Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Monday, September 22, 2014
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

Country Living Magazine
Joan Osofsky’s Quaint Connecticut Cottage

Find out how Hammertown’s owner downsized to a 1,000-square-foot cottage while still making room for her beloved antiques.

The New York Times
Green Acres, the Place to Be

‘Behold! New Lebanon’ Offers Rural Tourism

The Boston Globe
Whimsical Towers Get Top Billing at Berkshires Retreat

Architect Hugh Hardy’s towered Ashley Falls home is the newspaper’s home of the week.

edible Manhattan
Less Than a Three-Hour Drive From Manhattan, Berkshire Mountain Majesty

The Berkshire cultural migration has become culinary in flavor, as city dwellers move to the Berkshire to open eateries, breweries and butcher shops.

Architectural Digest
Concept Shop Privet Lives Opens with Textiles by Madeline Weinrib

New Preston’s Privet House launches a space for revolving collaborations with top designers.

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.”

Toole Insurance


Hancock Shaker Village

Benchmark Real Estate

Berkshire Money Mangement

Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings

FreshGrass: MASS MoCA's Little Bluegrass Festival That Could

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Groundbreaking contemporary art – from Natalie Jeremijenko’s inverted trees to Anselm Kiefer’s concrete and rebar sculptures – is territory that MASS MoCA knows well. But a roots music festival? In North Adams? Despite its slow start in 2011, the museum’s FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival has quickly become a highly respected and artistically diverse event that’s popular with both fans and bands. Hmm… sounds like this other festival we know about called SolidSound. RI’s Jeremy D. Goodwin delves into the secrets behind MASS MoCA's magic when it comes to festivals and prepares us for FreshGrass, this weekend’s curated collection of Americana music.

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Bimi's Brings The Cheese To The Party On Main St. In Chatham

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You can still count on one hand the number of weeks Bimi’s Cheese Shop in Chatham has been in business. But the new specialty store on Main Street didn’t need the usual soft-opening strategy most places implement when they first open their doors. Passersby had their eyes on the empty storefront and watched as a quartet of energetic young owners readied their venture. So villagers were more than ready to charge in on day one. The stream of cheese lovers hasn't let up — and the scaffolding hasn’t even come off yet.

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Jake and Silka love the changing leaves because they signify a shift in cooking. Although some autumnal foods require a fair amount of time to prepare, they start the season with a meal that's table ready fairly quickly and incorporates some of the best things in life: chicken, white wine and garlic…lots and lots of garlic.

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This past weekend’s trio of events were held for three distinctly worthy causes, but all had one thing in common: truly amazing food. Berkshire Grown supporters feasted at the annual Harvest Dinner; the Hudson Valley Alzheimer’s benefit found success with a tasty spread from Serevan, and Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon celebrated Rock My Religion with dinner in the Tannery.

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Forget everything you think you know about log homes, because this week’s wooden wonders are much more than just cozy cabins. Set among acres of forestland, these contemporary gems come with all the modern amenities, plus the added warmth of soaring timber ceilings and walls of windows that let in views of the surrounding hills.

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Brian Cruey, our garden blogger, gives us permssion to eliminate one of the two odious tasks involved in leaf management every fall. You gotta rake (can't help you there) but the part after that — disposal — becomes an easy task if you save the leaves for mulching come spring. It’s better for your garden…and your back. Here are five easy tips that will bring your love back to the leaves.

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You still have two more weekends to take advantage of the Hudson River Valley Ramble guided tours. There are the expected nature trails, yes, but also events to go stargazing, peek into historical homes or bike a byway that’s new to you. RI’s Amy Krzanik focuses on a handful in Columbia and Dutchess counties to give you an idea of the broad range of events offered.

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Meet the co-owner of the Great Barrington Fairgrounds, learn why it holds a special place in her heart, and find out what the long-term plans are for what she hopes will become an inspiring, community-centered space. One way you can help is by attending a barn-raising brunch (along with the New York Times food editor) at the picturesque Gedney Farm in New Marlborough on September 21.

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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

September 25, Williamstown Williams College Museum of Art Happy hour and roundtable chat with visiting publishers-in-residence Patricia No and Antonia Pinter of Publication Studio Portland. 4 p.m.

September 25, Stockbridge Naumkeag Naumkeagger: Octoberfest, Trustees of Reservations style, featuring live jazz and local brewmasters giving tastings of their creations and talking about the art and science of their trade. 5-8 p.m.

September 26—28, Rhinebeck Dutchess County Fairgrounds Rhinebeck Arts Festival: Over 200 artists and craftspeople from across the country, interactive experiences, live music, dance performances, demonstrations, hands-on art encounters, kids’ activities, gourmet food and more.

September 27, Chatham Farm & Art Tour A free tour featuring animals to visit, kids activities and products for sale. Local artists will exhibit and sell works they’ve created featuring the farms. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

September 27, Copake Empire Farm Hudson Valley Food Lover’s Farm Festival: A family affair at FarmOn! Foundation’s new working farm. Enjoy a day of music, little farmer activities and games, taste tests, live animals, shopping, local libations, farmers market and grill. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

September 27, Hudson STAIR Auctions Classicism to Contemporary: The Collection of Ashton Hawkins and Johnnie Moore: 18th & 19th Century Russian silver, paintings and bronzes, Victorian and Modern furniture and Contemporary art and photography. 11 a.m.

September 27, Watertown Watertown House Tour: Five homes, plus the Historical Society Museum and the Nova Scotia Schoolhouse will be open for viewing. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

September 27, Williamstown Sheep Hill Sheep at Sheep Hill: Tour the farm with farmer Morgan Hartman, catch a fiber spinning and weaving demonstration, enjoy a lamb dinner prepared by Chef Greg Roach of Wild Oats Market, stay for a presentation. Beginning at 3 p.m.

September 27, Pittsfield BMC Cancer Center Taste of Life: Wine and beer tasting to raise funds for support services for cancer patients that are not covered by insurance. Enjoy food from local restaurants, silent auction and raffle, DJ and tours of the Center. 4-7 p.m.

September 27, New Marlborough Music & More Award-Winning Authors, featuring Paul Auster and Roy Blount Jr., a sent-in commentary by Suri Hustvedt and an appearance by filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod, who will screen clips of her film, a woman like that. 4:30 p.m.

September 27, Wassaic The Wassaic Project The 3rd Annual Sandwich Club Summit: Back by popular demand, fellow sandwich enthusiasts come together to discuss important topics in the sandwich field. 5-7 p.m.

September 27, Hudson Letterbox Farm Folk Food Feast with Momofuku Ko. Farm-made soda and cocktail bar in the garden, snacks and live music. Before dusk, move to the hillsides for dinner and sunset views of the Catskill Mountains. 5:30 p.m.

September 27 & 28, Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair: Farmer’s market, horse-drawn wagon rides, local and regional crafts, food tent with regional specialties, music, agricultural demonstrations and more. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

September 27 & 28, Lenox Apple Squeeze Harvest Festival Handmade crafts, sculptures, and original artworks fill the streets. Enjoy wine, beer and delicacies from around the world. All imaginable apple recipes abound. Live music and kids’ activities. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

October 2, Williamstown Williams College Museum of Art PS, I Love You: Visiting publishers Patricia No and Antonia Pinter of Publication Studio Portland wrap up their residency with a bookish bash. Draft a love note and publish it in an epistolary novel experiment. 5-8 p.m.

October 3, Red Hook Bard College Neil Gaiman in Conversation: The Bard professor and author speaks with best-selling author and artist Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife) at the Fisher Center. 7:30 p.m.

October 4, Rhinebeck The Southlands Foundation Centennial Celebration Honor the life and legacy of Southlands founder Deborah Dows on her 100th birthday with cocktails, dinner, live music and dancing. Call for tickets: (845) 876-4862. 5:30-10 p.m.

October 6, New York City MASS MoCA Benefit Help the museum celebrate 15 years, with cocktails, dinner, a live auction and a performance by Lucius. 6:30 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