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Panther on the Prowl:
Katherine Bernhardt GOLD

Katherine Bernhardt, Love Online, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.
Katherine Bernhardt, Love Online, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.

While making your way through Hudson Valley’s pastoral countryside, it is easy to understand what inspired the Hudson River School of painters such as Thomas Cole and Federic Edwin Church. Your destination is Ghent, New York, a present day farming community about 20 or so miles north of the city of Hudson, and Olana, Church’s family estate, now a historic site. Passing halcyon landscapes, dotted with yellow dabs of color emanating from forsythia and daffodils, you arrive at Art Omi, a contemporary sculpture park, gallery, and international artists residency that rests on 120 + bucolic acres. After initially being greeted by Chicago artist, Tony Tasset’s giant sculpture of a fawn, you enter a contemporary edifice, the Beneson Center, housing the Newmark Gallery. BAM, to quote Roy Lichtenstein’s early pop painting, you have left the serene world of idealized romanticism and entered the universe of master painter, Katherine Bernhardt.

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Stop & Shop Workers Strike across New England

North Adams Stop & Shop workers assemble in the early hours of the UFCW strike against the supermarket chain on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Union steward Bill Laviolette (front, giving the thumbs up) coordinated the location actions; photo by Jason Velázquez.
North Adams Stop & Shop workers assemble in the early hours of the UFCW strike against the supermarket chain on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Union steward Bill Laviolette (front, giving the thumbs up) coordinated the location actions; photo by Jason Velázquez.

Talks set to continue as union and company measure each other’s resolve from across parking lots.

NORTH ADAMS — Today is Saturday, April 13, 2019, I am your host, Jason Velazquez, and I’d like to welcome you to Episode #69 of our flagship podcast, the Top Left Corner.

What you heard coming into this program was the scene outside the Stop & Shop in Chicopee, Mass., as workers from that and other stores represented by United Food and Commerical Workers Local 1459 rallied near the tail end of a string of negotiations that began in the Autumn of 2018. Stop & Shop workers throughout New England have been working without a contract since February. All those heated talks between the Union and Dutch international retailer Ahold Delhaize reached a stalemate Thursday, and at about 1:15 p.m. local time, The UFCW texted their workers en masse to let them know that it was time to strike.

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The Pillar Profiles:
Lindsey Schmid

Editors Note: What does it mean when we say that someone is a “pillar of the community?” How you answer depends a lot on your experiences and intersections with the people who, in your mind, help support and strengthen the areas of local life that are most important to us. In this new series, we’ll surely tread some well worn paths in search of those personalities. We’ll blaze new trails looking for emerging leaders, as well as expand our vision of where to look for these pillars of our community. Know someone you think fills the bill? E-mail us.

When most of us Berkshires dwellers encourage friends to visit, we usually highlight the traveler’s trifecta of arts, culture, and outdoor recreation. But for Lindsey Schmid, tourism in the Berkshires is a lot more specific and varied. It’s about mindfulness and wellness. It’s about glamping and hotspots for watching wildlife. It’s the craft beverage trend, farm-to-table foods, and cannabis tours. And it’s about interactive experiences and behind-the-scenes tours of well-known venues—all the better to attract thrill seekers jonesing to be the first person to post on Instagram and say, “I did this!”

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Kasey à la mode: Frittatas

The Frittata is a versatile dish that's just what you want when you don't want an omelette exactly. Maybe because it's lunch or dinner and you're ready for a creamy, cheesy meal that's not ashamed to put eggs front and center in the entree; photo by Kasey Rogers.
The Frittata is a versatile dish that's just what you want when you don't want an omelette exactly. Maybe because it's lunch or dinner and you're ready for a creamy, cheesy meal that's not ashamed to put eggs front and center in the entree; photo by Kasey Rogers.

When I woke up early this morning, I was starving. After making a pot of coffee, I began hunting around in the fridge. I knew my twins wouldn’t be ready for breakfast for hours. I certainly didn’t want to wait that long! I wasn’t about to chastise them for sleeping in a while because they’re on spring break from college. But I also didn’t want to be in the kitchen all day either. The spring weather was calling me outdoors, and I wanted to head out as soon as I could. 

I found some sautéed mushrooms, a bit of baby spinach and a few pieces of cooked bacon. Soon I was cracking some eggs to make a frittata. It’s a great way to use leftovers for a quick meal for any time of day. The list of things that can be used in a frittata is long and varied. One of my favorites is asparagus, but I never have any left over. I sometimes cook specific ingredients to make this dish, but that’s rare. This dish is my “throw whatever I have available that will taste good together” kind of meal. I like that about a Frittata. 

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What We Leave Behind

Dan Devine, Calf, plaster detail; Dan Devine, Calf, plaster; Giroux Gallery (photo: Sara Farrell Okamura).
Dan Devine, Calf, plaster detail; Dan Devine, Calf, plaster; Giroux Gallery (photo: Sara Farrell Okamura).

Impact, New Works by Dan Devine, Thompson Giroux Gallery

Enter Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham, New York from now until May 5 and you are walking into Impact, the latest body of work by Dan Devine. Chalky white plaster sculptures cast from the metal remains from collisions and crashes are installed throughout the space. On the walls hang rubbings on creamy white paper, from ruined remains of motors, a melting icicle, a toy assault rifle, and the skeleton of a lamb. The immediate sensation is you have wandered into an anthropological museum, situated on some newly settled planet, circa 2100, dedicated to treasures recovered from the demise of Earth and the empire where we now reside.

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Shakshouka? What’s that?

My twins turned twenty-one this week. It’s been an amazing journey guiding them to adulthood. As a single mother, I often thought the day would never come. When we lost their dad to cancer years ago, I wasn’t sure how we’d ever get this far. And yet, they’re still alive and doing quite well despite some overwhelming obstacles. 

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Your lawn mower misses you. After a long winter, it’s hungry.

[source: Pexels]
[source: Pexels]

It’s a bright sunny Sunday morning with a bit of Spring chill in the air and the recent rains have worked well to wash away the curse of winter from our yards and our minds. There are random fallen branches to pick up, flower beds to rake out, and, of course, the lawnmower to get running. 

After being in the lawn mower repair business for the better part of thirty years, as both a mechanic and a shop owner, I can assure you that if you have neglected your lawn mower you are not alone — and there is certainly no shame in it.

Here, I will tell you how, with a basic set of hand tools and a little patience, you can carry out the process of getting your lawn mower ready for reliable service all year long.

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A View from the Tracks: Day Tripping in Chatham & Ghent, New York

A lonesome balloon glides silently above field and forest near Tice Hill in the Ghent dawn; photo by Zach Neven Creative, Columbia County New York.
A lonesome balloon glides silently above field and forest near Tice Hill in the Ghent dawn; photo by Zach Neven Creative, Columbia County, New York.

The morning sun reflects off the remnants of a hard crust of snow with a luminous quality that makes the towns of Ghent and Chatham, New York, appear suffused by stage lights. It’s been a long winter—about six months’ worth, by most people’s accounts, though they use much more colorful language; like the Inuit and their multiple words for snow, residents of upstate New York have a remarkable array of vivid, sometimes profane, epithets for the season. On this 50-degree day in March, the first hint that winter is finally releasing its skeletal grip on the region, people are emerging from their woodstove-warmed saltboxes and Cape Cods, primed and ready to enjoy the landscape and a sun no longer obscured by clouds heavy with the promise of more white stuff.

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Glyphosate: Why we need a clean food revolution

“If it was bad for us, they wouldn’t sell it.” This was the response I got from the maintenance man when I objected to his spraying weeds with Roundup. Well actually, that isn’t true. “A number of cities, counties, states and countries throughout the world have taken steps to either restrict or ban glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer,” notes Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman PC here in a recently updated list. The firm has links to several lawsuits brought against Monsanto by plaintiffs who claim their cancers were caused by Roundup, including the action of Edwin Hardeman, which was settled on March 27, for more than $80 million in damages.

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Unsung Eats: Berkshire Palate
Williamstown—Little Bun, Chicken & Waffle

Ordering up both the "Little Bun" cheeseburger and the "Chicken and Waffle" sandwich with a side of salt and vinegar fries turned out to be a good way to size up Berkshire Palate, this week's Unsung Eats; photo by James Kennedy.
Ordering up both the "Little Bun" cheeseburger and the "Chicken and Waffle" sandwich with a side of salt and vinegar fries turned out to be a good way to size up Berkshire Palate, this week's Unsung Eats; photo by James Kennedy.

Unsung Eats is all about finding great food for a great value all over North county, and today we find ourselves in picturesque Williamstown at a cool little eatery called Berkshire Palate. 

Berkshire Palate is located in the Colonial Plaza on Route 2 where there is plenty of parking.

Once inside, I sat down in the front window at the high counter and looked around. The place is cozy and clean with an upscale feel, and there were other diners there happily chatting away. A man named Paul came to greet me and take my drink order. We talked a bit and I discovered that Paul was part owner, going into business with his sons, opening Berkshire Palate less than a year ago.

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Solo-preneur Spotlight:
Bell Bottom Bleus

Bell Bottom Blues, one of North Adams' emerging cottage industries, combines artisan sensibilities with a passion that make for a compelling local-girl-makes-good story; submitted image.
Bell Bottom Blues, one of North Adams' emerging cottage industries, combines artisan sensibilities with a passion that make for a compelling local-girl-makes-good story; submitted image.

By CASSIE LORD
Special to the Greylock Glass

NORTH ADAMS — It’s a cold spring morning as I enter a spacious Victorian home on the outskirts of North Adams. I’m welcomed in by a small, easygoing woman with a smile, and her well-behaved cats and dog. As we conversate throughout the house, we pass by antique rocking chairs and vintage furniture, wandering our way up to the second floor. The “work room,” the driving force of Bell Bottom Blues, is clearly the room she spends most of her time in. She gets to work as I take a seat and we continue talking.

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The Body Stops Here:
Works by Keiko Narahashi and Sarah Peters.

Installation, The Body Stops Here: Keiko Narahashi & Sarah Peters, Usdan Gallery, Bennington College; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.
Installation, The Body Stops Here: Keiko Narahashi & Sarah Peters, Usdan Gallery, Bennington College; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.

Editor’s Note: This exhibit closes March 31, 2019.

After arriving at Bennington campus through wrought iron gates, you ascend a meandering road until you reach the crest of a hill. Before you is a behemoth of a building—a 1000,000 square foot cathedral of wooden high beams and glass, dedicated to creating something from nothing in visual art, dance, and performance. This is VAPA (visual and performing arts) Center, situated on a summit against the surrounding vistas of the Green Mountains. Visitors enter by climbing the industrial stairs to the Usdan Gallery. It was modeled on the 3rd floor of the Whitney Museum when the museum was on the Upper East Side of New York, now the Met Breuer. Like the building, the gallery is mammoth. Constructed 40 years ago with the spirit of mid-century large scale color field paintings and minimalist sculptors such as Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitzki, and Anthony Caro, who were students and faculty at the college.

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