Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Sunday, March 26, 2017
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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.

The NYT Style Magazine
A Vibrant Upstate New York Town, Set Against a Quaint Backdrop

The New York Times loves Germantown, N.Y. as much as we do.

The Wall Street Journal
In the Hudson River Valley, a Family Legacy in Riverfront Mansions

A small group of wealthy homeowners — hotelier André Balazs and artist Brice Marden among them — have restored the estates of the Livingston clan.

The New York Times
A Summer Day With Gregory Crewdson

The photographer takes us through his daily routine in Great Barrington, Mass.

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Rural Intelligence

Hudson Opera House Debuts Its New Concert Hall And Name

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We admit it: We love the Hudson Opera House — its architectural beauty, its passionate staff and its arts, community and youth programming. Now, as the venue is about to realize a decades-long dream and complete an $8.5 million renovation/restoration of the historic building, we couldn’t be happier for the team. Last week, to mixed reviews, the staff unveiled that, in the spirit of inclusivity, they’ll be renaming themselves The Henry Hudson Hall. Jamie Larson got a sneak peak at the new HHH during a preview event Saturday and shows us a glimpse into its future.

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Writer Joan Juliet Buck Trades The City For The Country

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Joan Juliet Buck, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris from 1994 to 2001, recently left fast-paced city life for the comparative wilds of Rhinebeck, New York, where she began work on a memoir in the basement of Rhinecliff’s Morton Memorial Library. The book, The Price of Illusion, published this month, chronicles the four decades Buck spent living in London, New York, Los Angeles and Paris; her time in the world of high-fashion; and her hard-earned insights into the perils of getting what you think you want. In anticipation of her local appearances at Oblong Books on April 1 and the Chatham Library on April 8, Buck sat down with RI co-founder Dan Shaw to discuss how her life has changed since moving upstate.

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Visual artists have long found inspiration in the work of Norman Rockwell, whether imitating his style or recreating his scenes with modern updates. Now, the music group Crescendo and composer John Myers have used the painter and his work as muses for “Paintings in Song — Visions of Norman Rockwell,” a multimedia presentation to be staged in Great Barrington and Kent.

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The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) ushered in spring with a reception on Thursday, March 16 to launch three new shows. There was Meleko Mokgosi’s solo exhibition, Lex and Love; a Robert Rauschenberg collection of archival documents and original works; and Accession Number, which highlights pieces WCMA acquired in the early 1960s.

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With so many political issues at play at the same time, it can be daunting figuring out how and where to begin making your voice heard. Should you contact your state rep., write a letter to the editor, join a community group? Get answers on how to do all of these things and more on Saturday, April 1 with a day of civic participation workshops at Berkshire Community College.

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There’s almost nothing better than homemade granola. It’s not only much less expensive than store bought, its crunch factor is controllable: bake longer, and it’s crunchier; add more honey and brown sugar and you’ve got more clumps. It’s great with yogurt, or just eating out of hand, and it keeps for weeks (if it lasts that long).

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Institutes of learning have been turned into institutes of living, as former schoolhouses shed their austere interiors and become comfy houses and charming cottages. These structures have stood the test of time, and one even retains its old schoolhouse bell. You’ve got multiple choices in this week’s listings.

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She should be called Gerri-of-all-trades. The director of administration and development at the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Conn. is also a traffic reporter and was a professional chef. But what she’s passionate about is her work rehabilitating wildlife at the Center and the animals on her own farm.

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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

March 24 – 26, Kent Kent Shop Hop Kent merchants put a twist on shopping by featuring sales, special events and fun promotions. Go from shop to shop to enter to win a drawing for one of three gift baskets valued at over $300. See website for list of participating stores.

March 25, Sharon MapleFest Sharon Audubon Center celebrates the season with tours of the sugaring operation, and maple candy, maple baked goods and syrup for sale. 12-4 p.m.

March 25, Stockbridge Norman Rockwell Museum The Yellow Bowl Project: Exploring Freedom with Setsuko Sato Winchester & Simon Winchester. Setsuko, a Japanese-American former NPR journalist & ceramicist, discusses her artwork sited at former Japanese internment camps in the U.S. 5:30 p.m.

March 25, Lenox “Shake Your Tail” Dance Party Flying Deer Nature Center hosts a fundraiser at the Lenox Community Center, featuring live music by Berkshire Bateria & refreshments including signature Flying Deer cocktails invented for the occasion. 7–10 p.m.

March 25, North Adams MASS MoCA Mavis Staples crosses genre lines, performing gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock & hip-hop. From her time in the Staples Singers, to her Grammy-winning collaboration with Jeff Tweedy, she’s as vital today as ever. 8 p.m.

March 26, Falls Village The Falls Village Inn Vintner David Rossi will host a wine luncheon focusing on California Pinot Noirs. He’ll be joined by wine expert Donna Pace, and Chef Matt will prepare a 4-course lunch. $45. 2 p.m. Reservations required. Call 860-824-0033.

March 26, Salisbury The White Hart Inn The White Hart Speaker Series presents Hammertown’s Joan Osofsky, Abby Adams & their new book, Entertaining in the Country: Love Where You Eat. The Inn will offer a prix fixe dinner, inspired by the book, after the signing. 4 p.m. 

March 26, Great Barrington Mahaiwe North Carolina bluegrass quintet Steep Canyon Rangers have been known for backing Steven Martin for years & earning a 2013 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Special guest, banjoist Noam Pikelny, joins the bluegrass dance party. 7 p.m.

March 26, Hudson Club Helsinki You’ve heard American folk rock singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim’s songs featured in commercials, on television shows and in movies. Now hear him live. 8 p.m.

March 27, Hudson Drop Forge & Tool Tiny Book Open Studios with The Creativity Caravan: Meet Amy Tingle and Maya Stein, who will share their enthusiasm and tiny book-making expertise. 6:30-8:30 p.m.

March 30, Poughkeepsie Vassar College Geobotanist Hope Jahren speaks about being a women in science and writing her science bestseller, Lab Girl. 5:30 p.m.

March 30, Rhinebeck The Gallery@Rhinebeck The Hudson Valley Celebrity Series kicks off with An Evening with James E. Ransome, the award-winning children’s book illustrator. 7 p.m.

March 31 & April 1, North Adams High Mud Comedy Fest MASS MoCA’s newest festival returns for a 2nd year with headliner Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens podcast; book You Can’t Touch My Hair), plus Dave Hill, Aparna Nancherla, Jordan Carlos, Erin Markey & more. 

April 1, Rhinebeck bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy Meet chef Bryan Calvert, author of Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates, and taste recipes from his cookbook. 2-5 p.m. 

April 1, Hudson Hudson Children’s Book Festival Cocktail Party The HCBF Literacy Fund party to support the children of the Hudson City School District. Your donation gives a student the chance to attend the festival & purchase a book of their choice. Stair Galleries, 5-7 p.m.

April 1, Rhinebeck Oblong Books & Music Joan Juliet Buck, former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue presents her new memoir, The Price of Illusion, an account of four decades spent in London, New York, Los Angeles & Paris. 7 p.m.

April 2, Great Barrington ExtraSpecialTeas Help the shop celebrate its 1st birthday with food, fun, blue tea and face painting. Berkshire Bateria will play at 3 p.m. during a Happy Birthday ceremony. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

April 2, Poughkeepsie Vassar College “Stars of American Ballet,” an evening of contemporary and classical ballet led by New York City Ballet principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht, will be held in the Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater in Kenyon Hall. 7 p.m.

April 4, Stockbridge Stockbridge Library Lee Sheldon, a world-class game designer, book author, script writer and writer/producer of more than 200 TV shows, will discuss his work. 5:30 p.m.

April 4, Great Barrington Mahaiwe Multicultural BRIDGE presents Not in our Town: Light in the Darkness, a documentary about a town coming together following anti-immigrant violence. Executive Producer Patrice O’Neil will facilitate a post-screening Q&A. 7 p.m.

April 4, Millerton The Moviehouse The theater joins in a nationwide screening of the movie Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), based on the bestselling novel by George Orwell. Bard College Professor Roger Berkowitz will lead a discussion and Q&A following the film. 7 p.m.

April 7, Lenox Ventfort Hall Lenox 250th Anniversary Fundraiser & Reception: Cornelia “Nini” Brooke Gilder & Lucy Kennedy will present “Glimpses of Old Lenox: The Unpublished Diaries by a Schoolboy and an Ambassador,” followed by dessert & sparkling wine. 7 p.m.

April 8, Great Barrington Simon’s Rock ThinkFOOD Conference: panel presentations with regional food thinkers, writers, farmers and leaders, beginning at 9:30 a.m. A keynote address will be given by Dr. A. Breeze Harper at 1:30 p.m.

April 8, Kent James Barron Art Washington Art Association Benefit: Enjoy a spirit tasting by Litchfield Distillery, works by Hugh O’Donnell and a silent auction, to benefit WAA’s education program and studio expansion. 4-6 p.m.

April 8, Hudson Belo3rd Gallery Stroll The five galleries inside The Riverfront Antiques & Design Center (RADC) will participate in this month’s Gallery Stroll. 5-8 p.m.

April 8, Hudson Spotty Dog Books & Ale This month’s installment of the Volume Reading & Music Series will feature readings by Melissa Febos (Abandon Me) and Paul LaFarge (The Night Ocean). A book signing, and a set by DJ Blake, will follow. 7 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