Pink Floyd at the LPCA

Last weekend, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) presented the Paramount’s Laser Spectacular, the smash hit multi-media laser and light show featuring the music of Pink Floyd. Check the promotion video, here.

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After 23 years of touring, Paramount’s Laser Spectacular has become a cult classic, presenting the music of Pink Floyd like never seen it before. Surrounded by 10,000 watts of concert quality sound, Pink Floyd’s musical legacy continues as the bands concept music captures the imagination and carries listeners away on a mind-expanding journey driven by cutting edge effects. Colorful lasers and lighting effects parallel the sonic journey as the senses are confronted with an array of flowing visual displays choreographed to the soundtrack during the 2 hour and 20 minute show.

Through the use of jaw-dropping new technologies a visual evolution unfolds as solid lines of light wash the room with color, animated neon figures are set in motion, a giant inflatable comes to life and laser beams bounce and glide through the open air, crafting images, such as a soaring eagle that flies over the crowd.

During the song, ”Learning to Fly,” we saw a psychedelic, rotating lighting gobo with images of the history of flight, from the Wright Brothers all the way to the Space Shuttle. During “Comfortably Numb”, 3-D animation reveals the song’s storyline of a rock star struggling to “make it to the show”. Brand new 3-D imagery used in the show actually has dimension and can be seen from all sides!

Finally, Paramount’s best laserists pulled out all the stops and bombarded us with EVERYTHING in their bag of visual tricks for the shows finale, “Run Like Hell”. Special prism glasses were available to multiply the fun, making 1 image box become 6 but we enjoyed the show even without. Great show!

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Blues night at Mirror Lake

Yesterday night was the first performance of the Songs at Mirror Lake Music series, a seven-week series, starting at 7pm on Tuesday nights. This series is organized by a non-profit, volunteer, community group with the goal of introducing residents and tourists to a diverse range of musical genres and to provide local/regional emerging artists the opportunity for exposure and experience.

Yesterday night was blues night with Popa Chubby. This year, Popa, who was born Ted Horowitz, marks 25 years of rocking the blues as Popa Chubby. Over the course of a career that dates back to 1994, he has been a force to be reckoned with on the guitar, and his tempestuous, soulful playing has never been more powerful.

popa-chubby-wallAn imposing figure with a shaved head under his black hat, tattooed arms, a goatee and a performance style he describes as “The Stooges meet Buddy Guy, Motorhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson”.

Over the first hour, Popa and his band delivered only six songs, all of them including great jams and solos, extending the pleasure of the crowd late into the night, despite threatening clouds and some light rain. His cover of Jimi’s “Hey Joe” was particularly memorable, and “Over the Rainbow” helped push the clouds away.

What a great night!

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Happiness means Maple syrup over Pancakes

maple-weekend-poster-2016Every spring, the members of the New York State Maple Producers Association invite families and friends into their “sugar houses” to experience the world of pure NY maple syrup. Located at approximately 160 farms and museums across New York State, Maple Weekend offers a delicious, fun-filled outing that has a little something for all maple-lovers to taste and experience.

Maple Weekend began in 1995 in Western New York as “Maple Sundays” with a simple goal:  To educate the public about New York’s maple farming processes and traditions and to provide a chance to taste pure maple syrup in its many forms, right from the source.

Like last year, we went to the Cornell University Uihlein Forest, toured the (new) facility with some volunteers, and met with Mike Farrell Ph.D, who told us about the new developments there. We tasted many different kinds of syrup, and picked the pure birch syrup, that, we think, will make a perfect glaze for our salmon fillets. Then, we walked Bear Cub road up to Heaven Hill farm, with its wonderful views of the High Peaks.

What a lovely Sunday morning!

Last year was the best year for maple syrup production in New York state history despite a short season following the harsh winter. Maple farmers produced more than 600,000 gallons of syrup from more than 2.3 million taps. To know more about last year’s experience, check here.

 

Christmas Lights

Nothing shines Christmas cheer on neighborhoods quite like holiday lights. But a leisurely drive can turn into a scavenger hunt for the biggest and brightest displays.

Yet, it’s difficult believing we are getting so close to Christmas, as temperatures remain in the 60’s, and last week’s snow melted away… but Christmas lights are everywhere in our small village.

It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year. Main Street was flooded with holiday spirit as hundreds flocked to the Holiday Village Stroll, I decided to walk the less-traveled path, the Christmas-lit one. Tonight, with some fall-like temps, was the perfect time to check out some spectacular homes. Take a peak at my favorites:

Happy Holidays!

New Trails in Lake Placid

The Uihlein Foundation in Lake Placid has opened a four-mile trail system on the 940-acre Heaven Hill Farmhouse property on Bear Cub Lane.

The new Heaven Hill Trails augment the popular Henry’s Woods Trail System, about five miles of trails on the Heaven Hill property that opened in 2009. Both trail networks are open to walking, skiing, mountain biking, snowshoes, but not motorized nor equestrian use.

There are three sets of trails in the new Heaven Hill Trails System. Most follow long established farm or woods roads and intersect with other trails to add variety.

  • The 1 1/2-mile Old Orchard Loop begins in a wooded setting, then heading westerly over gently rolling terrain, one enters a field that was used to pasture the Uihlein’s prize winning Jersey cows. The trail loops around the edges of the field, past and among the remaining trees of the old apple orchard. There are views into the High Peaks Wilderness on the return to the trailhead.
  • The Bear Cub Loop is a woodland route with very little terrain change headed east from the trailhead. The basic outer loop is 1 1/2 miles in length with the option of taking any one of five cross-trails to modify the distance.
  • The Big Field Loop has moderate ups and downs. It heads west from the trailhead and then swings north to the edge of the Big Field with views of the farm. The trail returns to the trail head through woodlands, making the loop distance .9 miles.

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    Views from the Big Field Loop

We walked all trails on a sunny afternoon. Really enjoyable, especially with the views of the High Peaks in the background.

Going back to the Wings War!

12187645_916878528348276_1991297377788907272_nTwo years ago, I enjoyed my first war (read here). Today, it was about discovering who had the tastiest chicken wings in the region! The public helps decide the winner of Wings War VIII, a friendly but fierce competition among area restaurants that raised funds for North Country Life Flight, the region’s air medical rescue team.

10 eateries participated, each bringing 500 of their best wings to WiseGuys, the organizer once again. Included were 2014 Grand Champion The Cottage, then Delta Blue, Generations, Dancing Bears, Wiseguys, Kanu, Price Chopper, Smoke Signals, and newcomers Top of The Park and Blue Line Brewery.

IMG_1312 The creativity from the chefs and quality of the wings get better every year. There were a lot of people lining up to taste those wings, from the hot ones (Wiseguys, Delta Blue), to the smoked ones (Smoke Signals) and the unusual ones (Top of the Park, Blue Line). We tasted them all, and, needless to say, this proved to be difficult. My favorite was Blue Line Brewery from Saranac Lake, while Lucie’s was Top of The Park.

At the end of the day, $5,385 were raised for North Country Life Flight. The 2015 Grand Champion, selected by a panel of judges, is Smoke Signals! And the 2015 Fan Favorite Award Winner is Top of the Park!!

Can’t wait for next year!IMG_1314

Happy Birthday, Lazy Bear!

happy-second-birthday-12Two years ago, we rented a beautiful but tiny apartment on McKinley St, in the heart of Lake Placid. The idea was to enjoy each and every winter weekend and have fun on the ski slopes, hiking and snowshoeing trails, and then, during spring, to test our riding abilities around town.

We knew we’d enjoy our time there, but maybe not to the extent we did. So, in May 2013, we decided to buy an incredible townhouse, that, soon after, we named Lazy Bear, to honor Teddy, our bear who lazily enjoys the sun while greeting our guests.

Two years today! We love our home even more… How time flies! IMG_0919

Paddling Lower Saranac Lake

The Saranac Lakes are a combined team of three lakes (Upper, Middle and Lower) connected by the Saranac River. On Sunday, we decided to go test the hyper-light canoes from Placid Boatworks on the lower lake. We have been planning a multi-day trip on lakes for a while, and it was time to try options.

IMG_2070 IMG_2081Fresh water, especially here in the Adirondacks, often requires portages and open topped canoes are lighter than decked boats. They are also easier to load with gear, and easier to enter. So, they seem like the natural choice for us. Lucie tried the 10′ Spitfire and I embarked on the 14′ Rapidfire. We wanted a quiet paddle around Saranac Lake and experience the primal pleasure of being the only human around for miles.

We were not disappointed. Both boats are quick, easy to maneuver and so stable. And the best was yet to come: At around 15lbs, they are so light that you can take them out of the water with only one hand. IMG_2083

A Heck of a Race!

Spring has finally come and it’s time to celebrate. Daffest returned to Saranac Lake, last Friday, with a kick-off party at the Blue Moon Cafe (that we like so much). This is the fifth annual daffodil-themed celebration of spring festival, and it has steadily grown each year.

The whole community jumped right in, and, after the long winter, it was great to see the daffodils blooming. There were plenty of events, ranging from the “Canvas, Cake and Cocktails”, “Try Mine Pastry Contest”, to the “Festival of the Blooms” and a pie eating contest, among others.

Daffest_Derby_Logo_2_Flags_But, the real treat is the Daffest derby, an old-fashioned soap box derby race. The police closed the LaPan highway, from 7AM to 4PM on Saturday. Locals brought 600 bales of hay, and the racing festivities began around 8AM with the safety checks, followed by the trial runs. The race started at 11AM and lasted more than 90 minutes, as there were a lot of kids (in 4 categories: 5-to-8, 9-to-12, 13-to-15, and 16 and up), coming from Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, Malone, Massena and even Plattsburgh.

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun.

Concentrating before the start

Concentration before the start

Waiting for the green light

Waiting for the green light

Full speed

Full speed

Finish Line

Finish Line

The fastest (in my book!)

The fastest (in my book!)

I guess I was Wrong! Winter is Back…

IMG_1013Well, two weeks into spring, we finally had two consecutive days of warm and sunny weather, flirting with the low 60F, and the snow started to melt and the grass began to show. Needless to say, I could not wait to tuck away my dreary winter clothes and really get ready for spring.

Spring is always a tricky time of year. One day it’s wet and blustery and all you want to do is stay home next to a fire with a good book, and the next the sun is out, birds are singing, and you’re heading out to the farmers’ market to pick up local products. At this unpredictable time of year, nothing is granted.

Further proof of that? We woke up this morning with an inch of snow, temperature in the 20F and relentless wind. But, you know what? I love it!

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