Gabriels-based artist Diane Leifheit sent us a note about this weekend’s self-guided Artist at Work Studio Tour in and around the Tri-Lakes. “More than 36 artists in their ‘natural habitat’ will be working on and showing their work,” she wrote. “If you have not picked up a year-round Artists Guide, they are available at the Adirondack Artists Guild, 52 Main Street, Saranac Lake, and at many sponsor storefronts in the Tri-Lakes area. You can also log on to adirondackartistsguild.com for information. Look for the signs this weekend. Now I have to go clean up my studio! Yikes!” The open-studio event begins Friday and runs through Sunday.
The Wild Center will host the Adirondack Public Observatory 2009 Fall Lecture Series begining Friday, September 18th. The equinox, Jupiter and Galileo’s legacy, Pegasus Square and Andromeda constellations, and 2012 “the end of time” will be some of the topics discussed. All lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. in The Flammer Theatre at The Wild Center followed by astronomical viewing outside using telescopes and binoculars (weather permitting). The programs are free and open to the public.
Here are the details from the Adirondack Public Observatory: The Equinox… Facts and Myths – Friday, Sept. 18
Did you ever hear about being able to stand an egg on end during the equinox? Did you ever try it? This evening’s talk by Jeffrey Miller from St. Lawrence University will provide an explanation of just what the equinox is and how it affects us here on Earth. Jeff is a trustee of the APO, accomplished astronomer and physics instructor at St. Lawrence University.
Jupiter and Galileo’s Legacy – Friday, Sept. 25
Jupiter is now visible in the evening sky and along with the giant planet comes some interesting history. Dr. Aileen O’Donoghue, Associate Professor of Physics at St. Lawrence University, Astronomer and APO trustee, will be talking about Galileo, Jupiter and some of their history as well as a look at the Vatican Observatory. “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!” – Friday, Oct. 2
What telescopes reveal point to how little we really see. A closer look at the Pegasus Square and Andromeda Constellations, how to identify them and what wonders the telescope can uncover for us. Presented by Dr. Jan Wojcik, Professor Emeritus from Clarkson University 2012…The End of Time – Friday, Oct. 9
You may have heard about the coming of the end of the world in 2012? Marc Staves of the APO will shed some light on this dark topic and provide the facts and history behind 2012. A senior lineman for the local power company, Marc is also president of the APO, and an avid amateur astronomer with his own backyard observatory.
For more information and driving directions please visit . For information on the Adirondack Public Observatory, please visit www.apobervatory.org
The APA voted this week to classify Lows Lake as Wilderness. You can read more of the Almanack‘s coverage of Lows Lake here, and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise‘s report here, but the following is a press release issued today by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK):
The Adirondack Park Agency’s landmark decision today to classify Lows Lake as Wilderness will provide added protection to two important wilderness canoe routes. » Continue Reading.
The end of summer is arriving fast and the musicians are in tune to say farewell! With several festivals this weekend I don’t know how one can catch all of the other events but it’s always worth a try.
This weekend is the last chance to see Smokey Joe’s Cafe at The Depot Theater in Westport. Performances are tonight, tomorrow and Sunday starting at 8 pm. The show is all Stroller and Lieber songs which are rock and roll tunes such as “Jailhouse Rock” and “Yakety Yak.” So, the first day of the Irish Festival gets into full swing starting Saturday at 11 am at the Ski Jumps in Lake Placid. On Saturday favorite piper Michael Cooney starts playing at 12:10 pm. Also in the lineup is P.V. O’Donnel,an Irish fiddler from Donegal. Martha Gallagher will be there too she’s our own skilled harpist with a strong voice. Mike McHale a wooden flute player will be up from the Catskills. He doesn’t have a website but his resume is extensive and he was inducted into the Traditional Irish Music Hall of Fame in 2000. There all sorts of other activities including irish dancing, contests and storytelling. It’s going to be a great 2 days.
Saturday in Bolton Landing pianist Eric Trudel will be giving a recital of the 24 Preludes of Rachmaninoff. The recital starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are $25. This is the season ender for The Sembrich concerts this summer. I wish I’d known of it earlier as the list of performances was impressive. Eric Trudel happens to have been the true pianist in the movie The Pianist.
Saturday night at the Waterhole in Saranac Lake Sven Curth is going to be performing. Sven writes very good songs and is one heck of a guitar player (and what a pretty guitar it is!). He’s appreciated around the park as a solo performer and singer/songwriter for the popular band Jim. The only thing I’d like to change about his performances is that sometimes they are too loud. He’s so good he doesn’t need too much volume.
Sunday: HoboFest is happening in Saranac Lake at 28 Depot Street (behind Stewarts) and 7444 Gallery. So many great musicians all day for FREE!!!! One act that you can catch all day is the recycled drums drum corp – a group of cool people have made all of their own percussion instruments and will be welcoming incoming trains – these are very good drummers Kyle Murray,Colin Dehond, Eric Van Yserloo to name the ring leaders. Big Slyde is playing – I’m a huge fan of their sound which includes cellist Chris Grant, multi instrumentalist John Doan, fantastic guitarist Mikey Portal and the fabulous voice of John’s daughter, Hannah Doan. Another wonderful local musician is Steve Langdon playing his great versions of old blues songs mixed with a few originals – I hope. The Startlights sing oldies with great energy and beautiful harmonies. Their song choice often inspire audience participation. Also featured will be Just Jills a new all female band consisting of two very different voices, mandolin, and fiddle. These ladies are new to performing but have an excellent repertoire – I’m looking forward to whatever train hobo related songs they’ve come up with. Then you have the big acts: John Cohen , an original New Lost City Rambler, is a wonderful addition to the line up. A true legend, he was at Newport when Dylan went electric and ticked everyone off. Brian Dewan is fascinating. I’ve seen him a few times and he always comes up with the most interesting obscure songs. He plays the accordion, autoharp and sings. Last we will be treated to Frankenpine a very good band from Brooklyn. These folks do excellent covers of old time songs and have some very special originals as well. Former resident Ned P. Rauch wrote a beautiful fun tune for one of our newest locals – Lila – who’s proud parents are sure to have her there for the public debut of this happy sing-a-long. On top of all this planned music there will be open jam times so you may be hearing people who just pop in to sing a train song or two – maybe you’ll be one of them?
Also Sunday in Bolton Landing Mike and Ruthie are playing at 12 noon. They are part of the Fabulous Folk Festival happening at the Roger’s Memorial Park Bandstand. All you have to do is listen on their lovely website and you won’t want miss this wonderful duo. Dan Berggren will also be there. Amazingly all of this is free to all who show up.
Yesterday, I noted the newly released details of Fish Rock Camp, believed to be the first Great Camp built on Upper Saranac Lake. The camp was built for Isaac Newton Seligman, the son of banking giant Joseph Seligman. Today I’ll provide some background to the antisemitism that is believed to have inspired many Jewish Americans, like the Seligmans, to create their own camps and resorts in the Adirondacks.
The story includes one of Saratoga’s most prestigious hotels, the Grand Union, luminaries like Ulysses S. Grant, the robber baron Jay Gould, and Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall. But it starts with America’s first department store mogul – Alexander T. Stewart. » Continue Reading.
Marsha Stanley of the Upper Saranac Lake Sekon Association dropped me a note to say that she has spent the summer posting the history of Fish Rock Camp, believed to be the first of the great camps built on Upper Saranac in 1893. Marsha’s work included digitizing and placing online the camp’s guest register from 1905 to 1915. The guest book is replete with sketches of life at the camp, including the vignette at left from 1905, “Alfred in his Auto.” » Continue Reading.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined the rooftop highway road crew this summer, requesting $150 million for the proposed four-lane divided highway north of the Adirondack Park — newly renamed I-98 by supporters who argue that it will prevent the mass migration of jobs and humans away from the region. Environmentalists counter that it will cut off north-south migration routes in and out of the Adirondacks for many other species.
Vermontville resident Bruce McCulley, who has worked at the mountain since 1981, has been named the new General Manager for Whiteface Ski Center by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). McCulley will replace Jay Rand, who has taken a position as the Executive Director of the New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) as of September 3. McCulley began his career as a lift operator and snowmaker, and then moved into supervisory and foreman positions before being promoted to Assistant general Manager of the ski center in 1996. McCulley also serves on the Board of Trustees and Leadership Team at the High Peaks Church in Saranac Lake and has served 17 years as a religious services volunteer in the Federal Bureau of Prisons system at Ray Brook.
Photographer and author Phil Gallos has a show of 120 portraits at BluSeed Studios, in Saranac Lake. Known for documenting various aspects of life in his community, Gallos photographed 25 local artists — visual, literary, performing, musical and other — over the past three years. The exhibition includes more than just faces; the artists are depicted at work, or fiddling while the sap boils or floating on their backs in crystal clear water. The show opened Thursday and runs until September 12. If you are curious to see some of the people making art in the area but can’t make it to BluSeed, visit Phil’s Web site here. In the 1970s Phil shot some fascinating black & white street scenes in Saranac Lake, seen here. So many buildings, bars and people gone. It’s amazing how fast things go from contemporary to historical.
National Public Radio president Vivian Schiller will be in Saranac Lake on Monday to appear with North Country Public Radio’s Ellen Rocco. The subject will be “public radio and the future of journalism,” according to Brian Mann who will also take part. “Schiller created the New York Times on-line service, so her expertise straddles the traditional-new media border that we’ve been discussing,” Mann wrote in an e-mail yesterday referring at least in part to the discussions here at Adirondack Almanack over heavily discussed posts last Monday and this past Monday. The hour-long talk will take place at the Saranac Lake Free Library’s Cantwell Room; the event begins at noon and will be free and open to the public. NCPR is asking that attendees arrive and be seated by 11:45 am. The event will air live, but the they won’t be taking questions over the phone. Instead, you can either show up in Saranac Lake, or leave a question at the NCPR blog here.
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.
There are several interesting upcoming Keene Valley Library Adirondack History Lectures (beginning tonight) that will include Adirondack writer Andy Flynn, historian Fran Yardley, and NCPR journalist Brian Mann. The full schedule details are below.
A unique Adirondack treasure, the Keene Valley library was created in 1885 with an initial gift of $200.00 and a collection of just 167 volumes. Today the library holds more than 20,000 items thanks in part to members of the Keene Valley Library Association, organized in 1891. The library building was completed in 1896 and the organization was granted a charter in 1899. The Library has been expanded several times over the years beginning with the addition of a childrens’ room in 1923 and a fireproof room to hold the historical collection in 1931 which includes the Archives of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The library also includes a small collection of 19th and early 20th century landscape paintings which hang in the main reading room. They have been selectively chosen to reflect the tradition of artists finding inspiration in the High Peaks.
Adirondack Lecture Series:
Fran Yardley: A Photo Presentation: Stories and History of the Bartlett Carry Club on Upper Saranac Lake Wednesday, July 29 at 7:30 PM Fran will present a portion of the wealth of material she has discovered as she researches the history of Bartlett Carry on Upper Saranac Lake from 1854 to 1985 for her upcoming book. Bartlett Carry is a short portage from Upper Saranac to Middle Saranac Lake, part of the historic transportation route from Old Forge to Saranac Lake used for centuries. Photographs date back to pre-1890. Spend an evening diving into this rich history. Bring stories of your own about this venerable, historic spot in the Adirondacks.
Andy Flynn: Turning Points in Adk History Monday Aug. 3 at 7:30 PM Andy is the educator at the Visitor’s Interpreter Center in Paul Smiths. He is the author of Mountain Heritage: Adirondack Attic, a series of books with stories based on artifacts found in storage and on exhibit in the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. His books will be available for purchase and Andy will do book signings.
Brian Mann: Ten Years at the NCPR News Bureau Monday, Aug.10 7:30 preceded by dessert reception at 6:00 Brian Mann, News Reporter and Adirondack Bureau Chief for North Country Public Radio. Brian moved from Alaska to the North Country in 1999 to help launch NCPR’s News Bureau. Brian is a frequent contributor to NPR and writes regularly for regional magazines including Adirondack Life and the Adirondack Explorer.
The NYS Senate granted unanimous approval (58-0) today to two bills designed to help three small communities qualify for economic development and community enhancement projects through money available from the NYS Department of State and provided through the federal Coastal Resources program. If signed by Governor Paterson, the bills would grant inland waterway status to Lake Placid, Mirror Lake and the Little River in the Town of Franklin. According to the Adirondack Council’s John Sheehan, “these programs encourage comprehensive planning and sustainable economic development, especially projects that also help to protect water quality and other natural resources. Businesses and residents will be eligible for state and federal matching funds for business development and community beautification/revitalization programs.” » Continue Reading.
Baseball and blooms are both in full season, so we’ll let Christy Mathewson field the July wildflower date observations (May and June lists here and here).
The following notes are verbatim from a hand-written list compiled by the pitcher in 1922, when the charter Hall-of-Famer was in Saranac Lake trying to recover from tuberculosis. He died there in 1925. July 2 Water Avens Yarrow or Sneezewort (White Rays, also Pink Rays!!!!!) Common Milkweed Indian Poke or False Hellebore Purple Flowering Raspberry Fireweed; Great Willow Herb July 4 Cow Parsnip July 5 Common Elder Yellow Avens or Field Avens July 12 Great Mullein Meadowsweet St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) Bull Thistle Common Parsnip yellow July 15 Day Lily (H. fulva) July 16 Water Lily: Water Nymph Maiden Pink (D. Deltoides) Yellow Loosestrife (Lysmachia terrictris) July 17 Canada Thistle Early Goldenrod (S. juncea) Loosestrife (in swamp) (Lysimachia stricta?) Broad-leaved Arrow Head Joe Pye Weed Shinleaf Daisy Fleabane? Lance-leaved Goldenrod Hardhack: Steeple Bush (S. tomentosa) Chicory? Asparagus July 20 Catnip Blue Vervain Bellflower (C. rapunculoides, Linn) Tansy, Bitter Buttons Elecampane Bouncing Bet July 22 Pickerel Weed (P. cordata) Narrow-leaved Arrow Head Ladies Tresses Jewel-weed: Spotted Touch-me-not Monkey Flower July 22 Blue Aster (A. sagittifolius?) Potato (Irish) Lettuce (L. interfrifolia? purplish) Turtlehead (C. glebra) July 24 Water parsnip Golden Ragwort – Squaweed Smaller Purple-fringed Orchis Monkey Flower (M. Ringens) Ladies Tresses (S. ceruns) July 26 Dalibarda (D. repens) Fetid Currant Pipsissewa or Princess Pine Common Evening Primrose (Oe. biennis?) July 31 Bedstraw (Galium triflorum) Mad-dog Skullcap (S. lateriflora) White Aster (A. acummatus and umbelatus) August 1 Bedstraw (G. asprillum) Bottle Gentian Wild Cucumber, Wild Balsam Apple August 3 Skullcap (S. galericulata) Bladderwort (U. vulgaris) August 4 Climbing false buckwheat
Some of the common plant names Mathewson noted have faded from use in this region (hardhack, sneezwort, wild balsam apple). My posthumous crush on this guy deepens every time I look at his list. His excitement over pink rays in the yarrow (!!!!!) and uncertainty over a species of primrose (?) are endearing. It’s hard to imagine a contemporary pro athlete taking such careful notice of the natural world.
Photo: Christy Mathewson attends a town league game in Saranac Lake, 1920s. Courtesy of Historic Saranac Lake.
Local county fairs start this week, so here is our full list of Adirondack county fairs, listed according to opening date. As usual, I’ve included a few of the most important regional fairs as well. See you at the fair!
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