Lake George Beach STILL Closed
Loonie Closes Gap, Boost Local Economy
Another Hudson River Drowning
Old Mtn. Road Likely Headed to Ballot
Broadband Internet Sought For Adks
Franklin County Fair Starts Saturday
Senate Committee Approves McHugh’s Nomination
Investors Buy Fine Forestland
Plan for Bike-Car Harmony Proposed
Tourist Season On The Ropes
New Smart-Growth Project for Hamlets
Lake George Beach STILL Closed
It’s incredible, wherever you go during the summer music fills the air. Like today, if you were lucky enough to get to the Saranac Lake Block Party early you’d have heard a number of live acts in Berkley Square. Last night at the Shamrock out in Gabriels there was a wonderful jam with contributions from three musicians who are normally too busy to make it out to a jam like that. We regulars were treated to beautiful harmonies and some of the best fiddle playing I’ve heard all year. For this non-scheduled stuff all you can do is show up and be happily surprised. However, this week there are some scheduled shows worth putting in your planners.
Starting tonight on the Waterhole patio in Saranac Lake at 6 p.m. the band Ironwood will be playing. I found myself singing along to a few of their songs after just one listen. Bouncy perfect patio rock and roll.
Possible new hot spot every Friday in North Creek: Cafe Sarah is encouraging musicians to show up starting around 5:30 until 9 pm. There is no formal set-up just now but it may evolve into a regular open mic. Thus far a few different musicians have shown up and had an impromptu jam. So, get the word out. You can call (518) 251-5959 for more details if their website is down.
Friday, as usual there is almost too much going on. First at the Waterhole starting at 6 pm there will be some version of The Dust Bunnies opening for Rich Merritt and Matt Russell who used to play in my living room 20 years ago! These guys are excellent musicians and fun entertainers.
Also on Friday starting at 7 pm in Blue Mountain Lake, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta will be performing “Rhapsodies in Blue” at the Adirondack Museum. The grounds open at 5:15 pm so guests can picnic. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and food (beer and wine will be available for sale) to enjoy this gorgeous setting before the evening of Strauss, Bach, Grieg and Beethoven, just to name a few, begins. They do have an alternate venue in case it rains. There is a $20 general admission charge and, if you’re really into it, a pre-concert reception with the conductor for $75.
Also in Saranac Lake at O’Reilly’s Pub located below Morgan’s 11 on Main St. a group of very talented musicians will be performing at 8 pm. They are calling themselves “Lap The Dasher” and I have no doubt they will be gathering fans of Irish music for a long time to come.
Saturday JEMS Day on the Village Green in Jay: There will be performers all day starting at 10 am and then to cap it all off Sven Curth will be performing his fantastic combination of funkabilly and blues starting at 6:30 pm.
Saturday one of the best singers around, Martin Sexton, is giving a solo performance at LPCA in Lake PLacid at 8 pm. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Sexton a few times now and I am thoroughly amazed by his voice. He’s been very generous with his time to help out great venues such as The Wild Center in Tupper Lake and BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake. Now he’s giving a full concert and I truly hope the community goes out to support his talent. Tickets are $23 in advance and $25 on the day of the show.
Also on Saturday in Saranac Lake Lucid is playing at the Waterhole. They are supposed to start around 9:30 pm. What I’ve been hearing online sounds like great rock/blues with the sax and keys giving them a funk/jazzy sound as well. If you miss them on Saturday you can catch them at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport on Wednesday the 12th.
On Sunday in Schroon Lake The Adirondack Folk Festival starts at noon and goes until 5 pm. Many excellent folk musicians are participating this year — people like Roy Hurd, Sara Milonovich, Joan Crane, Jamcrackers, Frank Orsini, John Kirk, Trish Miller and Ed Lowman.
Tuesday the 11th in Lake Placid, Porter Batiste Stoltz will be performing at Mid’s Park on Main Street. This band is from New Orleans and tours nationally. This is part of The Pines Inn – Songs At Mirror Lake and it’s free!
Drawing of the band Lucid at Mezzanotte in Syracuse. Wish I could tell you who the artist is but… well, looks like Lou something to me – if you know please drop me a line. Thanks!
Eat Well, Eat Local and Eat Together is the theme of a campaign by Cornell Cooperative Extension in counties across New York State, including locally in Warren County, that coincides with the local harvest season. Also known as Eat3, the program’s goal is to help families choose, prepare and enjoy healthy meals together using locally-grown produce.
Each month, from July through November, the campaign will feature one local and healthful meal that families can prepare and enjoy together. The recipes have been chosen to emphasize kid-friendly foods that take advantage of fruits and vegetables in season. For example, the Meal of the Month for July features Broccoli and Black Bean Quesadillas and Fruity Pops. The quesadilla recipe boosts the nutritional value of a traditional tortilla and cheese quesadilla by including broccoli and beans. The frozen fruit and yogurt “pops” uses seasonal fruits, such as berries and peaches, in an easy recipe that kids can make themselves.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is currently distributing recipes highlighting July’s Meal of the Month, as well as postcards and a colorful refrigerator magnet to remind families to Eat Well, Eat Local and Eat Together. Families are also being encouraged to visit and register at the Eat3 website, www.Eat3.org. Those who register on the website will be entered into a monthly drawing for a $50 grocery store gift card. Two gift card winners will be chosen each month. The website features additional seasonal recipes with nutrition information, tips, games and a chance to share comments and questions about the recipes and eating together.
Contact Alexis Flewelling at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 518-668-4881 to request July’s free Meal of the Month recipes and magnet from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County.
There’s a lot going on in the visual arts in the Adirondacks, and we have only been able to cover a fraction of it, so a quick callout here to check in with your local gallery. Shows change fast in summer. It’s amazing what creative people are doing in these woods, most of it not very woodsy.
One of the cool little galleries in Saranac Lake is 7444, in a former railroad siding building on Depot Street. Next week 7444 hosts Aaron Hobson’s Barkeater Photography Workshop. Hobson’s beautiful, dark, cinematic work has been shown around the world, and photographers come from around the world to work with him in Saranac Lake. There are still a few slots left to sign up for the workshop.
At 6 p.m. today 7444 will host an opening of “paintings and thoughts” by Ursula Wyatt Trudeau and Margo Fish, residents of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid respectively, and two creative women who do a lot more than art to liven up their towns. See the gallery’s blog for 7444’s schedule of events.
Worth going out of your way for is a show hanging in the gallery at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Photographer Todd R. Lockwood’s arresting large-format black-and-white portraits of Adirondackers, Vermonters and others make you want to learn each subject’s life story. Lockwood lives in South Burlington and has been taking pictures since he was a student at Northwood School in Lake Placid in the 1960s.
Lake Placid also has an interesting art space with a numeric name: 511 Gallery, on Main Street. Keep an eye on its Web site for upcoming artists.
Bluseed Studios in Saranac Lake always has something new on its walls or in progress in its printmaking, ceramics and artists’ studios. And the Adirondack Artists Guild on Main Street in Saranac Lake is featuring a different artist every month. Nancy Brossard of Childwold will have an opening reception for a show of landscape paintings 5-7 p.m. this Friday, August 7.
Those are just a few places near me. Every town has something arts-related in August. Feel free to post events in Comments, or see these links for more shows.
Photograph courtesy of Aaron Hobson and 7444 Gallery
There are several book signings and other events for the new book Historic Tales from the Adirondack Almanack beginning this weekend. I hope you’ll come out for one of them.
August 8: An informal talk about Adirondack blogging, trends in local media history, the new book, and their connection to Hulett’s Landing at 7:30 pm, this Saturday, August 8th, at the Hulett’s Landing Casino.
August 9: Book signing at The Adirondack Reader in Inlet, NY on Sunday, August 9th from 1-3pm
September 12: Book signing at The Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady on Saturday, September 12th from 1-2:30pm.
September 19: Book signing at Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid on Saturday, September 19th at 2:00pm.
Severe thunder storms. Stuck in the house. So what else is new this summer in northern New York? Now, nature addicts like me don’t mind a little rain. That’s what Gore-tex is for. But crashing branches and slashing lightning? No way am I hiking or paddling in that, and it’s driving me nuts.
Where comes this craving to be out in the woods in all weathers (except severe thunder storms or maybe freezing rain)? It started when I was just a small kid, maybe 9 or 10, growing up in a boatyard on a lake in Michigan, with a dad who had lots of chores for me and who wasn’t all that nice about getting me to do them. But he had taught me how to paddle. And a winding creek ran between our lake and another, the banks lined with marsh and forest. And canoes were there for the taking. I soon learned that two turns of the creek carried me beyond the sound of my dad shouting about unfinished work. So the woods and the waterways became my refuge, my place to get lost on purpose.
And so they still are. For 15 years I worked as a nursing assistant for Hospice, traveling all over Saratoga County to care for people in their own homes, people dying of every illness the human flesh can fail by. And I couldn’t fix it. Each day I had to walk into the heart of suffering. And stay there. Friends asked me, “How can you stand it?” One way was to go to the river, push off in my little canoe (a 10′ Hornbeck Black Jack, weighing 12 pounds), and as soon as I felt that smooth silken water bearing me up and smelled the sweet scent of mossy banks, I sensed that all was well. I could really believe that some great goodness lay at the core of creation, that death and change were just part of the scheme of things, and that all would be well, indeed.
It’s funny. I thought I’d enjoy such nature magazines as Outside and Backpacker, but when I leafed through a few issues, I found the articles were mostly about surviving nature — enduring thousands of mosquito bites, falling off cliffs, freezing in the mountains, struggling across deserts, that sort of thing: Nature as something that had to be challenged or overcome. Not for me. I preferred to go to nature for its power to heal. During my work for Hospice, I witnessed this power in the lives of others, as well. Let me tell you about two of these folks. While it’s true they both eventually died, I know that their final days were enriched by getting them off the couch and out the door.
Dan, a Polish-American retired paper mill worker, wanted nothing to do with me. No, he didn’t need a shave. No, he could shower without my help. No, he didn’t want to chit-chat. “Just siddown and be quiet. I wanna watch ‘The Price is Right’.” Now, to spend an hour doing nothing was bad enough. But to have to spend it watching “The Price is Right” — torture! So I busied myself making his bed and nosing about for something to read. And there on his bookshelf were several field guides for mushrooms. I interrupted his program: “Dan, do you like to hunt mushrooms? You know, we could go look for some.” It was late autumn. There might be a few late fruiters. Click! The TV went dark. “Could you really take me?”
Indeed I could. We drove to a site where he knew some Late Fall Oyster mushrooms might be found. While he sat in the car, he sent me off into the woods. It must have been angels (plus Dan’s good directions) that led me right to them. A whole bunch. I gathered a gallon or so, and you know, it might have been gold I laid in his lap, he was so delighted. And after that adventure, off we would go nearly every day until the day he died. He’d sit in the car with his oxygen tank (he had terminal heart failure), and we’d drive along the Hudson and Hoosick Rivers, visiting all the haunts of his youth. We found where he used to hide his canoe. We found where wild asparagus grew. He recalled how his father was gassed in the war. He remembered his mother’s struggles to run their tavern. He confessed how he started drinking young and how mean he had been to his wife when he was drunk. And he found at last the courage to ask for his wife’s forgiveness before he died. And he died in her loving arms.
Then there was Eleanor. I’m not sure what Eleanor’s illness was. Terminal crankiness, probably. She lived in an assisted living facility, very nice, lots of social events, classes, good meals. She never left her room. She wanted her meals sent up. She wanted her shades pulled down. The one pleasure she allowed herself was to sit on the porch in her wheelchair on pleasant days. One day I rolled her down the ramp: “Some Blue-eyed Grass is blooming near the parking lot,” I told her. She reluctantly consented. She had never seen (nor ever cared to see) Blue-eyed Grass, but that day her eyes were opened. A sea of radiant blue covered a vacant lot, studded with bright yellow Small Sundrops and snowy Wild Strawberry. “Oh my! How pretty,” she said (in spite of herself).
All summer we walked and rolled, on into the fall. If the day was rainy, she waited for me in her raincoat. She couldn’t get over the beauty of Blue Vervain (“How can that be a weed?”) or the tiny pink blossoms of Northern Willow Herb (“Wouldn’t they make a darling dollhouse bouquet?”) We picked gorgeous bundles of Panicled Dogwood (burgundy leaves, waxy white berries on hot pink pedicels) mixed with the dark maroon seed sprays of Curly Dock. Then we got in trouble for bringing in armloads of Goldenrod. Her daughter threw it all out: “Get those weeds out of here! They’re dropping pollen all over!” I heard that cranky tone and marveled: that’s how Eleanor used to sound. She didn’t anymore.
His career spanned the settling of the Adirondacks, the heyday of the guide, the steamship, and the grand hotel. Pioneer photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard produced over 8,000 images of a changing landscape — the largest documentary record of regional life in the late nineteenth century. Adirondack photographer Mark Bowie followed in Stoddard’s footsteps more than a century later, faithfully photographing once again the exact locations of many of his classic images.
Join Bowie on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at Lake Placid Center for the Arts as he compares the Adirondacks of today with Stoddard’s. The comparisons are fascinating, sometimes surprising, in every case, illuminating. The program is sponsored by the Adirondack Museum and will begin at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for Adirondack Museum members and children of elementary school age or younger. The fee for non-members is $5.00.
Mark Bowie is a third generation Adirondack photographer. He is a frequent contributor to Adirondack Life and Adirondack Explorer magazines. His photos have been published in Natural History, as well as by the Sierra Club, Conde Nast Publications, Portal Publications, and Tehabi Books. Bowie’s first book is Adirondack Waters: Spirit of the Mountains (2006). In Stoddard’s Footsteps: The Adirondacks Then & Now was recently published. He has recently completed work on a third book, The Adirondacks: In Celebration of the Seasons, released in the Spring of 2009.
Photo: Grand View House, Lake Placid, 1893. Photograph by Seneca Ray Stoddard. Collection of the Adirondack Museum.
Sorry, spin dancers, Phish will not be playing the Olympic Center, according to the Olympic Regional Development Authority. When contacted by the Almanack last week, the state agency harshed rumors that the reunited Vermont jam band would return to Lake Placid this year.
Actually no arena concerts are coming to Lake Placid, and none have for two and a half years. In the now-distant past Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Blues Traveler, New Kids on the Block, a bunch of country singers, Cher and many others have rocked the ’80 Rink. The last to do so was Buffalo jam-band moe., which packed the place in March 2007.
The local police didn’t like moe.’s winter festival, snoe.down, citing a few dozen arrests on minor drug-possession charges. When moe. announced that it would not return with its multiband roster for a third season, the Lake Placid police chief said he was “glad.”
It’s not by design that there have been no big shows lately, ORDA says. It’s just the way it is. “We still do concerts, but obviously with other venues in the area — in Montreal, Burlington and Albany — not as many groups come through Lake Placid,” says ORDA spokeswoman Stephanie Ryan.
ORDA does book small-stage music to complement events such as world championship competitions, Oktoberfest and the Flaming Leaves Festival. “But there are no plans for any [major shows] right now, to my knowledge,” Ryan says.
The Olympic Center is slated to begin renovations this week, so it’s a moot topic for a while. Still, one Main Street business owner remembers fondly the thousands of dollars snoe.down brought to her business at a pretty slow time of year. “More concerts would be nice,” she says.
Logo from 2007 snoe.down
Free. Now that’s a four-letter word that I don’t mind my children saying. As a matter of fact I encourage it with wild abandon. With the rain winning the weather wrestling match, inside alternatives are wearing thin. Even the sunniest of personalities isn’t always enough to break through a ten-day forecast of rain. Fortunately there are many options available to get kids (and the rest of us) out of the house.
The Ticonderoga Heritage Museum continues with its bi-weekly workshops offering “A Champlain Summer” of free children’s activities. The museum has tied into the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s travels to the lake graced with his name. The Museum has taken on the task to encourage kids to come and find out what other children were doing for fun 400 years ago.
My son informs me that it is considered work if you have to make something. Somewhere we have picked up a consumer. Really since when is it considered hard labor to make a block print t-shirt? Sounds like fun to me.
There is a theme for the last few events. Kids can design a Native American tee shirt on August 5th or learn about life as a Native American child and make and eat a corn meal treat on August 7th. Next week brings weaving projects on the 12th and rattles (to ward off evil spirits) on the 14th. The events take place every Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. and are free. The Heritage Museum is on the corner of Tower Avenue and Montcalm Street.
Across Montcalm Street and directly after the museum’s activities, are more free activities. The annual Ticonderoga Festival Guild is holding its 30th Arts Trek Children’s Series. These morning events are on Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. so you’ll have to scurry to see it all. Since 1980 the Festival Guild has been dedicated to promoting the performing arts to the community at large. If you still have any energy left complete the loop with a wander to Bicentennial Park, which abuts the Heritage Museum property, and enjoy a romp at the playground, see the waterfall or if it rains hide under the covered bridge or gazebo.
photo used with the permission of Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time
Diane Chase writes about Adirondack Family Activities in the weekly FamilyTime newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, as well as blogs for LakePlacid.com and Adirondack Almanack. Her first guidebook is called “Adirondack Family Time: over 300 activities in the High Peaks Region and Beyond.”
A Wilmington woman who suspected her tomato was afflicted with “late blight,” a fungal disease killing area nightshade crops, put the plant in her car and drove it to the Hhott House garden center in Saranac Lake late last week to get an expert opinion.
The opinion was, yes, the plant did indeed have late blight, and now it had traveled through Lake Placid, home to Cornell University’s Uihlein Potato Research Station, which provides seed stock for much of the state. It had also come within six miles of Tucker Farms, a commercial potato grower in Gabriels, and, less important, within a block of my potato and tomato plants, the latter which are finally fruiting.
The plant was bagged and discarded in the trash, as it should have been to begin with. Late blight is spread by spores that can travel several miles on the wind. Here is a reminder from the Clinton Essex Cooperative Extension on what you should do if you suspect your tomatoes or potatoes have late blight.