things to do in Lake Placid
Monday, January 14 2013
location: Golden Arrow Resort, Lake Placid, Essex County, New York
After a drinking coffee from our awesome coffee machine, the plan eventually was to get lunch at a place called The Good Bite Kitchen, but that restaurant turns out to be closed on Mondays. We checked out the Lake Placid library, which includes a skybridge to another whole section where cranky guys forced (by whatever circumstances) to use public computers yell at you for leaving the bathroom door open even if you didn't just take a massive carnivore's dump. The library had a number of booksales going on, so Gretchen bought three or four books. There was nothing else that either of us wanted to take home from Lake Placid.
For lunch we went to a Tex/Mex place that made burritos under the command sandwich artist paradigm. We called out what we wanted and the artist included it. Mine was delicious, but Gretchen found hers to be meh. She'd gone with the refried beans and had abstained from the guacamole and jalapeños, so that might account for the non-spectacularity of hers.
With stomachs full, we went to the Golden Arrow's indoor pool just to take advantage of the hot tub feature until it made us woozy. We had the place all to ourselves. Gretchen sat in an Adirondack chair for awhile reading an issue of the New Yorker, but I was in a much more lizardly mode, thermoregulating by choosing various environments (none of which were cooler than the paving stones of the pool area; I never actually went into the unheated pool).
Gretchen and I passed most of the afternoon in our hotel room. At some point I took a nap, more out of boredom than anything else. When I woke up, I got dressed and went for a walk up and down the length of Lake Placid's downtown. This was the first time I'd noticed that Lake Placid's stately high school had an enormous skating oval in its front yard. On this day it wasn't being used for any of the things one might do on it, but it was perfectly zambonied all the same. I was still on the lookout for a place where one might buy a six pack of beer, but there are no convenience stores in Lake Placid (or, indeed, any stores selling anything anyone would ever have a need to buy). There is a gas station in Lake Placid, but it's attached to a garage that only appears to sell soft drinks from vending machines.
Back at the resort, I convinced Gretchen that it was time to go out for dinner. Earlier while walking around, we'd noted the location of the Lake Placid Brewpub near the south end of Mirror Lake, and Gretchen had noted some things for us on the menu, so that was where we ended up.
As brewpubs go, the Lake Placid was pretty typical. There were a number of screens showing sporting events and pendants on the wall from places of higher learning (the kind used to decorate boys' bedrooms in 80s movies), though there were no animal trophies. The customers all looked to be more mainstream than any group of customers one could assemble in the Mid Hudson Valley. Our waiter was a mild-mannered young man with a shaved head whom Gretchen thought was cute (she was actually flirting with him a bit, something I don't often see). We both ordered black bean burgers and the onion & mushroom soup. Knowing I didn't much like the Lake Placid IPA, I ordered the Ubu Ale, which is their signature beer. It's complicated and somewhat chocolately. For her part, Gretchen ordered the Moose Island Ale, which is like a classy Pabst Blue Ribbon. She asked whether sometimes people order Bud Lite, and if the brewpub even stocked it. "Yes we do," our waiter assured us, adding, "we have to."
Gretchen and I ended up having two beers (which is a lot for her), followed by shots of Jameson (an upsale engineered by our waiter). Gretchen wanted to know how he knew we'd want Jameson and not tequila or Jagermeister. Wisely, the waiter said that it was because we reminded him of the kind of people he liked to hang out with, and he himself is a big Jameson fan. He couldn't join us for a shot, though, he said, because he was recovering from pancreatitis. He said he was saving his ability to drink booze for his upcoming wedding. Then Gretchen made him tell us how he met his wife. I forget the details, aside from the fact that he used to be a hard core goth with black painted fingernails, fishnet stockings, eyeliner, the works.
One additional upsell was a six pack of Ubu Ale. Evidently if one wants to buy a six pack in Lake Placid, the place to get it is a pub. The price was a very reasonable ten or eleven dollars.
Back at the resort, we went to the pool for another dip in the hot tub. Later I cracked open an Ubu Ale (using our door's latching mechanism as a bottle opener) and drank it while watching last week's inaugural episode of the Bachelor, Season 17 I'd downloaded onto my laptop. This is the season where producers of the show have been forced by bad publicity to include some women of color (as well as a woman with a missing arm) amongst the contestants. While this first episode wasn't exactly a negro bloodbath, the two darkest of the contestants were both eliminated, as were a surprising number of generic-looking blonds, the kind that usually survive for two or three episodes. Despite stagecraft to make things seem spontaneous, I had the sense that producers had given Sean (our bachelor) a script to follow closely.
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