Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The New York Times
36 Hours in the Berkshires

Every summer, the New YorkTimes falls in love with our region again.

The New York Times
The New York Times weighs in on The Clark Art Institute’s renovated space.

“The directors and trustees of every art museum in the country should schedule a visit to the Clark sooner rather than later. I am almost certain the experience would stimulate fresh thinking about what their own museums can be, regardless of size, location or architectural ambition.”

Architectural Digest
Join Lee F. Mindel on a tour of Hancock Shaker Village.

The magazine’s Lee F. Mindel calls Hancock Shaker Village “one of our country’s most American places” and considers the Shakers “the pioneers of minimalism.”

Architectural Digest
An 1830s Hudson Valley home becomes a welcoming weekend getaway.

The magnificent Columbia County home of composer Scott Frankel (“Grey Gardens” and “Far From Heaven”) and architect Jim Joseph is featured in the new issue of Architectural Digest.
Skiing areas spending millions to upgrade snowmaking

Good news for local skiers: Catamount, Ski Butternut - Great Barrington, Mass. and Otis Ridge have all upgraded their snow-making capabilities.

Architectural Digest
Hudson, New York’s Best

The magazine tours our region, concluding with a dining-and-shopping spree in Hudson.

The New York Times

For Her Next Production…
Making a film in Ghent, NY, led to the construction of an innovative, sustainable house.

The New York Observer

As Celebrities Flock to Hudson Valley, Locals Pretend Not to Care
Sam Pratt hits a home run with this piece about life in the Rural Intelligence region.

The New York Times
The Mystery Behind the Model for a Vanished Rockwell Painting
Deborah Solomon’s new biography of the great Stockbridge artist suggests her book is full of revelations.

The New York Times
To Table, From a Farm of Their Own
A glowing review of Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam, the farm-to-table restaurant refined and redefined by the guys who also own Manolo Blahnik.


Benchmark Real Estate

Berkshire Money Mangement

Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings

Toole Insurance

Ensemble For The Romantic Century Brings Beethoven To Life

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“Beethoven Love Elegies,” in performance now at The Mount, is a stunning blend of theater, history and biography performed by actors and musicians. In its second season in the Berkshires, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century, which performs frequently in New York, use letters, diaries, memoirs and literature along with recorded and live music to foster a deeper understanding of some of the world’s greatest thinkers. (Past subjects have included Tolstoy, Toscanini and Freud.) The Ensemble’s founder, Eve Wolf, promises a side of Beethoven that people don’t know. “They always think of him older and completely eccentric, with the wild hair. But this is Beethoven at 30, good looking, with lots of love interests. He’s searching for a wife and not finding one, but also writing his only opera, ‘Fidelio,’ in which he creates the perfect wife as a character.” With material like that, there’s no need to dress up the story with fictional devices. The romantic time-traveling production is in residence at The Mount through Aug. 3.

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Recipe: Midsummer Galette

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Photo by Erin Macdowell.

Sweltering summer days are made for some things (swimming, salads and sweet, sweet air-conditioning), but using the oven isn't one of them. However, these cooler, rainier days find Alana Chernila willing to turn her oven back on and use her garden's bounty in a new way. She shows us how to grill up whatever veggies we can get our hands on – there's no right or wrong ingredient – and wrap it up in a pie crust pocket (pie crust recipe included). Delicious, savory additions like Monterey chevre, slices of parmesan, or paper-thin sheets of prosciutto make this homemade tart much too hard to resist.

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Powerhouse Theater: After 30 Years, It's Still Electrifying

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Few endeavors are more aptly named than the Powerhouse Theater in Poughkeepsie. Currently enjoying its 30th season, this collaboration between Vassar College in Poughkeepsie and Manhattan-based theater company New York Stage & Film helps emerging and established playwrights develop and produce new work, mounting up to 20 productions in a compressed 8-week span. Co-founded by Mark Linn-Baker – known to many as Cousin Larry from the long-running sitcom Perfect Strangers — Powerhouse was created to emphasize experimentation and risk taking. RI's Robert Burke Warren finds out how audiences play a part in its success, and takes a look at its current season, which includes contributions from the likes of playwrights Terrence McNally, David Henry Hwang and Carrie Fisher, and actors Kyra Sedgwick and Robert Morse.

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The word Zaanti means peace in Sanskrit, and that's just what you'll find at yoga classes taught by Cathy Salvini in her Lenox studio. Our intrepid fitness reporter, Paula Boyajian, has taken countless, varied exercise classes, but her experience at Zaanti left her more attentive and graceful, and full of a new appreciation for what yoga can do.

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Thanks to technology (this, said sarcastically), work never stops. Toiling at all hours, though, isn’t so bad when a home office is as welcoming as any other part of your house. Our listings this week offer everything you won’t get in a corporate cubicle. Some are big enough for a staff, and most of them even come with an inspiring view.

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Back in May, we suggested 30 or so upcoming performances from the extensive lineup of music and theater productions in our region this summer. And yes, it’s the middle of July, but plenty are still happening, or have yet to open. So you’re in luck. Check the list; there may be something you hadn’t considered before.

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The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council enjoyed cocktails and music in the garden, as artists created works en plein air; Stonover Farm curated a benefit art show for IS183, which opened with a reception in its Barn Gallery; and Tanglewood warmly welcomed music director Andris Nelsons to the family on BSO's opening night.

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The Litchfield Jazz Festival is the culmination of its jazz camp, and during the session, faculty members give nightly concerts, your chance to hear stellar artists such as Don Braden and Gary Smulyan free (although a free-will donation is appreciated). You'll find that information, and more, in our Calendar of Events. (Photo by Antonio Monteiro.)

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Teacher, director, dancer and actress Shawn Fischer called New York City home for 25 years, until her husband and Eleanor Roosevelt convinced her that Tivoli was the town for her. She now teaches theater to Red Hook residents, as well as to inmates at Woodbourne Correctional Facility through the non-profit organization Rehabilitation Through the Arts.

[Read More]

Instant Intelligence

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

July 24, Pittsfield Berkshire Museum Opening reception for Community Access to the Arts’ new exhibit, I Am a Part of Art, with poetry reading by Joe Cacaci of Berkshire Playwrights Lab. 5 p.m.

July 25, Housatonic Project Native Butterfly Open House and Reception: Celebrate the life in the native butterfly house while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. 5-7 p.m.

July 25 & 26, Hillsdale Roe-Jan Library Art Studio Tour, with a special reception for the artists on Friday from 5-7 p.m. and tours on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

July 25—27, Lenox Lilac Park Church on the Hill Fine Arts & Handmade Crafts Fair: Wine tasting at 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by live auction. Craft fair on Saturday & Sunday with 60 vendors, raffle & luncheon beginning each day at 10 a.m. Pancake breakfast on Sunday at 8 a.m.

July 26, Kinderhook Kinderhook Memorial Library “Small Works Fence Show,” an exhibition of 20 local artists’ work on the lawn of the library. The work will be available for purchase and artists will donate 20% of their proceeds to the Library building fund. 9 a.m.—3 p.m.

July 26, West Cornwall Paint the Bridge Day celebration, featuring artists of all ages and abilities sculpting, painting, drawing, and photographing the bridge and village, followed by an exhibit, sale and reception. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

July 26, Stockbridge Naumkeag Garden Party Celebrate the restoration of Fletcher Steele & Mabel Choate’s Afternoon Garden. Stroll the grounds, sip cocktails including “Mabel’s Martini” by Berkshire Mountain Distillers, enjoy live jazz by Allen Livermore Trio & more. 4-7 p.m.

July 26, Tyringham Tyringham Town Hall Acclaimed Yale University comedy improv group “Just Add Water” perform to benefit the Hop Brook Community Club, which provides funding to Tyringham high school graduates who wish to continue their education. 5 p.m.

July 26, Sharon Chore Service Garden Party Annual fundraiser for the group which has helped keep elderly and disabled neighbors living independently at home for 22 years. Support them and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Tomlin Farm, 108 Fairchild Rd. 5-7:30 p.m.

July 26, Taghkanic A Midsummer Eve’s Silent Auction A benefit for the new Claverack Library, featuring wine and hors d’oeuvres, at the home of Scott Fuchs and Tom Detwiler. 5-7 p.m.

July 26, Stockbridge Berkshire Botanical Garden Fête Des Fleurs, BBG’s 2014 garden party, has a Summer Wind theme. Dress up and celebrate with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Peter Platt of The Old Inn on the Green. 5:30 p.m.

July 26, Copake Copake Country Club FarmOn! Hootenanny Benefit Dinner: Farm-to-table dinner featuring the cuisine of a NYC celebrity chef served lakeside, plus a golf cart drive-in movie, auctions and a bonfire sundae bar. Proceeds benefit the FarmOn! Foundation. 6 p.m.

July 26, Lenox Butterflies, Beavers & Bonfire Gala Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s 6th annual fundraiser also celebrates its 85th anniversary. It will feature live music, food and drink, a silent auction and a bonfire under the stars at Lime Kiln Farm. 6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 27, Austerlitz Blueberry Festival Austerlitz Historical Society at Old Austerlitz hosts a day of Early 19th Century craft demonstrations and wares, live music, food, vendors and artisans. Events kick off with a pancake breakfast. 9 a.m.—4 p.m.

July 27, Kent Kent School The Kent Memorial Library presents Gary Ross, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Special Agent and author of Who Watches The Watchmen. He will give the talk “Balancing Our National Security with Freedom of the Press.” 2 p.m.

July 27, Chatham Me and Thee and We: The Pronouns of Relationships, a salon of song and satire to benefit the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, featuring Sally-Jane Heit and music by pianist Uel Wade, and followed by a wine and cheese reception. Hunter-Wade Studio, 3 p.m.

July 28, Pittsfield Barrington Stage Company Nine-time Tony Award-winner Tommy Tune performs “Taps, Tunes, and Tall Tales,” dancing, singing and tale-telling through 50 years of showmanship. Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, 8 p.m.

July 31, North Adams DownStreet Art Five gallery exhibition openings, plus music, food and the unveiling of the large-scale mural by artist Corwin Levi. 6-9 p.m.

August 1, Pittsfield & Great Barrington Free Fun Fridays: Hancock Shaker Village offers free admission and activities, and the Mahaiwe has free movies, live performances by Circus Theatricks, and hands-on activities for kids. Beginning at 10 a.m.

August 1, Sharon Hotchkiss Library of Sharon The annual benefit Summer Book Signing will feature authors Francine Prose, James Patterson, Deborah Solomon and many more. 6-8 p.m. on the Green (10 Upper Main Street).

August 1 & 2, West Stockbridge No. Six Depot Glory Unending: Selected readings of Ovid’s “Metamorphosis” produced by Berkshire Playwrights Lab and sculpture from “The Grand Battle: Songs of Heroism” series by Ed Smith. 8:30 p.m.

August 1—3, Hillsdale Falcon Ridge Folk Festival featuring Tom Paxton, John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler, Seth Glier, The Boxcar Lilies, The Grand Slambovians, Darlingside and many others, plus food and vendors. Dodds Farm, 44 County Route 7D.

August 2, Mount Washington Church of Christ Mt. Washington Fair, featuring free admission and door prize ticket. Raffles, auction, entertainment, games, crafts, fresh food, white elephant items and more. 10:30 a.m.—3 p.m., rain or shine. 

August 2, Monterey Summer Garden Party to benefit Bidwell House Museum Live music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent and live auction at the now private property of the 1915 to 1936 Berkshire Summer School of Art. Art School Road, 4-7 p.m.

August 2, Ghent Omi International Arts Center Music Omi Concert in The Fields: The 2014 Music Omi International Musicians Residency will conclude with a concert of collaborative new works created while in residence and performed in The Fields sculpture park. 5 p.m.

August 2, Pittsfield Shire City Sanctuary Retro Spectacle, the 2014 Berkshire Fringe opening party and fundraising extravaganza, will feature live performances, an open bar, dancing, and an auction. 6-11 p.m.

August 2, Hudson Basilica Hudson Opening reception for the art exhibit Ambulance Blues, curated by Erin Falls. 7-9 p.m. with an after-party live show featuring Big French, Lissy Trullie and Imaad Wasif at 9 p.m.

August 3, Hudson Helsinki Hudson Black Violin, the world’s first and possibly only classical music and hip-hop fusion duo. 8 p.m.

August 4, Chatham Columbia County Fairgrounds Taste of Hudson Valley Bounty Dinner: Tastings of over 40 dishes including appetizers, salads, main courses, cheeses and deserts, as well as wines and beers. 5-8 p.m.

August 7 – 10, Kent Sidewalk Festival featuring food, sales including an outdoor book sale, live music, games, cruise night, stunt bike show, cash raffle and even more events for all ages.

August 9, Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village Gala A farm-to-table supper prepared by Chef Michael Roller and live music by the Gregory Caputo Big Band, as well as a silent and live auction, and Shaker craft demonstration. 5 p.m.

August 9 & 10, Hudson Hudson Black Arts & Cultural Festival: Parade on Saturday, followed by games, music, food & entertainment. On Sunday, festivities include a Gospel Festival. For info., call 518-828-3612. Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, 2-8 p.m. Saturday & 4-7:30 p.m. Sunday.

August 10, Millerton Railroad Plaza Chef and Farmer Brunch: Annual benefit for the North East Community Center, featuring Farmers Market inspired dishes, tastings and cocktails provided by 20 chefs from local farm-to-table restaurants and breweries. 11 a.m. - 1 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
Kids Calendar Listings
Save the Date Listings
Please submit your own event to