Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

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.

The Washington Post
The Hudson Valley Strikes a Picture-perfect Balance

Now is the perfect time to take in our region’s outstanding art, culture, history and food.

The Wall Street Journal
The Art of the Dealer: Gallerist Jack Shainman

The Williamstown, Mass. native shares how he chooses art for his NYC and Kinderhook, NY galleries.

The New York Times
A New Director for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

Pamela Tatge from Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts will be the new executive director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance.

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Papa’s Best Batch: Smokin’ Great BBQ In A Striking Setting

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The shiny 1972 Airstream sitting beside a picturesque old barn and beneath ancient shady weeping willows belongs to Papa’s Best Batch in Red Hook, the home of some irresistible smoked meat sandwiches (and more). Chef Jody Apap uses a handmade smoker to prepare brisket, chicken, salmon and even deviled eggs (yes, smoked). RI’s Jamie Larson happily investigated the food and environs for us and found a superb, relaxing new lunch spot. If you’re on the go, Papa’s will whip you up a great sandwich fast, but you owe it to yourself to take the time to eat in. Papa’s is as one of a kind as the view.

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A Cabinet Of Curiosities Explores The Meaning Of Artifacts

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If you collect anything, you may be envious of the 23-foot-high custom-made “cabinet of curiosities” that’s starting conversations at Vassar’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Multi-media artist Mark Dion's "Universal Collection" is a fresh take on the head-scratching mindset of 19th-century museum curating practices. With the help of Vassar students, he mined the basements and storage spaces of the college for wildly diverse artifacts, ranging from a stuffed anteater to rotary phones and a well-worn hockey stick, and carefully placed them in the gigantic cabinet. It’s all strange and wonderful, and on view for collectors and noncollectors to contemplate until December 11.

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On July 31, estates in Salisbury, Conn. and Millerton, New York will set the scene for Garden Dialogues, a special tour that benefits The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Larry Weaner, one of the foremost landscape designers in the country — and the designer for these two properties — will engage in a conversation with his clients on the collaborative process between client and designer.

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It takes events like the ones we attended in the past week to keep the cultural fires burning. The Kids 4 Harmony annual concert and WAM Theatre event demonstrated that art and theater can be a motivator of social change, and Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts brought some big names to its gala in support of its commitment to dance, theater and music.

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Picnicking on the Tanglewood lawn is such a summer tradition that someone wrote an entire book about it. Sometimes, though, shopping for and preparing a meal, plus schlepping it to your spot, can be a challenge. But now you don’t have to do any of that, because a group of popular local vendors have joined the food offerings on campus. Tanglewood calls it "Taste of the Berkshires."

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We love to eat seasonally, as they say, but there are some recipes that are just seasonless, and vegetable fried rice is one of those. It’s a tasty way to “upcycle” any veggies, and you can adjust the soy sauce and sesame oil to your liking. It’s even more versatile: try it using quinoa instead of rice.

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These barn conversion homes keep their rustic structures, which include soaring ceilings, original wood floors and beams and plenty of open space, while also featuring the modern conveniences of a restoration. With high-end kitchens, skylights and screened-in porches, these properties are the height of rustic chic.

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If you were a fan of Café Reva in Pittsfield — and have mourned its passing — you can cheer up now. The proprietor and chef of that beloved place, Aura Whitman, whose home base is now inside Berkshire Organics, is the new chef at the Wahconah Country Club in Dalton, Mass., and it’s open to the public.

[Read More]

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

July 30, Lenox Fête Des Fleurs Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual summer party will be held this year at The Lenox Club and will feature cocktails and a summer supper. 5-8 p.m.

July 30, Hudson Read & Feed A new festival for food & literature, featuring discussions with writers, farmers & chefs; cooking & mixology demos; a marathon reading of John Cage’s Diary & a market of 20+ small press publishers & food makers. Basilica Hudson, 5-11 p.m.

July 30, Germantown Texas Meets Cuba The Friends of Clermont summer gala invites you to dig out your Stetson and cowboy boots or don a Guayabera and Cuban heels as you enjoy mojitos and BBQ at this year’s benefit party. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

July 30, New Marlborough An Evening in the Country Mill River Farm hosts an al fresco dinner featuring the best of what’s in season, catered by Heirloom Fire & served on dinnerware from local potters. Dinner includes cocktails & a farm tour. 5:30 p.m.

July 30, Copake FarmOn! 6th Annual Hootenanny FarmOn! Foundation invites you to join them at Empire Farm for a benefit dinner, and cocktail hour, to celebrate local food and the farmers who work hard to bring it to the plate. 6 p.m.

July 30, Chatham PS21 Singer, guitarist and composer Howard Fishman and his quartet offer an evening of New Orleans-inflected jazz, blues, standards and originals. 8 p.m.

July 31, Austerlitz Blueberry Festival Austerlitz Historical Society hosts a day of Early 19th C. craft demos & wares, live music, vendors & artisans, a silent auction, animals & activities for kids, and, of course, blueberries. 9-4. Events kick off with a pancake breakfast from 9-11:30 a.m.

July 31, Lakeville The Chef and Farmer Brunch Challenge In a benefit for The North East Community Center, local chefs will create dishes using ingredients from area farms to win the title of Farm-to-Table Chef Champion from celebrity judges. Hotchkiss School’s Fairfield Farm, 11 a.m.

July 31, Falls Village Music Mountain As a midsummer benefit, pianist Richard Goode will perform works by Haydn, Janacek, Schumann and Debussy. 3 p.m.

August 4, Lenox The Mount Join Slate’s Culture Gabfest for a special literary live show. Hosts Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens & Julia Turner will discuss Wharton and her legacy plus the latest cultural happenings. 7 p.m.

August 4, Norfolk Infinity Hall The Speak Up Storytelling series will feature tales by its founder, Matthew Dicks, as well as by Bobby Klau, Colin Wolhm, Steve Whyte, Kathy Wass Binder, Courtney Maum, Barbara Klau & Sue Huggans. 8 p.m.

August 4—7, Kent Kent Sidewalk Festival Free admission, great sales, activities for kids, food, vintage cars, raffles and other events at the Library and more. See website for full lineup.

August 5, Sharon Hotchkiss Library of Sharon Summer Book Signing: the 20th annual signing will feature wine, hors d’oeuvres & 33 authors and illustrators, including bestsellers and award winners. Free children’s signing: 4:30-5:30 p.m. followed by an adult signing from 6-8 p.m.

August 5—7, Wassaic Wassaic Project Summer Festival A free annual, multi-disciplinary celebration of art, music, dance & community featuring over 100 artists, 25 bands, film screenings, dance performances & much more. See website for lineup.

August 5—7, Norfolk A Weekend in Norfolk A town-wide art, music and nature festival featuring pop-up performances, an ice cream social, art and craft demos, workshops for kids and adults, farm and art tours, hikes and more.

August 6, Ghent Omi The annual Dance Omi showing in The Fields Sculpture Park will include works by this year’s dance residents, created in collaboration with each other during their stay at Omi. 2 p.m.

August 6, Stockbridge Norman Rockwell Museum Van Der Zee to Rockwell and Beyond: Art and Civil Rights, An Evening with Maurice “Pops” Peterson. Explore the relationship between art & the civil rights movement. 5 p.m.

August 6, Hudson Raise The Roof! Sock Hop This benefit for the Hudson Area Library will feature al fresco drinks, dinner and dancing, plus a silent auction. Gioia Farm, 6:30-10:30 p.m.

August 6, New Lebanon Tannery Pond Miro Quartet, one of America’s highest-profile chamber music groups, returns to the Tannery. The Quartet is consistently praised for its stirring performances and thoughtful programming. 8 p.m.

August 6, Kinderhook The School Gallery Champagne & wine reception for Richard Vine, managing editor of Art in America, to celebrate the debut of his first novel, SoHo Sins. Vine will give the lecture “Art, Crime and SoHo Sins,” and sign books. 6-8 p.m. 

August 6, Norfolk Infinity Hall Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Jane Monheit returns to perform her own hits, along with the music of Ella Fitzgerald. 8 p.m.

August 7, Goshen Scat & Scramble Jazz Brunch The Litchfield Jazz Festival introduces its first brunch fundraiser on the final day of the 21st annual Litchfield Jazz Festival. Kick off the day with a New Orleans-style brunch, music & a silent auction. Goshen Fairgrounds, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.

August 7, Great Barrington The Mahaiwe An Intimate Evening with Kelli O’Hara: the Broadway (The Pajama Game; Nice Work If You Can Get It), film and television (Sex & The City 2) star will perform. 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