Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The New York Times
A European Show for Shaker Furniture

Furniture and objects from Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon will be on view at the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands for 10 days beginning on March 13, 2015.

Country Living Magazine
A Litchfield County Christmas Staycation

Designer Marisa Bistany and her family have mastered the art of the at-home holiday getaway.

The New Yorker
Modern Farmer Plows Ahead

Ann Marie Gardner, the Hudson-based magazine’s founder and editor, fights for her vision of “rurbanism.”

The Boston Globe
Iredale Mineral Cosmetics celebrates its 20th anniversary

Jane Iredale’s Great Barrington-based company is two decades old and still growing.

The Boston Globe
Hoofing it on the Berkshires Meat Trail

The Globe gives a nod to our area’s fantastic nose-to-tail butchers with a run-down of where to find the meat you’re looking for.

Benchmark Real Estate

Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings


Mary Mullane

Sweet Spots: Holiday Dessert Buying Made Easy

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Chocolate peppermint whoopie pie photo courtesy of Bake Me Pretty.

Don’t let other guests get all the glory at this year’s holiday feast – offer to bring dessert and use our four-county guide to find a crowd-pleasing confection that looks as good as it tastes. From Litchfield County’s Blackberry River Baking Co. to Berkshire County’s Bake Me Pretty, we’ve selected a handful of perfect pies (whoopie and otherwise), rugalach, brittle, intricately decorated Buche de Noels and yule logs, frosted sugar cookies in every shape and size, colorful French macarons and handmade chocolates for you to choose from. We’ve even supplied the pricing and ordering information. The only thing you must do is decide on a sweet, which might be the most difficult part of all.

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Broadway's Star-Powered 'Of Mice And Men' Transitions To The Screen

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Photo by Richard Phibbs.

For live theater lovers, living in the sticks has its pitfalls. Catching a show — or an opera — can consume an entire day and a good chunk of change. But with all the stars lining Broadway stages, missing a show can be akin to missing a great moment in history. Unless, of course, you get it on film, which is exactly what National Theatre Live has done with the recent summer revival of Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” featuring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd. Hopefully the broadcast, which will screen on December 20 at the Mahaiwe, is the first of many great performances we rural folk can enjoy.

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Jake and Silka are meatball enthusiasts, loving all varieties from the Middle Eastern kofta to the Swedish Swedish köttbullar. Jake has perfected his version of the Italian-American classic: three meats, breadcrumbs and parmesan for a toothsome crust and a melt-in-your-mouth center. Add a pasta or polenta, and buon appetito.

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It was a holly-jolly weekend in our region, as Berkshire United Way bedazzled guests at Blantyre, Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Winter Songfest gave graduate students a stage on which to shine, and Berkshire Creative supporters were decked out in their finest along with a festive Ventfort Hall.

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Pull your laptop, tablet or smart phone up close and settle in to screen shop the selection of items we’ve culled exclusively for our readers. Our focus was an appreciation of locally crafted, artisanal goods, available at independent retailers, who happen to be some of the most interesting we’ve seen anywhere.

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Carey Maloney just can’t let things be. Last year, he was stunned at the outsized wreaths around the lions at the New York Public Library. So this year, he got himself involved. Way involved. The good news: the lions are now sporting appropriately sized and nondamaging holiday garb. But is anybody noticing?

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You know your home is historic when it comes with a name you can Google – Addison Mizner’s “Rock Hall” or Nathaniel Lockwood’s “Pulver-Bird” house. Although not all are appellated, this week’s finds are all on the National Register of Historic Places and boast period details alongside recent upgrades, giving you the perfect balance of both worlds.

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He’s probably the most famous person we know living in Washington, MA. And although he has another home in Florida and he’s on the road a good part of the year, we wonder how he feels about living in the place he chose as home so many years ago. His wish:. “I hope the water stays good, the forests keep growing and the air smells sweet,” he says.

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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

December 18, Hillsdale Crossroads Food Shop Opening Reception for FreshStart Brands’ “New Beginnings” Collection, plus jewelry and photography available for holiday shopping, and live music from Christine Dellea. 5-8 p.m.

December 20, Hudson Hudson Opera House Kwanzaa Festival & Umoja Community Celebration, with crafts for kids, candle-lighting ceremony, West African drummer Mangue Sylla, light “Karamu” supper and giving of Zawadi (gifts for children). 3-5 p.m.

December 20, Poughkeepsie HUNG With Care Big Gay Hudson Valley showcases six of NYC’s hottest burlesque performers in a cabaret at the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, followed by an after-party at Mill House Brewing Co. Doors & festive drinks at 7 p.m. After-party at 10:30 p.m.

December 20 & 21, Annandale-on-Hudson Bard College’s Fisher Center Nut/Cracked—The Bang Group’s witty response to The Nutcracker—will showcase choreography by David Parker and the music of Tchaikovsky.

December 21, Poughkeepsie Bardavon Jim Brickman will bring together the sounds of the season with “On A Winter’s Night,” a one-of-a-kind concert event filled with lush instrumentals and soaring vocals. 3 p.m.

December 26—30, Pittsfield Arrowhead Special candlelit evening tours of Herman Melville’s former home, followed by a chocolate buffet. E-mail for reservations. $25/person for a two-hour tour beginning at 7 p.m. nightly.

December 27, Stockbridge Norman Rockwell Museum Victorian Holiday: Fashion in the Dickensian Era. Fashion historian Lynda Meyer will discuss fashions of the times and Rockwell’s holiday paintings. Hot cider and sweet treats will be served. 5:30 p.m.

December 27, Great Barrington Mahaiwe A Holiday Celebration with John Pizzarelli and Jane Monheit: two of the most gifted of the younger generation of interpreters of the Great American Songbook perform together. 8 p.m.

December 31, Great Barrington Mahaiwe Berkshire Bach Society presents “Bach at New Years: A Blast of Brass,” an exciting program of well-known works by Haydn, Mozart and Bach. 6 p.m.

January 3, Hudson Helsinki Hudson Home Bass 2: A Little Help for Our Friends cabaret concert to benefit Columbia County Habitat and featuring Tommy Stinson (The Replacements), Rhett Miller (The Old 97’s), Elvis Perkins, Jesse Malin and more. 8 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