CITY July 2024

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When I was 22 years old, I landed a job in Geneseo. This was back in the days of Craigslist apartment hunting, and I answered an ad looking for roommates to share a house on Conesus Lake, the westernmost of the Finger Lakes. I’d never been to Conesus Lake, nor had roommates.

A girl about my age had

posted the ad, and I was the first roommate on board. After interviewing and approving a guy a few years younger than us, our motley trio moved into a mustardand-green cottage on West Lake Road. Among my lasting memories of the house is the lingering dampness; the carpet in my room never felt completely dry. But the rent was $300 a month in the offseason, and I spent nine months falling asleep to the sound of water lapping against the dock.

All these y ears later, I’m always looking for reasons to live on the water again. It channels power and peace; a conduit for both.

Lucky for me, I have a few places to choose from if (when) the time comes. Rochester is seated in the heart of the Finger Lakes — a fact we often take for granted when all 11 of the lakes are within a few hours’ drive. My prediction? The entire region is about to hit an even greater boom of tourism and production.

Each y ear going forward, we’ll focus an entire issue of CITY on the Finger Lakes region, from Conesus to Skaneateles. There are amazing things happening in every season, but the summer feels like a perfect time to highlight travel possibilities, in particular, so we

chose July. In this issue, we explore an unlikely spot for dumplings, a reimagined Linden Street spot, the only (?) tea farm in the Finger Lakes and much more.

And of course, w e will continue Finger Lakes coverage in other issues — as always, if you have a story idea (or three), let us know!

See you shoreside, L P.S. We’re scaling back our CITY Socials to every few months, but we’ll be back in August! Stay tuned for the date + location.

CITY Social


Scenes from our Rochester Cocktail Revival party at The Genesee Riverway Promenade on Friday, June 7.




REPORTER: Andrea Burke, age 41. Writer and teacher, author of “A Bit of Earth: A Year in the Garden with God,” forthcoming from Lexham Press on July 31.

SOCIAL: @andreagburke on Instagram;

HOMETOWN: Fairport

READING: “The New Yorker;” “The Splendid and the Vile” by Erik Larson; accessing the Monroe County Library (including audiobooks) through the Libby app; “Jesus Through the Eyes of Women” by Rebecca McLaughlin; Andy Squyres (@andysquyres) on Instagram; “No Regretti Spaghetti” recipes (and all of my recipes saved on the Paprika app); my Substack feed.

EATING: Gimbap; “No Regret Spaghetti” master pasta dough (to use up all of the eggs from our chickens and ducks on our property); steaks from local farmer Tom Phillips Beef with a cold glass of Weis Vineyards Perle; Ugly Duck’s iced latte; Furoshiki’s miso ramen with extra veggies and a spice bomb; Living Roots Session Sparkling White with Meredith Dairy’s marinated sheep and goat cheese on baguette (IYKYK); salty bread from Amazing Grains; Cape Cod sweet and spicy jalapeño chips; a bowl of frozen fruit with a whole juiced lemon or lime and a teaspoon of sugar; and cooking up whatever we can from the food we’re growing ourselves.

PLAYING: For podcasts: “Crime Junkie,” “White Devil,” “CounterClock,” “Ringer Food,” “The Dave Chang Show,” “Raising Boys and Girls,” “Podcast from Italy.” Games:

Five Crowns, dice. “The First Train Home” by Hazlett; “Mariner Boy” by Amble; the Teskey Brothers. On Spotify: Willie Nelson Radio, the Mamas and the Papa Radio, the Andrews Sisters. On TV: the Bills; “The Office”; and “Jeopardy!” (a new family night favorite).


OBSESSING OVER: My first book, “A Bit of Earth,” is available for pre-sale now and it’s taking up all my brain space for promoting it! My garden; my family; the new ducklings we just hatched. La Tavola Marche (we went last fall and cannot wait to go back). Outdoor dinners with the people

I love. Crossword puzzles. “The Entombment” by Luca Giordano at the Memorial Art Gallery (on the second floor by the organ)—I could

ery in Honeoye. Add shrimp to the Bird Gang burrito at Old Pueblo. Give all of your watermelon rinds this summer to your friends or neighbors who have chickens. Irish music night at Temple Bar on Sunday nights.The Honeyman honey— if you can find him!

TREATING MYSELF TO: Hair day with Kendra O’Connell at NOTA Beauty Co. A homemade Aperol Spritz for these summer evenings. Slow days at home, without any hurry as time with my children just flies by. (My teenage daughter tells me I need to get better at this category.)

SHOUTING OUT: Ashley Kirnan (owner of Tarry Grove Flower Farm & Design)—the best friend and florist in town; and Jocelyn Mesiti (Honest to Goodness Photography)—the most beautiful soul, friend and photographer.

Interested in being a CITY R.E.P.O.R.T.S. interviewee? Send an email to

Finger Lakes 101

 We may have 10 fingers, but there are 11 major Finger Lakes (and a few more minor ones). Could you name them? From west to east, they are: Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice, Honeoye, Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles, Otisco. (Cazenovia, the easternmost lake of similar shape and size, is sometimes referred to as the “12th Finger Lake.”)

 Speaking of names, how did that come about? According to Native American legend, the lakes were formed by the hands of the Great Spirit when they laid their hands on the land to bless it. Their fingers left imprints that filled with water, hence the name “Finger Lakes.”

 There’s one “man-made” Finger Lake, DeRuyter Reservoir (also known as Tioughnioga Lake or DeRuyter Lake). It’s located southwest of Cazenovia Lake on Limestone Creek, eight miles from the northernmost point on the Finger Lakes Trail, and was built as a feeder for the Erie Canal by the New York State Canal Corporation.

 It’s widely agreed on that Reverend William Bostwick planted the first vineyard in the Finger Lakes in his rectory garden in Hammondsport around 1830. By 1860, 200 acres of vineyards had been planted around Keuka Lake — Pleasant Valley Wine Company, also in Hammondsport, became the first bonded winery.

 Ever experienced the “Ring of Fire” that happens on several of

the lakes? Long before the song by Johnny Cash came about, the people of the Seneca tribe would burn tobacco around the shores of Canandaigua Lake to give thanks for a plentiful harvest. This tradition continues today, usually around Independence Day or Labor Day weekend, when residents light fires or flares that create a ring around an entire lake.

 The longest lake is 40 miles in length (Cayuga) and the deepest, which also accounts for 50% of the water in the Finger Lakes, is 618 feet (Seneca).

 A few Owasco Lake towns, in particular, have deep ties to American

history. Moravia is the birthplace of President Millard Fillmore and was the childhood home of John D. Rockefeller. Auburn is known as “History’s Hometown,” as the former homes of Harriet Tubman, William Seward and Ted Case (inventor of sound on film) are all located there.

 While wine and tourism is a given in the Finger Lakes, the emerging leading industries are optics and photonics, biotech, agribusiness and software and digital media. The region is fifth in the nation for most patents per capita and the seventh “brainiest metro” in the U.S. with 19 colleges and universities.

 There are many legends

surrounding Seneca Lake, including stories of secret passageways between lakes, sea serpents and "Lake Drums” — distant booms that have been heard across the lake since the time of the Iroquois, and can still be heard. To this day, no one knows what causes them.

 Canadice Lake has been a water reservoir for the City of Rochester since 1876. Because of this, there is no development permitted along the shoreline and certain activities on the lake are either banned (such as swimming) or restricted.


A Finger Lakes sampler

It’s hard to deny there’s something nice about routine.

For the last four years, my husband and I have been visiting the same restaurant for our weekly date night, and the same wineries on our Finger Lakes getaways. We have truly leaned into the idea of being “a regular.” We find it comforting, and perhaps necessary, to relish in the familiar and expected. But as time advances and the world opens back up, we’ve been remembering the thrill of discovery; the excitement of a new experience and the satisfaction of a fresh core memory made.

The Finger Lakes offer so much more than your favorite wine, beer or spirit tasting — here is just a small taste of experiences worth enjoying across the 11 lakes.


A visit to the Seneca Art & Culture Center at the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor illuminates the lives of the region’s Haudenosaunee history. Their stories will be shared through music, performance and


food at the annual Indigenous Music & Arts Festival (July 27 - 28). Don’t forget to visit the Seneca Bark Longhouse while you’re there. Shuttle service to and from the Longhouse and parking lot is available for those in need.

The care taken by Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in sharing the family’s culture through food and wine experiences is unmatched. Alongside an annual Saperavi Festival every June, check out the Ukrainian Summer Kitchen on July 13 or Austrian Heuriger on September 19. Each pairs traditional foods with Dr. Frank wines for a truly memorable (and delicious) time. A portion of proceeds from the Ukrainian Summer Kitchen benefit World Central Kitchen. As with all outdoor events, be mindful of gravel and uneven land. The payoff is an incredible view.


There’s nothing like walking into a tasting room or bar and discovering the treat of live music on a sunny day. In the thick of the season, performances can be found from Conesus to Otisco.

For the jazz heads, the annual Glenora Wine Cellars Jazz Greats concert series returns July 21 and August 18. Grab a bottle of winemaker Edward Miller’s crushable Sauvignon Blanc and find a spot on the lawn. Rain or shine.

Live Music on the Bluff is the perfect excuse to take the long drive past miles of farmland to the Garrett Memorial Chapel. Concerts (July 21, August 25) are free, but donations at the

door benefit ongoing building restoration. If you can, explore the historical chapel and grounds before the music begins. Pack your own picnic provisions and chairs for the best experience.


Learn the art of stonemasonry at Hunt Country Vineyards. DJ Kitzel teaches you the skill of drylaid stone through this intimate, two-day hands-on workshop September 14-15. Each ticket includes locally catered food and refreshments, plus a well-deserved glass of wine at the end of the day.

Curtiss Aviation Museum at Depot Park September 6-8. Pro-tip: pick up breakfast or a sweet treat from Crooked Lake Ice Cream Co. and canned wine from Hangar 17 at Point of the Bluff Winery to enjoy while you gawk — both brands are designed in homage to Curtiss and his grand innovations in engineering and aviation.

Ithaca is home to a farm and gallery created by midwife-turned-gourd crafter Graham Ottoson, who demonstrates the potential of hard-skinned fruits through education and art. Visitors can DIY their own gourd light, necklace, box or basket to display at home or gift to a loved one. Appointments recommended.


Explore the history of Keuka Lake at the Wings & Wheels Seaplane and Car Show in Hammondsport on September 21. This outdoor event is hosted by Glenn H.

Geneva’s Linden Street is a local institution, with fantastic food and beverage options amidst a bustling scene. On weekends it closes to vehicle traffic, allowing for the safe exploration of the businesses along the street. Five Saturdays a season, the Linden Wine Series takes over. The series is a project hosted by Linden Street Charities, a non-profit founded by Vinifera New York co-owner Jim Cecere. Upcoming events include a meet-and-greet with the women of FLX wine on August 6, a sparkling wines celebration on August 31 and Geneva’s first-ever Oktoberfest on October 5. All proceeds benefit the sustainable initiatives of The Finger Lakes Land Trust and the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association.

Glenora Wine Cellars stage overlooks Seneca Lake and hosts their ‘Jazz Greats’ concert series. PHOTOS PROVIDED
“Bluff & Vine” curates a collection of Finger Lakes stories.

Lake lit


It’s easy to look over the rolling hills, the occasional farmhouse with its crawling ivy, the way traffic rises and falls with the roads, a boat on the bordering river — and feel how the Finger Lakes is a place that buoys stories.

Bethany Snyder and Alex Andrasik are two people moved and affected by this pulse, and in 2017, they created the literary magazine “Bluff & Vine” as a result.

“We wanted to give voice to what we hoped, and what turned out to be true, was the untapped creativity of the area and put it on paper for posterity,” said Snyder, whose family has been in Penn Yan for multiple generations.

The two are longtime friends, having met at a most appropriate setting for creative writers: the library, where Andrasik, who moved to Penn Yan from Fredonia in 2014, works. Together, they started a monthly writing group called Keuka Writes and after about a year, started to ask themselves: “What if?”

“We were waiting, I think, for permission to do it,” said Snyder. “And then realized, we can just do it. So we did.”

“Bluff & Vine” was originally relegated to Keuka Lake, but has since expanded to include all 11 Finger Lakes. Over seven issues, they’ve had writers from as far as San Francisco, Virginia and Boston, all of whom have some connection to the area.

“We weren’t sure what we were going to get,” said Andrasik. “When I tell people that ‘Bluff & Vine’ exists, they are very surprised at first, and then delighted. I don’t think people expect (it from) our region — I don’t

really know why. But they’re always very happy it’s happening.”

Adele Gardner, whose family grew up in Keuka Park, has been a regular “Bluff & Vine” contributor since issue two.

“It’s like a direct line to inspiration,” they said.

Though Gardner has since moved away, it’s Keuka Lake they think of when writing, as well as the lake they visit every year.

“Two reasons for me are beauty — because so much of writing is about beauty of one form or another, trying to convey this sense of what’s beautiful

about life and the world,” they said. “And also peace, which is so necessary to being able to write.”

Again, there’s something about the bluff that nestles up against the water, the vining threads that tie generations together, that makes people want to write things down.

“We can’t help but be shaped by where we are,” said Andrasik. “I’m not from here, but I have changed immensely in the past 10 years. The people, the conditions, the economy — all those factors play into our existence.”

Before the upcoming “In the

Shadows” issue, which has a July 31 submissions deadline, none of the issues “Bluff and Vine” were themed, though there were organic vines through the stories placed next to each other. A symbiotic push and pull, a lapping of waves.

“There’s so many rich, deep stories and unearthing them is part of the joy I get from the magazine,” said Snyder.

“Bluff & Vine” is not just about discovering new stories, as many of them have been around for generations. What the magazine does is set them in stone.

“We published two pieces by a woman in her 90s,” said Snyder. “The first thing she ever published was about the day World War II ended and she knew her brother was coming home.”

The woman has since died, but her voice is forever preserved in a book, nestled in the very shelves Andrasik stacks.

“Somebody will find it,” he said. “Fifty years down the line when it’s dusty on the shelf, it will stay there for that next person to come through and say, ‘This is the town I grew up in, the region where I spent my childhood summers. (This is) my life.’”

"Bluff & Vine" creators Bethany Snyder and Alex Andrasik. PHOTO BY ANGELA PROIETTI-NELSON

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Springboard is a competition awarding cash prizes for big ideas that help entrepreneurs make a bigger impact in Greater Buffalo, Rochester or the Southern Tier. Applications for Round Three are due August 23, 2024. Awards will be announced at an event in the Southern Tier in October 2024.

Castaways and cutouts


Awedding bouquet toss can be fertile ground for comedic bits in a stage play. Two bridesmaids could have a tug-of-war, for instance, or the flowers might land in the arms of a bemused dude who ends up enjoying his moment.

But the bouquet must be big enough or the joke loses its power. It’s the job of Lizz K.d., the production manager of props with the Rochester Community Players, to translate it visually for the Highland Bowl stage.

For “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” a lesser Shakespeare work being mounted by the company this month, K.d.’s tasked with making the props bold and easy to view for audience members hundreds of feet away.

One way to do that? Cardboard. Lots of cardboard.

“My entire studio and every room in my house is entirely full of cardboard boxes,” K.d. said, “until we cut them down into little smaller pieces and glue them together and paint them and prime them and cut them into props. I’ve been calling it a cardboard cave.”

That cardboard will be seen as crowns, swords, ships, ocean waves and, yes, bouquets during the run of “Pericles” from July 11-27. It’s the 27th annual Shakespeare in the Park the company has staged at Highland Bowl, the outdoor amphitheater in Highland Park.

Director Kathryn Rebholz


pointed out how their eye-popping props can’t be picked up from thrift shops. “Almost everything has to be built, which is not always the case in performances such as this,” she said.

This year’s production is meant to evoke a storybook feel, hence the thick black outlines that give the props a cartoon aesthetic. One of the challenges, K.d. said, is simply sourcing enough corrugated cardboard to make each prop two layers thick. By early June, the production had enough to create a four-foot-high stack.

“The crown that I made is two

animated television show, which evolved into the storybook come

himself, Edward Byrne, believes the play has staying power with modern audiences because of

how its lead endures a crucible of hardship across five acts. Nevertheless, he persists — and is rewarded in the end for his

We can interpret and relate to him as almost an absurdist character with how many bad things happen to him in a pretty rapid succession,” Byrne said. “The question becomes: How do you try to sustain yourself through that?” ericles’ odyssey may work well on the Highland Bowl stage, where a twodimensional visual style can be contrasted with high emotional stakes. That vision also speaks to the staying power of the natural amphitheater as a venue for experiencing live theater. y bio says I would live (in the Bowl) if I could,” Ben Gillooly, who plays three different roles, said. “It’s really powerful to stand on that stage and look up the hill over to South Avenue and just see it, on a good night, full of spectators.”

Edward Byrne and Madeleine Fordham rehearse their characters’ wedding scene for “Pericles, Prince of Tyre.”
The stage at Highland Bowl. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

Finger Lakes screenwriter


Ebeltoft is having a banner year.

From comic strips to the big screen


The Finger Lakes region offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of Broadway or Hollywood, yet even small towns have big stories to tell — at least, David Ebeltoft certainly thinks so. Ebeltoft, a comic book author and screenwriter living in Corning, is enjoying a remarkable year.

About 15 years ago, Ebeltoft changed careers to become a selftaught screenwriter.

“I went to a bookstore and read the forward to every single screenwriting book on the shelves,” he said. “At the core of everything is a great story.”

Ebeltoft’s tenacity paid dividends. Upon completing his maiden screenplay, he was introduced to up-and-coming director Rod Blackhurst. While that project faltered, their friendship endured. Several years later, they had something more promising. Directed by Blackhurst and filmed in the forests of New York’s Southern Tier, Ebeltoft’s film “Here Alone” earned accolades at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 and secured a Netflix release.

“That allowed the film and screenwriting doors to open for me,” he said, “and I was able to wedge my foot in before they could close again.”

Ebeltoft couldn’t have predicted that eight years later he’d be standing on the Montana prairie

chatting with “Game of Thrones” legend Kit Harington, but he has the photo to prove it. Released in April 2024, “Blood for Dust” is Ebeltoft’s third feature film, starring Harington alongside Scoot McNairy and Josh Lucas.

Resembling gritty Texan crime thrillers like “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water,” “Blood for Dust” is a story of friendship, desperation and bad decisions. But for Ebeltoft, who grew up in North Dakota, the frigid northern winter imbues the film with a chilling gravitas that can’t be matched.

A measure of silver screen success now assured, Ebeltoft has redirected his focus to a different facet of pop culture: comic books. Once an avid teenage comic enthusiast, Ebeltoft felt he had strayed from the path when he became more interested in literature and film, but has since reignited his passion for

comic collecting.

“There’s no limit to your imagination with comics,” he said.

Through a mutual connection, Ebeltoft met Los Angeles-based comic writer Jordan Hart and their collaboration began.

“We felt we should put our hat in the creator ring,” Ebeltoft said. “Jordan had a few comics under his belt already, but I was super excited to think about comics as a new campfire to tell a story around.”

The result is a five-issue release, “The Cabinet.” It features a young female heroine, Avani, who is loosely inspired by Ebeltoft’s spouse. With vibrant visuals by Italian artist Chiara Raimondi, “The Cabinet” is a wickedly funny, inventive odyssey chronicling Avani’s attempts to save the world from an evil entity with her mystical 17thcentury cabinet.

“I wanted this to be a fun adventure series, quite departed from my very dark film work,” Ebeltoft said. “I wanted a warm, fuzzy feeling in my gut, and I wanted my wife and my kids to have that, too.”

Since the comic’s spring publication, Ebeltoft has toured regional comic book conventions, promoting “The Cabinet” and meeting local fans. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive, reminding him that connecting locally — even from the Finger Lakes — can spark global connections, too.

“Living in the Finger Lakes allows me to take these big emotional stories that have a universal resonance but keep them within the small area that I know, love and draw inspiration from,” said Ebeltoft. “It’s a unique perspective because, let’s be honest, this is a really unique area.”

Kit Harington and David Ebeltoft on the set of “Blood for Dust.” PHOTO BY ROD BLACKHURST ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED

Multiple generations bring rhythm and community to Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance.

Movement for the future

For Montee Sinquah, dance isn’t just an artform. It’s also a way to share culture, positivity and history. Alongside family members Scott and Sampson, Sinquah travels the world performing social forms of indigenous singing, dancing and music. They are members of the Hopi, Tewa and Choctaw nations from the Hopi villages in Northern Arizona, and hope to educate audiences about their culture and experiences.

The trio will tell their family’s stories through song and dance at the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance this summer, as they have each year since 2017. Sinquah always looks forward to the festival for the camaraderie shared between musicians, entertainers and the audience. His family also connects with the people of the Iroquois nation when they come to the Finger Lakes, with whom they share a powerful message behind their dance and music.

“We encourage people to find the positive light and love that’s provided for us,” Sinquah said. “We’re all human and we must stand up for the beings that don’t have a voice: the plants, the insects, the animals, the air.”

Sinquah’s family has been passing down their songs and dances alongside this message for many years.

“It’s why a lot of us as indigenous people continue to carry it close to us,” he said. “It has helped us survive.”

The multi-generational company now includes Sinquah’s 2-year-old grandson, who, like Sinquah himself, will grow up performing in social and ceremonial dance. At one time, Sinquah said, the dances were illegal, so not only did the government suppress it, but the families didn’t teach future generations because they thought it would hinder their progress and existence within the mainstream.

He’s happy that’s changed.

“There’s a strength in knowing that the positivity and love we share with our singing and dancing will prevail now,” he said, “that our ancestors didn’t die in vain.”

Like Sinquah Productions, GCF (Global Creative Family)

Entertainment incorporates teaching into their art, with a special focus on youth. Named after a group of high school friends’ B-boy stage names, the company includes G-Quan Booker, who will also perform at GrassRoots.

Alongside the other two founding members of GCF, Booker first started breakdancing for fun as a teenager before deciding to pursue a career as an artist in New York City. When he and one of his high school friends, Kelvin Kim, landed back in their hometown of Ithaca a few years ago, they reformed GCF.

“We were connecting with different arts organizations individually and realized we could utilize that to connect with people and develop a sense of a calling,” Booker said.

While Kim manages the business

side, Booker teaches locally and performs as a rapper, poet and dancer. Booker usually performs alongside his students, as he feels it’s important to showcase the positive impact dance can have on kids.

“Dance gives people an opportunity to channel emotional control and personal investment in themselves,” he said. “If you want to change the future, work with them.”

The heart of GCF Entertainment’s work is community outreach, and making dance accessible for children and adults of all ages and abilities. At GrassRoots, Booker encourages audience members to join him and his students in the performance.

“Everyone has the capability of having that spark.”

G-Quan Booker of Global Creative Family onstage. PHOTO BY OWEN MILLER

The Center for the Arts of Homer reels in members with live music — they stay for the community.

An arts utopia off I-81


Twelve miles southeast of Skaneateles Lake, a small Central New York town appears like Brigadoon in the mist. Homer, with a population of 6,000 and national historic district spanning the length of its main street, has recently become a haven for culture, especially live music.

Its beating heart is an old brick church built in 1893 next to the village green. Since 2001, that structure has housed the Center for the Arts of Homer, a venue whose scope stretches wider than the stone Cardiff Giant replica on its lawn.

Ty Marshal, the center’s executive director since 2015, said it’s a destination for arts patrons, artists themselves and the members who power its operation. “The minute they get here, it’s as if they’ve discovered a magical place,” he said. “They fall in love.”

The center hosts community theater, book clubs, music and dance lessons, an art gallery that shows work year-round and a new initiative that pairs agrarian growers with artists. But the biggest draw remains live concerts inside its 400-seat theater.

The old brick building at 72 South Main Street, built in 1893 as a First Baptist Church, has been the Center for the Arts of Homer since 2001.

Gentles Farm Market

Selling local fresh fruits and vegetables for over 100 years.

I n the past few months alone, that stage has seen musicians as eclectic as cult songwriter Jonathan Richman, doomy Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor, New Orleans institution Preservation Hall Jazz Band and even actor and occasional folk singer Kiefer Sutherland.

“ The concert series is the first introduction,” Marshal said. “You come to a concert, you enjoy it and then our hope is that you come back for other events or become a member.”

What about getting acts to Homer, Upstate New York’s very own Brigadoon, in the first place? Marshal said it all comes down to hospitality. The center’s cozy green room, with its leather couches and windows that look out onto the town, is an antidote to cinder-block basement rooms.

M arshal and his staff pride themselves both on their good relationships with bookers like DSP Shows as much as on the amenities they provide.

“ We have Band-Aids, we have

toothbrushes and toothpaste,” events director Sheila Ryan said. “They send us a (tour) rider, and we fill every single thing.”

M arshal pointed out that the nearest big box stores are in Ithaca and Syracuse, about 30 miles away.

“ Think about when you’re traveling and you get a hangnail or a piece of popcorn stuck in your tooth,” he said. “Let’s ease the burden (so they don’t) have to run to the store.”

I n the middle of Marshal’s explanation, a delivery truck pulled into the parking lot. The driver began offloading crowd-control posts.

“Are they still delivering stanchions?” Marshal asked, puzzled, from the porch of the adjacent building which the center also owns. “How many stanchions did we order?”

Ryan laughed and said she didn’t know.

The vibe at the center follo ws suit: relentlessly upbeat forward momentum with a dash of manic energy. It may be the only way

Ty Marshal, the executive director, said the Center for the Arts of Homer prides itself on being a community center first and foremost. PHOTO BY PATRICK HOSKEN

to handle all of what’s required to maintain a historic building: restoring the stained-glass windows, rebuilding a falling-down brick wall, installing a new HVAC system and more.

Ethan Zoeckler, the center’s program director, at first joined to “scrub toilets and move heavy objects.” He now juggles its many endeavors.

He’s at the helm of the theater program, staging “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at Homer’s high school July 18-21, and the Agrarian Arts Initiative, which he began with a local veterinarian to inspire collaboration between artists and growers.

“It’s really the driving force behind anything culinary arts that we’re doing,” Zoeckler said, “because ecological sourcing is such a big part of that. Instead of cooking (classes), I went straight to agriculture.”

The ecological thr ough-line intersects with the center’s goal to source 100% of its concessions from the region: hot dogs from Syracuse’s Hofmann Sausage Company, grass-fed bison from Skaneateles Buffalo, cheese from local dairy farms and so on.

The center has also acquir ed another nearby historic church that they’ll use grant funds to restore and turn into a “creative community center.” It might host theater rehearsals or science lectures in its 200-seat space. Maybe they’ll open a cafe.

“Right no w, we’re kind of in the dream phase,” Marshal said. He feels comfortable in that place, knowing the endgame will arrive organically. “Once again, it will be the community that tells us what they want to see come forth from that space and how they want to use it.”


Ellaar is the moniker of Nacelle Stern and Sage Whetham, two electronic musicians who recently relocated to Rochester from their hometown of Buffalo. But “electronic” is more of a blanket term than a catch-all.

On its fourth album, “Not Quite.,” Ellaar easily bound from industrial noise and stoner goofs to punk rock and dance sequences. The 24-track double album took three years to make, time that allowed Stern and Whetham to create a sonic playground.

Even as the songs bounce, Ellaar’s lyrics tackle heavy themes of labor exploitation, gender dysphoria and white supremacist violence (through the lens of Buffalo’s May 2022 racist mass shooting at Tops).

Experimental pop duo 100 gecs (sic) is an obvious analog for Ellaar’s creative spirit. But while 100 gecs is powered by Cheeto crumbs and energy drinks, Ellaar’s impish streak feels borne from weed vapes and wah pedals.

The juxtaposition of the mechanized “Hellfire” with the dope funk of “Resignation Letter” may induce whiplash, though the diversity strengthens “Not Quite.” into a confident statement that may sound best cherry-picked, lest you succumb to its chaotic coldness.

The lo-fi “Kim Gordon,” which feels plucked from MGMT, cleverly addresses dysphoria by invoking the now-split power couple behind Sonic Youth: “I wish I was Kim, but I feel like Thurston.” That Gordon was born in Rochester gives the song a wink.

Dozens of distinct sounds blend to make “Not Quite.” an infinite doom scroll for processing the horror, glee and absurdity of modern existence.

The tenth song, “Hash,” begins with a radio snippet where an artist likens daily life to a dystopian hellscape. Five minutes later, guitar lines and broadcast frequencies cram into each other to create an aural version of that description.

“Not Quite.” is the sound of several browser tabs playing at once — harsh but unequivocally modern.


For decades, John Viviani has made music in many styles.

He dug into soul and R&B (and backed up Danielle Ponder) as a member of Filthy Funk, explored rock riffs with Blue Falcon and even doled out electro-pop with The Able Bodies. His 2022 power-pop tune “Karen” remains a dead ringer for Fountains of Wayne.

Given his prowess as both a guitar teacher and a Rochester music-scene veteran, Viviani’s chameleonic abilities aren’t surprising. What might surprise, though, is the gentler tack he takes on “Star of Tomorrow,” which he released in June under his own name.

Based around a circular nylon-string guitar pattern, “Star of Tomorrow” is quiet and tender without dipping into schmaltz. Viviani even finds time to work in a brief whistling solo that could easily be mistaken for a flute.

Thanks to a playful chord progression and Viviani’s soulful backing vocals, “Star of Tomorrow” shines with optimism as he sings about “a roly-poly toddler who’s doing somersaults.”

“You’re gonna be a star of tomorrow,” he sings on the refrain. “You have undeniable heart.”

As a teacher, Viviani uses Instagram to demonstrate chord voicings and practice melodies from Hall & Oates, Bach and even “The Legend of Zelda” soundtrack. The crisp sound of “Star of Tomorrow” comes courtesy of a Takamine classical guitar Viviani picked up earlier this year.

“Maybe I’ve gone soft in middle age,” he joked in the song description, calling it a “folky ballad.” But while mellow acoustic compositions don’t grab the algorithm’s fickle attention the way bold, zany arrangements do, they still sound terrific when done right.

“Star of Tomorrow” shares two-thirds of its title with Neil Young’s equally tender “Star of Bethlehem” from 1974. While Young’s tune is hopefully yet bleary-eyed, Viviani sounds pure-hearted and purposeful.

They pair perfectly on a playlist of folksy ballads.



The latest release from Ithaca’s Sunk Coast, “I felt the urge to push my hair to the side,” presents 11 poignant vignettes that simmer around the heart of the millennial identity, proven with poetic narrative. Bespoke and carefully produced, each track is an homage unto itself, wonderfully incorporating emotional themes with production value.

Squinting open, “Dust” is a chill testimony to cooling down the heat of any moment, as it observes daybreak anxieties only to be quelled by the cracking door open next on “The Porch.” The beginnings of esteem and identity are explored beneath the causality of a daily exchange, as the effect of outwardly being “...pretty...” or a “... good guy...” is taken into consideration: That people tend to think I’m a good guy has got me feeling uglier inside now.

“From Somewhere” employs the stabbing prompt of pencil lead in the webbing of a hand to tackle how the pomp of school age esteem transforms someone consumed by podcasts, health, gainful employment and family planning: If those boys could see you now, they’d think you were some pretentious city boy bitch / And they wouldn’t be wrong.

At its crux, “The Dock/The Waiting Room” is about not knowing what to do at a wedding, the narrator “...hovering six feet away...” from a bride-in-gown on a lakeside dock. Another character is overserved, concluding in a hospital morning of displaced guilt. From this hazy discovery the album’s namesake is drawn.

The purple, flummox-y vamp of “Gut Feeling” blankets and supports, taking stock of the highs and lows weathered during one’s initial ascent, as entire alphabets of plans are burned. We zero in on the “fine line between being stuck and having faith,” and wonder about the place where the tough actually go when the going gets tough.


For his seventh release under the No Glitter moniker, Billy Martin lives up to the stripped-down, unadorned style the name suggests. “Vas,” a five-song EP released on May 31, is centered around the acoustic guitar and a home recording aesthetic.

The multi-instrumentalist and drummer for Rochester fuzz rock outfit The Ginger Faye Bakers explained his detour toward quieter music on the Bandcamp liner notes for “Vas.” Recovering from a medical procedure that prevented him from playing drums and “making loud music,” Martin spent the recovery period creating acoustic songs.

Past collections from No Glitter — such as the “House Music” EP from 2020 or the self-titled album from 2021 — featured sunny pop and rock cuts with economical hooks and indelible mid-tempo grooves.

“High Soul” retains No Glitter’s signature drive and power-chord guitar vocabulary with some electronic drums thrown in, but the space left for the vocal melody helps to reveal a greater realization of the ’60s rockmeets-grunge paradigm hinted at by the songs of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

This seemingly thin connection gets more flesh on its bones in the context of the song that preceded it; the beautifully sung opener “Partnership,” which borrows from the melodic and harmonic vocabulary of Elliott Smith in bits without sounding derivative.

The closing track “Impressions” includes a compelling directive, in which Martin seems to implore not only his listeners but also himself: Stay a little longer before going home / Lost in the dream of the real and unknown.

The lyrics could be interpreted as a sweet, romantic entreaty, but they could easily be applied to the stylistic departure on “Vas” as a whole. Although No Glitter’s previous exuberant electric guitar licks and electronic textures are largely absent, Martin’s knack for clever melodies gets to shine in lieu of the songwriter’s more typical, dense arrangements


Where the bluegrass is always greener


To the uninitiated, bluegrass may come across as unsophisticated music from the backwoods. And while the aural tradition of learning and playing the style has its share of complexity, the rural ambiance of the songs is undeniable.

The annual bluegrass event Pickin’ in the Pasture in Lodi, between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, only reinforces that impression. The sight of a horse-drawn buggy near the festival site at Alexander Farms is common, and once at the venue, the sound of sheep is unavoidable.

The farm is owned by Andy and Susan Alexander, two bluegrass musicians who founded ‘Pickin’ in the Pasture’ when their son, Jesse, was only eight months old. Twenty-seven years later, the four-day gathering maintains its status as the preeminent traditional bluegrass festival in New York State. With the help of more than 30 volunteers, the family trio continues to book the acts, put on the festival, and even perform multiple sets as the Jesse Alexander Band.

Pickin’ in the Pasture, which takes place August 22-24 this year, has hosted some of America’s best bluegrass musicians over the last quarter-century: J.D. Crowe, the Osborne Brothers and Jesse McReynolds have all played the stage.

The late banjo legend Ralph Stanley headlined the inaugural event, helping to build enough momentum to keep the music churnin’ and chuggin’ into the 21st century.

As one might imagine, running a festival out of a one-family house is a big challenge with myriad considerations: royalty payments to the music organizations BMI and ASCAP for performance rights; obtaining insurance coverage; securing a sufficient number of Porta Johns and dumpsters; maintaining the solarpowered showers onsite; feeding the stage performers and more.

Another feature of the festival is the presence of a working craft distillery on the farm, which serves as both the production site and pop-up shop for Alistair’s Distillery, which Jesse owns and operates when he’s not at his day job as winemaker at Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars in Lodi. The burgeoning distillery specializes in locally sourced ingredient gin and cognac-style brandy while also experimenting with rum.

Although Susan admits booking the musical acts for the festival is the easiest part, presenting a balanced roster of stylistic approaches to the art form of bluegrass is not without its dilemmas. Andy boils it down to differences between more old-school acts and their audiences and the often younger artists and their crowds who favor a more progressive bluegrass style that can be blended with jam-band song structure.

“From a marketing aspect, we’re faced with, ‘Do we continue to gear things towards the bird we have in the hands?” he said. “Or do we risk losing them and alienating them by bringing in a jam band to try to draw a different crowd?’”

Either way, Andy approaches the festival’s programming with the next generation of musicians in mind.

“We’re really focusing on young people and using the festival as a kind of a stepping stone for some of these young artists,” he said. “They’re every bit as good as the pioneers that started this music.”

One such band is Remedy Tree, a bluegrass quartet from St. Augustine, Florida, whose 2023 album, “Love the Journey,” infuses country-music songwriting with a classic bluegrass aesthetic.

The band’s founder and fiddler, Gabriel Acevedo, said Remedy Tree connected with the Alexanders through another festival runner in the Southeast, and playing at Pickin’ in the Pasture enables Remedy Tree to expand its reach with prospective fans.

“I’m grateful (Andy) gave us a chance to spread our music farther than we ever have within the U.S.,” Acevedo said via email.

Despite its prominent use of the fiddle (i.e., violin), bluegrass — with plenty of improvisation, learning songs by ear through impromptu jam sessions and its 20th-century evolution as a unique American art form — is closer to jazz than classical music. Jesse pointed out that it’s relatively nascent music, and venues and festivals like theirs have provided the setting for the style’s creation.

“A lot of the people who played here — they invented this stuff, you know? Jesse said. “It’s not like it was invented 300 years ago. These guys, they redefined how the mandolin was played in the world. There would be no Chris Thile, no Punch Brothers, if there wasn’t Earl Scruggs.”

In a traditional bluegrass band, a quintet plays acoustic instruments with a variety of ranges and tones: fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar, banjo, and upright bass. Without drums, the bass and mandolin provide the percussive elements that make for the locomotive, “boom-chicka” sound that’s so essential in bluegrass.

The guitar and banjo provide additional harmonic and rhythmic textures, and all five instruments can take turns on solos. While many of the tunes are entirely instrumental, the songs with vocals typically contain close, three-part harmonies that are a signature of the genre.

And while live bluegrass performances require a top-notch sound engineer to capture the right balance of instruments and voices, a straightforward microphone setup is typically the only technological innovation. It’s the musical equivalent of a high-wire artist performing without a net.

“There’s no theatrics,” Jesse said. “It’s just raw musicianship and the sound between these five guys standing up there. So you have to have that energy, charisma and quality of music to put on a show.“

The bluegrass artists aren’t the only ones who diverge from a more modern approach to creating and listening to music. Bluegrass audiences, and the Lodi festival’s attendees, in particular, take an active part in the organic music-making.

Over the years, the festival has earned its name, Pickin’ in the Pasture, with a reputation for abundant jam sessions that blossom spontaneously from the campground in between sets on the stage, late at night or, in some cases, in the middle of official festival performances.

“It can be hard to please the aficionados,” Jesse said. “If they don’t like the music, they’ll leave the stage and go back to the campground to play.”

Andy added that some people who come to the festival never really leave their campsites, content to network and play tunes with fellow musicians. And when they’re not performing, some of the scheduled artists will join the sessions as well.

In past years, as many as 2,000 people would attend the festival. More recently, that number has been halved. One factor for the decrease in attendance is the cyclical nature of bluegrass’s popularity in the popular consciousness. He cited the 2000 Coen Brothers film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” as the impetus for the genre’s last surge in popularity and cultural cachet, and hopes the more recent breakout success of guitarist Billy Strings can help return bluegrass to mainstream visibility.

“I think the biggest struggle is getting people to hear the music, and hear real bluegrass,” Jesse said. “And most people who have never heard bluegrass before, when they hear it, they like it.”

A shot of the crowd during Pickin' in the Pasture. PHOTO PROVIDED
Remedy Tree will perform on Friday, August 23 at Pickin' in the Pasture.

todo DAILY

Full calendar of events online at



Kayaking with ROCovery Fitness

Genesee Waterways Center,

ROCovery Fitness continues to provide fun opportunities for locals to get fit while connecting with others who are also on the path to sobriety. With summer officially here, ROCovery is offering a kayaking class through the Genesee Waterways Center. Registration is required, and the kayak rental is $17. As with all ROCovery classes, the event is open to anyone with at least 48 hours of sustained sobriety. First-time participants are encouraged to fill out the questionnaire on the ROCovery Fitness website.




Yonder Mountain String Band

Perinton Center Park Amphitheater,

For more than 25 years, the Colorado outfit known as Yonder Mountain String band has been making feelgood bluegrass that has also won over jam-band fans. The group has made its reputation as a proficient live act, having released six concert albums

over the years. The quintet’s songs consistently feature warm textures, upbeat tempos and effervescent melodies. Railroad Earth and Leftover Salmon play in support. Doors for the rain-or-shine show open at 4 p.m. and the music starts at 5:30 p.m. General admission is $42.50, and VIP “Party Pit” tickets for those 21-and-over are $85. DK



Infrared Radiation Orchestra

Record Archive,

This Seneca Falls rock quartet isn’t a proper orchestra. Instead of violins and horns, the group traffics in big riffs and barroom energy — which is why a Wednesday night happy hour set at Record Archive feels apropos. Pair their careening 2018 single “I’m Not Your Dog” with a cold pour for a match made in music heaven, or at least inside the proverbial garage. 6-8 p.m. Free. PATRICK HOSKEN



Rochester Farmers Market

Parcel 5,

Vendors return to 285 East Main every Wednesday through October 23, turning the heart of downtown Rochester into a market destination. The focus here is on the fresh and the local, which means plenty of farmers as well as food trucks, including members of the Commissary collaborative. Once a month, expect cooking demonstrations hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension and MVP Health Care as well. The market is open on Wednesdays from 4 - 7 p.m., pending weather. Check social media for real-time updates. PH



July Fourth Celebration

Innovative Field,

There are many things more American than a ballgame on Independence Day — volunteering, working on community projects, running for elected office to affect change. But watching the hometown team on a summer evening and sticking around for the fireworks is nonetheless hard to beat. The Red Wings take on the Buffalo Bisons during this 6:45 p.m. match-up; they’ll wear noteworthy July 4th jerseys to be auctioned off after the game. And the first 1,000 fans in attendance get a specialty American flag via the Veterans Outreach Center. Gates open at 5:30. Tickets start at $13. PH



Norah Jones


The music of Norah Jones has been beloved since her debut album “Come Away with Me” first wooed listeners in 2002 and hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Jones has synthesized pop, folk and jazz over the course of nine studio albums, including “Visions”

from 2024. Soul legend Mavis Staples opens the show. Doors open at 6 p.m., music starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $46.35. DK



RPO @ Red Wings

Innovative Field,

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra opens its summer series “RPO Outdoors” at the ball field after the 6:05 game between the Rochester Red Wings and the Buffalo Bisons. The music, which is sure to include some patriotic favorites and other crowd-pleasers, is included with admission to the game. The gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the RPO begins playing at 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $13-$22, plus fees. DK


Southern Star

Abilene Bar & Lounge,

Last summer, Rochester quartet Southern Star released “Lake of the Mind,” a mellow and wonderful slice of 1970s Americana-tinged soft rock. It was also nine minutes long, cementing the band’s penchant for the slightly psychedelic. (You can hear that on many recent Mikaela Davis recordings as well; Southern Star is her backing band.) As such, shades of the Grateful Dead color the music made by members Cian, Kurt, Shane and Alex. Hear it on the back deck of Abilene beginning at 7:30 p.m. Annabelle Lord-Patey opens. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day-of-show. PH

PBS KIDS Day at The Ballpark!

Join WXXI Education and the Rochester Red Wings for PBS KIDS Day at The Ballpark on Sunday, July 28 at 1:05 p.m. The Red Wings take on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs while WXXI brings the fun with plenty of PBS Kids activities, characters, and podcasters Christina Sanabria and Andrés Salguero, the music duo known as 123 Andrés, and Magic Beatmaster Boombox, voiced by Pierce Freelon from “Jamming on the Job.”

Sunday, July 28 at 1:05 p.m.

• Meet the team from “Jamming on the Job”

• Take selfies with special guests from PBS KIDS “Work It Out Wombats!” and “Lyla in the Loop!”

• Run the bases after the game

• Play and explore with some of our favorite community partners

“Jamming on the Job” is a multi-generational, music-inspired podcast for kids ages 4-8 and their parents and caregivers. Join Latin Grammy Award-winners Christina and Andrés and Magic Beatmaster Boombox, voiced by Grammy nominated musician, Pierce Freelon, as they tour the country and perform songs about the world of work. Each place they go, they meet a grown-up with a different kind of job who helps them along the way. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!


A Capital Fourth

Thursday, July 4 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV

Celebrating America’s National Independence, A Capitol Fourth honors our country’s birthday with an all-star salute with the greatest display of fireworks in the nation. For over 40 years, this television event, featuring a parade of superstars has offered the best in American entertainment and helped set the tone for a spectacular American birthday party.

Photo credit: Capital Concerts

POV: Is There Anybody Out There

Monday, July 8 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV

Born with a rare disability, filmmaker Ella Glendining wonders if there is anyone who can share the experience of living in a body like hers. This simple question — one which non-disabled people take for granted, leads to a journey to not only others who live like her — but to the realization that meeting them changes how she views herself in the world. This film is presented as part of Move to Include™, a national initiative in partnership with WXXI and The Golisano Foundation that uses the power of public media to promote inclusion (

RIT Shorts

Friday, July 12 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV

Repeats 7/13 at 4:30 p.m.

WXXI puts a spotlight on the work of Rochester Institute of Technology’s film students by presenting three short films. Back to the Ballpark, produced by Liam McCammon, Max Alves, and Dillon Sharp, follows five days leading up to the Rochester Red Wings opening day at Innovative Field. Protect Our House, produced by Denna Alece-Dom and Michelle Snow, follows three all-star players of the RIT Division 1 Men’s Hockey Team, sharing how the unique hockey fan culture impacts their lives both as students and as players. Falling Forward produced by Georgia Pressley looks inside the lives of three of the players at the Roc City Roller Derby team and what makes the community unique.

VOCES on PBS “From Here, From There”

Monday, July 22 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV

Meet Luis Cortes Romero, the first undocumented attorney to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. An immigration attorney as well as a DACA recipient, Luis joins a powerful and highly visible legal team, including unlikely conservative ally Ted Olson, to fight the rescinding of DACA. Although the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in 2020, the future of DACA recipients is still in doubt.

Photo: Luis Cortes Romero • Photo credit: Tom Kaufman




American Experience: The Boys of ‘36

Tuesday, July 9 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV

In 1936, nine working-class young men from the University of Washington took the rowing world and America by storm when they captured the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Berlin.

Hitler’s Olympics

Tuesday, July 9 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV

The complete story of the Berlin games – the early plans, the Nazi takeover, the purge of Jews from German athletics, and the grand spectacle itself.

Jesse Owens: American Experience

Saturday, July 20 at 4 p.m. on WXXI-TV

Jesse Owens’ stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, his grace and athleticism rallied crowds across the globe.

Gods of Tennis

Tuesday, July 23 at 9 p.m. on WXXI- TV

Revisit how the tennis golden age changed the game forever in this three-part fascinating series.


“I’ve never really thought much about my legacy, to be honest, but I always thought about the station. I wanted people to think about WXXI as being a place where they want to come to work and being a place that makes a difference”. That’s how WXXI President Norm Silverstein answered the question about his legacy in this special final episode of Norm & Company . Silverstein will retire this year after 28 years at the helm of WXXI.

In turning the tables on the very show where Norm has interviewed 17 guests, he sits down with Connections host Evan Dawson to discuss how his leadership transformed the station, his thoughts on the state of journalism in 2024, and how public media enhances the lives of kids, families, and the community. During his time, he has seen the organization grow from one television and two radio stations to a

public media organization that now includes four public television stations, one cable channel for the city of Rochester, and six public radio stations. WXXI also operates the Little Theatre and CITY magazine. Silverstein is proud of how the organization has grown since he started in 1995, but what he’s most proud of is how WXXI and its various entities have been able to serve the Greater Rochester community. Norm was recently interviewed by Randy Gorbman, of WXXI News and was asked about his mindset as he was coming to the end of his run as WXXI’s President: “We’re a much different station than we were when I got here 28 years ago, and of course, you’d expect that,” Silverstein said. “We have some terrific people, I think we’re respected for what we do, and people are going to continue to support us.”n


New England Summer Festivals

Tuesdays 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. beginning July 16 on WXXI Classical

Classical New England serves up the full flavor of the places, personalities, and great performances of New England’s first-class summer music festivals. Marlboro, Monadnock, Rockport, and Newport; from the sand dunes of the Cape to the rugged coast of Maine, we’ll take you there for the finest summer music fare in the country.

Proud to Be

Saturday, July 20 at 5 p.m. on WXXI Classical

In honor of Rochester’s annual Pride Festival and parade, WXXI Classical presents this special that reflects on how pride and authenticity show up in our lives. Host Kevin O’Conner asked classical musicians in the LGBTQIA+ community about their thoughts on Pride. The answers were incredibly diverse and thought-provoking. Kevin brings together those thoughts along with music performed, conducted, or composed by those featured artists.

Selected Shorts: Wishful Thinking

Thursday, July 4 at 1 p.m. on WXXI News (FM 105.9) Summertime, and the living is easy, and if it isn’t, all you need is a charming trio of works curated by the producers of SELECTED SHORTS about summer wishes and wishful thinking:

• Author Zadie Smith turns a lazy holiday in Spain into a humorous musing about idleness and privilege, and she reads “Lazy River” herself.

• An unlikely pair find romance — and maybe a little myth making — in Carys Davies “Sibyl” performed by the brilliant comic actress Jane Kaczmarek.

• “The Sound of Summer Running” is what Ray Bradbury — a master of sci fi and fantasy — wants to hear when he’s staying right here on earth. Sean Astin performs this piece about a boy’s longing for the perfect sneakers.

Inheriting: Nicole & The Third World Liberation Front

Sunday, July 7 at 9 p.m. on WXXI News (FM 105.9)

Nicole Salaver’s uncle, Patrick Salaver, was one of the leaders of the Third World Liberation Front at San Francisco State University in the late 1960s. This movement not only led to the recognition of the term “Asian American,” but also brought ethnic studies to colleges nationwide. She calls Pat “the Forest Gump of Filipino American history,” a significant, yet still largely unknown, Filipino civil rights leader who made a difference in the world. Now, Nicole wants to set the record straight and honor her uncle’s legacy, while building her own.

Pat Salaver pictured holding his niece Nicole when she was a baby

of Nicole Salaver


Hochstein at High Falls is presented by:

Hochstein at High Falls Concert Series

July 11

A Girl Named Genny

This six-piece band incorporates traditional folk instruments to produce a new sound that encompasses several genres and styles.

Made possible by:

Thursdays at 12:10 p.m. in the High Falls Business District

Join WRUR host and music director Ryan Yarmel every Thursday in High Falls (4 Commercial Street) for this free, lunchtime concert series. The music begins at 12:10 pm in the outer parking lot at 4 Commercial Street, corner of Browns Race, and runs approximately 40 minutes.

July 19

Mambo Kings

Together since 1995, Mambo Kings have enjoyed great success as Upstate New York’s foremost Latin jazz ensemble and have earned a national reputation for their explosive blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisation.

July 25

Big Blue House

Enjoy this group of seasoned musicians with experience in a variety of genres, merging styles and voices into a unique gumbo of folk, rock, blues, jazz, and reggae.

Hochstein at High Falls concerts are presented by High Falls Business Association, The Hochstein School, and The Route/WRUR 88.5. The concerts are supported in part by Brandtatorship, LaBella Associates, Monroe Community College, and The Zoghlin Group.


Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

(July 5-8 only)

“What We Do in the Shadows” meets “Only Lovers Left Alive” in this coming-of-age indie gem about, well, a humanist vampire seeking a consenting suicidal person.


(Opens July 12)

It’s as if director Oz Perkins watched “The Silence of the Lambs” and thought, “this needs to be DARKER.” That strategy may be working, because “Longlegs” has been getting buzz that promises it to be one of the year’s best horror films. Starring Maika Monroe (It Follows) as an FBI agent, and Nicolas Cage as the titular character.

Flipside (Opens

July 12)

When filmmaker Chris Wilcha revisits the record store he worked at as a teenager in New Jersey, he finds the once-thriving bastion of music and weirdness from his youth slowly falling apart and out of touch with the times. FLIPSIDE documents his tragicomic attempt to revive the store while revisiting other documentary projects he has abandoned over the years.

Me + It’s Such a Beautiful Day

(One night only: July 14)

Oscar nominee Don Hertzfeldt’s newest animated film ME is a musical odyssey about trauma, technology, and the retreat of humanity into itself. Paired with Hertzfeldt’s “It’s Such a Beautiful Day” which has been hailed by critics and audiences as one of the best animated films of all time.

West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty (July

25 only)

Screening as part of Art House Theater Day at The Little! FrenchMauritanian filmmaker Med Hondo tells the story of French imperialism as a musical extravaganza

Space Movies!

There’s just something extra fun about a summer blockbuster that leaves our planet for the mysterious and vast unknown of space. This July, pack your popcorn and blast off on a journey of nostalgia and wonder. Tickets for all at!

Independence Day

July 3 at 7:30pm

Featuring an all-timer movie speech from Bill Pullman, a superstar performance from Will Smith, and blockbuster alien action (not to mention lots of fun explosions), 1996’s Independence Day is a CLASSIC. Celebrate humanity with lots of Little Popcorn and the best kind of cinematic fireworks.


July 8 at 7pm

10th anniversary screening of Oscar winner Christopher Nolan’s incredible journey through a wormhole and into the vastness of the galaxy. Featuring dangerous planets, sinister space shenanigans, and an iconic movie robot (Team TARS forever). Part of The Little’s STAFF PICKS series.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

July 13 at 8pm Khaaaaaaaaan! (IYKYK).

Part of The Little’s SATURDAY NIGHT REWIND series.

The EMpire Strikes Back

July 20 & 21

Arguably the best Star Wars film featuring one of film history’s biggest plot twists.

Confessions of a Good Samaritan

July 18 and 20

One Take Documentary Series

Tickets available at

Director Penny Lane’s decision to become a “Good Samaritan” by giving one of her kidneys to a stranger turns into a funny and moving personal quest to understand the nature of altruism. Confessions of a Good Samaritan is a provocative inquiry into the science, history, and ethics of organ transplantation, asking an ancient question in a whole new way: Who is your neighbor, and what do you owe them?

Penny Lane’s charming wit and inventive documentary skills return to One Take after her previous hits Nuts! and Hail Satan?



Umphrey’s McGee

Lincoln Hill Farms,

If you’re a fan of jam bands, the Indiana outfit Umphrey’s McGee needs no introduction. The stylistically diverse band has been mixing rock, funk, pop, progressive metal and other genres since 1997. The group’s performances are unpredictable, but always engaging and filled with riveting musicianship. The gate for the all-ages show opens at 6 p.m., and the music kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Advance general admission tickets are $44.06, while VIP tickets are $85.19. DK



Flower City Ukulele


Colonial Belle,

Ukulele players, unite! Community music-making meets a canal cruise when the Rochester Ukulele Orchestra hosts this rain-or-shine event aboard the Colonial Belle from 6-8:30 p.m. Musicians of all abilities are welcome. The boat boards at 6:15 p.m. and leaves the dock at 400 Packett’s Landing in Fairport at 6:30 p.m. promptly. Pizza is included with the $39.19 ticket. DK



Summer Organ Academy Faculty & Current Students Concert

Third Presbyterian Church, summer.

Few instruments provide a quicker path to total awe than the pipe organ. Given that most are housed inside places of worship, that wonder is often redoubled. During the Eastman School of Music’s four-day Summer Organ Academy, teachers and current students fill churches with the booming chords of those organs; for this, the second recital, it all goes down at the Third Presbyterian Church on Meigs Street. Music begins at 7:30, and it’s free. PH



Webster Firemen’s Carnival

Webster Volunteer Firemen’s Building,

`Tis the season…for firemen’s carnivals. The Town of Webster hosts its annual festival through Saturday, July 13. Activities include a craft beer night, live music, events for the kids, a firemen’s parade, and a fireworks display to wrap things up Saturday night. The festivities run from 6 - 11 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 6 p.m. - 12 a.m. on Friday, and 12 p.m. - 12 a.m. on Saturday. ALEX CRICHTON


Midday Bash

Parcel 5, middaybash

Part of the third annual Downtown Definitely Events, Midday Bash offers a fun and easy lunch break during the week, featuring local food trucks, lawn games, music, massage chairs, pop-up vendors and giveaways. There will be a rotation of local businesses at each of the eight Midday Bashes. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; held rain or shine, free for all ages. LEAH STACY



“Pericles, Prince of Tyre”

Highland Bowl,

“Pericles” isn’t one of Shakespeare’s best-known works. That’s what makes the Rochester Community Players’ 2024 production of this swashbuckling tale so intriguing. For the organization’s 27th Shakespeare in the Park series, 15 actors take to the Highland Bowl for a graphic novelinspired telling of this epic adventure featuring vibrant props made entirely out of cardboard. The show runs July 11-27, with free nightly performances at 8 p.m. except Mondays and Tuesdays. PH


The GateSwingers Big Band

Lovin’ Cup,

Though the Jazz Fest officially wraps up in June, local 15-piece

brass ensemble GateSwingers keeps the party going well into summer’s dog days. The crew brings swingin’ standards from Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra into the 21st century, as they’ll demonstrate at Lovin’ Cup. The big question is: Can everyone fit on that stage? No need to cram them all in, as this free show takes place on the cafe’s outdoor patio. The horns start blowin’ at 7 p.m. PH



Time for Three

Fort Hill Performing Arts Center,

It’s hard to believe that the classicalAmericana crossover band Time for Three has been plying its trade for more than 20 years. Founding members Nick Kendall (on violin) and double bassist Ranaan Meyer met as students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and have been making dynamic music that defies simple categorization ever since. Now joined by violinist Charles Yang, the group’s most recent output, including the singles “Joy” and Deanna,” rely more on pop-song structures and anthemic hooks than its early material, but the trio has always excelled at blending technical proficiency with accessible music that has broad appeal. DK


Deer Tick

Hollerhorn Distilling, 2023’s “Emotional Contracts,” the eighth album from the Providence twangy rock outfit Deer Tick, is alternately high and lonesome. A song called “Once in a Lifetime” is not, in fact, a Talking Heads cover but an altcountry celebration of togetherness. Energy like this has kept the band active for 20 years; its stage presence certainly helps spread the vibes. This distillery show features Hudson Valley singer-songwriter Al Olender opening. Show’s at 8 p.m. Tickets are $44.52 with fees. PH

THEATER Finger Lakes Opera presents “Gianni Schicchi”

MCC’s Mainstage Theatre,

Though not among beloved opera composer Giacomo Puccini’s bestknown music dramas, “Gianni Schicchi” has secured its place in the canon, in part due to the strength of its iconic aria “O mio babbino caro.” Inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” the one-act comic opera follows a family from the Middle Ages as it squabbles over the will of its dying patriarch. The performance starts at 7 p.m. Friday, but an encore presentation takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $45-$65 plus fees. DK


THEATER “A Chorus Line”

JCC Hart Theater,

“A Chorus Line” is a Broadway show about auditioning for a Broadway show, as 17 dancers from various backgrounds and experiences vie for the approval of the directorchoreographer and one of eight spots in the production. This 1975 Marvin Hamlisch musical won nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama before eventually becoming a major motion picture in 1985. The JCC SummerStage production — directed by Tom Deckman, with music direction from Amanda Meldrum and choreography by Mandi Lynn Griffith — runs through July 21. Tickets are $20 for students, $30 for JCC members and $35 for nonmembers. DK


Corn Hill Arts Festival

Corn Hill neighborhood,

The festival takes place along nine streets in the Corn Hill neighborhood, so you can wander through the vendors but also check out some of the beautiful historic homes along the way. It’ll showcase hundreds of vendors from across the country and feature musical performances. But let’s be honest, the kettle corn is a pretty big attraction, too. The festival runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.



JCC Ames Amzalak Rochester Jewish Film Festival

JCC and Dryden Theatre, jccrochester. org

A full week of films from around the world that “explore the Jewish experience” kicks off on July 14, celebrating nearly a quarter-century of the Rochester Jewish Film Festival. 2024’s screenings are split between the JCC and the Dryden Theatre, and there’s even a family drive-in night. The fest will also present “Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre,” the first film to be released about the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack in Israel. Highlights include documentaries about Gene Wilder and Norman Mailer. The first movie, “Vishniac,” screens Sunday at 1 p.m. Festival tickets run $150 for JCC members and $190 for non-members. PH



First-Ever Pride Week

Genesee Country Village & Museum,

The history of drag is just one of the focal points of the Genesee Country Village & Museum’s first-ever Pride Week celebration. One program, titled “Corsets & Crowns,” examines drag’s rising popularity in the 19th century after the Civil War and well into the vaudeville era. From July 15 - 21, the GCV&M will present several other elements under an LGBTQ+ lens during the institution’s firstever Pride Week, including a talk on male affection in early photography, a community art project and the “Becoming Gendered: Garment as Gender Artifact” exhibit. Tickets run

from $12 - $18, with children under 3 getting in free. PH




Flower City Arts Center,

Three Flower City Arts Center printmaking artists in residence take center-stage in this new exhibition at the Monroe Ave. center’s Sunken Room Gallery. Michaela Chan’s work centers around Syzygy, which curves away from the sun. Cronan Saint Ronan Kobylak’s prints tackle lore — folk, occult, pagan and Catholic — from a queer perspective. And Gwyneth Zeleny Anderson explores the cartoonish conceit of everyday existence inside the human body. The exhibition runs until July 26. PH



Montage Music Hall, “Understanding in a Car Crash” was a formative song for a lot of punk and hardcore kids, and many other music fans. The song was propulsive, bombastic and catchy, and it launched Thursday from the underground to the mainstream. But that was 20-plus years ago. The band remained active for years after the song came out, and has gone on hiatus only to return a few times since. If you haven’t had a chance to see one of the band’s highenergy performances, now’s your chance, though tickets will set you back about $50. The band’s basement show days are long past. Former Cursive frontman Tim Kasher and Mercy Union are the openers. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. JM



Herb Alpert & Lani Hall

Theater at Innovation Square,

Herb Alpert, whose instrumental “Rise” topped the Billboard charts in 1979, will perform with his wife, singer Lani Hall, at the Theater at Innovation Square, a venue that is quickly establishing itself as a prominent stop for talented touring artists. Now at 89, Alpert is known for his many years as frontman with the Tijuana Brass in the 1960s. Along with their backing band, Alpert and Hall promise an eclectic mix of music. In addition, there will be photos and videos and a Q&A session in which Alpert and company discuss their musical careers. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., music at 7:30 pm. The show is scheduled to run 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets start at $54.50.



Old Crow Medicine Show, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

Trumansburg Fairgrounds,

The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance has been an everpresent summer celebration of music and good times for more than 30 years, and proves to be a wonderful showcase of regional talent season after season. But after a brief dry spell in which the festival featured fewer national acts of note, this year sees a return of such big names — including the bluegrass and Americana acts Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway and Old Crow Medicine Show, playing back-to-back sets starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Four-day tickets purchased in advance are $84 for ages 13-15 and $169 for those 16 and older. Festival passes are also available at the gate for $94 for ages 13-15 and $184 for ages 16 and up. Tickets for Saturday are $41 for kids 13-15; $70 in advance and $80 at the gate for attendees 16 and older. Kids 12 and under get in for free. DK


Mambo Kings

Hochstein at High Falls,

Lunchtime plans? A 12:10 p.m. showcase of Rochester’s longtime Afro-Cuban music staples Mambo Kings sounds like the right order. Since 1995, this quintet has brought flavorful covers of jazz standards and lesser-known cuts to stages across the country. (Their border-crossing take on “Day Tripper” is a highlight of their 2005 live album.) The midday mambo kingdom sets up shop at the corner of Commercial Street and Browns Race. Free. PH



Joe Fiedler and Erik Lawrence

Bop Shop Records,

As a music director for “Sesame Street,” trombonist Joe Fiedler has an innate grasp on the whimsical. To demonstrate this, he’s recorded two albums of reworked tunes from the beloved children’s show, including a downright Cubist take on “ABC-DEFGHI.” Erik Lawrence, meanwhile, seemingly floats through saxophone and flute compositions with ease and even posts musical meditations on YouTube. Together and via solo sets, they’ll merge these energies at Bop Shop for founder Tom Kohn’s birthday bash. Music’s at 8. Tickets are $10. PH


Documentary Screening

9th Floor Artists Collective,

Education, equity and communitybuilding are just three of the core values of the 9th Floor Artists Collective. The film at the center of this event spans those; a documentary centered around African American artists from the 1950s to today shows on the big screen at the organization’s space on South Washington Street. The triumphs and struggles that mark the movie will also permeate the discussion afterwards. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. The free screening begins promptly at 6 p.m.




Rochester Pride Parade and Festival

South Wedge neighborhood,

Celebrate love and equality in Rochester with the entire LGBTQ+ community. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at the intersection of South Avenue and Science Parkway and concludes at Highland Park. This year’s parade will be led by Pride Marshals Sam Brett, AKA drag queen Samantha Vega, and Javannah Davis. Tickets for the subsequent festival at the park — which includes plenty of live music and performances plus food, beer and wine — are $5 general admission and free for children under 12. VIP tickets are $50. DK


Only Shallow, Selfish Act and more

Bug Jar,

Only Shallow reminds me of some of the old Prank! Records bands like Talk is Poison with a little bit of old Crimethinc bands such as Catharsis mixed in. It’s fast-paced, thick, noisy and sounds a little dark and evil — a great combination. The Rochester hardcore band will be joined by Selfish Act from Buffalo, who play the sort of crunchy, rage-filled, moshable hardcore that’s associated with the city; Seismic Toss from Philadelphia; Quit from Rochester, whose music will appeal to fans of 1980s and 1990s crust punk; and Scorn from Rochester, who plays searing riff-driven metal. Admission is $10 at the door and is 21-plus, though a limited number of tickets for the 18-20 set are available for advance purchase. Doors at 8 p.m.



Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party

Blue Cross Arena,

If you’ve been a kid between the late ’60s and today, you’ve probably played with Hot Wheels. And whether you’re interested in connecting with your inner child or have little ones of your own, the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party shines as a fun event for the whole family. Who doesn’t love a good monster truck rally? There are several showtimes, including 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. PowerSmashers Pre-Shows start two and a half hours before each performance. Additional VIP performances are also available. Tickets start at $20.65. DK


Alpaca Farm Tour

Lazy Acres Alpacas,

Family members of all ages will want to sign up for this fun tour of a working alpaca farm. Hosts/owners Mark and Sharon Gilbride will lead visitors through the farm and explain how alpacas are raised and cared for. (Note: this is held outdoors with hands-on activities.) Free; registration required. Tours leave at 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Afterward, browse the onfarm gift shop featuring handmade alpaca items as well as fine garments made from alpaca fiber. LS



Madison McFerrin

The Little Theatre,

If the name Madison McFerrin rings a bell, it might be your familiarity with the music of her Grammy Awardwinning father, Bobby McFerrin. But the younger songwriting McFerrin is a formidable artist in her own right, melding R&B and pop with complex yet accessible arrangements. I defy you not to groove to this music. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert Little Theatre 1 begins at 7:30 p.m. $33.05. DK



Fareed Haque

George Eastman Museum, Fusion guitarist Fareed Haque can seemingly operate in any mode. He’s as comfortable collaborating with fingerstyle player Goran Ivanovic as he is covering Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 1970 album “Déjà Vu” in full, albeit with experimental flourishes. Haque’s ambidextrous musicality pairs perfectly with a patchwork flower backdrop; catch him in his element as part of the Eastman Museum’s Garden Vibes summer outdoor concert series. Music from 6-8 p.m. General admission tickets are $12, $10 for members and free for children 12 and under. PH



Montage Music Hall,

In 2002, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo collaborated with Cold vocalist Scooter Ward to write “Stupid Girl,” a grungy hit that reached No. 4 on the “Billboard” Mainstream Rock chart. That bit of trivia may surprise: Weezer’s bright rock has always skewed poppy, while Cold remains entrenched in heaviness. That said, the Cold catalog is full of accessible left turns, like power ballads “Cure My Tragedy” and “A Different Kind of Pain.” And they can still turn up the volume when they need to. Tickets for this 6 p.m. show are $22. Scranton’s University Drive opens. PH





Few bands capture nostalgia through music quite like Chicago. Listen no further than hits such as “Saturdays in the Park” and “Questions 67 and 68,” among many others. Whether you’re a classic rock buff or you just enjoy the sound of horns in the warm summer air, this show is sure to be a winner. Doors at 5:30 p.m., music at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $47.35. DK

THEATRE “Heartbreak


MuCCC, Chekov’s stage tale “The Cherry Orchard” famously lives a double life. Is it a comedy or a tragedy, or both? Inspired by this dichotomy, playwright George Bernard Shaw penned “Heartbreak House” in the early 20th century and gave it the subtitle “A Fantasia in the Russian Manner on English Themes.” Classics Theater of Rochester brings this update, which runs July 25-August 3, at MuCCC and is directed by Roger Gans and produced by James Landers. Tickets range from $18-$20. PH



A Night with Alyssa Rodriguez and Susan Innamorato

Payton Violins,

In June, string sensation Alyssa Rodriguez demonstrated her trademark nyckelharpa at a solo show at Payton Violins. She returns for this 7 p.m. show playing the fiddle and singing with the Gregory Street Vagabonds, alongside pianist and vocalist (and teacher) Susan

Innamorato. The theme? Jazz classics, including standards from George Gershwin, Fats Waller and Irving Berlin. Tickets are $15 for students and seniors and $20 for everyone else. PH



Genesee Brew House,

Instrumental band Thurlow treats the saxophone as a lead vocalist. The fourpiece builds bright, feel-good grooves with electric guitar, bass and drums over which the horn can freely explore its melodies. The jam band vibes are strong, but Thurlow’s tight and friendly compositions are constructed more like pop songs. This makes the crew’s sound ideal for a 5-7 p.m. show at the Genesee Brew House’s beer garden. PH



Indigenous Music & Arts Festival


Each year, Ganondagan’s Indigenous Music & Arts Festival spotlights Haudenosaunee culture via artistic craft demonstrations, music and dance, as well as the indigenous traditions of many more cultures. For 2024, the fest welcomes performances from Māori artists in addition to the folk and blues styles of Keith Secola and his Wild Band of Indians, the Sinquah Family Dance Troupe, storytellers Ronnie Reitter and Perry Ground and so much more. The festivities run 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. PH





Rugby / Oolong / Postcard Nowhere /


Bug Jar,

If your legs can withstand a lengthy gig, this quadruple bill of emoinspired heavyweights is not to be missed. The guitar lines of Long Island band Oolong stretch like taffy, recalling Midwest emo godfathers Cap’n Jazz. Newgrounds Death Rugby, from South Carolina, are equally urgent with a flair for the heartfelt. Michigan’s more subdued Postcard Nowhere trend toward the twinkling. Hometown math rockers KINDOFKIND round out this 21+ show. Doors at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m. Tickets $10 ahead of time online or in store at Needle Drop Records. $15 at the door. PH



The Head and the Heart

Kodak Center,

The 2010s were a great time for anthemic indie rock that tugged on heartstrings with its everyman Americana vibes, and Seattle band The Head and the Heart has been a leading light in that regard. The group’s endearing arena folk sound has been making its mark since the 2011 self-titled album won hearts and minds with songs such as “Down in the Valley” and “Rivers and Roads.” Is a decade ago too recent for nostalgia? I certainly hope not. And if you’re like me, this show is likely to have great appeal. The show proper starts at 7:30 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $45.50-$75.50, but separate $35

lounge passes are also available for a pre-concert event featuring the band at 6 p.m. DK



Will Perkins Artist



The “Goblin” YA graphic novel follows the titular young creature as he navigates a complicated origin story and endures the hero’s journey. Tasked with bringing author Eric Grissom’s story to vibrant life is Rochesterian illustrator Will Perkins, who stops by Hipocampo for an artist signing at 6 p.m. The latest entry in the series, “Goblin 2: The Wolf and the Well,” is slated for release on July 16. PH


“Pass Us the Mic: We’ve Got Something to Say”

Gallery Obscura,

Local high school students are featured artists in this exhibition, presented by the George Eastman Museum with Flower City Arts Center. “Pass Us the Mic: We’ve Got Something to Say” is a series of photographic selfportraits that shows viewers where the artists’ personal stories and social justice intersect. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays. The exhibition runs through November 10. Museum admission is $9 for children and students, $20 for seniors 65 and older, and $22 general admission. DK

Craft distilleries capture the spirit of the Finger Lakes.

Water of life


It’s a quiet Monday morning on the outskirts of Naples, the blistering early summer heat soothed in spurts by breezes picked up from Canandaigua Lake a few miles north.

Inside the hardwood laden barroom of Hollerhorn Distilling, owner and distiller Karl Neubauer pulls the cork out of a bottle of Eau de Vie, a style of crystalclear fruit brandy translating literally to “water of life.” This bottle is distilled entirely from strawberries, plucked from Art of the Sun farm two miles down the road (run by his nephew, Malcolm), and carries the Germanic nomenclature for the fruit: Erdbeer.

The scent of fresh strawberries explodes from the bottle. It’s an ethereal essence of fruit comparable to the aroma carried on the winds from an unseen patch of wild fruit; something riper for capture in poetry than in glass, yet here it is.

“Half of my family lives in Austria, and I kind of follow the traditional schnapps method, which is the same as the French Eau de Vie,” Neubauer said. “You’re storing sunlight.”

In 2007, then-Governor Eliot Spitzer signed the Farm Distillery Act into law. That piece of legislature, like its sister Farm Winery and Farm Brewery acts, cut through much of the red tape surrounding the opening of a distillery. That, in turn, proliferated a slew of distilleries

Bottles and barrels at Hollerhorn Distilling.

to pop up across the state—about 200 since the bill’s signing.

But there was a catch. The law requires at least 75% of ingredients used in farm distillery spirits must be New York sourced.

A similar provision exists in the acts for wine and breweries and presents a particular challenge for the latter. Barley can be finnicky in New York’s climate, and hitting the 60% requirement—and, starting in 2029, 90%—can be difficult to source.

But for distilleries, it’s a different matter altogether. Many are far exceeding the provisions set in the law not by legal mandate, but simply the passion for the craft to create something uniquely New York.

At Hollerhorn, its spirit bases range from local fruit to maple syrup to rye, the latter being a hearty and historic distillation crop in New York.

“I would say like 99%

of everything we use comes from within 40 miles of here,” Neubauer said. “We follow the fruit; New York is obviously an amazing place to be growing and farming in to begin with.”

The legal frame work for small distilleries to enter the market in New York had bred experimentation that the state had not seen prior to prohibition. Or, in some cases, ever.

Two Finger Lakes east, on the shores of Cayuga Lake, sits the modest storefront of Mushroom Spirits Distillery. One could be forgiven for thinking the moniker is too on the nose to be what it sounds like, but they would also be wrong.

About two decades ago, the husband-and-wife team Joe and Wendy Rizzo started Blue Oyster Cultivation, a mushroom farm in Ithaca. Five years ago, Joe had the idea to get a farm distillery license and begin making infusions of mushrooms.

“There’s nothing like it,” he said. “I looked all over the planet really, there was a gin in Japan that had a mushroom or two in the botanical bill, and one in Connecticut, I think, that had mushrooms and maple in it or something like that, but nothing to this extent.”


Hollerhorn Distilling owners Melissa and Karl Neubauer.

Rizz o described the spirits as essentially tinctures—spirits imbued with the essence of mushrooms through a steeping process. The distillery itself is small, working in 25-gallon batches. A portion of the vodka and whiskey used as the base for the spirits is also sourced from other distilleries from around the state.

As for taste, Rizzo offered three samples: a vodka infused with maitake (also known as Hen of the Woods), a vodka infused with shitake and a whiskey infused with enoki, shitake, Hen of the Woods and oyster mushrooms.

The Hen of the Woods vodka is subtle, carrying a round, savory note as if adorned with a hint of broth before finishing clean. The whiskey is earthy, with notes of soil and a more profound mustiness — notes that, while sounding unappetizing, may appeal to a fan of more intense flavors like truffles.

The shitake was the star of the show. Its flavor is pronounced, capturing the nuanced notes of the

Wendy Rizzo pours a tasting at Mushroom Spirits Distillery.

mushroom. An upfront savory, meaty character gives way to a clean finish just lightly tinged with a hint of earth.

Rizz o said his spirits are built to add an interesting new dimension to a cocktail, but also are strong enough to stand on their own.

“Craft whiskeys are great and all, but it’s just been done to death,” he said. “We thought it would be interesting to create new flavors using these mushrooms that we’ve grown, maybe they have a place.”

What Rizzo described is a story of the creation of a wholly unique type of spirit. It’s also a methodology—using whatever crops you have grown to turn into booze—that has defined the spirits industry the world over.

Back in Rochester, Black Button Distilling founder Jason Barrett sits at a window-facing table near the front of the distillery’s University Avenue space.

Barrett has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of New York spirit history and can expound at length on the origins of the industry in New York. Black Button’s Empire Rye, a centuries-old style reborn under the modern craft distilling boom, is a testament to that history.

Barrett described the birth of rye whiskey, made from a hearty grain that is both easy to grow and highly productive, as something born of farmers’ economics.

“If you were to put two barrels of whiskey on either side of a mule, that’s roughly equivalent to about

five tons of corn,” he said. “You were able to turn your time and excess land into a salable crop.”

Barrett is also in the camp of almost all his ingredients being sourced from New York. He’s gone one step further by founding a farm in Bristol, which produces a portion of the crops for Black Button, mostly botanicals and honey.

The very small percentage of crops Barrett does use from out of state are things simply impossible to grow in New York. But even then, it’s not for want of trying.

“I have actually tried to grow oranges in New York,” he said. “Turns out, even in a hot house or a greenhouse, it does not work.”


Trailblazing reform


FCanal, and religious revivalism in upstate New York facilitated the spread of progressive ideas, laying the groundwork for increased participation in equal rights movements.


Finger Lakes equal rights heritage road trip

shows history and progress.

While not part of the aforementioned religious revival movement, the Quakers, or ‘Friends,’ were a religious group that played a pivotal role in the social justice movements of the time. The 1816 Farmington Meetinghouse, which is currently being restored, has been recognized as a national historic site for equal rights, where members advocated for Haudenosaunee people, women, and African Americans.

“They were very active with abolitionism and women’s rights and also served as allies for the Seneca people,” said Wellman, who sits on the non-profit’s board of trustees.

by University of Idaho Professor of Education Rebekka BoysenTaylor will create a curriculum for area students based on the Underground Railroad — the metaphorical route taken by enslaved African Americans on their journey to freedom.

founding Seneca Falls National Park superintendent who wrote the book “A National Park for Women’s Rights: The Campaign That Made It Happen” about her experience.

This year, the 1816 Quaker Farmington Meetinghouse is sponsoring a series of free events with partner sites like Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester and Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls.

In Farmington, Ontario County, and through programs in conjunction with Ganondagan State Historic Site in nearby Victor, the public can learn about Quaker roles in helping to protect Seneca homelands beginning in 1840. Historians aim to bring this lesser-known local story to light.

Students from Professor Gretchen Sorin’s exhibits class at the Cooperstown Graduate School of Museum Studies recently worked with designer Doreen Nicola to create the first exhibit for the site, which will eventually be open to the public. Another collaborative community effort led

The Wesleyan Chapel at the Seneca Falls National Park was the location of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, where one-third of the 100 signers of the Declaration of Sentiments were Quakers. Many of the event participants also supported the abolitionist movement. In Seneca Falls and Waterloo, you can tour the homes of inspirational convention organizers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Mary Ann McClintock, a Quaker.

“Standing in the Stanton house, listening to a ranger talking about Stanton’s life there, brings it alive and makes it more impactful and more memorable. I truly believe the plaster and wood absorb the historic energies and continue to share them,” said Judy Hart, a

In Auburn, 25 miles east, is Harriet Tubman National Park. Known as the “Moses of Her People,” the Underground Railroad conductor lived in Auburn during her later years, where she worshipped at Thompson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church. The newly restored church opened in June; the Harriet Tubman Home, which is operated by a nonprofit park partner, is another must-see site for equal rights heritage travelers.

At Auburn’s Seward House Museum, delve into the life of Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Henry Seward, an abolitionist and a good friend of Harriet Tubman. Seward’s wife, Frances, who was raised as a Quaker, was Tubman’s ally and active in women’s suffrage and the Underground Railroad.

Drive 30 minutes southeast to the Howland Stone Store Museum in Aurora, Cayuga County, to see a “ticket to freedom” and learn about Underground Railroad stationmaster and Quaker store owner Slocum Howland. His daughter, Emily Howland, was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement. In 2022, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, which celebrates its newly renovated space on July 12.

The Harriet Tubman statue in front of the Seward House Museum in Auburn.

The many hands making light work

Meteorologist Richard McCollough learned to play chess from his brother as a 12-year-old. It taught him the importance of planning ahead. As such, he started mapping out his retirement in 2006, when he was still in the prime of his media career.

His first order of business? Finding some land.

When a realtor showed him 12 acres in Livingston County just above Conesus Lake, he grabbed it.

“I never considered a farm or anything like that,” he said. “I was thinking about land.”

Eighteen years later, he grows blackberries, raspberries, wild grapes, autumn olive shrubs and more at Weatherfield Farm, which is perhaps the sole herbal tea farm in the Finger Lakes region. It’s also one of several Black-owned agriculture operations in the area, including urban-growing initiatives in the city of Rochester.

McCollough used to commute to the farm from Rochester, but moved into a nearby colonial-style house with big windows in April 2020. While he remains the chief meteorologist at WDKX and produces documentaries through his company MirusMedia, his heart stays on that land among the wild blossoms and nesting Canada geese.

“ When I’m laying in my bed, I can see the stars,” he said. “I can sit here and see the storm systems coming in, the different kinds of clouds: nimbostratus, rain clouds, mid-level clouds and cirrus.”

When McCollough set up Weatherfield Farm, he had difficulty getting a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, so instead, he used his own resources and relied on collaboration.

His neighbor plowed a 50by-100 plot, allowing him to lay down more than 100 blackberry plants he got from Nourse Farms in Massachusetts. Every year, folks from church help him harvest. Early on, Cornell University horticulture professor Marvin Pritts advised McCollough every step of the way.

Fruit and Vegetables in Albion.

“ When they see you’re working hard and you want to learn, people do help,” McCollough said. “That’s the good thing about humanity.”

Pritts said collaboration is key for all types of agrarians. Berry crops need to be mulched to get them through the winter, though that can take a long time by hand. A machine speeds up the process, but small growers likely won’t invest in equipment they only use once a year.

“It makes a lot of sense to partner with somebody so everybody doesn’t have to buy their own specialized piece of equipment,” Pritts said.

For Tonya Noel, that equipment sometimes includes a pickup truck for hauling materials. Noel co-runs the Flower City Noire Collective and heads up several urban gardens around Rochester. She credits the assistance from other folks in the community, along with growers vlike 490 Farmers and Moss Fresh

“If it wasn’t for that, I don’t know what I would do,” Noel said. “It’s literally just the power of love.”

The city’s Department of Environmental Services provides compost from street sweeping and yard waste, though it is not recommended to use for growing produce, so Noel partners with cannabis farms across the Finger Lakes region to get food-grade compost for her gardens.

An ultimate goal of the Noire Collective is to build and run a farm of their own, likely somewhere west of Rochester along the New York State Thruway. It would only be natural, Noel said, given their many partnerships in the Buffalo area.

She stressed environmental justice as a core tenet of the organization’s mission centering around collective work, sustainability and understanding.

“Even with me running three urban gardens, doing workshops and giving away bags of dirt, it

won’t resolve the issues,” Noel said. A farm would help the collective scale up.

Mike Kincaid, the director of workforce development at Cornell Cooperative Extension Monroe, has often lent his truck to lug compost, equipment, and plant beds — whatever might be too difficult to carry on public transportation — to urban gardens, including Noel’s. His scope goes beyond plots of land.

“ We’re really blessed to live in one of the best agricultural regions in the world,” he said of the Finger Lakes region. “We have such a diversity of growers, crops and restaurants that it is really a huge asset to our community and something that should be celebrated.”

Back on Weatherfield Farm, McCollough celebrates by taking stock of what farming has given him.

“The longer I live out here, I just feel closer to the earth,” he said. “You know the earth is alive.”

The Flower City Noire Collective. PHOTO PROVIDED
Richard McCollough snaps a selfie on his land at Weatherfield Farm, which he acquired in 2006. PHOTOS PROVIDED
Two unassuming museums tell a compelling story of transportation in the

Finger Lakes.

By land, air and sea

The village of Hammondsport is a quintessential vacation town, better known for the ways in which one can slow down there — namely, relaxing by the Keuka Lake and enjoying a glass of wine at one of several vineyards — rather than speed up.

But its reputation as a scenic summer destination belies another crucial part of its lasting legacy and ongoing identity, as the home of not one but two distinct transportation museums that tell stories of American innovation and Finger Lakes leisure in the 20th century.


Glenn H. Curtiss — the namesake of the museum with an impressive cache of vintage and restored bicycles, motorcycles and airplanes — was born in Hammondsport in 1878 before moving to Rochester and developing a reputation as a tinkerer of two-wheel conveyances. In 1907, Curtiss was auspiciously dubbed “the fastest man on earth” after riding his motorcycle, equipped with a V8 engine, at 136.4 miles per hour on Ormond Beach in Florida.

But Curtiss wasn’t just a thrill seeker and motorcycle enthusiast. He was an innovative engineer who was pivotal in advancing modern engine technology that drivers still benefit from today. What’s particularly remarkable is that Curtiss achieved this legacy after having to quit school as a child to support his family after his father and grandfather died.

“Everything that you see came

out of eighth grade education, which just blows my mind,” Glenn H. Curtiss Museum Executive Director Carol Anne Adams said of the vast collection on display. “Today, you’re told you have to have a PhD to go do X, Y, and Z.”

Curtiss’s ingenuity was exemplified in the single-cylinder engines he developed for the motorcycles he began manufacturing in 1902. The motorcycle’s carburetor was made using a tomato soup can. By 1906, his machines utilized a V-twin engine and a twist-grip throttle — both of which were new technologies he adapted for motorcycles. By 1904, Curtiss had turned his attention to planes. Although he

considered the pursuit of air travel to be frivolous, Curtiss’s work would eventually result in technological progress in this field as well. He was a trailblazer with the air-cooled engine, the concept of which he successfully used in the 1908 Model B-8 engine that powered the Curtiss June Bug in its inaugural sustained flight. It’s recognized as the first public flight announced in advance. Curtiss flew the plane more than 5,000 feet within one minute and 42 seconds, a feat which won him a Scientific American Trophy.

A replica of the plane, called the June Bug II, flew in 1976 and is currently on display at the Curtiss Museum; a 50th anniversary

exhibition commemorating that flight is in the works.

In 1911, the Hammondsport native developed a seaplane for the U.S. Navy, and in 1919, Curtiss’s NC-4 flying boat became the first plane to fly over the Atlantic ocean when Navy and Coast Guard pilots flew it, with stops, from Rockaway Beach in New York to Lisbon, Portugal.

This successful foray into aviation led to a bitter rivalry and contentious battle over patents with the Wright Brothers, whose superior ability to market themselves contributed to their present-day notoriety — and Curtiss’s comparative obscurity. Ironically, a company that bore both last names

A Curtiss C-46 Commando, a vintage cargo plane from World War II, sits at the entrance to the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport. PHOTO BY ABBY QUATRO

was formed in 1962, following the merger of 12 companies affiliated with Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company out of Buffalo and Wright Aeronautical in Dayton, Ohio.

Adams began her tenure as director of education at the Curtiss Museum last year, before being promoted to the position of executive director. In this elevated role, she plans to make engaging people through education a priority.

“One of my goals in the next three to five years is to really turn us into a STEM-based learning lab where people can come here and see a dissected engine,” she said. “A place to inspire young inventors and tinkerers and enthusiasts to move forward, versus just having stagnant displays.”


If the Curtiss Museum didn’t already feature enough variety in its machines for prospective visitors to Hammondsport, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum fills in the gap with its display of more than 100 boats built either by regional manufacturers or those with local ties — plus 250 more boats in storage.

The models on display, which include those built by Penn Yan, Thompson, Morehouse and other Finger Lakes builders, date from the early 20th century to the 1960s. The Finger Lakes region was known for its luxury launch vessels and trout boats.

The museum also has an impressive exhibition of 19th-century steamboat models on display, shining light on the significant role the boats’ north-south trips on the Finger Lakes played in connecting people and goods traveling via the Erie Canal to the region.There also plans to help commemorate the bicentennial of the Erie Canal in 2025.

Kara Calder, executive director at the museum, says maintaining the collection is about telling a story — not just about the Finger Lakes rich boating history, but also its ongoing culture, carried on by museum members who provide their vessels for the museum’s use and volunteer their time to actively work on boat restoration projects.

“We have a tremendous group from around the country and around the world, hobbyists and aficionados, that love what we’re doing, because they already understand the story,” Calder said. “And then we have people that we

want to draw into the story by making it relevant.”

An experienced professional in the worlds of education and nonprofits, Calder was drawn to her position at the boating museum in part due to the work and dedication of its volunteers — of which there are 100 who actively assist the museum. In addition to working on renovations, volunteers also help with tours and other guest services. The museum also operates cruises and chartered trips on Keuka Lake.

The Finger Lakes Boating Museum was created in 1996 by a group of antique boat aficionados, and a year later, the institution received a provisional museum charter from the New York State Board of Education. The museum had various locations

in the Finger Lakes before eventually settling on the 14-acre Hammondsport campus where Taylor Wine Company was once headquartered. Mercury, the metal fabrication and manufacturing company responsible for the construction of the Curtiss June Bug replica, were the previous tenants before the museum moved there in 2014. Efforts to expand the museum’s exhibitions are ongoing, including a more short-term, 18-month project to renovate two of the museum’s

buildings, and a longer five-year project for displaying sailboats.

Museums often act as time capsules, commemorating a distant past that may bear little resemblance to the present community served. But both the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum and the Finger Lakes Boating Museum strive to transcend historical preservation and reflect the Finger Lakes region back to itself — a community with a living legacy of both revolution and repose.

The June Bug on display inside the Curtiss Museum.
The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum has a collection of aircraft, vintage motorcycles and automobiles in its 60,000 square-foot facility
An unlikely culinary find in the heart of wine country.

Lessons in dumplings


Walking into Sans Dumplings in Penn Yan feels like you’ve wandered into a lab. The place is immaculate, and the surfaces gleam. But here in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country, a culinary revolution is quietly taking root. At the helm is Imelda Reinhardt, a former scientist whose deft hands now manipulate dumplings rather than molecules.

Sans burst onto the scene in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Perched on the drive up to Kemmeter Winery, where her husband is the owner and winemaker, this modest operation suddenly found itself “essential” when the winery, tasting room, and surrounding restaurants shuttered. The locals, left craving connection and chafing from forced solitude, began to flood Reinhardt’s phone with orders.

She works alongside five young Mennonite women who bike from home to join the ranks. Laced with laughter and moving with impressive finesse, they crank out 3,000 dumplings each week to feed demand. Watching the process feels simultaneously like a step back in time and a leap forward. Reinhardt mentors these women, not just as employees or neighbors, but as co-creators. There’s a sense of camaraderie that transcends the work of a kitchen. It’s a delicate dance of past and present, resurrecting old-school community values carved into the systems of a modern world.

Coming from a scientific

Natasha Cotrupi samples Sans Dumplings in Penn Yan. PHOTOS BY ABBY QUATRO


background (she holds a degree in Food Science & Technology from Cornell University), Reinhardt’s instinct was to control every aspect of her environment. And while this skillset is a leg up when finetuning the induction stove and understanding flavor extraction, with humans, the formulas didn’t compute. Instead of hibernating in a lab with her instruments, Reinhardt faced the challenge of leading a team. Recognizing that they didn’t see the world through her analytical lens, she began to embrace their strengths and find joy in the collective effort. And it’s this — her shocking self-awareness, that makes her both a formidable leader and an approachable mentor.

“The people around you,” she said, “you have to learn how to bless one another.”

Since graduating from Cornell, Reinhardt has called Geneva home. She talks with candid enthusiasm about how much the area is changing — it no longer feels like a small town stuck in a generational gap, void of productive years. Post-pandemic things started to shift. Young people are moving to the area and the existing community shows up for each other in remarkable ways.

understands the value of restraint. In a world that often feels fragmented, Reinhardt has created Sans Dumplings, a haven of connection and culinary excellence. This is a place where science meets soul. A place where every bite is not just chemically perfect, but a lesson in the power of community.

Reinhardt doesn’t succumb to the typical hospitality trap of overextension; there aren’t 25 items on her menu. Veiled in genuine humility, there is real boldness in executing these few

Imelda Reinhardt, founder and chef at Sans Dumplings.

Don’t think twice; it’s alright


Anthony Do grew up watching his parents cook Vietnamese-French fusion cuisine in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Fifteen minutes away, Ellie Dolan was a nerdy, artistic kid who liked being outdoors. They didn’t know each other. More than a decade later, they met in Geneva, while both working at F.L.X. Table. Walking to work each day, they passed a pale blue brick restaurant that, though vacant, had been a venerated staple of the city’s food and drink culture. They bought it, kept the name, and transformed the interior into a portmanteau of Japanese izakaya (the culture’s term for a casual bar), American dive bar and understated fine dining.

Do and Dolan opened Microclimate in 2022.

“I think there was a lot of serendipity in how this happened,” said Dolan.“I just kind of followed the squiggly red line on the GPS (to Geneva) totally sight unseen, and I lived on the same street as Table and Provisions, so I kind of just came downstairs and was like, ‘Can I work here?”

Dolan had never been to the Finger Lakes region, but her sister had recently graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva and suggested

Dolan seek refuge there from a COVID-addled New York City. At the time, Dolan worked at a restaurant checking coats and waiting tables.

“I was going to work there part-time while I looked for a ‘real job,’ but I became kind of addicted to the atmosphere,” she said. “I felt like I should try to learn about wine, which is how I started my job as the worst sales rep in New York City.”

Meanwhile, Do was completing his training at The Culinary Institute of America, which has a collaborative degree program with Cornell University. After leaving Ithaca, Do planned to work in Lummi Island, Washington until the pandemic dissolved his job before it began. After seeing a notice that Table was hiring, he applied. Like Dolan, his course pointed him to Geneva.

The two became friends as they drove together to Corning, where their employers were opening a new venture. They chatted while polishing glasses, and Do shared his vision of one day opening his own restaurant. Around the same time, Dolan said they saw the potential in the little vacant restaurant three storefronts down from Table when a wine group sponsored an event there.

“They did this weeklong pop-up, turned the lights down low, bumped the music and people were in here partying and drinking a bunch of wine and it seemed to have an amazing atmosphere,” she said. “Once we saw that we were like, ‘oh, somebody should do this.’”

When conceiving what exactly “this” meant, Do took a cue from seeing so many tourists dining at Table, and thinking he and Dolan could serve a different niche.

“ When we opened Microclimate, we wanted to make it more community-oriented,” he said. “I’m surprised by how supportive the locals are to us, what we’re doing, especially since we were taking over an old business that had a lot of nostalgic feels to it.”

Do and Dolan also wondered at times if what they’re offering fits the local palate. For example, in

December, they hosted a Feast of Seven Fishes prix fixe dinner.

“One of the dishes was a chirashi bowl — rice, a bunch of different raw fish, and a raw egg yolk on top,” said Dolan. “I was sweating bullets when we were serving it just because I was like, people are not going to go for this.”

She said every patron cleaned their plate.

“OK, I guess Geneva (surprised) me again.”

Rather than succeeding despite its hometown, Microclimate seems to have found a perfect home to become precisely its truest self.

“I actually feel like this would only work in Geneva,” said Do, adding that the region combines a longstanding love of wine with an

Microclimate owner and operator Anthony Do finishing a yuzu caesar salad.
Microclimate owner and operator Ellie Dolan behind the bar.
Sunlight from Linden Street pours into Microclimate’s front windows, which have a view of the restaurant’s outdoor seating. PHOTO BY PETE WAYNER

open mindedness that fits their menu.

In addition to a local clientele hungry for adventure, Microclimate also benefits from a region full of incredible produce. When they first opened, Do and Dolan sourced all their vegetables from Deep Root Farm. In owner Eric Houppert, they found a grounding presence during the final harried hours before opening their doors for the first time.

“It was extremely chaotic because the bar wasn’t set up,” said Dolan. “So the plumber, the electrician, the guy who built the bar, me, Anthony and my mom were there and it was just like there was not enough room for anybody … But then Eric came in with all his vegetables and my mom’s jaw was on the floor. She was like, ‘I have never seen lettuce like that in my life.’”

That moment seems to have set the tone for superior ingredients begetting superior cuisine. Though Deep Root has since scaled back production, Do curates a diverse array of food grown on farms surrounding Geneva. Vegetables from Stick and Stone Farm in Trumansburg, herbs from High Ground Gardens in Ovid, and meat from Rosencranz Natural Beef in Auburn and Bostrom Farms in Stanley (to name a few) all form

the basis for his inventive, deeply flavorful menu.

“ To be totally honest, right now the food is anything I want to cook,” said Do. At the moment, that includes sugar snap peas from Schenk Homestead Farm in Naples dressed with a blend of basil, mint, tofu and creme fraiche and topped with green garlic furikake, made by blitzing dehydrated green garlic tops (also from Schenk) into powder. Or there’s the yuzu caesar salad, made with lettuces from Glenn Scott Farms in Hammondsport, piave vecchio (a hard cow’s milk cheese), anchovies, toasted panko and yuzu in place of the traditional lemon.

Initially, because of an extremely limited workspace (which Dolan described to customers as “one guy and one hot plate”), Microclimate’s menu was restrained to oysters, ceviche, popcorn and bar mix. In time, Do hit a stride and in January 2024, the restaurant closed for a month-long renovation which created a much larger cooking area without sacrificing any customer seating and offering an airier, free flowing dining experience. “I thought it was kind of miraculous,” said Dolan of the early days. “We had exactly enough space to get stuff done.”

Whether serendipity, luck or

Spicy ramen salad: soy-marinated pork, micro greens, sesame dressing, egg yolk. PHOTOS BY PETE WAYNER

Bacchus himself is responsible for Do and Dolan finding their way to Linden Street and thriving at every turn remains unclear. It’s possible, however, that it’s all in their easy-handed approach, which is immediately evident when talking to either of them.

“I think if we had thought about it too much, like the gravity of the undertaking …” Dolan said, trailing off. “Just go to work. Don’t make any room for existential dread – that will just slow you down.”

Zucchini and lardo: lardo from La Salumina of the Hudson Valley complementing zucchini on a piquillo pepper romesco with gochujang and almonds. PHOTOS BY PETE WAYNER

The Dish



On Juneteenth, owner Ebony Smart officially opened Legacy Wine Bar, 51 State St. The firsttime business owner and M/ WBE certified entrepreneur specifically chose the opening day to signify her “emancipation from multiple roadblocks and the opportunity to succeed as a minority businesswoman.” Legacy Wine Bar serves urban cultural cuisine varying from truffle fries to curry chicken patties and pours wines produced by family-owned operations in the Finger Lakes region and beyond; live music takes place every other Friday.

In other food and bev news, Tournedos at the Inn on Broadway has a new look, regrettably forsaking the old school steakhouse aesthetic for the minimalist look reminiscent of a chain hotel eatery; Friday and Saturday University Avenue favorite Forno Tony has announced they now offer a catering and events menu upon request, as well as the upcoming addition of gelato this summer; at the Living Roots tasting room in Hammondsport, plan your visit between 4 - 7 p.m. on Fridays if you want to try the Yummy Burger pop-up (smashburgers and bubbles, who could resist?); or, if you’re looking for a burger without the long commute, Moo’d Burger Bar ( is now open in the University Avenue building that also houses Black Button Distilling.

Fans of “Shark Tank” may have noticed the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck around town — husbandand-wife franchisees Cindy and Pete Sztankovits debuted the brand in Rochester in mid-June. Cousins Maine Lobster brings “the highest quality Maine lobster rolls to by way of their infamous food trucks, brick & mortar restaurants, and a shore-to-door gourmet online shop.” Since joining the brand five years ago, the couple has expanded their team and operation to six food trucks, first servicing Trenton, NJ; Scranton, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA; and now the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse markets. Find the truck at Three Heads Brewing beginning at 12 p.m. on Friday, July 12.

Vine & Tap has opened in the Port of Rochester, 4768 Lake Ave. The wine bar celebrates all things Finger Lakes and New York State, including ‘Taste of the Lakes’ flights, local beers and locally sourced charcuterie boards. Live music will also take place onsite; enjoy a glass of wine on the outdoor patio near Lake Ontario.


A new Peels on Wheels location is in the works. Though we can’t say where or when just yet, keep an eye on Neighborhood of the Arts this fall…


A recent ‘Dish’ newsletter asked for your favorite outdoor dining destinations, and you delivered!

Here’s a few of ‘em:

“The stretch (on) Winton Road is great. Wildflour, Lucky’s, Winfield Grill and Silver Iguana all have outdoor seating and it’s wonderful.”

- Jeff Leathersich

“Owl House patio.” - Michael Huffman

“Highland Conservatory — on the swing outside.” - Shirley Figueroa

“During COVID, my wife and I got a little portable table and chairs and got waffles from the Waffle Factory Webster and hung out in the Webster Park parking lot overlooking the lake.”

- Brunch Worth


VAULT, a boutique downtown fitness studio situated at 10 Franklin St., just across from the Liberty Pole, will partner with The Richmond, 21 Richmond St., for “VLT x TRRooftop to Rooftop - Yoga Brunch Splash” on Sunday, July 14. The first in a series of three fitness and food partnerships, the event will kick off at VAULT with 30 minutes of strength-

based fitness followed by 30 minutes of yoga flow in the rooftop garden. Attendees will then walk or drive to The Richmond nearby for a sourdough waffle brunch bar on the patio, complete with unlimited wine slushees and sangria. There will be a “Boxing to Biergarten” event on August 11, followed by a “Bills Season Kick-Off Tailgate” on September 8.

Looking for a way to beat the heat and up your skills in the kitchen? The Commissary, located in the Mercantile on Main at Sibley Square, 250 E. Main St., hosts frequent food and drinkfocused classes in its state-of-the-art production facility. From spanish rice and empanadas to pasta and knife skills, there’s always something happening. Check Facebook events for the most up-to-date listings; some are organized by Rochester Brainery.

Dine on the water by way of the Colonial Belle! This two-hour, narrated cruise from the village of Fairport to the village of Pittsford (and back) includes brunch by Spinelli’s Catering & Events. Remaining 2024 dates are July 28, August 18 and September 8.

Joy’s Partner


1. Items for discussion

7. Annie, e.g.

13. Whacked

20. Bodysuit

21. Small abnormal lump

22. Leftmost spot in a bowling alley, usually

23. **Poster in a lab

25. Longtime “General Hospital” star

26. _____ ex machina

27. Vigoda and Lincoln, for two

28. Let go

30. Pit

31. Western treaty grp.

32. Initials often (and redundantly) preceding “machine”

33. House of Seven Gables town

34. Siouan people

35. 1978 film with the second-bestselling soundtrack of that year (after “Saturday Night Fever”)

37. **_____ Farm, makers of Goldfish Crackers and Milano Cookies

40. Puncture or pressure preceder

43. Prepare for a shower

45. Piece of framing lumber

46. Future doc’s exam

47. Federal statute that is not violated by showing one’s vaccine card

50. Passes

53. Requirement for a Sunday driver?

54. Business Wile E. Coyote should have bought stock in

55. Morales of “NYPD Blue”

56. Hollywood’s William H.

57. Seldom seen

59. Appetizer that might come “loaded”

61. **Fairy tale breakfast food

63. Country with 10 residents per

square mile

65. Meadow

66. Minecraft block crafted with sand and gunpowder

67. Cropsharing syst.

68. **July celebration in Rochester since 1972, or what is “spread” in each starred clue

69. It can be hi or lo

71. Genre for Public Enemy

74. NYSE debut

76. Director Christopher and actor Lloyd

78. **First aid solution sold in brown bottles, familiarly

80. Finishes a deck, maybe 83. _____ rope (slangy term for a snake)

84. Target location?

85. Actress Lupino and others

86. Lacquered metalware

87. Neurodegenerative disease plaguing many NFL retirees

89. “Laughter in the Rain” crooner Neil

91. Billy Blanks-led workout fad of the 1990s

92. Means justifiers, hopefully

93. Term for a missing G.I.

95. Shoreline problem

97. Frequent result in English football, or infrequent result in American football

98. **Northeastern capital founded in 1636

101. Tool used on Willy Wooly

105. Spinoff of TV’s “JAG”

107. Hall of Fame quarterback John

108. Fitting

109. Game where you skip but don’t hop or jump

110. Alma _____

112. Have a _____ (attempt)

113. Sicilian volcano 115. Fed

116. Learn, to the unlearned

118. **Business scam requiring impossible levels of recruitment to turn a profit

121. Nuptial

122. Padmé’s husband

123. Rubbernecker

124. Dishes that might be Greek or Denver

125. Scotch brand owned by Bacardi

126. Flynn and others

1. Head honcho 2. In _____ and out the other 3. Look over 4. Mother of Horus

5. A.F.L.-_____

6. Fulfills Joey Ramone’s desire?

7. Winner of eight Tony awards, or one Oscar award

8. Decays

9. A display, or a device with a display

10. Wheel cover 11. Genetic variant

12. Wanters’ counterparts 13. Dressed

14. PC gamers’ party connection 15. Inborn

16. Grammy winning soul singer Bryson

17. **Carbohydrate consisting of bonded sugar molecules

18. Hydrocarbon suffixes

19. Barely passing grades

24. Co. that developed the ThinkPad

29. Put out

32. Home of 60% of the world’s population

33. What a house might be built on 34. Poet Nash 36. Firefighter Red

37. _____ de León

38. Company that has owned PayPal, Reverb, StubHub, and Braintree 39. Owed

41. G.I.’s attire

42. Southern Paiute people

44. U.S. President born in 1911

46. Common weapon for a cleric in Dungeons & Dragons 47. Numerical prefix

“The Heat _____”

49. **Formal false teeth?

51. Employee without a nametag, maybe

52. Bygone casino where Frank Sinatra and Count Basie recorded a live album

56. Letters that can take six years to arrive?

58. Issa of “Insecure”

60. Too

62. Object of veneration in an Orthodox church

63. Dice game where superstition dictates players not say “the S-word”

64. Madison Square Garden and MGM Grand

68. West Bank grp.

70. Places for 56-Down

72. Not much, as of lotion

73. “Weight” in Spanish

75. Supply for a county fair contest

77. Bogie

78. High quality tea grade

79. Dialect spoken in Hunan province

80. Editor’s self-edit

81. Teammate of Michael, Scottie, and Dennis

82. Signs of surgery

84. Podcaster Maron

88. 63-Down roll with 35 to 1 odds

90. Turn away

91. Perfectly

94. Perch for a frog

96. Deadlock

98. _____ Bay, bit torrent site

99. Johnson with a hard nickname

100. Avoid cooked foods

102. With 109-Across, top dog

103. Crown covering

104. Laser printer supplies

106. Infamous L.A. hotel documented in a Netflix series

108. Defiant response with a question mark

110. Office communication

111. Name derived from the Hebrew for “ground”

112. Phone nos.

113. Mideast leader

114. Containers for Altoids

115. “_____ she blows!”

117. Ink

119. Alias

120. Middle: Abbr.

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