Welcome to the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay where performances always start late and the atmosphere can’t be beat. As the performers today verbalize, to be here is like being in someone’s big old living room. Not only are we treated to fabulous performances but we get to catch up with neighbors, friends, and folks who live three towns away or further. Upper Jay Upholstery owner and Art...
Paul Johnson is a man of many talents—baker, gardener, builder, theatre director, opera singer, to name just a few. He is also the host of an annual community potluck that draws a huge crowd from Jay and outlying towns. This year, the celebration is bittersweet, as Paul receives kudos for rebuilding the barn after tropical storm Irene tore through the hamlet of Upper Jay,...
Youngs Gallery in Jay has been a magnet for art lovers for more than 30 years. And Terry and Sue Young are still going strong traveling in new directions with fresh images and new designs. This evening the couple is unveiling some new works at their opening at the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay. I have known and admired Terry and Sue for some 20 odd years now and there...
While some of my friends are preparing for the Octoberfest on Whiteface Mountain, others (including myself) are enjoying, or in my case also enduring, the art of dance. Though this North Country of ours seems remote at times—with Burlington, Albany, and Montreal all about 2 hours away—we are fortunate to be a place that attracts artists of all kinds. Dance instructor Natalia...
I’m here in Upper Jay amidst the hubbub of rehearsal for an original play by Upper Jay Art Center (UJAC) artistic director, Scott Renderer. Scott, who is a former NYC Wooster Group actor, is also featured in the play which is titled: “Nick (A Christmas Pageant)” and will premiere at UJAC on Dec. 19, 20 and 21. It’s an unusual mix of real-life and fiction as well...
It is 5:45 pm and I am hoping that it is still Tea Time in AuSable Forks. I have been trying to make it to this eclectic little antique shop for some time now (it opened in the spring of 2013) and though it keeps regular hours (3 pm to 6pm daily) my schedule has not accommodated for tea time lately. I know the owners, Karla Oehler and Bill Berkmann, from their other...
We’re just about to the launch the fun and exciting Wilmington/Whiteface Mountain Bike Fest June 20 - 22. A jam packed weekend of all things biking also includes: The 12th Annual Whiteface Mt. Uphill Bike Race, beginning at 8 a.m. July 21 at the foot of the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway The 4th Annual Wilmington/Whiteface 100K - July 22 at the entrance to the Whiteface Mt....
Of course the Whiteface Region takes on a decidedly outdoor feel during the summer months, just like in the winter months! However, the dominant theme for events this time of year (mid-to-late summer) leans more toward the arts than sports. Our region, like the surrounding areas, is a haven for artists and musicians of all kinds. There isn't a day during summer in the Adirondacks that you can't...
Most of the time when you mention “JEMS” outside of Jay, New York, you’ll get a puzzled look in return. But mention it in the Town of Jay and faces light up. JEMS stands for Jay Entertainment and Music Society. According to Heather Benfield, publicity director, JEMS was founded in 1987 to bring cultural events and much more to the town of Jay.  I would say they’ve succeeded quite nicely so far....
The Whiteface Region is full of events, year-round, but some of our favorites happen to take place in early fall. With the warm, blue-sky days, and clear, crisp nights of September, not to mention the backdrop of the flaming leaves, you won’t want to miss any of these events. Race to the top of the world On Saturday, September 13th, either join in or witness hundreds of...
If you're lucky enough, as I was, to spend an afternoon with Nathan Farb, you’ll come away inspired and awed by his work, especially if you’re an avid photographer like myself. I was thrilled to have had the amazing opportunity to speak with this local photography legend one day in late September.   We all know Nathan Farb as the preeminent Adirondack photographer who set the standard...
If you like music on the Fourth of July, the Whiteface Region is a good place to be. After BBQing with the family, head to Whiteface Mountain for some live tunes with YnotBlue. The Adirondack three-piece band plays, as they state on their Facebook page, rock and blues meets funk and psychedelic folk. The band released its first album, “End of Industry,” in September 2013. ...
Plan a day the Adirondack Artisan Way A scenic day drive for Wilmington, Jay & Ausable Forks I love when I'm on vacation & locals help map out a scenic drive or list of some cool spots to see while in the area. This blog recently took me on the path of one of my favorite scenic drives and into a world of arts & entertainment I had not fully experienced yet, even...
Get your beer steins polished up and your party pants on (better known as lederhosen in Bavaria). Then grab your friends and head to Wilmington, New York for the Whiteface Mountain Oktoberfest! The annual event has become one of the most popular of the many Oktoberfest celebrations in the Northeast.  Oktoberfest has a long history This year’s event...
When we begin to notice the late-summer sun slanting more and more toward fall, I like to hop into our bright blue 1995 Mustang rag-top, put the top down and ride around the North Country with the wind whipping around and the sun beating down. A convertible is especially great for viewing fall foliage this time of year.  Although the foliage hadn’t really started on this third week of September (...
There are a lot of rocks in the Adirondacks — one of the most exposed expanses of anorthosite granite in the world occurs here — but what about that other kind of rock? Kid Rock. Is there a connection between the man who helped pen “Bawitdaba” and the Adirondacks?  It turns out, there is. I found six degrees of separation between Kid Rock and Whiteface Mountain, a popular peak that's...
It's not easy to make Christmas happen all year long! But they manage to make it happen at Santa's Workshop, and they do it with a smile and plenty of Christmas cheer! Santa's head helper, John Collins, was kind enough to take some time out of his day during this very busy season to give me a behind-the-scenes tour of the property. He told me all about what it takes to spread Christmas...
A great thing about the Adirondacks is how we can provide the unexpected. So often you can find our meticulous plans getting derailed by weather. Or maybe once you arrive you discover unplugging appeals more than revving up. Fortunately, we can provide both. Many people come to enjoy our great outdoors, but there's also what you might call our great indoors. We have plenty of natural...
It was a good night. My band, Crowfeather, was getting ready to play at Pourman's Tap House in Wilmington, and the room wasn't empty. It's what anyone who's about to perform wants to see: Every time I looked up, the room looked slightly more crowded — friends and strangers mingled, and the energy level was high. The time had come, so I sat behind my drum kit and...
Maybe it started back in the 1920s when the artist, activist, writer, and adventurer Rockwell Kent built Asgaard Farm. The Whiteface Region has had an element of artist's colony ever since. But then, the Adirondacks has always attracted artisans. The Hudson River School of painting inspired artists to seek ever more stunning natural settings, created a need for packbaskets to be woven...
Ever wanted to be part of one of those charming hometown celebrations? The kind most people have only seen in the movies? Make that dream come true by becoming a part of a real hometown festival. The second Saturday in September (this year, that is September 9) is when Wilmington throws its townwide party, their annual Festival of Colors. You are invited! fit...
Wilmington is full of surprises. On the surface, it looks like a quiet, well-kept village, but there’s a lot more beneath the surface. Wilmington is also a place where the towering mass of Whiteface Mountain dominates the horizon, mountain biking enthusiasts cut trails across steep slopes, and bands begin playing when the craft beers start flowing. The next time you visit, don’t call...
The Bridges of Essex County Today's feature: The Whiteface Region and neighbors. There is a romance to certain bridges that no one can really deny. Covered bridges, or bridges over beautiful streams and rivers — it doesn't really matter, there is something romantic about them. What is it? Is it the rich history? Is it the charm? The wood, or steel used to build...
Most of us have to consider our budget and how far it can stretch when we travel. If viewing the finest in fall foliage is your reason for the season, the Whiteface Region is a great place to visit. It has all the sumptuousness of New England's explosion of color, set in a frame of rugged mountains and crystal blue rivers. It offers many inexpensive ways of enjoying fall to the fullest. ...
One of the hidden gems in the Adirondacks is the hamlet of Upper Jay. Located on the east branch of the Ausable River, Upper Jay is peacefully nestled in some of the best Adirondack scenery, with the High Peaks and babbling river up close. Upper Jay is also home to some great spots for art and culture in the region. The town is an easy drive from Lake Placid, just off Route 9N west of Wilmington...
So often, a visit to the gift shop is considered an afterthought after visiting an attraction. It’s common to dismiss this kind of shopping unless actively seeking a souvenir. That would be a mistake, especially in the gift-giving season. The Whiteface Region has delightful gift shops. They are a place to find Adirondack-themed decor, crafts from local artisans, and special treats. In...

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