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Compass A&E


The adorable Amélie has transitioned from the big screen (2001) to a small-stage theater production in the Hudson Valley. Photo courtesy RTS

Bringing Back ‘Amélie,’ Now onstage in Rhinebeck

In 2001, a cult classic was born in the film “Amélie,” written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant. The story follows a vibrant young Parisian woman who approaches the world around her at a distance, strangely hesitant about forging close human connections.


The Round Hill Highland Games return to Lime Rock Park in Salisbury, Conn., on Sunday, June 26, with caber tossing, a 1-mile kilted run and many other exotic delights.  Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

In a Topsy-Turvy World, the Highland Games Bring a Taste of Tradition

For most people, it won’t make much difference that this year’s Round Hill Highland Games will be slightly different than they are in a normal year.

First of all, who really knows what normal means in a COVID-19 world.


Come taste Andy Williams’ award-winning Bloody Mary mix at LaBonne’s market on June 25, where the mix is now being sold in bottles. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

A Bloody Good Bloody Mary Mix

The history of the Bloody Mary cocktail is vague, with no one really certain how it got its name or who invented it in the first place.


Steve Katz, a founding member of Blues Project, can still spend all day noodling around with his guitars in his home studio in Kent, Conn.  His band, Blues Project, returns this summer with a concert June 25 and a new album. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

Blues Project Is Back, and Taking it on the Road

Out of the ashes of Blues Project — one of the most influential bands of the mid 1960s — rose another amazing and influential band of that era: Blood, Sweat & Tears, started by Blues Project founding members Steve Katz and Al Kooper.


A good strawberry shortcake doesn’t have to be fussy; you can make one quickly with a simple homemade jam, ladyfingers and whipped cream from the can. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

A Shortcut To Strawberry Shortcake

Sweet red strawberries from California have been at grocery stores for weeks now, and soon we will begin to see the smaller, tarter local berries.

Even though strawberry is my favorite jam flavor, I rarely make it. But this year I figured out a berry preserve “cheat” that is delicious even if it’s not perfect.


Varoujan Froundjian has made an experimental film featuring the random patterns he sees, like cloud shapes, in the streets and sidewalks of Lakeville, Conn. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

The Pavement as You’ve Never Seen it Before

Once childhood and childish games of hopscotch and “don’t step on the crack” are a thing of the past, most of us stop looking down as we walk. Certainly there are many reasons to hold one’s head up: The sky, the trees, the interesting architectural details, here and in Manhattan.


Frank Gehry’s Fisher Center is reason enough to make a trip to Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., and the Bard College campus, but there are also concerts and performances there throughout the summer. Photo of Fisher Center by Peter Aron/Esto

Bard College: Worth the Drive for Music & More

Distances seem to become daunting, even insurmountable, here in the Tristate region. Perhaps it’s because we’re all so comfy in our country homes — although I think actually what happens is that, emotionally, we all begin to set up Boundaries that Must Not Be Crossed.


Sisters Petra, at left in photo, and Sadie Leite, at the entrance to one of the trails leading to the Connecticut section of the Appalachian Trail. Photo submitted

The Leite Sisters Hike The AT with Caterpillars And Cinderella

I don’t really know where the idea came from. There are a lot of sources I can point to. My family has a house in Salisbury, Conn. I often see thru-hikers stomping toward ice cream at LaBonne’s market.


Hazmat, at left, and Boo Boo are hikers on their way to Gorham, N.H. , to complete their journey along the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail. They are from Georgia and have been doing the trail, section by section, over the course of several years. Photo by Lans Christensen

In 2022, the AT Has Grown in Length and In Number of Hikers

I haven’t done the math on this, to be honest, but I’d be willing to wager that there are more miles of hiking trails in the Tristate region than there are paved roads.

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