Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The Wall Street Journal
The Berkshires Town That’s Becoming a Cultural Hub

This summer, North Adams welcomes a series of cutting-edge art and hospitality projects—and that’s only the beginning.

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.

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Hanq’s Restaurant: A Reason To Visit (And Re-visit) Torrington

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When our reviewer, CB Wismar, promises a restaurant with the atmosphere of a Greenwich Village or Rush Street or Poydras Street club, we’re already intrigued. But then he mentions a hidden rooftop terrace, a knockout menu (including a dessert special unlike any other), and we’re making reservations pronto. The restaurant is Hanq’s, and while its location may feel like a secret, its reputation in Torrington, Conn. and surrounding areas is not. Hanq’s is more than a great restaurant, says Wismar — it’s an experience.

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Blacksmith David DeSantis Is A Master At His Craft

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David DeSantis is one of the most skilled and inventive blacksmiths we’ve ever seen. His mastery of historical styles and his ability to replicate the look of famous artists throughout history — all while applying his personal touch — has made him popular with top designers and homeowners alike. While we were disappointed to hear he had closed his gallery in Hudson earlier this summer for his studio upstate, we were heartened to find that DeSantis promises he’ll be back. And that, in the meantime, though the gallery is closed, he is still doing work for homeowners and businesses in the Rural Intelligence region. Once you see his work, you’ll be glad, too.

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A bike ride, airplane and tethered hot air balloon rides, demos, live music, food, community spirit: no wonder participants come from all over to attend Great Barrington’s fun BikeNFly event. This year, the unique fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the GB airport.

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Don’t let pounds and pounds of cucumbers encumber you, says garden educator Kristen Jovanelly — celebrate them. This recipe is perfect as a refreshing side dish, but after you taste it, you might just want to sit down with a bowlful of this sweet and savory, crunchy salad all on its own.

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This week, we report from Warren, Sharon and Germantown about the people who make our region run — its farmers, chefs and tourism experts — as well as the internationally known authors who’ve chosen to call this area home. For a myriad of reasons, the RI region is the place to be.

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If your garden is looking a touch bedraggled, don’t just lament the waning of summer — do something about it. Contributor Madaline Sparks says there are ways to tune up our gardens to generate a satisfying show for a few more months. Weeding is among those tasks, yes, but it’ll be so worth it.

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Here’s proof that a subset of Colonial architecture, the saltbox, is an enduring style. We have listings of saltbox houses dating from 1740, 1800, 1825, 1930, 1946 and 1980. They’ve all been updated, of course, but the charm of the style grown out of the classic Colonial cottage has remained intact.

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Michael Beck, a former biochemist and patent attorney, is the executive director of the Berkshire Botanical Garden. He actually began his association as a trustee, but when the executive position became available, it seemed like a natural next step in his unconventional career path.

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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

Aug. 16 – 19, Pine Plains The Hudson Company Inventory Clearance Sale: select flooring, paneling and beams start at $1 a foot. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Read our recent story about The Hudson Company: “At The Hudson Company, What’s Old Is Reclaimed And Customized.”

Aug. 17, Greenport Greenport Conservation Area Columbia Land Conservancy presents a Sip & Stroll focused on pollinators like bees & butterflies and how to create habitat for them. Locally sourced libations will be provided. 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 17, Pittsfield The Colonial Theatre Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes have influenced musicians from Bruce Springsteen to Bon Jovi. 8 p.m. Before the show, party with Johnny at a Jersey Shore BBQ to benefit the educational programs of Berkshire Theatre Group. 6 p.m.

August 17—20, Lenox Berkshires Art & Culture Festival Juried show of 100 artists in ceramics, painting, jewelry, glass, wood, sculpture, fashion & photography, plus music, workshops, demos, food & kids’ activities. Thu. 5-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Eastover.

Aug. 18, Williamstown Clark Art The Williamstown Theatre Festival presents a reading of Screenplay by Stalin by Tom Fontana. 3 p.m.

Aug. 18, Ghent Omi Friday Sunset Cocktails: Relax on the patio and enjoy a sunset over the sculpture park, drinks and conversation. Serving wine, beer and sangria. 6-8 p.m.

Aug. 18—20, Annandale-on-Hudson Bard Music Festival The 28th season is dedicated to “Chopin and His World,” and will feature concerts, panel discussions, films & more. Part Two will focus on originality & virtuosity. Bard College.

Aug. 19, Great Barrington Berkshire Bike-N-Fly Airplane, bi-plane, helicopter & balloon rides; paragliding & parachute demos; flight simulator; food & vendors, live music, dunk tank for local celebrities, bike demo w/world record holder Jeff Lenowsky & more. GB Airport, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Aug. 19, Sheffield Bartholomew’s Cobble Listen to local bluegrass music while enjoying a picnic and the views from Hurlburt’s Hill. Hay rides start at 4:30 p.m. to help lighten your load going up. A cash bar will be available, as well as extra picnic blankets. Rain cancels. 

Aug. 19, Hillsdale Casana T House Award-winning writers Patricia Bosworth, David Nasaw, Dinitia Smith and Victor Navasky discuss and read from their books. 5–7 p.m.

Aug. 19, Litchfield MOMIX in the Garden This fundraiser for the Susan B. Anthony Project will be held at the home of Grace & Djan Yagtug & will feature wine, hors d’oeuvres & a performance by the dancer-illusionists of MOMIX. 5-8 p.m.

Aug. 19, New Lebanon Shaker Museum │ Mount Lebanon Gala This year’s honorees are actress Frances McDormand & NYC theater collective The Wooster Group. McDormand & Suzzy Roche of The Wooster Group’s Early Shaker Spirituals will present an excerpt. 6 p.m.

Aug. 19, Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village Shaker Barn Music presents Tony Trischka, one of the most influential banjo players in the world. Moonshine Holler opens. 7 p.m.

Aug. 19, Lenox Tanglewood John Williams’ Film Night: John Williams & Andris Nelsons conduct the Boston Pops in a program of classic cinema scores by Erich Korngold, Bernard Herrmann & Alex North, and pieces from Williams’ Harry Potter, E.T. & other scores. 8 p.m.

Aug. 20, Poughkeepsie Jazz in the Valley The annual celebration of America’s music will feature jazz greats & emerging artists, including Delfeayo Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, Javon Jackson, Christopher Dean Sullivan, Elio Villafranca, Jeff Siegel, Neil Clarke & others. Waryas Park, 12 p.m.

Aug. 20, Canaan Colonial Theatre Boondocks Film Society presents a screening of Josef Von Sternberg’s The Docks of New York (1928) with live accompaniment and Prohibition-era cocktails. 3 p.m.

Aug. 20, Becket Jacob’s Pillow A Jazz Happening: Join the dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow’s Musical Theatre Dance Program, a live jazz band & special guests in a performance directed by Broadway’s Chet Walker. 5 p.m.

Aug. 20, Great Barrington Simon’s Rock Author and editor Veronica Chambers will discuss her new book, The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own. 7 p.m.

Aug. 20, Lenox Tanglewood The Popular Artist Series presents An Evening with David Sedaris, who is celebrating the release of his latest book, the humorous and heartfelt Theft By Finding. 8 p.m.

Aug. 21, Red Hook Community Eclipse Party Red Hook Library will provide safe-viewing glasses free of charge, physics & astronomy activities for the whole family, and demos about how solar eclipses work. Linden Ave. Middle School, 12–3 p.m.

Aug. 21, Pittsfield Hotel on North Libations with Librarians: a new book club in the Lounge, this month featuring Berkshire Athenaeum librarian Alex Geller and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. 6-8 p.m.

Aug. 23, North Adams MCLA’s Design Lab Folk rock singer-songwriter Simon Joyner will perform an intimate concert as a trio with Omaha musicians Kevin Donahue & Tom May. Northampton’s Lady Jane (Esperanza Friel) will open the show. 8 p.m.

Aug. 26, Becket Jacob’s Pillow Festival Finale Dance the night away at the ultimate Pillow party, featuring closing weekend performances, drinks, hors d’oeuvres & an epic dance party with DJ BFG included. 

Aug. 27, Sheffield Food, Farming & Our Future A benefit for Berkshire Grown featuring brunch by The Old Inn on the Green & The Southfield Store, followed by a conversation with Dan Barber of Blue Hill NY & NY Times columnist Paul Krugman. 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
Save the Date Listings
Please submit your own event to