It’s a Pirate’s Life For Me!

Alex Mosher throws “pirate treasure” into the crowd during the pirate invasion for Bill Johnston’s Pirate Days in Alexandria Bay.

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Navigating The Rumor and Fable of Thousand Islands Dressing

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“Hands, Pans, Flames and Heart”

St. Lawrence Spirits Chateau executive chef Christian Ives poses in the dining room of the restaurant.

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Holiday fashion across the decades

Decmeber 1945

Decmeber 1945

Northern New York women dressing for the holidays in the 1940s focused heavily on accessories. At the annual Christmas Teas held by the College Women’s Club of Jefferson County, the women in these photos showed off popular fashion trends of the decade. These women finished off their looks with festive hats, broaches, and belts to celebrate the season.

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Unchain your holiday season: Give the gifts of community craft, north country artisans



As the holidays draw near, finding the perfect gift can be a stressful and daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. Thinking outside of the box stores and looking locally can ease this stress and even produce a custom gift for each person on your holiday shopping list.

Buying locally not only allows for you to find the perfectly customized gift for your loved ones it also supports your area small businesses, keeping Northern New York communities bustling with business and economic growth.

“Every purchase made locally results in funds going back into our economy,” said Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber executive director Kylie Peck. “The more we shop locally the more effect we have on those that are supporting local programs, non-profits and causes that mean the most to us”

Throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties, many small businesses thrive due to support from local residents.

While shops along the St. Lawrence River depend on tourism during the summer months, they still remain open during the off-season; for small businesses in development it is about their passion for the products which they strive to share with their neighbors and friends.

“Of course it is very gratifying when people use and buy my products,” said Laura Cerow, owner and creator of St. Larry’s organic oils, lotions and potions, “Then they share with me how much they love them. But the most rewarding part is when someone finds relief of some kind from a product, that they had not been able to find elsewhere.  I also formulate for individual needs and I really enjoy that aspect as well.”

It is that personal relationship with local business owners that makes shopping locally a benefit to the consumer.

“We always encourage people to shop locally when they can. We are so fortunate in the greater Watertown area to be surrounded by quaint towns that offer unique shopping experiences. During the holiday season, the chamber acts as a neighborhood champion for the Small Business Saturday movement. For many year’s we have assisted with increasing awareness of this great program,” Mrs. Peck said.

Not only does shopping for the holidays within your local communities benefit the economy, but it helps the consumer save money as well. By shopping locally, you are saving on the cost of shipping and handling. Many online shops claim to provide free shipping during the holidays, but you are paying a higher price for that retail item.

Shopping during the holidays also should be a fun experience shared with friends and family. While browsing the internet from the comfort of home can be relaxing, having personal experiences and laughs while finding the perfect holiday gift can be exciting and create lasting memories.

Remember, your family and friends are one of a kind. Shopping locally means you can choose unique and one-of-a-kind gifts that are as special as the recipient.

NNY Living encourages you to focus your holiday shopping at many of the region’s small businesses this holiday season by following our non-chain holiday shopping guide below Holly’s Holiday Pick.

Holly’s holiday pick

gift-box-image-1With the holidays just around the corner it’s easy to forget to care for your personal health and wellness. Becoming overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of shopping, hosting guests and family and preparing the big holiday meal can leave one feeling drained.

But you don’t have to let your personal well-being fall to the wayside by simply taking a few minutes to eat well and treat your body right. Three small business owners along the St. Lawrence River want to ensure that you do just that. Laura Cerow, owner of St. Larry’s, Monica Behan, owner of Modicum Skin Care, and Liz Price-Kellogg along with Kristen Taylor, creators of LIVE YUM, have developed the “Gratitude Goddess Holiday Gift Box” to assist with wellness during the holiday season.

Each gift box includes gratitude-inspiring products handcrafted along the St. Lawrence River from the local businesswomen.


A signed copy of “For the Love of Food and Yoga: A Celebration of Mindful Eating and Being,” by Liz Price-Kellogg and  Kristen Taylor. Plus, three new LIVE Yum recipes.


Two organic essential oils from St. Larry’s, helmed by the St. Lawrence River’s remarkable Laura Cerow, that may be used in recipes from the For the Love of Food and Yoga inspirational cookbook.


A travel size of the coveted Essential Serum from Murray Isle’s Monica Behan, owner of Modicum Skin Care! A 2015 Beauty Nominee for Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards, Modicum Skin Care nutrient system combats a multitude of skin care issues from aging to acne.

Call 523-0627 to purchase your holiday “Gratitude Goddess Holiday Gift Box” or to learn more. Each gift box is $50 to $65 value and includes sales tax. LIVE YUM will also mail your gift box to any mailing address with an enclosed LIVE YUM gift card (add $10 — flat rate for shipping). Give the gift of the river, health, wellness and gratitude this holiday season.


Jefferson County

Editor’s note: The following list of non-chain stores is not intended as an all-inclusive shopping directory.

Country Designs

320 Dodge Ave., Sackets Harbor


St. Lawrence Pottery

41468 state Route 12, Clayton


The Lake Ontario Gift Shop

12279 state Route 12E, Chaumont

(315) 300-4014

The Natural Basket

44144 state Route 3, Natural Bridge


Agape Shoppe

136 Court St., Watertown


The 1000 Islands Cruet

226 James St., Clayton


1000 Islands River Rat Cheese

242 James St., Clayton

686-2480 or 1- (800) 752-1341

Treasure Island Jewelers

40 James St., Alexandria Bay


Karla’s Christmas Shoppe

500 Riverside Drive, Clayton


Captain Spicer’s Gallery

40467 state Route 12, Clayton


Freighters of Clayton

534 Riverside Drive, Clayton


St. Larry’s

38234 Windward Cliffs, Clayton


Live Yum

Liz Price-Kellogg and

Kristen Taylor, Clayton

775-7115 or 523-0627


Clayton / 1000 Islands

St. Lawrence County

Phil and Jackie’s

69 Main St., Massena

Nature’s Storehouse

21 Main St., Canton


Seasons Specialty Gifts

27 W. Orvis St., Massena


Misty Hollow

22 Market St., Potsdam


St. Lawrence County Arts Council

41 Elm St., Room 231, Potsdam

(Downtown Snell Hall, 2nd Floor)


Brick & Mortar Music

15 Market St., Potsdam


Adirondack Fragrance & Flavor Farm

1551 Highway 72, Potsdam


Argent’s Jewelry and Coin Shop

32 Market St., Potsdam


Canton-Potsdam Gift Shop

50 Leroy St., Canton


Em Bears

P.O. Box 402, Hannawa Falls


Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) store

53 E. Main St., Canton



Maple Run Emporiums Inc.

49 Market St., Potsdam


Lewis County

Nolts Country Store

7189 state Route 812, Lowville


Marguerite’s Cranberry Emporium

7614 N. State St., Lowville


Cozy Country Corner

7608 North State St., Lowville


Bonaparte Candle & Gifts

7790 State Route 3, Harrisville


The Blue Bird Country Store

8311 state Route 26, Lowville


Amish Connection

9882 state Route 12, Copenhagen


Croghan Candy Kitchen

9740 state Route 812, Croghan


Holiday 2015 Cover Story: Keeping holiday traditions bright

Light displays, performances top north country’s seasonal offerings

This festive pirate ship won best display in 2012. The sixth annual Lights on the River is set for Dec. 12 to 22 at the Lisbon Beach Camping Grounds, Ogdensburg.

This festive pirate ship won best display in 2012. The sixth annual Lights on the River is set for Dec. 12 to 22 at the Lisbon Beach Camping Grounds, Ogdensburg.

By Norah Machia, NNY Living

Many traditions are celebrated by north country residents to mark the holidays, and this year is no exception. These events are often made possible by organizations or businesses whose members volunteer their time to help people commemorate the season. Some events are free, others have an admission charge, and many benefit the community as well. [Read more…]

Winter 2015 Cover Story: Snowmobiling

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Text by Lorna Oppedisano | Photos by Lauren Harrienger

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For many, snowmobile culture is a way of life to beat the blues during long north country winters.

The dead of winter has the north country in its grips. Everything on the ground is some shade of gray or white. Any sign of life, save the occasional far-off bird call, has left the area. A bright, glaring sun shines down from the clear blue sky, a meek attempt at melting the heaps of snow, feet high in areas. But it’s no use. The burning ball in the sky is not a match for the crisp, almost biting, freezing winter air. It’ll be months before Northern New York breathes a gasp of warm, balmy air.

The conditions are perfect.

A machine roars to life in the distance. And then another. And another. Before long, a fleet of iron sleds races into view, caravanning across the gleaming paths carved into the snow, moving at speeds rivaling those of cars on a nearby county road. Perched atop the machines, the riders lean into the twists and turns of the trail. Each traveler is decked out from head to toe in layers of impenetrable snow gear. The sleds race in single file, and then, as suddenly as they appeared, they’re gone around the next bend, on to their destination.

Welcome to snowmobile season.


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Winter 2015 Feature: An adventure for a non-thrill-seeker

Writer, Lorna Oppedisano

Writer, Lorna Oppedisano

Thrills are not my forte. Adrenaline usually just makes me dizzy. I bit the bullet once and tried a rollercoaster; I can safely say that I never want to be upside-down again in my life. I’m a legs-planted-firmly-on-the-ground type of woman.

A little more than a month ago, my editor mentioned the idea of ‘beat the winter blues’ as the cover story topic. Would I write it? Of course. Would I investigate the culture of snowmobiling? Definitely. Would I get on the back of a snowmobile for the first-hand, in-depth perspective? Gulp… sure. [Read more…]

Customize your snow machine

Investments in gear, equipment can be costly, but worth it

By Lorna Oppedisano

Josh Roes, D&D Racing mechanic, works on a custom-built Arctic Cat XC 1100 turbo, turning it from a 177-horsepower sled to a 600-horsepower drag-racing sled, able to reach 140 mph in 500 feet. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Living.

Josh Roes, D&D Racing mechanic, works on a custom-built Arctic Cat XC 1100 turbo, turning it from a 177-horsepower sled to a 600-horsepower drag-racing sled, able to reach 140 mph in 500 feet. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Living.

Snowmobiling is a beautiful sport. It’s a fun sport. It’s a cold sport. It can be a dangerous sport. [Read more…]

Jump in the car & day trip

A view of Skaneateles Lake. Photo courtesy

A view of Skaneateles Lake. Photo courtesy

Beat the winter blues with 10 Empire State destinations each within a reasonable trek of the north country [Read more…]