Monday, August 10, 2009

A New French and Indian War Guide Book

A new guidebook to 19 French and Indian War historic sites invites travelers travel to destinations in New York and Pennsylvania. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail has published Waterways of War: The Struggle for Empire 1754-1763, A Traveler’s Guide to the French & Indian War Forts and Battlefields along America’s Byways in New York and Pennsylvania.ports. It’s one of the best general guides to the French and Indian War I’ve seen and covers the fortified houses, American and French forts, Lake George shipwrecks, and other battlefields and historic sites from the period. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Get Adirondack Almanack by Subscription

More than 700 people now get Adirondack Almanack each day via RSS and e-mail subscription services. It’s a convenient way to get the latest news and information about the Adirondacks.

There are a number of ways you can subscribe:

Get The Almanack By E-Mail

Latest Adirondack News By E-mail

Follow Adirondack Politics

Adk County News By E-Mail

RSS Feed – Subscribe!

Follow us on Twitter

Friend us on Facebook

Thanks to one of our readers there’s also a LiveJournal feed: adk_almanac


Monday, August 10, 2009

Adirondack Center for Writing Announces Summer Series

The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) has announced its annual Summer Program Series events which will showcase acclaimed authors and performers from around the Adirondacks and Vermont in a variety of venues throughout the North Country during the month of August. Programs and presenters are listed below.

Tom Lewis
Curator’s Tour of Lives of The Hudson Exhibition (from a North Country Perspective) and A Reading from The Hudson: A History
Friday, August 14, 7pm at the Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.

Tom Lewis, professor of English at Skidmore College, celebrates publication of his fifth book, The Hudson: A History. Among his previous books are Divided Highways: The Interstate Highway System and the Transformation of American Life and Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, both of which became award-winning documentaries. Lewis also co-curated with Ian Berry, Malloy Curator of the Tang, Lives of the Hudson, at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. The interdisciplinary exhibition celebrating the river’s significance to American art, architecture, history, and culture celebrates the observance of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage of discovery up the river bearing his name. The exhibition remains on view July 18, 2009 through March 14, 2010. Lewis will give a curator’s tour from a “North Country” perspective, including logging tales and history of the acclaimed photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard, followed by excerpts from his most recent book.

Joe Bruchac

Family Friendly Reading & Performance Including Native American Music, History, and A Reading from March Toward the Thunder
Tuesday, August 18, 7pm
Hancock House in Ticonderoga
Moses Circle, Ticonderoga, NY

Joe Bruchac, with his wife, Carol, is founder and co-director of The Greenfield Review Press. He has edited a number of highly praised anthologies of contemporary poetry, including Songs from this Earth on Turtle’s Back and Breaking Silence (winner of an American Book Award). His poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from American Poetry Review to National Geographic. He has authored more than 120 books for adults and children and his honors include a Rockefeller Humanities fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship for Poetry, the Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children’s Literature and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background, those Native roots are the ones by which he has been most nourished. He, his younger sister Margaret, and his two grown sons, James and Jesse, continue to work extensively in projects involving the understanding and preservation of the natural world, Abenaki culture, Abenaki language and traditional Native skills. They also perform traditional and contemporary Abenaki music together. He often works with his son James teaching wilderness survival and outdoor awareness at the Ndakinna Education Center, their 90-acre family nature preserve.

Paige Ackerson-Kiely & M. Dylan Raskin

Poetry & Memoir Reading
Thursday, August 20, 7pm
The Amos & Julia Ward Theatre
Route 9N, On the Village Green, Jay, NY

Paige Ackerson-Kiely is the author of In No One’s Land, judged by DA Powell as winner of the 2006 Sawtooth Poetry Prize. She has also received awards and fellowships from Poets & Writers, Vermont Community Foundation, The Willowell Foundation and The Jentel Artist Residency program, among others. Her second book of poems, The Misery Trail, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press, and she has a novel, Place No Object Here, nearing completion. Paige lives with her family in rural Vermont, where she works at a Wine Store and edits the poetry magazine A Handsome Journal.

M. Dylan Raskin, called a strikingly original and unforgettable narrative voice by the Library Journal, is author of two memoirs, the celebrated Little New York Bastard and Bandanas And October Supplies. Equal parts road story, elegy, and hallucinatory bildungsroman, Bandanas and October Supplies is a bittersweet love story that is like no other book ever written about death, life, and the complex devotion between a mother and a son. The 31-year old author, said to dissect his generation with cool precision, is from Queens, NY.

Rob Cohen & Mary Kathryn Jablonski
Fiction & Poetry Reading
Thursday, August 27, 7pm
Saratoga Arts Center
320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

Rob Cohen, author of the recently released Amateur Barbarians, is also the author of three previous novels, Inspired Sleep, The Here and Now, and The Organ Builder, and a collection of short stories, The Varieties of Romantic Experience. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Lila Wallace Writers’ Award. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Harper’s, the Atlantic, Paris Review, Ploughshares, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and other magazines. Cohen has taught fiction writing at the Iowa Writers Workshop, the University of Houston, Harvard University, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. He currently teaches at Middlebury College.

Mary Kathryn Jablonski is a visual artist/poet who has served as a gallerist at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY since 2002 and is programs consultant to the Adirondack Center for Writing. Her poems have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, The Healing Muse, and Chronogram Magazine, among others. She is the author of the chapbook To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met, and is completing final edits on her first book-length collection of poems. Her poetry was also recently published in Germany by painter/publisher Christoph Ruckhäberle, as it related to a collection of his portraits, in a book coordinating with a January 2009 Berlin exhibition of his work.

Eithne McGuinnes

In A One Woman Performance of Typhoid Mary
Monday, August 31, 7pm
Bluseed Studio
24 Cedar Street, Saranac Lake, NY

Eithne McGuinnes is an Irish writer and actor. Her plays include: Miss Delicious, workshopped at Abbey Theatre, Dublin 2007; Tin Cans, commissioned by Dublin City Council, 2006; Limbo, Dublin Fringe Festival, 2000 and 2001; A Glorious Day, public reading, Abbey Theatre, 2000; and Typhoid Mary, Dublin Fringe Festival, 1997, broadcast on RTE Radio, 1998 and revived in 2004. Published short stories: Feather Bed (Scéalta), Anthology of Irish Women Writers, Telegram Books, 2006. The Boat Train, Something Sensational to Read on the Train, Lemon Soap Press, 2005. Her favorite acting roles include: Mary Mallon, Typhoid Mary, 2004 and 1997; Sr.Clementine, The Magdalene Sisters (Golden Lion 2002), Gracie Tracy, Glenroe (RTE Television). Recent theatre: Meg, The Hostage, Wonderland, Dublin, 2009; Olive, Dirty Dusting, Tivoli Theatre, Dublin; and Earth Mother, Menopause the Musical, 2008. Recent TV: The Roaring Twenties, No Laughing Matter, 2008. Other theatre includes: The House of Bernarda Alba, 2002 and The Marriage of Figaro, 1997, at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Cell, best production, Dublin Theatre Festival 1999 and Dublin Trilogy, Passion Machine – best new play, DTF 1998.

About Typhoid Mary – In 1907, Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant, who had, ‘worked her way up from nothing’, to cook for New York’s finest, was seized from her place of work by the NY Board of Health. Accused of being the carrier of typhoid fever, Mary was imprisoned without a trial on an island in the middle of the East River. Totally isolated, a mere ten minute ferry ride from her former home in the Bronx, Mary became a scapegoat; sacrificed to quell the rising public fear that a typhoid epidemic could spread beyond the poor. She became a pawn in the larger ambitions of George Soper; health official who was desperate to identify the first human typhoid carrier in North America. Was Mary maligned? Could she, as the authorities insisted, have carried typhoid, if she herself had never been ill with the disease? Here is the captivating story of a brave Irish peasant who fought tooth and nail for her freedom and took on the very powerful state of New York.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Commentary: North Creek News Enterprise’s New Editor

Ever since early July, folks in and around North Creek have been wondering what’s going on with their local paper. The News Enterprise, which has been publishing since 1924, but in recent years has been taken over by local weekly-media moguls Denton Publications, seems to have dropped the ball a bit. Take the headline for July 18th – “Minerva Day parade set to go.” OK, except that Minerva Day happened July 5th – two weeks earlier.

There have also been frequent complaints from North Creek locals about the Enterprise’s failure to cover upcoming events, including last week’s Race The Train. Serious coverage of issues like the Gore Interconnect, the summer closing of Gore Mountain, the large development planned for Little Gore, and the proposed Adirondack Wind project, have all but disappeared from the paper’s pages.

This week, Denton’s Managing Editor John Gereau finally announced that the paper’s problem has been the loss of it’s only recently appointed editor, Jon Alexander, who took over the position of Assistant News Director at Saranac Lake’s WNBZ.

Alexander’s replacement? Twenty-two-year-old Lindsay Yandon, fresh from college and a job at Shoreline Restaurant in Lake George. Yandon, who grew up in Newcomb but now lives in Lake George, is expected to “play a crucial role in building the product while helping deliver the community news of importance” according to Gereau.

That’s a tall order for someone with almost no experience covering the Adirondack region. Someone who lives 20 minutes away.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

‘Mapping the Adirondacks’ at the Adirondack Museum

Adirondack Museum Librarian Jerry Pepper will present an illustrated presentation entitled “When Men and Mountain Meet: Mapping the Adirondacks” at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake on Monday, August 10, 2009. Part of the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the presentation will be held in the Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $5.00 for non-members.

A contested terrain amid warring nations, a frontier rich in timber and minerals, a recreational and artistic paradise and a pioneering wilderness preserve, the Adirondack Mountains are an intensively mapped region. Using rare and rarely seen maps, drawn from the over 1400 historical maps and atlases in the Adirondack Museum’s collection, “When Men and Mountains Meet: Mapping the Adirondacks” will chart the currents of Adirondack history, as reflected through the region’s maps.

The Adirondack Museum introduced a new exhibit in 2009, “A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country’: Early Reflections of the Adirondacks,” that showcases paintings, maps, prints, and photographs illustrating the untamed Adirondack wilderness discovered by early cartographers, artists, and photographers. The exhibition will be on display through mid-October, 2010.

Jerry Pepper has been Director of the Library at the Adirondack Museum since 1982, he holds Master degrees in both American History and Library Science.

Photo: “A New and Accurate Map of the Present War in North America,” Universal Magazine, 1757. Collection of the Adirondack Museum.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Adirondack Garden: A Good Word for Weeds

I know that most gardening columns are filled with advice on how to get rid of weeds. But I want to put in a good word for them. I’m looking at one really huge one right now just outside my kitchen window: the Box Elder tree (Acer negundo) that is wildlife Grand Central Station all year long, right here in the middle of Saratoga Springs. Of course, that could be because of the seed and suet feeders we hang from its boughs, and the discarded Christmas trees we cluster around the trunk in the winter, and the birdbaths we keep filled in every season –- including a heated one providing liquid water through 25-below-zero nights. But I’ve also read that — even without our additions — the Box Elder tree is ranked among those with the highest value to wildlife.

That ranking is probably because of its seeds that, unlike those of other members of the maple genus, hang onto the boughs until well into the winter, providing food for squirrels and birds when most other seeds are gone. Another positive attribute is its ability to spring up from seedling to tree in a hurry, or as some might say, “grow like a weed.” That’s what our neighbor (who actually owns the ground this Box Elder grows from) said about this tree when he wanted to cut it down. “Just look at the mess it makes — bugs in the summer, seeds all over the place, leaves plugging up the gutters.” Well, we begged and pleaded and pointed out how its boughs provide privacy for his tenants, and he relented. Sort of. He cut down about half of it, but what do you know, it grew right back to its original height (and more!) in just about a year. Ha!

Here’s the thing: if you love the birds and butterflies and want to have them around, you just have to learn to love bugs and weeds. Some people think I’m kind of a nut about that. Two years ago, I led a wildflower walk in downtown Saratoga’s Congress Park, a park more known for its Olmsted-designed formal gardens than for anything allowed to grow wild. But (oh happy fault!) there are geologic faults that run right through Congress Park, creating the springs that Saratoga is famous for, as well as steep banks and marshy spots where the mowers just can’t mow. And there’s where the wildflowers grow, dozens and dozens of beauties most often overlooked: Birds-eye Speedwell, Canada Anemone, Willow Herbs Northern and Hairy, Buttercups, Forget-me-nots, Cuckoo Flowers, Cattails . . . I could go on and on.

And I was going on and on, extolling at length the virtues of one particular plant that spreads through the grass, Ground Ivy. I had read in a wonderful book by Hannah Holmes (Suburban Safari: A year on the lawn) that patches of this lovely little flower, as pretty as any orchid (click on photo above), are sought out by crows in molting, when their new feathers are poking through skin and causing them pain. Apparently, this Mint-Family plant has both analgesic and antiseptic qualities that soothe their pain and prevent infection, and the crows will roll around in it. Now, I found that pretty fascinating and was sharing my enthusiasm for Ground Ivy when I was interrupted by “Ugh! That’s Creeping Charlie! [Another name for Ground Ivy] I can’t get rid of it in my lawn! That’s a weed!”

Well, yes. It is. But such a nice one. I don’t think she thought I was nice when I responded to her revulsion: “Why would you want to get rid of it? Get rid of the grass instead.” Because, you see, that really is my ideal. Why would anyone prefer plain old grass to deliciously herby Ground Ivy (what a pungent, minty scent it emits when mowed)? Or to Speedwells of every kind, dainty little striped blooms in shades of blue from royal to mist? Or to Violets, white or purple or yellow? Or to Strawberries, Buttercups, Daisies, Clover. . . good lord, even Dandelions! All carpet the ground no taller than ankle-high, so they don’t need frequent mowing. All grow without needing to poison the soil with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. All thrive without being watered. All provide food for butterflies, caterpillars, ants, worms, birds, and bees. All are as pretty as pretty can be. And every single last one of them is a weed.

Let’s hear it for weeds!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Adirondack Arts Center to Sponsor LGBT Event

The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts–The Arts Center in Blue Mountain Lake is hosting Out in the Adirondacks at Great Camp Sagamore, August 21st – 23rd. According to the Arts Center this will be the first event of its kind–a destination weekend in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains for the “out” population and their supporters that celebrates the diversity of the human experience.

The weekend includes a concert by singer/songwriter Catie Curtis, a one-man comedic show by actor/comedian Steve Hayes, an old-fashioned square dance, open mic, and more. The family-friendly lodging, food, and entertainment package will cost $249. According to their website, the Arts Center is revitalizing its mission established over forty-two years. The Center was the first community arts center in the Adirondack Park.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Black Tupelo: Ancient Resident of the North Woods

Black Tupelo. That name evokes images of the Deep South, where Black Tupelo trees share gator-infested swamps with Bald Cypress and Loblolly Pine. So what the heck are they doing up here on the edge of the Adirondacks, sharing the Hudson River banks with White Birch and Swamp White Oak? That’s not the first question I asked myself upon finding this tree about 15 years ago. My first question was: “What the heck is this?” In all my years of wandering the woods and paddling the waterways of both Michigan and northern New York, I had never come across a tree quite like it. But here it was — glossy green in summer, radiant red by early fall – and whole bunches of them were growing in a marshy area of the Hudson near Glens Falls. Its Latin name (I later learned) is Nyssa sylvatica, which means “water nymph of the woods.” I can’t imagine a more appropriate name, for, in my desire to know this tree, it became like some kind of spirit beckoning me ever deeper into the woods. I trace my present fascination with all that grows to my first encounters with that beautiful tree.

I became a bit obsessed by the subject, asking several so-called naturalists what they might know about Black Tupelo. Not much, it seemed, for time and time again I was told that it did not grow around here. The ones I had found, they said, must have escaped from cultivation. So imagine my excitement (maybe ten years ago) when I saw a notice that the Adirondack Mountain Club was hosting a lecture by a forestry Ph.D. student named Neil Pederson and the topic was Black Tupelos. Pederson did acknowledge that tupelos typically would not be found this far north or this far inland. But then he explained that the low-lying nature of the Hudson River/Champlain Valley allowed for the penetration of moist, warm air, creating a nearly uniform climate farther inland than would normally be expected. And he showed us numerous weather-pattern and plant-distribution maps to prove it. Hah! Told you so!

At that same lecture I learned that Pederson had taken core samples of Black Tupelos growing in Lincoln Mountain State Forest in Greenfield, N.Y., just south of Corinth. That’s right next door, almost, to my home in Saratoga Springs. Here in a state-protected unspoiled swamp, about 30 specimens had grown to a very old age. How old? Well, Pederson’s samples indicated that at least one of these ancient trees was 554 years old. Five Hundred and Fifty-four years! According to his calculations, that tree first sprouted in 1448. That’s 44 years before Columbus set sail. I guess those trees had not escaped from cultivation.

For years I tried to find a way to visit those trees. I obtained a topographical map of the area, but was warned that the swamp was almost impenetrable and of course there were no trails or markers and I was sure to get lost. Then just last winter I met a man who not only knew all about those trees, he also lived on the edge of the swamp where they grow, and knew how to get to them. Vince Walsh is a nature educator, a New York State licensed guide, and owner of Kawing Crow Awareness Center in Greenfield, his property abutting that Lincoln Mountain State Forest. Vince claims that these tupelo trees have been sampled again in the years since Pederson’s findings, and this time the samples indicate some trees are more than 800 years old. Just imagine! If what Vince told me is true, then these trees began their lives at the time the Crusades were going on across the Atlantic. But even at “only” 554 years, that tree would be the oldest one in all of New York State.

Vince took me to see those trees this past March, while ice still covered the frozen muck and we could make our way without sinking up to our knees. It’s hard to describe what I felt gazing up the huge trunks to the gnarled twisted branches high overhead. I’ve actually seen taller and bigger trees (these tupelos are around 70 feet high, maybe 36 inches across at shoulder height), but these trees exuded a presence. We just sat in silence among them for a long, long while. What had they witnessed over the span of 800 years? And how had they escaped the logger’s ax? Vince told me these trees hollow out from the top as they age, making such ancient trees as these unsuitable for ships’ masts or building lumber. By the time Europeans would have discovered them, they already would have been at least 300 years old.

Unfortunately, what age or loggers didn’t bring down, the beavers may. Back in that Greenfield swamp, we found one ancient tree that beavers had girdled – certain death in just a short time for that one. And along the Hudson River at Moreau, in one swampy spot where dozens grow, every single one has the bark gnawed off all the way around, to a height of about three feet. It’s really a mystery to me why the beavers do this. They haven’t toppled a single one to get at the treetop branches. Is the heartwood too hard for even a beaver’s teeth? Or are they deliberately killing these trees so that trees they prefer will take their place? I know that beavers are very smart and capable of strategizing. Are they actually capable of such deliberate dendrocide?

So it could be the days are numbered for “my” Black Tupelos, the ones along the Hudson I visit in every season, as if in pilgrimage to my totem tree. A few here and there remain undamaged, so I’ve asked the naturalists at Moreau Lake State Park to devise some way to protect them. What a loss it would be to not find that vivid glossy green in summer, that radiant red in the fall! These trees start to redden many weeks earlier than others, starting as early as now. Often, only half of its leaves turn color at a time, so that red and green leaves may populate the same branches at the same time. Male and female flowers occur on separate trees, and only the female trees bear the blue-black fruits that are craved by many kinds of birds, especially woodpeckers and thrushes. The fruits should be ripe by late September, early October, when the trees are as fully ablaze as the one in the photo above. I urge you to find a way to see these trees. As we now know, they’ve thrived around here for a very, very long time. But maybe not forever.


Friday, August 7, 2009

A Day in the Life of the Adirondack Park

In the August 2008 issue of Adirondack Life, photographers from all around the park assembled a beautiful feature called “A Day in the Park.” It included pictures taken on a single, hot August Saturday.

Here are 18 shots that didn’t make the magazine, mostly because the other photographers took better pictures, but also because I didn’t have the sense to know the camera was set on low-res, which works for a computer screen but not a glossy page.

In honor of Wells Olde Home Days and Carnival, which take place this weekend, and in honor of August Saturdays, and with apologies to the residents of lower Route 30, who were not well represented in Adirondack Life because of my goof, this link to a Flickr set contains photographs taken from Long Lake to Mayfield on that day.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Weekly Adirondack Blogging Round-Up


Friday, August 7, 2009

Paul Smith’s VIC To Host Wildlife Festival on Saturday

The Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) at Paul Smiths will host the Adirondack Wildlife Festival from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, Aug. 8. The annual event will feature children’s activities, live music, wildlife exhibits, food, trail walks, lectures and live animal demonstrations.

The day starts with live animal programs. Beth Bidwell, executive director of the Wildlife Institute of Eastern New York, will present reptiles, amphibians and a variety of Adirondack raptors. Providing informative and exciting programs to groups of all ages, she will give live demonstrations from 10am to 3pm.

Singer/songwriter Mark Rust, of Woodstock, is the featured musical act. From 10 to 11 am, he will welcome visitors with hammered dulcimer music. At noon, he will give a show for kids, “My Family’s Musical Traditions,” followed by a “How to Play the Spoons” workshop at 12:45pm in the Music Tent near the Butterfly House.

From 2 to 3pm, Rust will give a show titled “Our Families Came to Sing,” songs about family life and growing up. Rust’s performance showcases an impressive array of instruments, including fiddle, guitar, hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer and banjo.

Wildlife photographer Gerry Lemmo, of Queensbury, will be offering several programs: a Wildlife Walk at 11am; a BYOC (Bring Your Own Camera) Photography Walk at 1:15pm; and a slide show presentation titled ” Songbirds of the Adirondacks” at 3pm in the VIC theater. Participants will need to sign up and meet at the front desk for the two walks.

Displays will be set up by the DEC bureaus of wildlife, the DEC Hudson River Otter Stewardship Program, the New York State Bluebird Society and regional organizations.

Staff from the Wildlife Conservation Society will give a lecture titled “On the Scent of Adirondack Moose” at 11am in the VIC theater. APA Environmental Educator Milt Adams will present a lecture titled “Home Sweet Home: Interpreting Wildlife Habitat in the Adirondacks” at 1pm also in the VIC theater.

Free and open to the public, the Adirondack Wildlife Festival at the Paul Smiths VIC will be held rain or shine. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from 11am to 2pm in the Food Pavilion. Children’s activities will be led by VIC naturalists and volunteers from 10am to 3pm in the Sunspace. The Native Species Butterfly House will be open from 10am to 4pm.

The Adirondack Wildlife Festival is sponsored by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Adirondack Park Institute, the not-for-profit group that funds environmental educational programs, events, publications and curricula at the VICs.

The New York State Adirondack Park Agency operates two VICs, in Paul Smiths and Newcomb, which are open year-round from 9am to 5pm daily except Christmas and Thanksgiving. They offer a wide array of educational programs, miles of interpretive trails and visitor information services. Admission is free.

The Paul Smiths VIC is located 12 miles north of Saranac Lake on Route 30. For more information about the VICs, log on to the centers’ Web site at www.adkvic.org.


Friday, August 7, 2009

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene:Rock and Roll, Classical, Celtic, and Folk

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!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

CCE Campaign Promotes Seasonal Recipes for Local Foods

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 amf252@cornell.edu or at 518-668-4881 to request July’s free Meal of the Month recipes and magnet from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Abundance of Art in the Adirondacks

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.

Arts Council of the Northern Adirondacks

The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts

Lower Adirondack Region Arts Council

Arts Center Old Forge

Lake George Arts Project

Photograph courtesy of Aaron Hobson and 7444 Gallery