Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Tuesday, July 29, 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.

Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings

Toole Insurance


Benchmark Real Estate

Berkshire Money Mangement

Pythagoras Theatre Works: Newest Act In The Region

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Pythagoras Theatre Works, a newly hatched local troupe, is doing the area double favors this summer: by making good use of West Stockbridge's Historic 1854 Town Hall for its performances, and by bringing to life two one-act adaptations for a six-week run. With Edith Wharton’s short story “The Rembrandt” and a local take on an Anton Chekhov play, titled “The Bear (of the Berkshires),” producing artistic director Michael Burnet and company take time out of their busy schedules to treat us to a hidden gem of a show. RI's Jeremy D. Goodwin finds out the Berkshires does, indeed, need more theater when the outcome is this good.

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W. Cornwall’s Covered Bridge Still Makes An Impression At 150

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How do you celebrate a century-and-a-half of an iconic covered bridge that its town — West Cornwall, CT — is duly enamored with? You do what artists have been doing for a very long time — perhaps since 1864 — and invite others to join in at a “Paint the Bridge” party. On July 26, artists of all kinds and abilities will gather at the bridge, to paint, sculpt or photograph the bridge over the Housatonic. After 2 p.m., the art will be exhibited and available for sale during a reception at Cornwall Bridge Pottery. Create your own impressions, or see the scene through the eyes of others. And don’t forget to say happy birthday.

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Some of you may recognize the cute critter above as Lil BUB, a special needs cat and Internet sensation. Catch YouTube favorites like her, Maru, Grumpy Cat and other funny felines at the Internet Cat Video Film Festival in Bard's Spiegeltent on August 1. If cats aren't your thing, there are plenty more films featured in our Movie Listings.

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The party god shone down on RI-region organizations, delivering a weekend more spectacular than anyone could have wished for, since these were gatherings scheduled to be held outside. Under the sun and moon, at Tanglewood, Arrowhead and Katchkie Farm, guests raised funds for Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, Alchemy Initiative and The Sylvia Center.

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While you're outside mowing and growing (or moaning and groaning), it's also a good time to tally up what worked and what didn't in the garden. Are your crocus the wrong color? Did you purchase too few tulips? Not enough diversity to your daffodils? Brian Cruey says shop now to make sure you get next year's best bulbs.

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It’s high berry season, and The Butcher & The Baker are mining their backyard for blueberries, lingonberries, huckleberries and more. They concede there’s nothing like eating them out of hand. But when supply starts exceeding immediate demand, they have a solution: a simple currant syrup, which is just as good in a currant Cosmo as it is over vanilla ice cream.

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Forget everything you think you know about the ranch style home and take a gander at this week's real estate listings. From a super-modern open plan to the rustic charm of a true country home, these easily maintained, single-level abodes come with updated kitchens, high ceilings and skylights, and acres of privacy.

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Our intrepid blogger, Carey Maloney, makes it his personal mission to educate and enlighten his computer illiterate peers who seem uninformed and resistant to new technology. Carey, who embraced it all from the start, wants to show and tell you about a few products and sites he couldn’t live without,,,and doesn't think you should, either.

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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

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, 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.

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