Sample Publications

Real Simple magazine

Home, Sweet 351-Square-Foot Home: How a couple lost all and learned to live (happily) with less than they’d ever imagined.

For Ren Marasco, October 13, 2007, was a wonderful, low-key 31st birthday. She, along with her husband, Natale, and several friends, had spent the evening at a local pizzeria sharing stories and jokes over a bottle of red and a margherita pie. At 9 p.m., she was still in high spirits, excitedly chatting with her mom on the phone while Natale drove home. Then, as they turned onto their street in Ashley Falls, Massachusetts, Ren thought she saw smoke. Suddenly her stomach dropped. “I knew something terrible had happened,” says Ren… Read more

Rural Intelligence (as contributor, then editor)

New documentary focuses on photographer Gregory Crewdson

When Gregory Crewdson was 16, he had his first fifteen minutes of fame in the form of a three-minute pop song. Crewdson played guitar in a new wave band called The Speedies, and in 1979 they had a minor hit with the song Let Me Take Your Photo, which Crewdson co-wrote with the band’s pretty-boy front man, Eric Hoffert. At that time, Crewdson could never have imagined how weirdly prescient the song was, nor that he would grow up to be a rock star – not in the music scene, but in the art world… Read more

Margaret Roach delivers The Backyard Parables

Sequestered on a hillside in Copake, New York, Margaret Roach — former editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and, before that, longtime staffer on the New York Times and Newsday — tends her land as well as her website, A Way to Garden, which many proclaim to be the best of the crop of garden blogs. She also has three books under her belt, the latest of which, The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life, was just released by Grand Central Publishing… Read more

Fire Cider: The hot new mixer for warming winter drinks

Cold season is here; the wildly vacillating weather, with its regular dips into frigidity, drives the annual search for ways to ward off the inevitable onslaught of coughs, sneezes, and sore throats. There’s a relatively new addition – albeit steeped in tradition – to the all-natural anti-cold arsenal: Fire Cider from Pittsfield-based Shire City Herbals. Also known as “cyclone cider,” fire cider is a pungent potion of apple cider vinegar and honey, with hot peppers, garlic, onions, ginger, and horseradish… Read more

The Briarcliff Motel: Not just another roadside attraction

Londoners Clare Weatherall and Richard Proctor first came to the Berkshires 15 years ago as tourists on a whirlwind tour of New England, staying mostly at B&Bs. Motels were out of the question. Like many Europeans, their impression of the quintessentially American roadside accommodation had been informed by a Hollywood pantheon that includes PsychoNatural Born Killers, and Leaving Las Vegas. “To me, a motel is what you see in the movies,” quips Weatherall. “It’s where you go to get murdered or get laid.”  Read more

Twenty Questions for Yo-Yo Ma

Perhaps the most recognized, decorated, and beloved cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma makes his home in the tiny town of Tyringham, Massachusetts, “A Hinterland Settlement,” nestled between Lee and Monterey, the sleepy summer residence of many musicians and composers, past and present. Yet Ma is not here to sleep; he’s an engaged member of the community, attending fire department fundraisers and talks on town history, held in a humble church basement. In addition to his stellar performing and recording career… Read more

Tony Margherita: The Massachusetts man behind the band Wilco

Tony Margherita has managed Wilco since the band first formed in 1994. The band arrives in North Adams for its second Solid Sound Festival, June 24 – 26, taking over the MASS MoCA campus with a stellar line-up of musical acts, including The Levon Helm Band and Thurston Moore in addition to two Wilco performances… You’d think Margherita might be a bit stressed out with this major event just days away… Read more

Art for Animals: More than a rock & roll benefit

Lovers of animals, food, art, and music converge in Hudson this Friday as Club Helsinki hosts Rock & Roll Rescue, a star-studded benefit for Art for Animals, an organization dedicated to helping animal rescue groups and educating young people about humane issues. Art for Animals dates back to 1998, after journalist Elizabeth Hess, then an arts writer for the Village Voice, took a ride in New York City’s animal ambulance, which resulted in a cover story that revealed the dire fate of dogs and cats who ended up in the city’s shelter… Read more

In Great Barrington, a store that’s worth its weight in salt

Talk about your niche markets. In May, the HimalaSalt shop, devoted primarily to pink salt from the Himalayan mountains, cropped up next to The Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington. While more geographically focused than the ballyhooed global salt shop, The Meadow,  in Manhattan, HimalaSalt offers much more than you can shake a grinder at… Read more

Luna 61: Vegetarian fare with Asian flair

Throw a rock in this region and you’re likely to hit a yoga teacher, reiki master, herbalist, or other holistic practitioner. Which makes it seem odd that vegetarian restaurants are so rare here. Many local dining establishments do serve up a meatless option or two – notably Chez Nous in Lee, where co-owner and pastry chef Rachel Portnoy, herself a vegetarian, has some sway in the kitchen over her traditional-French-chef husband, Franck Tessier… Read more

Berkshire Living magazine (as contributing editor)

Knitting a New Life: Profile of Karen Allen

A ruptured vocal chord prompted Karen Allen’s move to the Berkshires, but it’s cord of an entirely different nature that keeps her here. Best known for starring in Animal House and opposite Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Allen first visited the region in 1981 to play the role of Gittel in Berkshire Theatre Festival’s revival of Two for the SeesawRead more

Rocky Mountain High: Open spaces, rustic materials, and stunning vistas…

“I grew up in the projects of Brooklyn,” recounts Stephen Schoenfeld, standing in the airy great room of his expansive open-plan home. “I never had grass, only concrete walls. We had a two-bedroom apartment; I shared a bedroom with my sister for years.” Today, it’s hard to imagine these humble origins, a sharp-as-can-be contrast to his six-thousand-square-foot mountaintop home in North Egremont, Massachusetts. Instead of concrete, walls of windows provide panoramic vistas… Read more

The Caretaker: Inkeeper Sayed Saleh invests The Orchards with international flavor and Old World elegance

One wintry morning a few years ago, a couple walked across the parking lot of The Orchards Hotel toward their car. A man was scraping snow and ice off a late-model Mercedes-Benz; when he saw the couple approach a nearby car he rushed over and began to brush the snow from their windshield. Assuming that this windshield-wiper was a hotel employee, the hus­band handed him a tip, which the man adamantly refused…Read more

Green with a Twist: A pioneering, energy-efficient home enters its third decade

From the dirt road leading to it, the little house on the edge of a rolling field looks like the most traditional of Capes. This impression is dispelled by the interior’s anything-but-conventional angles and open floor plan. The Lanesborough, Massachusetts home of  Tom and Stephanie Hoadley is modern, minimal and airy, with unexpectedly high ceilings and decor that departs from the New England vernacular… Read more

The Boston Globe

Cafeteria-style yoga: Kripalu crafts its own renewal

Return visitors to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health are in for a few surprises this summer. Famous as a retreat center for spiritual seekers, and the largest yoga educational center in the United States, Kripalu is engaged in some soul-searching of its own. A new leadership team is making changes… Read more

Green with pride: When land conservator needed space, the natural choice was to build on the principles of sustainability, disturbing as little as possible

Two years ago, the Trustees of Reservations identified a parcel of land in Leominster that needed to be protected — from the organization itself. The 113-year-old conservation group needed new office and conference space, and had received a gift from an anonymous donor to fund a project of that would send a strong message of environmentalism. The Trustees decided to build in the woods of its 50-acre Doyle Reservation… Read more

When the sap rises, the sugar house gets steamy: Vermont’s Maple Weekend

Vermonters know that as the snow begins to recede, the sap begins to run. the warmer days and still-cold nights signal more than mud season; it’s maple sugaring time. For centuries, New Englanders have celebrated the end of winter and the start of longer daylight hours with “Sugaring off” parties… Read more

Happy Tails: Blue Sky Dogs

Ten minutes into the hike up Harvey Mountain in Austerlitz, N.Y., and Sydney was struggling on the trail. His arthritis was acting up, he had skipped breakfast, and he was having trouble keeping up with his group. It was clear he needed to stop for a rest, a drink, and a bite to eat. So his companion, Michaela Hewett, pulled a bottle of water from her daypack, poured a bit into a collapsible bowl, and placed it on the ground along with a snack…Read more

Off leash, relaxed, and ready to play: Camp’s a romp when owners unwind with their canine pals

My boys were excited when we left the house on a sunny Friday afternoon in June. Especially when I opened the car door and told them they were going to camp. Then again, they always get excited when they go for a ride in the car. Usually it means they’re going to see friends, or meet some new ones. Little did they know how right they were this time… Read more

A converted barn in the Berkshires has New York flair Karen Allen says she wants to simplify, but it’s going to be a tough task. The actress who shot to fame as the ingénue in ”Animal House” and starred opposite Harrison Ford in ”Raiders of the Lost Ark” bought a home in the Berkshires in 1988, and she has been filling it with an eclectic mix of things she loves ever since. You can tell she’s a collector as soon as you enter the house… Read more

Summer destinations? Greater arts and minds With the kids’ summer camp or school plans squared away, it’s time to concentrate on vacation planning for adults. While a week in the Berkshires offers the familiar cultural and recreational attractions — Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow — two prestigious educational institutions have set up programs for adults offering rigorous learning experiences amid the region’s natural beauty and cultural bounty… Read more

Healing Lifestyles & Spas magazine

Three Paths to Balance I’m standing at a long table with about thirty other adults, calligraphy brush in hand. I dip my brush in the bowl of ink, slowly exhale, and pull it across a blank sheet of paper, lifting it at the edge on the inhale, and bringing it back to the left edge. I repeat these brushstrokes with complete concentration… Read more

The Best of Boston Boston is a city of contrasts: historic cradle of the revolution and modern hotbed of technology; home to patrician Brahmins and retro punks; land of the triumphant Patriots and the heartbreaking Red Sox. An academic center since the founding of Harvard in 1636, Boston today boasts more than fifty colleges… Read more

Jumpstart Bootcamp at Red Mountain Spa

“Oh cool, you’re going rock climbing,” exclaimed Kipp, as my beloved perused the itinerary for the Jumpstart Boot Camp at Red Mountain Spa in Ivins, Utah. Rock climbing? Having never attempted even an indoor rock wall, I couldn’t imagine hanging off the side of a cliff, pulling myself up by my fingertips… Read more

Flying High at Omega

I’m standing on the edge of a narrow platform, twenty-five feet above the ground, reaching out to grab a bar with my right hand while my left hand clings to the rail of the ladder I’ve just ascended. Legs shaking, I bring my left hand to the bar, push my hips and chest forward, and, at the sharp cry of “Hup!” jump off the platform… Read more

Also published in…

Ceramics Monthly

The Wine Enthusiast

Wine Business Monthly

New England Wine Gazette

The Berkshire Eagle

Interval World

Equinox Magazine

Jiminy Peak Magazine