Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Monday, April 21, 2014
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

Architectural Digest
An 1830s Hudson Valley home becomes a welcoming weekend getaway.

The magnificent Columbia County home of composer Scott Frankel (“Grey Gardens” and “Far From Heaven”) and architect Jim Joseph is featured in the new issue of Architectural Digest.
Skiing areas spending millions to upgrade snowmaking

Good news for local skiers: Catamount, Ski Butternut - Great Barrington, Mass. and Otis Ridge have all upgraded their snow-making capabilities.

Architectural Digest
Hudson, New York’s Best

The magazine tours our region, concluding with a dining-and-shopping spree in Hudson.

The New York Times

For Her Next Production…
Making a film in Ghent, NY, led to the construction of an innovative, sustainable house.

The New York Observer

As Celebrities Flock to Hudson Valley, Locals Pretend Not to Care
Sam Pratt hits a home run with this piece about life in the Rural Intelligence region.

The New York Times
The Mystery Behind the Model for a Vanished Rockwell Painting
Deborah Solomon’s new biography of the great Stockbridge artist suggests her book is full of revelations.

The New York Times
To Table, From a Farm of Their Own
A glowing review of Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam, the farm-to-table restaurant refined and redefined by the guys who also own Manolo Blahnik.

Benchmark Real Estate

Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings

The Kinderhook Group


Gluten-Free? You Don't Have To Give Up The Good Stuff

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Going gluten free is a health choice for some and a necessity for others, and though it's becoming easier to find restaurants and stores that cater to this dietary restriction, many who go wheat free feel like they're missing out on the good stuff. The “good stuff” means different things to different people, but usually involves a favorite dessert. RI's Amy Krzanik visits with two of our regions' specialty bakers, Kelly Spencer of Savvy Girl Baking Company in Rhinecliff and Ashley Summers of Madeleine's Patisserie & Cafe in Pittsfield, to find out how they're changing the way we think about gluten-free desserts.

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Simon's Rock Puts Cuisine In The Curriculum

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Our region is a serious soup-to-nuts food hub. Plain and simple. Throughout the last decade, the outside lens of travel, gastronomic, cultural and niche farmer onlookers has been pointed here. So what’s really happening on the ground and at the table? And what are we missing? That’s what Simon’s Rock seeks to find out with the opening of its new Center for Food Studies, which is co-sponsoring a Thinkfood conference with The Nutrition Center this Saturday at the college in Great Barrington. The daylong event highlights food perspectives, food in academia and food services and as RI’s Nichole Dupont is relieved to report, food to eat.

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If you knit, you’ve probably never fashioned a garment for a one-dimensional sheep, a bench or a gate. Which means you’ve never participated in a Yarn Burst, happening now at the Clermont Estate in Rhinebeck. A guerilla knitting art installation, it’s fully “bombed” in time for the Sheep and Wool Showcase on Saturday.

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Silka and Jake take a spring drive to one of their favorite farms in Ghent to pick out the perfect leg of lamb with which to make a delicious, garlicky dish. It's a rather simple recipe: They allow the quality of the meat to come through by adding an aromatic paste of garlic, rosemary and olive oil.

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Whether it’s a true Colonial from the 18th century, a later vintage, or newly built, the Colonial style has and will always be a great family home. And even if we’re a little prejudiced (after all, RI’s editor lives in one), we think the properties this week are pretty welcoming.

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How many ways can you support the artist? Dress fabulously in red for PS 183’s Vermillion Cotillion, admire the works by students from Community Access to the Arts (CATA), and explore the connection between words and art at the Red Hook Community Arts Network Gallery.

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We often receive requests to list lectures, classes and workshops, but we never really had a proper place to put those events. Now, we do. Inspiring and illuminating opportunities abound in our Lectures and Classes page in our Community section. Trust us, there’s something new to learn every day.

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Pittsfield's Ty Allan Jackson is living his dream, even if, four years ago working as a corporate salesman, he couldn't have predicted it. The children's author started Big Head Books in 2010 and has since created a program to foster the love of reading between incarcerated adults and their children.

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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

April 22, Pittsfield Berkshire Athenaeum Eyes On Owls: Mark and Marcia Wilson present a program that lets you experience live owls, up close and personal. Learn about the lives of New England’s owls and how to protect them. For ages 4 - 92. 1 p.m.

April 22, Richmond Berkshire HorseWorks Open House & Interactive Demonstration of “Team Building with Horses.” Wine, cheese and conversation will follow demo. Berkshire Equestrian Center, 4:30-7 p.m.

April 23, Great Barrington Simon’s Rock The Future of Seeds: GMO & Heirloom Seeds: A panel discussion with Dr. Abby Kinchy (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Dominic Palumbo (Moon in the Pond Farm). 7 p.m.

April 23, Annandale-on-Hudson Bard College My Name Is Ruth: An Evening with Bard Big Read and Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping. Excerpts from the book will be read by Neil Gaiman, Nicole Quinn and Mary Caponegro. Fisher Center, 7 p.m.

April 25, Williamstown Pine Cobble School Goats in the Woods: Meet goats being raised, enjoy a meal by chef Greg Roach featuring sub-Saharan and north African goat dishes, and hear a lecture by Dr. Peter Smallidge on raising goats. 4-8 p.m.

April 25 & 26, Hudson Basilica Hudson ECLIPSE, a multidisciplinary performance by choreographer Jonah Bokaer and visual artist Anthony McCall. 7:30 p.m.

April 26, Hudson Valley & Berkshires 2nd Annual Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail “Mac Attack” Taste award-winning wines, hand-crafted ales, hard ciders & artisanal spirits, plus samplings of creative mac & cheese dishes at each of the five venues. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

April 26, Rhinebeck Wilderstein  Preview Party for the new exhibition “Wilderstein & The White House,” which explores connections between the estate and U.S. Presidents through history. Costumes, photographs, books and more will be featured. 4-6 p.m.

April 27, Great Barrington Prairie Whale and Berkshire Grown present a festive brunch to celebrate the coming 2014 growing season. 11 a.m - 1 p.m.

April 27, Chatham Tannery Pond Concerts Benefit A concert with Jose Franch-Ballester on clarinet and Ran Dank on piano, performed in Aven Kerr’s barn. 3 p.m.

May 1, Red Hook Red Hook Golf Club 5th Annual Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament with raffles, games and food, all to benefit the Chamber. 8:30 a.m.

May 1, Falls Village David M. Hunt Library May Day Celebration: A fun-for-all-ages event with folk music, traditional customs and dancing around the may pole, led by musician Tom Hanford. 3:30 p.m.

May 1, Great Barrington Cultural Season Kick Off: Find out what’s in store this summer for theater, dance, music, fine arts, film, museums and more. Enjoy refreshments, live music and prizes. Crissey Farm, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

May 2—4, Stockbridge BerkChique Berkshire Creative’s third-annual fashion re-sale event kicks off with a preview party on Friday from 5:30-8 p.m. & continues on Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. & Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Stockbridge Town Offices, 50 Main St.

May 3, Lakeville Lime Rock Park Spike’s Ride II: A huge car, truck and bike show to benefit Sandy Hook families and first responders, and featuring a motorcycle stunt show, local vendors and music. 10 a.m.

May 3, Hudson Basilica Hudson Ramp Fest 2014: A celebration of the ramp featuring 24 chefs from the Hudson Valley and NYC concocting original dishes using this wild onion, plus drinks and live music. 12-4 p.m.

May 3, Rhinebeck Lindy Wright’s “Love it or Swap It” fundraiser for Sinterklaas. Bring gently used clothes and other items to trade. Receive a complimentary “Magic Minute Makeover” by professionals from Face Stockholm. 21 Platt Ave., 1-4 p.m.

May 3, Hudson Spring Fling Hudson Opera House’s annual benefit to support its year-round programs, with performances by Mark Wunderlich, Hudson Valley Brass, David Longstreth and more, plus catering by Swoon. 7 p.m.

May 4, Pittsfield Food Truck Rodeo: A fundraiser for Moments House featuring 10 food trucks & local breweries. Kids can make crafts, get their face painted, listen to live music and enjoy other fun activities. Palace Park on North St., 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

May 5, Great Barrington Cinco de MayFest Construct Inc.‘s annual fundraiser, featuring tastings from 22 area restaurants and wine vendors, strolling minstrels and a marketplace from south of the border. Crissey Farm, 5:30 p.m.

May 6, Williamstown The Orchards Grown In The Berkshires Gala: An annual fundraiser for the Berkshire Community Action Council, featuring some of the Berkshires best food and drink. 6 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

The Kinderhook Group