Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York — in the foothills of the Berkshires ... visit website

Monday, June 30, 2014

Free Tours at Edna St. Vincent Millay's Steepletop in July

Saturday, July 10, 2014, all are invited to the official grand opening of the new visitors center at Tamarack Cottage, on the grounds of Steepletop, the home of Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay.


Photo Courtesy Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop
Having read the fascinating biography of Millay, "Savage Beauty" by author Nancy Milford, of "Zelda" fame, I think this is a photo of Edna and her sister, Norma, who started the Millay Colony, an artist's retreat that exists on the grounds of the large Steepletop estate.


Cover of "Savage Beauty" available at Amazon
My bed and breakfast, the Inn at Green River, often hosts artists who come for month long retreats at the Millay Colony, but then need a weekend away from the seclusion to visit with family and loved ones. The Millay Colony on the grounds of Steepletop is just 3.5 miles up Route 22 from the Inn, in Austerlitz, NY.

The Saturday afternoon celebration of the opening of the new visitors center promises to be a fun afternoon with open house tours, guided walks through the gardens, food and drink, and more. The event starts at 12 noon, and is free to the public.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Folk Singer Ani DiFranco at the Mahaiwe

There is still time to purchase tickets and plan your trip to the delightful town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts to hear folksinger Ani DiFranco perform, this coming Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Photo Courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

And if you can't make it this coming weekend, at least listen to a little of her music.




But if you can hop in the car and enjoy a weekend away in the beautiful Berkshires, tickets are still available and range in price from $29 to $79, and there isn't a bad seat in the house in this wonderful, historic theater.

And of course, you should book your stay at the Inn at Green River at the same time! We are just 15 minutes up a quiet country road from the Mahaiwe. Hope to see you in May.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Enjoy Mac & Cheese, Wine, Ales & Hard Ciders

This Saturday, April 26, 2014, is the second annual Mac Attack Trail event, hosted by the members of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail, a group of family owned farms and businesses dedicated to the art of winemaking, beer making and distilling.

Members include Chatham Brewing, Harvest Spirits, and Hudson-Chatham Winery in Columbia County, where my Inn at Green River is located; Furnace Brook Winery at Hilltop Orchards in Berkshire County, just 15 minutes from the Inn; and Brookview Station Winery at Goold Orchards in Rensselaer County, about a 30 minute drive.

This Saturday's Mac and Cheese celebration affords you the chance to "taste award winning wines, handcrafted ales, hard ciders and artisinal spirits plus samplings of creative Mac & Cheese dishes at each venue."

You will purchase a passport for $20 ($5 for designated drivers) at the first stop, then bring it with you as you make your way along the Beverage Trail. It includes a special tasting and pasta sampling at each location.

And be sure to vote for your favorite mac & cheese recipe and enter the drawing. You might win a gift basket filled with Trail specialty items.
 
Also enjoy their 2nd Saturdays events which allow you to visit all five venues on the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail with a special Passport that costs only $15. You purchase the Trail passport at the first location you visit, and use it at all the others as you take the tour through Columbia, Rensselaer and Berkshire Counties. Upcoming 2014 2nd Saturday dates are May 10, June 14, July 12 and August 9th, and on into the fall.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Revisiting the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck

I first blogged last May about the Country Living Fair, that took place in Rhinebeck, June 7-9, 2013,  in New York's Hudson Valley. This was the first time Country Living did a fair in the North East. It was so successful, they are doing it again this June, 6-8, 2014.




Two friends were among the many vendors. I have blogged about Franca Fusco before. She is the wonderful creator of Boxwood Linens. Her lovely shop is on the ground level of the Hillsdale General Store. I visit her store often to sigh over the beautiful, crisp linens - tablecloths, napkins, aprons, towels, shower curtains, etc. Also, I love the elegant hand made candles.



And I enjoy the singular vision of Chrisie Cordrey who is, as her website states, "inspired by the folky, edgy, historical piece of cloth [or] furniture, or really anything". I love her pillows, and re-imagined clothing and furniture.



Go to the Country Living website to see a video about last year's fair. Chrisie's Corduroy Shop sign flashes by at 29 seconds into the video.

I love this c. 1860 settee covered in a denim quilt that she created from antique textiles.


And this chair would definitely work in the Inn, don't you think?



Some famous folks, like the Beekman Boys, will be there again this year, too. I met them BTW, at an innkeeper's conference this past January. They are great.

So hope to see you in Rhinebeck in June, and don't forget to book a room at the Inn!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Tis the Season for "It's a Wonderful Life"

Every year at this time, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA, shows the classic Frank Capra movie, "It's a Wonderful Life".

Copyright Paramount Pictures

The movie was made in 1946, (actually opened on Christmas Day) and has a wonderful cast headed by Jimmie Stewart and Donna Reid, supported by Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, Gloria Graham, and so many excellent character actors. Remember the faces of those actors in the final scene of the movie, when everyone is singing "Auld Lang Syne"? It is a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting...those fabulous faces.

It is great to see this movie on a big screen in a real theater, complete with balcony and box seating....and it is free...the Mahaiwe Theater's gift to the community. Are you like me? I watch this movie every year, usually on television, but I did see it at the Mahaiwe last year. This year's showing is Sunday, December 22, at 7 pm.

If you are a fan, you might enjoy "The Making of It's a Wonderful Life" a 1990 documentary narrated by Tom Bosley, complete with interviews of Frank Capra, and Jimmie Stewart. It is shown in 2 parts on YouTube, each about 10 minutes long.





Part 2



So if you can't get to the Mahaiwe on Sunday, do watch these videos, and then find the movie on your TV this coming week. And make plans to visit my Inn at Green River next year at this time!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Festivities at the Berkshire Botanical Garden

Poster Art Courtesy of the Berkshire Botanical Garden
Although the gardens have been put to bed for the winter, visitors flock to the wonderful Berkshire Botanical Garden in early December for a festive Holiday Marketplace. The Education Center is re-imagined as a magical winter wonderland where you will find gorgeous wreaths, centerpieces, ornaments, handsomely potted flowering bulbs and artisanal gifts.

The Gallery of Wreaths, just off the exhibit hall, is filled with hand made wreaths, artfully displayed on old doors. Look at these wreaths, just a few of the many which will be offered for sale. The Garden volunteers have been hard at work. Whether your tastes run to a traditional wreath with greens and red ribbons or one using materials gathered in the meadows and woodlands, you will find a beautiful wreath to decorate your home for the holiday season. 




When I stopped by to see the preparations, volunteers were hard at work. Go to the Garden's Facebook page for more photos showing the transformation taking place in the Education Center.


This annual Holiday Marketplace weekend event kicks off with a cocktail party tonight, Friday, December 6, 2013, from 5-8 pm. There is an open bar and a raw bar, and you get first dibs on the beautiful items for sale. Last year, chef-owner Terry Moore of the Old Mill was there, whipping up mushroom risotto. Hmmm, I wonder if he will be there this year? Or perhaps another local celebrity chef!

The Holiday Marketplace runs from 10-5 on Saturday, December 7th, and 10-4 on Sunday the 8th. The Berkshire Botanical Garden is located at the junction of Routes 183 and 102 between West Stockbridge and Stockbridge, just 20 minutes east of my bed and breakast, the Inn at Green River. The annual "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, A Norman Rockwell Holiday" event takes place this weekend as well. You can read more about that in my blog post from last November.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Darlene Love in the Berkshires

Although I have known Darlene Love's music for 40 years or so, (remember "He's a Rebel"?) I was not familiar with the person or the name behind the voice until I saw "20 Feet from Stardom" at the Berkshire Film Festival last spring.

Image courtesy gettyimage

This documentary, which premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of the back up singers whose voices we recognize, as they were instrumental in creating the sound of the music, but  we probably didn't know their names. They often sang with no credit given, as was the case with Ms. Love during her early years singing for The Blossoms and The Crystals, groups managed by music producer, Phil Spector.

Now I can't wait to hear Darlene Love perform live at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center the day after Thanksgiving! Click here for a YouTube video about her - you will instantly know her voice.

There is still time to get tickets.