Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Sunday, October 04, 2015
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The New York Times
Ruth Reichl Recharges in the Kitchen

The RI-area resident and former editor of the defunct Gourmet magazine is set to publish her first solo cookbook since 1971.

The Boston Globe
Ella Baff, looking back on a legacy at Jacob’s Pillow

The executive and artistic director looks back at her 17 years at the helm of the Becket, Mass. dance festival.

Architectural Digest
A Stylish New Hotel Opens in the Berkshires

The new Hotel on North in Pittsfield, Mass. mixes the local with the historical.

The Wall Street Journal
‘Van Gogh and Nature’ Review: A Stunning Connection

The show at Clark Art is “an extraordinary, surprisingly original and deftly handled exhibit.”

The New York Times
Karen Allen at Home in the Berkshires

The actress-turned-director invites RI’s co-founder, Dan Shaw, into her Monterey, Mass. home.

The Boston Globe
Tanglewood: The ultimate picnic-in-the-park destination

The Tanglewood Picnic by Berkshire County resident Gina Hyams covers a beloved local tradition.

The Boston Globe
Michael Conforti’s success directing the Clark Art Institute

The Clark’s director looks back on his tenure at the world-renown museum as he prepares to retire at the end of the summer.

The New York Times
Wilco Tinkers and Experiments at a Festival It’s Happy to Share

MASS MoCA hosted its largest Solid Sound Festival to date, but the warm spirit stayed the same.

The Boston Globe
Authors Jim and Karen Shepard share a study in their Williamstown home.

The Globe’s “New England Writers at Work” makes a trip to the light and book-filled study of the Berkshires couple.

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Only In My Dreams Events

Truth Is Better Than Fiction At The Wind-Up Film Festival

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It’s almost a given that truth is stranger than fiction, but a lot of it is funnier, braver and more engaging, too. That’s why documentary films have soared in popularity, and why the former Williamstown Film Festival has reframed itself as the Wind-Up Fest, a celebration of all things nonfiction. With a new creative director on board, the four-day festival, Oct. 15 -18, is designed to be more interactive than in years past, and will even include radio (plus more after-parties). RI’s Amy Krzanik previews the lineup of films, talkbacks and social events you can plan to attend.

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Only Ralph Nader Would Open A Tort Museum In Winsted, CT

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Love him or hate him, Ralph Nader has done more for public safety and personal injury law than just about any single person ever. Now, Nader has opened the American Museum of Tort Law in his home town of Winsted, Conn. President (of the museum) Nader spoke with RI’s Jamie Larson about the museum’s exhibits and mission as well as the 81-year-old’s legacy, ongoing crusade and even what he thinks of the current presidential candidates. Read on if you want to see how Nader feels about Hillary, Bernie, Trump, the corporate elites and those who still blame him for Al Gore’s loss in 2000.

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If you’ve ever enjoyed traipsing through someone else’s lush private backyard by way of The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, you’ve got Page Dickey to thank for that. The program's founder will be at Pergola Home in New Preston on Saturday to sign copies of her brand-new book, Outstanding American Gardens. You can stop by and thank her personally.

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The Friends of Historic St. Peter’s Church prepped for its Spencertown Kitchen Tour fundraiser with mingling and hors d'oeuvres at the home of Jack Shear and Ellsworth Kelly; and the gala benefit for the Half Moon Theatre at The Culinary Institute of America radiated star power with a performance by Broadway star Sutton Foster and dinner at the Pavilion.

[Read More]

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Put your pencils down and just think of all the history imbued in homes that were once schoolhouses. These repurposed buildings run the gamut from those recognizable as schools to a few pretty much completely repurposed and renovated. Educate yourself about these former houses of learning — some cozy, some larger — and grade them accordingly.

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In a relatively short amount of time, Otto’s Market and Germantown Variety have become the center of life in this small town. Now, owner Otto Leuschel has decided to sell, and he hopes the next owners will build on the foundation he is leaving behind. So if you’re in the market to buy a market and a quirky home and hardware store, now’s your chance.

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This week we welcome award-winning, five-time cookbook author and Hudson resident Susan Simon, who thinks of butternut squash as the bridge that takes us from zucchini to pumpkins. Her squash cannelloni recipe uses custardy crepes rather than pasta sheets, cooked in a slightly browned butter topped with fresh sage. Hungry yet?

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The man behind Brier Road Guitars in North Adams explains how he became a luthier, making acoustic steel string guitars, mandolins and ukuleles by hand. He's also created a School of Lutherie for those who want to learn how to make their own stringed instruments. “There hasn’t been anyone yet who has failed to accomplish it,” Lenski says.

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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

October 4, Lenox Ventfort Hall Medieval Faire & Armored Tournament: events include a fashion show of Flemish Renaissance couture, madrigals, horsemanship and cooking demos, comedy, magic and more. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

October 4, Rhinebeck Terrapin Restaurant NY State Craft Beer Experience: taste 40 beers from 20 breweries and talk to the people who make them. Knowledgeable professionals will be pouring and there will be food to complement the beer at every station.

October 4, Great Barrington Triplex Cinema Berkshire International Film Festival presents a pre-release screening of Freeheld, based on the Academy Award-winning documentary short directed by Berkshire resident Cynthia Wade. 4 p.m.

October 7, Hudson Club Helsinki Best known for his songs “Cruel to Be Kind” & “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” Nick Lowe also is the producer of albums by Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, The Damned & others. Josh Rouse opens. 8 p.m.

October 9—11, Salisbury & Lakeville Fall Festival Enjoy crafts, a quilt show, sales, food including a pancake breakfast and the Brew Ski Fest, live music and tons of activities for the kids.

October 9—11, Washington Washington CT Antiques & Design Show A fundraiser for Gunn Memorial Library includes 18 dealers of furniture, artwork, jewelry & decorative accessories. Washington Primary School. Preview party: Friday from 6:30—9 p.m. 

October 9—12, Gaylordsville Merwinsville Hotel Arts & Fine Crafts Show: photography, crafts, jewelry & glassware from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday—Monday. On Friday enjoy a gala preview with the artists, featuring hors d’oeuvres, desserts, beverages, live music. 6:30-8:30 p.m.

October 10, Valatie HandMade In America | Artisans Along Main Street 40+ regional artisans sell homemade foods, ceramics, soaps, fabrics & textiles, jewelry & more. Plus live music & book signings. 11 a.m.—5 p.m.

October 10, Hudson Chili, Cheese & Cider Fest Hudson Valley Bounty presents the region’s best tastings, plus a chili contest, beer & cider by Gaskins, live music, kids’ entertainment, CCCA artist marketplace & a pop-up farmers market. Henry Hudson Waterfront Park, 12—4 p.m.

October 10, Lenox Shakespeare & Company a staged reading of Richard III starring stage and screen actors Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe will be performed as a special benefit for the theater company. Tina Packer Playhouse, 2 p.m.

October 10, Sharon Hotchkiss Library Fall Gala Auction The library’s annual fall gala auction will feature a variety of silent and live auction items such as vacation homes, art and experience packages. Sharon Country Club, 6-8 p.m.

October 10, Hudson Spotty Dog Books & Ale The launch of the Volume Reading & Music Series will feature readings by authors Melissa Febos, Mark Allen and Christopher Funkhouser, followed by a short DJ set. 7 p.m.

October 10, North Adams MASS MoCA Dr. Dog is one of today’s great ambassadors of psychedelic music, incorporating 60’s pop & guitar-led indie rock. They visit the museum fresh off the release of Live at the Flamingo Hotel. 8 p.m.

October 10, Great Barrington Mahaiwe Three-time Grammy winner and legendary singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams blends rock, country, blues and Americana. 8 p.m.

October 10 & 11, Stockbridge Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival: live entertainment, 100+ food & craft vendors, farmers’ market, silent auction, giant tag sale, plant sale, haunted house, hay jump, pumpkin toss, workshops and more. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

October 10 & 11, Hudson The Warehouse Arts Walk Literary presents two days of readings and book signings with local and nationally recognized authors. See website for schedule. 12-5 p.m. each day.

October 11, Ghent Hawthorne Valley Fall Festival A free event featuring activities for all ages, including hay mazes, rides, apple cider pressing, farm animals, a scarecrow making contests, pumpkin carving, organic local foods, vendors and live music. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

October 11, Austerlitz Autumn in Austerlitz Festival Volunteers dressed in early 1830s costumes, antiques, live music and entertainment for children, many different vendors and a variety of hot and cold foods. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

October 11, Poughkeepsie Bardavon Three-time Grammy winner and legendary singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams blends rock, country, blues and Americana. 7 p.m.

October 11, Great Barrington An Intimate Evening with Audra McDonald As a benefit for the Mahaiwe’s year-round arts and educational programs, the singer and actress will perform in the theater. Special gala packages include a pre-show dinner. 8 p.m.

October 14, Pittsfield Hotel On North Celebrate and support at its launch party fundraiser. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a food-themed silent auction and a talk & book signing with Leanne Brown, author of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day. 6-8 p.m.

October 15, Hudson Club Helsinki Rasputina is led by singer-songwriter, cellist and Hudson resident Melora Creager, whose original songs connect the dots between Renaissance madrigals and Nirvana-like grunge-rock. 8 p.m.

October 15-18, Williamstown & North Adams Wind-Up Fest A festival exploring nonfiction in many forms—from documentaries & short films to radio podcasts & live variety shows. Events feature talks with filmmakers, after-parties with live bands & a gala dinner on Friday night.

October 17, Great Barrington Great Barrington Fairgrounds Berkshire Fermentation Festival: enjoy cultured food vendors sampling & selling their products, workshops, DIY demos, presentations, live music, culture swap and more. A free, family-friendly event. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

October 17, Great Barrington Berkshire South Community Center Craft Brew Festival, a benefit for Berkshire South featuring tastings by Big Elm, Wandering Star, Jack’s Abby, Lefty’s & Peak Organic brewing companies, plus live music, games, raffles and food. 1-5 p.m.

October 17, Salisbury Habitat Harvest—You Sip, We Hammer! Habitat for Humanity of NW CT’s biennial wine & beer tasting fundraiser, featuring Italian wines, craft beers, fine teas and culinary delights. The Green Barn, Stillwaters Farm. 3:30-6:30 p.m.

October 17, Hudson Movable Feast The evening begins with wine and hors d’oeuvres at Hudson Opera House at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at area homes, and then dessert, coffee and a raffle drawing back at the HOH at 9:30 p.m.

October 17 & 18, Rhinebeck NYS Sheep & Wool Festival Animals, workshops, contests, shearing demos, authors, wine, food and shopping at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

October 18, Litchfield & Berkshires Benefit Estates & Exotic Autos Tour View four multi-million dollar homes & exotic autos, with gourmet bites at each house. Be chauffeured from Lime Rock Park to each property and back for a reception & silent auction. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

October 18, Great Barrington BerkshireSPEAKS Talks by local trendsetters: author Ty Allan Jackson, Berkshire Fringe’s Sarah Katzoff, Lymphedivas’ Howard Levin, Mezze’s Nancy Thomas, Eleanore Velez of BCC’s Multicultural Center & author Simon Winchester. Hevreh, 1:30 p.m.

October 18, Washington The Hickory Stick Bookshop Bestselling novelist, editor and television producer Janice Kaplan will discuss and sign copies of her new book, The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life. 2 p.m.

October 18, West Stockbridge No. Six Depot Cafe Join RI contributor Alana Chernila as she celebrates the launch of her new cookbook, The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure. Enjoy donuts & cider, make art and get exciting free things. 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

October 18, Hudson Haute CATure Fashion Show Models will again stride the runway at AnimalKind’s annual fashion show and auction fundraiser. Club Helsinki, 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