Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Saturday, February 13, 2016
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The New York Times
A New Director for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

Pamela Tatge from Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts will be the new executive director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance.

The Wall Street Journal
Gregory Crewdson: When Photos Meet the Movies

The lauded photographer with local roots returned to Becket, Mass. to shoot his latest series, “Cathedral of the Pines,” which will be shown at Gagosian Gallery in NYC from Jan. 28—March 5.

The New York Times
What Nancy Fuller Ginsberg Loves

The “Farmhouse Rules” TV host shows off her Hudson, N.Y. home.

Yankee Magazine
A Visit to Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Reporter Heather Marcus finds a lot to love—and photograph—at Hancock Shaker Village and Hotel On North.

The New York Times
Ruth Reichl Recharges in the Kitchen

The RI-area resident and former editor of the defunct Gourmet magazine is set to publish her first solo cookbook since 1971.

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Milk House Chocolates: Made Fresh Daily By Your Local Bovines

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Fans of Milk House Chocolates at Thorncrest Farm in Goshen, Conn. not only have their favorite confections – perhaps the Dark Chocolate Ginger Cream or the Curry Ganache – but also their favorite cows. Mist’s tangy milk works well in the dark chocolates and Creed supplies the sweeter taste present in the Madagascar Vanilla. The small-batch chocolatier was voted “Best Chocolates in Connecticut 2015” by Connecticut Magazine, but we thought we should stop by and see for ourselves. RI’s Lisa Green walked the walk, tasted the chocolate, and met the makers – both human and bovine.

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Charles Busch: See His New Cabaret Show Here First

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Legendary actor-writer-director-drag pioneer Charles Busch turns Helsinki Hudson into a neo-vaudevillian cabaret on Sunday, Feb. 21 with this special sneak preview of The Lady at the Mic, a one-of-a-kind night of song and story bound for Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. As he commands the stage in drag, he'll share tales of his friendships with several remarkable women of New York Cabaret: Elaine Stritch, Polly Bergen, Mary Cleere Haran, Julie Wilson and Joan Rivers. RI's Robert Burke Warren talks to the three-time Tony nominated Busch about his artistic achievements, and what brought him back to cabaret.

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Tomato season has come and gone, right? Well, not so fast. Haven Café’s chef/owner Shelley Williams reminds us that hothouse tomatoes are tastier than ever, so there’s no reason to spend the winter tomato deprived. In this recipe, she marinates grape tomatoes and then puts them on the grill (outside, or on a good grill pan if necessary). They’re great with grilled herb chicken.

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Revered painter Georgia O’Keeffe lived until the ripe old age of 98, but even so, most of us never had the chance to meet her in person. Until now. On Saturday, Feb. 13, living history interpreter Colleen Webster will make an appearance as O’Keeffe at the Norman Rockwell Museum, where she will discuss the artist’s life and work, and answer questions as O’Keeffe and as herself.

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These properties may lack a lot of square feet, but they more than make up for that in easy maintenance. When downsizing sounds like a good idea, or you’re looking for a summer place, a small house can be just the thing you need. And just because they have a modest imprint doesn't mean they're not updated and move-in ready. Besides…you can’t deny that they’re just so darn cute.

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Although chilly outside, the atmosphere inside Club Helsinki this past Saturday evening was warmed by the big hearts of supporters of the sixth annual Columbia Memorial Health Winter Blast. The event raised more than $100,000 for the organization, which will aid in renovation projects to improve the lives of patients in the community.

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Sweethearts take note: The region offers many options for celebrating Valentine’s Day. Check out our calendar to see if there's a tasting or romantic dinner near you. Or go in the opposite direction and attend The Lonely Hearts Pig Roast. And if Valentine's Day is only meh for you, there's another option: a class in paella preparation.

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Rhinebeck resident and local nurse Carolyn Odell is also a self-taught photographer. Every day for the past six years, she’s been documenting the natural world around her. Her Instagram feed is full of the natural beauty found in our region’s waterfalls, rivers and landscapes. She shares with us how she frames her astonishing shots.

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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, Kids, and Save the Date sections. Please submit your own event to

February 12-14, Salisbury Jumpfest The 90th annual fest includes not only ski jumping, but ice sculpture demos, special sales, kids’ activities, food, the popular human dogsled race and much more. See the article above or the website for schedule of activities.

February 13, Hudson M. C. Smith Intermediate School A performance of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom will be followed by a discussion with the play’s subject, Lynda Blackmon-Lowery, and its director, actress Ally Sheedy. 3 p.m.

February 13, Chatham The Chatham Bookstore Husband and wife team Al Roker and Deborah Roberts will read from and discuss their new book, Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom for Modern Times. A conversation and Q & A will follow. 5 p.m.

February 13, West Stockbridge No. Six Depot Cafe The second annual Love Bomb Soiree will feature pop-up shops, a fashion show, libations, noshes and dancing. 5:30-10:30 p.m.

February 13, Goshen Miranda Vineyards Chocolate Lovers Dinner: this annual, sell-out event includes dinner, wine with each course and live music. See website for full menu. 6 p.m.

February 13, Hudson Spotty Dog Books & Ale The February installment of the Volume Reading & Music Series will feature authors Branda C. Maholtz, Shannekia McIntosh, Hallie Goodman & Dani Grammerstorf French, followed by a short set from DJ Dan Bunny. 7 p.m.

February 13, Windsor Notchview Valentine Eve Ski & Sweets: enjoy skiing and snowshoeing by half moonlight, then return to the warmth of the Visitor Center for a tasting of chocolate treats & warm drinks for all ages. Ski & snowshoe rentals available. Reservations encouraged. 7 p.m.

February 13, Pittsfield Shire City Sanctuary Fantastic February Frolic: an alternative dance party featuring electronic music duo Home Body and the Berkshires’ own DJ BFG. 8 p.m.

February 14, Williamstown Clark Art Reserve your seats now for a gourmet Valentine’s Day brunch at 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., a festive tea for all ages at 3 p.m., and gallery talks throughout the day.

February 14, Tivoli The Corner at Hotel Tivoli Valentine’s Day brunch with live bossa nova music from Carlos Valdez and his group, Clave Y Son. Reservations recommended. 12-3 p.m.

February 14, West Stockbridge Rouge Restaurant Candlelight Valentine’s Dinner with a twist. Enjoy a 5-course prix fixe menu designed to be eaten in the most sensual way…with your hands. See website for full menu. Doors open at 5 p.m. & reservations are required.

February 14, Sheffield Valentine’s Day Fundraiser Dewey Hall and Aglet Theatre Company will hold a joint fundraising event, including a food and drink reception, and a concert by The Joint Chiefs. 5:30-8 p.m.

February 14, Great Barrington The Meat Market Lonely Hearts Pig Roast: enjoy roasted pork with all the fixins’, plus a giant crepe with dulce de leche, red velvet cake & a champagne flute filled with Prosecco to toast (or curse) whomever or whatever moves your heart. 6 p.m.

February 17, New Marlborough The Old Inn on the Green Falesco Wine Dinner: each of five courses will be paired with a French wine by Falesco and expertly guided by Giuseppe Rosati, the winery’s USA brand ambassador. 6:30 p.m.

February 18, Pittsfield 10x10 Real Art Party As part of the city’s 10x10 Festival, the Berkshire Museum will host an art party, with a chance to win your choice of a 10"x10” piece by a local artist. 6 p.m.

February 18, Great Barrington Simon’s Rock The 20th annual W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., a civil rights movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer, and an authority on the strategy of nonviolent social change. 7 p.m.

February 20, Falls Village A Midwinter’s Night in the Village The Friends of The David M. Hunt Library will hold its winter fundraiser at the library. Warm up with tasty breads, hors d’oeuvres, chocolate, music and poetry readings & the famous 16-ft long bread board. 5-8 p.m.

February 20, Norfolk Infinity Hall With seven Blues Music Awards, five Grammy nominations and tons of album sales to their credit, Roomful of Blues is, indeed, America’s quintessential Blues band. 8 p.m.

February 20, Poughkeepsie Canvas Big Gay Hudson Valley presents The Meet Market, a pop-up gay bar, this month featuring Match Game with Trixie Starr & noir nightclub ballads from Ophelia Nightly. 8 p.m. Read RI’s article about The Meet Market: “Get A Round: Scoring At The Meet Market.”

February 20 & 21, North Adams Winterfest: ice sculpting, horse-drawn wagon rides, chowder competition, face-painting, farmers and artisans market, warm drinks, a bonfire and other wintertime fun. See website for full schedule. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. both days.

February 21, Hudson Club Helsinki Back by popular demand, Helsinki on Broadway presents A Divine Evening with Charles Busch. Catch a special sneak preview of Busch’s new show, “The Lady at the Mic.” 7 p.m.

February 25, West Stockbridge Rouge Restaurant Six-course dinner featuring wines from Tuscany, each paired with a dish from Chef William Merelle. An evening full of trivia, wine, fine food, prizes and more. Reservations are required. 6:30 p.m.

February 27, Lenox Haven Cafe The Berkshire International Film Festival presents a screening of the film Chocolat, and a dinner inspired by the film. 6 p.m.

February 27, Great Barrington Mahaiwe An Evening with Del and Dawg: Del McCoury and David Grisman celebrate the nearly 50-year bluegrass friendship that the two legendary musicians have shared. 8 p.m.

February 27, Hudson Club Helsinki Joan Baez protégé Dar Williams has been a headliner in the new-folk scene since the ‘90s, with her mix of upbeat folk-pop songs and tender, personal ballads. 9 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