Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Saturday, December 03, 2016
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The NYT Style Magazine
A Vibrant Upstate New York Town, Set Against a Quaint Backdrop

The New York Times loves Germantown, N.Y. as much as we do.

The Wall Street Journal
In the Hudson River Valley, a Family Legacy in Riverfront Mansions

A small group of wealthy homeowners — hotelier André Balazs and artist Brice Marden among them — have restored the estates of the Livingston clan.

The New York Times
A Summer Day With Gregory Crewdson

The photographer takes us through his daily routine in Great Barrington, Mass.

The New York Times
How Meredith Rollins Spends Her Sundays

The Redbook editor-in-chief and White Hart Inn co-owner enjoys spending family time in Litchfield County.

The New York Times
Clark Art Institute Announces New Leader

Olivier Meslay, a longtime curator at the Dallas Museum of Art and before that at the Louvre, will take over in August.

Architectural Digest
A weekend in Hudson, New York

The magazine chooses eight must-visit spots, including Wm. Farmer and Sons, Finch, 3FortySeven and Hawkins New York.

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Triplex/Beacon cinemas


Hotel on North


Rural Intelligence


The Culinary Institute Of America Reinvents Fine Dining, Again

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Not ones to rest on the laurels of being one of the finest culinary schools in the world, the CIA in Hyde Park, New York, also offers diners once-in-a-lifetime experiences at its on-campus restaurants. Take a tour through Italy via its fine wines at the Caterina de’ Medici Restaurant, settle in around the kitchen table of a French grand-mère at The Bocuse, or stay state-side and warm your chilly hands around a bowl of New England clam chowder, braised beef stew or chicken soup at the American Bounty Restaurant. Choose one or all, but make your reservations quickly, because word has already gotten out that there’s a school full of top chefs aiming to please.

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Where To Get Your Objects Of Holiday Desire: Matt McGhee

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Matt McGhee and the shop that bears his name in Hudson, New York is a wonderland of traditional Christmas ornaments and decorations. Some are antiques while many are of his own design. It’s a magical shop to visit any time, but especially now. McGhee is celebrating 40 years in business with special ruby-colored decorations that would look lovely on any tree or table display. Jamie Larson met with McGhee to talk about his designs and special emotional connection we have with these cherished objets.

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Just the thought of carrots, parsnips and turnips warms the cockles of your heart, but add those veggies to braised chicken deglazed with apple cider vinegar and you’ve got a dish that’s as tasty as it is warming. Even the students at The Sylvia Center, who thought they didn’t like root vegetables, gave their thumbs up.

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You know that when the Berkshire Museum’s Festival of Trees annual preview party rolls around, the holiday season has begun. This year’s theme, Now Playing, offered trees decorated in homage to the film industry. The red carpet was rolled out, and plenty of our favorite people showed up...including Charlie Chaplin and Joan Rivers.

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The house we’ve been watching go up in Egremont, Mass. has now been closed in, and the interior work can begin. Easton + Combs, the architecture firm building the house, explains what a rainscreen system is, and how the key, passive environmental system mediates between the exterior and interior walls.

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There are many good reasons why the architectural style made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright has endured, and this week we give you six of them. These stunning homes blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living spaces, offer the finest craftsmanship, and two have direct ties to the man himself.

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The Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, New York presents Miki Orihara, a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, followed by a jazz duo. But there’s also everything from chamber music, Melissa Etheridge and the annual Holidelic dance party/funk concert on the calendar this week.

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Litchfield County’s allure has convinced another big city dweller to pack his bags and head for the hills. The hills of New Preston, more specifically, where Sal Lopes opened his Salvatore Anthony Hair Studio earlier this year. The shop’s small square footage offers an intimate salon experience that has neighbors talking.

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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

Dec. 2–4, Kinderhook Gallery of Wreaths & Silent Auction The Columbia County Historical Society’s 31st annual event will take place at the c. 1819 James Vanderpoel House all weekend long.

Dec. 3 & 4, Dalton Handmade Holiday Festival Alchemy Initiative’s curated holiday market will feature contemporary artisans & food producers, live music, workshops & demos & a tasting bar with Kelly’s Package Store. Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Stationery Factory.

Dec. 3 & 4, Stockbridge Berkshire Botanical Garden Holiday Marketplace, featuring one-of-a-kind Christmas decorations, gifts by local craftspeople and artisanal food vendors. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Dec. 3 & 4, Spencertown Spencertown Academy Arts Center Handmade Holiday Craft & Gift Show: a high-end curated sale of jewelry, quilts, cards, toys, scarves, ceramics, handmade books, art, ornaments, wreaths, edibles & more. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Dec. 5, Great Barrington Railroad Street Youth Project The annual Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Dinner will be held at Crissey Farm and feature wine, hors d’oeuvres and a 5-course tasting menu prepared by the students and their professional chef mentors. 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 9, Great Barrington Mahaiwe Melissa Etheridge’s Holiday Trio: For this special holiday show, the Grammy-winner will sing fan favorites and holiday classics, such as “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “O Night Divine” and more. 8 p.m.

Dec. 10, Falls Village The David M. Hunt Library Two events: Holiday Market of local craft professionals at The Center on Main from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & the 12X12 Flash Art Exhibit, featuring work by 56 local artists, at the library from 6–8 p.m.

Dec. 10, Rhinebeck Oblong Books & Music Meet power couple Julia Turshen & Grace Bonney. Turshen has co-authored cookbooks with many famous celebs. Her own new one is Small Victories. Bonney is the founder of Design*Sponge & author of In the Company of Women. 2 p.m. Read RI’s recent article about Grace Bonney and her new book.

Dec. 10, New Preston Winter Walk Shop the town’s 14 stores, stop by the new Owl Wine Bar, and enjoy festive window displays. Privet House will have a signing with Vogue editor Phyllis Posnick for her new book, Stoppers: Photographs from My Life at Vogue. 2-5 p.m.

Dec. 10, Great Barrington Holiday Sip & Stroll Enjoy food & drink while you shop downtown, plus live holiday music, hayrides, wreath-making, a store-to-store raffle, “live windows,” fireworks, a menorah & tree lighting, and a bonfire, plus tons of activities for kids. 3-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 10, Lenox It’s a Wonderful Night! Shakespeare & Company presents a benefit performance of the holiday production It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at 3 p.m., followed by a festive after-party to welcome Artistic Director Allyn Burrows at Firefly Gastropub. 

December 10, Germantown Friends of Clermont Holiday Party This party opens the doors of the historic mansion as a thank you for all the support members have provided throughout the year. Join the Friends of Clermont & celebrate like a VIP with drinks, food & music. 5-7 p.m.

Dec. 10, Lenox An HMO Blue Christmas The Comical Mystery Tour ensemble presents a murder mystery dinner theater program. Dr. E. Ville, Anne Teak, nurse Vera Hotty Head, janitor Duane Pipe & Bonnie Anne Clyde are all suspects in this malpractice whodunit. Ventfort Hall, 6 p.m.

Dec. 10 & 11, Pittsfield Shire City Sanctuary The Holiday Shindy is a juried sale featuring 50+ of the region’s most notable makers, including screen-printers, textile artists, soap makers, jewelers, potters, woodworkers & more. Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Sun. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Dec. 10 & 11, Hudson Club Helsinki Part dance party, part funk concert, part comedy show, Everett Bradley’s “Holidelic” features original holiday songs as well as loose, funk-infused adaptations of Tchaikovsky, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Little Drummer Boy” and the like. 

Dec. 11, Norfolk Holidays in Norfolk: a day of extended store hours, plus trunk shows, dining specials, wreaths and trees, and musical events throughout the day. The fun begins at 10 a.m.

Dec. 11, Great Barrington Mahaiwe John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey in Midnight McCartney: a unique take on some of Paul McCartney’s most loved songs, performed in a special and intimate setting. 7 p.m.

Dec. 13, Stockbridge The Tuesday Club: Pianist Jean Stackhouse and the Stockbridge Library Hearthside Readers present music and stories from the winter solstice, Chanukah, Christmas & Kwanza. Holiday reception and tea to follow. First Congregational Church, 2 p.m.

Dec. 15, Lenox The Mount Matt Tannenbaum discusses his 40 years of owning The Bookstore in Lenox. He’ll be joined by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein, author of Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores, which features The Bookstore. 5 p.m. Read our Rural We with Matt Tannenbaum.

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