March 18th, 2014 | Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines| Lake Placid, NY
Stop two on our On-Screen/In-Person tour: Lake Placid. Since we were driving from Erie, Penn., we decided we could not pass up the opportunity to stop at Niagara Falls along the way and view its majestic, frozen wonder. A real treat, indeed, and since it was mid-week in winter, we basically had the place to ourselves! From there, we stayed the night in Syracuse, visiting my friend Kara Herold, a filmmaker and professor at the university. Her film, Bachelorette 34, is a charming and hilarious documentary about being single in one’s 30s while familial pressure (namely mom) stops at nothing to get her daughter married.
The drive through the Adirondacks was lovely and white and we were excited to visit a part of the country we’d never seen. When we came into Lake Placid, we were thrilled to see the show highlighted on the venue’s marquee. That just never gets old. We only had a little bit of time to tour the town, but found our way to a frozen pond cleared of snow, where the locals skate.
Before the screening I met James Lemons, Executive Director of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Of course, these experiences are the best part of a tour like this: getting an inside view of the community. Lake Placid is best known as the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, and Olympic-caliber athletes still visit to train at the well-maintained, state-of-the-art venues. James and his partner, John, let me know that there is a strong female heroic presence in the area not from the world-class winter-sport athletes who train and live in the area, but from those that survive the rugged winters. It was no surprise, then, that during my Q&A, the great impact of Title IX was brought up. One older woman reflected that in her day, there were so few options in school for young women: It was home-ec and sewing and, if you were lucky, you were allowed to take a semester of shop. But now, for the first time, we have a women’s ski jumping event. I was also excited to see a youngster of 8 in the crowd, attending with her mom. According to mom, she “loved” the film.
In the morning we took James up on his advice and drove to the Olympic Jumping Complex to take the elevator up 26 flights to a lookout where you can peer down and see what ski-jumpers see just before they take the leap. It takes a few minutes to ride to the top, but on skis, the return trip down is about 15 seconds, give or take a second, at speeds upward of 60 mph.
Finally, on the way out of town, we stopped at Black Rooster Maple in Keene, to stock up on maple syrup gifts and sample the famous local product. They were canning when we arrived and the sweet, sticky smell of maple wafted in the air. The bottles were still warm as we carried them back to our car (in the 10-degree temperature) and headed south toward New York City.
Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan.
To listen to a podcast interview with the filmmaker, click here.