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Check out your local cork board

Bulletin boards, like the one seen here at Nori’s Village Market in Saranac Lake, are a great way to know what’s going on in your community. (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

As an arts reporter, I’d like to think I have my finger on the cultural pulse of the Tri-Lakes.

I perform and mingle at open mic nights. I attend performances at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and concerts at the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay. I rub shoulders with local artists at the Adirondack Artists Guild and the NorthWind Fine Arts gallery the first Friday of every month (and it ain’t just for the free wine and cheese).

However, I owe the majority of my artistic experience and knowledge in the Adirondacks to one of the world’s most beautiful substances — cork, more specifically, the corkboard.

These babies are the Holy Grail for all things hip from concerts and film festivals to art classes and plays.

I’m aware that some bulletin boards are made of vinyl or rubber or linen, but for the sake of this article, I’m just going to say corkboard.

Whenever I’m outta the loop and don’t know of any cool events happening in the next few weeks, I’ll take a trip to Origin Coffee, Blue Moon Cafe or Nori’s in Saranac Lake, pick up a green tea and a breakfast sandwich and peruse their cork boards. Most recently at Blue Moon, I saw the poster for Mark Hofschneider’s experimental trip-hop show at Lake Flower Landing. The show was only two days away, but I managed to get Mark on the phone, interview him and turn out a story before the performance, which was sweet as hell, by the way.

And it’s not just entertainment, either. Corkboards are filled to the brim with advertisements for local products and services. Want farm fresh eggs? Check the corkboard. Need a dog walker? Check the corkboard. In desperate need of composted horse manure? Oh, you better believe the corkboard has got your back.

Yes, Facebook and other social media sites are good ways to find out what’s going on, but cork boards are just more fun, and you can actually touch the posters attached to them. I’ve always believed something tangible is far more interesting than its digital counterpart.

Posters look cool — they’re artistic endeavors promoting other artistic endeavors. Somebody put time, work and creativity into them. These range from carefully curated designs made on a computer to hand-drawn novelties just begging to be scrutinized. Also, these posters and fliers tend to be about local events you can easily walk or drive to. Nobody’s going to Origin and putting up posters for an event in Albany. And I don’t know how chill this is, I’ve never asked, but if the event has already passed, I’ll take the poster if I really like the way it looks and add it to my apartment wall.

The Enterprise and I are here if you want in-depth stories on musicians, artists and the culture in the Adirondacks, but if you want to be “in the know” at the most basic level, take a look at your local corkboard, you’re bound to find something interesting up there.