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NCPR News Staff: Joel Hurd

Stories filed by Joel Hurd

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Very Special Place: Burrville Cider Mill

There are few seasonal flavors that are as strong on the senses as apples and apple cider. For months and months we settle for fruit imported from who-knows-where, until late summer, when local apples are ready for picking and pressing. For many decades, people in Jefferson County have known that the first turning of the leaves means that Burrville Cider Mill is running at full capacity, producing some of the tastiest cider in the region. Today, NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. A few weeks ago, Joel Hurd and Varick Chittenden visited Burrville to learn more about cider, donuts and why many people think this oldest building in the county is haunted.  Go to full article
1958 Tedd Browne album cover
1958 Tedd Browne album cover

Lost and found songs from Lake George

A re-issue of a record featuring original about the Lake George region is finding a new audience 43 years after it was first released. "Lake George Musical Portrait" by singer and guitarist Tedd Browne includes Tom Goodwin on banjo and Bill Lee, father of filmmaker Spike Lee, on bass. That's pretty much all that's known about the record...where it was recorded, how it was recorded, and why a folk singer originally from Savannah, Georgia decided to visit and write about the region remains unknown. But an ambitious musician from the capital district saw the record as both an important musical document and history lesson that deserved to be heard again. Joel Hurd tells us more.  Go to full article
Above: the restored marquis, below: Reg Clark with the restored Palace organ
Above: the restored marquis, below: Reg Clark with the restored Palace organ

Very Special Place: Palace Theatre

The old main street theatre marquee is a fading sight on the American landscape. Lake Placid not only has a beautifully restored marquee, but the inside of the theatre has been restored with the same care and attention to detail, thanks to its owner of 46 years, Reg Clark. Today, NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. Varick Chittenden and Joel Hurd talk about the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid and learn more about its history and one-of -a-kind organ.  Go to full article

Very Special Place: Clare & Carl's Hot Dog Stand

Many communities define themselves, at least somewhat, by their food traditions. Clinton County is no exception to this with it's take on the classic american chili dog called the Michigan. Today NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at very special places in the North Country. While michigans are easy to find in and around Plattsburgh, many of the original establishments that have served michigans since the 1940s have gone away. But one place, Clare and Carls, is still going strong, selling hundreds of hot dogs a day for the few months it's open each year. Joel Hurd and Varick Chittenden visited the restaurant to find out why it's so popular.  Go to full article

Very Special Place: Lloyd's of Lowville

The classic American diner is such a revered symbol that it's common to see new restaurants designed to look like old diners. But the personal service, fair prices, great desserts and relaxed, friendly atmosphere usually let you know that you're in a diner that's been around a while, and is an important part of the community. Today NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. Joel Hurd and Varick Chittenden visited Lloyd's of Lowville earlier this year to find out why it's such an important part of Lewis County's largest town.  Go to full article
The Birdsfoot barn, above, and a sample of the garlic crop
The Birdsfoot barn, above, and a sample of the garlic crop

Very Special Place: Birdsfoot Farm

Mention communal living and it's easy to imagine the back-to-the-land movement of the late sixties and early seventies, which brought many people to the North Country for the first time. While many of these people have continued to call the region their home, many of the shared communities in which they lived have gone away. But for nearly thirty-five years, one North Country farm has continued to carry on the ideas on which it was founded. Today NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. Last month Joel Hurd and Varick Chittenden visited Birdsfoot Farm in Canton to find out what it means to live in a common space with shared values and shared responsibilities.  Go to full article

Very Special Places: Donnelly?s Ice Cream Stand

The dairy farm-turned ice cream stand is a common sight in the Northeast. And for many people in the Adirondacks only one place will satisfy their ice cream cravings and that's Donnelly's. For over fifty years it has been a favorite summer gathering place in the tri-lakes region. Today, NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. For most of our features in this series Varick Chittenden and Joel Hurd visit a place, gather interviews and sound and head for home. But for Donnelly's they felt it was important to make several stops in the last few months just t make sure the ice cream is as good as everyone says it is. Here's what they found on this tough assignment.  Go to full article
Club members cook and serve traditional southern Italian meals. Below: Club members and their spouses pose for a group portrait at the Sons of Italy hall, ca. 1950s<br />Photos courtesy of TAUNY
Club members cook and serve traditional southern Italian meals. Below: Club members and their spouses pose for a group portrait at the Sons of Italy hall, ca. 1950s
Photos courtesy of TAUNY

Very Special Place: Italian American Club in Massena

There was a time when the industrial centers of the northeast were filled with social clubs for various communities. These were meeting places for men who flocked to these cities for the good-paying factory jobs that were available. There is no town in Northern New York where this was more true than in Massena, which used to have the most diverse population in the region. These days all of the social clubs that catered to these various communities have gone away, except for one. Today NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. A few weeks ago, Joel Hurd and Varick Chittenden visited the Italian American Club.  Go to full article

Very special place: Freeman?s Taffy Stand

The 187th Lewis County Fair starts today. There will be rides, concerts, a demolition derby, and of course, all types of food. Many of the food vendors will have portable facilities that set up for a few days and then move on to the next fair. But one local favorite has been selling its treats from the same building for over 100 years. Today, NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. Last year, Joel Hurd and Varick Chittenden visited the fair to learn more about Freeman's Taffy Stand.  Go to full article

Very Special Places: Vivekananda Cottage

Tucked away on Wellesley Island is the private community of Thousand Island Park with its collection of Victorian ginger-bread cottages. Originally a Methodist summer community, the colorful, well-maintained cottages, tabernacle and pavilion are a part of North Country history few people know about. One large cottage at the top of a hill has been associated with the Rama-Krishna sect of Hinduism since the celebrated Swami Vivekananda spent a summer here resting and lecturing a small group of followers in 1893. Since the 1940s it has been the site of an annual spiritual retreat. Today, NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, continue our look at some very special places in the North Country. Joel Hurd and Varick Chittenden visited Vivekananda Cottage last year when the current swami was hosting over 100 devotees from around the world.  Go to full article

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