Weekly Rochester Events #551 Starting Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Vacation to Acadia National Park
by Jason Olshefsky at 10:00 am (add a comment)

In case you hadn't already noticed, there was no blog activity last week, and the events list might have been a little more erroneous than usual. The reason was that Ali and I left on July 18 and headed to my parents' house in Schenectady, my friends Jan and Shannon in New Hampshire, Acadia National Park (State Highway 3 and Paradise Hill Rd., Bar Harbor, ME) for 3 days, Ali's friend in Boston, a brief stop at my parents' again, and back home on the 25th.

Naturally, when we got to Schenectady, we got a late lunch/early dinner at Jumpin' Jack's Drive-In (5 Schonowee Ave., Scotia) for their highly prized fast food. Afterward, we took a drive out to Frosty Acres (150 Skyline Dr., Schenectady) which is a local campground that I've seen signs for since I was a kid. By the time we left, we dubbed it "Shady Acres" — not only was the site that was recommended for us to check out a mud pile (and $25 per night), the clientèle was a mix of people residing there and/or passing through with no other living options. In essence: a bit of a rough crowd. Topping it off was the strict, literal enforcement of the 51⁄2 mile-per-hour speed limit. We ended up staying on the land in back of my parents' house, giving us a chance to fully test the tent and its set-up and take-down.

On Sunday we left for New Hampshire; this time taking the Turnpike through Massachusetts and forgoing the scenic, slower, and shorter trip through Vermont and New Hampshire. We hung out with Jan and Shannon, and my friends John and Michelle visited from Boston as well. We stayed through Tuesday before heading out to Maine.

Despite the rain, we decided to continue with the plan of following scenic Route 1. We got off Route 95 (which I guess now is 295 as 95 is now the toll road once known as 495 … thanks, Maine) at Freeport. We stopped at Classic Custard (150 Lower Main St., Freeport, ME) and had a hearty snack before continuing into town to visit L. L. Bean (10 Depot St., Freeport, ME) … I mean, how can you not, especially on a camping trip? I can only assume that L. L. Bean was there first and the shopping nightmare of "outlet" stores cropped up sometime later, but at least their store was competent … in my opinion, not worth a trip out of your way, but if you're a fan, it's worth it to at least stop.

Anyway, travel was excruciatingly slow and Route 1 is not nearly as scenic as it implies. That said, it's far more interesting a drive than Rt. 95, but the time cost is pretty high. We arrived at Acadia National Park (State Highway 3 and Paradise Hill Rd., Bar Harbor, ME) around 8 p.m. in steady rain. We decided to sleep in the Roadmaster after putting the coolers outside. Ali also wanted to get some dinner more substantial than the snacks we had; she settled for cheese and wine. We also got a chance to check out a Ranger lecture on the geology of the area at the park's outdoor amphitheater, giving us a taste of just how engaging the park really is. The rain kept the crowd light and most of us joined the Ranger on the covered stage. The rain got heavier as we left and we were confined to the car for the night.

Wednesday proved to be much better. We got the tent set up and had breakfast at camp. We took the "free" [paid for by our $20 car fee and L. L. Bean; once again] shuttle from the campground to nearby Bar Harbor. We signed up to go to Baker Island on Friday through The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. (1 West St., Bar Harbor, ME) — apparently a family of 12 lived on the remote island some considerable distance from shore during the 1800's. We stopped by Alone Moose (78 West St., Bar Harbor, ME) and chatted with the owner Sherry, stopping at the gallery upstairs, The Gallery Upstairs (78 West St., Bar Harbor, ME) to check out works by J. Stan Mason that greatly appealed to me.

Sherry recommended The West Street Cafe (76 West St., Bar Harbor, ME) which was excellent — and refreshingly inexpensive. I had the Cafe Special which was lobster and shrimp tossed with mushrooms over linguine; Ali had the lobster special which included a 1 pound lobster, clam chowder, and a slice of blueberry pie which we shared á la mode. Everything was excellent, and with 2 local beers, we barely cracked $50.

We headed back to our campsite then walked to Sand Beach — pretty much the only substantial traditional beach in Acadia, and a place where you can go swimming. The water temperature is claimed to be around 50°F, and I believe most adults (like Ali and I) experience pain from cold by letting the water wash over our feet. However, I couldn't resist playing in the ocean as it's so rare that we get there, so I used the technique the Ranger from last night suggested: run at full speed into the water. It turned out to be not as bad as first expected, and I stayed in for the better part of an hour; my body apparently adjusted much better to total immersion.

We used the park shuttle once more to get back to camp. I couldn't get much of a fire started, but neither could anybody as everything was so damp. We ended up eating what we could cook on the camp stove instead. I stayed up for a while trying, but I never could get the wood to stop boiling off water enough to ignite.

Thursday was also a nice day. We hiked up Beehive: one of the small mountains in the area, although much of the climb is quite steep. So much so, in fact, that iron rungs were installed to assist along the trail when it went vertical. The climb isn't all that high — only 500 feet or so — but it does yield a dramatic view of the coastline. There's also an easier trail that leads through the woods past Bowl Lake which was startlingly serene.

The park shuttles transfer at Bar Harbor's town square, so we spent some time once again there. We had another good meal at The Thirsty Whale Tavern (40 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, ME): I with a fish fry club sandwich (fried haddock, bacon, lettuce, tomato), and Ali with a lobster roll (big pieces of lobster held together with a bit of mayonnaise). We shopped for souvenirs and provisions: particularly, fire-starting sticks such that I might be able to get a fire going that would be capable of cooking something.

We decided to get ice cream and Ali joked that was going to get lobster ice cream so I said if they had it, she'd have to get it. As it turned out, Ben and Bills Chocolate Emporium (66 Main St., Bar Harbor, ME) had lobster ice cream and it wasn't all bad, although I let her off the hook and just forced her to taste it. We also stopped by The Bar Harbor Brewing Company (8 Mount Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME) which we'd had at the West Street Cafe and picked up a sampling of brews.

We got back later than we wanted, but still with plenty of daylight. I set to getting the fire started which went much better with the fire-starting sticks, but the wood was still too wet to yield good coals to cook over. We used it anyway, and had steak tips and corn for dinner along with some beer. We decided also to take down the tent as it was supposed to rain that night into Friday. And it did: starting around 2 a.m., waking us with its drumming on the roof of the car.

Friday was the day of the cruise to Baker Island, and we had set alarms to get up on time. No shuttles run that early, so we drove to Bar Harbor around 7 a.m., leaving the waterproof items behind for the time-being. We had a mediocre breakfast at Jordan's Restaurant (80 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, ME), forgetting that in most areas, diners are a "theme" restaurant and as such, expensive. Ali couldn't get over the fact that an unassuming vegetable-and-cheese omelette ran $11 … I almost had to take away her placemat menu! Further, the ship to the island was cancelled due to dangerously rough seas.

Instead, we decided to drive around the park loop. We drove up Cadillac Mountain — the highest peak on the Atlantic Coast north of Brazil — although it was essentially a steep grade in a blanket of fog and rain yielding a view of the sides, tops, and bottoms of clouds. We got back to camp and the rain had subsided as much as it was that day so we packed up and headed out.

We had our eyes out for those famous Maine blueberries. We stopped at a farm stand but the berries in the area were still too tart. Nonetheless, the guy also baked pies and had a blueberry one in the oven right then. Ali wanted it but I didn't want to wait for it to cool. After much disagreement, we finally decided to get it: as it turned out, it would cool fine in the car even if it wasn't perfectly level (it wasn't going to slop out as I thought). We made our way through Maine on I-95 (the new one, including the toll part) and hit Boston right at 5 p.m. The remaining 10 miles to Ali's friend's place took another hour and a half, but we ended up having a really nice time.

Saturday we got up and hit the road, stopping one last time to visit the ocean. We got to Schenectady by 4 p.m. and arrived at Ali's parent's at 8 p.m. to pick up our dog, Lucy. By 10 p.m. or so, we were all done and ready to take some time off to recuperate.

I was kind of expecting Acadia National Park to be like Stony Brook State Park (10820 State Route 36, Dansville), but alas, it's more like Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho) — only smaller in size. It would probably take a month to hike all the trails, attend all the Ranger discussions, and otherwise sample the whole place; much longer to savor it; and much longer than that to know it. I greatly enjoyed the "fractal effect" — that you could look at a grand-scaled wonder, then at the lay of the land and its geological history, then at the vegetation and stones nearby, then at the individual plants and the details in the individual pieces of stone, then at the lichens and mosses and their diversity — each time, there is something interesting to catch your eye.

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JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Titus starting early at 7 p.m. Shakespeare's tale brought to the big screen. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is CursiveMySpace link, The Love LanguageMySpace link, and great motley folk from Baby Shiver's BoutiqueMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is semi-melodic fast-paced noise (sometimes) from Pengo, The Graveyards, and CTJ starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is Billy Wallace and the Virginia BluesMySpace link, and The Bark EatersMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

Lindsay House (973 East Ave.) is hosting a charity benefit sale for Help Us Give Smiles (HUGS) today through Sunday starting at 10:10 a.m. [source: RocWiki calendar]

Author Richard O. Reisem will be at The Landmark Society of Western New York (133 S. Fitzhugh St.) from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. today to launch his new book, Historic Photos of New York State. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the clock tower near The Wilson Commons at The University of Rochester (Library Road, #39 on River Campus Map.) to The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) at 6 p.m. and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

The Electro KingsMySpace link will be at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 6 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

Today at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) at 6 p.m. is an art exhibition titled Scattered Lights of Jamaica by Ikahl (Michael) Beckford. [source: Baobab website]

The Spring Ensemble will be at The Mez CaféMySpace link (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (955 Genesee St.) will be hosting The Patrons Of SweetMySpace link, The Empire State TroopersMySpace link, and very tight modern rock from VeluxeMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee website]

JayceLand Pick Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is The Glorious VeinsMySpace link, good acoustic soloist Electric OrganicMySpace link, Harsh MellowsMySpace link, and Violet MaryMySpace link. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Léon Morin, prêtre (Leon Morin, Priest) starting at 8 p.m. and again tomorrow at 5 p.m. In German-occupied France, an atheist widow finds God and/or the titular priest. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) will be hosting The Dirty Bourbon Blues BandMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Buck Wild! starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight probably starting around 7 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is the Subversive Komedy Fest. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Village Idiots Present (VIP) will be performing comedy improv tonight at 8 p.m. [source: Village Idiots Present website]

JayceLand Pick Today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is The Park Avenue Festival (Park Ave. at Alexander St. to Culver Rd.) [source: Park Avenue events calendar]

Today at 2 p.m. at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is The Born Too Late Doom Metal Festival II featuring Iron Man, ArgusMySpace link, Revelation, OgreMySpace link, Pale DivineMySpace link, Apostle of SolitudeMySpace link, Against NatureMySpace link, good hard rock from J. G. BlizaroMySpace link, slower, cleaner metal from Orodruin, and While Heaven WeptGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar MySpace page]

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JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing My Fair Lady starting at 8 p.m. in which a professor tries to turn a plain girl into a lady of distinction. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Updated: Tonight's show with New MathMySpace link at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) has been cancelled. [source: Abilene e-mail]

Every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the Greatest Community Garage Sale and Super Flea series at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) [source: City Hall press release]

Top Pick As part of The Park Avenue Festival (Park Ave. at Alexander St. to Culver Rd.), infectious, percussion-and-horn-driven groove rock band The BuddhaHoodMySpace link will be at The Dragonfly Tavern (725 Park Ave.) today from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick Today at 2 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a What's Up Lecture with Debora McDell-Hernandez discussing Jacob Lawrence's Summer Street Scene in Harlem (1948). [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing It Pays To Advertise starting later than usual at 7:45 p.m. followed by White Woman at 9 p.m. Here's what the Eastman House calendar has to say: "screen icon Carole Lombard stars in a pair of racy features from a brief period of relaxed censorship in Hollywood. First, Lombard is a secretary who doesn't know she's in for a surprise when she plans to marry the layabout heir to a soap fortune. Rochester's own Louise Brooks co-stars! Then, in the lush White Woman, a torch singer (Lombard) banished from Malay nightclubs for "arousing" the natives, absconds with a sadistic plantation owner (Charles Laughton) who takes turns tyrannizing his new wife and his pet monkey. This wacky precursor to Apocalypse Now offers a heady brew of tribal insurrections, sexy ex-convicts, and a delirious Laughton as self-appointed 'King of the Jungle.'" [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

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JayceLand Pick Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Sparrows and ArrowsGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Gang Gang DanceMySpace link, and Hex MessageMySpace link will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It There?) starting at 8 p.m. A watch salesman searches for a woman to love while he tries to care for his recently widowed mother. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Mobius TripMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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Today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Washington Square Park (Woodbury Blvd at South Clinton Ave, across from Geva Theatre) is the Foodlink Farmers' Market. [source: RocWiki calendar]

Tonight at The Comedy Club (2235 Empire Blvd., Webster) is a Comedy Open Mic with Michael GatelyMySpace link. [source: Comedy Club website]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is an Open Mic with The Grand Canyon Rescue EpisodeMySpace link. [source: Abeline website]

The Comedy UndergroundMySpace link will be at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) tonight at 8 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

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This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, July 30, 2009 (Thu, Jul 30, 2009, 7/30/2009, or 7/30/09) Friday, July 31, 2009 (Fri, Jul 31, 2009, 7/31/2009, or 7/31/09) Saturday, August 1, 2009 (Sat, Aug 1, 2009, 8/1/2009, or 8/1/09) Sunday, August 2, 2009 (Sun, Aug 2, 2009, 8/2/2009, or 8/2/09) Monday, August 3, 2009 (Mon, Aug 3, 2009, 8/3/2009, or 8/3/09) Tuesday, August 4, 2009 (Tue, Aug 4, 2009, 8/4/2009, or 8/4/09) and Wednesday, August 5, 2009 (Wed, Aug 5, 2009, 8/5/2009, or 8/5/09).

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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