Beneath Lake Ontario's beautiful water lie many sunken ships

In 2008, a pair of divers from the Rochester region, Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville, discovered the wreck of a British Warship, the HMS Ontario, lost in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War.  This shipwreck is the oldest ever found in the Great Lakes region.  Both storms and wars have taken their toll on many ships traversing the Great Lakes and now many scuba divers find that the waters of Lake Ontario are a treasure trove of adventure.  Over 200 shipwrecks are believed to be hidden under the murky waters of Lake Ontario.

P.S. Lake Ontario is a Great Lake, and is not one of the Finger Lakes, but it borders the northern shores of the Finger Lakes region.


If you sell art, crafts or gourmet food items, Granger Homestead’s Christkindl Market may be the perfect place to exhibit for the holidays.  This three-day event is held under heated tents on the grounds of the historic Granger Family home and it gets thousands of visitors over the course of the weekend who are looking for unique items for holiday gifting and in seeing the lovely Festival of Trees that opens the same weekend.

The 2011 Christkindl Market will take place from November 11 – 13, so be sure your application is postmarked on or before May 1 to participate as a vendor in this fun and festive event! CLICK HERE FOR VENDOR APPLICATION.

Video courtesy of Youtube, Granger Homestead & Carriage Museum and Bed and Breakfast Video.

For 2011, The Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend took place on July 22-25.

This is Part 2 of an article by guest author, Peter F. Eder. Peter is Senior Editor of The HUB magazine, a marketing publication and Contributing Marketing and Communications Editor of The Futurist magazine.  Peter, a Darien CT resident, enjoys travel and writing about destinations in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

To read part I about planning the trip, getting there and getting autographs, click here.

Induction Weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame

The Induction Ceremony

Tens of Thousands show up for baseball's favorite weekend

Sunday afternoon, the Induction Ceremony unfolds under a large tent erected for the Honorees, attending fellow Members and the presenters.  A record number of Hall of Famers (54 of the 286) were at hand.  There are no admission fees.  Except for a small corral of official sets, the fans have their chairs, tents, picnic blankets spread out on a lovely rolling green field.  Screens project the event for those not close enough to see it first-hand.

Impromptu Wiffle Ball games and softball games are organized and children wearing every possible array of team outfits and player gear enjoy the afternoon.  Refreshments are provided by the students of the Cooperstown schools, who use the proceeds to fund their class trips – it’s a genuine, local and happy scene.

The formal start of the Ceremony is the recitation of “Casey at the Bat”, Ernest Thayer’s 1888 classic by a person wearing a uniform of that era.  The fans are encouraged to add the appropriate sound effects – cheers, groans, sighs and boos – and even the closing line: “Mighty Casey has struck out!”.

Then “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” is sung, led by an appropriate baseball legend, with the audience joining in.  That is followed by the singing of the U.S. and Canadian National Anthems.

With that as the traditional, annual preface, the Honorees are introduced, plaques revealed and acceptance remarks made.  They are often touching –sometimes humorous, sometimes ironic – recognizing and thanking present and deceased family members, early coaches, managers, former teammates, and owners.  No one is rushed and each Inductee proceeds at a different pace.

The fans offer their comments by enthusiastic applause, whistles, cheers, or polite claps, or murmurs of dissent or disapproval – but no actual booing – just some vocal grumbling.

Winding Down – Cooperstown and its environs

Staying an extra day on Monday, or coming a day earlier on Thursday, has some great rewards.  Cooperstown and its surroundings should get the exploring they richly deserve.

Cooperstown, founded in 1785 by William Cooper, the father of author James Fenimore Cooper, sits at the south end of Ostego Lake.  Not just the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame which opened in 1939, the town contains the Farmers Museum and the Fenimore House, all substantial in size and interest.  And just ten minutes north is the Glimmerglass Opera House, one of New England’s famous summer theatres.

Another delightful option is to go to Glimmerglass State Park at the northern end of Otsego Lake.  It’s a great place to picnic, grab a snack at the stand and go for a refreshing swim.

Cooperstown is unique in America today.  It is a town that has not experienced the ups and downs or radical changes of so many other small U.S. towns.  Rather it has gradually evolved into a classic showplace of Americana, not just baseball, but the well-lived and documented small town life.

A Cautionary Note:

Be forewarned that the town takes its parking ordinances seriously.  While there is ample street parking – and it is all free – the two-hour parking limit is strictly enforced.  If you are anticipating a longer stay in one location, use the many available lots.  Churches, home-owners turn their parking spaces and sometimes lawns into lots.

By Peter F. Eder, written August 2008.

Induction Weekend 2011

This year, Induction Weekend will take place from July 22-25, honoring a number of the game’s legendary athletes including Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick. The Induction Ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. on July 24.  This year’s festivities include a new Saturday afternoon event honoring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum annual award winners in a free event at Doubleday Field. The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will salute the 2011 winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence, Dave Van Horne, and the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for meritorious contributions to baseball journalism, Bill Conlin, with the presentation of the awards and speeches from the award recipients at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.

For more information on visiting Cooperstown, visit This is Cooperstown.

Be sure to read part 1 of this article, Induction Weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown NY – Planning, Getting There and Getting Autographs

You may also enjoy Genesee Country Village and Museum that includes information about the museum’s 19th Century National Baseball Tournament and League.

A friend  who is an avid traveler just sent a link to a new phone app that I predict will give “legs” to travel stories.  This new phone app, called Broadcastr, is currently in Beta testing but promises to be an exciting social media technology.

IPhone and Android users can download the free app to record place-based stories. Imagine having the tool to record your most exciting adventures, your funniest anecdotes, your favorite museum tour, an oral history, or whatever your imagination can invent, just as it’s happening.  Your story will be linked to a map and accessible to anyone you want to hear it.

Imagine taking this little gem on a wine tasting tour to share your experience as it’s happening and record your impressions of the wines you’re tasting and the wineries you visit!

By the way, if you’re looking for a phone app to help you rate and remember the wines you enjoy while you’re visiting wineries, check out “5 Must-Have iPhone Apps for Wine Lovers.”

P.S. If you’d like to hear a tale from the early days at J. Walter Thompson or adventures of playing ball in Washington Heights, search on “Peter Eder” to hear several tales told by the friend who tipped me off on this app.

Indigenous plants are a lovely addition to a garden

Around this time of year, as the days get longer and the sun begins to burn off the long gray days of winter, people in the Finger Lakes region start planning their gardens. They pour through seed catalogs, dust off the gardening tools, decide the mix of vegetables to flowers. It’s a time to rejoice in the coming of spring and the first sight of robins that herald the advent of warmer seasons.

If you are an avid gardener, you may already know of many of these resources, but if you are new to native plants, have recently moved here or are visiting the region, here are some wonderful resources for information, courses and purchasing native plants:

Nurseries in the Finger Lakes that specialize in native plants: Native plants – those indigenous to this region – are a wonderful addition to any garden. They are perfectly suited to our climate and many are becoming rare in their traditional habitats. Native plants are also wonderful for sheltering and providing food for native wildlife as well as warding off the spread of invasive plant species.  Most of these nurseries also provide great online resources for learning more about native plants.

  • Amanda’s Garden – Specializes in woodland wildflowers and propagates many species of native perennials. Springwater.
  • Plantsman Nursery – Has propagated and raised native plants in the nursery environment for over 15 years without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Groton.
  • White Oak Nursery -has been propagating and growing over 80 species of native shade trees and native flowering shrubs since 1995. Canandaigua.

Classes, workshops and symposia:

Helpful websites:

Thank you to Kimberly Burkard for this submission:  The Upstate Gardeners’ Journal (which is free at many local nurseries and now online as well) is a great resource for gardening info of all types in the Finger Lakes.

If you know of others, please share them!

When I was 16, I saw my first ballet.  I’d joined a community chorus and the group made a pilgrimage to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center during its summer season to see Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

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Enjoy the magical holiday tale of the Nutcracker who comes to life!

The performance entranced me.  I remember where I was sitting and what I wore.  I recall holding my breath during some of the more spectacular dance scenes and the exhileration I felt when the music swelled from one movement to the next, taking me on an epic journey.  No matter how often I see The Nutcracker, the magic never wears off.

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In prior years, our family has always been away for the Friday through Sunday following Thanksgiving, the weekend when The Nutcracker is traditionally performed by the award-winning Rochester Philharmonic Orchester (directed by Michael Butterman) and the renowned  Rochester City Ballet (under the artistic direction of Jamey Leverett). This year’s performance will also feature the Bach Children’s Chorus (in residence at Nazareth College, directed by Karla Krogstad) and will include performances by guest artists from some of the top ballet companies in the U.S. and by over 150 community children.

I was delighted to see that, in a year that has put pressure on many family’s budgets, the RPO and Rochester City Ballet have joined forces to make this delightful tale of the Nutcracker who comes to life more accessible to families by offering special children’s pricing.  Children’s tickets start as low as $10!  And anyone who is already an RPO member is entitled to special discounted “add-on pricing” to their normal subscription season, with tickets starting at $15.

The Nutcracker will be performed Friday through Sunday, November 27 through 29 at 2 PM and 7  PM at the Easman Theater located at 25 Gibbs Street Rochester, NY.

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To purchase your tickets to the Nutcracker, CLICK HERE or visit any Wegmans “That’s T.H.E. Ticket” office.

P.S. By the way, if you and your little ones would like to “Get Ready for the Nutcracker,” join the Rochester City Ballet at Strong National Museum of Play on Wednesday, November 11 from 12PM-4PM for an afternoon of music, storytelling and dance, included with Strong National Museum of Play Admission.

Photos courtesy of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester City Ballet.

 If you’ve enjoyed this post, you may also want to read Strong National Museum of Play – Rochester, NY

Updated for 2010

Since 1994, Casa Larga Vineyards and Winery has been creating Lilac Hill Wine in celebration of Rochester’s longest-running festival, the Rochester Lilac Festival which takes place this year  from May 14 through May 23.

Casa Larga's Lilac Hill Wine, 2009

Casa Larga's Lilac Hill Wine, 2009

Lilac Hill has become the official wine of the festival, celebrated for its delightful taste and recognized by its distinctive blue bottle decorated with the official design of the festival.  The 2009 poster and label were created by award-winning local illustrator Chris Lyons and feature a beautiful bouquet of white and magenta lilacs on a black background,cascading out of a clear round vase in which goldfish swim.

Be sure  to purchase your wine early this year because Casa Larga has produced a limited quantity of this popular favorite.  It will be available during May, only at Casa Larga’s Wine Shop at the winery and vineyard located at 2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, NY, online, and at the Festival in the wine tasting tent.  If you’d like to sample the wine, stop by the wine tent at the Lilac Festival on Thursday, May 20th, where Casa Larga staff will be offering wine tasting throughout the day.

Tasting Notes about Lilac Hill Wine: Lilac Hill is a smooth and mildly sweet white wine blend reminiscent of a Riesling.  With a floral nose and refreshing citrus characterics, Lilac Hill is the perfect accompaniment to the annual Lilac Festival in May.

Food Pairings: A versatile wine, Lilac Hill pairs excellently with a variety of foods, ranging from zesty citrus flavors to spicy cuisine.

Winemaking Notes: The wine is fermented using Cold Fermentation in stainless steel, bringing out the fruit flavor and aromas in the wine.

Tasting, Food Pairing and Winemaking notes, courtesy of Casa Larga Vineyards & Winery.

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