Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Friday, August 22, 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 York Times 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.


Benchmark Real Estate

Berkshire Money Mangement

Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings

Toole Insurance

BUMP: A Touching Whale Exhibit At Basilica Hudson

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BUMP, an interactive whale exhibit, is whale watching of a different kind. In fact, you might call it whale touching. The creation of two Hudson Valley-born brothers, one a set designer, the other a biologist/whale researcher, BUMP is an installation of whalebones suspended at eye level. Touch one, and it sets off a dance of shadows around Basilica Hudson’s cavernous main hall. For the building’s owner and creative director, Melissa Auf der Maur, it fulfills her desire to look at part of Hudson’s whaling history though a contemporary reality. The immersive experience (whale music included) opens with a reception on August 23 and closes on August 29 with a party featuring Black Sea Hotel, an a capella Balkan women's trio.

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Restaurant Review: Preservation Society Savors The Season

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A drive by the Route 7 Grill in Great Barrington usually produces a curious twist of the head at the plumes of smoke coming from the various spits and outdoor cooking apertures. In fact the property has become known for its hidden cooking nooks and relaxed atmosphere. The latest gem, Preservation Society, is a 12-seat, reservations-only dining room on Grill’s south end that serves up a languishing five-course spread with a twist. The intimate, farm-y space is the brainchild (and baby) of head chef Christophe Jalbert who combines the notion of traditional sit-down with savoring the best of what’s in season on every plate.

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The Music Inn: Past, Present And Future

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The glory days of The Music Inn, formerly located on the grounds of what is now the White Pines condo development in Lenox, are alive and well in the Berkshires and beyond. The live music venue may have shut its doors in 1979, but memorable performances by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Bob Marley and others live on in the hearts and minds of concertgoers. The Inn’s final owner, David Rothstein, will give a lecture about the history of the Inn atop Mount Greylock, at Bascom Lodge on Sunday, August 24. RI's Jeremy D. Goodwin reminisces with Rothstein about past performances and learns from the source about plans for a new incarnation of the famous venue coming in the near future.

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Our intrepid fitness tester, Paula Boyajian, hiked all of the trails at the pastoral Hilltop Orchards. And while she didn’t find Sasquatch, she found a deep peacefulness as she exercised her heart and limbs. She also discovered that Hilltop Orchards offers wine tasting, pastries and plenty of seating to enjoy the view.

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Silka and Jake are big proponents of buying local – purchasing most of their food directly from area farms. Their one exception – taco night. But now they’ve figured out how to mix fresh, Berkshire County corn with international seasonings, namely guacamole, to create a meal that straddles the lines between regional and international.

[Read More]

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In the morning, the only thing better than your first cup of java may be that special place in which you enjoy it. Enter the kitchen nook, which is the amenity we looked for in this week’s listings. Some are modest, some quite elegant, but all designed to insure that you’ll wake up on the right side of the bed.

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We attended three “mane” events that show a trio of ways RI residents are “doing good” in their communities. This year’s NECC Chef & Farmer Brunch was another smashing success, MOMIX gave a magical performance to benefit the Susan B. Anthony Project, and Little Brook Farm’s B.I.T.S. gala showed how people and animals benefit when they work together.

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So maybe you’re not a green thumb, or perhaps you are but this summer just hasn’t been kind to your struggling crops. Brian Cruey says don’t worry about how your produce turned out this year, because every fumble holds a lesson. He shows us how to accommodate for various bumps in the road, from too much precipitation to too little time.

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Freelance writer Carole Osterink says she fell hopelessly in love the very first time she visited Hudson, back in 1991. Now, it’s the only place she’d ever want to live. Although she never imagined she would become involved in local politics, she did — and she keeps a close eye on her beloved adopted city through her blog, The Gossips of Rivertown.

[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

Now—August 24, Rhinebeck Dutchess County Fair Racing pigs, diving dogs, the Painted Pony Rodeo, live music by The Felice Brothers, exotic and domestic animal petting zoo and much, much more. See website for full lineup.

August 22, Pittsfield Berkshire Museum Free Fun Friday, with free admission all day. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

August 22, Williamstown Wild Oats Market Last Days of Summer Clambake with chef Greg Roach at the helm and the Hale Mountain Pickers providing rousing entertainment. All are welcome. 5-7:30 p.m.

August 22 & 23, Dalton Holiday Farm Fun at the Farm, with a Food & Wine Festival on Friday from 6-9 p.m. and a Craft Beer Festival with over 150 beers, food trucks and live music on Saturday from 2-6 p.m. Both events benefit local charities; see website to find out more.

August 23, Chatham Riders Mills Schoolhouse Open air, fence show showcasing the works of over 40 local artists. Live music and food. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

August 23, Torrington Warner Theatre Family Arts Day: A free event featuring live music, face painting, cookie decorating, arts & crafts, popcorn, cotton candy and other treats, interactive workshops, door prizes and more. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

August 23, Great Barrington Summerfest Community-friendly celebration of summer, featuring live music from nine local bands, performance stages, vendors, food, sidewalk sales, activities for children, farmers’ market and t-shirt cannon. Downtown, 3-9 p.m.

August 23, Goshen Mohawk Bison Farm Goshen Grown farm-to-table dinner to benefit the Goshen Agricultural Council. Wine and hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. & dinner at 7 p.m.

August 23, Becket Jacob’s Pillow Festival Finale Finale ticket includes a performance by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet or LeeSaar, plus after-party with drinks, desserts, photo booth, and DJ. 8 p.m.

August 24, Lenox Overmeade Farm Berkshire Humane Society Benefit Horse Show, featuring a Western New England Professional Horseman’s Assoc. recognized competition & over 30 classes for riders ranging from youngsters to advanced junior & adult level medal classes. 9 a.m.

August 24, Sheffield Town Park Pavilion 2nd Annual Uke ‘n’ Brew, featuring performances by Jumpin’ Jim & Liz Beloff, The Humblebees, Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra & The New England Ukulele Ensemble. Drinks from Big Elm Brewing, food from Route 7 Grill. 12-5 p.m.

August 24, Great Barrington Mahaiwe Change Makers Benefit: Playwright Marsha Norman and WAMC’s Sarah LaDuke host a panel discussion of people effecting positive change through the arts, followed by a preview of WAM’s fall production. 7 p.m.

August 27—September 1, Chatham Columbia County Fair The Oak Ridge Boys, two days of demolition derbys, the Painted Pony Rodeo, a midway filled with rides and games, agricultural activities and much more.

August 28—September 1, Lakeville Lime Rock Park Historic Festival 32: Vintage & historic race car parade & street party in Falls Village, racing of cars from pre-WWI to the 1970s, Concours d’Elegance featuring 250 rare vehicles, Ralph Lauren’s rarely seen cars, and more.

August 29, Great Barrington “Reaching New Heights” BIFF Gala Celebrate Berkshire International Film Festival’s 10th anniversary with cocktails and dinner, a live auction and dancing at the Great Barrington Airport. 6 p.m.

August 29, Spencertown Spencertown Festival of Books Preview Party Enjoy a glass of wine and chat with fellow book lovers, then head to the book loft for first choice of more than 10,000 gently used books. 6 p.m.

August 29, Litchfield Tapping Reeve House The Litchfield Historical Society welcomes Corin Hirsch, author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England, who will give a talk and lead participants in a guided tasting of drinks featured in the book. 6 p.m.

August 29—September 1, New Lebanon Behold! New Lebanon Local people open their homes, farms, workshops and businesses, sharing their secrets of living successfully in today’s rural America. Enjoy local heritage, agriculture, food, entertainment, arts, crafts and much more.

August 30 & 31, Dutchess County Art Studio Views Nineteen artists will open their studios for free, self-guided tours designed to promote the work and talents of local creators. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

August 30 & 31, Lakeville Town Hill Farm US Eventing Association Sanctioned Horse Trials: Close to 200 riders will compete in the triathlon of the equestrian world. See website for more info as it becomes available.

August 31, Claverack Columbia-Greene Garden Party A fundraiser for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York at Ludlow Homestead, the historic home of Peter Spears and Brian Swardstrom. 3 p.m.

August 31, Lakeville Music Mountain End of Season Benefit Concert & Reception: Shanghai String Quartet performs Beethoven and Brahms. 3 p.m.

September 6, Sharon “It Began With Birds” Garden party benefit for Audubon Sharon with composer John Luther Adams, 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner in music. The evening includes music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. 4:30-7 p.m.

September 6, Chatham PS21 Community Concert & Cider Party: Enjoy fresh cider and live music in the apple orchard. 6:30 p.m.

September 6, Pittsfield Get Fresh Under the Stars Intimate farm-to-table dinner on the rooftop of the Greystone Building. Local ingredients prepared by Mission Bar + Tapas, open bar and gift bags await guests. Dance party with The Malls follows.

September 6 & 7, Rhinebeck Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest Tastings and seminars with local winemakers and distilleries, cooking demonstrations, craft beer pavilion, live music and vendors offering items for home improvement, jewelry, home accessories, cooking tools and more.

September 7, Chatham The Chatham Bookstore Lydia Davis, East Nassau writer and winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, reads from her new book of short stores, Can’t and Won’t. Reservations required. 3 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