Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Sunday, August 02, 2015
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

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.

The New York Times
‘River Crossings,’ a Contemporary Art Exhibition at 2 Historic Sites of the Hudson River School

A trip to the Thomas Cole and Olana Historic Sites’ new dual exhibit inspires.

The New York Times
A Review of Falls Village Inn Restaurant in Connecticut

Christopher Brooks finds things to love in both the Inn’s taproom and in its more formal dining room.

The New York Times
The Wassaic Project: A Festival, a ‘Beautiful’ Flood and Now Art

The small town of Wassaic, NY is home to a magical artists’ community.

The New York Times
Hotel Review: White Hart Inn in the Berkshires

Salisbury’s beloved inn gets high marks all around, with a special nod to its restaurant, the Tap Room.

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Rural Intelligence

Fresh From Lyon: The Basic French Estate Sale

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We suggest you hop in your car right now (okay, right after you read this article) in order to be the first to get your hands on vintage French furniture and home goods you might never see again, at prices you definitely won’t find anywhere on this side of the pond. Today through Saturday, Carol Neiley will be selling pieces from her French country estate and apartment in Lyon as well as newer items from her Red Hook store, Basic French. The trove of curated pieces from her personal collection will include one-of-a-kind vintage linens, furniture, paintings and mirrors, sterling silver, china and glassware. RI editor Lisa Green speaks with the self-described "linens-hoarder" to find out what she has on sale.

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An Adventure In The Name Of Fitness: Kayaking On The Hudson

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If the closest you ever get to the mighty Hudson River is a seat on the Amtrak Empire Service, it might be time for you to dip your toe in a river outing that’s as good for your soul as it is for your biceps. Always scouting for new ways to stay fit, our fitness correspondent, Paula Boyajian, discovered Atlantic Kayak Tours, an outfit in Staatsburg, NY that has been offering a variety of kayak programs on the Hudson for 30 years. She opted for the Norrie Short Tour, a three-hour paddle for those with limited or no kayaking experience. Equipment, instruction and awe-inspiring views are included, along with an exhilarating way to tone your entire body.

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Hudson is a great place for just about everything, including a go-to location for movie productions. The latest movie to use the town for its looks is Look Away. Starring Matthew Broderick and Chloe Sevigny, the dark comedy takes place primarily in Hudson, where it shot for over two weeks in June and July. RI’s Jamie Larson spoke to the locations manager about Hudson’s appeal.

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You can pick up any old ice cream sandwich anywhere, but the ones out of the supermarket freezer are often disappointing (and probably full of chemicals). Madeline Delosh, who owns Mado Paisserie in Chatham, has a solution: Make your own. Made with fresh cream, butter, eggs and other ingredients you can get from your local farmer, your version will taste better, and be better for you.

[Read More]

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All of this week’s parties were outdoor events that highlighted some of our region’s most breathtaking properties. Hollister House offered romantic views at its Twilight in the Garden, a farm-to-table feast drew a crowd to Katchkie Farm, Naumkeag’s Italian-themed fete came complete with bellinis, and the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative hosted a posh picnic.

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The Hudson restaurant owned by star chef Zak Pelaccio opened two years ago to great fanfare for its seven-course tasting menu. But recently, he’s introduced an a la carte menu. The standalone dishes, every morsel as outstanding as those on the tasting menu, now open up possibilities for diners who prefer to have the choice of what to order...and how much to spend.

[Read More]

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Whether you’re a pool shark, a film buff, or a yogi in need of a place to practice your Warrior II pose, we’ve got the home for you. This week we feature game rooms that are spacious enough for your billiards and ping pong tables, luxe enough for a private film-screening setup, or cool enough for all of your workout gear. One home even comes complete with a restaurant-sized bar for you and all your friends.

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When the former NYC caterer closed her business, she used her connections with farmers from the Greenmarket Farmers’ Market and began buying the fruit they didn’t use to make jam. From one flavor in 1981, Beth’s Farm Kitchen has grown to offer 90 varieties. Here she tells RI how her Columbia County-based business grew along with the farm-to-table movement.

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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

Now—August 2, Red Hook Fisher Center at Bard The Wreckers, an opera based in historical fact, takes place in a poor seaside village where residents extinguish beacons used to guide ships, forcing them onto the rocks, then plundering their cargo and murdering their crews.

Now—August 2, Millbrook Millbrook Horse Trials Coole Park Farm hosts the 15th annual USEA-recognized event featuring more than 500 Olympic-level and amateur horse-rider pairs, a benefit luncheon on Sunday and more. See website for complete lineup.

Now—August 2, Wassaic The Wassaic Project Festival Live music and dance, film screenings and discussions with moviemakers, local food, community events and, of course, art. See website for complete schedule of events.

Now—August 2, Hillsdale Falcon Ridge Folk Festival featuring June Rich, Caitlin Canty, The Duhks, Judy Collins, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams and many, many other performers, plus food and vendors. Dodds Farm, 44 County Route 7D.

August 2, Goshen Open Farm Tour Free tours of Goshen farms and wineries. Visit goats, bison, horses, cows, chickens, bees and more. The tour coincides with a farmers market and the CT 4-H Fair. See website for a map of participating farms. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

August 3, Great Barrington Broadway in the Berkshires Dick Cavett hosts an evening of all-star entertainment featuring Broadway’s brightest stars to benefit Shakespeare & Company. The evening includes dinner reception, auctions and a VIP after-party with the artists. 6 p.m.

August 6, Stockbridge Naumkeag Naum-kegger: celebrate the height of the summer with local craft beer tastings and a spectacular sunset over Monument Mountain. Brewers will be on hand to share their secrets. Swinging jazz and ragtime provided by the Allen Livermore Trio. 5-8 p.m.

August 6, Hudson The Spotty Dog Author Craig Gravina (Upper Hudson Valley Beer) and Neil Evans, owner of CH Brewing Co., will discuss the history of beer in the Valley, followed by a tasting featuring Evans Ale. Proceeds benefit the Hudson Library’s history collection. 6 p.m.

August 7, Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village As part of Free Fun Fridays, enjoy free admission all day, along with tours, demonstrations, interpreter’s talks, a scavenger hunt and old-fashioned games for kids and more. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

August 7—9, Norfolk Norfolk Artists & Friends Meet 20 exhibiting artists, see their work and take home some new pieces to add to your collection. Battell Stoeckel Gallery will host the opening reception on Friday from 5-7:30 p.m. See website for details.

August 7—9, West Cornwall The Rose Algrant Show The annual benefit art exhibition will be held in the Cornwall Consolidated School and will kick off with an opening party on Friday from 5-8 p.m.

August 7—9, Goshen Litchfield Jazz Festival The Festival’s 20th year features the Anat Cohen Quartet, Wycliffe Gordon & Friends, Les Paul’s Trio with Nicki Parrott & Bucky Pizzarelli and a lot more. Things kick off with a benefit gala on Friday from 5-8 p.m. Goshen Fairgrounds.

August 8, Sheffield Parish Fair Huge tag, book and bake sale, crafters and old-fashioned picnic with great food, entertainment and activities for kids. Christ Trinity Church, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

August 8, New Lebanon Behold! New Lebanon The living history museum offers tours of the rarely opened studio/sculpture garden of artist George Rickey and a reptile rescue, plus learn how to survive in the woods, how to restore an historic home and how border collies herd livestock.

August 8, Poughkeepsie Upper Landing Park Community Celebration Family-friendly entertainment including Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Arm of the Sea Theater, Myles Mancuso Band, Two by Two Petting Zoo and lots of affordable food options. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

August 8, Great Barrington Triplex Cinema BIFF presents a screening of Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Jane Anderson. 11 a.m.

August 8, Ghent Hudson-Chatham Winery The 8th annual Sangria Festival will feature freshly made sangria, flamenco guitar music, food vendors, henna tattoos and tarot card readings. 11 a.m.—6 p.m.

August 8, Rhinebeck bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy Enjoy an ice cream social as you meet the creators of Big Gay Ice Cream, who will sign their new book, Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats: Going All the Way with Ice Cream, along with the book’s illustrator, Jason O’Malley. 2-5 p.m.

August 8, Great Barrington GB Bandstand SoCo Creamery hosts an ice cream social to launch its new line of Berkshire ice creams: Windy Hill Farm Blueberry, Taft Farm Harvest Mint Chip & No. Six Depot Heart of Darkness. Proceeds go to the GB Historical Society. 2-5 p.m.

August 8, Washington Depot Tea For Two Hundred The 18th annual benefit for the New Milford VNA & Hospice and Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Great Danbury will feature food, wine, special guests & live music from “The Beehive Queen” Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez. 4-7 p.m.

August 8, Hudson Icebergs in August The Olana summer party is an evening of ice, art, cocktails and great chefs inspired by Frederic Edwin Church’s epic northern voyage. 5-8 p.m.

August 8, Ghent Omi The 2015 Music Omi International Musicians Residency will conclude with a concert of collaborative new works created while in residence. Experience a unique concert of new global music, presented under a big tent in The Fields Sculpture Park. 5 p.m.

August 8, Stockbridge Fête Des Fleurs Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual summer cocktail party honors the Lenox Garden Club, and will be held in tandem with the BBG’s “Grow Show.” This year’s theme is “water.” 5:30-7 p.m.

August 8, North Adams MASS MoCA Brooklyn-based band Oneida and special guest Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth perform live amidst a 12-screen video installation by Clifford Ross that transforms Courtyard D into a twisting world of color and light. 8 p.m.

August 8 & 9, Stockbridge Berkshire Botanical Garden 45th Annual Grow Show, which is now a Garden Club Of America event. All age groups, experience levels and kinds of plants are welcome. Saturday 12-5 p.m. & Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

August 9, Millerton Chef & Farmer Brunch Hudson Valley’s top chefs and farmers will celebrate and raise funds for the North East Community Center on the lawn at No. 9 Restaurant. 11 a.m.—1 p.m.

August 9, West Cornwall Housatonic RiverFest Help celebrate Cornwall’s 275th anniversary with river-related games, exhibits and displays, fly-fishing and water safety demos, live music and a “Funny Boat Float” finale. 1-5 p.m.

August 9, Hudson Club Helsinki Fresh off of a sold-out run in NYC, Linda Lavin will make her only Hudson Valley cabaret appearance this year. Billy Stritch will accompany on grand piano and duet with Lavin on standards from the American songbook. 7 p.m.

August 10, Williamstown Williamstown Theatre Festival Saturday Night Live alum and classically trained songstress Ana Gasteyer performs her new nightclub jazz act, “Swing With A Handsome Woman.” Main Stage, 7:30 p.m.

August 13—16, Lenox Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic: specialty dinners, wine, cheese and chocolate tastings, classes, demonstrations and more. See website for full schedule.

August 15, Monterey Hats Off To The 25th Bidwell House celebrates its 25th anniversary with a garden party at the “Stone House,” featuring music by The Easy Ridin’ Papas, hors d’oeuvres & cocktails by Kate Baldwin and auctions. Guests are invited to wear fun & vintage hats. 4-7 p.m.

August 15, Hudson Raise The Roof The Campaign for the New Hudson Area Library benefit at Gioia Farm features wine or hard cider pressed at the farm next door, farm-fresh food & dancing to a live band. 6:30-10:30 p.m.

August 16, Poughkeepsie Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Garden party to celebrate the exhibit Punctuating Space: The Prints and Multiples of Richard Artschwager. Sip lemonade in the sculpture garden. Families welcome. 2-4 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