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RI Archives: Rural Road Trips

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Travel Essentials

Amtrak Empire Service between Albany, Hudson or Rhinecliff, NY and Penn Station, NYC.

Amtrak 449 Lake Shore Limited between Pittsfield and South Station, Boston.

Bard Bus and Shuttle  On select summer weekends, Bard offers round-trip bus service from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center directly to the Fisher Center, exclusively for performance ticket holders: $30 round-trip. Reservations are required. Box dinners can be ordered in advance for $10. Bard also offers shuttle service from and to the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station for select performances: $10 each way.

Mega-bus between Albany and Ridgewood, N.J. and Penn Station, NYC.

Metro-North Railroad between Wassaic, Dover Plains, or Poughkeepsie, NY and Harlem (125th Street)  or Grand Central Station, NYC.

Peter Pan Bus Lines  Boston/Albany route serving Albany, Great Barrington, *Lee, Lenox, *Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Williamstown, and Boston South Station and Boston Logan Airport  (*greater frequency, better fares). NYC/Williamstown route serving Williamstown, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, MA, or Canaan, CT and Port Authority Bus Terminal, NYC.

Roosevelt Ride Free Shuttle  Free round-trip shuttle service daily (summer through October) from the Poughkeepsie train station to Hyde Park, Val-Kil, the Vanderbilt Mansion, Top Cottage, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum so Metro-North train passengers can tour historic sites without a car. For reservations and tour info, call the Wallace Visitor Center: 845-229-5320.

Weather Underground
The radar is especially useful for tracking snow, sleet and thunderstorms.

Gas Prices
The price of gas at many of the stations in your zip code and those immediately surrounding it.

[See more Excursion articles]

Festival Frenzy: A Weekend of Music & Happenings

Rural Intelligence Road Trips
 
No matter where you go this weekend—from Wassaic to North Adams, from Norfolk to Annandale-on-Hudson—you will find a one-of-a-kind festival. If it sounds too good to be true, it is because there is no way to take advantage of everything that is going on in our neck of the woods. Here’s our tip sheet for the weekend.
 
 
 
Rural Intelligence Road Trips Wilco Solid Sound Festival
Where: MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

When: August 13 - 15

Who: WILCO, the thinking person’s favorite indie-alternative band, is not only playing at MASS MoCA but curating an entire weekend of the arts that takes place mostly on the MASS MoCA campus (with the larger performances presented at nearby Joe Thompson Field) include a comedy cabaret, family-friendly events including Story Pirates and Bread and Puppet theater, interactive music installations, a film series, yoga class, full access to the galleries at MASS MoCA, and a stellar roster of indie bands as well as a performance by the legendary Mavis Staples.

Why: Because MASS MoCA has become more than a cutting-edge contemporary art museum, it has become a multidisciplinary venue that celebrates innovation in all of the arts, and North Adams is a pedestrian-friendly, welcoming locale for a gathering of hipsters and aesthetes of all ages, and the city is pulling out all the stops to puts its best foot forward.

Click here for more details.
 
Rural Intelligence Road TripsThe Wassaic Project
Where: Maxon Mills and the Luther Barn in Wassaic, NY (a half mile south of the train station.)

When: August 12 - 15

Who: Eve Biddle, Bowie Zunino, Elan Bogarin and Jeff Barnett-Winsby have curated a free festival that focuses on community engagement and facilitates artists and participants to exhibit, discuss, and connect with art, each other and the surrounding community in a rural village. While the festival attracts a large number of artists and music-lovers from Brooklyn who arrive by train and camp outside the Luther Barn, it also reaches out to the full-time local population and on Thursday, August 12, the Wassaic Project will kick off with a free Community Night from 5 - 7 p.m. to celebrate the work of artists from Dutchess and Litchfield Counties: Jeff Barnett-Winsby, Richard Deon, Ryan Frank, Hendon, Henry Klimowicz, Jesse Laliberte, Virginia Lavado, Phyllis Nauts, Francesca Palombo, Camilo Rojas, Safety & Wonder, Rachel Schapira, Matthew Slaats, Craig Wickwire, and Bowie Zunino. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the Wassaic Fire Department. There will 27 bands playing over the weekend, including several stars of the New American folk scene. The lineup includes the Luyas, She Keeps Bees, and Red Rooster.

Why: Because it’s rare a rare opportunity to be surrounded by hundreds of young artists and feed off their creative energy. Last year, RI witnessed a joyful coming together of weekenders, transplants and locals of all ages.

Click here for more details.
 
 
Rural Intelligence Road TripsNorfolk ArtsWave!
Where: Norfolk, CT

When: August 13 - 15

Who: Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Edmund Morris, best-selling author Simon Winchester, NPR’s Anne Garrels, the Tokyo String Quartet. Grammy-winner Suzy Boggus are among the artists converging on Norfolk this weekend. Already the summer home of the Yale School of Music, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Infinity Hall & Bistro, the tiny town on the Massachusetts border has long been known as a haven for intellectuals and contributors to The New Yorker.

Why:  With an old-fashioned village green and an architecturally stunning public library along with Great Mountain Forest and Haystack Mountain State Park, Norfolk epitomizes rural intelligence. Most events are free but some require reservations, and a few you’ll have to buy tickets for.

Click here for more details.
 
 
Rural Intelligence Road Trips
7th Annual West Stockbridge Zucchini Festival
Where: West Stockbridge, MA

When: Saturday, August 14, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. (rain or shine)

Who: David Grover, the Berkshire Bateria and the Eagle’s stage band, local restaurateurs such as Scott Cole of Caffe Pomo d’Oro and the Merelles of Rouge will be participating in a day of eating and playing all centered on the humble zucchini.

Why: Because it’s an eclectic day featuring a Zucchini Catapult and Zucchini Decorating that reflects West Stockbridge’s quirky charm. And there are fireworks after dark.

Click here for more details.
 
 
Rural Intelligence Road TripsMusic Mountain Family Festival
Where: Falls Village, CT

When: Saturday, August 14, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Who: There’s a lot more than the usual chamber music and jazz when Music Mountain holds its 5th annual free family festival featuring stilt dancers and live puppets from Mortal Beasts & Deities, the Off Beats African drumming circle, Kenn Morr’s folk/rock band, an excerpt from TriArt’s Oklahoma! and ballerinas from the Nutmeg Dance Conservatory.

Why: Because 80-year-old Music Mountain needs to develop a new generation of music lovers, and there’s something magical about the mountaintop campus and acoustically perfect Gordon Hall, which was constructed from a Sears Roebcuk kit. And it’s a lovely spot for a picnic or eating burgers prepared by the Falls Village Volunteer Fire Department.

Click here for more details.
 
 
Rural Intelligence Road Trips Bard Music Festival: Berg and His World
Where: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

When: August 13 - 15 & 20 - 22

Who: Leonard Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra explore the work of Alban Berg (1885- 1935), the radical modernist composer.

Why: Because there’s no better place to listen to music than the Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, and there is no more scholarly conductor than Leonard Botstein, the visionary president of the college, who is an educator who loves to perform.

Click here for more details.

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