Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

Vanity Fair
The New Summer Spot in the Berkshires

The partners behind Tourists, in North Adams, Mass., used a bit of nostalgia to revitalize an American motor lodge.

The New York Times
Betting on the Berkshires

A new cultural corridor attracts tourists, second homeowners and urban transplants.

Inside the Newly Renovated Hotel Where Emerson, Thoreau and Hemingway Once Stayed

The historic Amenia, New York property has undergone a renovation but kept its links to the past.

The New York Times
At HSV, Concerts, a Farm-to-Table Menu and Goat Yoga

Hancock Shaker Village director Jennifer Trainer Thompson discusses last year’s inaugural events and what’s in store for 2018.

The New York Times
It’s The Little Things

Author Jamie Cat Callan and retired scientist William Thompson talk second marriage at their home in Valatie, N.Y.

Architectural Digest
The New Jacob’s Pillow Performing Arts Studio Is a Study in Cutting-Edge Design

At the New England HQ of a world-famous dance festival, a gorgeous high-tech building works hard to blend in.

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Berkshire Botanical




Immerse Yourself In The Pilobolus 5 Senses Festival

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Fresh from a week’s worth of performances at the nearby Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Litchfield County’s own Pilobolus dance troupe is unfolding its next big project. The pliable company's 5 Senses Festival, slated for three weekends — July 27-29 and the first two weekends in August — will bring world-class performers, writers, visual artists and more to its home town of Washington, Connecticut. The goal is to push boundaries of what art is and can be, says the executive director, Itamar Kubovy. RI editor Lisa Green gets a taste of what’s to come.

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New Owners Of Otto’s Kept The Best And Made It Better

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Otto’s Market in Germantown, New York has been a haven for locals, a destination for travelers and a keystone of the town’s revitalization. So when the deli and quality grocery shop sold last year, we — and a lot of others — were on tenterhooks, waiting to see what would come next. There was no need to worry; the new owners have proved over the past year that they’re as committed to the community as they are to running a great business. They recently completed a major renovation and are emphasizing their expanded deli menu. It’s hard to imagine improving on the original, but this team has kept all the things we loved about Otto’s... and added more to keep us coming back.

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This recipe, a staple in the kitchen at the Sylvia Center, sounds almost healthy, and certainly, using olive oil is a healthier alternative to butter. But that’s not what you’ll be thinking when you taste it. It's moist and decadent…the perfect chocolate cake. And it's dairy free. Add a glaze or not; it's a winner either way.

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In Stockbridge, Multicultural BRIDGE celebrated its 10-year anniversary by honoring its co-founder, Gwendolyn VanSant, for a decade of work promoting mutual respect among diverse groups. In Rhinebeck, Wilderstein honored longtime supporters Linda and Ward Stanley at a carnival-themed summer soiree.

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The Washington Art Association (WAA) has turned its namesake Connecticut town into a walkable art exhibit, featuring some of contemporary sculpture's biggest names. Curated by local artists Barbara Talbot and Mark Mennin, the 50 works are spread in town and in nature settings.

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You don’t have to have a chicken coop or sit on the porch shelling peas (although you're welcome to, if you want), but you can have the charm, spaciousness and lovely settings of a farmhouse. Some date to the 19th and early 20th centuries, while others are quite modern with just a nod to the farmhouse style.

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The abundance of farm-to-table eateries in the region is almost overwhelming. We figured there were only so many ways to offer local greens and grass-fed beef in such a flooded market. But Field and Cellar (at the Thornewood Inn in Great Barrington, Mass.) proves there are still ways to reinvigorate the farm-food scene.

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Germantown, New York resident Dawn Breeze is a creativity advocate and interdisciplinary artist. She has developed Creativity + Courage™, an experiential learning program, and founded Instar Lodge, a nonprofit arts project space in Hudson. Her public exhibition project will be on display at Olana Historic Site this summer.

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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, and Save the Date sections. Please submit your own event to

July 19-22, Pittsfield Emerging Tastes A creative retreat for food influencers and enthusiasts to explore new flavors and rethink old ones. Enjoy meals cooked by some of the Berkshire’s most talented chefs, plus festive beverages, live music, tours, hikes and other activities. Hancock Shaker Village.

July 20–22, Hudson Hudson Hall The Badila Family: A Celebration of Community and Culture. Hudson’s own Badila family presents Spirit of the River, a free community theater production by Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre, as well as Young Paris in his first hometown concert since joining Jay Z’s Roc Nation label, and a performance by Lady Moon & the Eclipse. Read our Rural We with Pamela Badila, matriarch of the family.

July 20–22, Chatham PS21 Rory Block’s Gospel & Blues Festival: three days of music curated by five-time blues music award winner Rory Block, and featuring performances by Rory, Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy, and Strait Way Ministries Gospel Choir, plus a slide guitar workshop.

July 21, Hudson Olana Summer Party Olana State Historic Site’s summer party will feature hors d’oeuvres inspired by Olana and created by some of the region’s best chefs, paired with wine and signature cocktails. 5-7 p.m.

July 21, Washington Five Senses Festival Ball Pilobolus invites you to the kickoff for its inaugural Five Senses Festival, with designer Bruce Mau, food by Chef Joel Viehland, a violin performance by Simone Porter, art installations by William Kentridge, Marylin Minter, Mark Mennin and Lauren Booth, performances by Pilobolus and more. 6 p.m.

July 21, Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village Food for Thought: a monthly dinner with an author. Enjoy a seasonal meal by farm-to-table chef Brian Alberg, wine and a book. This month’s dinner features historian Chris Jennings, whose latest book is Paradise Now, an account of American utopianism and the eccentric visions put forward by five of history’s most influential utopian movements, including the Shakers. 6 p.m.

July 21, Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village Shaker Barn Music continues its season with The Autumn Defense (longtime Wilco multi-instrumentalists John Stirratt and Pat Sansone) with Johnny Irion, and opener Heather Maloney. 7:30 p.m.

July 21 & 22, Stockbridge Fine Woodwork Show & Silent Auction A show featuring designs by professional woodworkers from the Berkshires, Columbia County and surrounding areas. Enjoy woodworking demonstrations and bid in the silent auction to benefit the Berkshire Woodworkers Guild Scholarship Fund. Berkshire Botanical Garden, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days.

July 21 & 22, Millbrook Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials Three hundred horses compete in dressage, cross-country jumping and stadium jumping, plus more than 50 shops, food, art and more. Riders include local star Booli Selmeyer and Olympic rider Boyd Martin. The even benefits the Millbrook Fire Department Rescue Squad.

July 22, Washington Depot Marty’s Best Dog in the World Contest: Fun food and special guests, music, a photo booth, an “Ask the Experts” booth, prizes for the winners, and much more. 11 a.m.

July 22, Lenox BFMC Posh Picnic at Tanglewood The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative presents its 5th annual fundraiser. Enjoy a gourmet catered lunch on the lawn and Shed seating for a matinee performance of The Boston Symphony Orchestra. This year, BFMC honors award-winning filmmaker and writer Kent Jones, and announces the new Community Film Fund. 12-2:30 p.m.

July 25, Richmond WAM Theatre 2018 Gala Actor Bill Bowers hosts a midsummer night’s cocktail party with music and entertainment, food and drink, a silent and a live auction, and more. Berkshire Equestrian Center, 5:30 p.m.

July 27, Pittsfield GALAxy: Party in the Cosmos In conjunction with Josh Simpson’s Galactic Landscapes exhibit, the Berkshire Museum presents cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner offerings from The Marketplace Catering, live and silent auctions, and a dance party with DJ BFG. 6-10 p.m.

July 27, Millerton The Moviehouse Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland will screen her new documentary about Cecil Beaton, Love, Cecil, followed by a Q&A session. 7 p.m. The evening begins with a reception and book signing with Vreeland for members at 6 p.m.

July 28, North Adams Greylock WORKS Heirloom by Design: a new summertime market celebrating the music, food, farms, fermenters and distillers, artisans, and textile curators of New England and beyond. 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

July 28, Stanfordville Conrad Levenson Sculpture Studio & Garden Open House: a mid-summer celebration with food, drink and live music. All are welcome. 4-7 p.m.

July 29, Austerlitz Blueberry Festival Events kick off with a blueberry pancake breakfast, followed by 19th Century craft demos, antiques, live music, activities for kids, animals, birds of prey, sheep-shearing, craft vendors, artisans and more. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Aug. 3-5, Norfolk Norfolk Artists & Friends Art Show The 10th annual exhibit at the Battell Stoeckel Gallery will feature work by members of Norfolk Artists & Friends, plus 10 guest artists. An opening reception will be held Friday, Aug. 3 from 5-7:30 p.m.

Aug. 3-5, Becket Jacob’s Pillow Weekend OUT: The annual LGBTQIA+ celebration includes free events, a Trey McIntyre film, a special performance by dancer/poet Ian Spencer Bell, and a dance party hosted by Tyler Ashley, The Dauphine of Bushwick.

Aug. 3-5, Hillsdale Falcon Ridge Folk Festival A music fest featuring performers Dar Williams, Adam Ezra Group, John Gorka, Tom Paxton and many others, plus local food and other vendors. Dodds Farm, 44 County Route 7D.

Aug. 4, West Stockbridge Turn Park Art Space Phoenicia Flea: Shop merchants from the Catskills, Hudson Valley and beyond offering handcrafted food, drink, apparel, accessories, apothecary, housewares, furnishings and curated vintage wares. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Aug. 4, Wassaic Wassaic Project Summer Festival: featuring 6 bands, 10 dance groups, a slew of short films, tons of of art, and more. Noon - late.

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
Save the Date Listings
Please submit your own event to