Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Thursday, July 31, 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

Michael Lindsay-Hogg, A Master of Ambiguity, Speaks

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Photo by Kevin Sprague

Michael Lindsay-Hogg made the Beatles’ first pop videos, directed their movie Let It Be, filmed performances of the Rolling Stones, The Who, John & Yoko and Eric Clapton, directed Agnes of God on Broadway and the original production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. The author, filmmaker, director, artist— and raconteur — will read from his book, Luck and Circumstance at Hudson Basilica on August 8 (which will be screening his work, The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus) and show his paintings the next day at BCB Art in Hudson. Point of special interest: Lindsay-Hoggs may or may not be the son of Orson Welles. RI’s Robert Ayers takes a look at Lindsay-Hogg’s enigmatic persona.

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Bard Celebrates Schubert And 25 Years Of Composer Spotlights

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He lived only to the age of 31, but Viennese composer Franz Schubert was wildly prolific, and makes a good choice as the 25th annual Bard Music Festival's selected honoree. “Schubert and His World,” which runs over two weekends (from August 8 through August 17), will feature 12 concert programs of the Austrian's works, as well as pre-concert lectures, panel discussions, special events and expert commentary. The first weekend, “The Making of a Romantic Legend,” focuses on Schubert's early life and career, while the second weekend, “A New Aesthetics of Music,” concentrates on his maturation as a songwriter. RI's Robert Burke Warren thinks the composer would've been right at home with the flurry of programming set to occur in his honor.

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We've all heard of tai chi, seen people practicing it in the park, and heard how it can calm and center us in a high-stress world. Our fitness guinea pig, Paula Boyajian, goes even deeper, into the practice and into herself, with the help of Kathy and David Crowe of Berkshire Tai Chi.

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If you love summer squash, you're probably in heaven right about now. RI's Alana Chernila, who grew up with fresh zucchini, pattypan and yellow varieties picked straight from her grandfather's farm, answers the age-old question of what to make when you're up to your eyeballs in squash.

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Four parties in one weekend make for a busy week, but we gladly covered galas for the Farm On Foundation, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Naumkeag and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. We sing praises to farmers, gardeners, historic landmarks and, of course, wildlife.

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever considered owning an inn or bed and breakfast. If there’s ever a perfect location to do that, it’s New England, and more specifically, the RI region. So we’ve pulled together a few that are on the market in all different sizes, styles and amenities. Take a look — and maybe book one for yourself as the new innkeeper.

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If the tune is “How to Succeed in Congress Without Really Lying,” it must be the Capitol Steps, back at Cranwell Resort in Lenox with another season of political parodies. We’re in the thick of theater season now, and we keep track of it for you. Check out Capitol Steps and all the other offerings in our Theater listings.

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It began as a weekend getaway, a chance to escape New York City and spend time in the fresh air of Litchfield County. But Justin Ball and his wife ended up back in the RI region for good just over a year later, when Ball took over as managing director of the TriArts Sharon Playhouse. Now we know why he came, but we find out why he stayed.

[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 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 1—3, Wassaic Wassaic Project Summer Festival: A multi-disciplinary celebration of art, music, dance and community featuring over 100 artists, 25 bands, film screenings, dance performances and much more. See website for full lineup.

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, Williamstown Clark Art Opening celebration for Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950–1975, featuring works by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jean Dubuffet, Jasper Johns, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Ryman and Cy Twombly. 5-8 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, Millbrook Horse Trials Benefit Luncheon A tented lunch while watching top riders compete for $10,000 prize money, with ringside seating, walking tour of the course with Olympian Boyd Martin, and introductions to top riders.12 Noon.

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 7 – 10, Lenox Tanglewood Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic kicks off with a cocktail reception and dinner on Thursday at 4:15 p.m., followed by three days of tastings, specialty dinners at various locations, workshops and more. See website for full lineup.

August 8, Williamstown Clark Art Institute Free Fun Friday, with free admission and special activities for all ages from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and barbecue fare available for sale from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

August 8, Hudson Basilica Hudson An evening with director, artist and author Michael Lindsay-Hogg with film screening of The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus, which was co-created by Lindsay-Hogg, followed by a reading and signing of his memoir, Luck and Circumstance. 8 p.m.

August 8—10, Great Barrington Berkshire Crafts Fair A juried show of master artisans offering traditional and contemporary jewelry, furniture, ceramics, textiles, glassware, woodwork and more. Monument Mountain Regional High School, 10 a.m.—5 p.m. daily.

August 8—10, Goshen Litchfield Jazz Festival Opening night gala kicks off the festival on Friday, and the fun continues through Sunday, with performances by the Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Cécile McLorin Salvant, the Jimmy Greene Quartet and many more. Goshen Fairgrounds.

August 9, Chatham Hudson-Chatham Winery Sangria Festival: Five different sangrias to sample, live flamenco guitar music by Maria Zemantauski & Jose Morelles and jazz by The B Side Trio, locally made foods, tarot card readings, henna tattoos and more. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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, Germantown An Evening in Agra Clermont’s mid-summer benefit gala. This year’s theme is inspired by the Gardner family, a branch of Livingston descendants based in India. 6-8 p.m.

August 9, Great Barrington Mahaiwe A conversation with cultural satirist and author Fran Lebowitz, hosted by WAMC’s Joe Donahue. 8 p.m.

August 9 & 10, Stockbridge Berkshire Botanical Garden 44th Annual Grow Show: Participants are encouraged to enter the show in the judged divisions of Horticulture and Photography, and to attend the show to see the winners. See website for more info.

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.

August 10, Williamstown Cricket Creek Farm Pasture-ized: A local food and beer, local farm, local family event with a live concert performance by PigPen Theatre Co. 3:30 p.m.; music begins at 6 p.m.

August 14, Stockbridge Lincoln’s Favorite Shakespeare A reading of Lincoln’s favorite scenes from Shakespeare at BTG’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage, followed by a reception at Chesterwood. Readers include Brian Dennehy and Sam Waterston. 4 p.m.

August 16, Millerton Harney & Sons Fine Teas Harney Fest: A 30th-anniversary, family-oriented celebration featuring live music, games, food, factory tours and tea tasting classes. 8 a.m.—5 p.m.

August 16, Great Barrington Berkshire Bike-N-Fly A bike ride ends at the Great Barrington Airport, where airplanes will be touching down and taking off all day. Take scenic rides in bi-planes, J-3 Cubs, helicopters and hot air balloons. Plus classic cars and live music. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

August 16, Litchfield MOMIX 2014 A private dance performance of season excerpts by MOMIX to benefit the Susan B. Anthony Project. Hosted by Anthea Disney & Peter Howe. 5 p.m.

August 16, Clinton Corners Meadowland Farm Farm to Table Dinner, prepared by Sara Lukasiewicz of Dutch’s Spirits using locally grown produce, grass-fed lamb and roast pork. Meet your local farmers and enjoy live music. 6-9 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