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Unsung Eats: Hot Dog Ranch,
North Adams — Beef Stew

The Hot Dog Ranch in North Adams offers a home-style Beef stew that earns it's place on the Unsung Eats chart; photo by James Kennedy.
The Hot Dog Ranch in North Adams offers a home-style Beef stew that earns it's place on the Unsung Eats chart; photo by James Kennedy.

Only at the Greylock Glass can you find Unsung Eats; the column that takes the guesswork out of where to find great local grub for short money.

I’ve driven by the Hot Dog Ranch in North Adams before, and when I checked out their menu online I saw that their daily specials were actually very affordable home-cooked–style meals so I decided to take them for a spin.

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Colcannon, soda bread, and an Irish ditty

A super-nutritious (and satisfying!) staple of rustic Irish Cooking, colcannon can be prepared in a multitude of ways; photo by Sheila Velazquez.
A super-nutritious (and satisfying!) staple of rustic Irish Cooking, colcannon can be prepared in a multitude of ways; photo by Sheila Velazquez.

The traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast is corned beef and cabbage. Potatoes round out the meal and can be boiled or mashed. I make them as colcannon, mashed potatoes into which butter, milk, salt and pepper, and cooked and chopped kale is mixed. So simple, so good. I used the remaining container of frozen kale from last year’s garden to make the batch shown. Make extra, because it goes well with everything. I especially like a scoop on a plate of eggs. 

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March 15, 2019:
International Youth Climate Strike

Members of the student group, R.E.V., at Mt. Greylock Regional School, Karen McComish, Sophie Jones, Maddy Art, and Ella Dudley speak at the Feburary 24 meeting of Greylock Together at the UNO Center in North Adams; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Members of the student group, R.E.V., at Mt. Greylock Regional School, Karen McComish, Sophie Jones, Maddy Art, and Ella Dudley speak at the Feburary 24 meeting of Greylock Together at the UNO Center in North Adams; photo by Jason Velázquez.

The youth of Earth have a message for its leaders today: You have failed to lead, so now you’ve forced us to.

By synchronizing worldwide demonstrations demanding action to reduce the human activities driving climate change, young people from elementary school on up through college are staging sit-ins, walkouts, marches, strikes, and town halls to make it clear to elected officials that they won’t sit by idly as the planet burns. Or floods. Or is ravaged by extreme weather. Or all of the above.

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May the Road Rise Up to Meet You: St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in Albany & Troy

Albany pulls out all the stops in their St. Patrick's Day festivities, including the parade, which starts at 2:00 p.m.; photo courtesy Discover Albany.
Albany pulls out all the stops in their St. Patrick's Day festivities, including the parade,
which starts at 2:00 p.m.; photo courtesy Discover Albany.

On a swell of immigration that began in the 1640s and continued all the way through (and beyond) the Great Famine of the mid-nineteenth century, Irish immigrants made a place for themselves in large Eastern United States port cities like New York and Boston. But as jobs became less plentiful, many branched out, heading up the Hudson River from New York City and landing in the newly prosperous manufacturing centers in Troy and Albany. According to Discover Albany, thanks to this influx, the city currently boasts the fourth-largest Irish population in the country.

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Unsung Eats: Lee’s Dynasty
Szechuan Chicken

Szechuan Chicken, with egg roll and a soft drink, available at Lee's Dynasty in Adams for under $10; photo by James Kennedy.
Szechuan Chicken, with egg roll and a soft drink, available at Lee's Dynasty in Adams for under $10; photo by James Kennedy.

Maybe today you don’t feel like cooking. Maybe today you don’t have the time to stop at the grocery store and go home and drag out the pots and pans because your entire day has been mired in chaos.  The answer then is to go out to eat or order take out but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to break the bank and there are so many options to explore for great grub cheap in northern Berkshire County if you know all the hotspots.

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REVIEW: The Last Days
of Judas Iscariot

viewed 03/07/19

Before the doors leading into the CenterStage open at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, audience members waiting to see The Last Days of Judas Iscariot are invited to form lines behind three candle-bearers. We are led into a solemn scene lit by a single streetlight, where we stand before a woman who is mourning the death of her child. Another figure sits behind her at a quiet distance. The mother talks about her own pain and the shock of losing a grown son coupled with the excruciating memory of how alone he was in the end. Is this Mary, mother of Jesus?

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That elusive third party everyone might like to see get crankin’.

Rally in Bozeman, Montana; photo by Sheila Velazquez
Rally in Bozeman, Montana; photo by Sheila Velazquez

What if we had a party, and everybody came. Well, it wouldn’t have to be everybody, just the majority of Americans who haven’t been invited to the parties of either the Democrats or the Republicans, the folks whose interests aren’t served when the toasts are made and the swag handed out. Now that would be some party.

I haven’t voted for either a Democrat or Republican presidential candidate in a long while. I would have if the DNC hadn’t sabotaged Bernie’s campaign. That’s one I supported with all my heart and one to which I contributed. Not a huge amount, but considering what a cheapskate I am (ask my kids), it was a lot for me. 

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He Said, He Said: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at MASS MoCA

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo have been around for 45 years and performed in over 600 cities and towns, Kinda makes them a thing², right? image courtesy the company.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo have been around for 45 years and performed in over 600 cities and towns, Kinda makes them a thing², right? image courtesy the company.

The dance world has been slow to let go of certain stereotypes. Chief among them might just be that men shouldn’t dance en pointe, and that romantic love is best expressed by men and women dancing together.

Which is one of the reasons that Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the 45-year-old, New York City–based company of men in tights (and really, really large pointe shoes) has always been such a blast of fresh air. Not only are they game to get tarted up to play, often hilariously, all the women’s roles in classic ballets, but they also demonstrate serious dance chops that rouse the audience to standing ovation.

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Jane Hudson, recent paintings: an artists’ artist in our midst

Enough Said, II,, Jane Hudson; acrylic on canvas, 24” × 30”, [source, the artist].
Enough Said, II,, Jane Hudson; acrylic on canvas, 24” × 30”, [source, the artist].

“Our hearing of colours is so precise … Colour is a means of exerting a direct influence upon the soul. Colour is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many strings. The artist is the hand that purposely sets the soul vibrating by means of this or that key. Thus it is clear that the harmony of colours can only be based upon the principle of purposefully touching the human soul.”

Wassily Kandinsky

Jane Hudson is a pioneer. Not just any pioneer, but one who, for over 40 years, has assumed the mantel of courageous trailblazer. Jumping into digital media, a male dominated field, when it was in its gestational state, she contributed to video and performance being recognized as an art on par with painting, drawing, and sculpture. Hudson’s accomplishments are well documented. Grants ranging from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to the George Gund Foundation to the Mass Cultural Council all acknowledged her brilliance as a video and performance artist.

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Seeing our way clear to sustainability

Prominent pollution in 2006 photo Los Angeles, as viewed from the Hollywood Hills, by Diliff (cropped); CC BY-SA 3.0; via Wikimedia Commons.
Prominent pollution in a 2006 photo of Los Angeles, as viewed from the Hollywood Hills, by Diliff (cropped), CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

It could be said that we will not have peace on Earth until peace becomes more profitable than war, but applying this same principle to the choice between fossil fuels and clean, renewable energy is a no-brainer. The benefits of the transition to clean energy are not only numerous but quite profitable.

Fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas, have been the lifeblood of America since well before the Industrial Revolution, and it could easily be argued that fossil fuels made a very large contribution towards making America the economic force in the world that it is today.

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Stranger in a Strange Land: Akram Khan and XENOS

Akram Khan in Xenos, photo by Jean Louis Fernandez, courtesy of Jacob's Pillow.
Akram Khan, in XENOS, photo by Jean Louis Fernandez, courtesy of Jacob's Pillow.

Akram Khan doesn’t just perform his dances; he lives them. In XENOS, which played to a packed audience on February 21 at the Williams College ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, he isn’t just a formidable dancer, but also a skilled actor adept at storytelling through explosive movement, small gestures, and poignant moments of stillness.

Whose war?
Whose fire?
Whose hand is this?

from Xenos, written by Jordan Tannahill
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The Immortal Material

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials
Smith College Museum of Art

Aurora Robson, Isla, 2014; Plastic debris (PET + HDPE), aluminum rivets, tinted polycrylic, and mica powder; [Source: Aurora Robson].
Aurora Robson, Isla, 2014; Plastic debris (PET + HDPE), aluminum rivets, tinted polycrylic, and mica powder; [Source: Aurora Robson].

Plastic. In most cases it is imperishable, non-biodegradable, and close to everlasting. It is so ubiquitous in our life that we barely notice how much we use. According to the New York Times article, The Immense, Eternal Footprint Humanity leaves on Earth: Plastics (7.1. 2018) by Tatianna Schlossberg, 5 – 13 million metric tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year, and since the 1950s, 4.9 billion metric tons is in landfills or spread throughout the environment. With these facts in mind, it is well worth a trip to Smith College Museum of Art to view, Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials organized by Pennsylvania State University’s Palmer Museum of Art.

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