Saratoga Living - 2022 "I Do!" Issue

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Our Beefed-up Food+Drink Section: from Bundt Cakes to Bourbon *{did somebody say substack?}

THE CIT Y. THE C ULT U R E. THE LIFE.

WINTER 2022

Free

FLIP Edition!

“I2022 Do!” DreamS do come true: 4 pandemic-era weddings that were oh so worth the wait. Meet the new kids on the (local weddings) block Wedding maps? Yes, you need one The art of having your wedding painted The Elarios: Upstate’s most dynamic wedding duo

saratogaliving.com | @saratogaliving

plus

There’s a new mayor in town Chowderfest’s secret ingredient Long live the Leprechaun Pub


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“I Do!” 2022

starting gate contents | winter 2022 FE AT UR ES 48 Nature Man

22 When You Know, You Know BY N ATALIE MOOR E p h o t o g r a p h y by D OR I F I TZ PAT R I C K

BY N ATALI E M OORE

24 Champagne Dreams

p o r t f o l i o by

W I LLI A M ADA M CZAK

BY ABBY TEG N EL I A p h oto g r a p h y by BRINDAMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

30 Two Is Better Than One

54

BY N ATALIE MOOR E p h o t o g r a p h y by Y T K P H OTOG R A P H Y

34 Third Time’s the Charm BY LISA AR C EL L A

The Chowderfest Logo Master BY N ATALI E M OORE

56

When Boxing Came to Town BY BRI EN BOU Y E A

p h o t o g r a p h y by

S U SAN BL AC K B UR N

38 What’s New in the 518 Wedding World BY N ATALIE MOOR E

44 Pretty As A Painting BY LISA AR C EL L A

party people Clark Gale and Zac Denham (seated center on the sofa) pose with their wedding party. “Everyone understood the assignment,” laughed Denham of their decked-out wedding guests. p h o t o g r a p h by

BRINDA MOUR PHOTOGRAPHY


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starting gate

contents | winter 2022

18

FROM THE CEO

off track 62 saratoga living and CAPITAL REGION LIVING’s 3rd Annual Capital Region Gives Back 64 saratoga living’s Whiskeys of the World Tasting 65 7 More Saratoga Shindigs

First turn 11 Chic Peek: The Sablewood 12 Arts & Crafts: Wedding Maps 13 Save The Date: Where Are They Now? 13 Accessories: Miss Scarlett Boutique 14 Power Couple: JP and Kris Ann Elario 15 Panel: Bridal Notes 16 #TBT: Long Live the Leprechuan 18 Government: Mayor Ron Kim 20 Horse for the Course: Ruthless 21 Superfans: The NFL in New York

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Home stretch 69 Fashion: Bridesmaid Gown 70 Food & Drink 70 OPEN FOR BIZ: LUCY’S BAR 71 PLANT POWER: BARE BLENDS 72 CHEAT DAY: NOTHING BUNDT CAKES 73 AL FRESCO: IGLOO DINING 74 HAPPY HOUR: FIRST FILL SPIRITS 75 BY THE GLASS: THE ADELPHI’S WOMEN’S WINE CLUB

76 Design: Lara Watro’s Winter Mantel 78 Book Nook: Lit Local Literature 80 Haute Property: Cherry Hills Stunner 83 Horseplay Crossword: Souped Up Overheard

72

saratoga living After Hours 84 Introducing Our New Substack

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(18) FRANCESCO D’AMICO; (14) ELARIO PHOTOGRAPHY; (13) MORGAN CAMPBELL, BAY + BLOSSOM PHOTO

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Abby Tegnelia CEO

Kathleen Gates Natalie Moore SENIOR DESIGNER Linda Gates SPORTS EDITOR Brien Bouyea SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Francesco D’Amico Dori Fitzpatrick Hannah Kuznia FASHION EDITOR Heather Thompson EDITOR AT LARGE Susan Gates EDITORIAL INTERNS Alex Cappelletti Madison Loomis

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

DIRECTOR OF CONTENT

WRITERS

Lisa Arcella, Karen Bjornland Tony Case, Field Horne, Benjamin Lerner Daniel Nester, Tom Pedulla

ON THE COVER Gina Ventura and

Rob Triebsch, photographed by Dori Fitzpatrick at their wedding at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, NY.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Dustin Lanterman, Konrad Odhiambo Terri-Lynn Pellegri, Susie Raisher, Alyssa Salerno

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saratoga living is published six times a year by Empire Media Network, Inc.

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subscriptions: $35 per year (Nonrefundable). saratoga living 6 Butler Place Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Volume 24, No. 1 Winter 2022 Copyright © 2022 Empire Media Network, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Empire Media Network, Inc. All editorial queries should be directed to editorial@saratogaliving.com; or sent to 6 Butler Place, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. saratoga living assumes no responsibility for unsolicited submissions.

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Anthony R. Ianniello CHAIR

Abby Tegnelia PRESIDENT/CEO

Tina Galante CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER



FROM THE CEO

Hope and New Beginnings ever has ushering in a New Year felt as poignant it does this year. Just 12 months ago, we thought we were “nearing the other side” of this devastating pandemic. And boy did it truly feel that way! Instead, two variants later, we’re again under a statewide mask mandate (which at press time was on the town (clockwise scheduled to lift January 15). Will it ever end? from top left) CEO Abby But travel and gatherings have resumed, and with that, Tegnelia (left), with friends so have weddings. And nothing signifies hope and bright Seana Moser (center) and futures quite like a wide-eyed couple professing their purest Suzanne Morris at saratoga love in front of their friends and families. Each couple’s story in living’s Whiskeys of the this weddings issue is special in its own way, their love resilient, World tasting; with Director of even if their weddings were postponed or otherwise touched by Content Natalie Moore (right) COVID. So turn the page, and help them celebrate! and SPAC partners Chris Shiley and Leslie CollmanFor the new year, we’ve also got our new mayor, Ron Kim (p. 18), Smith at Saratoga Arts’ 25th a souped-up Food & Drink section (p. 70), a new fashion editor (p. anniversary celebration; 69) and real estate section (p. 80)—and we’re launching our very with ITS WorkSpace owner own, slightly salacious (in the best way) Substack (p. 84). What’s a Iuliia Castracane (left) and Substack? You’ll have to take a peek to find out, and to see what Ms. Scarlett boutique owner you’ve been missing. Jennifer Marcellus at By the time you read this, it’ll be the dead of winter, so we’ve Capital Region Gives Back. also loaded you up with party pic pages, as a reminder that events will pick back up again soon. Do you have an idea for a party or want to partner with us on an event? Contact us! And for everybody that came out for one of our parties this year, thank you from all of us. Your ticket and support mean so much to us. Until advertising revs up again, we rely on these “extras” to keep our little slice of local journalism alive. On that note, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t thank all of our advertisers you’ll meet on the following pages. Readers, if you visit a store, restaurant, real estate agency…any business whatsoever that you saw in this magazine, please tell them you saw their ad here. Stay warm, Saratoga.

ABBY TEGNELIA

CEO @abbytegnelia

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{ first turn } C H I C P EEK

The Sablewood photography by DORI FITZPATRICK

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here a couple gets married is ultimately their choice, of course, but if they want their wedding photos to be over-the-top stunning (and what bride doesn’t want to show off her to-die-for photo album?), it doesn’t hurt to get a photographer’s opinion. And, according to a few local wedding photographers we asked, their advice, more often than not, will be to get married at The Sablewood at Highview Springs, a farmturned-wedding venue that hosted its first weddings in 2018. “One of my favorite things about photographing there is the bridal suite,” says wedding photographer and saratoga living contributor Dori Fitzpatrick. “It’s a large, all-white room with huge windows for letting gorgeous light in and antique chairs for photo ops. It has the ultimate barn-chic aesthetic.” — N ATA L I E M O O R E

the woman in the window Huge windows in the bridal suite at Schoharie’s Sablewood at Highview Springs make for the perfect photo op for bride Mikaela Pollak.

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{ first turn }

stationery station Jenny Dempsey of Jenny C Design has created wedding maps of Lake George, Ballston Lake and Yountville, CA, among other cities. See more of her work at @jennycdesign on Instagram.

ARTS & C R AFTS

Map Time

S

ave-the-dates, invitations, a painstakingly planned seating chart, perfect place settings and…wedding maps? Yep, while traditional road maps have been all but obsolete for the last decade or so, the quaint paper products are making a comeback with young brides- and grooms-to-be who have never actually had to use a map. “Couples who want maps typically have a lot of out-of-town guests, have a ‘wedding weekend’ planned, or are having more of a destination wedding,” says Jenny Dempsey, who owns Clifton Park–based custom stationery company Jenny C Design. “The map really helps your guests become more familiar with the area, where they need to be for the wedding, and can let them know what your favorite local spots are for the best coffee, beer, pizza or brunch.” And as all 20-somethings know, brunch—even on a whirlwind wedding weekend—is always a good idea. — N ATA L I E M O O R E

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SAV E THE DATE

Where Are They Now? CATCHIN G U P WI TH L AST Y E A R’S “I DO!” I S S U E COV E R STARS.

(save the date) THE PINCKARDS

Y

ou may recall the gorgeous, sunrisedrenched mountaintop elopement of MaryJane Anderson and Sam Dienel that graced the cover of saratoga living just one year ago. The couple, not wanting to put off their nuptials because of COVID, opted to get married on the secondhighest mountain in New York State at sunrise—wedding dress and tux, flower bouquet, veil and all. Now, Anderson and Dienel are gearing up for an anniversary reception— or what has come to be known as a doover wedding— at Saratoga National this July. “The center of the celebration will still be our love for one another, but it will be so meaningful to reflect on the past two years we have spent as husband and wife,” Anderson says. “It almost gives more weight to promising ‘forever’ all over again.” And so the pair will finally get the wedding with the full band and grooving dance floor they had originally planned. But are they still happy they got married when they did, how they did? “Without a doubt,” Anderson says. “It was one of the most special days of our lives.” — N ATA L I E M O O R E

ACC ESS ORI ES

Chic Shower Finds

W

hen your best girlfriend says, “Yes!” it means that you, girlfriend, have a bridal shower to plan. Luckily, there are so many chic gift ideas right here in Saratoga that you can easily check one errand off the list. Downtown’s Miss Scarlett is packed with accessories that will make the bride feel extra-special on her big day...and every day leading up to it. “Slippers are a must for pre-ceremony photos and getting ready,” says owner Jennifer Marcellus of her boutique’s white, faux fur slippers with gold embroidery ($32). She’s also hot on “bride” clutches as a fashionable way for fiancées to publicize their impending nuptials; options include a resin clutch bride or die Miss Scarlett boutique’s ($92), ivory minaudiere ($62) and beaded “bride” clutches are a great mini clutch ($58). “She’ll feel super-trendy wedding keepsake; throw in a with any of the bridal clutches; not to pair of “bride” earrings and a mention that each is a perfect memento,” lipstick for the perfect gift set. Marcellus says. “She could even use the

resin clutch as a jewelry box after the wedding as a reminder of her best day ever.” Don’t want to leave out the groom? Grab a “Perfect Pair” gift set, which comes with a decanter and two wine glasses ($78). The soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. will love enjoying some special vino in their keepsake glasses as they bask in the aftermath of their wedding festivities. —Abby Tegnelia

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{ first turn }

P OW E R CO U PLE

Couple Time

JP A N D KRIS A N N EL ARIO—H E’ S A WEDDIN G P H OTO GR A P H E R , S HE DE S IGN S THE FLOWERS—PAIR UP TO H E LP TO -B E -WE DS AC H IE V E THE IR DREAM WEDDING DAY. n BY LI SA A R C E LLA

P

eople always assume that Kris Ann Elario, owner of Fleurtacious Designs in Latham, and photographer JP Elario of Elario Photography Inc. developed a passion for all things weddings after they met and fell in love. The two “I do” powerhouses, however, were already well established in their own careers when fate brought them together at a New Year’s Eve (yup) wedding ceremony.

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“We knew of each other, but we really met at a New Year’s wedding that we were both working in 2005 going into 2006,” JP says. “We were excited about working together and exchanged phone numbers. The rest is history.” Adds Kris Ann, laughing: “He said he would call me to go out later that night, but I was so tired I just went home and went to bed.” Nevertheless, the connection was made and nearly 12 years of marriage later, the two share a 6-year-old

daughter and separate businesses that have thrived despite the pandemic. In fact, JP and Kris say that today they are busier than ever. “It actually made it crazier for this year and next year because there are only so many Saturdays and Sundays to fit everybody into,” Kris Ann says. “We probably worked harder this season than we ever have. But [the shutdown] also gave us a taste of what it’s like to not work every weekend and spend more time with family, too.” “We have to schedule weekends with each other because it can be insane,” JP says. “I slow down after a time, but she never does because hers is a yearround business.” While JP’s peak wedding months are June, September and October, Kris Ann’s floral business covers all holidays and life milestones, so tends to keep her busy all year. And even when they work the same events, the two will catch but a fleeting glance of the other once the nuptials start because she is finishing the set-up as he is walking in with the bridal couple. For the bride and groom, however, there are advantages to having the Elarios work the wedding together. For one, “you are certainly going to have some beautiful pictures of your flowers,” says JP of his love of showing off his wife’s work. Even though the couple have worked on hundreds of weddings, they never lose their enthusiasm for the job. “The energy is always exciting and fun,” Kris Ann says. “It’s addicting.” So what makes the Elarios the ultimate complements to each other at work? Says Kris Ann: “What we do is very different from each other, but we both just love making people happy.” And when working with a couple on their special day, there’s nothing more important than that.

ELARIO PHOTOGRAPHY

kris’ craft Kris Ann Elario’s advice for those planning their nuptials is to trust the artists you hire to do what they do, and don’t try to micromanage them.


PAN EL

BRIDAL NOTES

THRE E LOCAL BRIDES LOOK BACK O N T H E U P S A N D DOWN S O F T H E I R SP E C I A L DAY.

Bride: Dharini Adhvaryu WEDDING: August 27-28, 2021 at the

Kenmore Ballroom

ONE THING YOU REGRET: Not planning

(Lizzy) DORI FITZPATRICK; (Dharini) DAVE BIGLER; (Morgan) JB PHOTOGRAPHY

Bride: Lizzy Battle Wedding: July 31, 2021 at the National

Museum of Dance

One thing you regret: I wish we

had booked our videographers through the very end of the night. We had them for most of it, but we missed capturing a few special moments. One thing you are happy with:

Our band, The Accents, played the perfect music for every part of the night, and the dance floor was packed from beginning to end. One piece of advice for future brides: Don’t do something

just because it’s always been done that way. As you make decisions, the more meaningful your choices are to you and your partner, the more magical the day will be.

in enough time to spend relaxing alone with my partner—no bridal party, no photographers, just us. It’s such a fleeting moment. I wish we’d given ourselves more time to bask in our newlywed-ness! ONE THING YOU ARE HAPPY WITH:

Deanna from 2Shea Catering went above and beyond. Her experience with ethnic weddings informed and guided all of our vendors in creating an experience that reflected both of our cultures while also highlighting our personal identity as a couple. ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES: Take as much time planning

as you need! We chose to postpone our wedding a whole year because of COVID, and it was the best decision we could have made. Spreading out the planning process over two years was so much less stressful.

Bride: Morgan Choquette WEDDING: September 18, 2021 at

Old Daley Inn on Crooked Lake ONE THING YOU REGRET: Not getting to enjoy enough of the amazing food ONE THING YOU ARE HAPPY WITH: My makeup artist, Tori

(@makeupbytorimarie), who literally saved the day, and my photographer, Jenna (@jbphotographyweddings), who captured every single moment of the day. ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES: Everyone says it, but soak up

the day. It flies by. Take time with your husband to look around and appreciate the moment.

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{ first turn } # T BT

Long Live the Leprechaun

here are plenty of opportunities for outdoor winter recreation in Saratoga—ice skating at the Spa State Park, fat-tire mountain biking at Daniels Road State Forest, downhill skiing just up the Northway at West Mountain. But you have to hark back to the late ’90s and early 2000s to find the lesser-known (but equally cold) pastime that once beckoned Saratoga’s sportiest die-hards every winter: snow volleyball. “I came up with the idea to do a cabin fever party in February between the Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day because there was nothing to do,” says Saratogian Chris Carola, whose brother, Barry, ran the Leprechaun Pub on Route 9 from 1996-2006. Chris ran sand volleyball leagues and tournaments at the bar during the summer, and many of the people who played in them came out to the Leprechaun’s cabin fever party. And, as anyone familiar with the local volleyball community knows, if ever there are four or more v-ballers and a net on hand, volleyball will be played. “The first year I had six bar exam “My brother people come out and play in two feet of snow,” Chris says. “The last Barry had a lot of bar/ year I did it, the winter of 2006, I think we had 36 people out there. restaurant experience, Some of my brother’s biggest days were those cabin fever parties.” and I had a lot of experience with drinking Since the Leprechaun Pub closed on St. Patrick’s Day 2006, the in bars and restaurants,” property has been home to Almost Saratoga Bar & Grill and The Galley, says Chris Corola, seen which opened in the fall of 2021. The volleyball courts are still there... lying down here. Anyone up for a cabin fever party?

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G OV E R N M E N T

3 Questions for Ron Kim, Mayor of Saratoga Springs NEW YORK’S FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN CITY MAYOR HAS BIG PLANS FOR THE SPA CITY’S COVID COMEBACK. BY NATALIE MOORE

B

n

photography by FRANCESCO D’AMICO

orn in Schenectady and raised in Glens Falls, attorney Ronald J. Kim spent several years away from the Capital Region before deciding to return in the early ’90s with his wife and two young children. “We knew we wanted to come somewhere around here, but we weren’t sure exactly where,” says Kim. “We drove around, and Saratoga just

clicked with us.” Fast forward nearly three decades and Kim, now a father of three (with a grandchild on the way) and owner of his own law practice, has found himself mayor of that very city that clicked with him and his family all those years ago. saratoga living sat down with Kim back in December to learn more about his campaign, goals and the lessons he’s learned.

What role did COVID-19 play in your decision to run for mayor? My overall goal comes out of what COVID created, and that is that we need to build our community back up. I think the mayor’s function in any community is sort of building the community, rooting it on. I’ve talked to the Chamber about having a grand reopening of Saratoga Springs sometime in the spring, assuming we don’t have another real big problem with some variant, and just really taking conscious steps to bring the community back. You served as Saratoga’s commissioner of public safety from 2005-2009. What made you want to return to City Hall more than a decade later? After January 6, I thought it was really important for people to step up at all levels to make sure that democracy is preserved, that we protect it. At the same time, I was watching what was happening in Saratoga Springs with the marches and the protests, and I started to get concerned about what was happening in my city. I thought that I had some of the background that fit what was going to happen here. What’s one thing you learned on the campaign trail? No matter whose door you knocked on, no matter their perspective—right, left, center—they love Saratoga. They came here because they loved it, or they were born and bred. Whatever their background, they love the place. They’re stressed out about what has happened to us in the last year or two, and they want us to do better. And I think we will. To read saratoga living’s complete interview with the mayor, visit saratogaliving.com. mayor’s race When he’s not busy being an attorney or local politician, Mayor Ron Kim participates in triathlons, having competed in races in New York City, Texas and Bermuda.

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Vow t o b e reme m be r e d

Something bold | S o m e t h i n g y o u Create a timeless wedding in historic Saratoga Spa State Park at The Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa. You can have your entire event here, as we offer two unique reception locations for small and large weddings. Your union is destined to last a lifetime – and guests will be talking about your wedding for nearly that long. Plan your classic wedding. Contact our Group Sales Department at (877) 600-4339.

GideonPutnam.com | 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Photo courtesy JB Photography


{ first turn } first lady Ruthless was the first of only three fillies to win the Belmont Stakes.

HO RS E FO R TH E COUR S E

A Ruthless Competitor

M E E T THE HA L L OF FAME FILLY TH AT WO N THE 1867 BE LMONT AND TRAVERS STAKE S. BY BRIE N BOUYEA In every issue of 2022, we’ll be featuring a different “horse for the course,” a Thoroughbred from the annals of Saratoga racing that found glory on the Spa’s track. To kick things off, we travel all the way back to the first decade of racing at Saratoga Race Course to honor Ruthless, a filly who most certainly lived up to her name.

F

rom her very first start, Ruthless was ruthless. Foaled just south of Saratoga on a farm in Westchester County, Ruthless, an imposing bay of 16 hands, was the most accomplished of the “Barbarous Battalion” sisters— five stakes-winning fillies by Eclipse out of Barbarity in the 1860s and ’70s. As a 2-year-old in 1866, Ruthless broke her maiden at Saratoga in her second career start, earning a $500

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R U T H L E S S ’ H E I G H T, E X P L A I N E D

Ruthless’ height was “16 hands” or “16hh” One hand = four inches This is an average Thoroughbred height


S U P ERFAN S

Meet the Rest of the Barbar ous Bat talion

The New York Bowl

RELENTLESS, winner of the 1867 Saratoga Stakes (her lone start), defeating subsequent Belmont winner General Duke

TH E E M P I R E STAT E ’S N F L T E A M S GO H E A D TO H E A D.

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REMORSELESS, champion 2-year-old filly of 1869, when she won the Flash Stakes and Saratoga Stakes

e surveyed our 27,000plus Instagram followers on their favorite New York football team (we’ll let the fact that the Jets and Giants play in New Jersey slide). Here’s how they match up:

REGARDLESS, winner of the 1874 Alabama Stakes MERCILESS, winner of the 1876 Alabama Stakes

purse. That fall, she won the Nursery Stakes at Westchester County’s Jerome Park and, nine days later, finished second to stablemate Monday in the Trial Stakes at Paterson, NJ, concluding her juvenile season with two wins and two seconds in four starts. Ruthless began her 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the Spring Stakes at Jerome Park in May, returning one day later to win a $500 purse. On June 4, 1867, she finished second to Monday—a standout colt that won five of his seven starts—in the 1½-mile Jersey Derby, before defeating him and two other colts in the first running of the Belmont Stakes, contested at 1⅝ miles at Jerome Park. In its report on the inaugural Belmont, the New York Times described Ruthless as “the best three-year-old now on the turf.” Seven weeks after her victory in the Belmont, Ruthless confirmed her superiority over the colts of her era by becoming the second filly to win the Travers, contested at 1¾ miles at Saratoga. She went on to win one more race, taking the two-mile Sequel Stakes at Saratoga five days after her Travers win. That fall, a leg injury sustained in training forced Ruthless into an early retirement. Her career record was 7-40 from 11 starts, with career earnings of $11,000. She was bred to her rival, Monday, and produced the colt Battle Axe, winner of the Kentucky Stakes at— where else?—Saratoga. Ruthless was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975, forever enshrining her in the city that helped make her one of the greats.

Bills v Jets 75% 25%

Bills v GIANTS 57%

43%

GIANTS v Jets

3 NY NFL-ers With Capital Region Connections After playing for the Eagles, Patriots and Titans, DION LEWIS, who attended both Albany High and Albany Academy, landed a spot on the Giants roster, filling in for star running back Saquon Barkley after he got injured last year. Watervliet native GEORGE “BUTCH” BYRD was drafted by the Bills in 1964 and played six of his seven NFL seasons with the team. The defensive back logged 98 starts, 40 interceptions and five pick sixes over his career. ANTHONY WEAVER, a 1998 Saratoga Springs High School grad, played ball for the Ravens and Texans, and has since coached for both the Jets and Bills.

76% 24%

Clearly, Saratoga is Bills country. Here are three fun facts about Bills fans, a.k.a. Bills Mafia:

1

This year, Fox Sports ranked Bills Mafia the No. 1 NFL fan base for the second consecutive year.

2

Photo op: The welcome sign in the Allentown neighborhood of Buffalo has become an (unofficial)

ode to quarterback Josh Allen. This year, it has read, “Welcome to Josh Allentown” and featured an image of him hurdling over it.

3

Some stores have started stocking folding tables in their Bills merchandise sections for fans to slam onto, WWE style, per tradition.

By The Numbers: New York’s NFL Teams

NEW YORK GIANTS

WIN PERCENTAGE LAST 5 YEARS

NEW YORK JETS

30%

BUFFALO BILLS

27.5% 57.5%

SUPER BOWLS PLAYED IN

8 1 4

Super Bowls won

4 1 0

Number of fans

(ACCORDING TO STATISTA)

3.71 million (9th most)

Superbowl odds at press time (MID-DECEMBER) .1% Number of folding tables slammed by fans each year

0

1.8 million

.94 million

0% (lowest)

7.69%

(23rd most)

(30th most)

0 countless

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When You Know,You Know FOR 2021 BRIDE

GINA VENTURA, I T WA S T H E S AG A M O R E — I T WA S A LWAY S T H E S AG A M O R E .

By Natalie Moore photography by

D O R I F I T Z PAT R I C K

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“I Do!” 2022

T

wenty-one years ago, New Jersey native Gina Ventura’s parents discovered The Sagamore when they received an American Express ad in the mail. They were able to use their credit card points toward a stay there, so they packed up the fam and made the trek north to Bolton Landing. “We fell in love with it,” Gina says of the landmark lakeside resort. “We tried to go every summer. We’d rent a boat and go fishing, we’d eat in town and we always just had the best time.” But on vacation, 9-year-old Gina was thinking about more than cannon-balling into the Queen of American Lakes: “Ever since I got there I was like, “Oh, mhm—this is where I want to get married.” And so, when Gina met her hubby-to-be, Rob Triebsch, a decade later, she made her master wedding plan known. “It was always kind of a joke,” she says. “I said to him, ‘You know, my whole wedding’s planned—I just need to find the groom.’” When Rob went on his first Ventura family vacation to The Sagamore, he finally got it. Says Gina: “He was like, ‘Yeah. Totally understand. This is amazing.’” Rob ended up popping the question in August 2020 at—where else?—The Sagamore, and the two-decades-in-the-making wedding took place in October 2021. “Every time we drove up to Lake George, we would roll down the window,” Gina says of her childhood vacations, “and my mom would say ‘The blues are so blue and the greens are so green, aren’t they?’ And we’d all be like, ‘Yes, Mom.’ She would say it every time and not know that she always said it. So it became a thing.” Needless to say, the Triebsch-Ventura wedding palette was bluest blues and greenest greens. And the puppy Rob gave Gina as a wedding present? They haven’t picked her out yet but they already know her name: Georgie.

blues travelers (above) Gina Ventura and Rob Triebsch’s wedding palette— blues and greens—was based on something Gina’s mom used to say during the family’s regular visits to the Sagamore; (opposite) in his speech at the wedding, Gina’s father talked about how Gina knew she wanted to get married at The Sagamore when she was 9.

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night and gale Clark Gale and Zac Denham dance to The Way You Look Tonight; (inset) the newlyweds looking sharp.

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“I Do!” 2022

Champagne Dreams A F T E R M A K I N G S A R AT O G A T H E I R E S C A P E D U R I N G L O C K D OW N , C I T Y B OY S

Z AC D E N H A M

AND

CLARK GALE

C E L E B R AT E D W I T H S P E C TAC U L A R F L A I R B O T H T H E I R N U P T I A L S A N D T H E I R S PA C I T Y F U T U R E .

By Abby Tegnelia p h o t o g r a p h y by

B RIN DA M O UR P HOTO G R A P HY

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“I Do!” 2022

28, 2019 birthday, and then right past their original wedding date of October 4, 2020 (although they did throw a little party then, too, COVID notwithstanding); and straight to October 2, 2021, when a well-heeled crowd descended on The Adelphi for the happy couple’s welcome party. The band kicked everything off with rousing French jazz music, as guests snacked on tea party fare such as deviled eggs with caviar, tea sandwiches and petit fours almost too pretty to eat. ac Denham Tea sommeliers poured sophisticated and Clark Gale like to have a good time, selections, and of course, there was and they always knew they wanted enough bubbly on hand for the entire that vibe showcased at their wedding. town of Saratoga to toast the couple. Already longtime fans of Saratoga, Then there were the outfits. experiencing the Caroline “Everyone understood Street festivities on the assignment,” laughs Thanksgiving Eve for the Gale about his wellfirst time gave the New dressed guests. “We York City dwellers an idea. wanted the perfect garden “We loved it,” Denham party as the pre-party, with says, and a few months a Kentucky Derby flair.” later they were back The fabulous event at The Adelphi. “We was all them. The music were talking about it was a nod to Denham’s The couple’s vows. and thought, ‘Wouldn’t Louisiana roots; Gale, on it be fun to get married here? When the other hand hails from Messena near we check out, let’s just ask.’ And we the Canadian border, and had been did. We weren’t even engaged yet.” coming to Saratoga since he was a kid. Fast forward more than a year to Both work in the restaurant business, so Gale’s proposal on Denham’s January when it came to planning the tea party

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fit to a tea (top left) This commissioned illustration was the couple’s first wedding gift; (from top) grooms Clark Gale and Zac Denham with wedding guests Nick Williams and Steven Perry at the welcome tea party; Hilary Hancock and husband Chris Worley sipping tea selections curated with Saratoga Tea and Honey Co. owner Haley Stevens; four-legged guest Benny; Hot Club of Saratoga, which Gale and Denham discovered on Broadway a few weeks before the wedding.


put a pin in it (clockwise from top left) Denham’s sister, Camryn, and her fiancé Daniel Fairley; the happy couple and their glamorous wedding party; George Deveney, Sr. and daughter Julie; Gale getting a hand with his boutonniere from Hilary Hancock; The Adelphi, preceremony; pals George Deveney, Jr. and Wyatt Ramos; Nick Williams and Marc Giosi; Denham and his parents, Alice and Thad; (center) Denham and Gale with Gale’s family: mom Kimberly Bollinger, dad Clark Sr., and stepmother Sandra Gale.

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“I Do!” 2022

(and the sit-down reception dinner the next evening), they were very hands-on, not stopping until it was exactly what they wanted. “Our guests are chefs and restaurant investors, and we were work in F&B, so it had to be right,” Gale says. “We were very involved. We had two tastings for the preparty alone, and the wines were just right. It was a beautiful collaboration.” Because of Gale’s upstate roots, the couple had always spent time in Saratoga, but when COVID-19 hit, it became their sanctuary of sorts, where restrictions were less strict than at home in NYC. “Thank god,” says Denman, “for

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grin and bring it (clockwise from top left) Ring bearer and security detail George Deveney, Jr., Denham’s then-2-year-old nephew; the couple say their vows with friend Lauren Haupt officiating; The Adelphi’s pastry chef, Serena, made the cake; Denham hitting the dance floor; (opposite) the newlyweds seal the deal outside The Adelphi with their two dogs, Max and Marvin.

Saratoga,” where they could sit at a bar and have a drink, and spend more time outside with their dogs, Max and Marvin. Now they’ve taken all of their rich experience from their high-level jobs consulting on other restaurant openings and have chosen Downtown

Saratoga as home to their very first establishment that’s all their own— Bocage, a boutique (you guessed it) champagne bar that will serve tea and light bites such as caviar, oysters and tea sandwiches. It’s set to open soon on Phila Street. “Our end game is to be living here as quickly as possible,” Denham says. “We’re still based in the city but are looking for a second home here now. It’s city-adjacent, and there are good schools for when we have kids.” Sounds like these newlyweds have a lot to clink together two champagne flutes for. Cheers.


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“I Do!”

Two Is Better Than One

2022

W H E N L I F E G AV E JOHN AND JESSICA HOMBURGER WEDDING-PLANNING LEMONS, THEY M A D E W E D D I N G - DAY LEMONADE. TWICE.

By Natalie Moore F I R ST WE DDING ( W I N T E R ) P H OTO GRA PHY CO UR T E SY O F FA M ILY S ECON D WE DDING P HOTO GRA PHY BY

Y TK PHOTOG R AP H Y

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sweet caroline Before John and Jessica Homburger’s second wedding, they took photos on Caroline Street, where they first met; (opposite) the Homburgers’ first wedding ceremony in Woods Hollow Nature Preserve in Milton.

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into the wild “My mom put together this adorable little ceremony and reception,” Jessica says of her micro-wedding in the woods. “We had some champagne— well, I didn’t—and shrimp cocktail and we made it a little thing.”

hile COVID-19 delayed weddings the world over, for Jessica and John Homburger, who got engaged in November 2020, the pandemic only sped up their impending nuptials. “We were pregnant with our daughter at the time, so we thought in our relationship it was really important for us to get 2022 married despite COVID,” says Jessica. “We decided to have a winter wedding.” On February 13, the couple packed up a table, cake, shrimp cocktail and some champagne and trekked into Woods Hollow Nature Preserve in Milton, their immediate families in tow. When they emerged from the forest, they were newlyweds. “It was better than I even dreamt of,” Jessica says of the small ceremony and reception her mom planned. “John and I will be forever grateful that we really got to focus on our marriage and what the day was all about.” But despite all the benefits of a micro-wedding in the woods, as COVID cases decreased last summer, the Homburgers’ urge to share their union with a larger group of friends and family only grew. They didn’t want to later regret missing out on all the hoopla involved in traditional nuptials. And so, in keeping with their bucking-the-wedding-trend policy, the couple began planning another wedding. After they re-celebrated at bachelor/bachelorette parties (in Lake Placid and Saratoga, respectively), re–gussied up at The Adelphi (new wedding, new looks!), and re-took photos (downtown, where they first met), John and Jessica re-tied the knot at The Barn at Power’s in Clifton Park on November 27, 2021. “To have everyone we love there to witness us ‘re-commit’ was something very special,” says Jessica. “So was having my father walk me down the aisle and hearing our best man and maid of honor speeches.” And the best part? “We knew we were lucky to have our daughter be a part of our day,” Jessica continues. “It wasn’t until everything started that we both realized how truly lucky we were to have her there. It was a great day.”

“I Do!”

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by the power’s vested After getting ready at The Adelphi and taking photos in Downtown Saratoga, Jessica and John renewed their vows at a ceremony at The Barn at Power’s in Clifton Park.

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“I Do!” 2022

Third Time’s the Charm

I T WA S A W E D D I N G W H I R LW I N D T I M E S T H R E E F O R

C R A I G A N D A LY S S A L A N G E ,

W H O F I N A L LY S A I D “ I D O ” A F T E R T WO C OV I D - I N D U C E D P O S T P O N E M E N T S .

BY LISA ARCELLA P H O T O G R A P H Y BY

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love is like the wind Craig and Alyssa Lange, holding her bouquet from Saratoga’s The Posie Peddler, outside The Lodge at Saratoga Casino Hotel, where they got married in October.

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“I Do!” 2022

here was a moment in time when Alyssa and Craig Lange thought their big dream wedding filled with 180 of their friends and family might never actually happen. “We got engaged in July of 2019 and had set a wedding date of September 26, 2020,” says Syracuse native Craig of what we all now know turned out to be a dicey wedding date. The couple had met in New York City, but had their hearts set on tying knot in, and moving to, Saratoga, the bride’s hometown. It was the timing that threatened that dream from coming true. “The day we moved out of our city apartment to move up here was the day the state of emergency was enacted over the pandemic,” says Alyssa. So they postponed their wedding date to June of 2021, moved in with Alyssa’s parents, and waited. And waited some more. As the date neared, it began to look like COVID would still be making it impossible to have a big get-together, even all of those months later. “The second time we weren’t sure if we would have to cut the guest list or if people would have to be in masks, and there were still a lot of regulations,” Alyssa says. “We wanted it to come to fruition in the most normal way and we were thinking of everyone’s safety first. And we obviously have grandparents and friends to think about, and you had to take all that into consideration.” So they switched their date once again to October 1, 2021. And as the old adage goes; the third time was the charm.

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just married Craig and Alyssa share an intimate moment as they leave their ceremony; (at right, from top) Craig’s boutonniere; Alyssa and Craig’s weddings bands were from N. Fox Jewelers on Broadway; the happy couple kick off their reception at The Lodge at Saratoga Casino Hotel; (opposite, from top) Alyssa gets a lending hand from lookalike mother Lynn McColl; Alyssa and Craig bask in sunlight at The Lodge.

“When we moved it to October, the Delta variant had started up and we thought, ‘Oh no, here we go again!’” Craig says. “That’s when we decided it was happening one way or another— with all the bells and whistles or without.” Luckily, things worked out, bells and all, and the couple got the big day they always dreamed of. Nearly all their invited guests were able to come, except one groomsman who was stuck in Ireland due to travel restrictions. The couple added some touching tributes to Craig’s mom, Martha, who had passed away from cancer since their original wedding date. And heaven smiled, as they say, when the sun came out during the outdoor “I do’s.” “I tried to hold on to the visions we had for the day,” says Alyssa, who was at the time trying to juggle switching around all of her vendors for the second and final time. “Looking back now, it was everything I could have hoped for. When the day arrived, everything kind of disappeared. Just walking into that ceremony and feeling the love was special on another level.”

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“I Do!” 2022

WHAT’S NEW IN THE 518 WEDDING WORLD COVID-19 NOT ONLY DISRUPTED WEDDINGS THEMSELVES, BUT ALSO THEIR VENDORS, MANY OF WHOM WERE IN THEIR CRUCIAL FIRST YEARS IN BUSINESS. HERE ARE SIX NEW CAPITAL REGION WEDDING PROFESSIONALS THAT WEATHERED THEIR PANDEMIC-PLAGUED OPENINGS AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE.

By Natalie Moore PHOTOGRAPH BY

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Michelle Lange


Event Pl anner

DAISY & LOLA EVENTS

Florist

(Urban Poppy) MICHELLE LANGE

URBAN POPPY Urban Poppy, a floral and design company based in Albany and owned by cousins Sarah Fox and Teresa Carmel, wasn’t just affected by COVID—it was born out of COVID. It all started when Carmel was planning her french’s kiss own COVID-era wedding. “The wedding went from Urban Poppy owners location A to location B to eventually location C in a Teresa Carmel matter of days,” Fox says. “Teresa and her husband (center) and Sarah made the decision to cancel their big event and change Fox (right) with bride the number of guests from 250 to 11. With all the lastKatie French; (top) French’s bouquet minute COVID cancellations and only a couple days to at her elopement plan, we transformed their backyard into a venue in a on Lake George; matter of 72 hours, and Urban Poppy was born.” (opposite) a rowboat, Now, just to be clear, Fox and Carmel weren’t just rented from Little any regular bride and cousin-of-the-bride thrust into Row Boat Co., made planning a wedding. Carmel is a creative who dreamed the perfect vessel of working in the wedding industry, and Fox had for an Urban Poppy worked for another florist for three years right out of arrangement. college. “We take the visions dreamt up by our couples and create a design around that vision,” Fox says. “We design pieces around the details, which can include flowers, candles, lanterns, backdrops—even boats.” (It’s true: one recent wedding featured a lantern- and flower-filled rowboat!) Fox and Carmel’s combined wedding experiences—Fox’s with flowers and Carmel’s as a bride—have also made them sensitive to problems brides commonly have with other vendors. “We both quickly realized how impersonal and disconnected vendors could be,” Fox says. “That’s why, at Urban Poppy, we pride ourselves in making relationships. If a couple doesn’t see their personalities and dream brought to life in our work, then we consider our job a failure. So before talk of budget is even mentioned, we take the time to connect with each couple.”

Another local wedding business that sprouted from the ashes of the pandemic is Daisy & Lola, a Saratogabased, one-woman event planning show. “Since I was in high school I have been planning and organizing events,” says Katie Massie, the Britney Spears/dogs/coffee-fueled dynamo behind Daisy & Lola. “During the pandemic, I was laid off and my husband asked, ‘Why haven’t you started an event-planning business yet?’ And so I did.” Since launching her biz in January 2021, Massie has planned and put on all sorts of events in addition to weddings, including a backyard engagement party, a “flannel fling before the ring” bachelorette party, and a bridal shower on the back deck of the bride’s mother’s home. “With dates shifting, my 2022 has weddings that were postponed,” she says. “But the pandemic also brought the industry back to what’s important: celebrating the love of two people. As a wedding planner and designer, that has allowed me to be even more creative.” And where did the name Daisy & Lola come from? Massie’s two rescue pups, of course. “Their names made me think of different types of clients: Daisy being simple, timeless and fun, just like the flower, and Lola like the showgirl—wild, bold and untraditional. I love providing clients with whatever style they are looking for, so my pups’ names and personalities made perfect sense.”

massie production Before launching Daisy & Lola, Katie Massie planned events through her work as membership director of the Capital District YMCA.

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“I Do!” 2022

Venue

FORT TICONDEROGA

Photographer

SYDNEY K ANDREW PHOTOGRAPHY While Sydney Doherty says her still-sorta-new wedding photography business hasn’t been too affected by the pandemic, the details of the first wedding she ever shot tell you all you need to know about the state of the world at the time of Sydney K Andrew Photography’s inception. (Doherty’s married name will be Andrew, but she and her husband-to-be haven’t tied the knot yet.) “It was a 10-person elopement at this gorgeous Airbnb right on the water in Huletts Landing,” Doherty says of the June 2021 event. “It was so laid back, but also so elegant.” Besides traditional weddings and elopements, Doherty also specializes in family portraits, boudoir and engagements, the last of which is what got her into the professional photography game in the first place. “When I got my first ‘real camera’ it was pretty much love at first sight,” she says. “A friend of mine asked me if I could take candid camera As a her and her fiancé’s engagement photos, photographer, Sydney so of course I said yes. It felt so natural Doherty “craves natural light being behind the lens, and when I saw the and those candid moments”; images I created afterwards I said, ‘I finally (top) Doherty’s photo of the know what I want to be when I grow up!’” 2021 June Farms wedding of Taylor and Nate. That was in October 2020, and while yes, Doherty was technically already a grownup at the time, her photography career has certainly “grown up” since then. Since June, she’s captured numerous engagement and couples sessions, plus 10 weddings, and already has 32 weddings on the books for 2022. “I thank my lucky stars that COVID hasn’t had as much of an effect on my business as I know it has on so many other small businesses,” she says. “The wedding industry took a huge hit, but I think 2022 and beyond are going to be the comeback years that everyone has been waiting for.”

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For being a brand-new wedding venue, Fort Ticonderoga is definitely the oldest vendor on this list. By a lot. “Fort Ticonderoga has a long history of hospitality dating to the 19th century,” says Julia Nittler, the Fort Ticonderoga Association’s event coordinator. “In 1820, wealthy merchant William Ferris Pell purchased the Fort lands and preserved the site. He built his family home known as the Pavilion in 1826, and in the second half of the 19th century, the Pavilion became a hotel welcoming visitors who were traveling the fashionable tour north on the lakes via steamboat.” Of course, the fort was around long before that: its capture in 1775 marked the first offensive victory for American forces in the Revolutionary War. These days, the site is home to a museum that offers programs, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations and exhibits at its location on the southern end of Lake Champlain. And now, after the fort’s Pavilion underwent $9 million in restoration in 2021, it’s also a wedding venue. “Couples are so enthusiastic to learn about the opportunity to make their own history at one of North America’s most beautiful and historic locations,” Nittler says. Plus, the fort, which offers multiple ceremony and reception sites, is great for COVID-era ceremonies. “We are a prime location for micro-weddings, as well as larger-scale outdoor gatherings,” Nittler says. “And, since we are a new venue, we still have some availability for 2022 and 2023, which is welcome news for couples who are having a hard time finding venues due to the high demand.” model magic Heather Thompson (who also happens to be saratoga living’s new fashion editor), Brett Ferri and flower girl Charlee modeled for a styled wedding shoot that shows off Fort Ticonderoga’s many locations for ceremonies, cocktail hours, after-parties and photo ops.


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“I Do!” 2022

Venue

THE BARN AT HANSEN HILL

Celebrated Wedding Florist Samantha Nass Goes Retail After helping couples design the details of their big day in Saratoga and beyond since 2014, Samantha Nass Floral Design is expanding its European-inspired offerings to include retail. “We decided to switch gears a little bit, partly because of the pandemic and partly because we were ready to change our business model,” says Nass. “We’re going to continue the wedding business, because that’s really our passion—getting to know our clients, working on their special and happy event—but also offer retail based

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on our style.” Those retail connection with customers offerings, which will be sold she’s most excited about. at a storefront located at “We’ve been by appointment 61 Lawrence Street, as well only for the last seven years,” as online at snfloraldesign. she says. “I’m really looking com, will include candles, forward to having more of a tableware, gift boxes, dialogue with our client base planters, succulents and and also the general public more—essentially a curated of Saratoga.” collection of everything At press time, the new you need for the ultimate shop was scheduled to open A customizable Saratoga dinner party, just before Christmas. As gourmet gift box and then some. for the company’s wedding While Nass is thrilled about clients? They’ll still be able to all the new products, which include gourmet meet with Nass for consultations, right in Sugarfina candies and LAFCO New York the Lawrence Street location—and maybe candles, both of which aren’t sold anywhere pick up a whimsical grey cat candle, else in Saratoga, it’s the face-to-face while they’re at it.

(Hansen Hill) SHAYNA STEVENS/THE FAMILY FARMER

Hansen Hill is another historic property-turned-wedding venue that began booking weddings in 2021, this one with a country chic bent. “My goal was always to keep the farm in the family,” says Norman Hansen, Hansen Hill’s current owner. “It’s a fifth-generation farm that was established in 1908. Today, we operate as both The Barn at Hansen Hill, the venue, and as a 200-acre hay farm supplying hay for horses, sheep and other livestock.” So how, exactly, did a 100-year-old hay farm in Johnsonville come to offer elegant country weddings for up to 300 guests? It took a friend in the catering business to open Hansen’s eyes to the bridal gold mine he was sitting on. But once he had the idea to turn his property into a wedding venue, Hansen dove head-first into building a nearly-6,000square-foot barn, finishing up construction in spring 2021. “Thankfully, the pandemic didn’t affect us at all,” he says. “We were building during the worst part of it”—i.e. before lumber prices shot through the roof last year—“and were able to open in tandem with much of the world opening back up.” The Barn at Hansen Hill was also able to open up in a way that has made couples concerned about COVID feel safe. “You can get married outside overlooking the rolling hills with a mountainous backdrop or inside our spacious barn,” Hansen says of his barn or yard (from top) social distancing-friendly venue with At Johnsonville farm Hansen Hill, customizable packages. “If you want couples can get married in the to ride in on a horse and buggy, brand-new, 6,000-square-foot come by hot air balloon, or put on barn; or outside amid Rensselaer a spectacular fireworks show, we County’s rolling hills. can make it all happen.”


Mobile Bar

CRAFT ON WHEELS The beauty of a side hustle—especially a wedding industry side hustle—is that when something like, oh, a global pandemic comes around, effectively decimating your business prospects, you can continue working your full-time job and pick up operations when the coast is clear. That’s exactly what the owners of Craft on Wheels, a mobile bartending service that operates out of the back of a 1957 Ford pickup, did. “We launched in late 2019 and got a lot of publicity, which created a fair amount of bookings,” says Craft on Wheels co-owner Jim Murphy, who is also the director of marketing and corporate relations at Proctors. “Most of those dried up for 2020, though we had a few events as summer turned into fall. We didn’t pivot as much as ride out the storm.”

And after the storm, calm. “When things did open back up, the events had to be small for a time,” Murphy says. “They were memorable mostly because we got to spend more time with those attending. With meals being served and structured activities such as toasts and dancing, we get less face time with the couples who hire us.” Little did Murphy and his partners know at the time of their launch, but their vintage truck, which has six taps for beer, cider or wine, was perfectly

wheels of fortune Craft on Wheels co-owners Erin Murphy (center) and Connor Neal, with Ania Kostek (left) and Cali Brown.

suited for the impending pandemic (i.e. for outdoor events). “The emergence of wedding barns has been a huge trend in Upstate New York for the past several years,” Murphy says, “and most do not have a liquor permit.” (Craft on Wheels offers full bar service for clients who want it.) “A vintage truck with six taps and a cooler,” he continues, “pairs very nicely with the less formal, country vibe of wedding barns.”

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Pretty as a Painting WEDDING PA I N T E R S ARE ENJOYING A BOOM IN BUSINESS, AS BRIDES CLAMOR FOR THEIR PERSONAL, ARTISTIC TOUCH.

By Lisa Arcella ueens of England have long commissioned artists to paint important wedding ceremonies. Now brides in the Capital Region are enjoying the trend, regally having their “I do’s” painted—live—as it is all happening. Not only do the couple get a unique keepsake to cherish forever, but their wedding guests love the novelty, too. While even the modern-day version of wedding painting is not exactly a new phenomenon, Mark rain, rain, go away (clockwise from top left) Mark DeSilva’s wedding paintings at 90 State in Albany; Turning Stone Resort Casino, where the couple posed indoors because it was raining, and DeSilva painted in the garden behind them; Blenheim Hill Farm, NY; Long Island’s Oheka Castle.

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life is a canvas Erika Angeli captured this couple’s first dance; (left, from top) Saratogian Sharon Bolton calls paintings such weddings as this Albany one “non-stop, pure love energy—a love high!”; Bolton’s easel ready for showtime; (opposite) Erin Crowley says wedding guests think her live painting is “cool” and check in on it throughout the night.

DeSilva, the creative force behind Live WeddingPainting by Mark, has seen his business boom in recent years. “I have been doing this since 2009,” says the painter, who has recently done weddings in Lake Placid and Albany. “Now every weekend I am someplace new. I used to do about 40 or 50 paintings in a year, but last year it was 80. One weekend I had four weddings in four different locations!” Choosing your live painter can be a huge decision, as the area’s artists vary widely in their approach, artistry and even how they interact with guests.

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“Live painting is not easy!” says Saratoga’s Sharon Bolton. “It takes more set-up than you would think and on the day, I am usually on my feet for 10 hours straight. As you paint, you are there to entertain the guests. This is my favorite part as I am a bit of a party girl, and I love people and getting chatty. I later spend a good eight hours finishing the job in my studio, but the extra time and care make for the best end result. After all, you want the couple to hang it up and enjoy it for eternity.” Wedding artists can capture portraits of

the ceremony, the reception or even the first dance, depending on the preference of the couple. To make it all happen, they arrive at the venue several hours before to set up an easel and start work on the background of the painting. When the actual moment that’ll appear in the painting happens, they can take literally hundreds of photos of it and then work from those images as the night goes on. Afterwards, they add in special people the couple may want included in the artwork that will last a lifetime. They can even add in things that weren’t necessarily there, in a pinch. For example, rain prevented one couple, who were married at the Turning Stone Resort Casino, from getting their dream painting set in the lovely garden there. So DeSilva took pictures and voilà—the garden magically appears in their painting. Prices tend to run in the neighborhood of $1500 to $3000 depending on the size of the canvas. And even though most nuptials include a photographer, Erin Crowley, who recently painted


a beautiful ceremony at the Hall of Springs, says a personalized portrait offers something other than a still image. “We capture a very different feeling,” she says. “It’s an impressionistic, personal look at your wedding,” Wedding painter Erika Angeli says that as an artist, working in front of a room full of guests brings her so much joy that it’s perfect for the mood of a wedding. “The adrenaline of painting in front of a crowd gets me out of my own head and gives me the ability to be hyper-focused on painting what I see,” she says. “In order to fully encapsulate the energy and feeling of their day, the majority of my paintings are completed by the end of the event. My heart feels so full when I hear the different reactions from wedding guests. I often hear that what I am doing is truly special and meaningful, and I believe this to be true after I see the reaction from my couples at the end of the night. Every painting completed holds a little piece of me.”

Photo by JP Elario

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portfolio

Nature

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M an

W I L L I A M A DA M C Z A K ’ S B R E AT H TA K I N G P H O T O G R A P H S C A P T U R E T H E B E AU T Y O F T H E S N OW- D R E N C H E D A D I R O N DAC K S ( S O YO U D O N ’ T H AV E T O B R AV E T H E E L E M E N T S YO U R S E L F ) .

BY N ATA L I E M O O R E

west world The view looking west from Bald Mountain at sunset. See more of Adamczak’s nature photography at @wadamczakphoto on Instagram.

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I

f it seems like William Adamczak is always in the right place at the right time, that’s because he makes sure that he is. The nature photographer, who splits his time between Milton and Bolton, says that the key to his stunning Adirondack landscapes and up-closeowl be there for you and-personal wildlife shots The secret to capturing is, basically, that he’s outside images of animals in their natural habitat (like these a lot. That, and he’s not shots of short-eared afraid to brave the elements, owls), Adamczak says, which can sometimes get is to spend a lot of time unruly up here. out in nature, no matter “My big things are the weather. shooting the night sky—so the Milky Way—a lot, but also bad weather,” says Adamczak, who moonlights (daylights?) as a professor of business analytics and actuarial science at Siena College. “I like to get

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CREDIT

saratogaliving.com 51


out and catch those lightning strikes or the foggy mornings, cloud inversions… things that aren’t your everyday shot. As far as wildlife goes, I get out early and often with the camera always nearby. Opportunities sprout up when you’re not even really looking for them.” A Scotia native, Adamczak became interested in the outdoors as a teenager while he was on a two-week backpacking, caving, canoeing and rock climbing trip. Shortly after, he became an Adirondack 46er (someone who has hiked all 46 of the park’s 4,000-foot mountains). “At that time, I had this mentality that if people want to see these views and this beauty, they need to come out here for themselves,” he says. “Slowly, over time, I came full circle on that. Some people can’t get to see this.” Hence Adamczak picking up nature photography. If you’re physically unable to catch a sunrise from atop a 4,000-foot peak, seeing Adamczak’s images of it are the next best thing. He’s been carrying a camera with him on his excursions for only the past three or four years, but has mastered the art of capturing unique moments. His winter shots are especially difficult to nab, but especially worth it. “It can be rough, because I’m the one breaking trail after two feet of snow,” he says. “I’m that guy that likes to be up there early, so chances are, there’s not someone in front of me. “But you get a different look to the world in winter—even though it’s more monochrome, there’s just a different beauty to it.” And thanks to Adamczak’s photography, it’s available for all to witness.

the cold never bothered me anyway (from top) A winter wonderland on Catamount Mountain in the Adirondacks; the view of Whiteface Mountain, which has a weather station at the summit, from Catamount; snow-covered cattails in a stream; (opposite) a blackcapped chickadee Adamczak came across in April 2021.

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CREDIT

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design

THE LOG O M A ST E R ARTIST HUDSON “HUD” ARMSTRONG H A S I L L U S T R AT E D E V E R Y S I N G L E CHOWDERFEST LOGO SINCE 1999. THIS YE AR’S IS NO EXCEPTION.

BY N ATA L I E M O O R E

N

othing says “longtime Saratogian” more than a person standing on the rail at the track, wearing a vintage Chowderfest shirt. And nothing says “smalltown Saratoga” more than the artist who designed the logo on the shirt running into that person. “It feels really good,”

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says Hudson “Hud” Armstrong, who has designed every Chowderfest logo since the event’s inception in 1999, of that very encounter. ”People who know who I am have asked me to sign their Chowderfest T-shirts. It’s quite the compliment.” Armstrong was born in Chicago and moved to Saratoga County in 1946. He showed an interest in art at an early age

and, following a stint in the army, studied anatomy, drawing and painting at the Boston School of Fine Arts. After college, he returned to Saratoga, then spent a decade on Long Island before returning to the Spa City in 1987. By 1999, Armstrong’s work was known throughout the city—he drew caricatures at the Caroline Street Block Party and illustrated a comic strip in the Poor Richard’s Saratoga Journal newspaper—and drew the attention of Discover Saratoga, which was planning the city’s very first Chowderfest. That first year’s logo featured millionaire Diamond Jim Brady and actress Lillian Russell, two big names from Saratoga’s storied history, eating chowder. The next year, Armstrong drew inspiration from Congress Park, illustrating a boy, a girl, a duck and a squirrel, four characters that have appeared on every logo since. “It started with two kids sitting on a bench eating chowder, symbolizing a familyfriendly event,” Armstrong says. “You can’t sit in Congress Park without seeing ducks and squirrels, so they were a welcome addition. And then it took off from there.” While managing to fit all four of what have become Chowderfest’s mascots into each logo since, Armstrong has also used his designs to illustrate what was going on in Saratoga and the larger world at the time he created them. The 2002 logo, for instance, included an American flag, a tribute to the lives lost on 9/11. In 2017, the Spirit of Life had just undergone a major restoration, so the

MACKENZIE ZARZYCKI

hud and seek Artist Hud Armstrong teams up with Discover Saratoga to come up with each year’s Chowderfest logo concept.


statue appeared in that year’s design. “Last year’s Chowder Tour logo is one of my favorites,” Armstrong says, “because it was such a unique situation with the pandemic and expanding Chowderfest to a week-long event.” To illustrate the “tour” aspect of the 2021 event, he depicted the boy and girl riding down the Northway in a VW van. This year’s

logo features Universal Preservation Hall, which at press time was back to offering in-person events after it closed due to the pandemic right after its grand opening in February 2020. So, while Armstrong may design each year’s Chowderfest logo, does he actually attend the event he spends so much time illustrating? “I come downtown

every year for Chowderfest,” he says. “I find myself sitting in a restaurant, drinking coffee, watching the crowds. It’s amazing that so many people come out in the middle of winter. Cold or snowy— the weather really doesn’t matter. Downtown is busy, businesses do very well, and everyone seems happy.”

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legend

When Boxing Came to Town H E AV Y W E I G H T C H A M P I O N J AC K D E M P S E Y B R O U G H T T H E B OX I N G WO R L D T O S A R AT O G A W H E N H E T R A I N E D AT T H E W H I T E S U L P H U R S P R I N G S H OT E L I N T H E 1 92 0 S .

ne hundred years ago, America’s sports scene was going through something of a golden era. “Roaring” in more ways than one, the ’20s began with the immortalized racehorse Man o’ War winning all 11 of his starts, dizzying turnstiles everywhere he competed. On the diamond, the mighty Babe Ruth clobbered 60 home runs for the New York Yankees in 1927 to lead perhaps the greatest ballclub ever assembled. Football had the renowned Four Horsemen of Notre Dame dominating the collegiate gridiron, while the emerging pro game was being spearheaded by the peerless Red Grange. And then there was Jack Dempsey, arguably the most revered of all the legendary athletes of his era. Boxing’s world heavyweight champion for more than seven years (July 4, 1919 to Sept. 23, 1926), Dempsey powered the sport of professional pugilism through an unprecedented period of popularity. People from all walks of life were fascinated by Dempsey, especially the newspaper scribes who hung on his every word and documented each unleashing of his prodigious fists. Like Man o’ War, the wonder horse that wowed fans at Saratoga Race Course in the early ’20s, Dempsey had an affinity for the Spa City. During his time as heavyweight champ, Dempsey trained for some of his most memorable bouts at the White Sulphur Springs Hotel, which stood on the east side of Saratoga Lake. Built in the 1880s and owned by Thomas C. Luther, White Sulphur Springs was a known haven for fighters in training for several years before Dempsey arrived on the scene. When Dempsey came, however, he brought the proverbial circus to town with him. Some of the country’s top newspapermen—Ring Lardner, Grantland Rice and Damon Runyon, to name a few—were among the thousands who descended

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GEORGE BOLSTER COLLECTION

BY BRIEN BOUYEA


wife of luxury Jack Dempsey and his first wife, Estelle Taylor, at Tom Luther’s training camp on Saratoga Lake in 1926; (opposite) the White Sulphur Springs Hotel.

saratogaliving.com 57


twenties questions It’s a toss-up as to which 1920s athlete with an affinity for Saratoga—The Manassa Mauler or racehorse Man o’ War (seen with Dempsey on the opposite page)—was the greatest of the era.

upon the Saratoga Lake training camp when Dempsey was in town. There was a somewhat comical incident that highlighted the champ’s first stay at White Sulphur Springs: A Daily News reporter named Paul Gallico reckoned that the only way to accurately document Dempsey’s abilities was to climb in the ring and spar with him. Rice wrote that Gallico would “report his impressions for the paper, provided, of course, his head was still hanging on by a thread. In case he was killed, Mr. Gallico was to write nothing but to communicate if possible through Conan Doyle from the spirit world.” “What’s the matter, son?” Dempsey asked Gallico. “Don’t your editor like you no more?”

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According to author Randy Roberts, the 6-foot-3 Gallico “assumed ‘Pose A’ from the Boxer’s Manual” upon entering the ring. Gallico was reported to have surprisingly landed a few successful light jabs on the champ before it all went horribly wrong for the poor writer’s firstperson narrative. “Just when he was beginning to enjoy the sport, everything went black,” Roberts wrote. “When he opened his eyes, he was sitting on the canvas with his legs collapsed under him…grinning idiotically.” Despite the abuse he took in the ring at the hands of Dempsey, Gallico wrote in glowing terms of what he experienced at White Sulphur Springs. He described “the grand, exciting, bawdy atmosphere” and sparring partners with “bent noses and twisted ears.” He noticed “doubtful blonds who wandered in and out of the lay-out of wooden hotel and lake-front bungalows, and blonds about whom there was no doubt at all.” There was Dempsey, “slim, dark-haired, still crinkled nose…dressed in trousers and an old gray sweater, playing checkers on the

porch of his bungalow with a sparring partner.” Gallico wrote that Luther was “always crying and complaining over the Gargantuan pranks of the sportswriters” at his hotel. While Dempsey came to Saratoga already a star, the “Manassa Mauler,” as he came to be known, wasn’t an overnight success. He began to box professionally at age 17 with many of his early fights taking place in mining camps at obscure venues such as Pocatello, ID; Ogden, UT; Tonapah, NV.; and Emeryville, CO. After several years of fighting in the sport’s shadows, Dempsey, at the age of 25, finally received his big break when he fought heavyweight champion Jess Willard on July 4, 1919. The 6-foot1, 187-pound Dempsey gave the 6-foot6, 245-pound Willard, known as the “Pottawatamie Giant,” a whipping for the ages. Dempsey floored the champ seven times in the opening round before finishing him off in the third. Willard, so ferocious he had once killed a man in the ring, suffered a broken jaw, broken

(with Taylor) LIBRARY OF CONGRESS; (in wagon, sparring, with two men) GEORGE BOLSTER COLLECTION

legend


ribs, several broken teeth, and numerous fractures to his facial bones at the hands of Dempsey. Prior to meeting the up-and-comer, Willard had never been knocked down in his career. With his raw power and charismatic personality, several of Dempsey’s subsequent title defenses set financial and attendance records. The champ’s training sessions were packed with scribes and fans all eager to get a glimpse of the emerging icon in action. The ones at Saratoga were no exception. Dempsey’s first training camp at White Sulphur Springs was in 1923. He had already successfully defended the heavyweight title four times when he arrived at Saratoga Lake to prepare for his showdown with Louis Firpo, a fight that became one of the most ballyhooed events in the sport’s annals. Dempsey worked himself into peak condition during his training. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine on Sept. 10,

1923, four days before the bout with Firpo at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Before a crowd of 85,000, Dempsey sent Firpo to the canvas seven times in the first round. Firpo, however, launched Dempsey through the ropes and onto a reporter’s typewriter in the second with a magnificent left hook. Dempsey somehow gathered himself, beat the count, and made it back into the ring before knocking out the challenger with

a vicious stream of heavy shots in the same round. Following the Firpo fight, Dempsey did not defend his title again for three years. Capitalizing on his enormous popularity, the champion became a product pitchman, appeared in films, traveled the world, and put on boxing exhibitions. He also married the famous actress and singer Estelle Taylor, the first of his four wives. Upon his return to the ring in September of 1926, Dempsey lost the title to Gene Tunney on points before a Philadelphia crowd of more than 120,000. Explaining the defeat to his wife, Dempsey famously quipped, “Honey, I forgot to duck.” Dempsey returned to Saratoga Lake in 1927 to train for a July fight against Jack Sharkey. The winner was slated to get a title shot against Tunney later in the year. Dempsey knocked out the future champion Sharkey in the seventh round at Yankee Stadium to set up a

saratogaliving.com 59


it’s training men (top) Dempsey training in front of a crowd at Saratoga Lake; (inset) Dempsey knocked out heavyweight champion Jess Willard to take the title in 1919, four years before he came to train at White Sulphur Springs.

rematch with Tunney at Soldier Field in Chicago on September 22. The second fight with Tunney brought in a record $2 million gate. Dempsey appeared to be closing in on taking back the championship when he knocked Tunney down with a left to the jaw in the seventh round. Dempsey, however, ignored a new rule stating that, upon a knockdown, the standing fighter is required to immediately move to a neutral corner. The referee escorted Dempsey to a corner, buying the dazed Tunney several additional seconds to recover before the count began.

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Even though the official timekeeper clocked Tunney as being down for 14 seconds, the champ got up at the referee’s count of nine. Dempsey was unable to finish Tunney off and the champion went on to prevail by unanimous decision in what is known as “The Long Count Fight.” Dempsey retired following his failed attempt to regain the championship. His final career record was 54 wins, 6 losses,

and 9 draws. He knocked out 44 of his opponents. In 1950, the Associated Press voted Dempsey the greatest fighter of the past 50 years, and he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954. The Manassa Mauler died in 1983 at the age of 87. And what came of the White Sulphur Springs Hotel? Luther sold the place in the ’40s and it was razed in 1957. Throughout its storied history, the hotel played host to several other notables, including famous financier and gambler “Diamond” Jim Brady, actress Lillian Russell, Saratoga Trunk author Edna Ferber, railroad magnate Jay Gould, and even an Italian prince. None of them, however, garnered the public’s adoration the way Jack Dempsey did. And a century later, we haven’t forgotten those two summers Manassa, Colorado’s greatest spent right here in Saratoga Springs.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

legend


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off track SA R ATO GA’S HOT T E ST T I C KE TS

Raffle winner Kelly Smith with Tony Ianniello

Alex Hartman, Victoria Hartman, Duane Nichols, Taylor Nichols, Erica Ziskin, Gina Nichols, Troy Nichols, Tara Wilson

Kimberley Wallace and Jahkeen Hoke

Bob Reed and Ron Gardner

Connie Frances Avila, Maire Masterson, Lisa Mitzen, Stephanie Marotta-Johnson, Alexa Andujar

Natalie Moore, Maddy Halverson, Taylor Nichols, Molly McCormack, Erica Ziskin

saratoga living and CAPITAL REGION LIVING’s

3rd Annual Capital Region Gives Back D E C E M BER 9 AT PUTNAM PL ACE

Tara Buffa, Steve Teabout, Tina Galante

p h otograph y by A LYSSA SA LE R N O

2021 honorees Lisa Mitzen, Taylor Nichols, Bill Trigg, Lois Celeste, JoAnn Pepper, Dennis Moench, Christina Arangio, Ron Gardner, Janet Abrahamson, Rainbow Doemel

Girl Blue performing holiday songs

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Joslyn McArdle, Janet and Neil Abrahamson


Alexia Conroy, Rachel Gerik, JoAnn Pepper, Rosanne Frieri, Bonnie Connors, Dan Milliman

Justin Schinnerer and Aureli Ruggieri

Kolby Doemel and Rainbow Doemel

Jack Knowlton, Anne Costigan, Dorothy Knowlton

Latasha Gardner, Al-Malik Bey, Demetria Canty

Namita Modasra, Chad Rogers, Christina Arangio, Ryan Peterson, Anne Costigan, Michelle Moorhead, Jim Moorhead, Sue Williams

O

(back) Nik Warren, Kathleen McGrath, Patty Brown (front) Kelly Smith, Meaghen Duker, Randy Brown, Eileen Asche

h, what a night. On December 9, saratoga living and CAPITAL REGION LIVING teamed up with 10 local do-gooders to raise money for 10 nonprofits at the 3rd annual Capital Region Gives Back event. And raising money has never been more fun. As guests arrived at Putnam Place, they were treated to a complimentary glass of Prosecco donated by DeCrescente Distributing. They helped themselves to a sprawling buffet of fare from Panza’s, Spring Street Deli, Swifty’s and Sweet Mimi’s; sampled cocktails made with a Keurig Drinkworks machine and cocktail pods, donated by Saratoga Eagle and Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor; and bid in a silent auction. DJ Jason Irwin kept the tunes turning until 7pm, when Girl Blue took the stage to sing some folksy Christmas favorites. Oh, and did we mention the aerialists from Good Karma Studio, who entertained the crowd of 200 from suspended hoops and silks? The evening’s program began at 7:30pm, with NEWS10 ABC anchor Ryan Peterson introducing the 2021 Capital Region Gives Back honorees, each of whom received bouquets by Dehn’s Flowers. Lisa Mitzen, a member of Shelters of Saratoga’s board of directors, won the friendly competition to raise the most money, and received a commemorative plaque and gift card to Seneca Restaurant. Local band StereoSonic took it from there, pausing only for the drawing of the raffle for the Drinkworks machine. In all, Gives Back raised more than $9,000 for the 10 charities, a sum that saratoga living and CAPITAL REGION LIVING owner Tony Ianniello generously matched, bringing the total donation to more than $18,500. saratoga living would like to thank everyone who came out for our 3rd annual Gives Back event. Together, we can keep the vibrant local journalism scene alive.

Annette Quarrier and Jaclyn Shyptycki

Lizzie Hunter, Travis Wilson, Lizzie Schlegel

Sherry Scaringe, Tina Pearl, Lois Celeste

Alyssa Ladzinski from Good Karma Studio

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off track SA R ATO GA’S HOT T E ST T I C KE TS

saratoga living’s

Whiskeys of the World Tasting

First Fill Spirits owners Charles Grabitzky and Holly Seidewand

N OV E M BER 17 AT PUTNAM PL ACE

T Danielle Jegabbi and Wellman Loviza

p h otograph y by A LYSSA SA LE R N O

he city of Saratoga’s collective whiskey IQ shot up a couple points on November 17, as more than 60 whiskey drinkers—some new to the spirit, others veritable connoisseurs—listened intently to First Fill Spirits founders Holly Seidewand and Charles Grabitzky discuss pours from around the globe at saratoga living’s Whiskeys of the World Tasting. As guests arrived, they received a raffle ticket for a private whiskey tasting at First Fill, a goodie bag that included a Whiskeys of the World–branded tasting glass by Saratoga Custom Engraving, and a welcome whiskey—Kojiki from Japan. They helped themselves to charcuterie provided by The Charcutebrie and whiskey-inspired cookies by Cookie-tastic, and found their seats at tables adorned with arrangements by Samantha Nass Floral Design. When Seidewand and Grabitzky took the stage, the room fell silent; the tasting, featuring whiskeys from Scotland, Ireland, the US and Australia, was underway.

Seana Mosher, Elmer Santiago, Paul Hennessey

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Samantha Guerra

Tara Doherty


Saratoga Arts’ 25th Anniversary Celebration

O CTO B ER 21 • at Pines@ SPAC photography by FRANCESCO D’AMICO

SPAC’s Fall Flavor Fusion Five-Course Plant-Based Dinner N OV E MB E R 2 0 • at Pines@SPAC p hoto g ra p hy by LAW RENCE W HITE

Jake’s Help From Heaven’s Annual Cantina Day D E C E MB E R 1 • at CA NTINA

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off track SA RATOGA’S HOT T EST T ICKETS

Veterans & Community Housing Coalition’s Veterans Ball

NOV EMBE R 7 • at the H A L L O F S PR I N G S

The Arthritis Foundation of Northeastern New York’s Jingle Bell Run

DECEM B ER 4 • at HA LFM O O N TOWN PARK

Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist’s HOPE Gala

NOV EM B ER 5 • at SA RATO GA NATIO NA L GO LF CLUB ph otograph y by A RTHUR GO NICK

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home stretch: fashion

|| food & drink || design || book nook || haute property

A Dress to Impress

O UR N E W FAS HION EDITOR PI CKS OUT A GO R GE O U S G R EE N G OW N THAT’ LL MAKE YOUR BRIDESM A I DS SWO O N . p h oto g r aphy by DORI FITZPATRI CK while your wedding dress will obviously be the show-stopper on your big day, that doesn’t mean you can’t dress your besties in dresses that make them look their best, too. Luckily, you can get both—gorgeous white gowns and equally fabulous floor-length bridesmaid dresses—at Franklin Square’s Lily Saratoga. This silky number by Jenny Yoo is perfect for winter weddings; something about the earthy olive green reminds me of evergreen trees and the smell of the best time of the year. The best part? After your girls help you say “I do” in style, they’ll have a gorgeous gown in their closet for their next black-tie affair. Don’t mind if I do. —Heather Thompson

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home stretch: fashion ||

food & drink

I Love Lucy’s

stay golden Zachary’s Daiquiri, which is made with Golden Falernum rum liqueur, is one of the $10 cocktails on Lucy’s Bar’s winter cocktail menu.

if sipping on a stiff drink is your preferred way to keep warm in the winter, head straight to Lucy’s Bar, a creative new craft cocktail joint on Caroline Street. In addition to being popular with the later-night weekenders, the tiny watering hole’s delicious concoctions have quickly made it the hot new spot for the pre- and postFOR BIZ dinner set. “We’re open 5pm to close seven days a week, and the beauty of that is that a mix of people are able to come in and enjoy it,” says owner Lucy Rivas, who opened the bar with co-owners Zach VanEarden, her fiancé, and long-time friend and Whole Harvest owner Kelsey Whalen. The imaginative cocktail menu, which now includes such belly warmers as Express Yourself (the bar has a loose Madonna theme thanks to the bathroom’s Material Girl mural), a sinful espresso martini with a heady hint of chai tea, and the Lucky Lucy, which Rivas admits is one of her favorites. (It’s a gin cocktail made with goodies such as lavender mist.) The entire staff worked together to create the yummy winter cocktail menu. “We had a little get-together, where everyone brought two cocktails and we had a fun contest,” Rivas says. With work assignments like that, no wonder she calls opening the bar “a dream come true.”

OPEN

Lucy’s Groupies

Interested in spending more time at Lucy’s? The bar is looking to add tequila and whiskey tastings, trivia nights and a DJ.

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|| design || book nook || haute property

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F R O M

Y O U R

P E R S P E C T I V E

beauty and the feast The Saratoga BARE will serve Spa City-exclusive menu items such as the Broadway Beaut bowl at its location at 18 Congress Street.

BARE With Us

at press time, Albany-based franchise BARE Blends was set to become Saratoga’s very first vegan restaurant before this magazine reached newsstands. Sure, some other Spa City eateries are herbivorePOWER friendly, but none offer all plants, all the time. And oh, the things BARE Culinary Director Katie McDowell can do with plants. In addition to signature smoothies and bowls, which are made in house with vegan delicacies such cashew cream, BARE offers whimsical waffle toasties, freshpressed juices, and tempeh- and tofutopped specialty salads at its three existing Capital Region locations in Albany, Clifton Park and Latham. “We spent the last three years sharing so many different offerings with our community that we were able to see exactly what kinds of concoctions appeal to our consumers,” says owner Annie Berdar, who first opened BARE in Stuyvesant Plaza in 2018. “The Saratoga menu is a product of that research and my absolute favorite menu to date.” So saddle up, Saratogians, plant-based power lunches are racing your way.

p 518.580.8818 w balzertuck.com

PLANT

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tiers of joy Nothing Bundt Cakes can tier its eight- and 10inch Bundts to create a wedding cake that serves 26 guests.

Super ’Gloos

the chicest restaurant trend to come out of COVID? Outdoor igloos, which give customers the triple benefit of dining al fresco (views for days!), staying warm and social distancing. While The Adelphi Hotel, which ushered in the trend to Saratoga, won’t be offering seatings in its popular snowy-season igloos this winter due to construction, there are still plenty of places to cozy up for a bite in a crystal clear dome. Here are five:

AL FRESCO

Bundt Seriously...

want a wedding cake no one will expect, but (or should we say Bundt?) everyone will love? Look no further than Nothing Bundt Cakes, a national franchise with locally owned locations in Albany and Clifton Park, which serves up exactly what its name suggests. But these doughnut-shaped delicacies aren’t your grandmother’s Bundt cakes: They come in 10 flavors (including carrot, red velvet, pecan praline and a rotating seasonal flavor), and in four sizes (bite-sized Bundtinis, miniature Bundtlets, and eight- and 10-inch Bundt cakes). “Our cakes are very popular for weddings,” says Melissa Gleason, who opened the Albany and Clifton Park Nothing Bundt Cakes bakeries with her husband in 2017 and 2021, respectively. “We can DAY tier our eight-inch cake over our 10-inch cake to serve 26 people, and the cakes can be in any of our flavors. Many couples choose to do the larger cakes in addition to the Bundtinis, which can be ordered by the dozen in any combination of flavors. In addition, our individual bundlets can be wrapped up as favors.” The metaphorical icing on top? In this case, it’s the literal cream cheese icing liberally drizzled on top of every Bundt that Nothing Bundt Cakes bakes. Take that, traditional wedding cakes.

CHEAT

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Nashville of Saratoga

Saratoga Springs details: igloos are first come first served nashvilleofsaratoga.com 518.909.6274

The Queensbury Hotel

Glens Falls details: six people per igloo; $25 igloo rental; reservations required; daily dinner seatings at 5:30pm and 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday lunch seatings at 12:30pm and 2:30pm thequeensburyhotel.com/eat-drink/ outdoor-dining 518.792.1121


2 g re at maga zi n es in 1 pac k ag e !

CAPITAL REGION LIVING

+

crlmag.com @capitalregionliving

The Inn at Erlowest

Lake George details: reservations required; $200 food and beverage minimum on Thursdays and Sundays; $250 food and beverage minimum on Fridays and Saturdays theinnaterlowest.com/dining/ heated-igloos 518.668.5928

The Barrel

Bolton Landing details: six people per igloo; igloos can be reserved for dinner service or Sunday brunch for $20 or will be first come first served if available facebook.com/TheBoltonBarrel 518.240.6118

saratogaliving.com @saratogaliving

Historic Photographs of Saratoga Springs The George S. Bolster Collection

Thousands of historic images of Saratoga Springs are available for purchase

Bolton Landing Brewing Company

Bolton Landing details: igloos are first come first served boltonlandingbrewing.com 518.644.2739

Custom sizes and finishes available Fast turnaround on special orders

The Canfield Casino in Congress Park www.saratogahistory.org 518.584.6920

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yes dice First Fill landed a Tumblin’ Dice single barrel thanks to a well-connected whiskey friend; (left) Seidewand picked out First Fill’s single barrel of Stellum herself.

Hit Single

here at saratoga living we magic of oak,” First Fill co-owner Holly don’t use the word “unique” lightly. Seidewand says. “Oak is very porous, Something’s either one of a kind (i.e. and different parts of the tree have unique) or it’s not. The single-barrel different flavors, and if you’re higher offerings at Washington Street in the warehouse versus lower whiskey shop First Fill Spirits, you’re going to have different however, are, indeed, unique. temperature fluctuations. So all First, a lesson in the art of of those little nuances produce HOUR whiskey production. During different flavors.” the whiskey-making process, a Typically, when all that whiskey distillery will fill hundreds of oak barrels, has matured, it’s mixed together, bottled, or casks, with whiskey from the same and sent out to liquor stores. But before distillation run. That whiskey will sit in that happens, some whiskey VIPs (like the oak casks for however many years, Seidewand and her business partner, and eventually, the whiskey that comes Charles Grabitzky) can get their hands from each barrel will wind up tasting on a single barrel—one single cask that a little bit different. “It’s kind of the is utterly unique. “Think of whiskey like

HAPPY

Stellum Bourbon MASH BILL:

75% Corn / 21% Rye / 4% Malted Barley barrel: Lyra, K3 180 Bottles 60.91% ABV 5 Years Old $55.99

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first fill’s tasting notes: Baked apples, orange creamsicle, luxardo cherries, roasted chocolate and a dash of earthy spice. The palate is warming spice, chai spice with a lot of viscosity. Toffee, coffee and chocolate on the finish. The finish bounces from honey to spice and lasts a long time.

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an orchestra,” Seidewand says. “You have a violin, you have a cello, you have all these instruments that play in an orchestra. A soloist would be when you take one person out and you get to let them shine on their own. That’s basically what a single barrel is.” At press time, First Fill had three single-barrel selections for sale in the shop—Starward Whiskey (which was expected to sell out in January), Stellum Bourbon and Tumblin’ Dice Bourbon. And more single barrels are coming down the pipeline. First Fill even helps companies and corporate entities select their own single barrel, which can then be bottled with their name on the label. “The beauty of single casks,” Seidwand says, “is that you get to find the perfect one for you. But once it’s gone, it’s gone, because that one single cask will never exist again.” Talk about unique.

Tumblin’ Dice Bourbon MASH BILL:

60% Corn / 36% Rye / 4% Malted Barley barrel: # 20 228 Bottles 59.01% ABV 5 Years Old $57.99

first fill’s tasting notes: Chocolate-covered toffee with a dash of cinnamon, Honey, oak and caramel. The palate is herbal with baking spices and sweetness, citrus, toffee and oak. The finish has baking spice, cloves and honey.


PERSONLIZED GIFTS

WEDDINGS ANNIVERSARIES BIRTHDAYS GRADUATION HOLIDAYS SOUVENIERS TEACHER APPRECIATION

BULK ORDERS

LOGO BRANDING PROMOTIONAL ITEMS CUSTOMER & EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION CUSTOM ENGRAVING BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS WEDDING/SHOWER FAVORS EVENT SWAG BAGS

SARATOGA

commitment issues Instead of pouring just one varietal or spirit per evening, there is always a variety of wines to choose from at Women’s Wine Club meetings.

Red, White and Social

the adelphi’s women’s Wine Club has come roaring back with a vino-soaked vengeance after taking an extended break due to COVID. Originally conjured up as a semi-serious, private tasting society, the group has morphed into a sophisticated (and opento-the-public) social club. The new format is loose: a welcome bubbly such as The Adelphi’s own champagne, a heaping spread of food for grazing, loads of bottles of wine to choose from, and a 15-minute educational piece with a local spirits expert—when that works out. “It’s slightly different each time,” says the hotel’s general manager, Helen Watson, who founded the club. “And the new format allows us to partner with great local women.” The club welcomed Lisa Elovich, the beloved owner of One With Life Organic Tequila, in the fall, and will give whiskey guru Holly Seidewand, co-owner of the new downtown shop First Fill Spirits, the floor on January 19. The group meets one Wednesday a month (check theadelphihotel. com for details), and solo sippers are welcome. “I’m there to facilitate introductions,” Watson says. “Before COVID, many club members met a lot of friends there. Some are new to town, a lot own their own businesses We’re getting back to that.”

BY THE GLASS

EMAIL, MESSAGE, CALL OR STOP IN TO START PLANNING YOUR NEXT GIFT IDEA OR PROJECT FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @SARATOGACUSTOMENGRAVING

81 RAILROAD PLACE WWW.SARATOGACUSTOMENGRAVING.COM

518.450.7032

INFO@SARATOGACUSTOMENGRAVING.COM

dorifitzpatrick.com hello@dorifitzpatrick.com

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stocking up Whoever said the stockings have to come down right after Christmas?

Dis Mantel

SA R ATO GIA N LA RA WATRO’ S MANTEL IS A N E V E R - CHA N G I NG DESIGN MASTERPIEC E . BY NATALIE MOORE

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if you’re looking to redecorate and don’t know where to start, your mantel is a great first task: It’s a fairly small area, is relatively contained and offers all sorts of opportunities for stacking, hanging, leaning, draping and layering décor every which way. This gorgeous mantel comes to us from the home of Saratogian Lara Watro, the interior design genius behind the @peoniesandtwine Instagram account. For Watro, every decorating project is a work in progress, as is evidenced by her daily posts featuring her ever-evolving (and always gorgeous) Saratoga home. This particular mantel treatment has recently undergone several iterations leading up to and directly following Christmas—one with just a simple strand of garland, one with a nativity scene drawn on an oversized chalkboard in place of the mirror, a few with mini rust and white Christmas trees. “I initially didn’t feel excited about this mantel,” the influencer confessed in a post from November 21. “So I sat back, I grabbed my coffee and stared a while. I got back up and added a few more things.” For now, her wintery scene makes good use of her fashionable stockings, and a golden, greenery-stuffed vase and garland remain vaguely Christmas-y, elongating her home’s holiday cheer. Eventually, even the stockings will be put back in storage and the garland will be deconstructed. And the cycle will begin anew.


Cheers to 2022! PURDY’S Discount Wine & Liquor

70–72 Congress Plaza Saratoga Springs 518.584.5400

Start with Quality...

Saratoga Quality Hardware 110 Excelsior Avenue Saratoga Springs 518-584-9180 SaratogaQualityHardware.com

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Lit Local Literature

HOT R E A DS FOR COL D WINTER NI GH TS BY AU T H O R S WI T H ST R O N G SA R ATO GA T I ES . BY B E N JA M I N LE R N E R

I K N OW T H I S LOOKS BAD

it’s the perfect time to plunge headfirst into a riveting cold case mystery novel. The latest entry in beloved Saratoga County– based author and longtime NewsChannel 13 anchor Phil Bayly’s Murder on Skis Mystery series, Back Dirt finds the series’ protagonist, JC Snow, embarking on another enthralling adventure. As Snow traces the trail of a murdered archaeologist, he heads into the heart of Adirondack ski country near Lake Placid to pursue a promising lead. Chock full of exhilarating twists and turns, Bayly’s latest novel is every bit as exciting and fulfilling as a spirited day on the Adirondack slopes.

By John Oliver (JPV Oliver, Gent) For a humorous and reflective autobiographical romp, look no further than Saratoga Springs resident John Oliver’s debut book, I Know This Looks Bad: Errors and Graces in a Louche Life. Through a series of witty vignettes, the self-aware Oliver takes his readers along for an enjoyable ride as he recounts his triumphs and misadventures in the worlds of academia and corporate business. Though I Know This Looks Bad is replete with sardonically irreverent commentary, several touching tributes to people who positively impacted his life’s trajectory add emotional depth to his entertaining memoir.

STRANGE APPETITES By Lâle Davidson Saratogian Lâle Davidson’s Strange Appetites is a surreal and magical collection of stories. Davidson, an accomplished professor who has taught writing and public speaking at SUNY Adirondack for nearly 30 years, lets her mastery of language shine through in beautiful ways throughout her series of evocative allegorical tales, embodying familiar themes of loneliness, envy and romantic insecurity and creating an atmosphere of ethereal mystique.

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T H E N E C K L AC E By Matt Witten

The poignant metaphors that underlie Davidson’s stories serve as powerful catalysts for personal growth and reflection, prompting her readers to dive inward as they ponder the true meaning of intimacy and transcendence.

B AC K D I R T: A MURDER ON S K I S MYST E RY By Phil Bayly With the winter season in full swing,

Wintertime ennui got you down? Pick up a copy of The Necklace by former Saratoga resident Matt Witten—and say goodbye to your cabin fever. Set in Lake Luzerne, this fast-paced thriller tells the story of a small-town waitress who is fighting to prove the innocence of the man accused of killing her daughter. In addition to several other compelling mystery novels set in Saratoga Springs, Witten has also written for powerhouse TV shows such as Law & Order, House and Pretty Little Liars. For The Necklace, he again draws on his personal experiences in the greater Saratoga region to craft a captivating page-turner.


Photos by: Jay Zhang and David Bigler

CHOOSE LOVE,

Choose Saratoga

Wedding Assistance

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10% discount to downtown businesses

We know love as well as we know Saratoga! Ask us about our FREE concierge services.

kayla@discoversaratoga.org | 518-584-1531 | discoversaratoga.org/weddings

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Winter Ready

THIS BEAUTI FUL CUSTOM H OM E , LO CAT E D J U ST M I N U T E S F R O M DOWN TOWN , IS A BOUT TO BECOME ITS NE XT OWN E R’S P R I VAT E WI N T E R WO N DE R LA N D. BY A B BY T E GN E LI A

sledding go The house’s 2.74 acres has plenty of land for sledding once the snow hits; (below) Witt Construction’s open floor plan was designed for entertaining.

this sprawling stunner located in the Cherry Hills neighborhood off Lake Ave enjoys the best of what Saratoga has to offer. While being just minutes from downtown, the 2.74-acre lot’s positioning and surrounding landscape envelope the home in privacy. That means, when the snow flies this winter, this property will be become nothing short of a serene winter escape. “The mature landscaping surrounding the home is beautifully maintained,” says Tina Nigro, NYS Lic. Real Estate Salesperson for Julie & Co. and the home’s listing agent (at press time, its sale was pended). “The slope in the backyard reminds me of winter sleigh rides and roasting marshmallows in the fire pit on the patio.” Inside, the custom four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home—built

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inside out Tina Nigro, the house’s listing agent, loves this home for all of its potential for entertaining, both inside the house and outside on the deck and sprawling lawn.

by Witt Construction and listed at $1.125 million—boasts an in-law unit on the lower level and a beautiful interior. All of the main house’s bedrooms are located on the second floor, with the primary bedroom boasting a spaworthy bathroom with his-and-her vanities, a sunken tub, a bidet and a large stone steam shower. Downstairs, you’ll find cathedral ceilings, French doors, gorgeous bay windows, storm windows and a wine cooler. “I fell in love with this house when I saw the interior detail throughout the home and the open floor plan,” Nigro says. “Not to mention the location at the top of the cul de sac is very inviting due to its privacy for entertaining family and friends.” And did we mention this house was built for entertaining? Kids will love the game room; there’s also a gas grill, deck, patio and screened-in porch. The exterior of the home is beautifully done, made of stone and stucco with vinyl siding. Car enthusiasts will have their eye on the detached two-car garage (and the attached two-car garage) which has above dry storage accessible via pull-down stairs. And the house has a ton of convenient storage areas, too. “This house,” Nigro says, “is so special.”

detail therapy (clockwise, from above) The interior detail shines in the dining room; spaworthy sunken tub; kitchen; and wine cooler; the deck boasts a grill and other accoutrements for outdoor fun.

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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION

Osteria Danny

R

un by Executive Chef Danny Petrosino and his wife, Patti, Osteria Danny specializes in Italian-American cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity and creative development. As such, the menu is updated frequently to encompass new culinary concepts and locally sourced ingredients whenever they are available. Although the menu is continuously evolving with the creative will of Chef Danny, the original recipes remain a pivotal influence on the dishes that Osteria Danny produces. Open 5-9pm Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 5-10pm Friday and Saturday.

Flatbread Social

W

hether you’re in the mood for a romantic night out, dinner with a large group or a meal you and your kids will love, Flatbread Social is the place for you. The Henry Street restaurant is known for its fun atmosphere (shuffleboard, for the win!), wood-fired flatbreads (try the “Kick in Your Pants Pie”), and insanely good cocktails (the boozy winter menu is out now). Flatbread also serves craft beer and wine, plus has a great happy hour, too. Open 4-9pM Tuesday-Thursday; 4-10pm Friday; noon-10pm Saturday; noon-8pm Sunday. 84 HENRY ST, SARATOGA SPRINGS flatbread.social 518.886.1198

26 HENRY ST, SARATOGA SPRINGS osteriadanny.com 518.423.7022

Dunning Street Station

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ocated about ten minutes from Downtown Saratoga Springs just off Exit 13S, Dunning Street Station is known for its laid-back environment and front-ofmind customer service. Chef Bruce Jacobson, formerly of Lake Ridge Restaurant, has curated an impressive menu, featuring many Italian-inspired classics with a twist. All food is cooked to order and available for dine-in in the restaurant’s three dining rooms or for takeout. Add in plenty of parking, ample space at the bar and a daily happy hour from 3-6pm, and Dunning Street Station is a winning option for a night out. Open 3-9pm Tuesday-Saturday. 2853 STATE HWY 9, MALTA dunningstreetstation.com

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The Hideaway

I

t may be called “The Hideaway,” but it’s no secret that Saratoga Lake Golf Club’s onsite restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy drinks or dinner all year long. Whether you’re looking to cozy up to the bar for a light snack and a cocktail, sit by the big stone fireplace for an intimate dinner, or enjoy brunch with a view, The Hideaway has you covered. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for daily specials, craft beer offerings, special events and more. Open 11am-9pm Monday-Friday; 9am-9pm Saturday-Sunday. 35 GRACE MOORE RD, SARATOGA SPRINGS hideawaysaratoga.com 518.306.1900


{ horseplay }

Souped Up BY N ATA L I E M O O R E ACROSS 1. Consumer protection org. 4. Thunder sound 8. Out of shape 13. Namesake of a Round Lake bakery 14. Prefix for dynamic 15. Food, water and shelter, for three 16. Jarred meat products* 18. Cybertruck manufacturer 19. Vermont ski resort 20. Time period 22. Norse god of war 23. Malfoy family house elf 27. Abbr. in some addresses 29. ___ of Green Gables 32. French stuffed pastry balls* 37. French fragrance retailer 38. French for “it is” 39. Apply, as a force 40. Dict. listing 41. Nation with the 7th largest GDP per capita 42. Rereleased Taylor Swift album 44. “Your love life’s ___” 45. Resident of Park City, for one 47. Beard base 49. “The stockings were ___ by the chimney with care”

50. Hasbro’s Mr. or Mrs.* 52. Chooses (for) 53. Director Gibson 54. Defy 56. One calling for strikes, for short? 59. 6-pointers in the NFL 61. Percussion performance group 65. Bottom of a compass rose 67. Classic New England festivities* 71. Bert’s pal 72. Piece of matter 73. Singer Perry 74. Dissuade 75. LA hotspot 76. Repeated word in Hammurabi’s code DOWN 1. Musician collab abbr. 2. ___ Bell 3. Dish made with the first words of the starred clues 4. Taxi 5. Luau accessory 6. High school elective 7. Show starring Billy Porter 8. Not yet fulfilled, as one’s potential 9. Word used before one’s maiden name 10. Apt ending for 3-Down, especially in Saratoga 11. In an inactive way 12. Russian emperor of old

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36. Male deer 41. Release, as an animal from a rope or chain 43. Prefix meaning within 46. Word before radio or sandwich 48. Playboy’s Hugh, to friends 49. Piece of juicy commentary 51. ___ Maid (card game) 55. Common cable connection 56. Opposite of new

overheard “he looks

cake way more like “is cheese lin manuel miranda ” ? decaf indoors.” NG KETTLE

–THE WHISTLI

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57. ___ Gore (ski mountain tagline) 58. Football move actually involving one’s foot 60. MRI, for one 62. Give the go-ahead 63. Dispense (out) 64. “Gangnam Style” singer 66. Groom’s garb 68. Burger order options, for short 69. MSN competitor 70. Conor McGregor’s sport, for short ANSWERS ON saratogaliving.com SEARCH: CROSSWORD

“you drank two days yesterday.” –UNIFIED BEERWORKS

–IMPACT ATHLETIC CENTER

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Introducing saratoga living After Hours

i’ve spent the majority so far include a (gossipy) of my life avoiding water look at Saratoga’s youth at all costs—falling into it, flag football league, the swimming in it, getting it greatest Adirondack love D I V E I N T O S A R A T O G A S U B C U LT U R E in my eyes, etc. And so story ever told, what really it came as quite the surprise went down at SPAC’s Fall WITH US, WON’T YOU? to those who know me Flavor Fusion dinner, and when one day, out of the blue, I became one of those people even a Night Before Christmas–inspired ode to Thanksgiving who goes swimming at the Saratoga YMCA pool. Eve on Caroline Street. Future posts will (hopefully) include While what physically got me in the pool was a surprisingly an exposé on Blade—bringer of pizza, lover of The Beatles, pleasant experience treading water in Lake George after our former owner of spider monkeys—whom I first heard about at boat sank (it’s not nearly as extreme as it sounds), what kept the aforementioned SPAC dinner and whom I first met at Tap me coming back for more was what Marcella Hammer, another and Barrel on the aforementioned Thanksgiving Eve. one of those people who goes swimming at the Saratoga If all that content is exactly what you think Saratoga has YMCA pool, calls the “blissful time where you have an almostbeen missing, you can subscribe to saratoga living empty pool and just a bunch of hairy old white guys sitting in After Hours at saratogaliving.substack.com. You’ll have the hot tub doing old white man talk.” In other words, I fell in the option to sign up for free, but, after you decide that love with the low-stakes, no-one-cares-if-you-actually-knowyou love what you’re reading, we hope you’ll consider how-to-swim atmosphere that is the Y pool after 7pm. upgrading to a paid subscription, because, you know, Clearly, I could go on and on about the glories of the #SupportLocalJournalism. If you have an idea for a future Spa City’s best-kept secret. And I do, in a blog-ish post SLAH post, shoot me an email at editorial@saratogaliving. titled “Vibe Check” on Saratoga Living After Hours, a new com. And Blade, if you’re reading this, we will meet again. newsletter on a platform called Substack that the saratoga living team launched in an effort to uncover every stone of Saratoga subculture. (Forget everything you think you know Natalie Moore about the term “newsletter”—this isn’t that.) Posts published Director of Content

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