Posts Tagged ‘Saranac Lake’

Monday, June 21, 2010

Should Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s Tracks Be Torn Up?

We’re in a fiscal mess. State officials have talked about closing parks and campgrounds, Forest Preserve roads, and the Visitor Interpretive Centers in Paul Smiths and Newcomb.

But I haven’t heard them talking about shutting down the tourist train that runs between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

The state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to keep the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in operation. The railroad operates two tourist trains: one out of Lake Placid and one near Old Forge. The latter accounts for the bulk of the railroad’s revenue. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adirondack Almanack Welcomes Chris Morris

I’m happy to announce that local journalist and WNBZ news director Chris Morris will be the newest contributor here at Adirondack Almanack.

Chris was born and raised in Saranac Lake and got his start in journalism as a stringer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise’s sports department. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2006 with a degree in English writing and religious studies and covered the Malone beat for the Malone Telegram.

Chris then moved to Vermont and took the editor’s position at the Vermont Times Sentinel, a weekly paper distributed throughout Chittenden County. From there, he went on to take the news editor position at Denton Publications and later joined Chris Knight at Mountain Communications as assistant news director of WNBZ radio.

When Chris Knight left WNBZ to join the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Chris took over as news director – a position he currently holds. At WNBZ, Chris reports on Tri-Lakes and Adirondack region news and occasionally contributes at North Country Public Radio and for other upstate publications.

If the Morris name sounds familiar to regular readers, it should. Chris’s dad Don Morris has been a contributor on Adirondack paddling here at the Almanack for some time.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Art Galleries Surpass Bars in Saranac Lake

Saranac Lake has more art galleries than bars now, with the opening of the Upstairs Gallery, at 80 Main Street, and The Fringe, at 63 Main.

Peter Seward, of Lake Placid, in May opened Upstairs Gallery as a display space and painting studio; if he’s there working, it will be open. The Fringe is the creation of Saranac Lake High School art program graduates Jessica Jeffery (Class of 2001) and Eric Ackerson (Class of 2002). It features their work as well as that of other local artists.

There are now seven galleries in the village. The downtown anchor is the Adirondack Artists’ Guild, representing 14 regional artists at 52 Main, next to the local art supply store, Borealis Color. Tim Fortune’s Small Fortune Studio, and Georgeanne Gaffney’s studio, both displaying paintings, are up the street. Across the street the Blue Moon Café usually has an exhibit, as does the Cantwell Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library, at 109 Main Street.

Also downtown, on Broadway, is Mark Kurtz’s Photography Studio. Farther down Broadway, just before the railroad tracks, make a right onto Cedar Street for Bluseed Studios, which hosts exhibits, concerts, workshops and classes.

Walkers can follow the tracks back to Union Depot, or drive to the depot (near Stewart’s) to visit 7444 Gallery. On the other side of town, Pendragon Theatre not only brings year-round drama to the Adirondacks but displays art in its lobby.

Third Thursday ArtWalks feature visual arts as well as performances all over town, 5–7:30 pm. There will be a Plein Air Festival in August, and the 4th annual Artist at Work Studio Tour the last weekend in September, including 17 studio locations inside Saranac Lake.

Check SaranacLakeArtWorks.com for a complete calendar of events.

Artwork by Jessica Jeffrey


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene: Beartracks to the Back Porch

This week you can check out some bluegrass, Beartracks and the Gibson Brothers are gigging. Mecca Bodega is a fun band to dance to – I really enjoyed them the last time the passed through the area. There’s also a good open mic to remember in Canton and if you didn’t get the chance Armida is being shown once again in Lake Placid. I’m also curious about the JUNO award winner playing in Lowville. Please let me know if you find out anything about the bands where there is no information to be found online.

Thursday, May 6th:

In Canton, Open Mic at the Blackbird Cafe with host Geoff Hayton. Sign up is at 6:30 and show starts at 7, it runs until 9 pm. Best performances are picked to be part of a CD released later this year. For more information email: geoff.hayton@gmail.com .

In Plattsburgh, Beartracks, which consists of Junior Barber, Tom Venne and Julie Venne Hogan will perform at the Universalist Unitarian Fellowship of Plattsburgh. The doors open at 7 pm and admission is $10. For more information,
email:twdavies2009@hotmail.com .

Friday, May 7th:

In Ellenburg, the Gibson Brothers are in concert at The Northern Adirondack HIgh School. Doors open at 6 pm. For more information email:drhythms@localnet.com or call (518) 497-6962.

Saturday, May 8th:

In Lowville, Stephen Fearing who is part of Blackie & The Rodeo Kings a JUNO winning trio from Canada. This is part of the Black River Valley Concert Series and will be held at the Lewis County Historical Society. The doors open at 7:45 and admission is $15/18.

In Saranac Lake, Mecca Bodega at the Waterhole’s Upstairs Music Lounge. Doors open at 9 pm and the music usually gets going around 10 pm.

In North Creek, Mud Party at Laura’s Tavern.

Sunday, May 9th:

In Glens Falls, The Glens Falls Symphony concert will begin at 4 pm in the Glens Falls High School. They will perform Mahler and J.S. Bach. Phone (518) 793-1348 or email exdir@gfso.org for more information.

In Stony Creek, The Von Bulows will play at the Stony Creek Inn. Music starts at 6 pm.

Tuesday, May 11th:

In Lake Placid, The Met Live in HD Encore Presentation of “Armida” will be shown at LPCA. The opera starts at 5:30 pm and runs 4 hours and 20 minutes with intermissions.

Wednesday, May 12th:

In North Creek, The Back Porch Society (Russ Cook and Brad Hulburt) will be at barVino. Music starts at 7 pm.

Photo: Beartracks


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Paddling: It’s Prime Time For Flat Water

If you ever wanted to plan a multi-day paddling trip on some of the Adirondack’s best water routes, the next few weeks are a prime time. Only fall-foliage season beats early spring for sheer perfection.

You’ve got long, sunny days. Even the most popular lakes around, such as Long and Lower Saranac lakes, are mostly free of power boats. And the bugs won’t come out in earnest for another two to three weeks.

After multiple canoe trips this time of year, I’ve found the only thing I miss are the leaves, which had not yet budded during an early-May trip to Long Lake. Having done a trip a few weeks later, where we had leaves but also black flies, I think I’d take the bare trees. However, know that even if it’s the heart of black-fly season, if temperatures are cool enough the bugs will not be a problem. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene:Opera, Roy Hurd and Square Dancin’

This weekend one has the opportunity to see Renee Fleming in the title role of “Armida” the Rossini opera now playing at the Met in NYC. Now, not only can you see this spectacular show in Potsdam but LPCA has jumped on the Live in HD experience and I, for one, can’t wait to check it out.

A calendar of upcoming events follows:

Thursday, April 29th:

In Canton, Best of Open Mic CD Release Party at the Blackbird Cafe. The show runs from 7 – 9 pm.

Friday, April 30th:

In Lowville, Bruce Robison, a “Texas songwriter”, gives a concert at the Lewis County Historical Society. This is presented as part of the Black River Valley Concert Series and starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $18/22 at the door. For more information email: lewiscountyhistoricalsociety@hotmail.com .

Saturday, May 1st:

In Potsdam, see and listen to Renee Fleming in ” Armida”, The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD at The Roxy Theater.
1 – 5:15 pm and tickets are $18/15/12/9.

In Lake Placid, The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD’s, “Armida” is being shown at LPCA. See and listen to Renee Fleming in the Rossini opera. It begins at 1 pm and runs for 4 hours and 20 minutes with intermissions.

In Blue Mountain Lake, a Student Recital and Art Exhibit will be given at the Adirondack Lakes Center For The Arts. The reception will begin at 6:30 pm. This is a family friendly event and tickets are $3.

In Whallonsburg, Gary Finney and the Upstate Boys will be hosting a Square Dance at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall. The dance will be held from 7 – 9 pm.
There is $5 cover and children under 12 are free. Call (518) 963 – 4179 for more information.

In Malone, Roy Hurd is in concert at the North Country Community College the Malone branch. This sweet north country singer/songwriter starts at 7 pm. Call (518) 483 – 4550 for more information.

In Potsdam, the Orchestra of Northern New York will perform their Annual Spring Concert from 7:30 – 9 pm at the Helen Hosmer Concert Hall.

In Tupper Lake, the Adirondack Singers Spring Concert is at the Holy Name Church. The concert runs from 7:30 – 9 pm for a suggested donation of $5/3. Please call (518) 523 – 2238 or 891 – 5008 for more information.

In Saranac Lake, Stoneman Blues Band and Jeff Bujak play for Devito’s Derby Dash at The Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge.
http://www.myspace.com/Jeff Bujak is playing 2 sets and there is a $5 cover.

In North Creek, Fingerdiddle at Laura’s Tavern at 9 pm.

Sunday, May 2nd:

In Saranac Lake, the Adirondack Singers Spring Concert will be held from 2 – 4 pm at St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church. Suggested donations are $5/3. Please call (518) 523 – 2238 or 891 – 5008 for more information.

In Stony Creek, The Stony Creek Band will perform at The Stony Creek Inn at 6 pm.

In Potsdam, Encore Performance of ” Armida”, The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD at The Roxy Theater.
1 – 5:15 pm and tickets are $18/15/12/9.

In Queensbury, the Lake George Chamber Orchestra will be performing Beethoven’s 9th at 9 pm. This concert will be held at the Queensbury Campus of the Adirondack Community College. The theater is in the Humanities building.

Wednesday, May 5th:

In North Creek, the Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip will be at barVino. The music starts at 7 pm.

Photo: Renee Fleming in “Armida”


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities: Earth Day

Earth Day isn’t about weaving a hair shirt, though it would enable me to recycle all my golden retriever fur. It’s not about singing Kumbaya around the campfire and filling the neighborhood with air and noise pollution. To our family it is a day to remember that we are only guests here. Most people, we hope, treat everyday like it’s Earth Day.

My family’s Earth Day tradition is cleaning the trailhead of one our favorite hikes. We have found some crazy things tucked along the edges of the parking lot of Ampersand Mountain. Some have been personal items that I had difficulty explaining to my son, which only reinforced the importance of wearing gloves. The deer carcass would have been easy to justify in nature, except its remains were still wrapped in a plastic bag. Beer cans and cigarette butts are sadly a normal sight.

Making changes in our lifestyle can be daunting. Sometimes all we need to do is make a small step. The Adirondack Green Circle is trying to help people take those steps so that every day can be about the earth. It can be as seemingly insignificant as bringing a canvas bag to the store to limit the production of plastic bags or as simple as learning where food comes from.

Where food comes from? If a product’s label takes a biochemist to decipher then we need to question what we are putting in our mouths.

For the second year, Adirondack Green Circle is holding its Wake Up Film Festival, showcasing documentaries directed at tracing our food and garbage.

Founder Gail Brill says, “We have lined up different movies that explain where our commercial food comes from. The first film will be appropriately shown on Earth Day, Thursday, at Pendragon. Food, Inc. demonstrates how broken our food system is. We will also have copies of Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules as well. Part of our mission is to promote local food so Jen Perry of Farm to Family Food Network will be there to talk about where to get local food.”

Brill explains a few common sense rules from Pollan’s book like, “If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it is made in a plant, don’t.” Some of the movies are not for the very young so check out the website for age recommendations. Brill has screened the films and found them age appropriate for high school and beyond.

Brill and some other members of Adirondack Green Circle are carrying their garbage around with them all this week to start a garbage conversation. w

“People say they throw their garbage away,” Brill continues. “Where is away? Away is in our ground water, away is in our ground, away is in our children.”

This experiment will culminate at the North Country Community College Junk to Funk Show. She encourages others to take the challenge and see what happens when “throwing garbage away” gets close and personal.

So there are some simple ways to help the environment, limit our trash and maybe leave a trailhead a bit cleaner for the next person.


Monday, April 19, 2010

‘Medieval Times’ 2011 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Theme

Members of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee have picked “Medieval Times” as their theme for the 2011 Winter Carnival. The decision was based on results from a recent online poll posed to readers of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise Web site in which two of the four suggested themes rose to the top of the results: Celtic Carnival and Renaissance Faire/Middle Ages. The other themes were Circus/Under the Big Top and Space Alien Invasion. More than 700 votes were tallied during the week of March 15.

“There were a lot of great ideas suggested for the 2011 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, but, in the end, we could only choose one,” said Committee Chairman Jeff Dickson. “And we believe that the community will rally behind our centerpiece, the Ice Palace, and make the ‘Medieval’ Carnival fit for royalty – our king, queen, prince, princess, court, and maybe a few jesters.”

Committee members thanked the dozens of people who suggested themes for 2011, the hundreds of people who voted, and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for posting the question on its Web site.

The next meeting of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee will be in September. The 2011 Winter Carnival will be held February 4-13, 2011.

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee, Inc. is a not-for-profit group of volunteers dedicated to organizing an annual mid-winter festival during the first two weeks of February. This 10-day, communitywide event traces its roots to a one-day Carnival held in 1897 by the Pontiac Club. The Carnival honors its heritage every year by building an Ice Palace from blocks of ice harvested from Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay, where Carnival events have been traditionally held for generations. For more information, visit the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival web site.

Photo: An early Saranac Lake Winter Carnival (Saranac Lake Free Library).


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene: Open Mic and Jazz

April is a quiet month around the Adirondacks and music events are harder to come by. Many folks use the school breaks and in between weather as an chance to get away. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the Blackbird Cafe which seems to be stepping it up in it’s musical offerings. It’s a bold move to make a CD of your best open mic talent. It is a very good bargaining chip to get talent out of the living rooms and onto a stage.

Thursday, April 1st:

In Canton, First Thursday of the Month Open Mic at The Blackbird Cafe. Hosted by Geoff Hayton sign up is at 6:30 pm and it runs from 7 – 9 pm. The best performances will be collected for a CD to be released
later this year.

In Schroon Lake, Mike Leddick will be at Witherbee’s Carriage House Restaurant. The address is 581 Route 9 and the guitarist singer starts at 6 pm.

Friday, April 2nd:

In Canton, A Fine Line will be at The Blackbird Cafe. Bill Vitek on piano and Dan Gagliardi on bass make up this jazz duo. They will be playing from 5 to 6:30 pm and admission is free.

Saturday, April 3rd:

In North Creek, Fingerdiddle will be at Laura’s Tavern. They start at 9 pm. This is a local band and unfortunately that’s all I can find on them. Has anyone seen them and can you give us a hint as to what they are about? They play quite a bit so someone must like them.

Tuesday, April 6th:

In Canton, Rhythm and Roots Concert will be held from 8 – 9:30 pm at The Underground at St. Lawrence University. Admission is free and it’s open to the public.

In Saranac Lake, a rehearsal for The Adirondack Singers will be held at 7:15 pm. They are looking for new members and you can call Val at 523-4213.

Wednesday, April 7th:

In North Creek, Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip will be at barVino. They start at 7 pm.

Photo: Blackbird Cafe in Canton,NY


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene:Open Mic, Musicals, Jam Bands and Acoustic

Thursday, March 18th:

In Saranac Lake, Open Minded Mic Night at BluSeed Studios starts at 7:30 pm, sign up is at 7 pm. Admission is $3.

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical will be performed at LPCA. It starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are $10 for adults $8 for students.

Friday, March 19th:

In Tupper Lake, Annie will be performed by the high school musical club. Admission is $7.

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA.

Saturday, March 20th:

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA at 11 am.

In Saranac Lake Roy Hurd will perform for the benefit of the Northern Lights School at 7 pm. The benefit is at BluSeed Studios and includes a silent auction, tickets are $15. Call: 891 – 3206 for more information.

In Tupper Lake, Annie at the high school at 7 pm. Admission is $7.

In Saranac Lake, Melvin Seals and JGB will be at The Waterhole starting at 9 pm.

In Canton, Roots of Creation will be performing at the Java Barn starting at 9 pm.

In North Creek, Dreaded Wheat is at Laura’s Tavern at 9 pm.

Photo: Melvin Seals


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