Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

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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Rural Intelligence

Jacobs Pillow

Only In My Dreams Events

Review: Oh Crêpe! Is More Than Okay(!)

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Benjamin Lamb and Emily Schiavoni are having fun with the name of their new eatery in North Adams, Oh Crêpe!, using it in sly double entendres (“give a crêpe, take a crêpe”) wherever they can. But the truth is, the café, tucked within the eclectic furnishings and antiques of the Berkshire Emporium, already has a regular crowd wowed by the main attraction, inventive sweet and savory crepes using locally sourced ingredients. Oh Crêpe! is adding life, fun and splendid comfort food to Main Street, says our reporter, Katherine Abbott, who makes our mouths water with her description of the item that won the crêpe of the month.

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Spencertown Festival Of Books Hits The Double Digits

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The books festival inaugurated a decade ago to raise money for the Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s community arts program has become a Labor Day Weekend tradition for many of us. Over the span of four days (Sept. 4-7), it features a lineup of award-winning authors — many of them our neighbors — very, as they say, up close and personal. (Among them this year: Simon Winchester and Ruth Reichl.) And then there’s the book sale, which is heaven on earth for readers who know what makes this sale different: seemingly curated books (read: no junk) in excellent condition. RI’s Amy Krzanik fills us in on the schedule — and how to get first dibs on the selection of more than 10,000 tomes.

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Six Depot Roastery and Café was filled with artists at the opening reception for its guest-curated show, Panorama; the Bidwell House celebrated its 25th anniversary with fancy hats and gorgeous views in Monterey; and Iredale Mineral Cosmetics helped Berkshire South by showing off its new building and raising funds in a fun and fabulous way.

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Cross Roads Food Shop in Hillsdale, NY is well-known locally as the place to grab a fantastic breakfast or lunch. This week, its chef and owner, David Wurth, has created a seasonally inspired soup just for Rural Intelligence. Most of the ingredients come from Columbia County farms, and your version can probably be just as locally sourced.

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As our fitness reporter relates, Bellyfit is not an excuse to let it all hang out, but it is a fitness routine designed for women to move and enjoy being in their bodies. A combination of dance traditions like belly dancing, Bollywood and African dance along with contemporary exercise, it is an invigorating, inspiring and calorie-burning class.

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When is a farm more than a farm? When it’s also a commercial kitchen, store and community hub. Mimi and Richard Beaven of Little Ghent Farm have turned their land into more than just a spot to raise animals; it’s also a place where friends and neighbors can purchase fresh bread and jam, and even take a class.

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Whether a Classic or a Contemporary, a Cape Cod-style home is a practical and pleasing design that’s perfect for our climate, having originated right here in New England. Add a lush lawn, updated interior, and a backyard terrace, small pond or separate art studio to the mix, and you’ve got a home for all seasons.

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Most people know what this week’s Rural We does for a living because it’s right there in the name of his business: Darren Winston, Bookseller. But the Sharon, Conn. resident is also a guitar player with local band The Harlem Line, a trustee of Indian Mountain School and a past president of The Sharon Historical Society.

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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 2—7, Chatham The Columbia County Fair is fun for the whole family, with nightly live entertainment, rides and games, agricultural activities, a petting zoo, demolition derbies, the Painted Pony Rodeo and a host of vendors. See website for full schedule.

September 4, Lenox Tanglewood Showered with awards and recognition for his live and recorded musical performances, Harry Connick, Jr. exemplifies excellence in every aspect of the entertainment world. Koussevitzky Music Shed, 7 p.m.

September 4 & 5, Millerton Artisan Fair Showcase of 20+ artisans & vendors, including Under Mountain Weavers, Seed Bead Bliss, John Goudreault Fine Furniture, Battle Hill Forge & others. Donations benefit NECC. The lawn of No. 9 Restaurant, Fri. 4-10 p.m. & Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

September 4—7, Spencertown Festival of Books Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s annual literary event includes a giant used book sale; discussions & signings with nationally known authors; a kids’ program & an early buying cocktail party Friday from 6-8 p.m.

September 5, New Lebanon Behold! New Lebanon The living history museum offers a tour of New Leaf Farm and an herb walk at the Abode gardens, plus go behind the scenes at Lebanon Valley Speedway and learn the secrets of an auctioneer. See website for full schedule.

September 5, North Adams MASS MoCA Singer and producer JD Samson, member of the legendary electro-feminist-punk project Le Tigre, performs with a live band and also spins a DJ set. 8 p.m.

September 5, Lenox Tanglewood Kristin Chenoweth’s career effortlessly spans film, TV, voiceover and stage. The Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer joins conductor Thomas Wilkins and the Boston Pops for evening in the Koussevitzky Music Shed. 8:30 p.m.

September 5, Hudson Club Helsinki The Boston-based Lake Street Dive boasts four jazz- and classical-trained musicians who formed an indie-pop band featuring a trumpet-wielding guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a female vocalist. 9 p.m.

September 5 & 6, Dutchess & Columbia Counties Art Studio Views Free, self-guided tour of 31 open studios along the Route 9 & 9G corridor. 11 a.m.—5 p.m.

September 5—7, Goshen Goshen Fair Livestock shows and competitions, a petting zoo and children’s shows, truck & tractor pulls, live music, rides, contests, food and fun for the whole family. See website for full schedule.

September 6, Catskill Columbia-Greene Garden Party The annual fundraising event to benefit individuals affected by HIV/AIDS in Northeastern NY will feature gourmet samplings, live entertainment and a fabulous array of silent auction items. Abeel House, 3-6 p.m.

September 6, Hudson Club Helsinki Back by popular demand, cabaret favorite Charles Busch performs “That Girl/That Boy,” an evening of songs and stories. 8 p.m.

September 8, Hudson Basilica Hudson In a precursor to Basilica Soundscape on Sept. 11–13, Godspeed You! Black Emperor will perform a special warm-up show on the heels of their new album Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress. 8 p.m.

September 10, Dalton Celebrate the Berkshires 1Berkshire honors Hotel on North for “Putting the Berkshires on the Map” and presents the Berkshire Trendsetter Awards. The Stationery Factory, 6 p.m.

September 11, Norfolk Infinity Hall Ty Herndon is a bona fide Country Music star, with 17 chart-topping hits, a couple of gold albums and a host of awards under his belt. 8 p.m.

September 11—13, Hudson Basilica Hudson Basilica Soundscape: a curated festival of music, visual art & literature featuring live performances from Perfume Genius, Actress, HEALTH, Wolf Eyes & others, and a Farm + Flea preview on Sunday.

September 12, Hillsdale Hillsdale ArtsWalk Stroll, eat, shop and enjoy live music as you take in the work of more than 40 local artists working in everything from oil paint to garden sculpture and handmade jewelry. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

September 12, Germantown Clermont Historic Site Akiko Busch, author of The Incidental Steward, Reflections on Citizen Science, will give a talk on how people can learn from the changing natural world around them. 3 p.m.

September 12, Sharon Audubon Sharon Benefit Garden Party The event will feature music by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy-winning composer John Luther Adams. Inspired by nature, “Inuksuit” was specially written to be played and heard outdoors. A reception follows. 4 p.m.

September 12, Pittsfield The Bali-Hai Bash Come to Arrowhead for a luau with great food, hula dancers, a silent auction and music by Chris and Woody. Proceeds support the programs of the Berkshire Historical Society at Arrowhead. 4—9 p.m.

September 12, Claverack Library Benefit Cocktails set against sunset views, dinner by Simons Catering served pond-side and live performances by Nellie Rustick and Jerry Cordato, will perform works from the Great American Songbook and other classics. Laurie Family Farm, 5 p.m.

September 12, New Lebanon Side By Side Gala A benefit dinner celebrating Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon’s exhibit Side by Side: Shaker and Modern Design. 6 p.m.

September 12, Williamstown Clark Art Dinner and the Show: culinary historian and author Alexandra Leaf celebrates the food culture of Van Gogh’s France. Following a presentation, enjoy private access to Van Gogh and Nature and a three-course French country dinner. 6:30 p.m.

September 12, Rhinebeck Oblong Books Presentation, Q&A and book signing with Bill Clegg, author of the bestselling memoir Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and recent Man Booker Prize nominee Did You Ever Have a Family. 7 p.m.

September 13, Hyde Park Vanderbilt Garden Tea In the spirit of the Downton Abbey era, the fundraising event will feature a selection of Harney & Sons teas, finger sandwiches and treats, as well as live music and guest speaker Margie Coffin Brown. 2-4 p.m.

September 13, Great Barrington Stanton Brothers Pig Roast A benefit for Stanton Home, the evening will include pork and poultry with all the fixins, a silent auction and live music by The Lucky Five. 4-7 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