her acclaimed book, The Secret Chord, a novel about the life of the Biblical King David. 10 a.m.

June 4, Great Barrington BIFF at The Mahaiwe Tea Talk: The Berkshire International Film Festival presents a screening of All the President’s Men and a conversation with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. 2 p.m.

June 4, Poughkeepsie Queen City Pride Picnic The 9th annual BYO summer community picnic is a family-friendly afternoon packed with live music, drag performances, games and dancing. 5–11 p.m.

For even more information about upcoming events, check out our:
Dining Intelligence (Listings of Food and Drink Events & Restaurant Features)
Music & Dance Listings
Visual Arts Listings
Local Shopping Listings
Books Listings
Theater Listings
Local Movies Listings
Save the Date Listings
Please submit your own event to