Battenkill Valley Blog

August 2010 Archives

The Battenkill Valley is so rich in artisanal cheesemakers that our annual Cheese Tour has grown almost exponentially each year.  Now our friends Christine and Geoff over at the Rice Mansion Inn in Cambridge are presenting a PAIRING event with local chefs and Greg Taylor from Frederick Wildman and Sons, LTD, the world-famous wine importing company.  The local chefs will present "bites" using local cheeses and other locally sourced ingredients and Greg will pair them with just the right wine, giving you an "insider's taste" of the tour before the tour!  It's all happening at the mansion August 22 at 4pm.  $30 per person.  RSVP at 518-677-5741 or 

THIS JUST IN:  Christine tells me that:
--    For those attending the ASA Tour de Farm, also on August 22, and the Pairing- they will donate $5 to the ASA

For those attending the MfS Concert on August 15 and the Pairing -they will donate $5 to MfS.

The mansion is large and gorgeous but space is still limited, so make the call today!

She's playing BOO LARSEN (Boo Who?) in my new play STAR CROSSED at the Fort Salem Theater Aug. 13-22.  Together with my partner, the multi-talented Jay Kerr, we've created a world-premier musical that's based on a true story; a "tale of tragedy and triumph in old Hollywood" as the poster says.  Benita is just one of eight key players in this tale - all of them fabulous singers and actors and many of whom you may have seen on TV, on Broadway, at Fort Salem or Capital Rep.    The tale revolves around Sarah Lenard, an aspiring actress who may or may not be the illegitimate daughter of two of Hollywood's most storied legends (let's call them, oh, I don't know, Judy Garland and Gene Kelly).  She wants to learn the truth...but doesn't want to know either, because she wants to know she can make it on her own merits and not just because she's tabloid fodder.  The flamboyant Boo Larsen - a gossip writer who "worshipped" her mother - is enlisted to help uncover the truth.  Meanwhile, sleazy talent agent Rick Taylor (wonderfully created by Robert Silver) gets some help for his side from Slice Magnusen, a private eye portrayed by Fort favorite Gordon Hazzard.  And let's not forget Laura Roth, who plays the tragic lead, Julie Martin.  She is an international cabaret star who does a Judy Garland tribute in her show and is spot on accurate.  This is Laura/Julie and Robert/Rick:  82-248x300.jpg
So...the bottom line is you simply MUST see this show at the Fort Salem Theater.  Otherwise, you won't be able to say "I saw that show when it premiered - and now look what's happened!  It's gone global!"  (What can I say?  It's Fort Salem Theater's Summer of Dreams so I have license to dream here.)  Just call the Fort at 518-854-9200 for tickets.  Showtimes are Aug. 13-15 and 20-22; Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm and Sunday matinees at 2pm.  At $25, tickets are about a third of what you'd pay to see this caliber of performances on Broadway, and Salem is a whole lot closer!  Come on out and say hello.  I look just like the guy whose photo is on this blog. 

No trip to the Battenkill Valley is complete without a peek at what the artists are up to, and these days, the artists at North Main Gallery in Salem are definitely worth a look. 
Donna Marie deCreeft has exhibited in New York City and locally.  She works in mixed media, crossing the boundaries between cultures, art and craft, ideas and experience.  Her work in this exhibit seeks to capture aspects of the natural world.  "I've been steeped in the beauty of the Rensselaer County hill country since I was a child," she says.  She studied at Empire State College, New York Studio School, Pratt Graphic Arts Center and the New School.
Steven Ginsburg lives in Alabama and has exhibited throughout upstate New York.  He will be exhibiting paintings and drawings of figures and landscapes.  His work explores light, color and contour.  "When painted or drawn, the figure acquires a universality removed from the specificity of photographs," he says, while landscapes represent a specific time and place.  He studied drawing and painting at the University of Texas at Austin.
Horace Havemeyer III turned to painting recently after a successful career as the founder of Bellerophon Publications, the parent company of Metropolis, a widely read magazine on architecture and design, and Metropolis Books.  He studied watercolors at the Lyme Art Academy in Connecticut.  His subjects reflect his life-long interest in water, boating and landscape as well as the built environment.   
Gallery Hours:  Wednesday-Friday 11:30 pm-4:30 pm; Saturdays: 10:00 am-3:00 pm; and other times by appointment.  For more information, call 854-3406 or visit <> .
It's FREE...and it's DELICIOUS!  Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 & 12, between 10am and 4pm, this self-guided tour to the farmstead cheese makers in the Battenkill Valley is a delight for all of the senses!  Drink in the beauty of the surrounding countryside, smell the fresh cut hay, breathe in the soft country air and taste the artisanal cheeses made from traditional 19th century techniques.  Make a weekend of it and stay at one of the charming B&B's in the area!  Check out or a map and complete schedule. 

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Al Budde

40 minutes East of Saratoga and a world away; the Battenkill Valley is a Cornucopia of Cool. No Interstates. No noise. No hurry. Called "The Tuscany of New York", the region abounds in farm-crafted cheeses, creameries, heirloom vegetables and specialty meats you can buy right off the farm. Art galleries that will amaze you. Scenery that will inspire you. And through it all runs the Battenkill River, an astonishingly clear and gentle water playground that also happens to be the toughest trout fishery in the U.S.A Like touring? There's a reason the largest pro-am bike race in America happens here. And don't get me started on the Revolutionary war history, or the “you won't believe what I found: antiques and shops.

AL BUDDE has a lot of interests in fly fishing, playwriting, canoeing (and tubing), history, shopping, dining, friendships and he counts himself among the fortunate few who have found a place where all of those things collide: The Battenkill Valley. He knows (almost) everyone here, and will be your personal guide to all of those hidden places, activities, sights and scenery it would take you years to discover on your own. Discover the Battenkill Valley. Have fun. Make new discoveries. Renew your soul. And start here!


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