Posts Tagged ‘Irish-Celtic’

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

James Barry: Friend of the Working Man

James J Barry of Schenectady and KeesevilleNearly a century ago, a North Country man played a role in one the most remarkable murder cases in New York State history. Attorney James J. Barry was a Keeseville native, born there in late 1876 and a  graduated of Keeseville’s McAuley Academy in 1898. In 1901 he moved to Schenectady where he worked for General Electric. He later attended Albany Law School, graduating in 1908 and setting up shop in Schenectady, his adopted home.

The Adirondacks were his real home however, and he maintained strong ties here. To share with others the joys of spending time in the mountains, he helped form the Northmen’s Club, of which he was president in 1907. Many times in the ensuing decades, he took club members, friends, and public officials on visits up north. Jim Barry was never away for very long. » Continue Reading.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Shaving Begins for 5th Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest

Participants in the 2013 Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest are shaving their facial hair in preparation for growing their Donegal Beards for this year’s contest to grow the best Irish beard. New beardsman are welcome to take part in the event, which will be held in North Creek on St. Patrick’s Day and is free and open to the public.

The Donegal Beard (also called a Chin-curtain or Lincoln) is a beard that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin – no soul patch, no mustache. Contestants must be clean shaven on or after January 1st. There is no registration necessary. In 2012, more than 20 men participated in the annual beard contest, now in its fifth year. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: P-2’s Irish Pub, Tupper Lake

The brick building, trim and neat, stands just feet from the sidewalk on Main Street in downtown Tupper Lake. P-2’s Irish Pub, illuminated in red and green neon, replaces its former moniker, Al’s Lounge. Inside, a suit of armor standing guard at the pool table silently observes our entrance.

Dimly lighted with amber pendants and recessed spotlights, the interior’s Irish pub characteristics gradually come to light. The curved bar a rich, dark wood with red padded front, shows signs of its age and character. Old cigarette burns mar the top, scars of forgotten conversations and decades of good times. Arrow back bar stools match the studded green faux leather walls, padded for comfort. Tin ceiling, oak woodwork, worn wood floor and round, solid oak pub tables surrounded by sturdy backless stools all lend warmth, character and charm in this intimate space. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 30, 2011

4th Annual Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest

Participants in the 4th Annual Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest are preparing to shave their facial hair New Year’s Day in anticipation of growing their Donegal Beard for this year’s contest. New beardsman are welcome to take part in the event, which is free and open to the public.

The Donegal Beard (also called a Chin-curtain or Lincoln) is an Irish-style beard that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin – no soul patch, no mustache. Contestants must be clean shaven January 1st and grow a Donegal Beard by St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th).

The contest will be held from 4 to 7 pm, Saturday (St. Patrick’s Day), March 17, 2012 at Basil and Wicks (formerly Casey’s North), on Route 28 in North Creek, NY. Judging will be begin at 6 pm, prizes will be awarded. There will be live entertainment.

Judging is based on criteria that includes: Manliness, Fullness, Length, and Style and Sophistication.

Photo: Above, contestants in the Third Donegal Beard Contest in 2011. This year’s Donegal Contest will be held at Basil and Wicks (formerly Casey’s North), on Route 28 in North Creek, NY, March 17, 20011. Contestants should be clean shaven on New Years Day; Below, 2011 Donegal Beard Champion Dan Meehan.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

3rd Annual Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest

This year’s Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest will take place 4 to 7 pm St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17th, at Basil & Wicks (formerly Casey’s North), Route 28, in North Creek, NY. The contest is open to beardsmen who were clean shaven on January 1, 2011 and have since grown a Donegal beard.

A Donegal beard is a traditional Irish beard that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin — no soul patch, no mustache. This year marks the contest’s third year. New beardsmen are welcome to take part in the event, which is free and open to the public. Judging begins at 6 pm; contestants are judged on length, fullness, style, and
effort. There will be beer specials, music by Mike Leddick, corned beef and cabbage and complimentary taxi rides home from 7 pm to 11 pm.

To see pictures from previous contests, and to join the Facebook group, go here.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Springfest Events Announced for Whiteface

There’s more than 160-inches of snow at Whiteface, in Wilmington, N.Y., and you know what that means. More great skiing and riding for the entire family well into March at the Olympic mountain, not to mention the longer days, more sunshine and warmer weather.

Celebration activities have been planned to welcome spring at Whiteface Mountain. the events kick off with Mardi Gras, March 5-6 when visitors can ski, ride, collect beads and enjoy food and drink specials and live music from the funk, R &B and soul group Jocamo at the Cloudspin Lounge.

Kids will have the chance to play in the snow with Curious George, March 4-6. The PBS character can be found at Kids Kampus each day and parents who enroll their children in a full day kids Kampus program with Curious George will receive a $20 discount off a one day lift ticket. More information about Curious George and the Whiteface Kids Kampus can be found online.

On March 12 and 13 Whiteface will celebrate St. Patty’s Day including Super Shamrock Sunday, March 13 when visitors can ski and ride all day for just $35 for adults, $30 for teens and $25 for juniors. Afterward there will be a party in the Cloudspin Lounge with live music by Trenchtown Oddities.

It’s Reggae Weekend, March 19-20, with music in the Cloudspin Lounge from the Big Take Over, Saturday, March 19, and the following weekend, March 26-27, it’s a Pirate Party at Whiteface, featuring music from Y Not Blue.

Every Wednesday it’s Coca-Cola Why Not Wednesday’s?, Present any empty Coca-Cola product and get a one-day adult lift ticket for only $38. Offer not valid with any other offers, programs, promotions, discounts, or frequent skier products. Limit one ticket per can.

There will be free mountain tours each Saturday and Sunday and on March 5, Lake Placid’s own Andrew Weibrecht, the 2010 Olympic Super G bronze medalist, will be at the mountain to sign autographs and pose for pictures.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Donegal Beard Contest Participants Sought

It’s that time of year again, when men with whiskers shave-down in anticipation of growing their Donegal for this year’s Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest. New beardsmen are welcome to take part in the event, which is free and open to the public.

A Donegal Beard (also called a chin-curtain or Lincoln) is a particular style of Irish hirsute appendage (facial hair) that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin — no soul patch, no mustache. This year marks the contest’s third year.

In order to take part in the contest (and all are welcome) contestants must be clean shaven January 1st and grow a Donegal Beard by St. Patrick’s Day. On the day of the contest, held at Basil and Wicks on Route 28 in North Creek, 4 to 7 pm — all beards must conform to the Donegal standard.

Contestants are judged on length, fullness, style and sophistication.

To see pictures from last year’s contest, and to join the Facebook group, go here.

Photo: 2009 Adirondack Donegal Beard Contestants.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adirondack Cairns: Rocks For The Ages

Why should I be fascinated by cairns? Aren’t they just heaps of stones?

Yet whenever I come across one of these heaps on a wild and windswept ridge—on Jay Mountain, for instance—I feel cheered. Aha! I am not alone. Someone else has been here before me, and no doubt someone will pass here after me.

A cairn exists to point us in the right direction, but it often evokes an appreciation that can’t be explained by its utilitarian purpose. You don’t react in the same way to a paint blaze.

As an analogy, think of the difference between a word’s denotation and connotation. The word rose refers to a flower. That is its denotation. But a rose can symbolize love or passion, among other things. So whatever Gertrude Stein may have said, a rose is not just a rose. And a cairn is not just a heap of stones.

The word cairn derives from Gaelic and dates back at least to the fifteenth century, but the building of cairns is an ancient custom, not exclusive to the Celts. Its primitiveness is part of the cairn’s appeal. The cairn connects us to humanity across the ages and reminds us that we are all wayfarers. It is a symbol of our journey.

Cairns appeal to our creative spirit. On many mountains, they resemble sculptures. A fine example is the cairn in the photo above, from the summit of East Dix.

You can read more about cairns on the Adirondack Explorer website by clicking here.

And if you have a favorite cairn, please tell us about it.

Photo by Phil Brown: Cairn on East Dix.

Phil Brown is the editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

John’s Ten Favorite Irish Songs For St. Patrick’s Day

Last year’s post on “must have” music everyone with Irish aspirations should know, was so popular I thought I’d run it again this year. Although these tunes are in no particular order, learn them and you’ll never spend St. Paddy’s alone.

Whiskey in the Jar – This classic tune is believed to have originated in the late 1600s or early 1700s. Since then it’s by been covered by The Dubliners, Thin Lizzy, Peter, Paul & Mary, Gerry Garcia and David Grisman, and Metallica. My favorite line: “I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier.”

Wild Colonial Boy – About 40,000 Irish convicts were transported to Australia between 1791 and 1867, many as political prisoners. There they continued to battle the British authorities as Jack Duggan does in this ditty – it doesn’t end well for Jack. My favorite line: “A terror to Australia was, the wild colonial boy”

Whiskey, You’re The Devil –
Whiskey leads our happy balladeer over hills and mountains. The word whiskey is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic “uisce beatha” (pronounced sort of like ishka ba) which translates as “water of life.” Today the Irish word is “craythur”; get The Pouges version. My favorite line: “Oh, whiskey you’re the devil, you’re leading me astray”

Finnegan’s Wake – James Joyce based his book in part on this song which includes the death of Tim – a hod carrier (a mason’s laborer) – and his subsequent wake at which a brawl breaks out, whiskey is spilled on Tim and he is revived. The Dropkick Murphy’s punk version is good craic. My favorite line: “You see he’d a sort of a tipplers way, but for the love for the liquor poor Tim was born. To help him on his way each day, he’d a drop of the craythur every morn.”

I Got Laid on James Joyce’s Grave – A Black 47 original. The band is named for the worst year of the Famine, Black 47. The song is an homage to Joyce and that says enough. My favorite line: “I Got Laid on James Joyce’s Grave, I was hoping that his genius would rub off on me.”

Wild Rover – A Traditional favorite you will hear on St. Paddy’s almost anywhere. It sounds like a proper old Irish drinking song, but in truth it is a Temperance song from the early 1800s. My favorite line “I’ve been a wild rover for many’s the year, and I spent all me money on whiskey and beer.”

James Connolly – One of my favorite songs of all time about the socialist labor leader, one time resident of Troy, NY, and commander of the Free Dublin forces during the Easter Rebellion of 1916. “With Pearce and Connolly bidding each other goodbye,” he was seriously wounded, captured, and taken to Kilmainham Jail where he was tied to a chair and executed. My favorite line: “So don’t give up your rifles boys, hold on to the dream, of a republic for the working class – economic liberty.”

Come Out Ye Black and Tans – Although Americans typically don’t know it, the half ale and half stout served as a “Black and Tan” is called a “Half and Half” in Ireland, and for good reason. The Black and Tans were a paramilitary group used to suppress revolution in Ireland in the 1920s. Their main targets were the Irish Republican Army, but they were notorious for their attacks on Irish civilians. My favorite line: “Come out ye Black and Tans, come out and fight me like a man, show your wife how you won medals out in Flanders, tell her how the IRA, made you run like hell away, from the green and lovely lanes in Killeshandra.”

Seven Drunken Nights – When The Dubliners play this song, they announce they can only sing five of the nights – the last two verses are generally considered too raunchy for the general public. If you hear them in the pub where you are, you know you are in the right place. My favorite line: “Your drunk, your drunk, you silly old fool, and still you cannot see.”

Irish Men Will Set Them Free – The beginning line – “In the jail that held McSwiney; In the prison where he died” – is all you need here, but there is more to this tale of women imprisoned for their “love of dear old Ireland.” The title is sometimes offered as “The IRA Will Set them Free.” My favorite line: “Twas the love of dear old Ireland brought them to a prison hell, but the ghosts of Pearse and Connolly, filled their lonely prison cell, Clarke and Plunkett stand beside them, McDonagh McDermott and Wolfe Tone, and all the voices of old Ireland, cry for us to bring them home.”


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reminder: St. Patrick’s Day Donegal Beard Contest

A quick reminder that tomorrow (Wednesday, March 17th) is the day for this year’s Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest. A Donegal Beard (also called a chin-curtain or Lincoln) is a particular style of Irish beard that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin — no soul patch, no mustache.

In order to take part in the contest (and all are welcome) contestants should have a Donegal Beard grown since January 1st. Judging will be tomorrow (St. Patrick’s Day) at the Black Mountain Inn at the corner of Peaceful Valley Road and Route 8 in Johnsburg (North Creek), 4 to 7 pm.

Contestants are judged on the following criteria:

1. Length
2. Fullness
3. Style and Sophistication

To see pictures from last year’s contest, and to join the Facebook group, go here.

Photo: 2009 Adirondack Donegal Beard Contestants.


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