The Sweet Sounds of Music

There is nothing on earth like North Country summers. People up here lumber out of their winter hibernations ready to get on the river and lakes, reunite with their snowbird friends, and most importantly, get out to any number of festivals, events, concerts and fairs.

The tri-county delivers on all these fronts, and 2017 is no exception. NNY Living has compiled here for you a rundown of many of the who, the what, and the where of live entertainment coming your way this season:

These Are the Best Houseplants for Filtering Air in Your Home

These Are the Best Houseplants for Filtering Air in Your Home

People spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors. But our dwellings are subject to all kinds of air pollutants, from pollen and pet dander to molds and bacteria. Even upholstery, furniture, cleaning products and synthetic building materials can off-gas toxic compounds. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency ranked indoor air pollutants among the top-five environmental risks to public health.

Zero Waste Challenge: How to Go Garbage-Free This Month

By Nicole Caldwell for Green Matters

In nature, there is no such thing as waste. In terms of the whole of history, until very recently all organic matter on the planet was consumed by something else, broke down until it became dirt, nourished the soil and plant life, grew into something else, and the whole process repeated itself.

Then people came along who built an economy on the concept of planned obsolescence. We are the only living creatures who make stuff that doesn’t give back to the earth. Too many of the things we make end up in landfills, where they can sit for thousands of years leeching toxins into the soil. A whopping 99% of everything we use ends up in a landfill within six months.

But, it’s possible to live waste-free… or awfully close to it. Here’s how to start.

5 Easy Boredom Busters for Dogs Who Are Alone all Day

5 Easy Boredom Busters for Dogs Who Are Alone all Day

By Nicole Caldwell, for

There’s nothing worse than dealing with aggression or behavioral issues in adult dogs—and no simpler solution than doing away with the boredom that causes it.

Dogs were bred to be companion animals. They’ve worked and played by our sides for thousands of years. When we don’t give them the attention or work they need, dogs respond by acting out.

Does your dog run amok when you’re at work all day? Is he or she bouncing off the walls every time you walk through the door? Here are some simple ways to stave off canine boredom while you’re not home.

Island Living: Surviving winters away from shore

Island Living: Surviving winters away from shore

Living on islands in the North Country brings its own kind of adventure once winter strikes. The season flirts with those living along its shores: blustery winds and freezing temperatures circle their ways around rocky shoals and jutting bluffs, teasing us. But while outdoor enthusiasts drop augers through ice to take measurements that determine when rivers, bays and lakes will be ready for games with shanties and snowmobiles, island dwellers await the winter freeze for a different reason.

Match's 'Singles Greetings Cards' Are New, Most Depressing Part of Being Single

I'm 35, single, and have never had my own holiday card.

That's cool. I mean, getting to be part of my mom and stepfather's holiday postcard featuring collaged photos of them and their Brady Bunched "children" -- my middle-aged stepbrothers (and wives and kids), my 37-year-old sister (and husband and kids), and a random headshot of yours truly -- has been super-fun. But I gotta wonder, isn't there a holiday card for single folks like me?


How to Make Your Bed So Comfortable She'll Never Want to Leave It

There is nothing worse than climbing into someone's gross bed.

You know what I'm talking about: musty sheets, thin pillows, uncomfortable mattresses, questionable stains… As a lady who's spent some time between a variety of sheets, I've made multiple game-time decisions to sleep out or in based purely on which bed would make me most comfortable.

Don't get slighted because you couldn't turn your bed into a palace. From sheets and smells to lighting and mattresses, here's how to make your sleep space so damn comfortable she'll never want to climb out of it.


Drug Deals, Car Chases, and Other Dates Gone Horribly Wrong

"I love bad dates. I love the moments when disaster appears imminent and you can almost hear the clackety clack of the roller coaster climbing the hill before gaining speed and sliding off the rails." -BrautigansGhost

Just when you think the dating scene can't get any worse, along comes Reddit to remind you that a) yes it can; and b) whatever you've been through maybe isn't so bad, after all.

There's no shortage of bad date stories -- but the ones compiled here are particularly painful. Your love life is looking better already.


A Corrections Officer on What Really Happens During Conjugal Visits

There are only four states in the US still allowing conjugal visits in their prisons: California, Connecticut, New York, and Washington. New Mexico is the latest to cancel the practice; the decision to do so spawning from a news report that a convicted killer had fathered four children with multiple women while behind bars. Mississippi, the first state to offer conjugal visits, ditched the practice in 2014.

Public perception couldn't have helped the conjugal case, either: I mean, aren't these visits there just so prisoners can get laid?

Welllllll, not exactly. The dying practice was actually set up for a very different purpose.


Why Small-Town Dating is so Much Better Than City Dating

I grew up 15 miles from New York City, spending my formative romantic years in the suburbs that would one day be made famous on Real Housewives of New Jersey. After four years of college in Massachusetts, I spent a mostly single half-decade in Manhattan dating people from every borough -- but it wasn't until I moved 350 miles away to the absolute middle of nowhere that I found a dating culture richer, more fun, and far more enjoyable than anything Manhattan had to offer.

Redwood is a 600-person hamlet along a tiny speck of road 10 miles from the Canadian border in rural New York. This is the "North Country;" a term for an outlier region of the state beyond the tundras of Syracuse, Albany, and even Rochester. This label draws a geographical line in the sand between here and the misnamed "upstate" provinces of places like Westchester and the cultures therein.

North Country is more Alaskan than Manhattanite: people here travel by ATV or  truck, hunt and garden their way to full bellies, and feel largely intolerant of annoying downstate legislation like gun control.

An uninitiated city girl without friends (or SO potential) in this new world, I picked up a two-night-a-week gig slinging $2 beers and well drinks to the locals at one of Redwood's gin mills. I'd never tended bar before, and loved listening to people's stories while pouring them generous shots of clear and bronze liquors; snapping metal caps off Genny Light and Busch bottles; and dutifully scribbling notes in my reporter's journal behind the bar.

What I didn't realize at the time was that I'd just sidled up to a front-row seat to the dating culture of rural America. And I got its lessons, in abundance.