Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Media Matters

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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

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.

Country Living Magazine
Joan Osofsky’s Quaint Connecticut Cottage

Find out how Hammertown’s owner downsized to a 1,000-square-foot cottage while still making room for her beloved antiques.

The New York Times
Green Acres, the Place to Be

‘Behold! New Lebanon’ Offers Rural Tourism

Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings


Toole Insurance


Hancock Shaker Village

Mary Mullane

Benchmark Real Estate

Reindogs And Cold Noses: Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

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Cold noses on us as well as our furry friends, because some of our most cherished holiday practices involve strolling through tinselly towns and minding sparkly Santa parades. Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, Hudson Winter Walk and Sinterklass are perhaps the leading lights in the region’s community celebrations, but there are plenty of others worth an excursion through the region's four counties...and even one that we predict will become an annual rite.

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Lenox Retailers Advance The Town's Year-Round Designs

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Contrary to what some think, Lenox does not shut down after the last car leaves Tanglewood. Some new merchants have joined Lenox’s 69 Church Street complex, which has become the new hotspot for entrepreneurs who want to make big things happen and who aren’t afraid to do business a little differently. From fine art photography to high-end home goods and services – think etiquette lessons for your raucous kids and diamond-in-the-rough relatives – no stone (there’s also an abundance of handmade jewelry) is left unturned. RI’s Nichole Dupont steps out on a wintry day to enjoy the thriving retail culture in one of Massachusetts’ best small cities.

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Jeremy Stanton, owner of The Meat Market and butcher extraordinaire, considers pork shoulder the finest quality pork in the whole animal. He graciously allowed us to borrow his recipe for a pork shoulder roast, which, he says, requires little skill other than patience. But your patience will be gustatorily rewarded.

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CrossFit is a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight training and weight lifting. Our fitness correspondent took a Foundations class at CrossFit Pittsfield, and found that the camaraderie that develops between members — and the admonition to leave your ego at home — is what makes this gym stand apart from others.

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In Torrington, a big crowd attended the Warner Theatre’s 13th annual wine tasting, which this year premiered a small batch bourbon table. In Williamstown, The Clark Art saw a fabulous turnout for an opening reception of Monet | Kelly, featuring similarly inspired works by Claude Monet and Ellsworth Kelly.

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Loosely modeled after the villas of Italy, the Italianate style ranges from row houses to grand mansions. The details and ornamentation of all the listings this week are great examples of the period, because they’re all originals dating back to when the style was popular in the late 19th century. If you can’t live in Italy, at least you can feel like you do (un poco).

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The holiday theater season starts now, and every corner of the Rural Intelligence region offers festive productions to get you in the holiday mood. Get your tickets now for the It’s A Wonderful Life Radio Play happening in Sandisfield, Hyde Park and Lenox, and the full cast version at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, and help that angel get its wings.

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A young couple moves to the Berkshires on a whim and starts a fine furniture and design company. “We are two city kids who left Brooklyn and came here and made a life for ourselves," says Kris. They love Jacob's Pillow and networking with other creatives in the Rural Intelligence region. Could there be anything that makes us happier than that?

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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

November 28 & 29, Ghent Art School of Columbia County Make It, Don’t Buy It: Eight workshops that will teach you how to make embossed notebooks, collaged cards, pop-up books, beaded ornaments and other gift items. Beginning at Noon each day.

November 28 & 29, Kent Holiday Champagne Stroll For $10, you can sample over 30 champagnes at the more than 30 participating businesses. 4-7 p.m. both days.

November 28 & 29, Pine Plains Stissing House Le Shopping is back with a preview night on Friday from 5-8 p.m. with cocktails, wine and small bites. A $20 donation will benefit the Pine Plains Food Bank. Shopping continues on Saturday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

November 28 & 29, Hudson Helsinki Hudson Part dance party, part funk concert, part comedy show, Everett Bradley’s “Holidelic” features original holiday songs as well as loose, funk-infused adaptations of Tchaikovsky, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Little Drummer Boy” and the like. 9 p.m.

November 28—30, Hudson Basilica Hudson Farm + Flea: Large-scale market & farmstand featuring a diverse group of regional makers, farmers & vintage collectors. Begins Friday with a soiree with cocktails and shopping, 5-9 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

November 29, Torrington Torrington Makers Market A curated retail show featuring the freshest artisans from CT, MA, NY & RI. All vendors were hand-picked and personally invited to attend this show. Knights of Columbus at 152 Litchfield Street. 12-5 p.m.

November 29, Monterey Colonial Thanksgiving Party Benefit for the Bidwell House Museum with live music, refreshments, and silent auction. 4-7 p.m.

November 29, Hudson Stair Galleries Launch party for Hermes Mallea’s new book, Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

November 29, Gaylordsville Historic Merwinsville Hotel Holiday Reception featuring hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, desserts and good cheer, plus music by Blue Moon quartet. 6:30-9 p.m.

December 3, Pittsfield The Colonial Theatre On the 30th anniversary of its release, The Wailers will be touring the US performing the iconic album Legend in its entirety. 7:30 p.m.

December 4, Lenox Berkshire Creative’s Sparkle! Enjoy specialty cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music and a silent auction with other area creatives. Ventfort Hall, 6:30 p.m.

December 5, West Stockbridge Six Depot Artist reception for Aurel & Molly de St. Andre’s screenprint and hand-cut paper works of art, followed by dinner, live piano music and screening of The Child King. Beginning at 5 p.m.

December 5—7, Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Decorations, holiday readings, house tours, food, caroling and a holiday concert. A tableau vivant of Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting caps it all off on Sunday.

December 5—7, Stockbridge Berkshire Botanical Garden Holiday Marketplace, with a kickoff cocktail party on Friday from 5-8 p.m., followed by two days of shopping, including the Gallery of Wreaths and gifts from the BBG & local artisan vendors. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

December 6, Williamstown Holiday Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, followed by a visit from Santa, holiday choral music, the live reading of A Christmas Carol, treats and more. 3-6 p.m.

December 6, Hudson STAIR Auctions Auction of Modern and Contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Jim Dine, James Rosenquist, Rauschenberg, Terry Winters and others. 10 a.m.

December 6, Monterey Monterey Makers Studio Tour Visit and shop from more than a dozen studios featuring pottery, fine art, baskets, metalsmith products, woodwork, foods, yarn and more. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

December 6, Rhinebeck Sinterklaas Festival A day-long celebration packed full of dance, theater and music all over the village. Beginning at 11 a.m.

December 6, Hudson Winter Walk Warren Street is transformed into a festive boulevard with twinkling lights, brightly decorated shops, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, live reindeer, horse-drawn wagons, carolers and a legion of characters and performers. 5-8 p.m.

December 6 & 7, Pittsfield Alchemy Initiative’s Handmade Holiday Festival A curated, modern craft fair with nearly 50 contemporary makers, artisans, designers and food producers. BCC’s Paterson Field House. Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

December 7, Lenox Blantyre Be Dazzled: Berkshire United Way celebrates and raises funds with fine wines, small plates, astrologers, palm readers, and prizes. 4-7 p.m.

December 12, Kinderhook Candlelight Night Stroll along and visit local merchants or take a horse-drawn wagon ride on the Village Square. Fun for kids, teens & adults, with live music, pop-up exhibits and more. 5:30-8:30 p.m.

December 12—14, Pittsfield Holiday Shindy Shire City Sanctuary’s makers’ sale with 50+ hand-selected vendors offering holiday greenery, jewelry, ceramics, dresses, candles, treats & more. Preview party Friday 5-8 p.m. Sat. shopping 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

December 13, Germantown Friends of Clermont Holiday Party Enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres and holiday cheer while admiring the mansion bedecked in holiday finery. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

December 13, Rhinecliff Second Annual Holiday Celebration The Friends of the Morton and the Rhinebeck Readers Theatre present an evening of stories, short plays, music and caroling at the Morton Library, 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