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CONTENTS | DECEMBER 2019

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15 COVER STORY 15 Deck the Halls

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COLUMNS 35 Fashion Glitz, Glam, Glow

FEATURES 18 Holiday Cocktails & Mocktails

48 Last Page with John Gray Finley’s Wish

32 Christmas at the Biltmore

IN EVERY ISSUE SPECIAL SECTIONS

10 Editor’s letter

24 Hostess Gift Bonanza

11 Upfront with CRL

32 Holiday Dining Guide

36 Arts & Entertainment

hsghjsfgjdfsgj ON THE COVER:

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PHOTO BY: MATT MCCLOSKY 518PHOTO.COM SPECIAL THANKS TO: EXPERIENCE & CREATIVE DESIGN

VOTE NOW! Bestie Ballot Page 49 8 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


EDITOR/ SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR DANI TESTA-SGUEGLIA ART DIRECTOR STEVE TEABOUT SALES MANAGER TERESA FRAZER SALES ASSOCIATES TARA BUFFA CAROLE KILPATRICK SALES ASSISTANT TRACY MOMROW CONTRIBUTING WRITERS JOHN GRAY HEATHER JABLONSKI VIKKI MORAN

PRESIDENT & OWNER ANTHONY IANNIELLO GROUP PUBLISHER ABBY TEGNELIA GROUP OPERATIONS DIRECTOR TINA GALANTE

HOME OFFICE 12 AVIS DRIVE #20 LATHAM, NEW YORK 12110 PHONE: 518.294.4390 FIND US ONLINE AT CRLMAG.COM SERVING THE GREATER CAPITAL REGION AND BEYOND Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Many of the ads in this issue were created by Capital Region Living Magazineâ„¢ and cannot be reproduced without permission from the publisher. Established 2003

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CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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EDITOR’S LETTER

by Dani Testa-Sgueglia

“I

t’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Truer words have never been uttered. The magic, the lights, the joy on children’s faces. Of course, I am a bit of an optimist, but shouldn’t we all be at this stage of the game? Daily, my littles ask how much longer until Christmas. The antici‐ pation was amplified by a recent visit to Proctors to see Frozen, The Musical. You prob‐ ably won’t believe who sat behind us…no other than the REAL Santa! (Check out our Facebook page for photographic proof.) This issue is chock‐full of ideas to bedaz‐ zle your holidays this year. From upping your door‐decking game to channeling the ele‐ gance of eras gone by, to collecting and dis‐ playing ornaments that lift your spirits. Speaking of spirits, whether your guests like to fortify their libations or not, we have a selec‐ tion of cocktails and mocktails to delight them all season long. If hosting in your home isn’t on your wish list this year, make a reservation at one of our favorite Capital Region restaurants. Our holiday dining guide is brimming with wonderful options for this low‐stress option! Personally, 2019 has been a year of tran‐ sition. I have visited with family and friends from around the globe, watched my boys grow and play, and said goodbye to loved ones. The constant through these, sometimes trying times, has been this amazing publica‐ tion that my colleagues and I lovingly create. We put our all into this magazine each month…not out of ego or pride, but simply because we believe in it and in our beloved Capital Region. We live here, we work here and we play here. It is part of every fiber with‐ in us, and this year I have the immense privi‐ lege to thank you and, from our Capital Region Living Magazine family to yours, wish you all a festive, sparkling, and peaceful holiday!

10 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


Wreath design courtesy of Renaissance Floral Design • Photo by Konrad Odhiambo

UPFRONT | WITH CRL

D

ecking your oor

In a wreath rut? Festoon your entry with one of these fresh takes on the holiday classic. Wreaths have been used to welcome guests into our holiday home for centuries. After all, a traditional evergreen wreath is loaded with feel-good symbolism, most notably the shape signifying eternity and the evergreen representing everlasting life. Many trendsetters, however, have veered from the traditional wreath over the years, from the 1970s housewife who wrapped her front door, to the Victorian-inspired ivory lace and mauve wreaths of the 1980s. This holiday season, embrace your inner Kardashian and go all out with with your entryway dĂŠcor.


UPFRONT | WITH CRL

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DOOR DÉCOR

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Think outside of the box (or circle) by decking your door with a fun grapevine star. Not a fan of celestial shapes? Try a glittery snowflake!

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All-purpose evergreen wreaths get a “Frosty” treatment! Make sure to bundle your creation for the Capital Region winter with a hat, scarf, and mittens.

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If you can’t decide on one wreath, break the mold and double the fun. To bring your vision to life grab a spool of wire and some sturdy grosgrain ribbon for added embellishment. Display your curated collection of ornaments where all of your visitors will see. A vintage frame, some organza ribbon, and a bit of velvet complete this look.

Check out your favorite local design shop to bring your vision alive. CRL recommends: Experience and Creative Design in Schenectady or Albany’s Renaissance Floral Design.

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Beautiful Baubles Collecting and showing off your festive finds by Dani Testa-Sgueglia

C

ollecting, preserving, and displaying orna‐ ments has always been a part of my Christmas tradition. One of my favorite parts of the holiday is unboxing my collection. I revisit each ornament and recall how it came into my life. Some of the most treasured are the ones my mother hand made when she was first married more than 43 years ago. Most in my collection tell a tale or at least part of my story – like the first ornament I bought on my own (a brassy, flat cluster of grapes, bought from The Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art that I used as my tree topper for three years before making a suitable replacement) or the gift from my mother when we were expecting our first child. Every year I try to add another orna‐ ment that tells of my newest chapter.

CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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My collection tends to be more biograph‐ ical, with some fun, mercury glass orbs, and glittery tassels tying it all together. For others, it is all about color, material, or shape. I know people who collect only star‐shaped orna‐ ments so that their home and tree reflect the winter night sky. Others collect beautiful antique mercury glass baubles whose age, wear and patina bring a whole new texture to their assemblage. Ornaments can be purchased in bulk from a box store, rummaged for in a flea mar‐ ket or estate sale, or lovingly selected and added to a well‐curated collection. Regardless of their origin, don’t let the confines of a tree stop you. Fresh ideas to display your fun baubles abound. Here are some of my favorites! Bedeck your light fixture or create a win‐ dow hanging. Use various lengths of fishing line to string ornaments at different intervals along the arms of an overhead fixture, or like‐ wise, along the bough of evergreen or an interesting branch. Experiment by using differ‐ ent sizes, shapes, and coordinating colors until you achieve an arrangement that suits you. Nestle some coordinating floral picks, greens, or glittery stems on top of the light fixture arms or into the bough to tie your display together. If using a branch or bough, tie a 16 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


length of complementary ribbon (a 1 ½” burlap ribbon will give a more rustic feel) to either end to hang the piece. Hang your completed dec‐ oration in front of a window or mirror. Did you know that mantels aren’t just for hanging stockings? They are the perfect platform to display a selection of your favorite orna‐ ments. My mantel always gets a treatment of greens and sparkly floral picks, and then the fun begins! I select an assortment of sparkly gold pinecones and red mercury glass ornaments (this is the perfect place to us those “too heavy for the tree” ornaments!) and use them to keep the light from my candles and string lights flickering from dusk until dawn. I also bedeck the tops of my bookcases. I start by filling clear apothecary jars with gold and red balls, finials, and pinecones. I then arrange my jars and fill in around the base with lights, sparkly textiles, candles (carefullyas to not pose a fire hazard!), and more ornaments. These (higher window sills, too!) are great places to put those fragile heirlooms, as little hands can rarely reach. Just make sure they are placed so they are stable. Another way to display your Christmassy finds is to fill an interesting bowl or vessel with them. Do you have a really fun, vintage wine box? How about a great turned wooden bowl? Play with textures and fill them with antique mercury glass balls or even highly polished gold ornaments bought in bulk. Of course, you can always corral a selection of ornaments onto a rimmed tray, inter‐ spersed with greens, fruit, and perhaps a few well‐placed tealights, for a fun (and movable) centerpiece. A holiday celebration, from decorating to eating, should be com‐ pletely personal. It can be a mix of traditional and modern elements. It can mean using heirloom ornaments, making new ones with your lit‐ tles, or decking your halls with scarves and strings of beads from a bar‐ gain store. Regardless of how you decide to decorate your home, make sure it shows your aesthetic, and what moves you. Your holiday should tell a story – your story. CRL

CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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Making

Spirits Bright

Six festive drinks (boozy or teetotal!) to spice up the holiday fun

by Dani Testa-Sgueglia

Whether you are inviting carolers in to warm up or friends are helping to trim the tree, a delicious and jubilant libation is in order. When entertaining, make sure to offer a fortified beverage as well as something without spirits to make sure everyone’s included in the fun – today’s mocktails are as beautiful and tasty as their boozy counterparts. Try one, two or all of these fun concoctions to keep the spirit of the season alive from now until the final “salute!” to 2019!

Photos by Megan Mumford • meganmumford.com Special thanks to The Standard Restaurant and Lounge


Cocktails Egg Nog Godmother Ingredients 1 ½ ounces Amaretto 1 ½ ounces vodka 1 ½ ounces egg nog Directions • Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake briefly to combine and strain into a martini glass. • Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Holiday Sparkler Ingredients 1 ounce pomegranate juice 1 ounce cranberry juice Dry prosecco Sugared rosemary sprig (see note) Cranberries Edible glitter sugar rimmer (we used Glass Glitz! Available at corkpops.com) Directions • Rim a champagne flute with edible glitter and sugar using simple syrup or lime juice. • Add juices to prepared flute and top with prosecco. • Garnish with sugared rosemary sprig and cranberries. Note: For sugared rosemary sprigs, wet cleaned sprigs with water. Blot briefly on a clean tea towel and then roll in granulated sugar. Tap excess off lightly and place on a rack to dry completely for at least one hour. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up two days. 20 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM

Maple Old Fashioned Courtesy of The Standard Restaurant Ingredients 3 ounces Knob Creek smoked maple bourbon 2 dashes cinnamon bitters Luxardo cherry Orange peel twist Directions • Add ingredients to a shaker with ice. Stir to combine and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. • Garnish with a Luxardo cherry and an orange peel twist.


Mocktails Candy Cane Mocktail Ingredients ¼ cup heavy cream 3 ounces vanilla flavored seltzer 1 drop peppermint oil Crushed candy canes Directions • Rim a martini glass with candy using simple syrup. • Stir the remaining ingredients together in a shaker filled with ice and strain into prepared glass.

White Christmas Mocktail Ingredients ½ cup heavy cream 6 ounces vanilla flavored seltzer 2 tablespoons mulled spice syrup (see note) Rock candy Flaked coconut Ground nutmeg Directions • Rim a Collins glass with simple syrup and flaked coconut. • Stir heavy cream, seltzer, and syrup

Cranberry Christmas Mocktail Ingredients 1 tablespoon cranberry syrup (see note) Vanilla flavored seltzer Sugared rosemary sprig (see note, Holiday Sparkler)

Cranberries Directions • Add cranberry syrup to a fun stemmed glass (wine glass or other, you may need to adjust amount of syrup to taste

together in a shaker filled with ice and strain into prepared glass. • Sprinkle with nutmeg and garnish with rock candy. Note: For mulled spice syrup, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons mulling spices in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let steep until cool. Strain into a mason jar. Will keep for 1 – 2 weeks.

depending on size of glass) and top with seltzer. • Garnish with cranberries and sugared rosemary sprig. Note: For cranberry syrup, combine 2 ¼ cups fresh cranberries, 1 cup water, and 1 cup granulated sugar in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Let cool and strain into a mason jar. Will keep for 1 – 2 weeks. CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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Air Delivery Too busy to shop for that perfect hostess gift? Mail-able finds for your favorite Capital Region host will love this bustling holiday season! 1. STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES Why bring a bouquet that wilts before the party is over? This blossom air freshener will stay as vibrant as the day it was picked, from the holidays straight through until spring. naturalfragrancerose.com

2. NOT YOUR MAMA’S SOAP FinchBerry soaps are so much more than a tool for removing sticky frosting after a cookie binge; think sensory experience laced with natural fragrances. finchberry.com

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3. KEEP HER SPIRITS BRIGHT Who likes cork in their vino? A bottle of wine should be savored and not fussed over, so give the gift of an easy open with no breakage, via this handy opener. corkpops.com

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4. ADD TO HER STORY Last year she complimented your ornament collection, so this year add to hers with fun and memorable classic ornaments from Lenox. lenox.com

5. EMBRACE YOUR INNER BADASS Popular cooking coach Elana Horwich wants to instill confidence in every home cook. Take the bull by the horns with her first cookbook, which boasts more than 100 recipes. mealandaspiel.com

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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Hostess Gift Guide

The hostess with the mostest always treats you like royalty. So the next time you receive that coveted holiday party invite, gift the party host one of these finds that are fit for a queen.

1. OLIVA

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olivaevoo.com Taste, savor, and enjoy! Oliva has more than 50 flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars that make the perfect gift to delight your hostess.

2. CROSS EYED OWL GIFT SHOP

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crosseyedowl.com This unique meat and cheese plate is made from stoneware and features the work of artist Dean Crouser.

3. SHORT AND STOUT TEA shortandstouttea.com More than 130 whole leaf teas, accessories, tea-infused pastries, drinks, and more are offered at this local tea lounge.

4. WORTHINGTON FLOWERS

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worthingtonflowers.com This limited-edition vintage-inspired keepsake conjures up Christmas past and will complement both modern and traditional dĂŠcor. An instant holiday favorite.

5. EVOLVE SOAP COMPANY 5

evolovesoapco.com Treat your hostess with an exclusive from Evolve. Nourish combines detoxifying Dead Sea mud with hydrating from organic argan, olive, coconut, and avocado oils.

6. TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES tenthousandvillages.com Their bestselling kitchen tool is back! This handcrafted Bicycle Pizza Cutter will bring a smile to the face of your favorite foodie this holiday season.

7. TRULY RHE trulyrhe.com Truly Rhe carries a huge variety of cardinal ornaments to delight your host. Shop during December for 20% off all holiday ornaments!

CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Holiday Dining Guide


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Celebrating more than 46 years of providing great food at a reasonable price, the Latham ‘76 Diner takes pride in making sure its guests have the best dining experience. Family-owned and operated, the restaurant values its customers and shows it with excellent service and lots of friendly smiles. Loyal patrons have recognized the Latham ‘76 Diner by repeatedly voting it the Best Diner and finalist for Best Omelette in the Capital Region.

At The Barnsider, all dishes are expertly prepared by award-winning chefs who use the freshest ingredients available. The Barnsider chefs carefully age their beef for a minimum of 28 days in a temperature – and humidity-controlled environment, and then expertly cut and trim every steak in their on-site butcher shop. This meticulous process ensures that every cut is lean, tender and incredibly flavorful. Book your holiday party today! Repeatedly voted the best Colonie restaurant.

Latham ‘76 Diner

The Barnsider

722 New Loudon Road, Latham 518.785.3793 • latham76diner.com

480 Sand Creek Road, Albany 518.869.2448 • barnsiderrestaurant.com

The Gold Coin Restaurant has been serving delicious Chinese specialties since 1987. In 2004, the restaurant was completely rebuilt to serve the community. Family-owned and operated by the Kung and Cheung families, the restaurant accommodates 70 people and includes a full bar with flat-screen TV. The restaurant, open six days a week and closed on Tuesdays, has been recognized by Capital Region Living readers as having the Best Chinese Cuisine.

Canali's Restaurant has been providing customers with wonderful Italian cuisine at its Rotterdam location for more than 70 years. Relax in the well-appointed dining room, entertain special guests in the beautiful private room, pick up take-out on your way home, or let Canali’s cater your next affair – whatever you choose, you know that you will be enjoying authentic, delicious Italian dishes and exemplary customer service. Call now for Christmas Eve take-out specials!

Gold Coin Restaurant

Canali’s Restaurant

1360 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands 518.439.6428 • goldcoinrestaurant.com

126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady 518.355.5323 • canalisrestaurant.com CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

HAPPY HOLIDAYS Signature Holiday Hams PJ’s Bar-B-QSA has been proudly serving award-winning barbeque favorites for more than 36 years at its Saratoga location. Regional American flavors such as NY “State Fair” chicken, Memphis- and Kansas City-style ribs, North Carolina pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, Virginia smoked sausage and ham, and Pacific Northwest smoked salmon, will comfort any craving. PJ’s Bar-B-QSA’s newly built dining area and bar, The Filling Station, is open for Winter Happy Hour Wednesday through Sunday, 4 PM – close.

Koto’s beautifully decorated and generously sized meeting rooms can accommodate most parties or gatherings. Your guests will be delighted by the finest, authentic Japanese cuisine in the Capital Region. From sushi and sashimi to delicious cooked dishes, you will always find mouth-watering food of your choice. Catering now available. Gift certificates available. Buy $100, get $20 Free. Promotion ends 12/31/19.

PJ’s BAR-B-QSA

Koto Japanese Restaurant

1 Kaydeross Avenue West, Saratoga Springs 518-583-RIBS (7427) • 518-583-CHIK (2445) • pjsbarbqsa.com

260 Wolf Road Extension, Latham 518.869.8888 • kotoalbany.com

This award-winning venue, located on the shores of the Mohawk River only one minute from Rivers Casino, is open year-round for lunch and dinner. It is well-known for its fine food and romantic ambiance, and as a wonderful place to spend the holidays with friends and family. The relaxed dining room offer tasty appetizers, tempting steak and seafood entrées, and Italian favorites, ensuring there is something to please every palate!

Since 1943 and through three generations, Jackson’s has been a family-run restaurant dedicated to excellent service and great food. Now taking reservations for the New Year’s Eve special menu service, Jackson’s can accommodate your holiday party up to 200 people. Happy Holidays to all, from everyone at Jackson's Old Chatham House. Make your New Year’s reservations soon.

Waters Edge Lighthouse

Jackson’s Old Chatham House

2 Freemans Bridge Road, Glenville 518.370.5300 • thewatersedgelighthouse.com

646 Albany Turnpike, Old Chatham 518.794.7373 • jacksonsoldchathamhouse.com

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Mountain View Brasserie has earned a reputation in the industry and community for its amazing food and exemplary service. Through hard work, consistent quality, and insistence on a high level of attention to detail, Mountain View patrons understand that the culinary experience that awaits will be second to none. Chef Max Suhner’s obsession with food and his standard of perfection resonates throughout the entire restaurant.

The Towne Tavern invites guests to enjoy its award-winning food in the warm, cozy, and comfortable renovated creek-side blacksmith shop from the 1800s. Whether you are looking for a relaxed drink with friends or a dinner with the whole family, there is something for everyone on the tavern menu, from barbeque specialties to home-style entrées. Check out The Towne Tavern’s website for the live music schedule and special events, including the big New Year’s Eve party!

Mountain View Brasserie

The Towne Tavern

10697 State Route 32, Greenville 518.966.5522 • mountainviewbrasserie.com

2850 NY 43, Averill Park 518.674.3040 • thetownetavern.com

The Bhola family of El Mariachi began serving traditional Mexican and Spanish dishes to Capital Region diners more than 23 years ago. Originally from the cultural epicenter of Puebla, Mexico, the Bhola family is dedicated to preparing authentic cuisine, including outstanding specialties like Mole Poblano, Pipian, and Gorditas Poblanas and serving guests with warmth and hospitality. Capital Region Living readers have recognized this by voting El Mariachi Best Mexican numerous times.

This Queen-Anne stone castle has been transformed from a private residence into a luxurious inn and farm-to-table, AAA-rated “Four Diamond” restaurant. The executive chef features an array of local farm fresh ingredients prepared in a contemporary manner. Dining at Erlowest is available year-round with seasonally inspired menus to ensure each visit to Erlowest is a new experience. À la carte dining is available Thursday through Monday, 5 - 8:30 pm.

El Mariachi Restaurant

The Inn at Erlowest

271 Lark Street (Serving Tapas Only!), Albany • 518.465.2568 289 Hamilton Street, Albany • 518.432.7580 www.elmariachisrestaurant.com • www.elmariachitapas.com

3178 Lake Shore Drive, Lake George 518.668.5928 • theinnaterlowest.com CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Take a break from your holiday hustle and bustle, and relax with the best cup of coffee in the Capital Region and a bite to eat from Wired’s selection of freshly prepared creative breakfast and lunch options. All coffee is small-batch roasted in-house from organic fair trade coffee beans. Wired is dedication to providing the community with the highest level of customer service that should be expected from a locally owned small business!

Locally owned and operated, the Reel Seafood Co. has been serving top-of-the-catch Seafood for more than 35 years. Known for an extensive variety of oysters and fresh cut fish, Reel Seafood Co. also offers premium steak and pasta dishes. Reel Seafood Co. features an upscale dining experience in a casual atmosphere. Make your holiday event unforgettable and book at Reel Seafood Co. From now until 12/31/19, get $10 in gift cards for every $50 gift card purchase.

Wired Coffee & Bagel

Reel Seafood Co.

652 Albany-Shaker Road, Albany (In the Pioneer Bank Building) 518.650.7615 • sipwired.com

195 Wolf Road, Albany 518.458.2068 • reelseafoodco.com

30 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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Christmas at The Biltmore Old World Yuletide elegance with a touch of Downton Abbey by Vikki Moran | The Grateful Traveler

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or many years, The Biltmore in Ashville, N.C. has been known for its breathtaking holiday décor and dazzling lights that illuminate the remarkable estate commissioned by George Washington Vanderbilt. Making the journey there for its annual Christmas celebration is always a feast for the senses and a leap into the holiday spirit. This season, there’s even more than ever before, thanks to Downton Abbey: The Exhibition. This exhibit is an immersive experience that celebrates the BBC’s hit television series and the recent feature film. The Vanderbilt home was the completed dream of the 25‐year‐old Vanderbilt. Built in the late 1880s in the style of a French Renaissance chateau, it took thousands of workers from the neighboring community and six years to ultimately complete. It remains the largest home built in America. The 250‐ room house sits majestically in the Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, and the wonderland that is the estate grounds was created by Frederick Law Olmsted, who coincidentally created our own Washington Park in Albany as well as its more famous cousin, Central Park in NYC. Each Yuletide season, The Biltmore House glows with dozens of Christmas trees, five dozen to be exact this year! The grand house interior sparkles with hand‐decorated Christmas trees, ribbons and garlands, as well as thousands of lights. The massive and painstakingly decorated Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall dazzles everyone who enters. For the first time, hand‐decorated Christmas trees add glamour and beauty to the already breathtaking balcony that wraps around George Vanderbilt's two‐story library.

Candlelight Christmas celebration in the evenings During Candlelight Christmas Evenings, which require a specific ticket with a predesignated time slot because of the crowds, there is candlelight, blazing fireplaces, and live music throughout the grand home. A 55‐foot Norway Spruce that rivals the famous Rockefeller Center tree sits on the front lawn of the man‐ sion. Driving the long and gently winding approach fosters anticipation worthy of a child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. When you make the last turn, the tree greets you, and you know this is worth the trip!

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition Downton Abbey: The Exhibition features interactive elements that connect visitors to the much‐beloved Downton characters. Learning about the historical context for the show’s plot arcs was fascinating. Of course, those gorgeous fash‐ ions worn by the women of Downton, as well as the lavish lifestyle of the Granthams and Crawleys, are there to enjoy within arm’s reach. Multimedia presentations and some of the series' most recognizable sets, including Mrs. Patmore's crazy busy kitchen and the gossip‐fueled servants' quarters, are great fun to stroll. (Yes, the servant bells are on display, too – I saw many smiles as I passed those chimes on the wall.) Mr. Carson pops up at one point during the exhibit and askes, "Why are you dressed so," and "I will be checking the silver count when you leave." Precisely what we could expect from the very persnickety Mr. Carson. Showcasing Downtown Abbey while simultaneously hosting the Biltmore home’s Christmas celebration flows seamlessly throughout the expansive Biltmore properties. It certainly illustrates the similarities of both the fictional Downton Abbey family and the real life Vanderbilt clan. I doubt the timing of the two was meant to draw such a comparison, but it indeed does just that. Grab hold of the holiday excitement and enjoy all that Biltmore and CRL Ashville has to offer this time of year before it is too late. For tickets, reservations, and more information, visit biltmore.com

A cozy fireplace and dazzling Christmas decorations in Biltmore House’s Banquet Hall.


Dear Santa, Don’t Make Me Leave Loving the Biltmore? Here’s how to extend your stay. Guests looking to extend their hol‐ iday visits have several options. For those seeking a retreat with personal‐ ized service, The Inn on Biltmore Estate offers four‐star accommodations in a private hilltop setting. Holiday packages are available from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate is for the guest looking for a more casual overnight stay. Village Hotel is located in the heart of Antler Hill Village, with a convenient home base just steps away from shopping, dining, the Biltmore Winery, and live music in the Village. Special holiday packages are available.

Now – 1/5/2020: Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Experience Now – 1/4/2020: Candlelight Christmas Evenings Nighttime Experience Now – 1/4/2020, 5:30 PM – midnight: Illumination of Antler Hill Village Now – 4/7/2020: Downton Abbey: The Exhibition at Biltmore’s Amherst and the Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village Now – 12/31/19; Daily at 1:30 PM: A Gardener’s Place How‐to Seminar: “Illuminated Holiday Tablescapes” Now – 1/5/2020: Conservatory’s annu‐ al seasonal display Now – 1/5/2020: Complimentary wine tasting at Biltmore Winery. Winery spe‐ cialty tours available with additional price and reservations required Now – 1/4/2020; Weekends, 3 – 10 PM: Bonfires in Antler Hill Village with s’mores kits available for purchase at The Creamery Now – 1/4/2020; Weekends, 3 – 7:30 PM: Roving Holiday Carolers in Antler Hill Village Now – 12/23/2019; Weekends, 1 – 5 PM: Visits with Santa at the bandstand in Antler Hill Village 12/14 – 12/22/2019; Select Dates, 1 PM: The Inn on Biltmore Estate’s Annual Gingerbread House Tea – addi‐ tional price and reservations required Ongoing: Festive holiday meals pre‐ pared by award‐winning chefs served in all of the estate’s restaurants

Photos courtesy of The Biltmore Company

Christmas at Biltmore 2019 Event Calendar


WOMEN’S WELLNESS | ADVERTISING SECTION

AMAZINGLY AGELESS MEDI-SPA 1202 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham 518.608.1252; amazinglyageless.com Who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? Radiant, glowing skin is in season, so take a break from the hustle of the holidays and let us help you Get Your Glow on! Replenish your skin with HydraFacial; highlight your best features with cheek and lip fillers. Clear acne and revitalize dull skin with microneedling. Say “Bye Bye” to wrinkles with Botox. Unwind and pamper yourself with one of our customized facials. We have something for everyone! Amazingly Ageless Medi-Spa is a fullservice med spa specializing in non-invasive treatments. Dr. Giugliano and her professional staff are excited to offer cutting edge services to both enhance your health and preserve your “ageless” look. Please call to schedule your private consultation. Looking for the perfect gift? Gift Certificates are 10% off!

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FASHION

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Glitz, Glam, Glow Head-to-toe sparkle to make you the life of the party on the Capital Region holiday soirée circuit. by Heather Jablonski

‘T

is the season to be jolly, and to look your absolute best for the upcom‐ ing holidays. From the office Secret Santa party to family and friend fes‐ tivities for New Year’s Eve, it’s time to get your glam on with these top fashion and beauty picks. Finding holiday attire that is comfortable, stylish and makes us feel like the beau‐ ties we are isn’t as unattainable as we often think. Lulus is affordable and offers exclu‐ sive styles, an amazing shopping experience, easy sizing guidelines, and free returns. Simply punch “holiday” into the search bar for a great selection of soirée‐worthy dresses, jumpsuits, and sets. For va‐va‐voom glam, try the Infinite Dreams Burgundy

and Rose Gold Ombre Sequin Maxi Dress (Lulus.com) (1) – it has great reviews and is absolutely breathtaking, boast‐ ing shiny rose gold sequins that transition to burgundy ombre. I am also a huge fan of jumpsuits, and the selection at Lulus does not disappoint. The Mirabella Wine Red Satin Short Sleeve Wide Leg Jumpsuit is a stand‐out, especially if you want the freedom to indulge at the party: sleek satin with a relaxed fit, it offers both a glamorous look and extreme comfort. Or, to guarantee you’ll be the life of the party, reach for the Tell Me More Silver Sequin Sleeveless Wide Leg Jumpsuit. Think head‐to‐toe silver sequins (atop a comfy stretch knit lining) for max sparkle. I am a bona fide makeup junkie, so the holidays are my time to shine! The Glo‐Lite Unicorn Collection palette by Tattoo Junkee (tattoojunkee.com) (2) includes three shimmery colors for highlighting and contouring to give your skin a beautiful glow. These highlighting powders apply easily with fingertips or a brush. Dust over brow bones, cheeks and lips for a glimmering effect – perfect for toasting the holidays. To complete the party‐proof, shimmer‐kissed look, I recommend a stunning, long‐lasting lip color; Tattoo Junkee once again comes through, with its Rebel Velvet Lip Paint and Effects (2). I put this lip paint to the test, and it passed with flying (rich and highly pigmented) colors! My lip look lasted all day with no need to reapply. Another amazing bonus: this lip paint includes a container of matching shimmer powder to really add some glitz! I love the fact that you get two looks in one to create a cus‐ tomized, perfect pout. Application is very easy, starting with exfoliating the lips, applying the lip paint and then, if wanting that extra glow, adding the shimmer immediate‐ ly afterwards with a lip brush or your fingers. Whether you choose to wear matte or shimmer effect, you will look glamorous all day with no worry about reapplying – leav‐ ing more time for making merriment! Last but not least, let’s finish off your gorgeous holi‐ day look with some hot hair tips. Whether you opt for sul‐ try straight or wondrous waves, the Glister 1.25” flat iron (loveglister.com) (3) with tourmaline gemstone infusion will get you the look you want! The Tourmaline Infusion ensures fast heat recovery while their OnePass floating plates reduce stress and breakage. Ionizing technology gives the silky smooth finish. If the chic strait look is not for you, and you want to rock luscious waves, you can also get that look with a straightener by taking small sections, gently clamping and smoothing at the root and twisting the straightener at a 180‐degree angle, gently pulling the straightener down the length of the hair. The quicker you run the straightener through the hair, the looser the waves will be, giving you a relaxed, romantic style for your perfect holiday look. Of course, if you are a curly girl, it is all about the product. Bouclѐme (boucleme.co.uk; 4) is a line of curl‐celebrating products all made completely sulphate, silicone and paraben free making sure your curls bounce and stay hydrated well into the new decade! Jablonski is a Capital Region beauty enthusiast and owner of Heather's Naturals organic skin care and cosmetics. Find Heather's Naturals on Facebook.

CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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ARTS AND | ENTERTAINMENT

ALBANY COUNTY 11/29 – 1/3 6 – 9 PM SUNDAYS THROUGH THURSDAYS 6 – 10 PM FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS Capital Holiday Lights in the Park – Washington Park; A true sign of the season for the past 20 years! Filled with light displays, craft vendors, holiday treats, and even Santa visits! $20 per car. Visit albany.org for more information.

12/8 12 – 4 PM Holiday House Tour & Gingerbread House Competition – Women’s Club, 725 Madison Avenue, Albany; The tour highlights some of the very best Albany residential architecture, seasonal décor, and ongoing preservation efforts. Members $25, General Public $30. Visit historic-albany.org for more information.

12/14 10 AM – 12 PM Kids Holiday Crafts Workshop – Historic Albany Foundation, 89 Lexington Avenue, Albany; Welcome young preservationists to be! Enjoy some history and architectural themed activities, just in time for the holidays. Recommended for ages 5 and up. $15 HAF Members, $20 General Public. Visit historic-albany.org for more information.

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A&E 12/15 6:15 – 10 PM NYS Capital District Chapter of USA Dance – Ballroom Dancing – Polish Community Center; Enjoy a fun evening of ballroom dancing! Start the night with a free lesson followed by three hours of dancing. Light refreshments and cash bar provided! Visit capitalusadance.com for more information.

BERKSHIRE COUNTY 12/14 5:30 PM Close Encounters with Music: Great Strings presents The Borromeo Quartet – Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA; The quartet will be played by Borromeo, hailed for its “edge-of-the-seat performances” by the Boston Globe. Visit cewm.org for more information.

COLUMBIA COUNTY 12/6 6 – 8:30 PM Candlelight Night – Village of Kinderhook; A celebration filled with holiday music and merriment throughout the village. Visit villageofkinderhook.org for more information.

12/7 5 – 8 PM Hudson Winter Walk – Warren Street, Hudson; Hudson’s largest, liveliest, and most colorful event! Winter Walk transforms Hudson’s milelong main street into a holiday wonderland for one magical evening. Visit hudsonhall.org for more information.

FULTON COUNTY 12/2 6 PM Broadalbin Christmas Parade – Kenside Park, Broadalbin; The parade kicks off with the tree lighting ceremony. Visit 44lakes.com for more information.

12/6 5 -8 PM Johnstown Colonial Stroll Holiday Parade – West Main Street, Johnstown; An evening featur38 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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A&E ing the traditional colonial stroll and holiday parade. Visit 44lakes.com for more information.

12/7 – 12/8 11 AM – 4 PM Christmas Open House at The Rice Homestead – Mayfield Historical Society Museum; The Homestead will be decorated inside and out in the spirit of Christmas. There will be tours of the home, musical entertainment. Hot mulled cider and cookies will be served. Visit 44lakes.com for more information.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 12/7 12 – 3 PM Christmas Tea – Cranesville Reformed Church; Take a break from the hustle and bustle and relax and celebrate the season! Call 518.843.1058 for more information.

12/31 12 PM – 12 AM New Year’s Eve Festival – Businesses and Organizations throughout the city of Amsterdam; Spend New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam! Events & activities for both kids & adults will take place all throughout the City all day long. Pick up a map & activity guide at participating locations! Visit visitmontgomerycountyny.com for more information.

OTSEGO COUNTY VARIOUS DATES DEPARTS 1 PM Santa Claus Express – Cooperstown Charlotte Valley Railroad, Milford Depot; Enjoy an afternoon train ride with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their helpers. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be entertaining kids of all ages on board the beautifully decorated train, filled with Holiday music, goodies, and refreshments for everyone’s enjoyment. Trains run about 2 ½ hours. Visit cooperstowntrain.com for more information.

VARIOUS DATES DEPARTS 6:30 PM North Pole Express – Cooperstown Charlotte Valley Railroad, Milford Depot; Enjoy the beautifully decorated Milford Depot, passenger train, trackside light displays, Christmas music and a 40 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

41


A&E stop at the North Pole Station as you take a casual nighttime ride along the Susquehanna River, with Holiday treats and refreshments for all. The North Pole Express runs about 2 hours. Visit cooperstowntrain.com for more information.

12/7 3 – 8 PM 12/8 1 – 4 PM A Weekend of Holiday Fun! – Oneonta; Mark your calendars! A weekend full of holiday spirit hosted by Destination Oneonta, including a gingerbread contest, holiday parade down Elm Street, annual tree lighting ceremony, the festival of trees, and more! Find us on Facebook for more information.

12/14 3 – 7 PM Candlelight Evening – Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown; An unforgettable evening adorned with greenery, candle luminaries, jingle bells, and horse-pulled wagons. Gather around the bonfire, enjoy food and hot beverages and celebrate the season! Visit farmersmuseum.org for more information.

12/20, 12/21, 12/22 7 – 9 PM A Christmas Carol – Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown; Rediscover the fabled tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in this original production of the classic story which embodies the spirit of the season and is a perfect way to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. Visit farmersmuseum.org for tickets and information.

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RENSSELAER COUNTY SATURDAYS THROUGH APRIL 9 AM – 2 PM Troy Farmers’ Market – The Troy Atrium, 49 4th Street; Where the farm meets the city! Nearly 100 local farmers and fresh food vendors! Visit troymarket.org for more information.

12/7 & 12/8 7:30 PM Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony – Troy Savings Bank Music Hall; Albany Symphony – David Alan Miller, conductor. Visit albanysymphony.com for more information. 42 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


This ad made possible by GSL Landscape and

CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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A&E 12/8 11 AM – 5 PM

happy holidays from troy!

Troy Victorian Stroll – Downtown Troy; Downtown bustles with food trucks, local vendors, children’s exhibits, and live performances throughout the day sparking your holiday spirit. Don’t miss the northeast’s largest free holiday festival! Visit victorianstroll.com for more information.

SARATOGA COUNTY 12/5 6 PM Saratoga Tree Lighting Ceremony and Victorian Streetwalk – Downtown Saratoga Springs; Come celebrate the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus by horsedrawn carriage as Broadway is transformed and blanketed in Victorian holiday magic. Visit saratoga.com for more information.

12/6 6:30 – 8:30 PM Ballston Spa Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting – Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa; A hometown style holiday tradition with fire trucks, floats, animals, kids and Santa parading down the main street of the village. Visit saratoga.com for more information.

12/8 12 – 1 PM Community Yoga Class at Spa City Farmers Market – Lincoln Baths, Saratoga Springs; Join in on this fun and joyful class geared at fostering community taught by Brenda Reyna. Bring your own mat and donate what you can. Visit dancemusuem.org for more information.

12/21, 6:30 PM 12/22, 1 PM The Nutcracker presented by The School of the Arts at the National Museum of Dance – Maple Avenue Middle School Trombley Auditorium; The magic of the season comes to life with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince in the first full length production by the school. Featuring more than 80 talented, young dancers and special guest alumnus, Sam Epstein. Visit dancemuseum.org for more information.

44 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


This ad made possible by Fagan Associates and

CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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A&E

SCHENECTADY COUNTY

12/7 12 – 4 PM

SUNDAYS THROUGH APRIL 10 AM – 2 PM

Chili Chowdown – Downtown Schenectady; Enjoy an afternoon hopping

Schenectady Greenmarket – Proctor’s Theatre; Each Sunday, shoppers, musicians, and friends gather and enjoy the festive marketplace with 70+vendors who produce everything they sell. Enjoy live music, prepared food, and the region’s freshest local produce. Visit schenectadygreenmarket.org for information.

restaurants and pubs. Visit downtownschenectady.org for more information.

from location to location, tasting great chili from some of Schenectady’s best

12/7 12 – 4 PM

12/10 5:30 – 7:45 PM Stitch & Share – Try Your Hand at Needle Felting – Niskayuna Branch Library; Are you a knitter, crocheter, sewer, quilter, or fiber artist? Don’t know how? Join other fiber enthusiasts at the library’s monthly meet up. Bring

City Halli-day – Schenectady City Hall; Free and Fun for the whole family! Enjoy hands-on activities, kids crafts, a visit with Santa, get a family photo taken, and much more! Visit downtownschenectady.org for more information.

your ideas, tools, current project, and materials. Ages 14 +, all skill levels welcome. Visit scpl.org for more information.

12/20 7 – 9 PM

12/7 12 – 4 PM

Candlelight Festival of Carols – Burnt Hills Oratorio Society, 400 Saratoga

Holiday Bazaar – Schenectady City Hall; Enjoy the season with vendors, artisans, crafts, holiday décor, food, and more! Visit downtownschenectady.org for more information.

al community festival to herald the Holiday Season. Experience the excite-

Road, Glenville; Gather your family and friends to be a part of this 2nd annument of lifting your voice with others, accompanied by brass, organ, and percussion. Visit www.bhos.us for more information.

ADVERTISERS | DIRECTORY AAA Hudson Valley ............................................................7

Gnome Serum ....................................................................4

Rensselaer County Tourism ...................inside back cover

Adirondack Orthodontics..................................back cover

Gold Coin..........................................................................27

Rivers Casino & Resort ..........................inside front cover

Albany Marriott................................................................36

Heather's Naturals...........................................................42

ROOST - Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism ..........13

Alexis Diner......................................................................40

Hewitt's Garden Centers .................................................22

Saratoga Senior Center ...................................................47

All Season's Equipment, Inc ...........................................38

Holiday Lights in the Park - Albany PAL ........................25

Shen Yun ............................................................................5

Amazingly Ageless Medi-Spa .........................................34

Ianniello Anderson, P.C......................................................3

Short & Stout ...................................................................41

Amtrak ...............................................................................9

Jackson's Old Chatham House .......................................28

Spa Broadway @ White Sands .......................................44

Bella Napoli Bakery.........................................................17

Joyelles Jewelers ............................................................16

Sri Siam Thai Restaurant ................................................36

Berkshire Museum ..........................................................45

Kiskis Tire & Autocare Center.........................................43

Ten Thousand Villages ....................................................17

Blue Ribbon Restaurant ..................................................41

Koto Japanese Restaurant..............................................28

The Barnsider ..................................................................27

Buttermilk Falls ...............................................................42

Lake Ridge Restaurant....................................................43

The Food Pantries of the Capital Region........................45

Canali's Restaurant .........................................................27

Lakeside Farms ...............................................................10

The Furniture House ........................................................16

Capital Roots ...................................................................47

Latham 76 Diner ..............................................................27

The Hyde Collection.........................................................41

CeCe's Wool Yarn and More Store ..................................22

Madelyn LaRosa, PA ........................................................38

The Inn at Erlowest .........................................................29

Choices Hair Studio .........................................................39

Make A Wish of NENY .....................................................43

The Standard Restaurant & Lounge ...............................10

Clement Frame Shop & Art Gallery.................................44

Mountain View Brassiere ................................................29

The Towne Tavern............................................................29

Columbia County Chamber .............................................43

Northeast Auto Parts - NAPA ............................................6

The Wedding Group Bridal Show....................................34

Cross Eyed Owl................................................................22

Old Daley Custom Caterer ...............................................31

Truly Rhe ..........................................................................44

Daley’s on Yates ..............................................................37

Oliva .................................................................................41

Uncle Sam's Candy..........................................................22

El Mariachi.......................................................................29

Pause Gallery...................................................................44

Upstate Wine & Spirits Co...............................................45

Evolve Handcrafted Soap Company................................17

Pj's Bar-B-QSA.................................................................28

Waters Edge Lighthouse .................................................28

Exit 9 Wine & Liquor........................................................39

Putnam County Tourism..................................................37

Wired Coffee & Bagel ......................................................30

Fagan Associates, Inc. ....................................................45

Putnam Place...................................................................40

Worthington Flowers, LLC. ..............................................39

Famous Lunch .................................................................44

Reel Seafood Co. .............................................................30

Zachary's Pastry Shoppe ................................................39

Fortuna's Sausage & Italian Market...............................31

Regional Food Bank of NENY ..........................................47

46 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


This ad made possible by Old Daley Custom Catering and

This ad made possible by Faddegon’s Nursery and

This ad made possible by CR Gaslogs & Fireplaces and

CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019 |

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LAST PAGE

Finley’s Wish A boy’s gift to his mother by John Gray

F

inley was tall for his age and, much to his mother’s cha‐ grin, grew out of his clothes faster than the other children in the fourth grade. It was a chilly December afternoon, and his mom tapped her foot impatiently at the bottom of the stairs as he searched for a sweater that fit. Normally he wouldn’t be excited to stand in the cold and watch the holiday parade roll down Broadway, but this year Finley had a mission. He planned to position himself at the corner by the old hardware store, where there’s a slight bend to the road, and wait for the inevitable traffic jam that always forced the floats in the parade to stop there. Then he’d disobey every rule in the book and dart out from the crowd to the big sled carrying Santa. He had a special request for the jolly guy in the red suit. Growing up poor to a single mom is never easy, but Finley never complained. They lived in a two‐ story brick duplex. This worked out for Finley because when his mom finished her job at the post office and picked up hours as a waitress at the diner, he wasn’t home alone. The woman next door, Mrs. McDermott, who was retired and home all the time watching Judge Judy on TV, would wave him in from the steps and make him a cup of hot cocoa while he awaited his moth‐ er’s safe return. Wearing a blue cable knit sweater and mismatched hat, Finley bounded down the stairs two at a time, took his mom’s hand, and said with a smile, “Ready Freddy.” Their walk to the parade route took them a good ten minutes, and when they arrived, Finley pushed his way through the crowd so they had a front‐row view. Firetrucks and heroes in uniform rode by along with marching bands, politicians, and silly inflatable floats. A big snowplow had people on the back throwing candy to the kids in the crowd, but Finley didn’t move an inch, waiting patiently instead for the last float that carried Santa Claus. When the parade was nearing its end, and Santa came into sight, Finley slowly released his grip on his mother’s hand and made his move. The sled stopped, just as Finley predicted, and Santa gave out a hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho” to the crowd. Old St. Nick seemed shocked when the thin 9‐year‐old with dark hair and sky blue eyes raced across the street and climbed right up onto the sled. Finley began, trying to catch his breath, “I’m sorry to ambush you this 48 | DECEMBER 2019 | CRLMAG.COM

way, Santa, but I need a favor.” The man with the fake white beard smiled and said, “Let me guess; a new video game system?” Finley laughed and said, “No sir. I do want something for Christmas, but not for me.” Just then a police officer put his hands on Finley’s shoulder and said, “OK, kid, let’s go.” The man in the red suit spoke up, “Wait officer. Just wait. What do you need, son?” Finley then shared his secret wish: that his mom meet someone nice. The little boy explained, “You see, she spends all her time taking care of me and never does things for herself. If she met someone…” The child’s eyes looked down in embar‐ rassment, noticing Santa had on a pair of black cowboy boots with what looked like a hawk’s wing emblem on the side. He raised his eyes to finish, adding, “I just want to see her happy.” Just then, Finley’s mom came over to apologize for her son’s behavior. “I don’t know what got into him. Finley, LET’S GO!” His mother asked him more than once what that was all about, but the boy would only shrug his shoulders. The very next day, as the two sat for dinner, there came a gentle knock on the door. His mother opened it, and a handsome man with salt and pepper hair said, “Sarah, its Josh Harmon, from high school. I just moved back from Texas and saw you the other day at the Christmas parade. I hope you don’t mind my calling on you.” They say for every girl there is the “boy who got away,” and in high school for Sarah it was Josh. They dated briefly, then his parents moved away, and that was the end of their love story. She invited him in, and soon there was another plate at the table. Finley excused himself; soon an hour of talking led to two, then three, and the old friends shared stories of love and loss and dreams that slipped away. When the coffee pot was empty, Josh gave her a hug and asked if he could see her again, and Sarah smiled like she hadn’t smiled in years. “I’d love that,” she said, blushing. As he turned to go, Sarah said, “I meant to ask you, Josh, where were you at the parade?” Finley, now in his pajamas, looked down from the top of the stairs at a familiar pair of cowboy boots and said, “He’s Santa.” Finley’s wish came true. Gray is weekly columnist for the Troy Record and the Saratogian news‐ papers and news anchor at ABC 10 and FOX 23. He can be reached at johngray@fox23news.com.


**READERS CHOICE MENU (NAME FOOD/DRINK & PLACE) **Appetizer

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DEADLINE: 12/31/2019 1 BALLOT PER EMAIL

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MAIL TO: 12 Avis Drive, Latham, NY 12110 No photocopies accepted. 20 ANSWERS MINIMUM. Online Survey www.crlmag.com/survey.

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Capital Region “Bestie” survey is a way to honor businesses in the area that are doing an outstanding job. PLEASE KEEP THE ANSWERS LOCAL. Categories resulting in chain stores/restaurants will not be printed.


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RESTAURANT BY CITY/TOWN/VILLAGE Sporting Goods Store Supermarket Tire Store Travel Agency LOCAL PEOPLE AND MEDIA Afternoon Anchor Evening Anchor Morning Anchor Morning Team Meteorologist Music Radio News Radio Radio Personality Print Journalist Sportscaster PLACES Adirondack Inn Assisted Living/Nursing Home Bed & Breakfast/Inn (within 3 hours) Campground Day Trip (within 3 hours-Name of Town) Dog Friendly Fishing Hole Golf Course (private) Golf Course (public) Hiking Trail Hotel (in the Capital Region) Hudson Valley Inn Kid’s Birthday Venue Kid’s Camp Park Picnic Spot Retirement Community (55+) Romantic Getaway Inn Saratoga Inn Ski Area Vermont Inn Wedding Venue

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Profile for Capital Region Living Magazine

CRL December 2019  

Deck your door! In a wreath rut? Festoon your entry with one of these fresh takes on the holiday classic. Spirit makers for every taste! Hol...

CRL December 2019  

Deck your door! In a wreath rut? Festoon your entry with one of these fresh takes on the holiday classic. Spirit makers for every taste! Hol...

Profile for crlmag