Wednesday, March 21, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Market Place Steakhouse, Bolton Landing

Now here’s a place with curb appeal. Driving through Bolton Landing, we nearly ignored the Market Place Steakhouse & More until we spotted the words Sports Bar etched on the bottom of one of the windows. Stained cedar shake siding, varied rooflines, and simple, understated signage create an inviting façade. The street-front deck is small with turned posts and balusters, finished in rich browns. Double doors to the dining room, in pristine condition, indicate that the premises are well maintained.

First impressions enticed us to see more and music playing from outdoor speakers beckoned us in. Stealing a brief glance at the dining room features, we headed straight for the bar.

We continued to drink in the decor while Tami prepared our drinks. Floors of oversized tile in the main bar area, a small green enamel gas stove walled in a far corner with a river stone backdrop, and a copper sidebar on the partition wall, ready to seat eight in backless black and blonde stools, all add to the interior appeal. A small sunny alcove houses four pub tables with seating for 16. Known as the rock and roll room, an impressive collection of autographed guitars and posters is displayed on the walls.

In keeping with the Sports Bar designation, TVs are placed throughout the establishment, the majority located in the bar area. Tami informed us that there were, in fact, 14 in all, including the outdoor dining area in fair weather months. And yet, it wasn’t overdone. The pub area was tastefully finished with a variety of sports memorabilia, again in perfect moderation.

The Market Place Steakhouse was originally an A&P supermarket and was known more recently as Michael Arthur’s Steakhouse. Steve McCranels and Amy Ullrich opened the current version in July of 2011. Open every day in the summer, The Market Place is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday in the off season. The sports bar is open at 4 p.m. and the restaurant opens at 5 p.m. Happy Hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $1 baby (7 oz.) beers and $2 beer or well drinks. Closing times vary, but around 11 p.m. is fairly standard. Three-course dinner specials make the Market Place a popular dining venue, but Open Mic Night on Monday nights and live musical entertainment on Saturday nights fill in where sports leave off.

On street parking is easily available in the winter months, but harder to find in the summer. A small parking area behind the Market Place offers limited parking, with an entrance to the bar from the back. Bolton Landing has several public parking areas as well.

The Market Place was not our intended destination. We had heard of a new bar in Bolton Landing and were looking for it when we found the Market Place. Perfectly content to stay put, we found the service was as pleasing as the décor. Tami was pleasant, attentive and professional. Once engaged in conversation, she kept one eye on the other patrons, while she imparted information to us. At her suggestion, we couldn’t resist sharing their signature drink, a Pear Martini, made with pear vodka and elderberry liqueur.

The Market Place is the perfect place for a break from the beach, or as a rest for wanderers. Family-friendly, food and drink prices are reasonable. The ambiance is free.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BREAKING: Tupper Lake Resort Approval Headed to Court
Protect, Sierra Club, Local Landowners Sue APA Over Resort

What follows is a press release issued late Tuesday evening by Protect the Adirondacks!, who along with the Sierra Club and three local private landowners, have sued to stop the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake. You can read all of the Almanack’s stories about the project here.

ALBANY–The grassroots environmental group Protect the Adirondacks!, the Sierra Club, and three nearby landowners today sued the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the developer proposing the 700+ unit “Adirondack Club and Resort” mountainside project in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County, which was approved by the Agency on January 20. The suit, filed in the Supreme Court in Albany County, and expected to be transferred by that court to the Appellate Division, Third Department, is returnable on May 11. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Learning All About Making Maple

There are a variety of places that a person can visit to see maple sap collected, especially this weekend as maple producers join together for the final days of New York State Maple Producers Association Maple Weekend.

My husband and I have had our experiences (and disagreements) with attempting to make maple syrup. All in all and only with the ability to look back do we both see it as something that was fun. It is hard work but we can say we did it, and have said it with quite some frequency.

Our friends, that actually produce syrup commercially, roll their eyes and remind us that the most we ever produce is a couple of gallons. A couple of gallons of pure gold, I must add.

At Cornell University-Uihlein Sugar Maple Research and Extension Field Station scientists and maple producers continue to perfect ways to increase maple sugar production.

Currently the sap is collected and boiled at the same rate on their 200+ acre forest research station in Lake Placid. In the Sixties, scientists improved sap collection by applying suction to the existing network of tubes that made the bucket collection technique inefficient. (If anyone has ever collected sap by bucket, you do not need research to tell you how inefficient it is.)

Uihlein continues to share its discoveries and research with professional maple producers as well as the general public through training seminars and presentations. A tour through the research facility is one way to learn about maple collecting. Uihlein also offers webinars and workshops throughout the autumn in a range of topics from Maple Production For Beginners to Making Maple Cotton. Don’t worry. You can review the webinars all year long. There are saved versions available if you are interested in attempting to collect and boil your own sap.

Before we started tapping our own trees my family attended a Cornell University-Uihlein Sugar Maple Research and Extension Field Station seminar. Even now that we have been producing syrup for a few years, we still go on tours to see what tricks we can learn to better our own backyard operation.

My children understand how time consuming producing maple can be. It is with great pride that they pour their own syrup on pancakes, making sure not to waste a single drop.

These free Maple Weekends are not all about the work but also for producers to showcase their own facilities. There are pancake breakfasts, free samples, some wagon rides to the sugar bushes and family-friendly activities at various maple producers around the Adirondacks and the rest of New York State. Enjoy!

Photo of Uihlien maple syrup grade samples used with the permission of Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time

Diane Chase is the author of Adirondack Family Time: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid and the High Peaks. Her second book, in the four book Adirondack Family Activities series, focuses on the Champlain Valley and will be in available in stores and online summer 2012.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Adirondack Harvest: Maple Sugaring

This year, the sap flow has arrived a little sooner than usual, and some began tapping in and boiling in January – but most maple producers (at least near where I live in Washington County) are having or have had a decent run. Some have even boasted a banner year for production. Others at higher elevations are reporting production down a third or more.

This past Friday, the ceremonial tapping of the sugar maple took place at Mapleland Farms in Salem, NY. As soon as I left my car, I could smell (and feel) the heavy sweet-smelling steam flowing out of the sugar house as it filled the air. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

After 4th Warmest Winter, Study Warns of ‘Global Hyperwarming’

The winter of 2011-2012 was the fourth warmest of the past 117 winters in the contiguous United States according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The seasonal average temperature (December, January and February) was 36.8 degrees, almost four degrees above the 20th century average.

That probably doesn’t surprise Dr. Ed Landing, New York State paleontologist and curator of paleontology at the New York State Museum. His new research however, suggests that high sea levels leading to “global hyperwarming” will be a more important factor than carbon dioxide levels in future climate change. Landing has recently published his findings in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

Since the middle 1800s scientists have considered high carbon dioxide levels to be a greenhouse gas and a driver of higher global temperatures. However, Landing’s study of the rock succession in New York state shows that periodic extreme temperatures, with oceans reaching 100 F, occurred within “greenhouse” intervals. He terms these “global hyperwarming” times, and shows that they correspond to intervals of very high sea-levels.

As sea levels rise, Landing’s research suggests that with the predicted melting of polar ice caps, the continents will reflect less sun light back to space and less reflective shallow seas will store heat and warm as they overlap the land. Warming seas will rapidly work to increase global temperatures and heat the world ocean. This leads to a feedback that further expands ocean volume, with heating, and further accelerates both global warming and sea-level rise. In the course of this feedback, marine water circulation and oxygenation fall due in part to the fact that hot waters hold less oxygen.

Landing first recognized the imprint of “global hyperwarming” in 520 to 440 million-year-old, shallow to deep-water rocks in eastern New York and from other information received on localities worldwide. This time interval shows nine intervals of extreme sea-levels that covered much of North America and other ancient continents. In all cases, strong sea-level rises, which sometimes drove marine shorelines into the upper Midwest, are accompanied by the spread of hot, low oxygen marine water largely devoid of animal life down into the deep sea and across the continents.

Landing’s study may help predict the future. A 300-foot sea-level rise, which would result from melting the Greenland and Antarctica ice caps, is as great as the ancient sea-level rises documented by Landing and other scientists 520 to 460 million years ago. This sea-level rise would also lead to a warming and expansion of the ocean waters resulting in a rise of shorelines to 500 feet above present, basically covering the non-mountainous U.S. to northern Wisconsin. Even worse, in the case of New York, the Earth’s rotation would force a rise of the west Atlantic to 650 feet above present sea levels.

The full article on Landing’s research is online. While working at the State Museum since 1981, Landing has authored six books, 13 New York State Museum bulletins, 200 articles and field trip guides and has received more than a dozen competitive grants. In 2009 he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).


Monday, March 19, 2012

Adirondack Wildlife: The Star-Nosed Mole

For many Adirondack residents, the onset of mud season brings about the annual problem of water in the basement. Run-off from melting snow and rain, unable to percolate into the still frozen soil, pools on the ground and eventually drains to the lowest spot available. The foundation of older homes may collect some of this water, as do surface tunnels created by small creatures like moles and voles.

While spring flooding can be a serious survival issue for some subterranean mammals, it is not believed to be of any major concern to the star-nosed mole, one of the least physically attractive forms of wildlife in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Lawrence Gooley: Stories of North Country Twins

In days of yore (pre-internet times), I once subscribed to more than a dozen different magazines. Further back, in the 1960s and 1970s, there seemed to be a magazine for just about any subject that anyone was ever interested in. I was reminded of this recently when a saw a cover titled TWINS. The subject matter was everything related to twins: having them, being one, doctoring them, parenting them, and so on.

What really surprised me was the subtitle: The Magazine for Multiples Since 1984. I’d never heard of it, but it has been around for nearly three decades. It also reminded me of some twin-related North Country stories I’ve collected over the years. Here’s a sampling. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 19, 2012

State Law Would Ban, Regulate Invasives Species

The Lake George Association (LGA) is supporting a bill on invasive species recently introduced in the New York State Legislature by Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst). The bill would authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish a list of invasive species that will be prohibited from being sold, transported, and introduced in New York State. Similar laws have already been passed in Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

“Invasive species can present devastating threats to the ecology of New York, and to its recreational and economic health,” local Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, the co-prime sponsor of the bill, said. “We need to do all we can to control existing invasives from spreading, and new invasives from being introduced,” she added. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cabin Life: People Here Look Out For Each Other

A rusty screen door in the wind. That was the sound I heard earlier outside. But the sound was coming from the woods, far from any door, or even any human-built structure. I wondered what it was, but the big MagLite didn’t provide any insight, and the most likely culprit was some tree creaking in the breeze.

The snow has started again, and it looks like the next couple of days will be spent shoveling and digging out. I really don’t mind. It’s good exercise, outside, with tangible benefits. I’ve always loved running the snow-blower and driving a plow truck, and shoveling is something that I’ve gained a renewed appreciation for.

Two storms ago, I shoveled an area big enough to park a few cars in. The plow guy was impressed, and that’s a pretty big compliment. One thing that I’ve always loved about living in the Adirondacks is that people come together when they really need to. When there’s no emergency or major event going on, I’m sure that neighbors have their regular squabbles, but when the fit hits the shan, people here look out for each other.

A few weeks ago, my plow guy got stuck in the driveway and it took us a while to dig out his truck. The next plow was on him as thanks. The time after that, we had a big storm, and he hadn’t heard from me, so he came up to plow the driveway and make sure I wasn’t stuck in here. He said he was glad when he didn’t see my truck. It was the same thing last spring. There were massive floods all over the North Country and my first three days of work were spent filling sand bags. We dropped them off all over town, to the city hall, motels along the lake, and at people’s houses. Most of the day, it was just a bunch of us state workers who had gotten corralled into the job. But soon after school got out each day, a stream of parents and kids would come into the town garage and ask what needed to be done. They brought us food and coffee, as well as fresh hands and arms. Filling, tying and loading a couple hundred thousand sand bags gets tiring.

But you know what, it’s not just in times of hardship that the people come together up here. Winter Carnival is one of the greatest parties you could imagine. An entire town celebrating the successful fight against cabin fever with a parade, concerts, and yes, even a Women’s Frying Pan Toss. Carnival is great.

The feeling this type of camaraderie creates is one of belonging to a community. Whatever their petty differences, people do what they can to help each other out, and in the process forget about the nonsense that most of us consume our lives with. If I had a neighbor and heard a creaky door sound day after day, I’d probably get upset after a while, and would eventually sneak over there and hit the hinges with WD-40. But since the sound was coming from a tree, I’ll just let it go. Having such a simple existence in this cabin has made letting the stupid things go a lot easier.

Justin Levine is living off the grid in a cabin in the Adirondacks with his dog Pico and blogging at Middle of the Trail.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: The Essential Wilderness

Over the last two weeks I have been involved in quite a discussion in another venue about wilderness as a matter of subjective point of view versus wilderness as an objective designation. Simply put is wilderness only a matter of opinion? Are we left with one person’s wilderness being another’s spoiled back country Grand Central?

At the same time in my last Dispatch I explored Joe Hackett’s point of view about the “stamp of man” being unavoidable in the Adirondacks. The vehicle for that exploration was a trip to Flowed Lands which, for all its seeming primeval beauty and remoteness, has been thoroughly altered by industry of one kind or another. There is no doubt that the imprint of humanity is omnipresent in the Adirondacks, if not always noticed. But does that mean that wilderness is nothing more than an idea in the mind? » Continue Reading.


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