Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Monday, April 24, 2017
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Our Own Rural Gardner

Ralph Gardner Jr., who divides his time between Columbia County and NYC, is the Wall Street Journal’s former “Urban Gardner” columnist. His weekend commentaries on country life can be heard on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio.

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.

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Season Preview 2017

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Yes, it’s time! One of our favorite weeks of the year is when it comes time to unwrap our summer preview of performing arts throughout the Rural Intelligence region. Just reading through it all can make one a bit dizzy, but only in a good way. As the season starts rumbling into gear in May and June, we begin to get in the flow again and savor the first return visits to all our favorite haunts; when the calendar starts peaking and there’s too much to choose from every day or night, it becomes harder to stay present with how special each opportunity is. But just take it as it comes, and reap the most of a season that always flies by.

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The Lockup Holds The Key To An Inspired Meal In Salisbury

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Sometimes you just need a place to disappear. And drink. And eat. The Lockup, located in decidedly quaint Salisbury, Conn., is the rabbit hole we’ve all been hoping to stumble upon. The edgy yet rustic eatery, imagined by restaurateur veterans Eric and Liz Macaire, is filled with cozy alcoves — a bright dining room, a dark grandiose bar, a throwback sexy lounge, even a gaming room and sound studio (supposedly for kids) — perfect for escape. RI’s Nichole Dupont makes a break for it, reveling in a menu that is both innovative (think octopus in aspic) and comforting (pasta, burgers, beignets) on a rainy night.

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A stack of junk mail here, a pile of clean (or dirty?) clothes there: it’s difficult to relax, or even to focus at all, in a house where there’s “stuff” everywhere. Sarah Coffey, formerly of West Elm and Apartment Therapy, is here to help. Clear some time to attend her workshop in Hudson on April 29.

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Launched in 2015, Berkshire Country Day School’s hugely successful capital campaign ended with a reception on Friday, April 7 at its radically transformed Furey Hall. Formerly a cow barn, it now houses the multi-level learning hub/library and the new music performance room.

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A little background: Posole is a traditional stew from Mexico that’s made with hominy, which is soaked dried corn. And if you’ve never made anything with puffy, chewy hominy, here’s a reason to try it. This posole is both light and warming, and the toppings you sprinkle in — avocado, cilantro, diced onion, for example — are up to you.

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Kasuri, an ultra high-end, ultra modern shop in Hudson, New York, is part clothing store, part art gallery where the works of some of the world’s most influential designers (think Comme des Garcons, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto) is displayed for style inspiration…and your own wardrobe, if you can afford it. It’s so hip, there’s no men’s or women’s section.

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When searching for a new home, we all have a list of “must-haves.” That could mean a chef’s kitchen for some, a large yard for others. This week we cater to those who require plenty of shelving for their book collections, and a dedicated space in which to read them. But these properties come with so many amenities, you’ll be able to check everything off your list.

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The author of five novels, three short story collections and the definitive biography of Georgia O’Keeffe has a home in Cornwall, Conn. Writer, art scholar and talented gardener (her garden has been included in The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tours), she will be giving a lecture at the Cornwall Town Hall on April 23 titled “What Are Women Doing in Politics?”

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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, and Save the Date sections. Please submit your own event to

April 26, Great Barrington Simon’s Rock Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), will deliver the W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture. 7 p.m.

April 27, Rhinebeck Gallery@Rhinebeck An evening with Danny Shanahan, longtime cartoonist for The New Yorker. His illustrations have also appeared in Time, Newsweek, Esquire, The NY Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as in children’s books. 7 p.m.

April 27–30, Red Hook We’re Watching Bard College presents the first major survey of work by contemporary American artists exploring surveillance & its impact. The seven installations & performances can be seen separately or as a one-day marathon on Saturday or Sunday.

April 29, South Egremont The Egremont Barn Singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Jesse Harris, who received the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why,” is touring behind his new album, Music For Chameleons. 8 p.m.

April 29 & 30, Hudson Basilica Hudson 24-Hour Drone: Experiments in Sound and Music. Musicians from the region & beyond experiment in electronic, psychedelic, classical, non-western and instrumental drone music for a full 24 hours. Noon on Saturday to Noon on Sunday.

April 30, Hudson The Backdoor Boys’ Bring On The Men Club Helsinki hosts a cabaret concert by Kevin Weldon & Craig Cunningham a.k.a. The Backdoor Boys. This benefit for Hudson Pride Foundation draws from musical theater, the American Songbook & counter-culture music. 7 p.m.

May 4, Poughkeepsie Art and Soul Gala The Vassar Haiti Project’s 5th annual event funds a medical center in northwest Haiti that serves thousands of local residents. The reception will feature Haitian art, live entertainment & cuisine from Twisted Soul. 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

May 6, Ancram The Fiery Sword of Justice As a benefit for the Roe-Jan Library, Lauren Letellier performs her comedic cautionary tale about a high-powered PR exec. whose compulsive truth-telling torpedoes her career. Ancram Opera House, 3 p.m.

May 6, Great Barrington Close Encounters With Music The Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet performs music from Cervantes’ time, transcriptions from Carmen, Copland Mexican songs, jazz, Bach’s Brandenburg & Far East & Irish classics. Mahaiwe, 6 p.m.

May 6, Germantown Jazz in GTown T.K. Blue, a globally recognized saxophonist, flutist, composer & arranger, will perform songs from his brand-new record, Amour, at an album release party at Clermont Vineyards and Winery. 7 p.m.

May 6 & 7, Hudson Basilica Farm & Flea The 2nd annual spring market will feature a diverse group of local vendors & local farm-fresh foods. Shop vintage, home & garden, wild edibles & more. Saturday 10-6 & Sunday 11-5.

May 7, Stockbridge Berkshire Botanical Garden Roy Boutard Day: Celebrate the opening of the Garden’s 83rd season with free admission all day and scheduled activities from 1–3 p.m., including garden tours and a traditional Mai Bowle (a traditional springtime wine beverage) reception.

May 7, West Stockbridge Really WAM Theatre’s “Fresh Takes” play reading series presents a work by Jackie Sibblies Drury that explores the relationships between a young woman and her former boyfriend’s mom. Six Depot Cafe, 3:30 p.m.

May 7, Hudson Hudson Hall Classics on Hudson presents Brooklyn Rider, a New York-based string quartet known for playing an unusual and contemporary repertoire. 5 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
Save the Date Listings
Please submit your own event to