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Happy Holidays

Holiday 2017 Complimentary

from our family to yours!




2018 GMC Terrain Denali

The all-new 2018 Terrain Denali is the ultimate expression of the groundbreaking Terrain. Bold styling, a powerful stance and exclusive features such as LED headlamps, 19” wheels and the multidimensional Denali grille announce the next chapter of design from GMC, and set a whole standard for compact SUVs. From exclusive Denali styling to its flexible, spacious cargo area, to the very latest in entertainment and technology, Terrain Denali’s interior makes every trip a trip worth taking. To help you avoid collisions, Terrain Denali comes with a suite of intuitive driver-assist and safety technologies, including Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Rear Vision Camera. The all-new Terrain Denali compact luxury SUV offers standard navigation and advanced technology to keep you connected to a world of information, communication and entertainment like never before.


At Mangino Buick GMC we take an approach to customer service that is second to none. We are family owned and operated and have been serving the Saratoga County market for 39 years. Centrally located in Ballston Spa, we live in the community, do business in the community, and we are committed to the community. I personally invite you to stop in and check out our huge selection of new and used cars and truck.


Ralph Mangino Jr.







Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty General Manager Robin Mitchell Creative Director/ Managing Editor Chris Vallone Bushee Graphic Designer Samantha Nock Advertising Designer Morgan Rook Advertising Sales Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Contributing Writers

Carly Beckwith Samantha Bosshart Peter Bowden Jenna Burger Nancy Castillo Jodie Fitz Marcie Fraser Dennis G. Hogan Carol Godette Himanee Gupta-Carlson Juergen Klingenberg Charlie Kuenzel Meghan Lemery Fritz Megin Potter John Reardon Theresa St. John Jordana Turcotte Maureen Werther


Blackburn Portrait Design Jenna Burger Nancy Castillo Jim Gupta-Carlson Pattie Garrett Randall Perry Photography Rob Spring Photography Evan Sung The George Bolster Collection Tracey Buyce Photography

Published by

Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 | fax: (518) 581-2487

Simply Saratoga is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2017, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper



From The Editor

Hopefully we all have many things in common to be thankful for, not just this time of year, but all year through… Good health, fulfilling relationships, security, values we can seek solace in …and maybe being a pack-rat?

I love the fact that I’m sentimental and don’t throw things away. My parents left the island and “moved upstate” when I was just a child, and my mother was one of six (with four girls!) and we all wrote to each other to stay in touch. If you flip to the back page, you’ll see just a few of the letters I’ve saved over the years. I recognize the handwriting immediately and I can still hear their voices in my head, what a wonderful gift. Yes, I’m blessed with much to be thankful for, and being a pack-rat with boxes of memories tucked away on a shelf is just one of them. Speaking of “this time of year” I hope you find a nice mix of everything you need in a holiday issue… Awesome home décor, new recipes for family meals (and Italian Christmas cookies!), delightful stories to read over a hot cup of coffee and shopping ideas galore – even for your picky teens! Personally, I think we have… simply the best… Buy Local section for your holiday shopping. I love this group of local artisans and whether you’re seeing them around town, at a craft fair or online, please mention us by name when shopping. J

Thanks to Diane Palma for Mrs. Mullan’s hair & makeup!

If you’ve ever picked up a copy of Simply Saratoga magazine, you know I love it when I get to introduce you to interesting people around town. One of our loyal advertisers - who has been with us for years suggested we should take a look at his family’s legacy to the Saratoga area. What a pleasure it was to meet Tom Mullan’s mother and hear stories of three generations of family members who have served the Saratoga Springs Police Department. I hope you enjoy meeting the Mullan family as much as I did. (page 73)

I loved putting this issue together, and must congratulate my designer for doing such a fantastic job, as she was majorly distracted… with that beautiful mountaintop wedding and honeymoon to Iceland - in the middle of our production schedule! Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Nock… Looking forward to seeing the photos – in the fall issue of Saratoga BRIDE magazine - yes, we’re doing two issues yearly, starting in 2018!! ©YTK Photography

Samantha & Andrew Nock believe warm weather honeymoons are for sissies

As always, I must close with a big Thank You to all our readers and advertisers, without them, Saratoga TODAY couldn’t continue to offer these beautiful publications - free of charge to the thousands that read them each issue - please mention us by name when visiting these businesses. Keep those comments and story ideas coming in… I love hearing from you! You can contact me at or (518) 581-2480 x 201

I wish you all... Happy Holidays & a Blessed New Y ear! Cover photo by Blackburn Portrait Design See more on page 120!

Speaking of the local police department… For all of you who miss seeing this guy around town, you’ll be happy to know, he’s okay – he just retired (lucky guy!) - as well as one other member of the Saratoga Springs Police Department’s Mounted Patrol, no, not King Tut, but Jupiter. Luckily, Officer John Sesselman got to spend some time training Jupiter’s replacement before he retired, and if you haven’t met the new police horse yet, let us introduce you (page 65).


Chris Vallone Bushee Creative Director/ Managing Editor (518) 581-2480 ext.201

© Tracey Buyce Photography

Officer Glenn Barrett with his son (and King Tut) during our photo shoot - too cute not to use!



CONTRIBUTORS CARLY BECKWITH Carly is our newest intern, a senior at Saratoga Springs High School. She lives in Wilton, but hopes to end up in a city for college, to study creative writing, as she aspires to become an author-turned-screenwriter. Besides writing, she dances in her free time at Class Act—jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical. She also keeps busy with her job at Saratoga Saddlery (& International Boutique). Carly is very excited about being published with us!

SAMANTHA BOSSHART Samantha Bosshart joined the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation in 2008. As Executive Director, she advocates for the preservation of the unique architecture and rich heritage of Saratoga Springs. Samantha previously worked at Historic Albany Foundation and Galveston Historical Foundation. Samantha completed her coursework for a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University.

PETER BOWDEN Peter has been the region's go-to garden guy for over 35 years. His knack for practical and concise explanations has served him well during his 20-year tenure as WRGB’s garden guy. He is an artist and avid photographer whose images have appeared in textbooks, magazines and travel guides. Peter lives with his wife, Sharon and their pets in an old house in the country.

JENNA BURGER Jenna Burger is a local Interior Designer, Blogger, Bargain Hunter, and avid DIYer who strives to inspire and empower others with her high-end look for less design approach. She shares daily inspiration and DIY projects on her blog, and delivers smart, stylish, and sophisticated design solutions to fit the needs and visions for each client’s space. Visit Jenna at

NANCY CASTILLO Nancy is a co-owner of our local Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop, located off Exit 15 of the Northway. She writes The Zen Birdfeeder blog and has had her writing and photography published in BirdWatcher’s Digest and Watching Backyard Birds. You can occasionally hear her answering questions about birds on the WAMC VoxPop call-in program. Nancy and her spouse enjoy watching birds at their feeders from their log home west of Saratoga.

JODIE FITZ Jodie Fitz is a wife, working mother of three and the creator of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club. She released two cookbooks in 2015; The Chaotic Kitchen; a collection of recipes to help make the lives of busy families just a little bit easier when it comes to mealtime & Cooking Up Fun; designed to get kids taste testing & experimenting with foods.

MARCIE FRASER Marcie Fraser, fitness and nutrition expert is now a doctor! Marcie has obtained her doctorate in Public Health. She has expanded her career and is available for motivational seminars for corporations. Marcie teaches companies how to improve morale, increase productivity and decrease sick time. Marcie provides stress management through cognitive awareness, nutrition and exercise, she is considered by many clients the Food and Exercise Therapist. Email Marcie at

CAROL GODETTE Born and raised in Saratoga Springs, Carol Godette’s fascination with neighborhood stores began at age 11 when she frequented Rowland’s. A passionate educator, Godette taught elementary school in the Saratoga School District for 31 years. Carol is a co-owner of the local Ben & Jerry’s franchise. Godette and her husband live in her childhood home where they raised their two children. She welcomes your comments and stories/photos on neighborhood stores via email:


HIMANEE GUPTA-CARLSON Empire State College professor Himanee Gupta-Carlson grows vegetables and raises chickens, ducks and goats with her husband Jim at Squashville Farm in Greenfield Center. She writes and edits articles on the Saratoga Farmers’ Market for Saratoga Today, and coordinates a community garden and farm-to-pantry food donation program for the Franklin Community Center. Her book Muncie, India(na), on growing up as the child of immigrant Indians will be released next year.

DENNIS G. HOGAN Dennis G. Hogan was born in New York City and his story is a common one: his dad took him to Saratoga Race Course as a boy and he’s returned every year since. He is a writer and photographer with an appreciation for Thoroughbreds. He has previously written for ThoroFan and is a regular contributor to Equicurean Magazine. He lives in Westchester County, NY.

CHARLIE KUENZEL Charlie Kuenzel is a native Saratogian who spent 36 years as a Science educator in the Saratoga School District before retiring 6 years ago. Charlie, along with Dave Patterson are the co-owners of Saratoga Tours LLC who for the past 16 years have educated and entertained thousands of visitors to the city with stories to tell the exciting history of our great city.

MEGHAN LEMERY FRITZ Meghan is a native of the Glens Falls Saratoga region. Her passion is to provide her clients and readers with the tools necessary to live a life grounded in peace and emotional well-being. She is an author and writer for various publications in Upstate NY and State College, PA. She is also the co-host for a monthly radio segment focused on how to improve relationships. She currently resides in State College, PA where she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.

MEGIN POTTER Megin is an expressive writer and artist with work published in books, newspapers, corporate communications and online. A resident of the region for over 20 years, she continues to discover anew the interesting people, places and products it has to offer. As a mother to her active young son, she is inspired to explore even more.

THERESA ST. JOHN Theresa is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Saratoga Springs. Even though history was not on her radar while in high school, she has a deep interest in all things historical now. She has been on assignment for several magazines and is published in both print and online venues. Last year she traveled to Ireland on assignment, which, she states " was a trip of a lifetime." She is the proud mom to two young men and Nonnie to six rescued dogs, two chinchillas, and a bird. Life is good, she says.

JORDANA TURCOTTE Jordana Turcotte is a lifelong New Yorker and a Saratoga County resident since graduating from RPI. After staying at home for a bit with her children (now 10 and 8), she decided on the “rest of her life job” as Professional Organizer. Starting Simply You in 2008 fulfills a passion for organizing. When she isn’t organizing, you’ll find her volunteering at her kids’ school, being Mommy chauffeur or hanging out with her two rescue dogs.

MAUREEN WERTHER Maureen Werther is the owner of WriteForYou, a professional freelance writing service specializing in business writing, web and blog content, and creative non-fiction. Her articles, essays and white papers appear on the pages of businesses on the web and around the globe. She is also a regular contributor to numerous newspapers, magazines and journals throughout the Capital Region. She is the author of a soon to be published book, “Them That Has, Gets,” the story of historical 1790’s estate in Schroon Lake and the colorful history of its owners. Currently, she is working on a memoir detailing her roller-coaster adventures as owner of Pie ala Moe, a gourmet pie and tart company she started in 2008, in the midst of the recession.




65 The Holidays!

Home & Garden

A Good Read

History 133



Buy Local


Start with these thirteen local artisans we’ve hand-picked for you!


It feels good to give…


If you sent your Baby’s 1st Christmas photo


And we’ve chosen a few organizations to feature

flip here first!

45 More local gift giving ideas! 108 Home for the Holidays

Interior Designer + Blogger Jenna Burger tours her home and gives us tons of DIY inspiration for holiday decorating!

114 Jodi Fitz makes entertaining easy!

Sides, desserts & what to do with all the leftover turkey!

100 Architecturally Speaking

Our Holiday 2017 home belongs to... Interior Designer Elizabeth Tanny – come inside with us!

112 Jordana Turcotte...

Advice for all homeowners

130 (Winter) Gardening

Read their story on page 77

120 Eat, Drink and Be Merry...

& Lake Ridge Restaurant

Whether you’re looking for drinks and apps or dinner and conversation, these guys have something for everyone!

60 Preserving Saratoga

A Queen Anne Jewel

65 Changing of the Guard

Meet the newest member of the SSPD Mounted Patrol

With Peter Bowden

73 Generations of Service

With Nancy Castillo

77 The New Faces of Farming

131 Birdwatching

118 Recipes from Owl Wood Farm

54 Dunning Street Station

Meet the Mullan Family

81 Pitney Meadows Community Farm

For Italian Christmas Cookies and John Reardon shares his Mother’s recipe with us!

88 Dr. Marcie Fraser

143 Save the Date...

With Dennis G. Hogan

134 Sixth in Carol Godette's series

Broadway was reinventing itself and N. Fox's contribution to that effort

140 Charlie Kuenzel looks back on... The Blizzard of 1888 and the Toboggin Runs

141 Rarely Seen Photos…

From The George S. Bolster Collection

Mark Bascom & Lindsay Fisk of Owl Wood Farm (Their recipes for your holiday table are on page 118!)

Eight pages of holiday entertaining inspiration!

128 'Tis the season...

132 Post Time Memories

How it started, where they’re going…

84 Meghan Lemery

Gives great advice

Helps us rethink holiday eating

Holiday activities for all!




Saratoga Buys LOCAL by Juergen Klingenberg

Have you ever really given thought to the impact of what happens when you make a conscious effort to “think and buy local”? I’m not just talking about patronizing your local farmer or browsing the community farmers market on a weekend. I’m talking about the hundreds of locally owned small retailers which populate almost every mini-strip mall around our towns and communities. Some of them may see a blip of business during the summer tourism season, but most depend year round on the traffic of local patrons like you. Each day, without thought we commute to work and probably pass any number locally-owned businesses, coffee shops, gift shops, auto repair centers or that corner bakery. Just look around as you drive to work today or on your next trip to the super giant box store, you’ll see what I’m talking about. These are your neighbors, friends and community activists; they need and appreciate your support. I know that within minutes of my house in Ballston Spa, there is an independent toy store that has bailed

me out with a last-minute birthday gift more than a few times. The knowledgeable proprietors peddle dolls to German-engineered wind-up trains, bug-collection kits to theatrical costumes. Perhaps more important than their inventory, they’ve kept alive that elusive remnant of the retail experience-service. They gift wrap for free yearround. “Local shopping” is a conscientious effort to patronize independents, or locally owned businesses, over chain stores when it’s possible to do so. We believe that the true comparison between independent businesses and chains is about “overall value”, not just price. There are other factors, such as service, selection, durability. You have to look at the lifespan of products before determining whether they are more expensive than at chain stores where higher sales volume tends to lower price tags. Your decision to buy locally should be a lifestyle choice that reflects a commitment to the community.



Buy Local Body Lotion $24

Mineral Body Soak $26

Bath Bubbles $26

Body Wash $24

Body Scrub $26

Saratoga Bath co. Photos by

It’s an enchanting experience that brings to mind the time when Victoria Pool’s architecture and the Hall of Spring’s glamourous marble features and glistening chandeliers were constructed. “I walk it. I live it. I believe in it. I’m sorry I wasn’t here to experience it,” said Kane.

REBECCA KANE Take a dash of decadence; lavishly add-in an aura of romance, sprinkle it with splendor, and you’ll discover the scent of Saratoga’s gilded age. Opulently beautiful and organic, Saratoga Bath Company products invite you to experience what a charmed bath-time ritual can be.

Bringing Beauty Back to Bathing Water resonates in the heart of Rebecca Kane. At bath-time as a young girl, she remembers the delight of diligently bringing her foot stool over and reaching on tippy toe to that special place where the Avon Cinderella Slipper Soaps were kept. 18  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

Saratoga Bath Company’s classic collection features a body lotion, wash, soak, scrub, and bubbles, made in New York, with top-grade pure essential oils and highly effective raw botanicals. Under the graceful elegance of a black label, a long-lasting unisex scent softly invites you to breathe in deeply. “It was when people took time (not everything was disposable). People stopped for a minute and really enjoyed. They took a moment out for themselves,” said Kane.

Where Springs Flow, Beauty Blossoms A rhapsody of bubbles and a body scrub that feels like silk are just the latest fruits of Kane’s love affair with Saratoga and its waters. Memories of splashing in the city’s springs inspired her 2016 Living Waters photography collection, pieces of which are still on display at the Roosevelt Baths, the Gideon Putnam, and the AMP Galleries. A jewelry line of affordable silver-plated necklaces, bracelets, and earrings inspired by

the waters came next. The Springs Collection, to be released Summer 2018 by the Saratoga Bath Company, explores the healing properties of the springs by connecting them to certain scents in order to balance the chakras and promote well-being. “Finding the springs and shooting it saved my life. The support this community has around the arts filled me back up with belief that I can do anything I put my mind to,” said Kane.

Exquisite Nourishment It is truly beautiful to empower a dream. That is Saratoga’s golden ticket. “It’s been an amazing journey. When something challenges me now, it doesn’t derail me because I can look behind me and see how far I’ve come,” said Kane. The glorious privilege of feeling accepted inspires the Saratoga Bath Company Bella Epoque Robe Collection. These one-of-a-kind designer robes surround you with ultimate luxury. “This whole company, I’m using the products to get a message out of self-love and what true beauty is. It’s about bringing everyone together. Everyone bathes,” said Kane. Give the gift of organic luxury with Saratoga Bath Company products. Available at FINDS Boutique, 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs and online at


Buy Local ALL BOARDS UNDER $50! Simply Saratoga readers… use code Simply15 for 15% OFF your holiday purchases!

Saratoga Hardwoods “I enjoy creating and crafting, looking at the beauty of the wood itself,” said Shane Forguites. He builds small furniture items for around the house and cutting boards as Christmas gifts from trees that had fallen down during a storm, Forguites discovered the usefulness and affordability that working with sustainable wood offers.

From A Unique Perspective

SHANE FORGUITES As practical as it is artistic, a beautifully crafted cutting board gives your food a great place to start. The grains within a piece of wood are like the wrinkles on a person’s face; they are emblems of weather, character, and resilience. Each is unique to the individual, and worthy of appreciation.


This year, Forguites launched Saratoga Hardwoods, a collection of salvaged local wood products. Items currently available include walnut, cherry, and maple serving trays with wrought iron, brass, or bronze handles, wall and counter knife racks, and his gorgeous cutting boards in a variety of styles. Each piece is torch branded, the timeless final signature of an heirloom quality craftsman. The end-grain butcher block boards take the longest to make, but are also the real workhorses in a busy kitchen, said Forguites. The wood is cut with preference given to the end-grain, allowing

a knife to slide in-between the board’s fibers so that it doesn’t dull as quickly.

Natures Kaleidoscope The exquisite colors of the natural woods show through the environmentally safe, low VOC, food-safe beeswax and mineral oil finish that Forguites protects his boards with. He boils the beeswax and prepares the board butter himself, creating a final product that is easy-to-care for and washable with just soap and water. The deep chocolate color of walnut wood is Forguites’ favorite, he said. “It really shows the inside of the tree, like ‘Wow!’ Walnut has a contrast; with the outer light and the inner dark. It looks 3D iridescent – it’s really cool,” he said. Most of Saratoga Hardwoods' pieces are priced under $50. Custom orders and sales are available online. For more information go to Follow them on Instagram @SaratogaHardwoods


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Sweet James Signs thoughts made to last. As someone who usually prefers keeping quiet, LaPage finds sign making is a refreshing departure. “I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m kinda introverted. It’s really good to get yourself out there,” LaPage declared.

Grandfathered In From custom orders, to selling at her first craft shows this year, LaPage is glad to be doing something her business’ namesake, her Grandfather James, would respect.

ERICA LAPAGE Words are powerful. Words can change one’s mood in an instant. Words written in hope, and with love, refuel feelings of positivity within those that read them. What started out as an affordable way for her to make Christmas presents surged into an elevating and validating custom sign business for Erica LaPage, a Saratoga Springs mother of two, Arianna, 8, and Carter, 7. “I needed more of a purpose than just cleaning and doing laundry,” said LaPage.

From a Whisper to a Roar Sweet James Signs is about boldly expressing 22  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

“He was the greatest man there ever was. He was just the most honest person. You could just trust him. You could ask him for anything at any time. There’s not a lot of people like that,” said LaPage. While it’s LaPage’s emotion that sticks with you as she’s describing this man she’s so admired, it’s the emotion-evoking things that she’s heard - what sticks out in her mind - that she’s often painting on the wood signs she’s constructing. In simple fonts, with crisp lines, on an unassuming solid background, LaPage uses matte finish chalk paint to cleanly transcribe life-affirming messages. With emphasis on phrases, names, and the mantras that matter, these are the ones that must not be disremembered for so long as to ever be erased.

“I like the custom, because it’s not something you can find in a store. It has meaning generationally. It could just be anything. It opens it up to a lot of things I wouldn’t have done otherwise,” she said.

Signs of Home Sweet James Signs coach their readers to be positive, and to look to the good side of things, said LaPage. “It’s just about these moments right now – it’s about the importance of the little moments, too,” she said. Out of all the words she’s painting, those she’s chosen to hang in her own home advocate the joy in finding one’s own voice. In a dark font on a white background and in a white frame she writes: “Avianna & Carter, The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice. Your mind. Your story. Your vision. Your heart. Your soul. So laugh and sing. Dance and Play. Write and draw. Create and build. Love and shine. Stay true to yourself. Embrace your inner beauty and remember to live life as only you can.” To see what Erica LaPage is working on, or request a custom order, like and follow her on Instagram and Facebook @SweetJamesSigns.


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Happy mason jar From Zero to 30

Never one to use mason jars to preserve foods, Cremeans was introduced to masonjar cooking by her roommates while studying communications at Wheaton College. Combining this experience with a childhood favorite dish, the first recipe Cremeans developed for her book was Cookie Apple Pie.

ALYSSA CREMEANS The best ideas come when you’re well rested. While on her Hawaiian honeymoon, Alyssa Cremeans came up with the idea behind The Happy Mason Jar, a new kind of cookbook filled with delicious fresh desserts made in glass jars and paired with wines from around the world. “My husband said, ‘You’re a great cook, but your desserts are in another stratosphere,” said Cremeans. 24  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

Working around the clock for six months, each of the 30 unique recipes that made it into the book features a colorful photo, a wine pairing, the preparation, active, and baking times for each desert. Some desserts, such as the Key Lime Pie Cups, made with mascarpone cheese, require no baking, and most can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. “Convenient, easy and quick, these recipes appeal to the average person who likes what tastes good,” said Cremeans.

“He made spot-on perfect pairings. He hit a slam dunk every time I worked with him. I took a bite of the dessert and then that wine made that bite light up in my mouth – and my friends and family all said the same thing when they tasted it too,” said Cremeans. Appearing on various television cooking segments promoting her book, including WNYT, News Channel 13, and Spectrum News, wherever she goes, Cremeans finds the same thing. “People are into easy and delicious. People are really into wine, too,” she said. The Happy Mason Jar can be found at online retailers around the world including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information go to

The beautiful colors of fall come together in the Pumpkin Spice Cake and German Reisling pairing, a suggestion from Latham’s All Star Wines & Spirits’ George Ryals.


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OWL Tequila Being “One with Life” Elovich began to spread word of her rescuer, a personal philosophy of being “One With Life.” “It’s about aligning yourself with the universe, being at peace with the present moment, and taking each moment as it comes,” said Elovich. Striving to live a life filled with kindness and enjoyment, she thought of the times when she was celebrating and having fun, and what they had in common. That’s when she thought of tequila.

Universal Support LISA ELOVICH Stranded on an island, the lost soul propels a bottle out into the waves, trusting that the message within will help rescue him. As a criminal justice attorney, life was full of stress for Lisa Elovich. The dark, heartwrenching stories she heard weighed heavily on her. Then she found the inspirational book “The New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, and has since read it multiple times. Combined with other messages from authors including Osho, Don Miguel Ruiz, and Wayne Dyer, she began to find peace, freedom…and a way off the island. 26  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

Traveling around taste-testing and researching organic tequila products, Elovich liked the process of natural fermentation, and spotless clay cooking being done by the small Mexican Tequilas Las Amercias distillery. “Learning about the history of the agave plant and that it takes 7 years to make tequila, was kind-of a Zen experience in itself. Their spotless facility had real warmth, and there was a great vibe from the family. The planets aligned perfectly with that one,” said Elovich.

The Bottle as a Vessel Each bottle of One With Life Tequila now spreads a message. Etched with words of

wisdom inside each bottle, there is also a toast that asks you to be fully present, speak with love, listen deeply, and be “One With Life.” Their logo, a tree of life, with its grounded roots and stretching branches, symbolizes connectivity to the universe, while the owl perched within has a double meaning, one being the acronym for their product name One With Life (OWL). “The owl also represents courage, wisdom, and strength – all the things I really want to have the tequila embody,” said Elovich. Competing with billion dollar beverage companies, Elovich and her very small team of female brand ambassadors have been pounding the pavement to open more than 200 accounts in New York and Florida since 2015. Multiple tastings and tequila-pairing dinners have taken place locally. An OWL Tequila Tasting will take place on November 22nd, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor, 70 Congress Street, Saratoga Springs. Sampling will be available at Wheatfields, 440 Broadway in Saratoga Springs for the Victorian Walk on November 27th, 2018. For more information go to and like them on Facebook @onewithlifetequila.


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Spirichill Off Target Khazin then started studying spirituality. Through the Mindvalley App, he began listening to, and absorbing, the teachings of spiritual leaders. “I felt connected to the flow. Things just happened when I allowed them to happen (and I shed my ego). Stop controlling the uncontrollable, and allow things to manifest,” he said.

DIMITRI KHAZIN When it’s closing time, the party’s over. Stick around, and you’ll be the one left to do the cleaning up. After being a managing partner of Thirteen, a Caroline Street bar, for ten years, what was once an amazing experience was turning stale for Dimitri Khazin. “I had this fight inside. I was miserable and everything was falling apart,” he said. In 2015, Khazin sold the business but had no idea what to do next. He spent eight months travelling, visited a holistic healing center in Florida, and sold Maseratis, but his preconceptions about success kept getting in his way, creating depression within him - and his bank account, he said. 28  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

As Khazin’s perceptions began to change, an idea was taking shape. He took advantage of an opportunity to work with personal transformation author and speaker Srikumar Rao. Then, one night, he had a dream.

Exit Here The morning Khazin woke up with the name Spirichill still in his head, he didn’t yet know how it was going to be important to him, but he did know that the experience had a comforting familiarity to it – as if he was about to embark on a journey that he’d taken before. “Don’t ride the roller coaster; condition yourself to trust the universe. Things are not good or bad. Things just happen. You can’t see the whole picture until you’re through it,” he said. Creating beaded bracelets as a reminder to grow, heal, and listen to your intuition, Khazin began selling them under the name

Spirichill to raise money for a friend in need of progressive surgery and stem cell research.

Check the Map During last year’s Travers Week, Khazin sold 500 bracelets out of a pop-up shop in Siro’s Restaurant. “It created such a positive energy behind it,” he said. It was an energy that seemed to sing. Hannoush Jewelers, and The Shoppe started carrying the jewelry, which is made with a variety of stone, gold, and sterling silver beads. Khazin began doing trunk shows and was included in NYC’s Fashion Week this year. A small boy band from New Jersey, Bro4, began wearing it. Then they got a hit single and played at the White House creating unforeseen exposure for the Spirichill jewelry line. “These bracelets are a daily reminder to navigate life. You have the map, but you’re free to go where you want to go. A lot of times you do things unbeknown to you, and you discover why along the way.” To schedule a trunk show, call Dimitri Khazin directly at (518) 879-6438. Follow him on Instagram @spririchill and read inspirational quotes @spirichill_garden. For more information, go to


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Honey Bee Rich “They’ve got beautiful olive oil there. If it’s pure olive oil, it can give you very soft, beautiful skin,” said Scampini.

China Green Jade tea is blended with lavender buds and vanilla to create a nourishing and soothing salt soak.

After exploring, searching, and playing around for months with recipes combining their olive oil with bee products and teas from Saratoga Tea & Honey, Scampini developed a line of body care products.

Detoxifying antioxidants from blends of China green tea is absorbed through the pores in soaps with a shea butter base that offer a very good lather with the exfoliating properties of a lovely honey-oatmeal-lavender mix, or a refreshing ginger-lemon fusion.

“A little goes a long way. It’s got so few ingredients, and the purity was there. I started using it myself, and that was the real test,” she said.

Care-Full Consideration SUSAN SCAMPINI Before working at Saratoga Tea & Honey Company, Susan Scampini was a commercial account manager looking for a change. “I just thought, ‘I wanna do something fun’,” she said. That’s when she started working at Saratoga Olive Oil Company.

Olive it Scampini’s Italian grandmother used to slather olive oil directly on her own skin, which gave her an idea, she said. 30  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

At the time, Scampini’s mother was battling breast cancer. Scampini set up homemade spa days for them to relax and enjoy the products she was creating together. “She absolutely loved that I made it myself, so it felt rewarding to do it. It was the hardest time, but the greatest time,” she said. Although her mother has since passed, Scampini’s creation carries on, sold as the Honey Bee Rich Body Care line.

Bee-utiful Ingredients

With a wide smile, Scampini adds that they also make a soap-on-a-rope in the shape of a horse head. This is a nod to her husband, Andrew. The two met and married later in life, but even after two years together, she still grins like a newlywed when she speaks of him, in part because of his encouragement and the help he has offered with her business ventures which came at the perfect time. Champagne colored bags and holiday-colored gift boxes will be available for body care gift sets. The Honey Bee Rich line is sold in five locations in the Northeast, including Saratoga Tea & Honey, 348 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. For more information go to

The thick face and body cremes in lemongrass, lavender, lime, fresh rose, and pineapplemango scents have been a huge hit, she said.

Buy Local

Get giddy with the simple pleasure of catching a snowflake on your tongue. These intricate, but perfectly shaped treasures aren’t floating down from the sky, however; they’re already sitting in cute little packages near you.

Saratoga Sue's simply sweet dessert shop “It’s just a fun atmosphere. She’s a lot like my mom. They’re kindred spirits, full of life and energy,” said Aunt Sue.

Gracious Goodness… Love is handed down through the generations by Aunt Sue’s hands. She began making snowflake-shaped pizzelles in the spring of last year from her grandmother’s recipe to sell at the tea shop.

SUSAN SCAMPINI Susan Scampini is known as “Aunt Sue” to her niece Hayley Stevens, owner of Saratoga Tea & Honey, but also to the community of customers who come in and experience her simple sweetness. Her delicate demeanor exudes appreciation for the gift of aunt-hood that she has been bestowed, and she feels fortunate to be able to work with her niece at the shop, she said.

“It’s a little treat. I just did it to help Hayley. I had no idea it was going to take off like that,” she said. The thin, crisp, Italian wafer cookies were always made at every celebration her Italian family had while she was growing up, said Aunt Sue. “My mother and I would be in the kitchen and I remember her saying, ‘Are you watching me? Because one day you’ll want to do this,’ and she was right,” she said.

She bakes so you don't have to… On baking days, Aunt Sue’s kitchen can have up to six cookie irons going at a time now. Dancing between them, the stacks of golden vanilla cookies are wrapped up in pretty little packages by the dozen. “It smells fantastic when I’m making them – that’s the part I wish I could bottle,” said Aunt Sue. People are calling and requesting them before they even get into town, she said. Because they have a great shelf life - and to keep up with demand - Aunt Sue requests that special orders be made a week in advance. Saratoga Sue’s Simply Sweet Dessert Shop Pizzelles are available for pick-up at Saratoga Tea & Honey Company, 348 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Place your order TODAY (518) 871-1419 Check them out on Facebook @SaratogaSuesSimplySweet HOLIDAY 2017 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 31


Shopping Local on



“Why isn’t anyone making that yet?” People who ask themselves this question need to go on Etsy. Filled with inventive solutions, cherished handmade items, unique vintage finds, tools and supplies, millions of makers and retailers are selling millions of things all in one place: a website called Etsy. Founded in 2005, Etsy is a small start-up that has become a world-wide online shopping giant. Any craftsman, anywhere, can easily join the online marketplace and start selling their products. Creating supply and demand however, can be tricky. It’s always open, so makers are often working at all hours to keep up, as well. A shopper’s paradise, Etsy makes you feel rich with possibility. Browse by category or type in an item or shop

owner’s name to find something specific. Customize searches by shop location to find local sellers. Click on the item you’re interested in and it’ll direct you to a page with the item’s description, materials used, shipping information and reviews. Select the shop owner’s picture for their story, to check out their websites, social media links, and to message them with any questions you may have. Etsy inspires your imagination to run wild. Want to check out what your neighbors are making and selling on Etsy? Look for their items next time you’re at the market, at a craft fair, or in a local shop, and then go on Etsy to see even more selection. (Please note, when searching a shop’s name, character spacing, or lack thereof, is important).


WillisKaUSA By Lauren Weliczka

Once a firehose has served its firefighters, it is rescued by Lauren Weliczka to show off its perfect imperfections. “When it comes to me, it’s very filthy. It’s been dragged through rain, snow, and ash. I cut off the couplings and hand cut the 25’ to 50’ lengths into different dimensions, soak it and hand scrub it for days – then I decide what to make. I let the firehose speak to me and tell me what it should be made into,” said Weliczka. The double layer hose has a story to tell with every nick and ding of its surface. So does the contrast of its rough texture and the smooth leather that Weliczka learned to craft using old world Italian techniques. When Weliczka discovered working in Utah’s ski industry wasn’t her real passion, she started out on a journey that resulted in her obtaining an FIT design degree and working with footwear design masters in Florence, Italy. Finding that it is going to take time to acquire all the patterns and forms necessary, she began making handbags and opened her Etsy shop in 2015, but really started selling them just this past summer. Now, she has many styles of the durable and irreproducible bags that help answer a question that many creatives struggle with when they see something extraordinary, “What can I make with that?” FIND WillsKaUSA at the Festival of Trees, December 1st-3rd, at the Queensbury Hotel, 88 Ridge Street, Glens Falls. Follow her on Instagram @WillisKa.USA


CrookedByDesign By Amanda McCarty

A maker of tote bags when she first opened her Etsy shop in 2012, hand met mind and Amanda McCarty quickly found another material that she was passionate about. “I love everything about knitting. I’m obsessed with yarn, and with making stuff that fits,” she said. A self-proclaimed “hat addict” she makes hats and knitted accessories that combine practicality with fit and a bit of flare. “Handmade is a beautiful movement, but can be expensive because it takes so long to make and I am a perfectionist about it,” said McCarty. Careful to choose quality yarn by feel and in person, McCarty strives to makes functional, lasting pieces that have the potential to withstand continuous wear. She chooses American-grown cotton for fun planter baskets, acrylic fibers soft enough even for a baby’s sensitive skin for tie able bonnets, wool blends that provide machine-washable warmth for whimsical hooded bear cowls (one of her biggest sellers), and alpaca for special showcase pieces. A fan of classical styles, colors, and simple cable knits, custom requests for familiar favorites, including Minions hats and unicorn hoods, often spiral into best-selling designs, she said. The mother of three young children, McCarty uses their naptime to get work done. “It’s a lot of work being on Etsy. We appreciate every single person who visits our shop – it means a lot. They do feel like your friends. It’s a very cool thing,” said McCarty. FIND McCarty December 2nd at the Festival of Trees in Schuylerville. Cuddlebugs Consignment Boutique, on 451 Lake Ave. in Saratoga Springs, and Stella’s Salon on 114 Broad St. in Schuylerville sell her products, as well. Follow her on Facebook @CrookedByDesign for recently completed project postings and on Instagram @knaptimeknitter for a behind the scenes look at her work in progress.


ANOriginal Jewelry By Ashley Nizolek

Metalsmith, photographer, and FIT graduate, Ashley Nizolek’s attention to detail and emphasis on using quality materials result in the breathtaking sterling silver and gemstone jewelry that earned her a 2008 Featured Seller nod from Etsy. Drawn to the look of natural stones, her graceful placement of them within her metal pieces invites a feeling of the luxurious. “I’m always searching, basically. It’s all about being on the hunt for the stones,” she said. These higher end jewelry pieces are what Nizolek founded her shop on, and also what she has circled around to offer once again to separate herself from the resellers who copied the kitschy, fun animal silhouette designs she used to make. Because Etsy opened themselves up to the world market in 2015, the countries that have no international intellectual property restrictions flooded the site with cheap knockoffs, resulting in Nizolek’s shop, which used to earn her entire year’s salary, losing nearly half of its business, she said. Instead, Nizolek now offers mini collections of less than 15 pieces that are tied together with a common theme such as this year’s release of her galaxy collection featuring iridescent rainbow moonstones. One that you can be sure is AN Original Jewelry piece. FIND AN Original Jewelry online at For more information about her photography go to


FeatheredAntler By Gretchen Louise Tisch

If she’s out in nature and feeling inspired, Gretchen Louise Tisch will create. “I’m all about going off the beaten path. I step into the woods for a second and need to go find a paintbrush. I really enjoy seeing new views and collecting things. I like to figure out how to beautify something that might have been overlooked,” said Tisch. After opening her Etsy shop in 2010 with repurposed clothing and natural finds, what you’ll find there now is the ability to buy custom pet portraits. “I really like painting animals with floral crowns, and that side of the business has really taken off,” she said. All about being cozy, this season Tisch has been painting one-of-a-kind sweatshirts, flannels, and warm accessory garments for the Feathered Antler Saratoga Springs shop, which also serves as her studio when she isn’t working outdoors. FIND Feathered Antler at the Spa City Farmers’ Market at the Lincoln Baths, 65 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Feathered Antler Boutique is located at 517 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. For more information go to


VintageByCrystal By Crystal and Ben Sloane

An admirer of Audubon art and all things old, Crystal Sloane creates fanciful natural cotton figures. A true cottage industry, she works from her Victorian Gothic home to meld design, nature, life, and material. Selling on Etsy since 2007, she was a featured seller in 2015. “The animals look really lively on a tree if you get a collection, and for the people you know who collect things, it’s a really great, but unique, go-to gift,” said Crystal. She scavenges for tiny antique relics and natural finds, incorporating them into vintage-inspired bendable ornaments, table and cake toppers. This season, she is adding unicorns, giraffes, sloths, and fauna figures into the collection. While she focuses on the construction, her husband Ben does much of the photography, packaging, and quality-control aspects of the operation, which supports the Sloane family full-time, at home, while they raise two young children. This is possible, in part, to many of the orders and stores, world-wide, which have been able to find VintageByCrystal products through the Etsy online marketplace. “It’s just a place where people who appreciate hand-made crafts can go to get them,” said Crystal. FIND VintageByCrystal at the Vischer Ferry General Store “Meet the Makers”, 357 Riverview Road, Rexford, on November 10th at 7 p.m. and at the Saratoga Center for the Family Annual Craft Marketplace, November 25th, at the Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. For more information go to SS


it feels

Good to Give

& we have suggestions...

Compiled by Carly Beckwith

Toys For Toga Kicks Off Annual Toy Drive in Saratoga County DeCrescente Distributing Company, Saratoga Brewery and Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau are partnering for the fifth annual Toys For Toga campaign. With the holiday season right around the corner, we are gearing up for the fifth annual Toys For Toga campaign to help provide local children with toys for the holidays. This year we will kick off the program Tuesday, November 28th, with a reception at the Brewery Tap room, and run through December 18th. We will have toy bins distributed throughout the community and local bars, restaurants, stores and businesses will collect toys and money through collection boxes and coaster and pin up sales. 100% of all money and toys stay local and are distributed among 3 local agencies, Franklin Community Center, Captain youth and Family services and Mechanicville area community center.


Looking for ways

To Give Back


The Mitten Tree The Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center is sponsoring its annual “Happy Hands Mitten Tree” program through December 31. Donations can be placed on the Mitten Tree in the Visitor Center, 297 Broadway, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Scarves, gloves, hats and muffs are all needed. Those in need of warm gear are invited to come into the Visitor Center during the holiday season. The center is collecting toys for the “Toys for Toga” program as well. Our tree goes up November 24th and comes down on January 2nd! For more information call (518) 587-3241.

Operation Adopt A Soldier This organization collects supplies and gifts for packages that are then sent out to thousands of men and women serving overseas. Families of soldiers are also served with the help of the local community. For more information or to get involved email or, visit, or call Cliff at (518) 260-9922!

The Empty Stocking Project Saratoga Children’s Committee’s largest project provides holiday gifts and necessities to approximately 1,000 children in Saratoga County each year. At the heart of the project are the “friends” who generously sponsor a child, fulfilling their holiday wishes. Gifts are collected, checked, and any last minute shopping is done before they are given to the referring agency. Please contact the Committee if you are interested in sponsoring a child or contributing to this endeavor. For more information call (518) 484-1236 or visit where you can fill out a contact form!


Adopt-A Family/ Chamber Angels The Chamber Angels has partnered with local agencies including the Southern Saratoga YMCA, Franklin Community Center, Mechanicville Community Center and Captain Youth & Family Services to provide holiday assistance to approximately 2,000 local children each year whose families are enduring financial hardships. They provide clothing, toys, toiletries and daily necessities to these families. For more information call (518) 371-7748, email, visit our website, or stop by our location at 58 Clifton Country Road!

The Toy Shop This organization collects toys from the community and creates a free toy shop for families in need. These families are then able to choose from a variety of toys and stocking stuffers for their children. All donated gifts stay in the community. If you or your business would like to host a collection box, please contact Mary Duclos at (518) 371-1185 or visit


it feels

Good to Give Holiday Assistance at The Franklin Community Center The Franklin Community Center provides holiday gifts to children ages 2 to 14 years old. Gift requests are taken and are then matched up with generous donors from the area. General gift donations of toys and personal care items for the Holiday Store are appreciated anytime. For more information, please call (518) 587-9826, email, or visit

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The Open Door Mission The Open Door is a Christian ministry dedicated to reaching out and serving the needs of the poor and homeless in the community. This is accomplished through the daily provision of hot, nutritious meals served in a friendly, welcoming environment and by providing shelter during the coldest nights of the year. We have a new building too, Cold Blue, that we’re hoping to open by November 1st! For more information, call (518) 792-5900, email or visit Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866 (518) 581-2480



he Holiday season isn’t just about T getting gifts, but more about the gift of giving and for Ballston Spa High School Senior, Blade Osborn, this is a year-round affair.

Blade Osborn is the founder and co-president of Buddy Blankets & Bears, Inc., a non-profit charity organization of “love, friendship & compassion.” Osborn’s organization provides treatment blankets to military veterans and adults with chronic illness and or cancer, teddy bears to military children, and “tammy” bears to children with either chronic illness and or cancer, or are currently in foster care or homeless shelters. Buddy’s is about bringing comfort, security, reassurance, and courage to those who are going through tough times. Something that started with a World War II veteran with whom he met at the age of eight, while accompanying his mother to her chemo treatments, Buddy Blankets & Bears has been going strong for ten years as Osborn is now eighteen. “From the time everything became official, it snowballed really quickly,” said Corey Osborn, Blade’s father. As of October 10th, a total of 1,604 blankets and bears have been delivered in the USA, the majority being local, but also 103 to other countries, like Germany, Ireland, and Spain—just to name a few!

Blade Osborn, founder and co-president Buddy Blankets & Bears

Thankfully, he has a great team behind him – his parents, board of directors, and even fellow peers that have gotten involved. Of course, none of this would be possible without the donations of their supporters. Besides donations from events, all the money comes out of Blade’s pockets — “For the majority, Blade has actually self-funded all of this. Whatever money he makes working (referring to his ‘day job’) goes into this charity,” his dad said. That’s a big commitment… financially and time-wise, especially for a senior in high-school! But for Blade, there is no budget for the warmth & hope he brings into the lives of those who need it most, and the thank-you notes and smiles he receives in return can’t be put to a price. “One of the key things in his talks that he [Blade] stresses is that no matter what it is they do, is to give back and help someone – and that’s what this all centers around,” his dad said. If you want to give back and help someone this holiday season, your options aren’t just limited to monetary donations (but of course that’s appreciated!) Helping hands for their attached notes of encouragement and or decorating delivery boxes is always needed. Please visit their website: for more information. SS

When asked how he balances it all, Blade’s response was, “I ask myself that question too!”


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Parents: Bridget and Justin Cole 44  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

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Parents: Dominic and Cheryl Santorelli

Parents: Meghan and Bill Fritz

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Parents: Jenn and Sean Reilly

Parents: Maria and David Adams Designed by Brianna Jeffries


Your HOLIDAY GIFT great suggestions from some of our advertisers



Introducing Fox Bridal, for those seeking unparalleled beauty to last for generations. Starting at $425 in 14K (does not include center)

Save money on utility bills. Connects with your smart phone. $249.99 Allerdice Ace Hardware & Building Supply Locations: Milton - Malta - Saratoga

N. Fox Jewelers 404 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.587.7777 •


Dehn's Flowers 178 Beekman Street, Saratoga Springs & 15 Trieble Avenue, Milton 518.584.1880 • 518.885.6222


Gift easy brunch-time entertaining with Walker’s Southern Bloody Mary Mix. Garnish with edible cocktail stirrers, pair with a nibble of aged cheddar straws, and go forth and make Mary! Shop the Savory Pantry for your holiday gift-giving and entertaining needs. $43 The Savory Pantry 486 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.450.1130 •



Artisanal bath products and hand crafted soaps using our locally sourced Saratoga Springs mineral waters. Lather Bar 487 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.584.1450 •


Crafters Gallery 427 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.583.2435


DESK JOCKEYS $125 each

Saratoga Signature Furniture & Interiors 82 Church Street, Saratoga Springs 518.581.0023 •

Perfect for your next Holiday gathering …Cool wine, champagne, soda and more! Made with a double band of gold, with a gold foiled TOGA. The double-insulated design prevents condensation with the tight fighting lid. Perfect for a hostess gift or as an addition to your own bar cart. $58 TOGA HERITAGE 518.944.8951 •


Introducing our newest birdseed characters to decorate your yard this holiday season. An exclusive at Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop! Starting at $9.99 each Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop Route 50 (next to TJ Maxx.) 518.226.0071 •


Your HOLIDAY GIFT great suggestions from some of our advertisers


A first-of-its-kind innovation, our Liquidless Diffuser™ delivers a unique way to transform any room. The innovation begins with the ScentStick™ – each one has been infused with pure fragrance oil to impactfully release scent. The custom-designed, vessel holds up to 5 ScentSticks so you can adjust the level of fragrance to your preference. Each individual scented stick releases scent for up to 30 days. Moroccan Amber, Sweet Patchouli, Heliotrope & Bergamot are accented with a hint of Eucalyptus. $60 23rd [and Fourth] 130 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs 518.584.3700 •


ONE-OF-A-KIND HANDCRAFTED EARRINGS These earrings provide a subtle design with or without diamonds. Each pair is handmade resulting in one of a kind craftsmanship. Mention Simply Saratoga Magazine for 10% OFF! $345 simple, $595 with diamonds deJonghe Original Jewelry 470 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.587.6422 •

Turn heads while staying warm in the coldest climates with fully fur-lined body and hood. A favorite of Hailey Baldwin, the Nicole Benisti Belleville Parka brings high-fashion to the outdoors. Saratoga Saddlery 506 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.580.4522 • 1.800.430.7150


Alpine Sport Shop 399 Clinton Street, Saratoga Springs 518.584.6290



Answer and monitor your door from anywhere with your smartphone. $99

Allerdice Ace Hardware & Building Supply Locations: Milton - Malta - Saratoga

FLANNEL CHAMPAGNE PJ’S Perfect for a cozy winter night in! Silverwood Home & Gallery 398 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.583.3600


Setting trends in the shaving world for three generations. Fallon Wellness Pharmacy 472 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.306.5343 •


These classic Winnie the Pooh art prints make a great gift for any baby nursery or child's bedroom! Choose from a variety of images.


Prices range from $5.99 for the sachets... to $34.99 for the Adirondack Balsam Fir pillow.

Homessence 439 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.306.6445

Northshire Bookstore 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.682.4200 •


Impressions of Saratoga 368 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.587.0666


Your HOLIDAY GIFT great suggestions from some of our advertisers


Warm polyester fleece meets your favorite sweater in this full-zip, cross-dye jacket dyed with a low-impact process that significantly reduces the use of dyestuffs, energy and water compared to conventional dyeing methods. Fair Trade Certified™ sewing. $139 Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company 490 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.584.3500


All the fun of glitter without any of the mess! Keep the party going all night long with mercury glass vessels filled with wintry fragrances. Each candle is topped with a cork lid and festive hang tag. You'll want to give these playful candles to everyone you know, whether they've been naughty or nice! $12 and up Caroline & Main Inc., elevated inspired style 438 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.450.7350 •


Crisp, buttery St. Nick cookies are handmade from organic ingredients and flavored with warm spices of cinnamon, clove and cardamom—ready to stuff stockings with glee. Find these delights along with artisan foods, cocktail preparations, and elegant gift baskets for everyone on your list at The Savory Pantry. $12


Candle Scents: Orange- sweet tea and lemon or White - sparkling herb. $26 Finishing Touches Home Decor 217 Ballard Road, Wilton 518.584.1490


Receive alerts to your smart phone. $199.99 Allerdice Ace Hardware & Building Supply Locations: Milton - Malta - Saratoga

The Savory Pantry 486 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.450.1130 •



6 pack (60 ml bottles) collection gift box - $40. 4 pack oil and balsamic paired with Exotic Sea Salt and 2 pour spout gift boxes - $50 (3 flavor collections available of 200ml bottles) Saratoga Olive Oil 484 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

JEWELRY CHEVAL WITH SLIDING MIRROR Sug. Retail $1,759 – 1,898 Sale Price $1,199 - $1,399 (Depending on style)

The Furniture House Route 9P, Saratoga Lake 518.587.9865



From the slopes to the streets, always a fantastic performance in the Bogner Verti. Get winter ready with our collections of Parajumpers, Sorel, Robert Graham, Lucchese, Outback, Dale of Norway, and Ariat. Saratoga Saddlery 506 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.580.4522 • 1.800.430.7150

Hand-painted gourds are grown among the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania by a family owned company that started in 1994. A sweet way to light up the holiday season! Ye Olde Farm House Gift Shoppe (Lakeside Farms) 336 Schauber Road, Ballston Lake 518.399.2198


The Wood Carte 1063 State Route 9, Queensbury 518.793.7655 •


Your HOLIDAY GIFT FOR THE KIDS Compiled by Carly Beckwith



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Kiwi Crate - Make science, technology, engineering, art, and math accessible, engaging, and fun for your kid with a subscription for these hands-on projects that will inspire kids to see themselves as scientists, artists, creators, and makers! ($19.95 for a monthly subscription)


Adventure Parks - Zip-line Fun & more! - Get your kids off the iPads and outside! With Zipline Fun, AirPogo, A Classic Swing, Spring Swings, Twist Whiz, and AirSurfer Fun, this is the perfect product to make your backyard an adventure! (prices vary)


SMASH Folio - Not your ordinary scrapbook! Store all your favorite things in fashionable style. Your kid will love this folio with an embossed chipboard cover and designer journal pages, covered with original designs and creative lettering!


Wham-O Snowball Blaster - Take your snowball fights to the next level with this product! For non-stop winter fun, the Wham-O Snowball Blaster makes and launches snowballs up to 50 feet in distance.



Tech Kidizoom Action Cam - The Action Cam is a great first video camera for kids and is durable enough to handle drops and tumbles. It also comes with a waterproof case so they can take videos and pictures up to 6' underwater! The Action Cam isn’t limited to photos and videos either—in addition, it can take stop-motion videos and time-lapse photos. Your child can also explore

Watch Ya’ Mouth - Get ready to laugh until it hurts with Watch Ya' Mouth. It's simple: Do your best to speak out phrases while wearing a cheek retractor. Trust us, you've never experienced something so hilarious in your life! Oh, the kids will love it too ... ($19.99)


Messless Chocolate Milk Mixing Mug - Save yourself a few minutes behind the kitchen sink with spoons or stirring straws and bring a little extra fun to your kid’s favorite treat!


their creativity with fun effects, frames and photo filters. They can download their photos and videos to a computer using the included micro USB cable and share them with family and friends. For even more fun, they can also play three exciting learning games! ($35-$55)

Your HOLIDAY GIFT FOR THE TEENS Compiled by Carly Beckwith



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Rihanna Fenty Beauty - Created by Rihanna with her vision - that’s always ahead of the game - Fenty Beauty redefines the rules with light-as-air formulas that love to be layered—in a global lineup of shades designed for all. Perfect for fans of Bad Girl RiRi as an artist, whether it be her music or make-up!


Table Topics - Get ready to talk to friends and first dates with the Teen version that features questions such as, "What will be the best thing about leaving home and what will be the scariest?" Great way to keep your teen engaged in conversation and off their phones at the dinner table! www. ($25.00)


Ticket Stub Diary -Preserve your precious memories from concerts, sporting events, museums, movies, Broadway shows, and more. Maybe even pair up the diary with tickets to add to the collection! ($12.00)


Gas Gift Card - Gas gift cards can be purchased at any local gas station! Take some of the load off your teen and gift them a full tank!


Denim! - Whether it be a pair of boyfriend jeans or mom jeans, a jean skirt, or a jean jacket, denim has made quite the comeback and I don’t see the trend coming to an end anytime soon!


Wireless Headphones/Earbuds - Forget about the tangles of wires & cords! Wireless is the way to go, especially if your teen is an athlete or likes to stay active on their own. Check out the Beats Solo3 Wireless ($299.95) or the Apple AirPods ($159.00) -- these headphones won’t weigh you down while you exercise. Plus, wireless headphones are simple to place in the ear and will stay in place for the duration of your workout or outdoor activity.



35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake, NY 12151

Crab Con Queso Dip 54  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

Deviled Eggs

Stuffed Jalapenos

An Autumnal Culinary Caravan

Surprises & Delights

On a recent autumn evening, the intrepid food review trio from Simply Saratoga magazine took on a culinary “double header” evening of tasting, courtesy of the teams at Dunning Street Station in Malta and Lake Ridge Restaurant in Round Lake. Good work – if you can get it! We wanted to see what was cooking at co-owners’ Bob McKenna’s and Chef Scott Ringwood’s newest eatery as well as its “mother ship” further south in the eclectic little village of Round Lake. Our team assembled at “The Station,” – as it is called by the regulars – during Happy Hour, which runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Our mission was to sample what we had been told were some of the best cocktails and appetizers in the area – and we weren’t disappointed. The “silver bullet” Fodoro dining car that is home to Dunning Street Station is a landmark along the Route 9 corridor, just one minute south of Northway Exit 13 and a short ride from just about anywhere else. When McKenna and Ringwood bought the diner in 2014, there was a lot of work to be done. The once busy little bistro, which has been home to such iconic places as Chez Sophie Bistro, Quintessence American Grille and Sam’s Italian Restaurant, had been sitting idle for several years and was in a serious state of disrepair. WRITTEN BY MAUREEN WERTHER PHOTOS BY BLACKBURN PORTRAIT DESIGN

It is now completely restored to its original “retro” glamour, with gleaming chrome and stainless steel and huge windows that give it a light, open and airy feel. There is even additional seating in the rear of the diner, in what was formerly office and storage space, offering private space for larger parties. The highly polished hardwood floors compliment the casual bistro tables and the decent-sized bar area, which boasts 16 draught brews and a large assortment of spirits and wines. The wait staff are all highly attentive, competent and very efficient. The Station has been open for little over a year now and, in addition to its bright and shiny “good as new” look, it has gained a reputation for its

Peanut Butter & Jelly Pork Belly


Bob & Cathy McKenna with Bruce Jacabson, Diana Murphy, Jeremy Fox, Barb Cawley, Shannon O'Herron & Danielle Rossi

energy and seemingly inexhaustible enthusiasm for his newest venture, is contagious. The ambience at Dunning Street Station is perfect for a casual evening out with a significant other or a group of friends. The service is excellent and the atmosphere is delightful. But, our dedicated team still had meals to taste before our job was done. We said our goodbyes and sent our compliments to the chef.

Still more...

crackerjack staff and winning menu. And they’ve already begun collecting awards, including “Best Newcomer” of the 2017 Chowderfest, The Saratogian’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Sports Bar,” and “People Love Us on Yelp” 2017 recipients. We began our “culinary caravan” with a sampling of spirits – much deserved after a long day of publishing magazines, writing articles and snapping photos. Dunning Street Station has one of the best assortments of beers, spirits and wines from New York State. In addition to the now world-famous Death Wish brand, with its wildly popular coffee vodka, The Station’s shelves are filled with local favorites like Cooper’s Classic Whiskey and Spitball Cinnamon Whiskey from Cooperstown and Ironweed Bourbon from Albany Distilling Company. Catskill Distilling Company is well-represented with Most Righteous Bourbon, Wicked White Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey. And of course, award-winning Pick Six vodka from Saratoga Courage Distillery is front and center at the bar. For lovers of hops and hard ciders, Dunning doesn’t disappoint. Many of the 16 beers and ales on tap are righteously represented by NYS brewers, including Common Roots of Glens Falls, Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, NY and Embark Craft Ciderworks in Williamson, NY. All the drinks we sampled were made with New York State products: a Saratoga Cosmo, made with Pick Six, that Carrie Bradshaw would be proud of; a warm, autumnal 56  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

Pumpking beer with a malty sweetness and hints of pie spices; and our “Simply the Best” fav – the NY Apple Pie Cider – made with Embark Craft cider and Most Righteous bourbon – definitely a crowd pleaser.

Our short trip to the historic village of Round Lake took less than ten minutes and, as we stepped from our cars and turned towards the building, we were struck by how different the two restaurants appeared. As we entered the quaint Victorian entryway of Lake Ridge Restaurant, we were soothed by the warm décor, the vintage wallpaper, black and white photos of Round Lake at the turn of the 20th century on the walls, and the subdued lighting and soft jazz music.

As we sipped and sampled, our appetizers arrived, which included a few standards that have been on the menu since The Station opened, as well as a new item that will be added to the menu soon. The devilled eggs, topped with Ahi tuna and a mild wasabi had just the right balance of creaminess and kick, while the jalapenos, stuffed with mild Italian sausage and wrapped in bacon with melted jack cheese and drizzled with a cilantro In 2016 Lake Ridge Restaurant celebrated 15 sour cream, were hard to put down. The years in business, a tribute to the owners and staff. Crab Con Queso Dip, served with crusty “I always wanted to open a restaurant,” said bread and crispy pita chips, was another crowd pleaser, with a luscious creamy flavor, Bob McKenna, who recently retired from a successful 32-year career as co-owner of punctuated with a nice hot bite at the end. New Country Saratoga Auto Park, winner But the winner of our team’s informal of numerous awards, including being in “Simply the Best” appetizer was the Peanut People Magazine eight times for winning Butter & Jelly Pork Belly. Now, just forget the prestigious presidents' award from about whatever comes to mind when you Toyota. He knew Chef Scott Ringwood from hear the name. No, there is no concord the Old Dater Tavern and, over the years, grape jelly or Jif in this amazing appetizer. they’d talked about possibly opening a place The Station’s head chef, Bruce Jacabson together. They bought the building in Round has outdone himself using a winning Lake, which was home to the former Sweet combination of hot Asian spicy peanut Nothings bakery and restaurant, and they sauce and a ginger jam, surrounding crispy, totally re-developed the place, inside and out. succulent pork belly, cooked to a crispy perfection. This appetizer truly has it all: the “We opened in September 2001, just two weeks after the World Trade Center tragedy,” heat, the sweet, and the perfectly cooked recalls Bob. “It was a terrible start. Nobody and amazingly tender pork. was doing anything or going anywhere.” As we sipped and supped, we chatted with They persevered and have been rewarded co-owner Bob McKenna, whose boundless

for it, winning numerous awards and accolades over the past 16 years, including Best Wines, Best Fine Dining, Best Saratoga County Restaurant and many others. Bob and Scott's goal was always to be the best... best food, best service, etc. Their customers tell them time and time again, they are “Simply The Best” and we totally agree! In October, McKenna and Ringwood were honored to win at “Dish It Out For Kids,” the annual gala sponsored by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. McKenna attributes their great staff and excellent service to manager Diana Murphy, who has been at Lake Ridge since the beginning and is responsible for training the staff and keeping everything at both restaurants working like a well-oiled machine. After a quick tour of the three dining areas, as well as the beautifully-appointed mahogany bar, we returned to our little nook and listened to the menu items that we would be sampling. While we were waiting for dinner to be served, two ladies seated at the far end of the Saratoga Room sent word that they would love to share their views of Lake Ridge Restaurant. Toby Hollenberg, a former director of CAPTAIN in the 1980s and 1990s, retired and moved to Savannah, Georgia eighteen years ago and had returned to celebrate a friend’s birthday. She remembers the place when it was Sweet Nothings and this was her first time dining at Lake Ridge. “The pork chop was outstanding,” she exclaimed, adding that the portions were very generous. She was also very impressed


Toby Hollenberg and Karyl Lee Camardo Scott Ringwood & Bob McKenna with Ryan Manning, Christina Zullo, Jennifer Stogell, Maria Bouyea ...Bob said Scott has been a fantastic chef and partner for 16 years …he’s the best!!!!

by her waiter who, in addition to being very knowledgeable about the menu, also told her that the pork chop took a bit longer to prepare than other entrees. “I ordered a lovely salad so I would not be hungry waiting for my entrée,” she added. Toby’s friend had the shrimp linguini, a favorite of hers. The two ladies agreed that, in addition to the outstanding food, the ambience was perfect. They both said they would enthusiastically recommend Lake Ridge Restaurant. Back at the “team” table, our entrees had arrived. We were tasting three very different dishes: a New Zealand rack of lamb, grilled with a red wine demi-glaze, sour cream and onion mashed potatoes, and butter and garlic haricot verts; a pasta “bella” rigatoni with smoked chicken; and a hoisin-glazed

New Zealand Rack of Lamb 58  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

halibut with sweet chili Napa slaw, green beans and wild rice. The rack of lamb was beautifully presented and the lamb was pink and succulent. The haricot verts (aka green beans) were obviously very fresh and locally sourced and were cooked to just the right firmness. The potatoes completed the “comfort food” quality of the dish. Moving on to more comfort food, the pasta with smoked chicken, portabella mushrooms, crumbled bleu cheese, roasted red peppers and wilted spinach offered a cornucopia of flavor, texture and delight. Every bite offered a new surprise. While our trio is usually unanimous in its bestowal of our “Simply the Best” award, on this evening we were split between the pasta dish and the hoison-glazed halibut, which

Hoisin-Glazed Halibut

was my personal favorite. The halibut had a beautiful meaty texture and was moist and flavorful. The addition of the hoisin glaze, which is fermented soybean sauce, added the perfect zest and exotic flavoring to a white meat fish that can otherwise be bland. The crowning glory of the dish was the sweet chili vinaigrette and the Napa cabbage topping, made with arugula, carrots and red cabbage. Suffice it to say that, by the end of the evening, we were all impressed by the diversity – and the high caliber – of the dishes we’d sampled. McKenna and Ringwood have managed to create a new and trendy local gathering place at Dunning Street Station, while maintaining and always building upon the high caliber of food and service at Lake Ridge, a perennial favorite for diners across the region. SS

"Bella" Rigatoni


722 North Broadway






LIKE MANY OF THE HOUSES IN SARATOGA SPRINGS, 722 North Broadway has an exterior that is like a beautifully gift-wrapped present with a jewel inside. The exterior and interior feature the best ornamental details of the Queen Anne style. It has not only one tower, but two – one with a conical roof, the other with a bulbous roof. Its varied decorative shingles wrap the building much like decorative paper that wraps a present with its stained glass windows as colorful embellishments that catch one’s eye in the light. One opens the gift through a beautiful wood panel Dutch door and is ushered into the entry hall with its wood panel coffered ceiling and handsome staircase. Immediately to the right, tucked under the stairs is an inglenook fireplace with built-in carved wood seats for those who wanted to instantly be warmed by the fire on a cold winter’s night. One may think that the entry hall is the jewel of the house; however, it is just the beginning. Opening the paneled pocket doors, one sees the true gem of the house… the parlor. Its walls are covered with intricate panels made of delicately milled spiral oak rods weaved into ornamental patterns and designs with carved oak panels below and a decorative copper frieze above.


Entry Hall Stairs

Entry Hall – Inglenook Fireplace

Paul Tucker, a carpenter and expert on Moorish fretwork, made arrangements to visit 722 North Broadway after seeing photos of the parlor online when the house was on the market. He determined that the unique patterned wall panels were the work of Moses Younglove Ransom of Cleveland, Ohio. On September 15, 1885 Ransom was issued a design patent for the use of milled spiral rods being made into panels for decorative fretwork, grilles, and furniture. The year prior, in conjunction with his involvement with his father’s lumberyard and planing mill, he received a patent for a lathe feed mechanism with which he made these spiral rods. Ransom called his lattice type screens “Moorish Fretwork” because of its similar appearance to the mashrabiya screens found throughout the Middle East. If one looks closely at the bottom left corner of the panel to the right of the fireplace one can see a small stamped brass plate with “Pat. Sept. 15th 1885,” the only clue as to who made the unique panels. Moorish fretwork was popular with the wealthy at the time 722 North Broadway was built.

Parlor Fireplace


Ransom Brass Patent Tag

Interior photo of parlor decorated for the holidays

Moorish fretwork detail

The beautiful Queen Anne style house was built in 1886 by James Pardue who owned a china, crockery, and glassware shop named China Hall, located at 452-454 Broadway. The design of the house is attributed to noted local architect S. Gifford Slocum, who would later be hired by Pardue to design the Pardue Building on Broadway, a luxury apartment building that is today known as the Algonquin. Pardue never lived in the home. In 1887, he rented the house to Uri Gilbert, a carriage maker who was considered one of Troy’s “leading and substantial business men,” for the summer. On August 27, 1887, Benjamin Spink, a jeweler who owned a store in New York City, and his wife Sadie, purchased the house as their summer residence. In 1895, they sold the house to Josephine Topping, who rented the house to others during the ten years she owned the home. In 1904, she sold the home to Clarence B. Kilmer. Clarence was a prominent local attorney who practiced law for 59 years and served as president of the Saratoga Bar Association for 19 years. He resided in the home with his wife Frances and their two sons Clarence Jr. and Donald. The Kilmer family resided in the home for sixty years. In 1965, the executrix of Clarence B. Kilmer sold the house to William and Nancy Edwardsen. Seven years later Patricia and Bill Snyder purchased the home. During their ownership the motion picture “Ghost Story” starring Fred Astaire and Patricia Neal was filmed at the house between November 1979 and February 1980. The Snyders resided in the home with their three sons Richard, William, and George. In 2015, the current owner, Robert Klein, purchased the house. Luckily, the Moorish fretwork still remains in the home after 130 years. Moorish fretwork fell out of favor by the end of the 19th century and Moses Ransom closed his business in 1898. The fretwork was often removed from homes by owners who no longer liked its appearance nor wanted to tackle the required dusting of such intricate woodwork. One can hope that this decoratively wrapped jewel will remain for generations to come! SS Founded in 1977, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization that promotes preservation and enhancement of the architectural, cultural and landscaped heritage of Saratoga Springs. To learn more or to join, please visit



Changing of the Guard:


From a distance, they’re the first thing you see, because they are heads above the rest. If they are coming up from behind you, the rhythmic melody of their clipclopping hooves becomes part of your consciousness, and you feel their presence before you see them. However they make themselves known, you may have to still do a double-take. There’s a new guy roaming the streets of town, and his name is Apollo.


We wanted a strong name for him, and ‘Apollo’ jumped right out." - Sergeant Aaron Benware

New Kid on the Block

Know Him By Name

The chestnut colored 10-year-old standardbred harness track horse was originally named “Most Fun Yet.” Donated by Chuck Harrison, the length of time between his racing career and his mounted patrol training was a matter of months.

Named by the Division Street School’s 5th graders, the name Apollo is after the Greek God of Sun, Health, Music, and Medicine, especially fitting given those are all things Saratoga is known for.

“He performed above the rest. We went to look at him and I fell in love with him. Everything fell into place at once,” said Saratoga Springs Police Department Sergeant Aaron Benware, the mounted patrol unit’s director for the past seven years. “They love to work. They want to be out and working – they thrive on it,” said Benware. Fortunate, because the work they do would be hard to replace. “They do the work of five to six officers. They see everything that’s going on, stop citizens from getting hurt, stop property damage from happening, and stop officers from getting hurt.” 66  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

Officer Aaron Moore with Apollo, the newest member of Saratoga Springs Police Department's Mounted Patrol.

“We wanted a strong name for him, and ‘Apollo’ jumped right out,” said Benware. Apollo’s a majestic name that this horse carries well, said mounted patrol officer Aaron Moore. He’s sleek, graceful, highly intelligent, and motivated. “He’s faster, more agile, good in tight quarters, and at search and rescue,” he said. Apollo is also the name of the historic spacecraft that carried explorers to the moon. This too, seems appropriate as he is embarking on an extraordinary adventure to walk in a legend’s footsteps.


These guys are celebrities.

They’re the best ambassadors of the police department to the people of the city that we can have. They’re just a magnet to people and for creating positive interactions,” - Sergeant Aaron Benware

Sally Bedell and her daughter Sophie. Saratoga Police Department Officer Aaron Moore riding Apollo, and Officer Glenn Barrett atop King Tut, on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.

Three-year-olds Posey Hover, Molly McFadden & Shae McKelvey


Ex-NYC Police Officer couldn't resist stopping to say hi!

Big (horse) Shoes to Fill The Saratoga Springs mounted patrol began in 2004 with the donation of a standard-bred trotter now known as Jupiter. A mature horse in his 20s, Jupiter has earned his stripes. He retired in May from the Saratoga Springs Police Department. A tight-knit community, policemen take care of their own, and Jupiter has been no exception. “You can tell he still wants to work. He’s been well taken care of - he was given a retirement badge and it was important to us to keep him in the police family. He’s not going anywhere,” said Moore.

fresh clover he’d eaten in the fields that morning, said Benware. Apollo likes to be stroked along the mane, brow, and on the shoulders. Heather Stewart, Director and Head Teacher of Pre-K in the Park, and Emily Vantassel, an Apple Blossom Teacher, incorporate lots of outdoor time in their preschool curriculum, which on this day included visiting with the police department’s goodwill representatives. “These guys are celebrities. They’re the best ambassadors of the police

department to the people of the city that we can have. They’re just a magnet to people and for creating positive interactions,” said Benware.

Although there were multiple people who offered, it was Moore who adopted Jupiter. “Jupiter’s enjoying a life of retirement. Aaron’s right out there in the pasture with him. He looks phenomenal – he has a glow to him. He’s slowed down, but he’s still active and happy. When you go out there, he perks right up, and he’s around the female horses more now,” said Benware. There’s another friend Jupiter loves to see in the barn – a Black Percheron draft horse, Officer King Tut. “Jupiter and King Tut have a real close bond. They’ve been together a long time. They’re buddies,” said Benware.

With Head Held High It’s been a bittersweet transition, especially when people share stories and show pictures as they grew up with Jupiter. Apollo however, has been winning over hearts in the six months since the mounted patrol training that taught him saddle, noise desensitizing, and crowd control techniques. “We were nervous how he was going to acclimate, but he’s exceeding our expectations. He’s a great multipurpose horse with the public, and with kids,” said Benware. As three-year-olds Posey Hover, Molly McFadden, and Shae McKelvey run over to him in Congress Park, Apollo’s ears perk up. He loves the attention and is wagging his tail, dripping extra saliva from the


Mounted patrol horses are not pets, but officers who are part of a team...

Pictured left to right: Officer Aaron Moore on Apollo, Sergeant Aaron Benware & Officer Glenn Barrett on King Tut.

First thing, like a dog, he wants to roll. It’s very

impressive to see him roll around and throw his legs up. It’s amazing,” - Officer Aaron Moore

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Off Without (Much Of) a Hitch Mounted patrol horses are not pets, but officers who are part of a team, and who must master a variety of skills, emphasized Benware. “They’re very versatile, and able to adapt. I like changing it up and exposing them to different stimuli,” he said. There have been a few bumps along the road. During the 50th Annual Flag Day Parade a plane flew by overhead, and even seasoned officer King Tut started “dancing”, he said.

Apollo’s transition. On winter break because of the slippery conditions on icy streets from January to St. Patrick’s Day, both horses will be training in an indoor arena during that time. Until then, when the golden nameplate and chest badge come off at the end of his shift, Apollo lets loose. “First thing, like a dog, he wants to roll. It’s very impressive to see him roll around and throw his legs up. It’s amazing,” said Moore. SS

He shuffles and stomps his feet when he’s irritated. If his rider is nervous or tense, a horse will be, also. “In the evenings, he would get worked up in the beginning. He has a lot of energy, so he liked the lively pace of the midnight shift,” said Officer Glenn Barrett of



Bette with her husband Tom Sr., their son Dan Sr. & grandson Dan Jr. Tom Sr. passed away three years ago, just shy of their 63rd anniversary.

Dan Mullan Jr., Dan Mullan Sr., and Marine Ryan Mullan another of the Mullans called to serve.

Motorcycle Patrolman Roy Clark, circa 1945.

Photos provided

Three Generations of Service... to the

Saratoga Springs Police Department



n August 6, 1931, Amelia Clark gave birth to her youngest daughter, Elizabeth in her home on East Avenue in Saratoga Springs. Elizabeth’s father, Patrolman Roy Clark, was busy at his job. It was August, after all, and track season was in full swing. Every able-bodied member of the city’s police force worked without a day off until the meet was over.

Roy was allowed, however, to take a few hours off from patrolling his beat to run home and check on his young wife and new daughter.

Eighty-six years later, Elizabeth Clark, now Bette Mullan, speaks of her dad with the fierce pride, love and devotion she had for him throughout her childhood and beyond. In her scrap book, she has an article about Roy Clark, written in 1929, before she was even born. Motorcycle Patrolman Roy Clark was the youngest – and the tallest – man on the force. Measuring at six feet, six inches, the article states that the “towering” young patrolman was good-natured enough; but he was not one to be “trifled with.”



Bette’s son, Dan Mullan, Sr., smiles at the memory, adding that he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps for as long as he could remember. Bette says that her son “idolized” his grandfather and spent as much free time with him as possible. Dan Sr. recalls as a young boy, he would help Roy at his “moonlighting” job. They used to paint the lines in the parking lots around town. It was a way for Dan to be with the man that he idolized and modeled his own life after. With 27 years of service on the City of Saratoga Springs Police force, Dan Sr. is now retired from the Force. However, he continues to do his part to protect the community as the Director of Security for the Saratoga Springs School District. Like his grandfather, Dan Sr. has a quiet, yet loving way with his wife, Doranne, his son, Dan Jr. and his grandchildren. He credits his success in his career to his wife and children, adding that they created the stability and loving environment that is so important for members of law enforcement.


“You don’t bring the job home with you,” says Dan Sr. Dan Jr. agrees. He, too, wanted to follow in the ‘family business.’ “I would hear all the stories when I was a kid, about catching the bad guys, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” After attending college in Plattsburgh, Dan Jr. didn’t immediately join the force, however. He decided to see the world and he spent several months living in Australia. At the time, he didn’t have any solid plans; however, when he received notice that there was an opening on the force, he was on a plane home the very next day. Like his father and his great-grandfather, Dan Jr. loves being a uniformed officer, patrolling the city. “I love going out on patrol in the car and being first on the scene,” he says. Dan Sr. agrees. “There are two different types of police work. We are the ones who secure the scene and make sure it is ready for the investigators,” says Dan Jr. Dan Jr. also talks about the vast differences in police work, not only from his great-grandfather’s time, but even his own dad’s time.



Dan Sr. agrees, saying that there was nowhere near the training that takes place now. One of Dan Jr.’s favorite aspects of his work is helping train the newcomers in the field. The technology is also so vastly different. “We have body cameras, cameras on the cars, and most of the stores and businesses in the city have cameras.” A very different world from young Roy Clark’s. “When my grandfather was walking the beat, they didn’t even have walkie-talkies. They had to call in from time to time from a box on the beat,” says Dan Sr. Bette looks on proudly at the multiple generations seated around her in her warm, inviting home. Her son and grandson embody that same quiet humility that she remembers so fondly about her father. “He never talked too much about his work, but I know that he made a big impact on the community. People still remember him,” she says with a sweet smile on her face, still beautiful despite of – or more likely because of – her 86 years.

Dan Sr. agrees, saying that when he would respond to a call from an elderly resident, they’d often start talking. Invariably, Roy’s name would come up. “They’d always say, “sure, I remember Roy!’” says Dan Sr. with a smile. Dan Jr. has two of his children with him and I ask them their names and ages. Camden is 12 years old, and his sister, Madison, is two years younger. “But, I’m taller,” she interjects with a huge smile. It is obvious that both kids are extremely proud of their father. Camden says that he is probably going to be a police officer too, when he gets old enough. This will be the fourth generation in the family to follow in Roy Clark’s footsteps. “If I’d been a boy, I’d have done it too,” says Bette, adding that if one of her great-granddaughters wanted to become police officers, she would support their decision wholeheartedly. If dedication to serving others and making a difference for the people of one’s community are character traits that can be passed on, the proof is most assuredly in the pudding with Bette Mullan and her family. SS





Mark Bascom and Lindsay Fisk by their vegetable fields at Owl Wood Farm Photo by Jim Gupta-Carlson

ark Bascom and Lindsay Fisk were living on leased land along the Owl Kill in Washington County in 2014, and laying out the plans for their future farm, when the sound of owls calling at their window began to resound night after night. It was February 2014, and in the cold darkness emerged the name of the farm.


Bascom (above) and Fisk (below) sell their produce at the Saratoga Farmers' Market photos by Pattie Garrett

The owl – known in Indigenous American spiritual traditions for its wisdom and capability to help the seeker of knowledge see things in different ways – is perhaps emblematic for Bascom, 30, and Fisk, 31. As the owners of Owl Wood Farm, they grow vegetables and strawberries for sale at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market as well as markets, cooperatives, and restaurants in Cambridge, Greenwich, and Bolton Landing. At a time when the average age of the American farmer continues to climb toward 70, Bascom and Fisk represent a new and fresh face for the region’s agricultural scene. “So many of our farmers are nearing retirement age and there’s a lot of concern about who might have the 78  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

resources and desire to step in after they’re gone,” says Saratoga Farmers’ Market director Julia Howard. “And then you have Mark and Lindsay just rocking it at the market every week, and it’s so exciting.” Bascom, who grew up in New Hampshire, and Fisk, who grew up in central New York, are quiet, softspoken individuals. Although they are young and do not have a history of farming in their families, they bring more than a decade of hands-on experience and study to their trade.

the layers of their soil with plows or rototillers. They use hand tools and a large amount of compost to feed the natural biology that resides in the soil. Although the method demands a high amount of physical labor, Fisk and Bascom see it as integral to their mission of growing in a sustainable manner.

seasons, planting and harvesting and planning for the future. See their recipes on page 118!


Fisk harvests greens at the farm

As for the owls, Bascom and Fisk still hear them at their current site, listening to their call outs to each other as they work through the

They met while pursuing environmental science degrees at colleges in Quebec, and worked together as interns at the Brook Farm Project in New Paltz in 2007, Fishkill Farms in Fishkill in 2009, and the Brookford Farm Project in Rollinsford, NH, in 2011. They also managed the gardens and animals at the New Hampshire Farm Museum from 2012-13 before starting Owl Wood Farm in 2014. Bascom defines their mission through a spoken word piece on an album produced by the conscious Hip Hop rapper KRS-One: “I can’t remember the exact line, but it was something to the effect of, ‘What are you willing to become an expert in?’ That takes a lot of thought, but I think the idea is to become an expert in one thing, and for us that was farming, growing food, especially vegetables. I can’t think of a better thing to become an expert in.” “This kind of farming tackles a lot of problems that our society faces now,” adds Fisk. “Working on small farms can do so much, in so many different spectrums. When you’re in college and you keep hearing about so many things that are going wrong, wrong, wrong, you have to think of what you can do. This was the one thing that we could see as a positive force.” After leasing their land in Owl Kill for a year, the couple acquired a 10-acre former farm site in Salem. About five acres of the land is wooded, and they produce most of their weekly harvest in a high tunnel and on one acre of land. They deploy a no-till system, which means that they do not break up


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Pitney Meadows Community Farm When you have a vision, you make a plan WRITTEN BY THERESA ST. JOHN PHOTOS BY EVAN SUNG


hen Michael Kilpatrick first toured the historic Pitney Farm over four years ago, he wasn't alone. Paul and Sandy Arnold, owners of the thriving Pleasant Valley Farm in Argyle, were alongside him. All three highly respected farmers were certain this beautiful, 166-acre property, was special. Believing it needed to be preserved somehow, they decided to help Bill Pitney and his sisters, Kathy and Judith, bring their homestead back to life again. This would happen, in part, by involving the entire community of Saratoga Springs. In other words, it would take a vision, and luckily, they had one. Located on West Avenue, in close proximity to the YMCA, Saratoga Springs High School, Empire State College, Spa State Park, The National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, and other organizations that could very well decide to partner with them, it wasn't difficult to imagine the farm's huge potential. In fact, once over the initial hurdles, their project went past “GO,” and Pitney Meadows was on its way, establishing its mission statement and becoming a new type of Community Farm the county has yet to encounter. The Spa City's enthusiastic support helped Pitney Farm gain momentum rather quickly.


Commissioner of Agriculture

Green Space is becoming more important every day, the desire for it more prevalent than even a few years ago. We discuss the value of open space, dreaming up inventive ways to save our environment. Our genuine desire to reap the benefits of green space and farming - for ourselves, our children and grandchildren - is strong. Pitney Meadow Community Farm is intent on bringing the environment back to life, and the sustainable agriculture that comes with it. Their vision is all about giving, learning, expanding, and educating the public. Pitney wants to be an active, successful farm that thrives within the city limits. From the onset,


plans have been strong, to interact with and engage the community, teaching children and adults alike where our food comes from. It's already a place where everyone's hands can get dirty, and they do. In April, Andrew Shaw, a young man residing in Saratoga Springs, was the lucky winner of the community garden's first raffle, which helped raise nearly $1,500 for the farm. His garden plot measures 8x4. A friend helped Shaw get off to a good start by gifting him with seedlings for a variety of vegetables like corn, green beans, tomatoes and spinach. Some of the remaining beds measure 4x8, others 8x12, and a few even measure 24” tall, designed for those with limited mobility. All were offered to the public on a sliding scale and awarded by lottery in June. Both novice and master gardeners got busy planning out their gardens, sharing farming ideas with each other, while enjoying the many benefits of growing healthy food for their families.

tantamount to the success and growth of Pitney Farm. Sandy Arnold remembers the day she first walked the land and is determined, along with many others, that nothing will fall through the cracks. Pitney Meadows has the support of an influential president, Katie Petronis, who also chairs the board of directors, an advisory board with tons of experience between them and the indispensable volunteers that believe in the farm's future. Talks of farm-based education, internships and even research opportunities are openly and passionately discussed at every meeting.

Saratoga Springs has always been about community and neighborhood. We share a camaraderie that most cities rarely see. Welcoming, even cheering on the success of a community farm more than 150 years old, just seems natural. Joining hands with regular folks whose fiery passion, vision and love for the land, is important - as it benefits every one of us. We cannot lose our farmland, it's simply not an option. Thanks to those at Pitney Meadows Community Farm, and others who contribute to the vision, we have a fighting chance to save it. SS

A massive greenhouse, otherwise known as a high tunnel, was erected by volunteers and is located behind the farm's silo. The structure, manufactured by Harnois Greenhouses, a company based in Quebec, is meant to grow diverse vegetables, as well as host large events. Capable of holding up to 300 people, on August 1st it proved the perfect venue for Pitney Meadows' largest event to date, Fire Feast on the Farm. Five nationally renowned farm-to-table chefs worked their culinary magic over five live-fire pits, serving a several-course dinner to the crowd. Live music and a beautiful sunset lent a picture-perfect backdrop to the evening's festivities. The event generated $50,000, which will aid in new initiatives. Certain areas of the farm have been planted with a variety of vegetables - in hopes of testing the agricultural soils which have proved to be quite healthy. The organically raised produce has done extremely well and the surplus is mostly donated to the 150-plus volunteers that work tirelessly, helping make Pitney Meadows Community Farm what it is today and what it will become tomorrow. This amazing group also helps in weeding, watering and maintaining the gardens. Pitney donates produce to the Franklin Community Center as well, and similar places that put the fresh foods to good use. Concentrating on inventive ways to train the next generation of farmers is



Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing in State College, PA. Email


Honoring Your Peace of Mind in Every Season

hile the holiday season can be a magical time of the year, the reality is that for many the holidays are a trigger for stress, exhaustion, anxiety and depression. Learning to set boundaries and have a strategy in place to get through the holidays is the key to keeping yourself healthy and sane.

Take the time you need to plug in and refresh so that you avoid hitting the New Year with exhaustion and an unhealthy body and mind set.

a spouse, friend or therapist. Do not avoid or minimize your feelings if you are struggling and feeling blue.

Know what recharges your batteries and make a commitment to honor your self care plan daily.

If we never stop to acknowledge a traumatic time in our lives we never allow ourselves to heal and move forward to emotional and spiritual health.

Before you rush out to begin frantic days of holiday shopping, take a few minutes to stop and reflect on years past. Are you always rushing to buy last minute gifts? Do you dread visiting certain family members, but torture yourself spending time with them because it’s “the holidays”? Do you wake up frantic, worrying about finances and the expectations of your children?

The holiday season brings endless opportunities to socialize and get together. Don’t put pressure on yourself to attend every invitation you receive. Take the time you need to sort out your schedule and attend the gatherings that work best for you. If you must attend the office holiday party, but are dreading an evening with colleagues, make a plan to go for a short time and have an exit strategy in place. Don’t put yourself in situations with people that will drain your energy and cause you to feel uncomfortable.

Take some time to think about how you can change your approach and come up with a holiday strategy that leaves you feeling more in control and clear headed. Take the time you need to think about what matters most to you and your family during the season and take action-steps to honor your vision of a peaceful enjoyable holiday. In order to feel clear headed, rested and enjoy our day-to-day lives, we have to honor the basics of self care. Good sleep, healthy nutrition and exercise, and spending time with close friends and family are the basics to looking and feeling great. The basics are the first thing to go when we feel stressed and overwhelmed. Don’t abandon your day-to-day routine to accommodate a few days of holiday celebrations.


It only takes a few days of neglect to feel the affects of stress and anxiety. Safeguard yourself from the holiday hangover by taking small steps daily to refresh and recharge.

Say no when you need to and attend gatherings that will be fun and lift your spirits. The holidays are all about spending time with family and the people we love. Unfortunately, for many, spending time with certain family members can be a trigger for anxiety and depression. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, the holidays may represent chaos, insecurity, loss and feelings of hopelessness. Likewise, if you are going through a divorce the holidays can bring on paralyzing fear and dread. Many of us plow through these uncomfortable feelings and put on our survival suits just hoping to make it through the season.

If there are certain family members that can be a trigger for depression and anxiety, be honest with yourself about these triggers and do what you need to do to feel healthy. Don’t be bullied into putting yourself in a situation that will cause you emotional distress. Your peace of mind and sense of security is far more important than someone’s reaction to it. Anytime you override your emotional comfort to accommodate someone else, you are putting someone else’s agenda and comfort ahead of your own. Be real about what your triggers are and take the steps you need to honor your well-being. Self care is not being selfish, it’s about making your health and well-being a priority in EVERY season. As we get ready to enter the holiday season in full swing, take a deep breath, stick to the basics, have a strategy in place and ENJOY! Let the joy, peace and fun that the season brings lift your spirit and bring light into your heart!


Be real about any feelings of depression that may creep into your heart and talk it out with





not the food...


here's how to rethink holiday eating.

IF YOU BINGE, DO YOU WONDER WHY YOU DO IT? Do you blame yourself? Maybe feel you have no control? The reason you eat large amounts of food secretly is not because you have no control, in fact, it is the opposite. If you think about it, you have to have to expend a lot of energy to get the food, essentially taking control of the situation. For example, you have to get the food, hide the food, then find the time and place when you can eat it. If you eat in hiding, you know you are binging. If you eat standing up, chances are you are binging. Binging has more to do with emotional stress, possibly anxiety or depression. Some bingers may be diagnosed as having BED, Binge-Eating Disorder. To recover from or to reduce your binges, you need a lot of patience and introspection. Before we go too deep into the psychological aspects of binging, you do get to blame some of the problem on hormones. Who binges? Most often it’s women. Around a woman’s monthly cycle, hormones take a dip which can be a set up for cravings. The most common binge foods include salt, sugar, chocolate or carbs. The menstrual binges usually pass in a few days but then we have to take a look at our anxiety levels. Managing how to reduce binges means learning behavioral eating techniques which will force you to look at your eating patterns. What does a binge do for us? Binging allows us to take a ‘mental vacation’ from things that may be bothering us. Instead of thinking about your bills, your boyfriend or the last fight with your boss, you become distracted with the thoughts of binging; you think of the food you will binge on. While you are binging, the negative or bothersome thoughts are replaced with actually eating, tasting, and swallowing the food. After a binge, it can last minutes, days or weeks, you become distracted from what may be bothering you with self-deprecation, guilt, and angry feelings that come with the aftermath of the binge. Binging takes your mind off of your troubles, but then you wake up to more trouble. Stop the binge cycle by first keeping track of your hunger. Eat only when you feel physically hungry. Eat moderate amounts of food and STOP. Pay attention to when you feel full and then wait for the next hunger pain, then eat again. Not sure if you are stressed or hungry? Wait twenty minutes and reassess your hunger. You may even think logically about it, did you just eat? How much or how often are you eating. Are you really ready to eat? If an apple or a salad makes you salivate, you are ready to eat. If you are an all-day grazer, stop. Stop snacking and eat only meals.


Once you keep track of your hunger you will have a good idea when you should eat. Keep things on a tight schedule. Do not allow yourself to eat unless you are hungry. For one month, cut down on sugar, salt and caffeine. Clear out your home of binge items and do not bring any binge food into the house. Once you begin, you will most likely binge a few times. Keep a log, if you binge, mark a B next to your food entry. Try to increase the time (hours) between the binges, or decrease the number of binges by one, each day. Good luck! SS










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Randall Perry Photography


Architec Randall Perry Photography


cturally SPEAKING

Follow us as we explore some of Saratoga's unique spaces...



A Home for all Seasons For Interior Designer Elizabeth Tanny, Reinvention Goes Hand in Hand with Design

The elements that inspire us to pursue a career path, where we decide to call home, and even the design and décor of the home itself are most often the result of early influences – those people, places and events that have profoundly impacted how we view the world and our place in it. For Elizabeth Tanny of e tanny design, LLC, the choices she has made on her own personal and professional journey have taken her from the boardroom to parenthood and now to the career that is a culmination of her lifelong passion. Elizabeth credits her passion for design to her mother’s influence. Looking at Elizabeth’s design choices in her Saratoga Springs home, one clearly senses the coastal influences of her childhood. She grew up in Boston and spent summers with her family on Nantucket. The cool linens, rough yet pristine natural woods and open floor plans evoke a nostalgia of wide seaside expanses and cool breezes wafting through gauzy shades.

Randall Perry Photography


Randall Perry Photography


Randall Perry Photography


Elizabeth didn’t initially purse a career in design, despite her love for it. Instead, she graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in English and began a career in sales and marketing in the healthcare industry. Her husband’s career took them out West, back to Boston and finally back to Saratoga, where they built a home with John Witt in 1997 and began to raise their family. Like many women, when Elizabeth became a mother, she opted to stay home to raise her two sons. It wasn’t until seven years later – in 2004 – when she and her husband were remodeling their kitchen – that she decided to revisit her passion. She now jokes that she will never be able to leave her home and move somewhere else because of her kitchen. The cabinetry alone – built by Zanetti Millwork in Middle Grove, NY – are enough to make anyone never want to leave home. “That project propelled me to get serious about starting my own interior design business,” which she started in 2008. Since then, thanks to hard work and an innate talent, Elizabeth has grown e tanny design almost exclusively through word of mouth, working with clients throughout the region and beyond.

For Elizabeth, it is so important to convey to other women how she was able to leave one career, stay at home with her children while they were young, and then go back to her original passion. Since then her designs have been featured in Renovation Style magazine and other national publications. Never giving up on one’s passions is an important lesson that Elizabeth has learned from her career and something she is eager to share with other women. For Elizabeth, serenity, calm and comfort are hallmarks of a well-designed space. “My favorite projects are when I am brought in early on in the building or remodeling process. I love being involved from the ground up and I believe in a cohesive design. There’s something soothing about a well thought out house with continuity across the spaces. It gives you a sense of balance and peace.” When people see one of Elizabeth’s projects, they’ve told her that they do experience that feeling of serenity she is talking about, and sometimes they don’t even know why they’re feeling it. Elizabeth says it is all about the balance. Elizabeth has retained her mother’s influence in her holiday style as well. Her mother never used the color red in her holiday décor – something that has stuck with Elizabeth in


her own decorating habits. “My holiday décor is more ‘winter’ and less ‘Christmas.’ I grew up with fresh greens, silvers and whites and I also use all natural fresh greens. For me, there are always fresh greens in my home.” Elizabeth decorates for the holidays differently each year. This year, she focused on natural textures, like the brown butcher paper wrap, accented with silver holiday ribbons and bows, propped tidily under a long-needle pine festooned with silver, gold and white snowmen, balls and stars. On her dinner table, she used simple paper name tags attached to fragrant sage and other herbs, and pale oatmeal woven dinner napkins and placements, courtesy of Williams Sonoma of Albany. The crisp whites and creamy oatmeal tones are repeated throughout her home. Elizabeth says that her kitchen and the adjacent “keeping room” are where they live. And it is easy to see why. With the fireplace as a unifying centerpiece, and the finely crafted upholstered sofas and chairs, courtesy of Hudson Home, the family can gather together in a comfortable intimacy that once again evokes that sense of balance, serenity and peace that are such important objectives of her design work. “I work in neutrals and layering textures to punch up a neutral design scheme with it. In my own home, you see a mix of materials: textured linens, natural woods, woven sisal carpets and wicker. It’s my signature style.” SS

Randall Perry Photography Randall Perry Photography



Home for the Holidays


Welcome to my home for the holidays… Another bustling holiday season is upon us. As we excitedly prepare and wait, I thought it would be enjoyable to take a quiet moment to give you a tour of my home decorated for this festive time of year. A beautiful boxwood - by the way, it’s faux – adorns the apple green colored front door and an oversized red burlap bow gives the perfect layering contrast. The simple, yet sophisticated seasonal wreath sets the tone for what awaits indoors.

Come on in… Not overly large, but well-thought out and functional, the foyer in the home is decorated with hues of golds and reds layered atop a base of various neutrals. My approach for holiday decorating, especially at Christmas, is to add in seasonal layers amongst the everyday decor. Accessories are changed out, but our family is still hustling and bustling all day, every day, so the main elements are still in use on a daily basis.

➢ Whether seasonal decorating or not, layering color and texture over neutrals is how I approach designing most spaces.


The dramatic gold campaign-style dresser, which combines function and aesthetics as storage for my kids’ shoes, is still the main focus of the foyer. I swapped out the pictures above and added in a chalkboard printable (which I found online for free and had printed for $5 at Staples) with the seasonal quote, May your days be merry & bright, And may all your Christmases be white. Above, a simple gold glitter wreath is added to give height to the wall and complete the wall space.

Atop the dresser, a large vase is filled with branches from the yard and medium-sized ornaments in shades of chocolate and champagne are hung. Other seasonal favorites fill the dresser top including small trees, wrapped presents, and some DIY creations like the JOY ornament I made using a glass bulb ornament and a gold Sharpie. A few years back, I was looking for a creative way to display the seasonal cards we receive. Many are filled with smiling faces of family and friends, so I wanted to showcase them so they could be enjoyed throughout the season. I chose to create this Christmas Card Holder using a 1 x 10 piece of wood, which I added clothespins to, painted, and stenciled the words Christmas Blessings down the center. The sign sits perfectly in the foyer and festive cards are added as they trickle in throughout the month. This creation is a family favorite!

Let’s head from the foyer to the dining room

where you can finally get a glimpse of our tree…

Do you see it? Do you see it? White twinkly lights reflected in the glass… We’re getting closer… My bold Craiglist-found china cabinet which I painted a vibrant coral color a few years back, is draped with an alluring magnolia garland - again it’s faux - along with a simple strand of pom pom garland.

Pretty paper in patterns of hounds-tooth, stripes, and a reindeer silhouette were used to wrap presents. Then ribbon, ornaments, and rosemary were used to dress them up. I love giving a present that smells just as good as it looks…


We finally get to the tree…

Our jolly, merry Christmas tree with lights shining bright.

We DON’T have a tree filled with a colorful mix of ombre Christmas balls or a collection of glass, themed precious ornaments. Instead we have a tree that reflects us. Yes the tree is a material object, but it symbolizes so much. It tells so much about our family. Who we are. Where we’ve been. What we love. Our tree is filled with DIY creations, funny monkey ornaments that we couldn’t resist while on summer vacation, and ornaments that are older than me passed down from my parents. In our family, the tree is special. I can also honestly share, other than adding the garland and ribbon, I have no take in the tree decorating process. All the credit goes to my kids. This is their territory and since I have control of creating beautiful vignettes around the house, they have the tree.

The space with the tree is the everyday-hang-out-area for the family so it needs to stay functional. The everyday decor is layered with seasonal favorites, family keepsakes, and DIY creations. Natural greenery from the yard is set as the base on the mantel and store-bought finds from over the years embellish the focal point of the room. Décor in various heights and sizes, all in shades of white, give drama, height, and contrast to the center wall of the room which is painted a soft black hue. The halls are decked. The stockings are hung. We are ready for the holiday season to begin. I hope you’ve enjoyed my holiday home tour and I’m hopeful you are inspired by how I decorate for Christmas with do-it-yourself creations, hand-me-down treasures, and store-bought favorites. Cheers to a festive season ahead. SS

For more seasonal décor ideas and DIY projects, visit me at




As in all things, the preventative steps are just as important – working smoke detectors and general inspections routinely performed.

2. Have a power of attorney set up. If you are without one, there is no way for others to take care of things. As we have found out, all that can be done with bills is to pay them.

3. If you are single, have someone on your checking account as a backup.

4. Know your employment policy if tragedy strikes; is there disability? How can insurance be paid while out?

5. Have a fire proof safe, containing: •



• • • • • • • • •

family member recently had a house fire and we have all been tasked with the ever-mounting details of insurance claims, bills and medical care as he is hospitalized. Hindsight is 20-20, so here are some valuable tips to help yourself, your family and all those helping you, make this terrible time easier.

Imagine someone (maybe you!) finding the safe, opening it up and having all this info to start the claim, notify utilities, have new credit cards issued if lost, and more. These documents become a checklist for the TO-DO list.

Here is a link to a great document that can show you what is needed after the fire. There may be other things you feel you need to put in a safe… old photos, sentimental keepsakes, letters or newspaper clippings. Obviously, you can’t put everything in there, but you’ll be happy for what you can. I hope this preparedness never has to be used, but the few hours you spend now could save weeks of stress for you and/or others and probably a lot of money later, in case of a disaster.


All life documents – SS card, passports, birth certificate, marriage certificate, all vehicle/boat/other titles, will, house deed, legal documents, adoption papers, divorce decrees, military discharge papers, life insurance docs, anything that would be very difficult, time consuming and costly to replace List of investment accounts and contact numbers Name and contact information of your lawyer Copy of health insurance Copy of home insurance Copy of auto insurance Copy of your license – front and back Any legal documents that you are named in or that you are the power of attorney for Valuables Master list of all financial accounts and bills… Name of Bank/Bill account number(s) and contact number. A full copy of a mortgage bill. You can defer payments and tack them on the back end of the mortgage if needed. Master list of main home contents – photograph each room in 2-3 viewpoints.

6. Once a year, update all info – latest insurance copies, accounts, etc. 7. If possible, put this safe in a closet on an exterior wall. 8. Health care proxy. This can be the same person as your power of attorney, but it doesn’t have to be. This person should know you; know your wishes for your care if unconscious.

9. Because we are in the electronic age, a cloud based back up of all your computer and phone contents would be helpful. There are services out there, so do a bit of research. If you have this set up, document the account id/password for when you get a new device for easy reload.

10. Review your insurance policy. Is it for the current cost of your

home? Does it replace contents? Does it pay for living expenses while displaced? Does it help offset medical bills? What natural disasters are included? What met your needs when you bought the house, may not meet your needs if a fire happened today. SS

Holiday Entertaining Starts Here

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. — Ralph Waldo Emerson Photo by Blackburn Portrait Design

...and we're grateful for this festive holiday section – come along and see what we have for you! HOLIDAY 2017 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 113


Mini No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites • Mini Filo Shells

• 7.5 oz. 100% pumpkin

• Melting Chocolate (or morsels)

• ¼ cup light brown sugar

• Pecans, finely chopped • 4 oz. whipped cream cheese • 2 tablespoons milk • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon • ½ teaspoon all spice • 4 oz. whipped cream

1. Place the chopped pecans in a bowl or plate. 2. Melt ¼ cup of the melting chocolates at a time in a glass bowl in the microwave by following the directions on the package.

3. Dip the top edge of the mini filo cup into the melted

chocolate and then immediately in to the chopped pecans. Continue this process until they are all rimmed with chocolate and pecans.

4. Let them set on a flat surface until the chocolate has fully set.

5. Note: This can be done the day before you plan to serve the Acorn Bites.

6. Mix the whipped cream cheese, milk and confectioner’s sugar together. Then add in the pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and all spice. Mix all of the ingredients together.

7. Fold in the whipped cream.

Note: You can make the filling ahead of time & let it set in the refrigerator, but don’t fill the mini filo cups until you are ready to serve.


e for eat recip ing, r g a is mak This assist in kids to it’s quick and because ost ages can easy. M process from the handle ning to end. begin

8. Place the pumpkin mixture into a Ziploc lunch –sized

bag and seal it. Clip a corner with a pair of kitchen shears and pipe the filling into each cup just before serving. The filling will fill approximately 30 mini filo shells.


Made Easy!

I’m so excited to be sharing some of our family favorites with the readers of Simply Saratoga magazine! I have spent the last six years traveling in SIX (!) states cooking with kids & families…I can relate to the BUSY COOK : ) As my recipe collection continues to grow, I am starting to share some of the recipes that you will find at our house for meals… Enjoyed by both family… and friends! I am always experimenting & creating tasty bites, finding the simplest way to do it & love sharing great flavor and time saving finds along the way.

QUICK AND EASY PUMPKIN PIE ICE CREAM • 15 oz. 100% pure pumpkin

• 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

• 14 oz. fat free sweetened condensed milk

• 2 teaspoons vanilla

• 8 oz. light whipped topping, frozen

1. Thaw the whipped topping. 2. Fold together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, whipped

topping, cinnamon and vanilla until the ingredients are fully mixed together.

3. Pour the entire batch into a freezer friendly storage container and freeze over night before serving.

TOPPINGS: This pumpkin pie ice cream is tasty on it’s own or topped off with Price Chopper’s chocolate syrup and/or caramel sauce that can be found in the baking aisles in the ice cream serving section. DISH IT UP:

If you are looking for a little added fancy for your Thanksgiving table, you can make Filo (phyllo) dough bowls to serve it in ahead of time. And here’s how; 4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

5. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. 6. Cut approximately 3 sheets of filo dough so that you can gently lay a strip in a muffin tin and then cut several layers to fit crisscrossed on top so that in the end you fill the muffin tin.

7. Repeat this process until you have filled all 12 cups. 8. Baste the filo dough with a very light layer of canola oil. 9. Bake the cups for approximately 5 – 7 minutes. The filo will be lightly browned.

10. Remove the pan and let the cups cool completely before removing them from the pan.




• 1/2 cup onion, finely diced

• 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

• 1 - 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano

• 2/3 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese

• 1 large clove of garlic

• 1/4 cup light olive oil

• 1 tablespoon freeze dried basil

• 1 teaspoon onion powder

• 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt

• 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Wash the zucchini, remove the ends and cut it into large chunks.

been ground into a bread crumb texture.

2. Stir the cut zucchini, onion, diced

6. Mix the ground quinoa, salt, onion

3. Add in a clove of crushed garlic and

7. Add in the olive oil and continue to

tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil together.

mix the ingredients together well.

4. Pour the zucchini mixture into a 13 x 9 glass baking dish that's been coated with a non-stick cooking spray.

5. Place the uncooked quinoa into a

grinder until all of the quinoa has

powder, garlic powder and parmesan cheese together until it's mixed well. mix the ingredients together until the quinoa is evenly coated.

8. Add the moistened quinoa to the

top of the zucchini mixture and bake the entire dish, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 35 - 40 minutes.

SWEET AND TANGY CRANBERRY SAUCE • 1 package fresh cranberries

• 2 tablespoons water

• 1 cup honey

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1 navel orange

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 1-2 tablespoons orange zest 1. Place the cranberries in a saucepan. Cut the navel orange in half, squeeze the juice on top of the cranberries. Using the rind, create orange zest to add to the recipe with a fine grater. 2. Stir in the water, honey, cinnamon & vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low & let the mixture simmer for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. Stir frequently & cook until the liquid reduces & the cranberry sauce thickens. Serve warm. Note: This recipe is delicious served as a side dish, on top of roasted turkey or pork tenderloin.



BBQ TURKEY PIZZA • 2 – 3 cups cut, cooked turkey (left-over from Thanksgiving, of course!) • 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese (room temperature) • 1/2 tsp. onion powder

• 1/4 tsp. garlic powder • Pinch of black pepper • BBQ sauce (your favorite) • 1 pre-made pizza crust (round)

1. Mix the cream cheese, onion powder & garlic powder together and spread the cream cheese layer on the pizza base of your choice.

3. Add the BBQ turkey onto the cream cheese layer and top it with 4-6 oz. of freshly grated sharp cheese.

2. Cut the turkey into small, diced pieces and mix with a BBQ sauce of your choice; our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s.

4. Heat your oven to 400 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes; until the cheese is melted and all of the ingredients are heated through.



1. Take the left-over BBQ turkey (from above). 2. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onions or scallions to the leftover BBQ turkey and mix it with a little bit of mayonnaise. 3. Spread it on some mini bagels and top it with lettuce and serve a whole new kind of Thanksgiving left-over sandwich.

You can always catch what’s going on in our lives at and, or check out my new cook books - available on my website!




Recipe courtesy of Lindsay Fisk and Mark Bascom

INGREDIENTS • 1 lb leeks* • 4 Tablespoons butter* • 2 lbs potatoes* • 2 quarts broth (chicken or vegetable) • 4 cups milk* • Salt and pepper, to taste • 1/4 cup parsley* or nettles or thyme*

*Ingredients available at the farmers’ market

DIRECTIONS 1. Saute the leeks in butter. Add broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer until potatoes are tender. 2. Mash potatoes to desired consistency. Turn off heat and add milk and herbs. Optional: Top with additional herbs or crumbled bacon


Adapted from recipe by Jamie Oliver, shared by My Saratoga Kitchen Table

Serves: 6-8 INGREDIENTS • 12-15 beets* • 5 Tablespoons olive oil* • 4 red onions* • 4 garlic cloves* • ½ cup white wine* • a few sprigs of fresh dill* • a few sprigs of fresh mint* • a few sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley* • 2 bags of arugula* Vinaigrette: • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar* • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard* • 4 Tablespoons olive oil* *Ingredients available at the farmers’ market


3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the stalks from beet bulbs, reserving the leaves, then cut into pieces. Rub a little olive oil on the beets and wrap in aluminum foil and place on sheet pan. Roast in oven for about 45 minutes or until a knife slips easily into the beets. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Peel and chop the onions into wedges, peel and mince the garlic. Pick and chop the herbs. In a bowl, toss the onion wedges in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Place on sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes or until soft. Remove and set aside to cool. When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub off the skins and cut into wedges or slices. Set aside. Blanch the beet stalks and leaves in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, drain well and add to ice water for a minute. Heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in a pan over high heat, add the beet stalks and garlic and fry for a few minutes until the garlic is golden. Turn down the heat to medium, pour in the wine and cook for 10 minutes. Add the beet leaves and cook until wilted. Vinaigrette: Whisk the vinegar into the mustard. Stir in olive oil. Set aside. In a large serving bowl, gently toss the beets, onion with stalk mixture, herbs and vinaigrette, Serve with arugula.

Optional: top with goat cheese.


It's time to

Eat, Drink and be Merry,

3 • • •

but first we must set the table!

Simple Steps to Holiday Entertaining… Plan early Play off the décor already in your home Personalize

All these elements mean less stress for you and an event that doesn’t look like you were “trying too hard.” The best part about organizing any event at home is being able to borrow the special touches you have gathered over the years and highlight them; your grandmother’s table cloth, heirloom china, family ornaments – they all finally make their way out into the light on these special occasions. It’s important to look for the opportunity to let them shine! In this photo shoot we staged it in my own home to be as true to form as possible (of course, on any other day, my house - like most others - is filled with kids’ toys, pet stuff and the clutter that makes their way 120  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

into our lives!). Not only was it a fantastic opportunity to finally put some things away, but it made the house so festive with minimal work. A simple black and white color palette added some pop to my otherwise neutral home décor and mixed metals and evergreens made themselves at home with elements I already owned. We could make “perfectly polished and whimsically undone” look like they were meant to be! The dining room was so fun, because it’s a room I almost never use. Adding a Christmas tree to that room made all the difference and I ended up loving having a “formal tree” in there for the season. I can never have enough Christmas and it felt great to give that room a complete infusion of holiday spirit. The good, old fashioned, family Christmas dinner was a smashing success in there with the right touches. The best part of this entire design was that it was created in a matter of hours with 1 van

full of rental items and 2 girls who had fun doing it. All the rental items featured in the shoot are common rental elements. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when planning for a holiday, but we have you covered on that end as well. Rental showrooms not only provide inspiration, but will let you design your table and then put it all together before renting, to see if in fact, you like the finished effect. Yes, you can rent it all… the linens, chairs, china, charger plates, centerpieces and more! Happy Holidays… and Happy (easy) Entertaining from, Megan Barkevich, Director of Special Events; Total Events, LLC Melissa Brown, Owner/Principal Designer; Styled by Melissa PHOTOS BY BLACKBURN PORTRAIT DESIGN RENTALS PROVIDED BY TOTAL EVENTS DESIGN BY STYLED BY MELISSA DESSERTS BY MAZZONE HOSPITALITY


Such fun...

The kids' table!

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DECOR SUGGESTIONS Have fun pairing unexpected patterns and textures with traditonal holiday decor. Pine tree branches and seasonal foliage are the perfect base for a casual centerpiece - add in some berries and hit up the craft store for some snow capped trees to set the winter wonderland scene! Woodland animals make for some cute and friendly faces the kids are sure to love. Adorable chalkboard seat assisgnments and wood chargers are the perfect finshing details.


Time to Gather 'Round... For an easy and stylish setting, keep it simple. Build your table design in layers. Start with a basic neutral linen and pop it with touches of festive color. Add in texture with natural elements like flocked branches, pine cones and seasonal greens. Finish it off with beautiful chargers, candles, and stemware for a classicly elegant setting.


Make entertaining a breeze with a self serve cocktail station. Choose an acessible location that’s away from the hustle and bustle. Feel free to pre-mix a few and then leave the tools in your guests' hands for refills. Display your spirits, mixers, and menu board within easy reach. To keep the line moving, have a few quick-pour options such as beer, wine, and bubbly! Don’t forget the details and deck out that bar with some seasonal favorites like this reindeer wine stopper, and cheerful cocktail stirrers.

Get in the spirit! serves 2


• • • • 1.

.3 ounces of bourbon 1 cup apple cider 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 ounce simple syrup Mix the bourbon, apple cider, orange juice, and simple syrup together. 2. Pour over ice and garnish with an apple slice! 124  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

TIME TO DINE The secret to a super chill, no-stress holiday gathering is a well designed charcuterie board you can put together in 10 minutes. Hit up your favorite deli for everything you’ll need. Once you get it home, display cheeses on a chilled marble slab to stay fresh. Use a variety of containers, plates, breadboards, and platters for added interest. Tuck in seasonal greens and your guests will think it took you all day!

Let's Eat! • A perfect selection of meat and cheeses should include a variety of textures and salty and sweet tastes. • Garnishes can make or break the look – include olives, nuts for crunch, mustard is always good with fatty sausage and don’t forget the pickles. • Lastly, keep it simple with only baguettes. For a little crunch, toast with olive oil.


The Cocoa Bar Nothing says Holiday Cheer like a warm cup of cocoa. Set up a selfserve station both kids and adults will love. Take it to the next level with flavored syrups and yummy mix-ins like marshmallows, white chocolate shavings, pepermint sticks, and cinnamon. Top it off with whipped cream or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream.



Dessert Table Pie is glorious, simple, and quite frankly a statutory requirement during the holidays. But beyond pie there are other applauseworthy desserts that will delight guests with a sweet, ending to a great meal. Give guests a few choices and you're sure to hit the mark. Cookies, tarts, chocolate moouse, bundt cakes, I could go on, but let’s not forget to include some gluten free or sugar free options as well.


1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted 3 tablespoons honey Juice from ½ lemon ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 5 bananas sliced, medium firmness ½ teaspoon 100% Rum Extract


1. Add and combine the first four ingredients to the slow cooker. 2. Add banana slices, toss gently to coat with honey mixture. Cover and cook on low 1 ½ to 2 hours. 3. Add rum extract to bananas and stir to combine. 4. Serve over Coconut milk ice cream for a dairy free, gluten free treat with next to no effort!



HELLO MY FOODIE FRIENDS! This is my fun time of year and has been since my childhood. Mom would be baking Italian cookies and pastries daily in December. They would go so fast that they didn’t have much time to cool. There were 5 cookie monsters running around the Reardon household and 3 in Paula’s house. Cooking and baking smells were a daily occurrence and the excitement kept building up for the day the man in the white beard stopped by to get his cookies and leave something for the sweet, angelic little Reardon kids! John at his shop's new location 33 Railroad Place (next to Bow Tie)

John & Paula Reardon at their wedding reception, starting their own history of... the "Big tray of Italian Cookies!"

Everyone knows that baking is part of the holiday season. Italian cookies are a wonderful gift for family and friends. There are many types of Italian cookies made by people worldwide. Secret family recipes that have been around for over 50 years are usually delivered nationwide to hand out. Holly Wreaths were always my favorite Italian cookie to make with my mother. Using the Marcato Deluxe Italian Biscuit press with the star plate #2, my mother would blend:

• •

1 cup butter 6 oz cream cheese

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½ cup sugar 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 cups sifted flour

Creaming the butter and cheese first, she would gradually add the sugar, beat in vanilla, and gradually blend in the flour. They are baked on ungreased baking sheets at 375°F for 8-10 minutes and should make about 4 dozen yummy Holly wreaths. Our family really values certain traditions derived from our Italian culture and heritage. Both Paula and my grandparents came over from Italy! However, as I have been reminded by my wife, my family came from Sicily and that’s not Italy! Is that true? Anyway, we try to hand down our Italian heritage to our children. Although we do not speak the language, we do try to cook some of the dishes we have learned over the years. We absolutely adore Italian cookies and part of our childhood memories of watching our mothers and grandmothers bake holiday cookies. The kitchen was filled with the wonderful aroma as tray after tray of cookies came out of the oven. Enjoy your family baking traditions. It is always important to include personal tradition that everyone can love. Creating simple traditions makes holiday memories priceless. You can almost guarantee that your family will continue the tradition for generations to come. Stop in to 33 Railroad Place and say Buon Natale to the Reardon Family!

HAPPY HOLIDAY TRADITIONS! And remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen” Take care, John and Paula Reardon




Gardening WITH

PETER BOWDEN Size matters, so go large!

This is the time of year to start Amaryllis bulbs for flowers to enjoy when winter days are at their shortest and living flowers outside are still months away. Nothing brightens up a winter home like giant Amaryllis flowers! Amaryllis flowers range in color from pure white to wine red and every variation in between. Banded, striped and bordered have been developed, transforming an already striking plant into an extraordinary specimen indeed! It isn't uncommon for the flower spike to rise 2 ½' above the top of the bulb and produce flowers 7" across... a real show stopper!! If you're thinking of purchasing one for someone (or for yourself), be aware that Amaryllis bulbs can vary greatly in size... and size does make a difference! The bigger the bulb, the more flowers you get. When you’re ready to plant your Amaryllis bulb, inspect the bottom and remove any dead roots. Dead roots will be withered and dry. The pot you choose should seem too small for the bulb. It should only be an inch or two wider than the widest part of the bulb. Plant so that ½ to ⅓ of the bulb is exposed above the soil and water thoroughly. Place your potted Amaryllis in a warm spot (on top of the refrigerator works for me). Don't water it again until you notice the flower stem starting to emerge from the top of the bulb. This will take some time, so be patient. When a shoot emerges it's time to move your Amaryllis to a bright location. Keep the soil lightly moist (not soggy wet). The flower spike will grow very quickly with noticeable growth each day. When the huge flowers open, you may want to move your Amaryllis to a cooler location (as low as 50 degrees) to prolong the show of flowers. After the flowers are spent, cut off the flower stem. By now leaves have probably started to emerge from the bulb. To get your Amaryllis to flower again, it's important to promote this leaf growth. Think of the leaves as solar collectors that convert sunlight into energy that's stored in the bulb for the next flowering cycle. Bright light (but not direct sun) is the source of next year's flowers. Keep the soil lightly moist and feed with a soluble plant food at half strength about every two or three weeks. The best way to strengthen your Amaryllis is to sink the pot in a semishady flowerbed outside when things warm up in mid-May. Sink the pot into the soil so that the exposed part of the bulb is almost covered. In fall, before frost, bring your Amaryllis inside and allow it to dry out completely. Keep dry and store at 60 to 65 degrees for at least a month. This dry storage period is necessary to stimulate your Amaryllis to begin its next growth cycle. Remember, Amaryllis likely to be pot-bound, so leave it in the same size pot for two or three years. THANKS FOR THE READ.



White-breasted Nuthatch and Carolina Wren ©WBU, Inc.

Birdwatching with Nancy Castillo

American Tree Sparrow ©Nancy Castillo

Dark-eyed Junco ©Nancy Castillo

FAQ: WHY ARE JUNCOS CALLED SNOWBIRDS? A: Some folks call Dark-eyed Juncos “snowbirds” because they often show up in yards with the first snowfall. They seem to appear out of nowhere, their handsome dark gray and white plumage looking beautiful against a light blanket of freshly fallen snow. In my yard west of Saratoga Springs, juncos are here all year long, snow or no snow. A 1,000’ difference in elevation makes all the difference. So my preferred explanation is that juncos are called snowbirds because you might describe them as you would describe a northeast mid-winter day: leaden skies above, snowy white below.


In fall, some of our favorite birdfeeder birds start hanging out together. Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, and Downy Woodpeckers find strength in numbers by forming "winter flocks", mixed-species groups of birds that forage together during the winter months. There are advantages to this behavior. There are more eyes looking for food and there are more eyes and ears to notice potential predators. During winter, you want to make sure your yard is amongst those visited by winter flocks in search of a reliable source of quality food. Offer a variety of birdfood including various seeds, nuts, and suet, offered in a variety of birdfeeder types, along with a source of

Downy Woodpecker and Eastern Bluebird ©WBU, Inc.

open water. This way, as these flocks search for food throughout the winter day, they’ll be more likely to make regular and frequent stops at your birdfeeding stations.


An often overlooked winter visitor to yards in our area is the American Tree Sparrow. They're called the "winter chippie", since they have a rusty cap like the Chipping Sparrow, which is a summer visitor in our parts. Another identifying mark to look for on the tree sparrow is a dark spot in the middle of their chest. American Tree Sparrows are a common winter visitor in New York State and are not shy about visiting birdfeeders. They start arriving in fall and head north again in March/April to their breeding grounds all across northern Canada and into Alaska. You can offer a little birdfood for visiting tree sparrows by spreading white millet under shrubs, under your birdfeeders, or in open tray feeders. They’ll be attracted to it, as will their cousins, the Darkeyed Junco. Be careful though - in certain locations too much white millet ends up attracting hordes of House Sparrows, so use millet sparingly anytime you offer it to the birds. SS


Post Time Memories

with Dennis G. Hogan

Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells photo courtesy: baBornstein

Playing to Win “Well, for me, Saratoga is a very happy place. I like the community, I like the people and of course, I like horse racing…”

Parcells left coaching for good in ’06 though went on to enjoy stints in broadcasting, and in the front office of the Miami Dolphins. In 2013, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Unquestionably, he’s a game changer, but what exactly are the secrets to his success?

Sometimes the simplest explanation says it all, and the ability to communicate directly and with purpose has always been a hallmark for Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells; how else could he have transformed locker rooms of football players into world-class champions?

“Well, you have to have a vision for what you’re trying to do.” Said Parcells. “And you must have a compatible philosophy with whoever’s working in the organization’s personnel area. That person has to know what you’re looking for and how you’re envisioning players participating for your team.

Parcells began coaching college football in 1964, eventually landing the top position with the Air Force Academy in ’78. The following year he graduated to the NFL as Defensive Coordinator for the NY Giants. He spent a short time with the Patriots, then returned to the Giants, and in ’83 he was awarded the job as head coach.

“And you have to be fortunate - sometimes that includes the bounces of the ball. Other times it’s good fortune on the injury front and good playing on the part of the players. You must give them a chance to be successful with a good design and a good reason to play well.”

Now fully retired, Bill’s traded in his chalkboard for a racing form, and those familiar Xs and Os are used At the time the Giants were a struggling team that had but a single winning season (.500+) since 1972. solely for handicapping. He splits his time between Florida and New York, and shared his thoughts about Parcells’ first year with the squad saw much the what attracted him to Thoroughbreds. same though in ‘84 they went 9-7, then 10-4, and in ’86, Big Blue reeled off 14 wins and went on to “When I was a young boy the three major sports capture their first Super Bowl. Three of the next were baseball, boxing and horse racing. You could four seasons the Gmen racked up double-digit wins pretty much find news on those sports all year and another Super Bowl victory in 1990. round, and that’s what initially got me interested. I never really made it to Saratoga back then but I did After a short retirement Parcells spent four years with go to Monmouth Park. the Patriots beginning in ’93, and culminating with yet another Super Bowl appearance in ’96. He joined “In the late 80s and 90s I thought about owning a few the NY Jets in ’97 and led them to three consecutive horses, and I’ve had some years where I didn’t have seasons at .500 or better, which included the too many and a few years where I had a few more. Conference Championship game in 1999. Now I have a substantial interest in horse racing.” He again retired, yet returned in ‘03 to lead a middling Dallas Cowboys franchise to two Wild Card appearances within a four-year run. 132  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

I would think an ex-NFL coach with a reputation for being ‘hands on’ might also fashion himself

as part trainer, yet Parcells admits the master has become the student. “When it comes to the horses I listen to my trainers they’re the experts. I’ve asked many trainers I know why they do things and I just try to learn from their expertise.” Parcells campaigns his charges in the yellow and green silks of August Dawn Farm, and at times he harkens back to his NFL days when naming his horses. I asked about his 3-year-old colt Bavaro, named after Mark Bavaro, the two-time Pro-Bowl Tight End and big play-making member of the ’86 and ’90 Super Bowl-winning NY Giants. “I’ve named a few horses after my ex-players and I’ll probably continue to do so if I get the chance as they get a kick out of it. And I certainly do have a lot of respect for Mark.” I thanked the coach for those Super Bowl appearances and the great memories New Yorkers now share, though he cautioned not every memory is a pleasant one. “You can experience difficulty: you lose games, players get hurt, and its not always a smoothly run machine. As a coach I’ve viewed myself as a teacher of sorts, so the relationships you make and the things you accomplish together with the players combine to make the best memories. The achievements bond you together with those people forever, and that’s a pretty precious thing for some people, it is for me at least.” We'll see if this retirement thing sticks, though Bill Parcells appears to be taking things in stride. No longer stalking the sidelines, he's now content to just play a little golf and pace the more tranquil and welcoming sidewalks of Saratoga. SS







BROADWAY WAS REINVENTING ITSELF In the 1980s Broadway was reinventing itself. Countless individuals, businesses and organizations worked toward this goal, including: the Plan of Action Committee formed in 1974; The Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce; and the recently created Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. Many thought Saratoga Springs’ main street would never return to its glory days of the grand hotels. But Saratoga Springs, being a gambling town, had doubled-down on multiple fronts and was beginning to demonstrate it could beat the odds of a dying downtown. One element in the revitalization was a onepercent sales tax increase in 1980. Another was the creation of a special assessment district that taxed commercial property. This revenue pumped funds into improving Saratoga Springs’ main street. Also key was

the construction of the Saratoga Springs City Center. It served as an anchor at the north end of Broadway and brought conventions and tourists to main street businesses. Positive change became visible – building facades were improving, streetscapes included attractive flowers and new trees, parking lots were created and the buzz about Saratoga’s downtown began to percolate. Shoppers came from Schenectady and Glens Falls to check out a trendy store named “Mabou.” All of these efforts would have fallen short if we did not have something worth saving. Although numerous factors came together in a “perfect storm” to save downtown, it was the hardworking, innovative “mom and pop” retail owners such as Norman Fox, founder of N.Fox -- the oldest surviving store on Broadway, David Carr (Starbucks

Department store), Edward Lenz (Menges & Curtis), Harry Covkin (Covkin’s Little Folks Shop), Alfred Gardner (Globe Supply), E. W. Heckman (Saratoga Men’s Shop), Jerry and Charlotte Albert (Glickman’s), Jack Berkowitz (Mr. Jack’s), Nate Berkowitz (Berkowitz Jeweler’s), Bernie and Caroline Serotta (Farmers Hardware), Ray Watkins (Raymond’s Bootery and Mark Strauss (Mabou) and Firp Carroll -- along with his nephews Jimmy and John (Carroll Auto Sales) -- who gambled their livelihood in the 1970s. One could speculate that they are the heroes of the Saratoga Springs downtown area. Their hard work laid the groundwork for the many independent businesses that thrive here today. In 2016, more than 90 ribbon cuttings of independently owned businesses occurred in Saratoga Springs. SS

East side of Broadway near Gardner Lane. Note that although flowers were being planted, the beautiful granite flower borders we have today had not been instituted.

The Aldelphi Hotel at 365 Broadway had a repainted facade, thanks to owners Joesph and Sophie Parker. The antique lobby and lush gardens drew many visitors in for drinks. Note the many “mom and pop” shops below the raised piazza. 134  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

The Red Barn Restaurant stood where the current Fingerpaint building is located. Most locals did not feel this structure and its fast food style mansard roof fit the character of a Victorian main street.

Soloman Grundy’s, now home to Stadium Cafe.

The Post Office, built in1910, had once had the most elaborate lobby of any post office in New York State. The high ceiling lobby was not energy efficient and renovations of this Classic Revival style structure took place.

Now known as the Granite Palace, the 1980’s Shackelford Square housed many small businesses. A favorite cafe with outdoor seating was Pehl’s Bakery. The Best Bet Restaurant occupied what we know know as Starbucks Coffee.

The block that is now home to the Gap, Banana Republic, and the Ayco Building looked very different in the 1980s. A parking lot for the strip mall bordered Broadway and city planners felt it was not as pedestrian friendly.


N. Fox Jewelers

a 70-year-old living legacy #




The original N. Fox’s didn’t include the word “jewelry” in its name. Timex watches, Kodak film, and LP records were among the inventory sold.

“We have to open our arms and welcome new people coming to town,” often said Norman Fox, founder of N. Fox. Norm knew this first hand. As a young WWII vet, Norm and his wife Eva moved to Saratoga Springs from NYC in October 1947, leaving behind family and friends to become part owners of the Saratoga Appliance Store at 417 Broadway. They initially lived around the corner in a studio apartment in Franklin Square. Norman was a visionary with little business experience. He chose Saratoga Springs sight unseen, based on the recommendation of his Army buddy, Horace Braus. Horace, excited from a visit to Saratoga Springs, exclaimed, “Norm, I’ve just been to this unbelievable little town.” The two young vets left NYC and began a 10-year partnership selling TV sets, radios, washing machines and records. When Horace sold his business share, Norm changed his inventory (inexpensive jewelry, luggage, film and cameras), and name – N. Fox – to a new location at 404 Broadway. Norman and Eva Fox on their wedding day on March 29, 1947 in NYC. Shortly after, they relocated to Saratoga Springs to open a business in the basement of the Wine Bar.


Today’s N. Fox Jewelers is very different from the store of my teenage years. In the early 1970s, it was a mecca for teens to purchase the latest LP album for a mere $3.00. So how did this store survive malls, changing consumer trends and the challenge of long hours? “You have to evolve and pay attention to what’s going on,” states Cassie Fox, current co-owner of the store. Cassie stresses the importance of being “willing to get out of things we didn’t have a future in selling.” However, since Norm’s humble beginnings, this mom and pop operation has experienced its share of ups and downs. As a college student Harvey Fox, Norm and Eva’s son, didn’t envision taking over the family business. In fact, after college graduation, Harvey spent a year driving forklift and delivering furniture for G. Heath King in Saratoga. His family business couldn’t support another employee. In 1977 Norman decided to pursue other interests and after spending a year working alongside his mom, Harvey purchased the jewelry store. His mother was his sole employee. The following year – eager and anxious – Harvey spent $1,000 he didn’t have on Italian gold chains to sell for the holiday season. Gold and silver were premium commodities in 1979 giving rise to a rash of jewelry stores burglaries. N. Fox became the next victim of professional thieves. Harvey was under insured, but quickly learned a valuable lesson about security systems and insurance. He then changed the focus to just jewelry, split his store in half and rented the other half of the store out as a restaurant – first as C’Est Cheese and then as Scallions. Harvey cites that one of the keys to his success was marrying his wife Cassie in 1981. He listened to her advice to become a fine jewelry store and together they convinced Rolex to become one of their official watch dealers.

TOP: Norman loved Saratoga Springs. As a founder of the Downtown Merchants Association and the Special Assessment District and served on the City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board as Vice Chair. MIDDLE: Norm's open arms demonstrate his welcoming attitude. The Fox family built their business on personal relationships. BOTTOM: Interior view of N. Fox's in the 1970s. Note the record albums in the rear of the store.


LEFT: In the 1980s N. Fox shifted its focus to jewelry, adding that to its name. Harvey downsized, renting the other side of his store to C’est Cheese. BELOW: Norm Fox, founder of N. Fox Jewelers, pictured with his son Harvey as a college student. A common dinner table conversation revolved around the importance of giving back to the community, something both of them have done their entire lives.

We have to open our arms and welcome new people coming to town - Norman Fox

In the 1990s potential customers were drawn to malls. Harvey and Cassie wondered, “Should we go where they are?” In 1994 they accepted Wilmorite Corporation’s attractive 3-year lease in Wilton Mall and opened a second location. This venture was a good learning experience, but in 1997 they decided not to renew their mall lease. Harvey and Cassie knew their business was built on relationships and conservative risks. They focused their efforts on their original location and business began to grow. In 2005 they decided to remodel the store and return to their original size. They did not extend Scallion’s lease. This also meant expanding their inventory and staff, which proved to be a wise move. This past year, marking their 70th anniversary, was the most successful to date. “When we first remodeled, people had the perception that everything was high end. This was not true,” states Cassie. 138  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

“You can find nice jewelry at a range of price points. I can go to Fox’s and find a nice $75 gift,” commented resident Bruce Clements. In the end… trust, long work hours and a deep sense of communityvalues – Norm stressed – are at the core of N. Fox Jewelers’ success. SS Author’s note on this series of “mom and pop retail” stores: Third generation families rarely ran Saratoga’s “mom and pop” stores. Instead visionary “carpet baggers” such as Norm Fox, Milton and Charlie Mintzer, Bernie Serotta, Vito Suave and Mark Strauss were attracted to our community. Each man’s decision to risk their livelihood with long hours, hard work and a commitment to give back to the community has made Saratoga Springs one of the most viable downtowns in upstate New York. We owe them our gratitude.

Thanks for making Simply Saratoga Magazine a part of your year!

Broadway in July 1958


Many "mom and pop" retailers pictured exist only in longtime residents’ memories. ERLANGER FASHIONS FOR WOMEN was a popular clothing store started by the Erlanger family of Glens Falls. Next to it, at 456 Broadway was Covkin's Tots Thru Teens run by Rose and Harry Covkin. Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866 (518) 581-2480



Blizzard of 1888



ost of the historical accounts of Saratoga Springs in the 1800s are from the height of the summer social season and few are from the off-season discussing the daily life of regular Saratogians. The blizzard of “88” is a different story, because it lacks the accounts of the rich and famous and describes the effects of nature in the month of March in 1888.

In my life time, the blizzard of March 1993 was an event that remains a noted snow event for me. I thought the blizzard of 1993 was big, but the blizzard of 1888 was the biggest ever and has been called by the people of the day… “Storm King.” As Sunday March 11, 1888 started, the weather was somewhat warm and rainy. Later that day the temperature began to fall and by 6:30 PM snow began to fall. Many reports said that when the snow began to fall it quickly intensified. In 24 hours, by 6:30 PM on Monday, Saratoga Springs had already received 31 inches of snow with strong winds causing drifts of 8-10 feet in height. The components of snowfall, wind speed and duration have by now made the event a blizzard by meteorological standards. When the snow finally stopped falling at 6:30 AM on Tuesday March 13, the total accumulation of snow for the Saratoga Springs region had reached between 50-58 inches, the largest snowfall of all time! Reports of the conditions during and after the blizzard are interesting. In researching this event I found that the height of snow drifts varied tremendously by region and observer. Accounts of drifts of 8-10 feet were recorded by most observers while others claimed 20 feet and a few reports of 30 feet in height in rural areas. It was the drifting snow that closed the rail traffic in and out of Saratoga Springs. In 1888 the train


engines had plows attached to their front to push the snow off the tracks. With strong winds and high drifts these plows soon became inefficient at keeping the tracks clear. Reports from NYC reported that Central Park had winds that measured at 40 mph and gusts as high as 80 mph. The Central Park station also recorded the low temperature during the storm at 6 F and the average temperature stayed about 10-12 F. The colder temperatures made for a fluffy snow that helped to keep the number of collapsed roofs to a minimum. The blizzard of 1888 was terrible for many reasons… First, forecasting was not available to provide adequate warning. The lack of forecasting made it impossible for people to prepare themselves or for local leaders to prepare a city for such an event. Without advanced warning important supplies of fuel and food were a major problem during the blizzard. In that year the main mode of transportation to bring supplies to the city were trains. Since trains stopped running because of the drifting snow, all delivery of supplies stopped. Since many of the telegraph lines were down in the northeast part of the country because of storm conditions, communication between areas was stopped. Up to date information would have helped people to know the duration and ferocity of the storm. All that was missing. When it snows this winter in Saratoga Springs we will be given advanced warning by a modern meteorological system that uses all the technology of modern times. Even though the snowfall in most cases this winter will be less than the blizzard of 1888, and snow removal is very good in this area, we will still rush to the grocery store to stock up on food and supplies as if it was going to be the great blizzard to rival the great storm of 1888. SS



The main part of the Canfield Casino was built in 1870. After just one year of operation this parlor was added to increase the size of the space used for gaming. This was the site for more modest gambling with the “high rollers” going to the second floor for higher stakes.


This image is a rare glimpse of the lobby of the great Congress Hall. Thousands of visitors came to Saratoga Springs every summer and many chose Congress Hall as their favorite location. We can only imagine the number of famous people who were greeted in this lobby each summer.


Saratoga Springs has a long history of large hotels in the 1800’s and Congress Hall was one of those storied hotels. Originally built by Gideon Putnam as his second hotel, it burned in 1866 and was rebuilt to the size pictured above in 1868. Congress Hall was located on the east side of Broadway between Spring Street and the entrance to Congress Park.


Glen Mitchell Toboggan Run • 1886




ur city has a long history of creative additions to the daily event offerings for residents and visitors. World class horse racing and elegant casino gambling were available for the summer season, but we also had a long winter and needed to add events and activities for colder months.

The toboggin was invented by native tribes in Canada and America and was called by different names but the word “Odoboggans” was used by the Mohawk. The Mohawk and other tribes in this area also used snowshoes and ice skates made of animal bone to travel on the frozen lakes, streams and snowy fields during the winter months, while hunting and trapping. Native Americans would haul supplies or people on their crude toboggins. Residents of Canada took the popular idea of tobogganing and turned it into a sport in the later 1880s on the slopes of Mt. Royal in Montreal Canada. A group of interested people from Saratoga Springs visited Montreal in the fall of 1884 for a full week to study their slide to add the sport to Saratoga’s long list of winter activities.

The first toboggan run in Saratoga Springs opened on January 1, 1885 and was built in Woodlawn Park, then owned by Judge Henry Hilton. Prior to that opening the “Woodlawn Park Toboggan Club” was formed on October 25, 1884 and then incorporated in April 27, 1885 as the “Saratoga Toboggan Club”. The Woodlawn Park toboggan run was constructed on the site of the present-day Skidmore College Campus. The slide was taken down after one year of use on March 23, 1885 and a new larger slide was constructed at the end of North Broadway on the Glen Mitchell site. The construction of the new slide took place in the fall of 1885 and opened for use on January 11, 1886. The new slide’s start point was seventy-eight feet in elevation and thirteen feet in width containing three chutes. The slide traveled 242 feet before going underneath a bridge that went over the three chutes. Toboggan riders could continue to the end of the slide for a total run of 1,517 feet. Glen Mitchell is today the site of the Maple Avenue Middle School. Due to a warm winter in 1886, the toboggan run closed in early March. This toboggan slide continued to operate for five years until it closed at the end of the 1890 season. An office and club house were built near the slide with a café, changing rooms and a large fireplace that allowed people to warm up before returning outside for more runs. The Glen Mitchell slide usually operated for 120 days, weather permitting, from December through March with it being open for use every afternoon, weather permitting, and on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. The club charged men a $10 initiation fee and then $2 per month for the season. Wives were $2 a year and children only $1 for the season. Oil lamps were used to illuminate the run at night until electric lights were installed in 1889.

Glen Mitchell Run 142  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

When this slide closed, at the end of the winter season in 1890, the city was without a toboggan run until Ben Riley tried to revive the sport on Saratoga Lake in 1900. Riley’s slide continued operation every winter until 1912 when it closed for good. Today many people still use the gentle hills of the city for sledding or tobogganing. Even though downhill skiing has become the main “speed” sport of the area, we are reminded of the history of toboggan runs in Saratoga Springs that once were big draws for crowds of the later 1800s. SS

November - January Compiled by Carly Beckwith

*All information accuarte as of our print date, please check individual websites for more details.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11 Holiday Art Fair at the National Museum of Dance

National Dance Museum, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come get inspired for the Holidays and Celebrate the Arts in Saratoga! There will be a selection of juried artists exhibiting handmade and very Gift-able Works of Art. The exhibitors presented are some of New England's top artists and craftspeople working in a variety of media. Handmade jewelry, fine woven garments, hand crafted wood vessels and utensils, sculpture, functional stoneware and raku pottery, hand made quilts, mixed media, paintings, photography and much more will be available for show and sale. Admission is FREE and refreshments are served! For more information visit or call (518) 852-6478.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 11th Annual Lake George Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Shepard Park Beach, Lake George, 12:00 p.m. Last year nearly 600 participants braved the icy waters while hundreds of spectators looked on with excitement. These daring participants show their support for the Special Olympics and raise money for the organization. Many form teams and have fun with it. The goal is to get friends, family, colleagues and other donors to sponsor your plunge, ultimately raising thousands of dollars to help the Special Olympics reach their fundraising goal. For more information call (518) 388-0790 x109.

Family Saturdays at the Tang

Tang Museum at Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs Held on Saturdays from October 14 through December 16 (except November 25), the programs include a hands-on art activity following a brief tour of one of the exhibitions, with all materials provided. The programs run from 2:00 – 3:30 PM (except where noted on Oct. 21), and are free and open to the public. Suitable for children age 5 and up along with their adult companions, the Family Saturday programs are fun and educational. Space is limited. Reservations can be made starting one week before the program by calling the Tang’s Visitor Service Desk at 518-580-8080.

4th Annual Holiday Lighted Tractor Parade Historic Downtown Greenwich, NY, 6:30 p.m.

Join us for the 5th Annual Lighted Tractor Parade in Downtown Greenwich! Proceeds will support a GCS Scholarship in Agriculture and GGCC activities.


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 South Glens Falls Holiday Parade

Rte. 9, South Glens Falls, 9 a.m. The Annual South Glens Falls Holiday Parade will take place on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. There will be community groups, bands, floats, costumed characters, and of course, a very special guest, Santa Claus! Admission is free. For more information, please email

Nutcracker Tea at SPAC

Hall of Springs, 108 Avenue of the Pines, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. or 3 - 5 p.m. This performance of The Nutcracker performed by Northeast Ballet Company is a beloved holiday event for families. $125 for Adults, $50 for Kids (Under 12). For more information go to the SPAC website

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23 16th Annual Christopher Dailey Turkey Trot

Saratoga Springs City Hall, 8:30 a.m. Each year, on Thanksgiving morning, thousands of runners and walkers congregate in Saratoga Springs NY to race in the annual 5K Turkey Trot race, which benefits the Christopher Dailey Foundation. For more information call (518) 581-1328.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25 42nd Annual Craft Marketplace

Saratoga Springs City Center 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs Saratoga Center for the Family's 42nd annual Holiday Craft Marketplace will host over 100 crafters offering unique creations including pottery, stained glass, quilts, dolls and much more. For more information call (518) 587-8008.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 2017 Saratoga Festival of Trees

Saratoga Springs City Center 6:00 p.m. 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs For more information call (518) 587-5000. The festival runs from the 29th of November to the 3rd of December.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 The 31st Annual Victorian Street Walk, Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival

Downtown Saratoga Springs, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Music, magic, gingerbread house displays, the Festival of Trees, choral groups, Victorian Costumes, Santa & Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, lots of venues with entertainment, all free and open to the public. For more information call (518) 587-8635.

*For full coverage of the Festival of Trees, the Victorian Streetwalk, the Tree Lighting and Santa’s arrival, please pick up a copy of A SARATOGA CHRISTMAS, due out on November 22nd!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 The 13th Annual Saratoga Restaurant Week

Participating Restaurants in Saratoga Springs | December 1 to December 7 3 course meals for just $10, $20, or $30 and lunch for $5 or $10. For more information visit

Ballston Spa Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting/First Friday

Downtown Ballston Spa, 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Join us for one of the area's favorite hometown traditions. The Ballston Spa Holiday Parade steps off at 6:30 pm with the village Christmas Tree lighting to follow in Wiswall Park. Shops, restaurants and museums will be open for a holiday-themed First Friday. For more information visit 144  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOLIDAY 2017

Winter Dance Concert

Dance Center Dance Theater, Skidmore College, 8 p.m. Skidmore Dance Department presents works choreographed by the faculty and guest artists. Senior Citizens are $9; Adults are $12; Students are $5. Box Office opens 45 minutes prior to the performance. cash/check only. Arrive early for best seating. For more information call (518) 580-5392 or Visit:

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 Winter Dance Concert

Dance Center Dance Theater, Skidmore College, 2 p.m. Skidmore Dance Department presents works choreographed by the faculty and guest artists. Senior Citizens are $9; Adults are $12; Students are $5. Box Office opens 45 minutes prior to the performance. cash/check only. Arrive early for best seating. For more information call (518) 580-5392 or Visit: skid

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 A Saratoga Christmas with The McKrells

Spa Little Theater, 19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m. Home Made Theater continues their tradition of hosting Christmas shows with Kevin McKrell and his merry musicians. Join HMT for an evening of Christmas favorites, Kevin’s trademark sound, and their popular rendition of A Visit from St. Nick (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas). For more information visit

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31 20th Annual First Night Saratoga 5K

Skidmore College Athletic Complex, Saratoga Springs, 5:30 p.m. Start and finish on the beautiful Skidmore campus. The first ¾ mile is a gradual uphill on the perimeter road. The course exits the campus at Clinton Avenue and continues to Greenfield Avenue, continuing up North Broadway and back to campus. This is a moderately challenging course, including both hills and downgrades. For more information visit

First Night Saratoga- 21st Anniversary

Downtown Saratoga Springs, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. irst Night is a New Year's celebration of the arts and community. Saratoga's First Night is the largest New Year's event outside of New York City. Each year, thousands of revelers come to Saratoga Springs to experience a wide-ranging variety of arts and music. It is a true showcase of the diverse and immense talent in the Capital-Saratoga region. For more information visit

SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 22nd Annual Frost Faire

Saratoga National Historical Park, 648 Route 32, Stillwater 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Snow, or no snow…come enjoy the 22nd Annual Frost Faire. If there’s snow, bring your snow tube or plastic sled for spectacular rides on the “Big Hill.” If there’s no snow, escape cabin fever with winter nature trek, contra-dancing, special exhibits, games, plus hot chocolate and cookies by the bonfire. The event is free.


Saratoga Springs, NY 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each year during the Saratoga Springs Winterfest, the popular event called Chowderfest brings thousands to downtown Saratoga. Come join local restaurants in Saratoga as they offer samples of their best chowder all afternoon long. Brought to you by The Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau.


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Simply Saratoga Holiday 2017  
Simply Saratoga Holiday 2017  

The Holiday edition of Simply Saratoga has everything holiday you need – from home décor, to recipes for family meals & desserts, to shoppin...