Simply Saratoga Fall 2022 - Showcase of Homes

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• Single family homes & luxury townhomes on heavily wooded lots.

• Saratoga Springs address, low Wilton taxes.

• Saratoga School system.

• Five minutes from Downtown Saratoga Springs.

• A clubhouse with event space, massive fitness center, pool, dog park, walking trails, park, greenbelt & pickle ball courts.

• Homes starting in the $500’s.

As Saratoga Springs most prestigious address, Meadowbrook has become a desirable location to many of the areas exclusive homes. Located off Meadowbrook Rd (from Union Ave). Heavily wooded and very private home sites approximately 2 acres. MEADOWBROOK Brand New Luxurious townhomes and single family homes; first floor master suite floor plans available. Two blocks from Downtown Saratoga. Maintenance Free Community. CITY SQUARE Saratoga New Construction Communities cell. 518.527.4914 Licensed Associate R.E. Broker web. Your Neighbor. Your Realtor. Sharon Byrne 505 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Knowledge, experience, and a true commitment to the Saratoga Community. Whether you’re buying for the first time, upsizing, downsizing, or even investing, Sharon can get you to the next place! FOREST GROVE New Single-Family Homes & Twin Townhomes. This amazing new-home community has something for everyone. When completed, Forest Grove will offer more than 300 homes and a breadth of amenities. AMENITIES INCLUDE:





Samantha Bosshart

Peter Bowden

Colleen Coleman

Nicolina Foti

Carol Godette

George Hanstein

Ann Hauprich

Wendy Hobday Haugh

Meg Homicz

Sara Kelly

Charlie Kuenzel

Julie Maleski-Putzel

Bill Orzell

Colleen Pausley


John Reardon

Theresa St.

Jordana Turcotte


Susan Blackburn Photography

The George S. Bolster Collection

Boston Public Library

Peter Bowden

Sue Clark Photography

George Hanstein

Wendy Hobday Haugh

Library of Congress Digital Collection

Chad Morrison

Angela Pachal

Randall Perry Photography

Saratoga NY Gen Web Project

Saratoga Springs Public Library

Theresa St. John

Super Source Media


Sherman Kelly Schoonbeck ADVERTISING Jim Daley Cindy Durfey CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Studios PUBLISHED BY SARATOGA TODAY 2254 Route 50 South Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-581-2480
Saratoga is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY, 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 © 2022. Saratoga TODAY Newspaper. Simply SARATOGA THE PEOPLE • THE PLACES • THE LIFESTYLE ™ FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 9


Search for them on!


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 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.


Colleen Coleman is the owner of CMC Design Studio LLC and is well noted by her clients for bringing high energy, attention to detail, organization and more to each project. Her collaborative efforts with clients, as well as others in the industry, translates to a comprehensive design to completion for her clients. Her unique approach to defining each space matured into what she has coined as “Creating Environments for Life” - reach her at

Nicolina Foti is the Farm to School grant coordinator and agriculture educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga County. She has a B.S. in Agriculture and Sustainability from SUNY Empire. She lives with her husband in Galway, NY where she grew up on the family farm. There she developed a love of horses and other farm animals. She says it’s extremely fulfilling to work in agriculture, helping farmers in this important Saratoga County industry.


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:


George Hanstein was a photographer in New York City and New Jersey for 20 years. He decided that he had enough of city life and built a small house in the Adirondacks near The Great Sacandaga Lake, in pursuit of a quieter life. He worked in a local school district there, teaching photography to High School Seniors. Since retiring, he has filled his days spending time with his Golden Retrievers, doing photography, taking road trips and writing about things that spark his interest.


Memories of huddling with friends and strangers outside the Front Street Post Office in Ballston Spa on a crisp autumn evening in 1972 to witness the filming of a scene for The Way We Were inspired Ann Hauprich to interview others about their recollections for a feature that begins in this edition. The BSHS Class of 1971 alum has also started researching chapters for a seventh book that will celebrate the exquisite renaissance that has taken place in her village over the past half century. To learn more about the seasoned journalist, visit AnnHauprich.US.


Northville freelancer Wendy Hobday Haugh’s short stories, articles, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and regional publications, including Woman’s World Weekly, Highlights for Children, and Her stories have appeared in 15 different Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. To learn more, visit


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.


Sara Kelly is CEO-MOM of her home in Wilton and runs Your Aligned Home, a home management consulting business. Her passion for home management, reducing stress, and most of all, helping others, is what led her to this work. Find out all the ways she can help you at Submit your home management questions for the next article by emailing


Bill Orzell is a retired Geographic Field Analyst and Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic. A fervent sportsman, who resides in DeRuyter, New York, he has a lifelong appreciation of the economic, political, social, and sports history of the Empire State, with a special appreciation of the unique equine, human and geographic narrative which defines the Spa as the place to be.


Colleen Pausley is the writer behind the blog; Life on Kaydeross Creek where she shares unique ideas to decorate your home on a budget, D.I.Y projects, furniture makeovers and thrift store up-cycles. She and her husband have been do-it-yourselfers for 25 years and she believes that creating a warm, inviting home that you LOVE and that reflects who you are can be done on any budget.


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.


John Reardon purchased Compliments to the Chef in July of 2004 and has enjoyed selling over 6,000 high quality cookware and cutlery items to his Foodie Friends ever since. His wife Paula - as well as being a college professor - helps out along with their son John and daughter Aubrey … and they fit right in to his Foodie Team! If you ask John or Aubrey to cook up a special dish, you’ll see a gleam in their eyes! John reminds us... “Life Happens in the Kitchen” and yes… “Anyone can cook!”

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. 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 is a lifelong New Yorker and a Saratoga County resident since graduating from RPI. After staying at home for a bit with her children, 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.


Ralph Vincent is a lifestyle writer enamored with the Spa City. As an enthusiastic contributor to Simply Saratoga Magazine, he enjoys writing about a variety of topics including home entertaining, cooking, and cocktail crafting. His body of work also includes articles on subjects of special significance to him such as his experiences as a pet parent, gardening, and Yaddo. He resides locally with his partner Steven and their adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


Chris Vallone Bushee, Creative Director/ Managing Editor • 518-581-2480 ext. 201 •

Welcome to Simply Saratoga Magazine,

If you are a lover of all things HOME You’ve picked up the right magazine!

As the media sponsor of the SBA’s Showcase of Homes, this magazine is filled with beautiful photos, floor plans, builder info, inspiring stories, and tons of ADS. Yes, ADS, these are the businesses that you need to plan that reno, build your dream home or have those repairs done (…and the HONEY-DO LIST, oh yeah!!)

In addition to being THE LOOK BOOK for building / renovation / decorating in Saratoga County, this magazine has all the autumnal feels… farms animals, seasonal decorating, road trips, farm-to-table dining.

Oh yes, we have what you’re looking for! …and has even more – please check us out if you haven’t yet!

Thank you, Saratoga Builders Association, for letting us be a part of your annual fundraiser each year - it’s our honor.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I enjoyed putting it together and please keep those comments coming, I love hearing from you!

I always end with a big Thank You! to all our advertisers, because without them, Saratoga TODAY couldn’t continue to offer these beautiful publications free of charge. But I need to mention my Magazine Designer Kacie Cotter-Sacala also - who managed to build this beautiful magazine –all while planning her September wedding! You rock Kacie, love you! Enjoy the mag!

from the editor Photo by RANDALL PERRY PHOTOGRAPHY

See the house on page 99 and... See how much fun we had doing the cover shoot on page 176!

Photo by Sue Clark Photography
OUR OTHER PUBLICATIONS Simply Saratoga Saratoga Bride Saratoga Family Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Welcome Home Saratoga Christmas and... Equicurean Cover FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 13

Simply SARATOGA 2022 Showcase Restaurant Deck Your Halls NY! the Kitchen with with You Your Aligned The Organized Life Homesteading Peter Bowden

OUT & ABOUT Trip! in Northville for Pie! the Date for the Were Fall Line Kuenzel


contents Welcome to the
of Homes issue…. Our first 60 pages are filled with SOH Content, Photos, and all the ADS you need to make your own Showcase Home! A GOOD READ 56 Our
Feature is…[farmacy] RESTOBAR 60 Preserving Saratoga 64 Rookie’s Gamble Farm 68 Artist(s) Spotlight…. Val and Maryann Johnson 70 Meet Eve, the Moss Artist 72 Walk with John Muse 74 Let’s Go to the Ribbon Café! 76 Meet Jennifer, She Makes Dog Cookies 78 Meet Tom… The Celebrity Dog Trainer 79 Saying Goodbye FALL FASHION 83 Alpine Sport Shop, Caroline & Main, Lifestyles of Saratoga, Pink Paddock, Spoken Boutique, Violet’s Saratoga Springs, & Union Hall Supply Co. H&G 99 Architecturally SpeakingCOME INSIDE OUR COVER HOUSE! 112 Colleen’s Picks 117 Autumnal Decorating 119 This Old House WRAP UP 120 Matt Whitbeck's Mission 122 Know Your Knots 126 Shopping, Coffee AND Ice Cream?! 128 Solid Alternatives with Cambria 130
132 In
John 134 Entertaining
Ralph 136 Simply
Home 140
101 144
146 Road
150 Flowers
154 Time
156 Save
Way We
Up HISTORY 161 Charlie
166 Carol Godette 170 Bill Orzell 174 Saratoga’s 50th Class Reunion
PAGE 176 Behind the Scenes Cover Credit
16 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 17 Saratoga Showcase of Homes OCTOBER 8 - 9 & OCTOBER 15 - 16 SARATOGASHOWCASEOFHOMES.COM TABLE OF CONTENTS 18 Welcome to the 2022 Showcase of Homes! 19 2022 Showcase of Homes Committee 20 Ticket Information 21 People's Choice Prize Awards 22 Showcase of Homes Map and Directions 50 Builder Subcontractors & Suppliers SHOWCASE BUILDERS & HOMES 27 Belmonte Builders 5 Victoria Court, Mechanicville 31 Witt Construction 60 Jenna Jo Avenue, Saratoga Springs 35 DSG Construction and Remodeling 28 Granite Street, Saratoga Springs 39 Kodiak Construction 16 Indigo Way, Wilton 43 Peerless Builders 557 Locust Grove Road, Greenfield 47 Trojanski Builders 10 Jennifer Lane, Ballston Spa


Welcome to the 2022 Saratoga Showcase of Homes! This spectacular annual event is the area’s premiere new home tour, one of the most wonderful traditions in our Fall season.

On behalf of the Saratoga Builders Association and the Showcase Committee, I’d like to thank all the corporate and media sponsors for their generous support. Special thanks to all our amazing and talented builders for their commitment to this popular event. Applause to the countless volunteers who staff the homes to help provide for a truly memorable experience. Lastly, we are so very grateful for the tremendous public support through ticket sales - each and every year.

We are excited and proud to present six homes in Saratoga County from our area’s award-winning builders over two weekends. As always, you’ll see the most innovative products, beautiful décor, creative interior design, professional craftsmanship and impeccable construction of each of these magnificent homes, inviting you through their doors.

Best of all, the proceeds from this event go back into our community. The Saratoga Builders Association has now contributed over $1.4 MILLION DOLLARS to our local charities from this community event, and this year will be no different. Proceeds from this year’s Showcase of Homes will benefit two local worthwhile organizations: Rebuilding Together Saratoga County and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties. Both these groups help give back to the community through improving the homes and lives of those in need.

Please take a moment to explore the pages of this official guide for lots of useful information on each builder and their homes, details about the event and to see what’s waiting for you this year at the 2022 Saratoga Showcase of Homes.

We are celebrating 26 years of exceptional homes! Keep a lookout for our classic orange signs guiding you along the tour route.

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties

Rebuilding Together Saratoga County

Enjoy the show!
Showcase of Homes Proceeds Benefit: FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 19 Get Social with us! #SaratogaSOH SARATOGASHOWCASEOFHOMES.COM 2022 Showcase of Homes Committee BARRY POTOKER Co-Chair & Executive Director, Saratoga Builders Association LISA LICATA Co-Chair, Sterling Homes. Inc. DREW AIELLO Fairway Mortgage ADAM FELDMAN Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren & Washington Counties MARCI FILA Real Estate Digital Designs MARK HOGAN Saratoga National Bank & Trust MARK JOHNSON DeGraff Bloom Custom Builders MICHELLE LARKIN Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Saratoga County YVONNE MANSO Pallette Stone SHANNON MCCARTHY Keller Williams BETH SMITH Beth Smith Realty PAM STOTT Curtis Lumber DAVE TROJANSKI Trojanski Builders

Saratoga Showcase of Homes

October 8-9 & 15-16

The 2022 Saratoga Showcase of Homes event will be held on four days over two spectacular weekends this fall on October 8-9 and October 15-16 featuring the region's finest, award-winning builders showcasing their new construction. This year’s edition has six locations from six of our area’s finest builders on display in Saratoga County.

Participating award-winning builders in this year’s event are: Belmonte Builders, DSG Construction and Remodeling, Kodiak Construction, Peerless Builders, Trojanski Builders and Witt Construction.

Now celebrating its 26th year, the Saratoga Showcase of Homes annual community event has contributed over $1.4 MILLION DOLLARS to local charities Rebuilding Together Saratoga County and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.

Ticket Information

Saratoga Showcase of Homes tickets are $25 each and are conveniently available at the locations listed below.

TOUR HOURS: 10 A.M. – 4 P.M.


• Adirondack Trust Branch Locations

• Curtis Lumber | 885 State Route 67, Ballston Spa

• Saratoga National Bank | 171 S. Broadway, Saratoga Springs

• Roohan Realty | 519 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

• Showcase homes during tour hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Online at:


• Tickets are valid for all 4 days.

• Children under 12 are admitted free.

• Please keep your ticket until you have seen all the houses. Homes are numbered to help you find them and may be toured in any order.

• Every ticket purchased will be entitled to receive one free Showcase of Homes shoe bag/tote at the first home you visit!


Prize Awards

People's Choice Award

All ticket holders are to the People’s There are two levels You must ALL the to be eligible to All will automatically

The Saratoga Builders Association, Inc. (SBA) is a specialized professional trade association representing an industry basic to the wellbeing and economy of the people of Saratoga County. Its membership includes residential and commercial builders, developers, remodelers, building material suppliers, sub-contractors, financial institutions, architects, engineers, realtors, attorneys and other industry professionals. SBA is committed to the continued growth, prosperity and quality of life in Saratoga County. For more information, please visit their website at or contact Barry Potoker, Executive Director at 518-366-0946 or bpotoker@

For more details on the 2022 Saratoga Showcase of Homes event, please visit

Follow us on FACEBOOK and our BLOG for all the updates! FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 21
vote for
Choice Award with the ballot on the ticket.
of homes with five categories for voting.
completed ballots received
entered into our drawing for these prizes: GRAND PRIZE $1000 IN KOHLER PRODUCTS FROM WINSUPPLY!
• Cudney's Cleaners • Curtis Lumber • Embassy Suites • Habitat ReStore • Hello Nails • Kru Coffee • Publik House • Rebuilding Together Restore • Residence Inn • Saratoga Auto Museum • Saratoga Lake Golf Club • Saratoga Downtown Business Association • Solevo • Uncommon Grounds • And More! PLUS GIFT CERTIFICATES FROM:

Map & Directions


Windsor Woods

5 Victoria Court, Mechanicville

• Exit 9E, turn right onto NY-146, drive 2.6 miles turn left to stay on NY-146, drive 0.8 miles turn left onto Vosburgh Road, right onto Vosburgh Road, right into Windsor Woods, right onto Victoria Court.

• Exit 10, East on Ushers Road, turn right onto US-9, drive 1.3 miles turn left onto Farm to Market Road, drive 0.5 miles take slight right onto Anthony Road, drive 1.9 miles turn left onto Stuart Drive, right onto Victoria Court.


(Drive time: 24 minutes)

Oak Ridge

60 Jenna Jo Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Turn left onto Stuart Drive, right onto Vosburgh Rd, slight left onto Anthony Road, right onto Route 9 towards Saratoga Springs, left onto Ushers Road, merge onto I-87 North, take Exit 14, left onto Union Ave/ NY-9P, left onto Dyer Switch Road, left onto Oak Ridge Blvd, right onto Jenna Jo Ave.



(Drive time: 11 minutes)

28 Granite Street, Saratoga Springs

Left onto Oak Ridge Blvd, right onto Dyer Switch Rd, right onto Union Ave/NY-9P, merge onto I-87 North to Exit 15, left onto Route 50 towards Saratoga Springs. Right onto East Ave, cross over North Broadway, slight left onto 3rd St to a left onto State Street, right onto Vermont Street. Showcase home is on the corner of Granite Street and Vermont Street.

22 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 2022 Showcase of Homes
House to House Directions: 1 2 3 Belmonte Builders 1 Witt Construction 2 DSG Construction & Remodeling 3 Kodiak Construction 4 Peerless Builders 5 6 Trojanski Builders Look for the orange signs! saratogashowcaseof


(Drive time: 10 minutes)

Mulberry Estates II 16 Indigo Way, Wilton

Google Maps: Use 2 Cerulean Blvd, Wilton

Left onto Vermont Street, right onto Clinton Street, right onto Daniels Road, left onto Maple Ave/US-9N, right onto Cerulean Blvd to a left onto Indigo Way.


(Drive time: 8 minutes)

Peerless Grove Estates 557 Locust Grove Road, Greenfield Center

Left onto Cerulean Blvd, right onto Route 9N, left onto Parkhurst Road, first left onto Wilton-Greenfield Rd, left onto Locust Grove Road.


(Drive time: 15 minutes)

Iron Spring Estates 10 Jennifer Lane, Ballston Spa

Google Maps: Use 100 Rowland Street, Ballston Spa

Right onto Wilton-Greenfield Road, left onto Route 9N/NY-9N, right onto Middle Grove Road, left onto Lester Park Road, cross over Washington Street/Route 29, this becomes Rowland Street, left onto Jennifer Lane.

Visit our mobile-friendly website to view the INTERACTIVE MAP and scenic house-to-house directions: or scan this code. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 23
4 5 6

Belmonte Builders

Realtor: Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Sharon Byrne 505 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518-527-4914

Landscaper: Blue Spruce - Bob Daly PO Box 1319, Clifton Park 518-877-8177 |

Windsor Woods - The Patriot

Designed and built in a modern farmhouse style, 5 Victoria Court features a black and white color palette and an inviting front porch, reminiscent of days gone by. Crisp white siding and white board-n-batten combined with a black metal roof, black windows, black front door and black painted flower boxes truly give this home a nostalgic farmhouse vibe. Farmhouse flair continues inside the home with the use of mostly white walls and touches of black accents through light fixtures, hardware and cabinetry.

The open floor plan is perfect for entertaining with the gourmet kitchen, dining room and great room all open to each other. Decorated with a mix of old and new, the home enjoys a clean, bright, streamlined look that feels current.

The large entry foyer makes a great first impression, with beautiful European white oak wide plank hardwoods that extend throughout the main living areas of the home. A formal study featuring a double true-divided lite door with a transom window above, offers privacy for working or learning from home.

The gourmet kitchen features white and black cabinetry with stunning granite countertops and black hardware. A large working island includes a sink, dishwasher, built-in microwave and seating for 2-3 people. The kitchen and dining area exit to a stone landing with steps down to a large paver patio and private backyard, the perfect spot for family cookouts.

The primary bedroom, located upstairs, features a cathedral ceiling and an enormous closet with custom shelving from California Closets. The primary bath features an eye-catching black accent wall, an extended double vanity, a beautiful granite countertop and a large tiled shower with a seat. Outside of the primary bedroom there are two additional bedrooms, which share a roomy full bath, and complete the upstairs level.

Interior Design Firm: Michael Gavin Interiors - Michael Gavin 2421 Troy-Schenectady Road, Niskayuna 518-469-0124 |

Kitchen Design Firm: Curtis Lumber Kitchen and Bath Design - Heather Bodnaryk 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa 518-885-5311 |

Unique Features

• Modern farmhouse design displays an appreciation for classic craftsmanship with a covered front porch featuring a black metal roof and black front door.

• White board-n-batten siding along with details like black-framed windows and decorative black flower boxes complete the picture and give the home great street appeal.

• European white oak wide plank hardwoods on the main floor add a touch of elegance with the farmhouse aesthetics of the home.

• The gourmet kitchen features a large, square, decorative working island with the sink, dishwasher, microwave and seating for 2-3 people.

• All bedrooms feature custom closets by California Closets.

Energy Efficiency/Green Technology

• Energy Star-rated home

• Thermatru insulated entry doors with adjustable threshold

• Insulated Thermopane Low “E,” argon gas-filled, grills between the glass windows | Since 1977, Belmonte Builders has been building high-quality homes in the Capital Region. A family-owned business, Belmonte takes pride in working closely with each customer to personalize their home to meet their unique needs. Visit any Belmonte model to see the flow of the floor plan, the quality of the fixtures, the integrity of construction and the loving attention to detail. These qualities are the building blocks that our success stands on today.

Peter Belmonte Lindsey Belmonte FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 27
5 Victoria Court, Mechanicville 1,987 Square Feet • 3 Bedrooms • 2.5 Bathrooms

Witt Construction

A New England style home where Saratoga Springs meets Nantucket and the Hamptons. At the heart of this bright and open floor plan is the expansive kitchen with its large island, dedicated pantry area, and plenty of coastal charm. As you enter the home, a welcoming foyer with custom mill work leads to a shiplap lined hallway. The spacious living room with gas burning fireplace opens to the sunroom and patio, making entertaining easy. The first floor is complete with a round dining room off the kitchen, mud room, powder bath and home office. The second floor includes a primary suite, two ensuite bedrooms and a cozy loft. This home has one wood burning and two gas fireplaces. The lower level is designed to be finished in the future. The exterior of the home is a mix of stone, cedar shakes and clap board. There is a three-car garage and a covered lanai with fireplace and outdoor seating overlooking the pool.

Landscaper: Staucets Landscaping & Nursery 8 Chevy Chase Lane, Clifton Park 518-877-6419

Kitchen Design Firm: Witt Construction - John Witt 563 N Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518-587-4113

Unique Features

• Outdoor lanai with gas-lit sconces

• Curved dining room wall

• Spa-styled primary bathroom

• Custom mill work throughout Energy Efficiency/Green Technology

• High efficiency appliances and full LED lighting

• Flash and Batt (1st and 2nd floors): 2-1/2" closed cell foam and 3 1/2" fiberglass

• 4-Zone Nest programmable Smart thermostats

Witt Construction, Inc. builds award-winning custom designed homes that are striking in appearance, energy-efficient, and enduring in their value. Witt Construction, founded in 1987, builds custom and semi-custom homes in the historic city of Saratoga Springs and the surrounding Capital Region. The company is recognized in the industry and by clients alike as the prominent custom-home builder in Saratoga and is noted for constructing homes that are rich in spirit of space and designed to enhance the unique character of each home. Equally notable is John Witt’s passion and gusto for crafting homes solid of structure, stunning in design, and inspired by an elegant sense of style.

Oak Ridge 60 Jenna Jo Avenue, Saratoga Springs 4,051 Square Feet • 3 Bedrooms • 3.5 Bathrooms Dining Living Room Sun Room Outdoor Covered Patio Up Entry Foyer Pantry Window Three-Car Garage Up Entry Entry Hall First Floor Patio / Pool
Witt 2 Bedroom 3 Second Floor Loft Storage Attic WIC WIC Master Bedroom Master Bath Laundry Lin. Lin. Bath

DSG Construction and Remodeling

Welcome to downtown Saratoga Springs! This spacious, open concept, modern farmhouse is an entertainer's dream. Walk in the front foyer to be met with a stunning exposed brick arch which leads you to a grand dining and sitting area. Your eyes won't stop there as the kitchen features an oversized 8-foot island with quartz countertops, a walk-in pantry and a custom designed, eastern facing breakfast nook where you can sit back, relax and enjoy your morning coffee. This home was designed with natural light and tranquility in mind so even on a cloudy day you won't have to turn on a light. With GNH supplied Marvin Elevate windows and doors and Therma-Tru exterior doors and Reeb and Simpson wood interior doors, every detail is top of the line. The primary bedroom and bathroom both feature vaulted ceilings, his and her closets, a spacious shower with floor to ceiling tile and a floating soaking tub. On the lower level, just a few steps down from your main living space, you will find the perfect location for a playroom or down-the-line, a movie or game room. The entertaining continues to the outdoor space where you will find your own personal retreat featuring an Italian porcelain covered patio with 11foot ceilings, surround-sound and custom lighting overlooking the fiberglass pool. This home is the true definition of a staycation!

House Designed by: Dreamscapes

Unlimited - Architect Robert Flansburg

Realtor: Julie & Co. Realty - Valerie M. Napoli

18 Division Steet #314, Saratoga Springs 518-248-4191

Landscaper: Caruso's Lawncare LLC - Christine Caruso PO Box 202, Ballston Spa 518-269-9069

Interior Decorator: Valerie M. Napoli

18 Division Street #314, Saratoga Springs 518-248-4191

Kitchen Design Firm: Curtis Lumber Kitchen and Bath Design Decorator - Valerie M. Napoli

885 Route 67, Ballston Spa 518-409-1308

Unique Features

• Porte cochere

• Copper gutters

• Custom staircase

• Quartz backsplash in kitchen

• Live edge black walnut wood work

• Wide plank flooring

Small Construction company that will deliver a personalized service for each project. We will listen and make your dreams a reality. No job is too big or too small. We specialize in historical restoration and pay close attetention to every detail. Homeowners will receive the personal attention of the President of the company along with the company's skilled team. House

David FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 35
Modern Farm
28 Granite Street, Saratoa Springs 3,800 Square Feet • 4 Bedrooms • 4.5 Bathrooms
38 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 VISIT Kodiak Construction's Showcase Home #4 to see the "Student Shed Builds" spotlighting women in the trades. DON' T MISS IT ! All of these will be available to bid on and buy through an online auction which will be on our website at THEY WILL BE BUILDING 6 SHEDS ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 Rain date: Saturday, October 15 In addition, there will be a newly constructed BOCES "Cozy Cottage" on display at the same location built by local area students.

Kodiak Construction

House Designed by: Harlan-McGee of North America

Mulberry Estates II - Chestnut

Realtor: Roohan Realty - Jeana Labas 519 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 208-360-1175 |

Landscaper: Brookside Nursery - Jesse Marco 824 State Route 67, Ballston Spa 518-885-6500 |

Located in Mulberry Estates II, 10 minutes from downtown Saratoga Springs, the Chestnut model is perfect for families who enjoy entertaining. The home’s exterior has added character with a unique hip roofline and Owens Corning architectural shingles. Norandex Cedar Knolls lap siding, with board and batten accents, complete the exterior. The home features built-in smart home speakers with a Sonos Music Amp in the main living space that extends to the 17’x12’ stamped concrete covered porch off the dining room, making it ideal for gatherings. The home’s natural light from its Energy Star-rated windows and the gas fireplace brings warmth to the space. The heart of the home includes Timberlake Portfolio cabinetry in “Painted Harbor,” perimeter cabinets with a “Painted Sage” island for a pop of color. The walk-in pantry, with custom shelving provides ample storage space. Upstairs, the loft includes a built-in workstation where owners can work from home or kids can complete their homework. Bedroom #2 includes a built-in desk nook for crafts or homework. The primary suite offers a spacious walk-through closet with built-in storage and luxurious 6’x6’ ceramic tile shower with a granite bench. The basement is set up and ready to be finished as a family room or fourth bedroom with a full bath.

Interior Design Firm: Old Brick Furniture Design TeamKaitlynn Johnson & Nicole Conlin 17 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park 518-394-6500

Kitchen Design Firm: Curtis Lumber Kitchen and Bath DesignHeather Bodnaryk 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa | 518-490-1397

Unique Features

• Stamped concrete porch and patio

• Quartzite kitchen countertop, granite countertops in bathrooms

• Walk-in pantry with custom shelving

• Smart home speakers with Sonos Music Amp

• Second floor loft with built-in workstation

Energy Efficiency/Green Technology

• 95% efficient forced air heating & cooling system with programmable thermostat

• Energy Star VWD windows & sliding door

• Blower door tested to confirm minimized air leaks

• Led lighting throughout | Founded locally by Saratoga Springs natives Jesse Boucher and Justin Sitler, Kodiak Construction is celebrating 18 years as a new home builder in 2022. We are a full-service residential custom builder, serving clients throughout the Northern Capital District, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, and Lake George, providing new construction services that reflect our passion for detail. At Kodiak, we partner with you every step of the way to create your perfect home.

Jesse Boucher & Justin Sitler FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 39
16 Indigo Way, Wilton 2,268 Square Feet • 3 Bedrooms • 2.5 Bathrooms

Peerless Builders

Peerless Grove Estates

557 Locust Grove Road, Greenfield

3,000 Square Feet • 5 Bedrooms • 4.5 Bathrooms

Located in Peerless Grove Estates in Greenfield Center, this modern home sits on 12 beautiful acres with a six stall barn and large paddocks — a horse enthusiast’s dream. This home feautures over 3,000 square feet on the first floor and additional space in the finshed lower level, boosting 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths with radiant heated tile floors. This home has an oversized detached two-car garage with a covered breezeway leading into the mudroom. The state-of-the-art kitchen features an extra-large island and smart appliances. No wall cabinets keep the modern layout with an open feel. Off the kitchen you will find a huge walk-in pantry with a view. Look out the pantry window while making morning coffee at the built-in coffee machine and beverage center. Enjoy family time in the great room with 18-foot vaulted ceilings and a two-story double sided gas fire place. The outside features a custom inground pool and large format paver hardscaping.

House Designed by: Tonya Yasenchak - Engineering America

Landscaper: GSL Landscaping & Nursery - Matthew Baker 4820 Duanesburg Road, Duanesburg 518-506-1943

Kitchen Design Firm: Curtis Lumber Kitchen and Bath DesignPaige Songer 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa 518-409-1308

Unique Features

• Two laundry chutes, for primary and kids' wing

• Walk-in pantry

• Custom dog wash station

• Double-sided fireplace

• Horse barn with paddocks Energy Efficiency/Green Technology

• 95% efficient forced air heating & cooling system with smart home thermostat

• LED lighting throughout

• Smart Home smoke and C.O detectors

Peerless Builders are your local go-to building company. We will work with you from concept through design, making sure we capture your must have's while guiding you with our experiance. Every build is different and no two projects are the same, we understand this at peerless. You can rely on us as we work together to turn your dreams into reality.

Michael Scuola & Robert Delfin FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2018 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 43

Family, Work,


Trojanski Builders

Iron Spring Estates

10 Jennifer Lane, Ballston Spa

This custom two-story home, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths has an open floor plan that checks all the boxes for a desired kitchen... three-season room, a beautiful kitchen, a spacious walk-in pantry and butler's pantry station! The luxurious primary suite with his and her vanities, walk-in closets and a walk-through shower are both functional and beautiful. The modern details on the island's waterfall edges and staircase details are all part of the clean, simple lines and functional spaces that make this home a winner.

Unique Features

• Three-season room - located off the dining room for entertaining

• Three-car garage with oversized bay to accommodate a mobile home

• Primary bath with large walk-in shower with a stone accent wall behind a free standing tub

• 9 foot basement with finished stairway details matching the main staircase

• Spacious open floor plan

• Pursuing National Green

• 2

House Designed by: James Fahy Design Associates Architecture & Engineering PC

Realtor: Sterling Homes Real EstateSarah Trojanski and Carla Alvord 1487 Saratoga Road, Ballston Spa Sarah Trojanski: 518-616-8428 Carla Alvord: 518-301-1337

Landscaper: Sunshine Meadows Nursery & Landscape Supply - Rich Mollnow

610 Tanner Road, Clifton Park 518-384-0086 |

Interior Design Firm: Plum & Crimson Fine Interior Design - Denise Rappazzo 51 Ash Street, Saratoga Springs 518-306-5283

Kitchen Design Firm: Builders Kitchens Inc - Michelle Bucciero 1220 Central Avenue, Albany 518-438-0323 | Trojanski Custom Builders is a premier builder in Saratoga Springs. Dave Trojanski has been building exceptional homes throughout the Capital Region since 1998. Dave and the entire Trojanski Custom Builder's team share a commitment to the foundational principles that have made them stand out among other builders. Quality construction, commitment to exceptional customer service, and relationships built on integrity are the building blocks that have shaped their vision and driven their success. The company's custom building program was developed and designed to guide customers through the challenging process, utilizing a step by step approach. The program assures clients of sucessfully achieving the new home of their dreams.

Dave Trojanski FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 47
2,694 Square Feet • 4 Bedrooms • 2.5 Bathrooms
Energy Efficiency/Green Technology
Building Standard (NGBS) Certification
zone HVAC
Pella 250 Windows

Subcontractors & Suppliers


ABC Supply Co 95 VanGuysling Avenue, Schenectady

Adirondack Precision Cut Stone 536 Queensbury Avenue, Queensbury

Albany Mechanical Services Inc 15 Albany Avenue, Green Island

A.W. Hamel Stair Mfg., Inc 3111 Amsterdam Road, Scotia

BCH Builders 50 Pepperbush Place, Ballston Spa

Barbera Concrete PO Box 475, Guilderland

Best Fire Hearth & Patio 1760 Central Avenue, Colonie

Blue Spruce Nursery & Landscaping

780 NY-146A, Ballston Lake

Bonded Concrete PO Box 189, Watervliet

Brower Electric 41 Joseph Street, Saratoga Springs

California Closets - Albany 952 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

Capital Plumbing and Heating 2001 Winners Circle, Castleton

Crawford/Pella Windows & Doors 529 Third Ave Extension, Rensselaer

Curtis Lumber 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa

Curtis Lumber (Cabinetry) 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa

Floor Source 1466 Route 9, Clifton Park

Harrison Drywall 262 W Milton Road, Ballston Spa

Lill Overhead Doors 142 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer

Marcella's Appliances 15 Park Avenue, Clifton Park

Michael Gavin Interiors 2421 Troy-Schenectady Rd, Niskayuna

Morin Construction 2 Greenfield Manor, Porter Corners

PJ Baker Electric 242 S Central Avenue, Mechanicville

Platinum Tile 1 Primrose Circle, Malta

Richard's Paving 192 South Main Street, Mechanicville

Siewert Equipment 244 1st Street, Troy

Town & Country Painting 8 Marcel Road, Clifton Park

Ultimate Roofing 207 E Campbell Road, Schenectady

VP Supply Corp. 43 Round Lake Road, Ballston Lake


Best Fire Hearth & Patio 1760 Central Avenue, Colonie

Best Tile - Saratoga 4295 Route 50, Saratoga Springs

Brothers Gutters

1478 State Street, Schenectady

Concord Pools 136 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs

Crandell Construction Inc 10 Stone Clover Drive, Saratoga Springs

Crisafulli Bros. Plumbing & Heating Contractors

25 Industrial Park Road, Albany

Curtis Lumber 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa Dagostino Building Blocks Inc 1111 Altamont Avenue, Schenectady

Dreamscapes Unlimited 6 Megan Court, Saratoga Springs

Dwyer Eletrical 1975 State Route 4, Fort Edward

Dyerworks Construction LLC 22 Dyer Circle, Saratoga Springs

Erie Materials 99 Railroad Avenue, Albany

GNH Lumber 898 New Louden Road, Latham

Goodson Interiors 253 Plank Road, Porter Corners

HD Concrete INC

853 Rock City Road, Ballston Spa

L. Browe Asphalt Services

19 Sun Oil Road, Rensselaer

Marble Works

8 Commerce Park Drive, Wilton

Mulholland Enterprises

2084 Route 9N, Greenfield Center

Northern Hardwoods 2302 State Hwy 9N, Lake Geroge

Richards Building Supply 116 Railroad Avenue, Albany

RR Fence Co

Saratoga Masonry Supply 453 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Sod 1670 US-4, Stillwater


ABC Supply Co

Branch #599, 12 Selina Drive, Albany

Adirondack Audio & Visual 1048 US-9, Queensbury

Allerdice Glass & Mirror 120 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs

B&B Plumbing & Heating

25 Station Lane, Unit A, Saratoga Springs

Best Fire Hearth & Patio - Albany 1760 Central Avenue, Albany


Best Tile - Saratoga

4295 Route 50, Saratoga Springs

Brookside Nursery

824 Route 67 Ballston Spa

Christopher Hens 24 Walnut Street, Saratoga Springs

Curtis Lumber

885 Route 67, Ballston Spa

Custom Decorative Concrete LLC

86 York Road, Corinth

Earl B Feiden

785 New Loudon Road, Latham

Erie Materials

99 Railroad Avenue, Albany

Everything Under Foot LLC

188 Main Street, Hudson Falls

Granite Excavating LLC

PO Box 657 Saratoga Springs

Granite & Marble Works

8 Commerce Park Drive, Wilton

Hamilton Plumbing Inc

181 East River Drive, Lake Luzerne

Harlan-McGee of North America

4000 Silver Beach Road, Malta

JMK Industries

2 Old Stonebreak Road, Malta

JRS Cement Works Corp.

194 Bogdon Road, Broadalbin

MG Construction & Electric LLC

97 Edie Road, Saratoga Springs

Mr. Tile 74 Miner Road, Porter Corners

Nick Gray Home Improvements

612 Division Street, Northville

Northeast Stairs, Corp.

1029 Saratoga Road, Ballston Lake

Northeast Custom Closets

2 Peabody Place, Wilton

Old Brick Furniture

17 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park

O'Leary Overhead Door

1316 Saratoga Road, Gansevoort

Pallete Stone 269 Ballard Road, Wilton

P.J. Baker Electric PO Box 43, Mechanicville

Plum & Crimson Fine Interior Design 51 Ash Street, Saratoga Springs

Pregent Paving

116 Citation Way, Ballston Spa

Rainbow Sprinklers & Drainage

18 Fonda Road, Cohoes

Snyder 's Drywall Inc

1555 Saratoga Road, Fort Edward

Thompson Fleming Land Surveyors

12 Lake Avenue #1, Saratoga Springs

VP Supply Corp.

43 Round Lake Road, Ballston Spa

Yunga's Services Inc

PO Box 14075, Albany

Kodiak Construction FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 51
Inc continued...


CJ Excavation

Concord Pools 136 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs

Curtis Lumber 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa

Daf Electrical 11 Hawley Avenue, Albany

Engineering America Co 76 Washington St, Saratoga Springs

GSL Landscaping & Nursery LLC 4820 Duanesburg Rd, Duanesburg

J2 Plumbing and Heating 70 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs

Jepson Tile

Latham Roofing & Siding

640 Loudon Road Suite 2A, Latham

Madsen Overhead Doors Inc 673 NY-203, Spencertown

Perfection Power Washing

Proper Painting 23 W Sand Lake Road, Wynantskill

Rondeaus Renovations

Sherwin-Williams Co.

Top Tile of Latham 836 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham

TSK Heating and Cooling 764 Goode Street, Ballston Spa WB Roofing & Siding Waterford


A.W. Hamel Stair Mfg., Inc

3111 Amsterdam Road, Scotia

Best Fire Hearth & Patio 1760 Central Avenue, Colonie

Builders Kitchen Inc 1220 Central Avenue, Albany

Capital Stone/Best Tile 2241 Central Avenue, Schenectady

Carpet One 600 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

Crawford/Pella Windows & Doors 529 Third Ave Extension, Rensselaer

Curtis Lumber 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa

Erie Materials 99 Railroad Avenue, Albany

Lill Overhead Doors 142 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselear

Marcella's Appliances 15 Park Avenue, Clifton Park

Plum & Crimson Fine Interior Design 51 Ash Street, Saratoga Springs

Solid Surface Craftsman 144 Freeman's Bridge Road, Glenville

Winsupply of Saratoga 5 Finley Street, Saratoga Springs



ABC Supply - Albany 29 Railroad Avenue, Albany

Adirondack Audio & Video 1048 State Route 9, Queensbury

Allerdice Glass & Mirror 120 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs

BCS Construction Ballston Spa

Best Tile - Saratoga 4295 Route 50, Saratoga Springs

Bill Ippoliti Construction Victory Mills

Crawford/Pella Windows & Doors 529 Third Avenue Extension, Renssalaer

Creative Stone Designs, LLC Argyle

Curtis Lumber 885 Route 67, Ballston Spa

Collar City Masonry Troy

County Waste 1927 Route 9, Clifton Park

Dura Supreme Cabinetry 300 Dura Drive, Howard Lake, MN

DyerWorks Construction Saratoga Springs

Earl B. Feiden Appliance 785 Route 9, Latham

Floormaster 102 Quaker Road, Queensbury Giuffre Contracting, LLC 528 Third Ave Extension, Rensselaer

Highland Heating & Cooling

26F Congress Street, Suite #302 Saratoga Springs

JIMCO Drywall Mechanicville

JMK Industries Malta

JM Trackey Custom Finishes Glens Falls

Kelly Construction Lance Plumbing 480 Broadway, Suite LL-14A Saratoga Springs

Michael Biss Woodworking LLC Middle Grove

The Overhead Door Company of Glens Falls 1584 U.S. 9, Fort Edward Patricelli Electric Troy

Ragone Foundations Inc

Saratoga Fireplace 437 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Quality Hardware 110 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs Sherwin-Williams Co.

Squared Away Contracting LLC Greenwich

Staucet's Landscaping & Nursery 617 NY-146, Altamont

Steve Herman, LLC Glens Falls

Stone Industries 4305 Route 50, Saratoga Springs

Thermally Yours 149 Plant Road, Clifton Park

Thompson-Fleming Land Surveyors, PC 12 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Thompson Flooring, Inc. Schuylerville Valley Engineering PLLC Guilderland

Winsupply of Saratoga 5 Finley Street, Saratoga Springs

Wolberg Electrical Supply 60 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Subcontractors & Suppliers... FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 53

Our warm welcome begins on the sidewalk – before we even enter Farmacy, once a 1900s family feedstore, now a chill Restobar in Glens Falls, New York. A large garden cart stands off to one side, showcasing potted ferns in a deep Crayola green surrounded by several pots of colorful flowers. Attached to the building's exterior brick wall, which faces an alley, are tiered shelves carrying more of the same.

Tables and chairs stand against the weathered masonry, offering privacy to folks who might want to eat outside in a quieter setting. In contrast, several others are arranged on the sidewalk just outside the restaurant's busy front door. Peeking inside, we spot the chef selection counter, where six chairs invite patrons to settle in, get comfy and enjoy a chance to chat with the chefs while they cook in the openair kitchen.

Wait - what? Learning we can interact with a chef while they're busy creating a meal for us sounds so cool - we're already planning when we can visit again. And we haven't even sat down yet!

We're led to a table toward the back of the restaurant. It's near a window where natural light streams in. I think it's perfect – we'll watch the chef cook our meal, the bartenders create our drinks, and people-watch, all at the same time.

When I look on Farmacy's website, I read their bartenders have over a decade of combined experience in the art of mixing spirits and combining flavors. I take a minute, then choose their craft cocktail named BRAAAIIINSSSS. I love gin, and the bartender mixes this with lite vermouth, curacao, and lemon after an absinthe rinse on my stemmed glass. It's refreshing and goes down easily. Susan nurses a creamy espresso martini, while Chris enjoys a coconut cream ale.

We try the local broccolini salad adorned with pickled onion, cheddar cheese, and bacon. The flavors are fresh and light and have just the right amount of crunchy textures to complement each other.

When I ask where the restaurant sources its food, owners A.J. and wife Christina explain how they like to work with farms that make unique, different, or simply 'grown-right' products. "We like to use products in their prime and try just enough manipulation to let the ingredients shine through." Says A.J. If you study their website, you'll see a list of the local farms they partner with to bring the very best foods to our tables.

We tear pieces off the warm sourdough bread that comes next, spreading softened, burnt rosemary butter with a sprinkle of pink salt over the top. The butter is made on-site, and its character is a little sweet and salty in the same mouthful. FALL 2022 SIMPLY SARATOGA | 57

OK; can we just talk about fine china for a minute? Every plate is different at Farmacy - which we find pretty charming. I love how each selection from the menu is presented on someone's grandma's dinner plate. No two dishes are the same. We wonder aloud who it might have belonged to. Did it adorn the table of the rich and famous? A dignitary? Some noble countrymen? Was it passed down and brought here from another country? "It's going to be hard eating from plain white dishes at other restaurants now," we kid with the general manager, Naomi, when she visits our table.

"We have boxes and boxes of mismatched china here," she says. "People often give us odd pieces or whole sets when cleaning out a relative's home, or it might be a set they no longer use themselves. We love how they're so different. We feel it sets us apart – having all these little touches, you know?" We do know – and we love it.

We decide to try a few different dishes, passing them around the table. The half-dozen pink moon oysters present nicely in a china bowl filled with pebbles and come with a dropper bottle of tomato basil mignonette. We've never seen this dropper bottle before. Naomi explains that it's a French term. She shows us how to squeeze a few drops on each oyster before we slurp down the delicacies. "The mignonette sauce really brings out the oyster's natural sweetness."

The chef cooks our grilled hanger steak exactly how we like it – rare and so tender we don't even use the serrated knives set to the side of our plates. The meat is set atop a green chimichurri sauce, and we can easily taste the flavors of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. The mashed potatoes remind me of gramma's –they still have little lumps!


Years ago, before I started writing about food, I fell in love with the sauce on a burger at a fast-food hamburger joint in town. (Admit it, you've been there, done that!) Anyway, Farmacy offers an “elevated” version of that special sauce. Honestly, this house burger is the best I've tasted, and the sauce is – well, a muchnicer version of the one I discovered years ago! This burger is thick, juicy, a mouthful of texture and flavor, smothered in beer cheese, bacon, and pickled onion. The brioche bun is fresh and comes with crispy (not soggy) french fries.

I ask how they fared during the pandemic. Christina is quick to answer. "We had a dedicated team and such a supportive community. We had opened the restaurant ten months before and celebrated our first anniversary during the pandemic." Their daughter had just been born. They were new parents and owners, navigating the world of COVID-19 that had blind-sighted all of us.

Man, I hear so many stories like this one. Who knew what was coming in the late months of 2019 and early months of 2020? "It was certainly scary and emotional for everyone." A.J. pipes in. "But our team and the community really stood up and supported us. They helped ensure we were still standing when all was said and done. We're very humbled by the outpouring of love we received. It's still so surreal."

Getting back to the good eats, we find out they not only offer dessert, but they also make their own ice cream! "We make ice cream just about every day here," Naomi shares. "We have three ice cream machines imported from Italy." When the three of us try a spoonful of molasses ice cream nestled beside their flourless chocolate torte set atop a generous smear of torched smokey meringue, we look at each other and sigh. The consensus is in; we've just died and gone to heaven.

The other dessert we try is a still-warm donut rolled in cinnamon sugar, with a scoop of peanut butter ice cream plopped in the center. Our first bites are ridiculously good. We all take another.

"This is so creamy!" we say at the same time. Naomi laughs. "The texture comes from the machines and the precise temperature we store our ice cream. This way, it won't become too hard." When I ask about varieties, she tells us the entire team collaborates on flavors – and that guests of the Restobar even suggest some, writing requests on the back of their bill. Naomi grins, sharing how they offer a flight of ice cream – for serious lovers of the frozen dessert.

I wonder where the couple sees the restaurant in, say, 3-5 years. Their answer is refreshing. "We hope to see the business exactly where it is right now. We don't want to grow any larger. We aim to keep focusing on fresh, local, seasonal, and constantly changing menus. We have built a team continually working on new ideas to share with our guests. We hope to add more profits to the business and make upgrades for our visitors' convenience, comfort, and enjoyment. At the end of the day, we love our charming historical space and look forward to calling it home for a long time."

As we say goodbye and turn to leave the restaurant, my eye catches a sign on the wall near the entrance. It reads, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates wrote it. It seems Farmacy lives it. SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 59

Preserving the Pink House:695 North Broadway


These houses in Saratoga Springs are special. They are jewels – they are so rare. They are worthy of preserving,” said one of the owners of 695 North Broadway. The pink house located at 695 North Broadway is like a pink diamond ring that has been recently cleaned and reset, bringing back its sparkle.

In 1868, James H. Wright built the two-and-a-half-story house in the Italianate style, popular between 1840 and 1885. Typical of the style, the house features a low-pitch, hipped roof; wide overhanging eaves with decorative

brackets; tall narrow windows and doors with decorated surrounds; multi-pane, segmental arched attic windows that interrupt the cornice line; and a central, square cupola.

Wright, originally from New York City, was a tailor who arrived in Saratoga Spring with his first wife Susan in 1855. In 1870, he was elected president of the Village of Saratoga. On September 20, 1875, James and his second wife Sarah mortgaged the property for $5,000 to Charles S. Lester, a county judge and prominent financier. Two months after mortgaging his property, Wright was elected Treasurer of Saratoga County.


Wright was reelected as Treasurer in November 1878. Not long after, the December 7, 1878 Daily Saratoga defended Wright against accusations of misappropriation of county funds made in other area newspapers.

The Saratoga Sentinel wrote that Wright had “$16,000 (the equivalent of $361,000 today) of county funds in his hands” and “little or no moneys deposited in the banks.”

Five days later, several newspapers reported that his family admitted he was defaulter and his whereabouts were unknown after he boarded a train to Albany.

News of Wright’s misappropriation of funds caused depositors at banks to become nervous and withdraw their money within days, creating a “run” on two banks and causing them to cease operations. It was later learned that Wright fled to Montreal. There was swift movement to sell Wright’s assets. The stock and fixtures of his store on Broadway were sold in January and on May 8, 1879, Charles S. Lester, the holder of Wright’s defaulted mortgage, sold 695 North Broadway to Joseph W. Drexel for $9,300.

Drexel was a banker and philanthropist. His father established Drexel & Co., a bank in Philadelphia, in 1837.

In 1871, his brother Anthony established Drexel Morgan & Co. with J. Pierpont Morgan. Drexel was a partner in Drexel Morgan & Co., working for his brother and Morgan, senior partners, until his retirement in 1876. He purchased

695 North Broadway to serve as a summer residence for himself, his wife Lucy, and their four daughters.

After retirement, Drexel spent his life pursuing his interests, music, and philanthropy. He played several instruments and his collection of musical instruments from around the world served as the foundation of the musical instrument collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he served as a trustee. He also served as director of the Metropolitan Opera and as president of the New York Philharmonic Society.

Beyond his musical philanthropy, he sought to assist the poor. Drexel bought two large farms in New York and New Jersey, where the jobless were clothed, fed, housed, and taught agriculture skills until they could obtain a job. In Maryland and Michigan, he purchased large tracts of land that he subdivided into lots and built houses and places of work that he then sold to the poor at cost.

In 1881, Drexel joined a group of investors in financing the expansion of a resort on Mt. McGregor. The resort included a cottage that Duncan McGregor built and used as a hotel.

In 1882, Drexel and his fellow investors financed a railroad to run 10.5 miles north of Saratoga Springs to the summit of Mt. McGregor. The following year, they moved the cottage to allow for the construction of the Hotel Balmoral, which could accommodate 200 guests.

Left photograph: Most likely not originally painted pink. However, the owner chose to keep the 1868 Italianate residence painted pink “because it works, it is beautiful.” Above photographs: The restored original paired front doors that lead into the entry hall. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 61

Joseph Drexel and his brother were friends with Ulysses S. Grant. After Grant served two-terms as president, he, his son Ulysses Jr., and Ferdinand Ward, formed a partnership in the firm of Grant and Ward. Unbeknownst to the Grants, Ward was running a ponzi scheme that collapsed in 1884, bankrupting the Grant family. That same year, Grant was diagnosed with throat cancer. In order to make money to provide for his family following his death, Grant began to write articles for Century Magazine about his Civil War experiences. The magazine offered to publish his memoirs, but Mark Twain made Grant a better offer through his publishing company. Grant, on the advice of his doctors to seek a cooler climate, received an offer from Drexel. Reportedly, Drexel first considered having Grant stay at his house on North Broadway. Ultimately, it was determined that the fresh mountain air at Mt. McGregor would be better for Grant’s declining health, so Drexel furnished the cottage for Grant and his family to use. Grant arrived on June 16, 1885 and completed his memoirs on July 19. He died only days later in the cottage, on July 23. Immediately upon Grant’s passing, Drexel made it clear that he intended to leave the cottage as a memorial to his departed friend. Through his generous offer the cottage has been preserved and open to the public for over 130 years.

Ulysses S. Grant writing his memoirs on the porch of the cottage at Mt. McGregor in 1885. The cottage is open to the public, to learn more visit Photo courtesy of Grant Cottage Historic Site. The interior of the carriage house was inspired by the West and Adirondacks, which features a handcrafted staircase. The carriage house, now a guest house, as seen from the cupola of the main house.

In 1888, Drexel died. That same year, the house at 695 North Broadway was sold to Norma Harriet Barrett. Her husband, Hooper C. Barrett, and his brother operated a hotel in New York City. During Barrett’s ownership, the house was rented to numerous people. In 1901, Hooper Barrett declared bankruptcy. The Barrett family defaulted on the mortgage from the Drexel Estate and Drexel’s daughter, Josephine, was awarded the property in 1923. She retained ownership until 1928.

The house had several owners until 1967 when John R. Gaines acquired it to serve as his summer residence. Gaines, whose primary residence was at his Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, was a giant in Thoroughbred racing, who established the Breeder’s Cup and founded the National Thoroughbred Association, a precursor to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The property at 695 North Broadway remained in the Gaines family until 1997 when it was purchased by William E. Redmond, Jr. Seven years later, the house was acquired by Henrietta K. Alexander, an heiress of King Ranch in Texas, as a summer residence.

In 2018, White Birch Farm, a Florida and Connecticut Thoroughbred breeding and racing operation, purchased 695 North Broadway to use during racing and sales seasons. “We had an opportunity to get a great house with a rich history,” said one of the owners. “In fact, I remember talking horse business on the porch many years ago.” The wrap-around front porch is the owners’ favorite space. “We love to spend time on the porch – working, reading, and entertaining.” Off season, the property is also used by White Birch Paper company as a meeting retreat.

The owners did extensive work to both the house and carriage house, including restoring the slate roofs, adding copper gutters, painting interiors and exteriors, remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms, installing new wiring, plumbing, and HVAC, as well as installing a pool and completing extensive landscape work designed by Madison Co. “We felt it was the right thing to do to invest in the property because if you do away with these houses, you do away with your history,” said the owner. One of the largest projects was the adaptive re-use of the carriage house into a guest house, which was designed by local architect Tom Frost of Frost Hurff Architects. “The carriage house provided us with an opportunity to create a unique space that is inspired by the West and the Adirondacks,” said the owner. The staircase is truly one of a kind – handcrafted by Rich Martin of Northern Dean, who oversaw the rehabilitation of both the house and carriage house.

Last year, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation recognized the work of the owners with a Preservation Recognition Award. “Architecture is a creative expression of a time and place. It is part of our heritage that provides an opportunity to learn from it,” expressed the owners. The community is grateful to them for their significant investment to preserve a great part of our heritage. SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 63

“This whole place really is a love letter to Molly,” said Tim Smith as we toured the grounds of the 55+acre property where they produce their own food and practice sustainable living with their two children, Elizabeth, 6, and Owen, 4.

The couple met after college (while they were both competing in a rugby tournament) and have been inseparable ever since. While living in Atlanta, Ga., where Tim worked as a police officer, Molly completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It had been her dream-job, but every night a new dream began taking shape: the Smiths desperately wanted to raise a family in the country.


In 2016, on the day of her baby shower, Molly found their Saratoga home on Zillow. The small, already-established farm was just what they’d been searching for.

“I always wanted to be self-sufficient and create my own food,” said Molly while popping freshly-risen bread dough into the oven.

Today, Molly makes everything from scratch from their farm’s meat and produce including lotions, soaps, and dish detergent. They currently have three bee hives and harvest a huge assortment of vegetables and fruits including grapes, apples, peaches, pears, plums, persimmons, and blueberries.

They can’t even remember the last time they went to the grocery store. They use well water, have solar water heating and power, recycle and upcycle whenever possible.

As a full-time Emergency Medicine Physician at Albany Medical Center, it’s amazing Molly finds time for it all.

“You can’t be with someone exceptional and not keep up,” explains Tim. He stays home and cares for kids, the land, and the animals while Molly works a schedule that includes lots of overnight shifts at the busiest trauma center in the state and trips around the world. Even when she’s in a faroff country like Romania however, she’s still longing to get home to milk the goats, she said.


Hobby farming alone wouldn’t bring in enough money to live on said the Smiths, but its benefits are still very tangible. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life,” said Tim. “This is a huge gift. I have no complaints.”

Once responsible for raising the animals at Old Chatham Sheepherding Company (which is now the largest sheep dairy in the country), today Tim looks after a single Friesian wool sheep of the same South African breed and a handful of Black Headed Dorpers.

When the Siena College Saints rugby team won their first ever national championship title this year, Tim prepared them a lamb dinner to celebrate.

“It was, quite possibly, the greatest thing I’ve ever cooked,” he said.

At Rookie’s Gamble Farm, the Smiths are making their dreams come true. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 65


On the job, Molly’s seen how exposure to toxins can result in bewildering physical symptoms, so she makes a practice of avoiding chemicals at home.

In the garden, instead of pesticides, a flock of guinea hens, chickens, ducks and geese meander around munching bugs, as do the turkeys housed in a hand-built chicken tractor that moves around the yard.

Instead of using commercial fertilizers, their naturally sandy soil is supplemented with compost, manure, and bone ash.

To cut down on fuel usage, instead of mowing, their goats chomp away on grasses and bittersweet bushes. (They’re so good at clearing the land, the goats have even been rented out to the Saratoga Battlefield to do the job there). Finally, the pigs are brought in to root out the area so it’s ready for the next season.


The variety and cyclical nature of their practices makes Rookie’s Gamble Farm inherently more sustainable while providing an invaluable sense of security in an increasingly unpredictable world climate.

“Self-sufficiency equals freedom,” said Bobby Grimm. In 2013, Bobby and his business partner, Jeff Hensel, started Norsemen Farms, a purveyor of fine meats including the rare Japanese Waygu beef. The balanced marbling and richness of these premium steaks make them highly sought after. “The ribeye is the single best steak I’ve ever eaten,” said Molly.

“Soon, everybody that’s interested in it is not going to be able to get it,” said Bobby.

On this day, Bobby brought two dark beauties, Bessie and her calf, Little Feet, from their herd of 250 grassfed cows (which also include the Belted Galway breed) to the shaded pastures of Rookie’s Gamble Farm.


These two farmers thrive on trade. Tim provides Bobby with labor and sells Norsemen Farms meats. In exchange, Bobby cares for the Smith’s sow, Big Mama, over the winter and supplies the farm with hay.

The cooperative nature of farming can be seen everywhere. The pigs climb over themselves to get to the breads leftover from the Twisted Bagel Company and grains from Spring Brook Hollow Distillery. Rookie’s Gamble Farm meats are humanely slaughtered by Stratton Custom Meats and Locust Grove Smokehouse.

To promote small agriculture, Rookie’s Gamble Farm has joined up with Featherbed Lane Farm to sell products online at, is a member of the Hoosac Valley Farmers Exchange, and has started the Battlefield Farm Trail.


You can stop by the Rookie’s Gamble Farm stand at 323 NY 423, in Saratoga Springs, anytime. Go on Farm Stand Friday for a beer with Molly and Tim. For a farm tour and a burger, register online for Mondays on the Farm. They’ve hosted a variety of events, from graduation parties to weddings, have an annual Full Moon Bonfire, and Easter Egg Hunt. For updates and products, follow Rookie’s Gamble Farm on Facebook and Instagram. SS

See more photos at


Local Couple Creates Woodworking Magic

Van Johnson began woodworking in earnest after retiring from a long and rewarding career in the printing industry. Although wife MaryAnn claims that Adirondack Wood Products is Van’s business, and she’s just “along for the ride as backup and support,” Van heartily disagrees. He heaps praises on his wife’s many talents and skills, crediting her for everything from prep work and cutting out furniture pieces on band saws to drilling holes with the drill press and doing all the finishing work.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” contends leadership guru J. C. Maxwell, and in the case of Adirondack Wood Products — a woodworking shop and showroom based in Greenfield Center—the words apply perfectly. This thriving business, run by husband-wife team Van and MaryAnn Johnson, produces everything from exquisite kitchen bread boards and bowls to rustic Adirondack chairs, rockers, and loveseats. Everything is made from locally harvested lumber, including maple, black walnut, cherry, pear, apple, hickory, silver maple, catalpa, poplar, and mulberry.

MaryAnn Johnson worked for the Town of Greenfield for 30+ years, first as deputy Town Clerk and then, for her last 15 years, as Town Clerk. Retired now, she currently serves her community as a Town Board member. MaryAnn has always enjoyed sewing and crafts. But her interest in woodworking grew as Van’s retirement business took off and additional helping hands were needed. To increase their ability to create wooden signs and personalized items with logos and text, MaryAnn spent last winter learning to run a CNC Router. Because the process of importing a file into the Router software was totally different from anything she had previously done, learning the new CAD program was no easy task. “I made some mistakes as I went along,” she sighs.

“But mistakes were no problem,” Van counters with a grin. “With my planer, I can remove 1/64th of an inch of wood easily and quickly. Problems are history!”

WRITTEN BY WENDY HOBDAY HAUGH | PHOTOS BY WENDY HOBDAY HAUGH AND MARYANN & VAN JOHNSON Woodworkers Van & MaryAnn Johnson of Adirondack Wood Products in Greenfield Center. The Johnsons’ new showroom is open by appointment. A striking ensemble of lawn furniture by Van and MaryAnn Johnson.

Raised in a military family, Van had considered following his father and three older brothers into service. “At one time I wanted to be a pilot,” he says, “but my eyes weren’t good enough.” Fortunately, Van’s other interests were many, and he gratefully recalls the guidance and mentoring he received as a youth from local tradesmen and artists.

“I grew up watching George Bolster paint portraits,” Van says, referring to the renowned Saratoga photographer, active from the 1930s to the 1980s. “I was amazed by Bolster’s ability to paint beautiful, colorful oil paintings from black and white photographs.”

Noting the boy’s unusually keen interest in photography, one of Bolster’s assistants began teaching Van all about light and the basic concepts of photography: aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed, and exposure. After purchasing his first Kodak Pentex 1000, Van set out to master its many features and learn everything he could about developing and drying his own photographs. “I spent a lot of time in dark rooms,” he says, “and I loved it.”

At a young age, Van also became fascinated by the world of printing. His unofficial printing career began at age 11 when he volunteered to put all the letters back in their type cases after the weekly run of a local newspaper. In grade school, Van was so captivated by the printing process—and so good at reading backwards (a required skill in typesetting)—that, when assigned a research paper, he opted to write a 6-page report about printing. For extra credit, he even wrote the entire report backwards, just like they did in the pressroom.

Van’s hard work earned him an F, however, because his baffled teacher was unable to read the report. But his mother contested the grade and arranged to meet with her son’s teacher. During their meeting, an assistant principal, who knew of Van’s fascination with printing,

happened to walk by. After hearing about the problem, the man grinned, grabbed the paper, and beckoned for them to follow him to a nearby bathroom. The second he held one page up to a mirror, the teacher grasped what her ambitious student had done—and Van’s F became an A!

These days, Van Johnson positively glows when talking about his careers in printing and woodworking. He is skilled in every aspect of a press room, and his knowledge of woodworking is equally focused and detailed. With MaryAnn’s expert assistance, this dynamic duo produces an impressive mix of kitchen must-haves, personalized signs, rustic Adirondack chairs, rockers, and loveseats, kids’ Adirondack chairs, patio side tables, well houses, and — perhaps their most popular item ever — their own original portable beverage tables. Perfect for the beach, ballgames, planned picnics and impromptu get-togethers, these small, easy-to-carry tables — built to safely and securely hold everything from beer and soda containers to wine bottles and goblets — make the perfect gift for any occasion.

“Last year, we brought 32 of our portable tables to the three-day Northville Rotary Woodworking and Fine Arts Show,” says Van, “and by 3 p.m. the second day, we were sold out. This year we brought 42 of them, and sales were equally brisk.”

Given the couple’s obvious affection, camaraderie, and commitment to craft, it’s no wonder they produce such stunning pieces. Today, as the Johnsons work to fill the many orders received at their summer shows, the chips are really flying in their Greenfield Center workshop. But that’s okay with Van and MaryAnn. They love what they do, and that love is reflected in every piece they create. Together, they make a team that can’t be beat.

To learn more, visit or phone 518-893-2233. SS

See more photos at

Van drills holes in a beverage table. Kitchen calculators are super-handy! FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 69


“The connection you can have with nature is one you can have with nothing else in life,” said Eve Bucwinski.

“It’s a soulful connection that brings a sense of peace.” Eve is a florist, pro-gardener, moss wall artist, and mother of five boys.

Eve grew up at her family’s farm in Poland and came to the States in 1988. She’s always been a forager but has recently seen a surge of interest in the pastime. The tag #foragingtiktok has garnered more than 94 million views on the social media platform. To reach this growing online audience, Eve runs six Facebook gardening groups; Upstate Gardening & Outdoor Living, 518 Plant Lovers, Adirondack Butterfly Gardeners, NY Foraging and Outdoors, and Adirondack Plant & Garden Life.

Like geocaching, foraging is outdoor treasure hunting, she said.

“You get to collect treasures and use them – in art projects, to eat, or for their medicinal properties.”

in theof Eve

In her foraging, forest bathing, and crafting workshops, Eve demonstrates how to read the forest by identifying plants and their uses, as well as deciphering clues about what animals exist in the habitat.

Eve’s moss walls are displayed at Clifton Park’s Sushi Thai restaurant, Active Ingredient Brewing in Malta, and Plug Power in Latham.

“They’re a very simple way of bringing the green of nature indoors with absolutely no maintenance. They make the space more serene and are a sound absorber.”

Through a multi-step drying process, Eve preserves and enhances the moss’ vibrant colors. To learn her technique and register for all the classes available at local Saratoga County parks and forests every Saturday morning, go to, find her on Facebook and Instagram.

*Please note - identification is key in foraging and using wild mushrooms. Many are toxic, poisonous, or can be dangerous lookalikes.

See more photos at


Wild Mushroom Risotto With Roasted Summer Squash, Tomato Confit, and Garlic Confit


• 1 tablespoon oil of choice (lard, bacon grease, clarified butter, or olive oil are all good)

• 1 yellow onion, diced

• 3 large cloves of garlic, minced

• 4 cups wild mushrooms of your choice, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces

• 1 cup arborio rice

• ¼ cup dry white wine

• 4 cups wild mushroom stock, unsalted (see recipe)

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 ½ cups high-quality parmesan, grated

• 1 cup fresh flat parsley, chopped

• 3 tablespoons lemon juice

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• Crispy Air Fryer Summer Squash (optional, see recipe)

• Garden Tomato Confit (optional, see recipe)

• Garlic Confit (optional, see recipe)


1. Warm oil of choice in large paella pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and sprinkle with salt to help sweat out any water. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté approximately 3 minutes, or until onions begin to become translucent. Add minced garlic and cook until aromatic but not brown (browned garlic tastes bitter and burnt!).

2. Add wild mushrooms to the pan of onion and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds or until mixed.

3. Add arborio rice to the pan mixture. Allow risotto to toast and mushrooms to brown slightly before moving to the next step, approximately 2-3 minutes.

4. Deglaze pan with wine. Any wine you have open works well, but the Foraging Femmes like chardonnay when available.

5. Keeping the burner heat at medium, add 1 cup of wild mushroom stock to the pan of ingredients.

6. Stir constantly. Stir constantly. Consider this a little targeted arm workout before the main event of this meal. In order to coax that dreamy, creamy risotto consistency from the rice, you absolutely must:

a. Add liquid slowly.

b. Stir gently, constantly.

7. Continue to add stock to mixture at approximately ½ cup increments while stirring constantly. Allow liquid to be completely absorbed by rice and mushrooms before adding more. Repeat this step until all stock has been cooked into the rice and mushrooms, approximately 25 minutes. Be patient. Once the liquid is absorbed, taste the risotto for doneness. If the rice is too al dente,

add more liquid at ¼ cup increments until rice is at desired doneness. Rice should be loose, almost porridge-like.

8. Remove pan from heat. Stir in butter until melted and incorporated. Stir in grated parmesan until melted and incorporated. Stir in fresh parsley until incorporated. Stir in lemon juice.

9. Taste the risotto and begin to add salt and pepper to taste. The parmesan is generally intensely salty so you may need less than you think! Add additional parmesan, parsley, and lemon juice to taste. The Foraging Femmes almost always throw in another handful of parm.

10. Adorn risotto with air-fried summer squash, tomato confit, garlic confit, and sprigs of parsley for a truly intense seasonal flavor bomb.

11. Share with those you love! FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 71

in Plain Sight

JOHN MUSE lingers at the intersection of art and architecture. Saratoga Springs is more than a haphazard collection of buildings, streets, and greenery. It is a dynamic, everchanging landscape.

John Muse is responsible for creating many of the area’s most recognizable structures and recently restored his own house, which was originally built in 1905.


A lover of Classicism, Bungalow, and the Arts and Crafts styles, John Muse is among the last generation of architects who draws buildings by hand.

“I lament what happens in the architectural world when people don’t draw,” he said.

Drawing isn’t just something John does for a living, it’s how he spends his leisure time. Using a muted palette of colors in his pieces, John gives architectural details a hazy appearance so they appear as offset abstractions to the casual observer.

72 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 hidden

With greater scrutiny, artistic wonders appear. Public places that warrant a closer look include:

1. The Adirondack Trust Building, 473 Broadway Erected in 1901, this white marble landmark has remained a formidable presence downtown. Perched on the roof, a stag head crest is flanked by two fierce eagles. Inside, the coffered ceiling, golden chandelier, and quotes in gold lettering draw your eye up.

2. Saratoga Springs Post Office, 475 Broadway

Built in 1910, this Beaux Arts building’s marble columns and bronze doors create a grand entrance. On the lobby’s east wall, two murals entitled “Saratoga in Racing Season” were painted by Guy Pene du Bois in 1937.

3. Caroline and Main, 438 Broadway

Peering down from the rooftop is a fiddler’s ceramic head surveying the scene at one of the city’s busiest intersections.

4. High Rock Spring Pavilion, 112 High Rock Park In 1848, the first permanent structure was built over the city’s most infamous spouter. Today, it’s beautifully updated, the area remains a park and features a 9/11 memorial sculpture.

5. National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame

99 South Broadway | Established in 1918 as the Washington Baths, John considers this Arts & Crafts bungalow building to be one of the most beautiful of its style in the world.

“My paintings are always a study of light and composition. I look at how light hits a building and tend to look at things from a slightly different perspective,” said John.

This year, a collection of 40 of his paintings were on display at Uncommon Grounds.

“It was kind of fun, I was surprised how much people liked them,” he said. “People really appreciate the Saratoga city scenes.”


John’s discerning eye has caught sight of the city’s lesser-known architectural gems among many of its most popular buildings.

While renovating the third floor of City Hall, for instance, a three-story brick Italianate building at 474 Broadway constructed in 1871, he glimpsed the original ceiling of what used to be the Town Hall Theater hidden above.

“What a surprise that was! I thought, ‘Oh my goodness! I can’t believe this is here’.”

Such artistic wonders are unexpected delights.

Another such instance occurred while John was walking on Skidmore’s public bike trails. In the woods, John came upon a water tower encircled with graffiti.

“At first, I was annoyed because I’m not usually a fan of graffiti but the more I saw, the more I thought, ‘Wow! This is really beautiful’.”

The simplicity of the old railroad station in Saratoga Spa State Park, the powerful mystique of Yaddo Gardens, and the skilled stone masonry of the 1946 home at 12 Wagner Road have also caught John’s eye.

To see a portfolio of John’s work, go to

Grafitti art painted on the Skidmore water tower.

Photo by Super Source Media Studios FALL 2022 SIMPLY SARATOGA | 73

a keen Coupling

It’s a love match - dishes that taste like they’re meant to be.

Kevin Myers’s specialty is combinations. As a chef, he intuitively understands food pairings. His restaurant, The Ribbon Cafe, is a powerfully pleasant tribute to the divine union between food and love.

The Ribbon Cafe is perhaps best known for serving Kevin’s Southwest Shrimp Corn Chowder. First crowned the Saratoga Chowder Fest champion in 2017, its creamy sweetness meets with a slight kick of jalapeno for a marriage of classic flavors. Topped with a crispy crab wonton popper and zesty tequila candied bacon, a bowlful of this beauty has continued to win the top spot in the annual cooking competition every year since. The real triumph of the award-winning favorite is the story behind what made this sensory experience possible for so many. It’s a bittersweet tale rooted in the loss of Kevin’s wife, Jennifer.


For twenty years, Kevin and Jennifer were the best of friends and co-workers at Gaffney’s Restaurant. After being married for a brief 18 months, Jennifer died of breast cancer in 2017. In her memory, Kevin opened the Ribbon Cafe the following year.

Although it’s Kevin’s chowder that’s had the most infamous run here, his other culinary couples are also attracting attention.

“We have a full-on line out the door. It’s food that’s simple, easy, and effective,” he said.

This is food that can satisfy your every craving.



Kevin remembers back when chicken wings had to each be hand cut and were sold all-you-can-eat for less than four dollars. A lot has changed since then, including Kevin’s wing recipe. He’s spent years playing around with it. Today, his signature wing sauce has the mildmedium tang of Franks RedHot, with a zing of garlic set off by the sweetness of brown sugar.

Another of Kevin’s noteworthy sauces is named in honor of his wife. Kevin created the recipe before her death but deemed it Jen’s Secret Sauce because of the memorable way she described the dish. (She said the cheeseburger eggrolls in a tomato-based horseradish sauce tasted like a McDonald’s Big Mac on crack).

When it’s nothing but sugar that will satisfy, Kevin’s French toast concoctions are your ultimate go-to food. By crushing Cap’n Crunch, he gives the gooey sweetness of this special breakfast food a delightfully delicious added layer. If you’re a kid (or just a kid at heart) you can’t go wrong with Kevin’s cookies and cream French toast made with Oreo cookie crumbles and fresh strawberries.

If you’re like me, nothing quite hits the spot like sweet and salty. Well, Kevin and his sister have got your back here. too. Their homemade potato chips dipped in chocolate and peanut butter will have you addicted in no time.


When it comes to the Ribbon Cafe’s food, comfort is the name of the game. Their menu is filled with homemade items, hearty sandwiches and substantial salads. It’s a hit because Kevin starts with good ingredients, which is what’s made it a success, he said.

As tasty as it is, the good being done here goes far beyond the food. The Ribbon Cafe regularly supports those battling cancer. In addition to donations to the Mollie Wilmot Radiation Oncology Center, and delivering meals to those in need, The Ribbon Cafe has participated in at least a dozen fundraisers.

In May this year, they helped raise $10,000 for Ballston Spa’s Union Fire Co #2 Department firefighter Ken Woolley, who is suffering from terminal throat cancer. By teaming up with Ballston Spa’s Sunshine Kids, in July they hosted Alex’s Lemonade Stand and helped raise $5,000 for the family of three-year-old Jagger Zopp, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma, that affects the body’s soft tissue. In September, they will be at the Wiawaka Center for Women’s annual cancer survivor retreat.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: On October 1st, the Ribbon Cafe, 11 Prospect Street, in Ballston Spa will be participating in Saratoga's 5th Annual Wing Off and raising money for the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. The street will be closed off to feature up to 30 vendors and craft booths. This FREE event features tarot readings, four friendly donkeys, and live music by cancer survivor Jeff Brisbin. The Ribbon Cafe will be serving breakfast until 12 p.m. and a menu of foods filled with fall flavors from 1 until 5 p.m. For more information, find them on Facebook. SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 75

Jennifer KuhnMeet...

I enjoy meeting people that are passionate about what they do. I met Jennifer Kuhn, "The Dog Cookie Lady" at a farmers’ market.

Being a dog guy myself, I couldn't resist checking out her booth. As I approached, I was greeted with a big smile and a happy "Good morning!” from Jen. She is one of those people that clearly loves what she is doing, and you can feel it the minute that you meet her.

There were quite a few other dog people at her booth some of whom had their furry friends with them.

As I perused her offerings of luscious dog treats, I couldn't help overhearing the other people discussing which cookies their dogs liked best. I could tell by the conversations around me that people, or more accurately, their dogs are passionate about these treats. Two ladies were discussing their dog's favorite flavors; one lady's dog was particularly fond of peanut butter and the other lady's dog liked the blueberry & maple. I notice that Jen had containers of fresh water in her booth for thirsty dogs. I think that she enjoyed interacting with the dogs as much as with their owners!


I bought a small bag of banana peanut butter treats for my Golden Retriever Pete and left. When I arrived home, I offered Pete a bear shaped cookie. He ate it and sat, looking at me with his “give me another” face, which of course I did. Well let me tell you Pete loved the cookies and once I read the ingredients on the package, so did I. (Only the best for Pete).

I was happy to see Jen manning her "Y-NOT" dog cookie booth a couple of weeks later at another farmers’ market. She was just setting up and I got to talk to her and learn a bit about her and her dog cookie business. This lady is passionate about dogs -and healthy dog treats! She has spent lots of hours researching the best ingredients to be sure that every ingredient is quality and good for dogs. She bakes every single treat in her home kitchen. She told me that she spends about 65 hours a week preparing, baking, and packaging. That does not include the time she spends attending many events and farm markets in the local area to sell the dog treats. I asked how she came up with the name "Y-Not Dog Cookies”? She told me about a favorite dog that she had.

His name was "Tony.” As she started telling me about Tony, the tears began to flow. Jen said that Tony was pure love and that she missed him terribly. "Y-Not" is Tony spelled backwards, of course. It is her homage to him. The longer that I spent talking to Jen, the more obvious was her love of dogs. She has two dogs of her own. Both rescues; Carter, who is about 13 and Bugsy who is almost 4. They are both well-loved dogs.

Jen also spends a lot of time working with nonprofits such as "Ibi Semper Training" who provide training and adoption service for PTSD sufferers and "Fulton County SPCA.”

Jen told me that recently, people have been ordering dog cookies as favors at their weddings. Jen packages the favors in little bags and customizes each one with the name of the couple getting married and the date of the wedding. People certainly love their dogs.

Yes, Jennifer Kuhn is passionate about dogs. Is there anything better to be passionate about?

I must go. Pete wants a Y-Not dog treat. Check her out at SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 77


with the

Big Dogs

Fourteen years ago, area native Tom Davis was living in his friend’s backyard and operating a small dog-walking business. Today, he’s on the path to becoming one of the world’s most famous dog trainers.

How did this underdog become such a howling success? By training those holding the leash, not those tied to it.


Tom Davis has a different approach to dog training. He believes that by teaching owners to be at their best, their dogs will get what they need. This philosophy has guided him throughout his career and built his list of clients to include politicians, celebrities, and even royalty.

Known as ‘America’s Canine Educator,’ Davis’s media company and regional Upstate Canine Academy training centers have helped millions of people answer their questions about canine behavior.

As the host of the chart-topping ‘No Bad Dogs’ podcast, he helps listeners with tips and techniques. His relatable and easilydigestible training videos have garnered nearly 17 million views on TikTok, and almost 650,000 YouTube subscribers.

“It’s all in the secret sauce. I have the ability give information to people without them feeling offended or defeated, but in a way that is actually empowering.”


As Tom Davis’ network of clients grew, he wasn’t surprised that it began to include the names of some famous movers and shakers.

“I was really excited,” said Davis. “I was going from being a small-town kid growing up in South Glens Falls to working with some of the most famous people in the world.”

His first big celebrity client was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Since then, he’s also worked with YouTuber Logan Paul, the Chainsmokers’ Drew Taggert, and pro-athletes Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, among others.

While he taught his high-profile clients, Davis was also learning from them.

“Being in their ecosystem for an entire week and having the experience to see how business is run at that scale was a huge opportunity for me,” he said.


Twice Tom Davis has appeared on NBC’s the 'Today' show. He’s also been on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ twice and in June was the subject of an article in ‘People’ magazine.

No matter how much media attention he gets, or how much he progresses on his journey, he’ll continue to strive to be the best version of himself and to help dog owners at home, he said.

“It takes a lot of dedication and hard work and it’s a continual learning curve,” said Davis. “It continues to be so helpful to dog owners because it’s real. I’m working in real time and creating real content with dogs exhibiting real behaviors.”

No matter who you are, seeing a dog’s behavior transform in minutes is miraculous.


The new Upstate Canine Academy in Halfmoon is a 15,000 sq. ft. facility with five customized training rooms, seminar space, a recording studio, and the largest outdoor training area in the Capital Region.

“As my personal brand continues to grow, our flagship location will always be in Upstate New York,” said Davis. “I’m really proud of the dog community we’ve built here locally, nationally, and internationally, as well. I continue to be really happy to offer services to people who want to build a better relationship with their dog.”

There is currently a two-month waiting period for private training at the Upstate Canine Academy. Virtual consultations are also available. For more information, visit them online at, follow Tom Davis on Instagram, and America’s Canine Educator on Facebook. SS


Remembering Teddy our "hero"

TTheodore Roosevelt Hogan, also known as Ted, Teddy, Teddy Bear, Boo Bear, Brother Bear, Super Dog, Cubby, Cubarooni & “Ed” (by his little brother, Cash) was sent to be with God on August 23rd, 2022, peacefully, while in his favorite place, the arms of his mom. Welcomed into his family on March 10, 2016, from the Saratoga County Animal Shelter and Homes For Orphaned Pets Exist (H.O.P.E), after appearing on a record-breaking episode of “Steve Caporizzo’s Pet Connection,” Teddy instantly proved to his family that they needed him just as much as he needed them. His adopted name was “Hero” and he certainly lived up to that name, as his first weekend home, he jumped off a second-story deck, flying through the air, for the longest 10 seconds of his mother’s life. From that point on he was known as “Super Dog” to all the kids of the family. That same weekend he escaped from his crate, jumping into bed and onto his mother’s pillow, where he would sleep every night following.

He is survived by his best friend, mother and soulmate, Stephanie Cash Hogan, his older sister and partner in crime, Sadie Cash Hogan, his father and favorite ballthrower who always threw it farthest (even with a cigar in his hand), Justin Hogan, his grandpa and favorite visitor, Don Cash, his Jujie and coworker Julie Cash, his Uncle Stephen Cash, and perhaps the greatest bond of all, his little brother Cash Hogan… who has already asked for “Ed” approximately 900 times. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 79

He leaves behind many local advocates at the Saratoga County Animal Shelter and H.O.P.E., many fans from his appearance in “Lucky’s Adventures in Saratoga” book series, his friends at Upstate Veterinary Specialties; Neurology (Dr. Scanlon) and Oncology (Dr. Verrilli) Departments, his Vets Dr. Stacey Oke and Dr. Sara Ryan, the entire Saratoga office of McKenna and Franck CPAs where he reported for work, and countless friends that have pulled for our Teddy since the beginning. He was predeceased by family members Madison Cash, Fenway Cash, Aunt MiMi Fenton, and girlfriend Bianca Higgins. We are certain they all welcomed him - to run without pain - and are now watching all of us, together from the other side.

Teddy’s favorite activities are hard to name as he was thankful to be part of anything and everything we did. He loved running with his mom, walking with Sadie, snuggling, protecting all of us, laying on the beaches of Nantucket, lounging at Big Don’s, hiking up the ADK mountains in record time (he somehow got faster with each hike!), trying new foods (especially ones he shouldn’t get into), riding shotgun in his mom’s car, spinning in circles when he was excited (which was often), spending time with Big Don, eating soft serve ice cream (Dairy Haus pup cups were his favorite), peanut butter (he could hear a jar open from anywhere in the house), traveling, chasing squirrels, rabbits, cats and deer, smiling with his head out the window, and being part of his baby brother’s every move. Teddy served as Cash’s favorite night nurse, pillow, playmate, breakfast/lunch/dinner date, and most of all, his very best friend. Ted was the most loyal, selfless, and loving companion to all of us. If you gave him you heart, he gave you his.

More than anyone else in the world, Teddy loved his mom. It was very uncommon for him to ever take his eyes off her. He was there for her through happiness, grief, love, and loss. Their bond was something people asked to photograph, write about, and something that will never be recreated. A true love story. Two souls in need of saving, that somehow found each other.

Teddy beat abandonment, homelessness, abuse, cancer, pancreatitis, jumping off countless decks, fences, and docks, running into multiple glass doors (he could never contain his excitement), climbing up (without help) a 3-story Widow’s Walk, eating more items than we could imagine (crackers with the box, mouth guards, tampons, multiple doormats, an entire tray of Scotheroos…) and jumping out of many car windows. When Teddy

got sick, he fought hard and selflessly for all of us, because he knew how much we needed him. He battled with bravery, heart, and determination. Until the very last day he woke up to watch Cash play, ate all 3 meals with him and helped rock him to bed at night. Our faithful servant and best friend until the end. We will carry his heart with us always.

Teddy will be remembered by his family every minute of every day. Certain activities that will be particularly challenging without him are evening sunset walks, car rides, bed time without his snores in his mom’s ear, meal time without his nose on our knees, the first snow each year without the flakes sticking to his nose, seeing chipmunks in the yard (he was actually fast enough to catch them!) and food deliveries without his protector bear cub bark (most restaurants don’t even attempt to ring the doorbell anymore, they just leave the food on the porch).

Thank you to all that prayed for him, cheered for him, and followed his journey since the very beginning. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you show someone appreciation and love today, in Teddy’s honor, or better yet take a risk on a rescue dog. We may have “saved him,” but he saved all of us when he chose to be ours.

Mom loves you forever, Teddy Bear - Thank You will never be enough, you were a gift from God. SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 81

FALL 2022 PGS. 84-97
84 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Photo by Super Source Media XX Jessie is wearing: Alp-n-Rock Dev Sweater Artesania Textured Wool Skirt Pistil Soho Hat Bos. & Co. Hammond Boot EIC Elwha Hoop Earrings EIC Elwha Soleil Necklace …Don’t forget your Alpine Mug!
Crimson Klover Cleo Turtleneck Sweater Obermeyer Raze Jacket Hats from Starling, Turtlefur, Pistil, Chaos, Dakine Boots from Bos. & Co. Obermeyer Bolide Jacket Obermeyer Cecelia & Cosima Down Jacket FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 85 321 CLINTON STREET, SARATOGA SPRINGS • 518.584.6290 • ALPINESPORTSHOP.COM
86 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Wooden Ships Knits
Amano Studio Jackson Rowe Chive POL Shiraleah Shiraleah Blowfish Malibu Roolee Wooden Ships Knits FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 87
Eco Raw Studio Wool + Indigo XCVI Korkease Eileen Fisher Sofft Nic & Zoe Habitat Hammitt FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 89 436 BROADWAY, SARATOGA SPRINGS • 518.584.4665 • LIFESTYLESOFSARATOGA.COM
lifestyles {clothing accessories shoes}
Kinross Cashmere Crop Nordic Cowl Cardigan
Lilly Pulitzer Knowles Dress Lilly Pulitzer Sailynn Maxi Set Lilly Pulitzer Kavia Jumpsuit Trina Turk Anissa Caftan Trina Turk Sapna Dress Trina Turk Leela Dress Kinross Cashmere Knit Trim Hooded Coat Kinross Cashmere Luxe Cozy T Neck Kinross Cashmere Doule Knit Shacket FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 91 358 BROADWAY, SARATOGA SPRINGS • 518.587.4344 • PINKPADDOCK.COM

Our #1... The Gisele High Rise Ankle in Dark Oak! Perfect addition to your Fall Wardrobe.

Looking forward to Fall temps and sunny skies this denim beauty from Driftwood.

Who doesn’t love a Super High Waisted cropped flare jean? Our FIONA delivers all that and more.

Walking in style with the On The Go Sling Backpack in Carbon! How’s that for cute?

...It really is! This cashmere beauty screams cuteness while keeping you cozy all day and night!

Whether it’s earrings, bracelets or necklaces, Chanour always delivers!

How can you lose with this statement piece?

Taking that basic outfit, “up a notch” with a customer favorite... Jenny Kraus!

The “Go-To” bag... Hidden compartments, lots of space for all of your goodies and quite the little fashion piece! FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 93 27 CHURCH STREET, SARATOGA SPRINGS • 518.587.2772 • SPOKENSARATOGA.COM
94 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Bella Dahl Mesa Maxi Dress $168
Rails Jaro Coat $388 Commando Ballet Sleeveless Bodysuit $88 Velvet by Graham & Spencer Tobbie Hoodie $216 Billini Phelps Faux Suede Boot Streets Ahead Animalier Buckle Belts Straight Jean FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 95
Agolde / 90's Pinch Waist High Rise
$188 Lack of Color Celestial Boater Hat $199 Antica Farmacista 250 ml Diffuser $68 | 9oz Candle $48 Free People Brayden Fisherman Boot $328 494 BROADWAY, SARATOGA SPRINGS • 518.584.4838 • VIOLETSOFSARATOGA.COM
96 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Faherty
True Griit Faherty West Third Brand 34 Heritage Hamilton & Adams Mododoc FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 97 437 BROADWAY, SARATOGA SPRINGS • 518.450.7025 • UNIONHALLSUPPLYCO.COM
Good & Well Supply Co. Adirondack Field Johnnie-O
98 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 99 Let Us Show You Around... H&G Randall Perry Photography
100 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Architecturally Randall Perry Photography
Randall Perry Photography FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 101 Architecturally SPEAKING Follow us as we explore some of the area's unique spaces...
102 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Summer Yeara nautical home brings the seaside to Saratoga.


Some of summer’s best days are spent with sand between your toes, listening to waves crash upon the shore, but when you live in a four-season locale, such as Saratoga Springs, not every day can be a beach day. So, the next best thing is a New England style home with a seaside vibe. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 103

Augusta Martin has the ocean flowing through her veins. She grew up in New London, Connecticut and was on her first boat by the time she was six months old. From the age of six until she was in college, Augusta sailed competitively, and by the age of 12 she was helping to launch the wooden sailboat she’d built with her father, Bill Miner, in their garage.

A photo of them on the boat greets you in the foyer of her new 3,900 sq ft, 3-bedroom, 3.5 bath home. The exterior’s combination of cedar shake, clapboard siding, and stone

are a welcome addition to the Oak Ridge neighborhood where Augusta’s former house is also located – literally right across the street!

“I loved the neighborhood and when this lot became available, I couldn’t pass it up. Land in Saratoga is always a smart investment,” she said.

104 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Randall Perry Photography FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 105 Want to get our publications delivered to your inbox? Sign up TODAY! 2254 Route 50 South, Saratoga Springs NY (518) 581-2480

A Backyard Oasis

Three years ago, Augusta began sketching the designs for her new home. Then, she started watching the way the sun hit the property. Next, she turned to her longtime friend, John Witt, President of Witt Construction for his expertise. "I loved everthing John did and had hoped one day to partner with him and build something I dreamed of." They’d worked together previously on the basement of her other home, but this was a much bigger project (one that grew to be more than a thousand square feet larger than Augusta had anticipated!)

“John did such a great job making what I wanted come alive. It’s perfect!” she said.

The backyard features a rectangular in-ground pool, a covered black flare bluestone patio, doublesided fireplace and three distinct seating areas.

Jerome Pollock of Creative Stone Designs did the home’s masonry work and the landscaping was completed by Staucet’s Landscaping and Nursery just in time for the Capital Region Parade of Homes this summer where it won numerous awards including Best Kitchen design for the custom millwork done by Mike Biss Woodworking.

Randall Perry Photography

Nifty Nautical Treasures

Although Augusta does love to cook, she’d rather be outside swimming, walking, or biking. She spends her days as a leader for a large multi-state Health Plan where she has worked for 15 years and evenings entertaining for family and friends.

The home’s wine room is conveniently located just off the foyer and holds several hundred bottles. Opposite are stairs leading down to the lower level, which will house a future small gym and guest suite. At the foot of the stairs is the tip of a Pocock boat shell similar to what Augusta's father raced in at Yale in 1948 and on the shiplap walls hands his oar he gave to his granddaughter.

This section of the main level also includes a contemporary style office where top of the line nautical artwork from Newport’s Onne Von Der Wal gallery is displayed, and one of Augusta’s favorite spaces – the powder room. Here, extra privacy is created by a partial wall covered in easy-to-clean vinyl paper separating the toilet from the washing area which features a large oval vessel sink, mixed metal boat hardware, and beautiful blue seagrass wallpaper.

Randall Perry Photography FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 109

Comfortable &Contented

The bright white kitchen, elegantly rounded dining room, and living room are within an expansive open floorplan that feels sophisticated but casual. In the living room, large windows flank the leathered granite fireplace while the 70” television is positioned off to the side. Tucked into the corner is the sunroom where Augusta enjoys relaxing with Buckley, her five-year old Great Pyrenees rescue. It’s a cozy area with an art television and fireplace.

Upstairs, there is a comfortable loft for lounging and two coastal chic bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom, for when Augusta’s son and daughter, both in their twenties, come to visit. In the other half of the space is a large walk-in closet (which houses only a portion of Augusta’s clothing – most is located on racks that run the length of the room above the three-car garage, which she claims was a "game changer" - and the master suite.

Separated by a pocket door set into the rounded wall, the master contains a built-in slate grey upholstered bench, and ceiling fan above the bed that resembles a wooden boat motor. The master bath has a large, polished marble vanity, spa tub, and Carrara marble walk-in shower.

“My most favorite thing is to have a vision in my head of all the things that I love and bringing them to life,” said Augusta. “I can stand in this house and think, ‘This is what was in my head!’ To me, that’s a wonderful creative process.” SS

Randall Perry Photography

Colleen Coleman is the Principal of CMC Design Studio LLC located in Saratoga Springs. With certifications in Kitchen & Bath Design, Aging in Place and True Color Expert, her curated design extends into all areas of her field including new construction, historical and major renovations. Her passion is in designing & customizing hand-crafted cabinets for all areas of the residential market.

Colleen's Picks

A Carefully Curated Selection of HOME DÉCOR ITEMS

THE SHOWCASE OF HOMES... what would Fall be in Saratoga without it! From my early days of moving here I have always thrilled at walking through these homes and marveling at the creative spirit each builder brings to our area. The “Honey Do” lists pile up as thousands of visitors walk amid the beautifully decorated homes. Even my husband and I have volunteered as greeters, getting to know new faces and having a bit of fun as we hear participants chat about their favorite details. Isn’t it all grand! Dreaming of someday…or even finding your favorite builder to make that dream come true! So, when that does happen, let me show you a few items that would add a cozy feel to your existing or new abode!


450 E High Street, Ballston Spa | 518-584-1490


15 Park Avenue, Clifton Park | 518-952-7700

FINISHING TOUCHES is a great location to find many solutions for your home needs. The store is always packed with items to transform your spaces into a showcase of its own! Take for instance this Counter Height Hand Rubbed Leather Stool. The low back offers a sleek profile just at the counter height while the leather strapping entices you to sit amid the black metal frame in luxury. The juxtaposing buttons draw your eyes to look closer, noting the contrasting stitching throughout. A good rule of thumb for determining how many stools to purchase is allowing, at minimum, 24” for each seat. Depending on the width of your selection, you may need to leave a little more room.

At MARCELLA’S APPLIANCE, they’re featuring the new Samsung Bespoke French Door Refrigerator. Very customizable to make your kitchen truly reflect your style. Besides offering different configurations for doors, you can also mix and match colors and finishes in glass or steel like this emerald refrigerator, upper doors with a white center drawer and clementine freezer below. With thousands of combinations to choose from, you can truly have a unique kitchen. Other features include a counter depth option, a beverage center with auto fill pitcher (never grab an empty water container again!), a choice of classic ice cubes or specialized Ice Bites™ that will chill your drink faster and so much more. Wait, I can’t forget the Family Hub™! With Wi-Fi capabilities and Alexa built-in, you can see inside your fridge from anywhere, manage family calendars, update grocery lists, stream music…you get the idea! It's all very COOL!

Susan Blackburn Photography STEEL GLASS
customize color

Moving onto the softer side, OLD BRICK FURNITURE is featuring the Cambridge Season Handmade Area Rug (9'X12') at the Kodiak Construction Showcase entry. This incredible looped wool area rug will make you want to curl up with a great book and your favorite blanket. Not only is this rug gorgeous but it feels like heaven under foot! It’s versatility and texture of a tweed anchors this cozy house layered in warm neutrals. Be sure to stop in and appreciate the handwoven, 100% wool rug for yourself! FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 113
OLD BRICK FURNITURE 33-37 Warehouse Row, Albany Clifton Park | Queensbury | Albany | Schenectady | 518-438-9600 Keep going...

THE FURNITURE HOUSE NY-9P, Saratoga Springs | 518-587-9865

SILVERWOOD HOME & GALLERY Broadway, Saratoga Springs | 518-583-3600


1771 U.S. 9, Clifton Park | 518-383-2215 U.S. 9, Latham | 518-785-8555

Saratoga Paintings by Tom Myott
114 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Colleen's Picks

Jumping over the pond to THE FURNITURE HOUSE, they have a wide variety of bed frames to choose from including this Serenity King Bed Upholstered in Leather with optional nail heads. The natural material adds a cozy touch to any bedroom while the wooden platform frame suits a variety of tastes in countless stain color options. Not a leather lover, choose from their wide fabric selections to find just the right palette and texture for your home! And don’t worry, it comes in sizes ranging from twin all the way to a California King! And what is any chair or bed without a good Equestrian Throw Blanket in a Saratoga home? Even after the racing season is over, it’s still a symbol of where we live year-round. The large horse bit is flanked by tiny horses, which from a distance, looks like a houndstooth pattern…one of my favs! The autumnal colors will transform any space, whether gracefully tossed on a chair or simply wrapping you up in luxury in front of a bonfire on a cool autumnal evening. Treat yourself or pick one up at SILVERWOOD HOME AND GALLERY on Broadway as a gift for holiday visitors! Now, in all honesty, what would Colleen’s Picks be without a good recommendation for a wall oven that cooks your holiday turkey to perfection with the touch of button! Let me introduce you to the Wolf 30" M Series Contemporary Stainless Steel Built-In Double Oven (DO30CM/S). Who knew an oven could be so smart! With today’s WiFi technology, preheating the oven on your way home from work is key in our hectic schedules. The VertiFlow™ convection system heats faster and more consistently across all racks to make any meal seem like it was prepared by a chef! The builtin menu will actually cook 50 popular dishes with the Gourmet feature that automatically adjusts cook times and temperatures…move over Emeril…you’ve got stiff competition this holiday season! Not to worry about a large crowd, this oven can handle multiple dishes simultaneously with its large cabins…Bring it on! Be sure to head down to EARL B. FEIDEN’S to discover the plethora of features available to you through Wolf cooking appliances.

I’m excited to see you all at the Showcase of Homes. Please be sure to say “Hi” if you see me... I love chatting with my readers and hearing how you’ve taken many of these items from Colleen’s Picks and made them your own. Enjoy this fall season, the changing of the leaves and, of course, all the beautiful homes!

Until next time my friends,

Colleen Coleman FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 115
of CMC Design Studio LLC AKBD, CAPS & True Color Expert #cmcdesignstudiollc “Creating Environments for Life” TM SS

7Tips for autumnal Decorating



Stick to only 2-3 colors. Too many colors can make it look busy. I like to have an inspiration piece for my colors such as a piece of art or fabric. Also keep in mind the colors in the room. For this Fall mantel, I chose cream, burnt orange and brown.



Whether you like a symmetrical or asymmetrical look, start by placing the largest or anchor piece on the mantel first. This is what grounds the space and what you will build everything else around. This can be a large piece of art, a mirror, basket, or wreath to name a few things. I also like to use architectural pieces and wood elements. To keep it proportional, it should be no larger than two thirds the width of the mantel. My anchor piece is the mirror.


These will be smaller/shorter than the anchor piece and go on either side. This will help create the “triangle” that draws the eye around. It doesn’t have to be the same thing but roughly the same size. If you have the anchor piece to one side, you may not need as many small pieces or filler pieces to balance everything out. My favorite way to do

this is with art which also helps determine your color story. This is what is pulling all the colors together.


The smaller pieces will fill in some of the space in between the end pieces and the anchor piece. Vintage and Antique books are my favorite thing to add along with candlestick holders and faux flowers or greenery.


I also love to use books for height, color, and texture.


Place items in front of each other as well as vertically.


Remember, this is just a guide to help you build out the basics. Whether it’s colorful or monochromatic, simple, or full of layers, there really are no rules. What matters is that you LOVE it!

For more decorating inspiration, DIY projects and furniture flips, visit or find me on Facebook at FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 117


IF I HAD TO SUM UP MY EXPERIENCE working with This Old House into one word, it would be Relationships. This project happened because of our relationships with the crew of This Old House, our vendors, our trades people, and our clients.

I came into this project sideways; having spent some time observing from the sidelines. In December, I was officially added to the roster of professional team members and boy did I have ground to make up. We were behind on materials needed on the site, production schedule, and on planned orders moving forward. With the cards stacked against us to get this project completed for the filming schedule, I had my job cut out for me. Pandemic or not, the show must go on. We had weekly zoom meetings with the producers and production staff, daily phone calls with the clients, and multiple daily phone calls with the vendors. Between Matt Whitbeck and myself calling in almost every favor we could, this project appeared to have gone off like clockwork.

Respect. That is the word for all the staff of This Old House. How often does a Designer get a chance to work with a national television show? It was one of the most incredible experiences of my professional life. The production staff is incredible at their jobs. It was like watching an orchestra, all moving parts in impeccable synchronization. Not only are they the most talented story tellers I have ever met, but they are constantly altering what they are filming, setting up, and editing based on how the project unfolds. They

shoot it all in brilliant harmony. I’m sitting over here losing sleep thinking about the quantity of flooring ordered….did I forget the stair nosing? Did they correctly enter the order for the change of color for the floors? It’s the swan theory to the fullest extent. On the surface swans glide along in majestic patience and grace, and underneath the water they paddle franticly keeping their huge body mass afloat. The team behind the scenes of This Old House, the work horses for this television legacy, have my utmost respect and gratitude. Man, do they run like clockwork. That’s how our team at Whitbeck Construction runs, like clockwork. We tackle the hard stuff, that no one else wants to and we do it with grace and poise. One of the coolest things this experience has brought me is a phone call from an acquaintance of mine. He works in IT and is currently working with the government of Victoria, BC when they asked him if he knew any of us because they are huge fans of the show. Folks from all over the world could have been watching our faces, and that is a very humbling thought. I mean, J Lo could have been watching for all I know!! I’m sure her people will be calling me any day now, but in the meantime, I will keep my normal pace and crush the projects that do come my way.

WRITTEN BY JULIE MALESKI-PUTZEL, JMP INTERIORS | PHOTO PROVIDED Photo above: Tom Silva, Jen Nawada, John Akowicz, Matt Whitbeck, Staci Talkington, Julie Maleski-Putzel, Jason Whitbeck, Nick Scarano, Richard Trethewey, Kevin OConnor FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 119

What You Don’t Know CAN COST YOU

Why are so many of us taking out home equity loans for repairs while still paying off our mortgages?

Because most of us have no idea how to fix our home or why it fell apart. We don’t understand construction, why building quotes vary so widely, or which energy-efficient products can actually end up costing us more in the long run.


For the last decade, Matt Whitbeck has been on a crusade to teach other industry pros, homeowners, and students the science behind building.

“It’s a labor of love for me,” said Matt, the owner of Whitbeck Construction. “Sharing information about the construction trades, learning about, and physically seeing what to do is important. I’d be doing a disservice to my own employees and others if I did not create avenues for that to happen.”

In addition to speaking to hundreds of thousands at huge industry events including the International Builder’s Show, the National Association of Homebuilders, the National Institute of Building Sciences, and other trade shows, Matt has contributed to numerous trainings, workshops, articles, and blogs. Whitbeck Construction was recently the featured builder on the hit television series This Old House and works with most high schools and trade schools in the region.



There are still structures standing today that were built 300-400 years ago, so what are we doing now that’s making the wood used in new construction rot and fall apart in 50 or 60 years?

Because builders don’t question the way they’ve learned to do something, homes today aren’t lasting as long as they could, explains Matt.

Over the years, he keeps hearing the same thing, “I’ve always done it this way, so what’s the problem?”

“In America, we build for speed instead of longevity. There’s a huge race on nationally and internationally to save energy but building under poor conditions leads to degradation and a short shelf life,” he said.

For example, incorrectly insulating will hold moisture in the anatomy of a wood structure (rather than allowing it to dissipate), ruining its integrity by encouraging mold, fungus, rodents, and insects.


Houses are more than raw materials thrown together; they are the human species’ habitat.

A structure must be appropriate for the life within it, said Matt. It’s like an aquarium; filled with water, it’ll support fish. Put sand, rocks, and a heat lamp in there and it’s home for a lizard instead.

“It’s the same envelope but each animal requires different conditions to live.”

Humans thrive in a healthy environment.

“Energy efficiency and sustainable modeling is very important to our company and a large amount of what we promote,” said Matt.

An innovative way Whitbeck Construction is doing that is with a new education center in Wilton located across from their current headquarters on Route 50. By the beginning of next year, they plan to have completed the new facility, which has been constructed using a variety of different products and styles.

“There’s lots of ways to build out a very robust home that works really well,” said Matt. In addition to using various insulation, framing styles, and coatings, sensors are installed to track data about humidity levels so they can see how well the building is performing in real time.

This information will be used to help other builders, but also banks and homebuyers, to make better decisions. In addition to office space, there is a classroom where architects can receive the instruction they need for certifications. Students and homeowners will also be invited in for hands-on clinics to gain the confidence to do simple repairs themselves.

For updates and more information, follow Whitbeck Construction on Facebook and go to SS

Matt & Jason Whitbeck FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 121

Know your Knots

Area rugs…we all use them, in every home and style.

We see countless options online and in stores and wonder “What’s the difference? Why are some so inexpensive and others thousands of dollars? What am I paying for?” Glad you asked…you’re not the first! Many rugs are machine woven, perfect in design from one rug to the next. Some are printed

on the very end of the fiber keeping costs low and affordable. And then there’s the hand-knotted market. A totally different construction all together. There’s still different grades of construction and costs… and THIS is where we will take a little expedition and explore the knots of the Oriental Rug world. One small disclaimer…I could write a book on this subject so please understand that this is just a glimpse of the information available concerning the rug market. With that said, let’s discover the world of rugs!

This is a pic of the Oldest Rug ever found... so amazing... over 2,500 years old!

Let’s take some time to chat about the history of rugs and weaving; one of the most ancient crafts in the world, passed on from generation to generation and was considered the most valued heirloom. The oldest rug, found in the mountains of Siberia, was crafted about 2500 BC. The advanced techniques, however, suggest that the art of carpet weaving dates back to over 4000 years! Google Altai Rug, also known as the Pazyryk Rug, which hangs on display in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, Russia…bordering where? China & Kazakhstan! You see, hand woven rugs were most often named after the town, village or tribe they were crafted in. Each region had its own distinguishable designs and use of color depending on the vegetation and natural dyes available in that region.

The term “Hand Woven” in today’s market can be used like Kleenex for facial tissue. When deciding to invest (yes, a genuine oriental will appreciate in value) in a truly hand knotted piece, insist every piece be entirely handmade! It’s ONLY the handmade Orientals that appreciate in value and outlast their machine made counterparts by 50 years or more! Talk about an investment! An accurate test of hand knotted is to turn your carpet upside down and look at the back. The knots will be tied around the warp threads (those running top to bottom of the rug) and these threads should NOT be seen. You should see the same pattern on the back as you do on the front. Another test is to bend the front side of the carpet back on itself and expose the roots of the pile. Can you see rows of knots at the base of the tufts? A true indication of hand knotted. Or do you see a loop which may be easily pulled out with tweezers? Yup, that’s a machine made rug!..BIG difference in quality, value, longevity and price!

Signiture of Weaver Kazak Rug Serapi Rug FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 123

While I’m on the subject of hand knotted, lets discover the difference between a Persian Knot (Senneh knot) and Turkish Knot (Ghiordes knot). Turkish knots are used in rugs made in northwestern Iran, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. The knot is strong due to its double loop and results in a very consistent pile, therefore used in rugs with a thicker pile. Persian knots are used mostly in rugs from eastern Iran, Pakistan, and India. This knot is asymmetrical with one half tied tightly around a warp with the other half left loose, allowing the knots to be packed tighter than the Turkish variety. These knots produce a dense rug with extremely detailed patterns.

Still, yet another quality is the dye. Hand woven rugs are also hand dyed. Originally, all dyes were fashioned exclusively from animal or vegetable elements such as blues from the indigo plant or yellows form the saffron corocus. By the 1860s, aniline dye was developed and used readily in Turkey and Persia. However, the color faded soon after the rug was taken off the loom. By 1903, aniline was outlawed by Persia with stiff penalties but its use was continued in surrounding countries. Then by 1930, synthetic dyes (chromatic dyes) were developed proving to be more permanent than vegetable dyes and equally as beautiful with an expanded range of colors. Most Orientals are now made with a combination of both. A hand dye is recognized by the irregular color in the weave, making each rug unique.

Lastly, the knot count has a direct proportion to the quality and value of the carpet. If you turn a carpet over, you’ll see the difference between 100 knots per square inch up to 1200.

A higher knot count obviously takes longer to make and produces a more defined pattern.

Just as reference, a single 8x10 Kazak rug requires 9,216,000 knots or 12,288 hours of labor (4.2 years) for one weaver to complete... now you understand why these beautiful rugs are more expensive than a machine look-alike!

To have a better understanding of different rug designs, let’s explore four of the more common types you’ll see in American shops. Starting with the Kazak, these rugs were originally made in the Caucus during the 1800s. These rugs are now hand crafted by the weavers in Pakistan. The most recognizable motif is the medallion with other geometric elements. Also found are depictions of animals, birds, trees and humans. The boarders may include a pattern called the “running dog” (similar to the Greek key). Looking more closely, you’ll note the use of only straight lines to produce these motifs. These rugs use a Turkish knot on wool warps with the pile cut short after being removed from the loom. The color palette of reds, indigo and ivories are staples with an accent of teal creating a casual warm appearance. This particular rug is quite easily incorporated into most homes, adding sophistication, color, pattern and a lifetime of wearability.

Traditional Loom Persian Knot Knot Count Map of Cities Where Oriental Carpets Originated Turkish Knot

Serapi, which originated in the village of Serab (southeast of Turkey), are now crafted in Northwest Iran. The main characteristic is a central medallion in blue or blue and ivory on a field of deep red or terracotta. The medallion typically emits a jutting branch finishing in large palmettes or leaves. The boarder is noted as featuring the “turtle” vinescroll pattern. Serapi rugs are always constructed on a cotton warp and cotton weft, which is sometime dyed. Typically, a Turkish knot is used. The Serapi rug is noted as being crafted by wives and daughters of shepards with the designs being woven by eye alone rather than the exactness of more urban weavers. This natural construction is noted as being more sought after in the American market, increasing the value of the Serapi rug.

A third category of rug is the Tabriz, from the city of Tabriz, the capital of East Azarbaijan Province in north west of Iran. It is one of the oldest rug weaving centers and produces a wide array of carpets. The Tabriz is the most diverse of designs with medallions, Herati (“fish”), to figural, pictorial, and even 3-d shaped rugs. The pile is trimmed short with a high precision of the Turkish knots on wool or cotton warp and weft. Silk is used in higher end rugs. It’s known for its wide variety of refined colors such as ivory, copper tones, terracotta, burgundy, Navy and baby blue, salmon, gold, tan and green may be used to accent the main colors with an eye-catching effect.

Lastly, the Oushak rug is a Turkish design after the city of Usak, just south of Istanbul, Turkey which was a major center of rug production from the early days of the Ottoman Empire into the early 20th century. The highly recognizable star and medallion motifs originated from the Oushak rugs during the 15th and 16th centuries and considered to be masterpieces of the highest quality of Turkish rugs. In Europe, Oushak rugs were dubbed “Lotto” or Holbein” carpets as they were depicted in Renaissance paintings by these artists suggesting wealth, largely adorning cathedrals and the homes of the rich and powerful. Less complicated in construction, these rugs use a singular Turkish knot but are highly decorative and made from wool on a cotton foundation. The dyes used to craft these very luminous wool rugs feature cinnamons, terracotta tints, gold, blues, greens, ivory, saffron and grays. The motifs most often noted are geometric of a prayer niche design with scattered sprays of vine scroll and palmettes or leaves. Most Turks are Muslim thus observing the exclusion to include images of people or animals in their craft. Oushak rugs are still today considered nothing less than sophisticated.

Oh, how I could go on...oriental rugs are a magnificent investment and not to be taken lightly when purchasing. For more expert advise and best quality, I recommend you stop at Jacobsen Rugs on Broadway in the old firehouse and chat with Frank. His knowledge of the oriental rug market far surpasses any article I could ever write and his inventory is endless. You’ll fall in love with hand knotted carpets once you take the time to truly see their beauty, durability and quality… it’s KNOT a hard choice!!

Until next time my friends,

Oushak Rug Colleen Coleman of CMC Design Studio LLC Award Winner True Color Silk Tabriz FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 125
Expert #cmcdesignstudiollc “Creating Environments for Life” TM SS

Shopping, Coffee, and Ice Cream

Within a historic building in Malta, Shelly Walker and Doug Dockendorf have created a unique shopping experience that has something for everyone to enjoy, inside or out!


The Finishing Touches Home Décor store originally opened seven years ago in Wilton. To bring the former Gurn Springs Methodist Episcopal Church, which was originally built in 1885, back to life, they completed extensive renovations. The result was a beautiful structure with an atmosphere that was entirely unique. When Finishing Touches decided to relocate, they chose another historic property, rich with character. They are now located in the Wiggins-Collamer House. Built in 1835, it served as the Malta Town Hall building in the 1970s, and was designated a Malta Town Landmark a decade later. In 2007, it was placed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

“This location is a hundred percent better,” said Shelly. Situated in a prime spot on Route 9, just three miles from Saratoga Springs, Finishes Touches has become so much more than it was before.


There’s nothing cookie-cutter about Finishes Touches. As an award-winning interior designer, Shelly Walker and the Finishing Touches team help clients select cabinets, countertops, flooring, lighting, paint, wall coverings, faucets and fixtures - whether it’s for a small home renovation or an entirely new structure. They’ll also assist you with choosing the right furniture, lighting, and rugs to make your outdoor patios and living areas feel comfortable and inviting. My!

126 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 sponsored content

“No matter what a customer wants, that’s what we give to them,” said Shelly.

She is constantly searching home décor and lifestyle shows for special designer pieces and works with local artisans and craftsman to make your dream a reality. Custom window coverings, comforters, duvet covers, bed skirts, pillows and slipcovers can also be created to complement any style. Stop-in the shop to browse through a wide selection of special-order items, try out the furniture, and find something completely unexpected.

But, wait! We can’t forget to mention Finishing Touches wonderous room re-stylings, model home staging that helps sellers get the most for their home, and their holiday decorating which is sure to leave the whole neighborhood in absolute awe.


While the designing work is accomplished upstairs, on the main floor of Finishing Touches is a bonanza of gift items.

Whether you’re shopping for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, showers, the holidays, or anything in-between, you’ll be delighted to feast your eyes on the amazingly lush array of fantastic faux greenery, richly textured fabrics, substantial wood pieces, and glamourous metallic décor.

Dress up any table with gorgeous linens, flatware, dishes and glasses. There’s lots of interesting wall art, lighting, and room embellishments that you’ll want to get two of (so you can keep one for yourself!)

Finishing Touches also carries many locally-made products; wooden cutting boards, thick beeswax candles wonderfully molded into beautiful designs and fun shapes, and yummy food items including products from Saratoga Peanut Butter Company, Sundae’s Best Hot Fudge Sauces, and The Country Corner Cafe jams.


In 2020, Cookies and Cream opened inside Finishes Touches (customers can order while remaining outdoors from their four walk-up windows). Serving 20+ flavors of hard ice cream, they also have soft serve, shakes, flurries, floats, non-fat yogurt, ice cream sandwiches and sundaes (including cider donut sundaes for fall).

There are nostalgic favorites like Dole Whip, and modern novelties including affogato, an Italian coffee-based dessert where the sweetness of ice cream is paired with the sharpness of espresso.

This year, Finishing Touches also added The Coffee Bar, serving lattes, espresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate, iced coffee, pastries and cheesecake. As the weather cools, they’ll be featuring special seasonal items like pumpkin spiced lattes, teas in fall flavors, and cider donuts.

Grab a coffee and peruse the store, discuss your design plan, or to enjoy while chatting with friends in their nice outdoor dining area while the kids play with games; cornhole, Jenga, checkers, and Connect 4, or take advantage of the adjacent town basketball courts.

Located at 450 East High Street in Malta, find the Finishes Touches Store on Facebook, Instagram, and by visiting


Look for Pop-ups with Pastries coming this fall showcasing work by local artisans. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 127 sponsored content

Solid Alternat ives

Solid Alternat ives

Because it often doesn’t get as much attention as other natural stones, it may come as a shock that quartz is among the most favored material for countertops.

Quartz is one of earth’s hardest minerals and when it’s engineered for use in kitchens, bathrooms, and elsewhere, has a huge advantage over other products in the marketplace – it’s nonporous, so it won’t harbor bacteria.

Busch Products has been an industry leader since 1999, when they first opened in Syracuse. Already well-known

as an exceptional acrylic and polyester solid surface fabricator, they teamed up with Cambria in 2005 to provide the finest natural quartz countertops to a growing fan base. To conveniently serve the Capital Region, in 2014, they expanded, and now have a thriving Busch Products Design and Distribution center in Schenectady.



Because Cambria countertops are harder than granite or marble, they are virtually maintenance-free, making stains a thing of the past. Their revolutionary engineering and high-performance durability make these surfaces more resistant to scratches and dents, delivering a dependably luxurious look day after day. A beautiful asset to homes and commercial spaces, quartz countertops deliver sophisticated style that’s still practical.

In addition to being robust, Cambria countertops are designed to invoke the richness of nature. These surfaces are alive with sweeping movement and rippling waves of color, creating strikingly majestic layers of depth filled with daring contours. For breathtaking drama, bold largescale veining makes a stunning statement. Prefer a more understated elegance? Intriguing wisps of rippling waves add just a splash of the outdoors to any room.


While any stone surface will inevitably have a seam, Busch Products installers work really hard to ensure that it is nearly inconspicuous to the eye, said company President Darlene Brown.

“We treat people’s homes as if they were our own,” she said. If your commercial or residential project requires a completely seamless surface, their versatile acrylic and polyester surfaces can be made in a range of styles, sizes, and shapes. After 30 years of being a family-run business, Busch Products became an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company, allowing colleagues and co-workers to work together collaboratively toward the future, while Darlene remains at the helm with her husband, Bob Brown, Busch’s Vice President.

This company structure underlines their passion to remain a socially and environmentally-conscious business. A relationship-driven commitment to quality is something Busch and Cambria share. Cambria is a family-owned company whose hallmark is creating American-made products that customers love.

“Cambria is a company that doesn’t compromise. It makes the whole experience better for everyone when you deal with the best of the best,” said Darlene.

Stop by the Busch Products showrooms, 2886 Curry Road, Schenectady, (or see all 4,000 slabs at 110 Baker St, Syracuse, NY 13206!) or visit them online at FALL 2022 SIMPLY SARATOGA | 129 SS

how to Take the Hassle Out of the Holidays

During the holidays, the Christmas tree is the centerpiece of the home, but decorating it isn’t always the magical Christmas card moment you imagine it will be. With an already seemingly endless to-do list looming, creating an awe-inspiring tree feels less like a relaxing ritual and more like an “Oh, no, this again?!” project.

Angela Pachal gives you back some of your precious time during the holidays by doing the decorating for you. The owner of Deck Your Halls NY, which launched in July, Angela is a self-taught designer who moved to the region in 2015 from Alberta, Canada. Tasked with decorating her own 80’s style home, Angela’s passion and willingness to learn launched her into the world of design. The breathtaking results captured the imagination of friends (who then asked her to do their decorating for them!) as well as the eye of a loyal social media following.



Rather than following the trends that social media dictates, Angela creatively combines a variety of different styles to make something that feels totally new.

Her home is a mix of color and pattern, influenced by vintage decor, garage sale finds, and modern trends. Remembering the words of designer Christopher Lowell who said that, ‘a little bit of black in any room gives the eye a place to rest,’ Angela even incorporates the color into her Christmas décor.

“Black really is unusual for Christmas but by adding with the reds and greens, it makes it relatable and brings it all together,” she said.

Awarded ‘Best in Show’ for her entry at the 2021 Saratoga Festival of Trees, Angela’s tree was bursting with black, red, and white ribbons and ornaments.


Hiring a professional holiday decorator gives you an effortless way to try out a brand-new Christmas tree theme, get expert ornament-hanging ideas, and learn different ways to use ribbon. By incorporating the decorations you already have, or creating something completely new, Deck Your Halls NY demonstrates how to achieve a lush, layered look.

It all begins with an in-house or virtual consultation where you’ll discuss how you have previously decorated and what you’re hoping for this year. While brainstorming with clients about colors, styles, their likes and dislikes, Angela will also take photos and measurements of the space.

Rates are dictated by the size of the tree and whether you want to maximize a totally glamourous look or want something more minimal. Currently focusing solely on trees, Angela is open to adding in other types of holiday décor into her estimate (like garlands and mantels).

Then she goes shopping, picking up the specific pieces that will take your tree over-the-top. By working with faux greenery and trees, Angela can transform your home or business into a winter wonderland any time of the year.


Keep on eye out for design inspiration from Deck Your Halls NY in the 2022 Holiday issue of Simply Saratoga magazine!

A timber-frame ranch style home with exposed wood beams and a huge porch gets the royal treatment when Angela Pachal transforms the space into a holiday showcase.

By using a palette of reds and natural elements, she mixes plaids, plush faux furs, and a variety of metallic golds, bronzes, and silvers. Highlighted by shimmering candlelight, the country estate is so quintessentially Christmas you’ll be in the mood to relax and reach for a cup of hot cocoa.

“I just love Christmas and the feelings of warmth and coziness it brings. It’s just a happy time of year,” said Angela.

For more information, follow Deck Your Halls NY on Facebook and Instagram. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 131 SS


Hello my Foodie Friends!

Autumn is a time to wind down after the summer excursions we have been on. Getting back to our regular routines after a summer of fun can take some time as we are going back to school, our jobs, and generally getting back to the daily groove. Many of us may have had a house full of guests throughout the summer. Although I do love having guests, it can be a nice break getting back to “normal.”

Reflecting on having guests reminds me of my favorite standup comedian, Sebastian Maniscalco. One of his iconic jokes is “Doorbell.” The skit talks about how we responded to the doorbell twenty years ago and how we respond to it now.

Growing up in a large family, it was always fun at my home for the doorbell to ring and for all five children to run to the door to see who the “company” was. My parents would make a fuss over who was at the door asking them to come in and have cake and coffee. Just like the skit, my mother always had some baked goods “set aside” that none of us were allowed to touch – just in case company came! When I was a child, my parents would load up the five children into their car, and off we went to one of our family friends and relative houses. We would always be welcomed in while my parents would be consumed with conversation, coffee, and sweet treats. My parents truly enjoyed having company at our house at any time, any day. They would just pull out the food, and extra chairs to welcome the guests.

Going over to a friend or relative’s house or having guests over can often times challenge us on what to bring or serve. There are two very fun items that you can bring over to visit or serve when you have company; popovers, or a creation made in a Bundt pan.

Popovers can be a deceptively simple item that will impress your guests and tickle their taste buds. Not only are popovers cost effective, they’re also a breeze to make as long as you follow a few simple rules: make sure the pan is hot before pouring in the batter, don’t fill the cups more than half full, and no opening the oven while they’re baking.

Having the correct pan is important to making airy popovers with golden domes. The secret is how the batter lies in the pan. Popover pans are used for making popovers.

They are specially constructed to convey the heat directly to the batter, which needs to be added to a hot pan.Popover pans are also made with tall, narrow cups, which create a distinctive shape. This creates steam that helps the popovers expand and become light and hollow on the inside. Then you can stuff them with things. A popover pan is deep with steep-sided wells. This forces the batter upwards creating puffy domes and crispy sides. Investing in a real popover pan eventually starts to feel quite justifiable. These tins are really only useful for making popovers, but oh, what beautiful popovers they make! The trick is to make sure the pan is very hot before you add the butter and the batter.

Bundt cakes are a very delicious gift to give when going to see family or a friend. The Bundt pan has become America’s best-selling cake pan (according to Nordic Ware) to create a no-fuss cake. It is a perfect cake to serve a crowd and easy to slice.

Bundt cake pans are cake pans that are usually 10” – 12” in diameter and are 5” deep with a hole in the center. This ensures that deep cakes can bake evenly. They usually have fluted or ridged designs to make your cake look impressive. The cast aluminum version was trademarked in 1950 by the founder of Nordic Ware, the largest and certainly most well-known maker of Bundt-shaped pans., the Nordic Ware Bundt pans are made in the U.S.A. There are a ton of recipes out there calling for Bundt pans, and you won’t find another pan that can do the job as well. There are many other uses for Bundt pans. You can bake any cake, meatloaf (fill center with mashed potatoes), various breads including Monkey bread or garlic bread, and jello!

At Compliments to the Chef, we carry popover pans from Nordic Ware and USA Pan and Bundt pans from Nordic Ware. Both the Nordic Ware pan and USA Pan’s are made in the U.S.A. These pans are designed to allow maximum airflow, so popovers reach their full height. The next time you are not sure what to pop on over with to visit a friend or a family member, think about a creative popover or a delicious Bundt cake. Stop into Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place, where we have cool tools for cooks. Let us help you with tools to assist with having company. Have fun with family and friends. Maybe even run to the door when your doorbell rings….it could be “company.”

Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

Take Care, John & Paula SS

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bundt Cake with Creamy Milk Glaze



1. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer. beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla bean paste/extract.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together crème fraîche and milk. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with crème fraîche mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Fold in chocolate.



• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

• 1½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

• ½ cup granulated sugar

• 4 large eggs, room temperature

• 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

• 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt

• ¼ teaspoon baking soda

• 2/3 cup crème fraîche, room temperature

• ¼ cup whole milk, room temperature

• 8 ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped into ¼-inch pieces (about 11/3 cups)


• 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

• ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

• ½ cup almond flour

• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

• 2 ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar, finely chopped (about 1/ 3 cup)


• 1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar

• 2 tablespoons whole milk

• 1½ tablespoons crème fraîche

• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

4. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan with baking spray with flour. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Firmly tap pan on a towel-lined counter several times to settle batter and release any air bubbles.

5. Bake for 50 minutes. Rotate pan and loosely cover with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 12 to 18 minutes more. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack; tap rack with pan on counter a few times to help loosen cake. Remove pan, and let cake cool completely on a wire rack.


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla bean paste/ extract.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture all at once; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in chocolate. Cover and set aside until ready to use.


1. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth and well combined. Use immediately.


1. On a cutting board, place cooled cake upside down. Using a small knife, cut a 1½-inch-wide trench in bottom of cake, leaving a ¾-inch border around all edges. Using a small spoon, remove top layer (¼ to ½ inch thick) from trench, reserving removed cake pieces; set aside. Repeat until you have a 1¼- to 1½-inch-deep trench, keeping large pieces intact.

2. Spoon “Cookie Dough” Filling into trench, smoothing into an even layer; cover with reserved top layer, trimming pieces to fit and using extra cake pieces to patch any holes, if necessary. Place a serving plate on cake and turn so cake is right side up.

3. Using a large spoon, drizzle and spread Creamy Milk Glaze on top of cake, garnish with cookies, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Nordic Ware Bake From Scratch magazine. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 133


Ideas for relaxed entertaining your guests will love …and you will too!

An Autumn Adventure After-Party

Hello friends!

Autumn is here and there is so much to be joyful about this season - cooler weather, blue skies, and the tapestry of colors displayed by the trees. Then there are the fun fall activities and adventures to enjoy in and around our fabulous Spa City - leaf “peeping,” apple picking, and hayrides…the list goes on and on! So take advantage of this special season and invite some friends to join you for a morning or afternoon of fall fun and top it off by serving them a scrumptious meal with your own Autumn Adventure After party!

I have created an Autumn Adventure After Party menu that is delicious and easy to put together. You can prepare most of the dishes in advance, leaving you with little to do on the day of your gathering. Add some time saving locally purchased items and you are ready to go!

Of course I always begin with a cocktail and this time it’s a seasonally delicious Pear and Prosecco Sparkler. A classic cheese board and crackers will provide your guests with something yummy to nibble on with the drinks and save you time as well. Then we move on to my zesty yet comforting Sriracha Spiked Pumpkin Soup served alongside a cool, crunchy Apple, Romaine and Walnut Salad with Cider Vinaigrette. Add some fresh bread like a loaf of deliciousness from the Bread Basket Bakery and your main course is complete. Dessert is even easier because you do not have to make it! Check out some of the mouthwatering selections in the bakery case at Sweet Mimi’s Café and Bakery or the Putnam Market. And do not forget your wine loving friends and visit Purdy’s Discount Wine and Liquor for an amazing selection and expert advice.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and ideas. Until next time, have fun in your kitchen cooking for the people you love and remember… it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to taste good!

Apple, Romaine and Walnut Salad with Cider Vinaigrette


• One 9 ounce bag of pre-washed romaine Salad blend

• 2 Granny Smith apples cored and chopped

• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

• ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts


• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

• 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

• 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

I sometimes substitute plain yellow mustard –delicious in this dressing as well.

• 2 teaspoons of honey

• Salt and ground black pepper to taste.



Prepare the apples in advance, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discoloration and store in your refrigerator in an airtight container. Just before serving combine the romaine, apples, and walnuts in a serving bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with the Cider Vinaigrette to coat the salad.

CIDER VINAIGRETTE: Pour the ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until the dressing is emulsified. Store in your refrigerator and remove about 15 minutes before using and shake again.


Sriracha Spiked Pumpkin Soup

The Pear and Prosecco Sparkler

• Chilled pear nectar

• Chilled Prosecco

• Fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS: This drink is sooo simple to make but impressive nonetheless. Just fill a chilled champagne flute 1/3 full with pear nectar, pour in 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice and fill with prosecco. Cheers!

• 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

• 2 cups of chopped sweet onion

• 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce or more to taste

• 2 bay leaves

• ½ teaspoon of ground cumin

• 1 tsp dried thyme

• 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

• ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

• One 28 ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

• 6 cups vegetable stock

• 2 cups of light cream or plant based milk

DIRECTIONS: In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and cook about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the thyme, cumin, bay leaves, salt and pepper, stir to combine and cook another minute. Add the sriracha sauce, vegetable stock and pumpkin puree and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the soup from the burner and carefully remove the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the light cream or plant based milk. Taste and add more sriracha sauce or salt and pepper if desired. Store in your refrigerator and gently reheat before serving. Will yield six to eight servings. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 135

Minimalism forYou


But, for most it means an initial burst of activity to lessen the excess and then a mindful practice going forward, in the acquisition of new stuff.

Less is more. It really is.

This statement resonates in the minimalism arena as well as the organizing one, but what does this really mean?

Well, let me explain.

By less, this means less belongings in all areas. Less paper, less clothing, less toys, less stuff and maybe less obligations that are negative. When you have less stuff, it naturally takes less time to maintain everything. Less time to get ready.

This gives you more time to do what you want. More life is the ultimate goal in this movement. You have more energy because you are not wasting it looking for things and moving things around to consolidate, more enjoyment because you can see and use what you have, more money as you won't be making duplicate or frustration purchases. All this gives you more living. Time and space in your life to pursue things of importance like volunteering for causes of interest or developing that side business and even opening your home more because you can. This less is more way of life also proves to be incredibly useful when selling your home if you so choose! A home is half sold when it is decluttered and depersonalized!

So, you want to adopt minimalism.

The path from where you are now and where you may want to be, can be done in one huge purge or via small goals along the way.

Simplifying (the path to minimalism) can be having just one of each item or it can mean reducing your stuff by at least 50%. Only you can decide how much is enough and what you think “minimalism” is for you. Some areas for you may also be different than for someone else. Someone that works out a lot may have six pairs of sneakers and they are all used, but someone that doesn’t may have just one or two pairs. I think minimalism is having just enough for you and no more. Once adopting your “level,” it is important to maintain it and be mindful of what you bring in via shopping, gifts, and free items. Buying something new, should coincide with letting something go, unless of course, it serves a completely new purpose. It takes work to let go and get to the level you want, and it will also take work keeping things at that level. Shopping with a list and sticking to it can help, as well as going through each area once a year to account for the creeping-in of new items.

If you choose to adopt minimalism and simplicity, do some soul searching and list-making to find your comfort zone. Let others know this change so they can support you. Make good choices and hard and fast rules to hold yourself accountable. Lastly, as with everything - interest, jobs and family dynamics drive change in spaces and stuff – realign your goals and expectations when a change does happen so your new state of minimalism works for you. SS


& Home Management Home Renovation

Deciding to renovate your home can be exhilarating.

Picking out the new tile, adding cabinets, moving a wall or two can be almost as fun as seeing the result.

The endless possibilities of newness and beauty for your home can bring you to a thrilling high point. And like any roller coaster, for every high there comes a steep climb to get there. It’s all worth it and, if you plan for it properly, it won’t be nearly as scary or exhausting as going in blindly. (Unless of course you are a thrill seeker, then by all means go in wild and unprepared!)

So what do you do for the climb? Prepare, prepare, prepare. No one goes camping without a pre-plan of where you will sleep, cook the food and how you will get water. The same goes for renovations, whether it is the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, adjustments will need to be made.


But there is always a solution, so nothing to fear. Life will be different…

For small space renovations with a short timeline, you can live with the discomfort a little easier knowing it won’t be long. Example: Your family of five will be down one bathroom, so you need to add a couple extra towel hooks to the bathroom with the shower you will all be sharing and add a caddy for extra items that can be rotated out with ease. If you are tripping over one another for four weeks, you can deal with it seeing the end in sight.

For larger space renovations with fluctuating timelines and more opportunities for chaos, the more planning and home management solutions will be needed to keep the peace. You want to get to the end of an eight-month renovation and still want to live with your family!

One more suggestion to keep your sanity during a home renovation: Take the projected timeline and multiply it by two. Chances are it will NOT take twice as long. But, if the projection is three months, and you mentally budget for six you won’t be upset when it ends at four.

For the larger renovations, look at the solution from a few different angles:

1 Is there an opportunity to create a makeshift solution in another space?

Example: There will be no kitchen sink, but there is a large utility sink in the laundry room you could use to wash dishes.

2 Is there an opportunity to outsource a routine household task?

Example: There will be no laundry room, so you can find a laundry service that will pick up and drop off at your front door?

3Can you reduce the time in the home during the renovation?

Example: Hardwood floors are being refinished, plan your yearly trip to the lake during this time so you are out of the house.

Other factors not to be overlooked:

1 What season of the year will it be and is temperature a concern (no windows for a month) or a benefit (you can grill outside)?

2 Are there animals in the house that need to be accommodated? Relocate a cat to the basement or board a dog during the days when it is loud?

3 Can you leverage this renovation time as a great time to create a clean slate and purge those unwanted/ expired items? Or do you need to rent a storage unit and box up items, so they don’t get dusty or damaged?

There are always solutions. It’s just a matter of being proactive and not reactive. Creating a smooth renovation plan will ensure deeper enjoyment and appreciation of the end product.

Questions about your upcoming home renovation and home management? Email



In the height of Covid, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own home organizing company, The Revived Home. I know, it sounds crazy; who decides to start an in-home business during a pandemic? Like many families, as we navigated the new pandemic normal, all I could see was the constant chaos of having a family of four and two dogs under one roof. As I began to simplify and organize my own home, it was evident that the transformation brought an ease to our life that we didn’t have before. I knew it was time to start helping others do the same. There are incredible benefits of home organization. Having an organized house fosters efficiency, decreases stress and can even help with your budget. In the past year I have helped dozens of clients create a sense of peace and breathing room in their home. It’s truly about creating systems that are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and easy to maintain. There is nothing better than making another family’s life a little easier!

140 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 the

My organizational work will be featured in Kodiak Construction’s beautiful showcase home in Mulberry Estates in October. Come by and check us out, and in the meantime, try these organizational tips we used …on your home!


If you’re new to organizing don’t overwhelm yourself. A “junk drawer” is a great place to begin.

2 MEASURE!I cannot stress this enough. It’s not fun to find out that the products don’t work in the space.


Organizing is an investment in your home. It may cost some money up front but then you have a system in place.



When you’re organizing, always group like with like items.



It visually breaks up your space and offers dimension.


Labeling products holds you and everyone else in your household accountable. If you don’t label you will end up right back where you started.

@therevivedhome or SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 141

Farmhouse the Old

Iam taking a break from writing about livestock and all the care that goes with them on your homestead to talk about the farmhouse. Nowadays the farmhouse look is all the rage, but there is so much more than whitewashing everything and having a large “farm sink” to recreating a farmhouse. While a real farmhouse may have had a few white walls, I can assure you, that is as far as we dared to go, choosing the color white! There were grain, hay, and soil samples on the counter waiting to be brought down to the local Cooperative Extension office or lab for testing. The back door had a kickplate on it along with a boot brush to remove excess mud,

and our rubber boots stayed on the porch to cut down on the smell of manure, while our floors were always a dark color to cut down on the showing of wear and dirt. The kitchen table was the meeting room, family desk, keeper of the newspaper, and on Sundays and holidays it was actually our dining room table! Somewhere in the house was a makeshift holding pen to bring in a sick calf, lamb or whatever needed the overnight intensive care unit. These old farmhouses had so much more to them than just character, they had reason and purpose to their design and layout, such as the direction and location of the windows, low ceilings, and many times a second kitchen.

WRITTEN BY NICOLINA FOTI OF CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION OF SARATOGA COUNTY Part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County Homesteading Series

Window placement in a house nowadays is focused on a room’s aesthetic, while old farmhouses were looking to maximize natural light, so window placement was more focused on the amount of radiant heat they wanted (or didn’t want) to come from sunlight. Old farmhouses were usually designed to have a southern exposure, so the majority of the windows were put on this side of the house.

During the winter months, the sun sits lower in the sky meaning sunlight will directly hit these windows allowing for maximum light and thermal heat to come through these windows. This will help heat the house up during the day along with keeping things bright. During the summer months, the sun sits higher in the sky so, you will still receive light but not directly into these southern exposure windows, decreasing the solar radiant heat. Now many modern houses are built this way and there is science to back up the practice we now call Passive Solar. But when you look back at these old farmhouses, they had been implementing these practices long before we had the hard science to back up the ideas. Pretty cool if you ask me!

The new farmhouses of today have beautiful, vaulted ceilings with big, exposed beams, and an open floor plan. I will be honest, I love this look, but it’s not original to a real farmhouse. Most old farmhouses had very sectioned-off rooms and low ceilings. The reason for this, especially where we live in the northeast, was for heat. Having all your rooms small with doors to close them off and low ceilings made it easier to heat your home. Heat rises, and back before we had ceiling fans to push the hot air down, low ceilings were how they did it. Also, being able to section off areas of the home allows people to regulate room temperatures easily. This is also why many rooms had fireplaces or stoves.

The farmhouse I grew up in had extremely low ceilings. My father wasn’t a tall man and standing at 5’6” he could easily touch the ceiling flat-footed. While my dad did pull down the lowered ceilings to expose the beams, they were far from vaulted or cathedral style. At least now a tall person doesn’t have to bend down to walk through our house!

Now you did read it correctly, some farmhouses had a second kitchen. The reason for the second kitchen is very much for the same reason for the low ceilings, because of the heat, but now it’s to keep the heat out. You know the old saying, “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.” Well, that’s exactly it. Cooking in the kitchen creates a lot of heat and did help heat the house in the winter but, during the summer months that was the last thing you wanted - to make the house even warmer. Therefore, many farmhouses would have a “summer kitchen,” “open kitchen,” or an “outdoor kitchen.” These kitchens were usually outside the home or placed on an outside wall, allowing them to cook and create little added heat in the home. Cooking in the summertime was crucial for the rest of the year. Summer into fall is when we harvested most of our fruits and vegetables which didn’t keep all year long. So, people had to cook and preserve them, so they could eat for the remainder of the year, which meant cooking all summer long - no matter the heat!

Anyone who has ever lived in or renovated an old farmhouse can tell you, there are many things that were done that were really intuitive and seemed advanced for their day. And there are other little quirks that just make you laugh and add that farmhouse charm to the home. And those little parts of our past and history are what make those old farmhouses so great! SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 143



The All American Asters

The many petal shapes and colors that chrysanthemums exhibit have made them a fall favorite for many years.

Lately though, interest in plants native to North America have made perennial asters a popular contender as champion of fall color in northeastern gardens. Compared to the venerable chrysanthemum, asters are a relatively recent upstart. Their appeal to American gardeners may have been limited since they were a common sight along the roadside every fall. To early Americans, there was nothing special about this common plant. Soon you'll see those very same asters painting our meadows. Native asters are found throughout North America and can tolerate very harsh conditions.

English gardeners, visiting their colonial cousins in the 1700s found asters to be quite lovely and brought seeds back to the British Isles with them. So even though asters are a native North American plant, they became a popular fall-blooming plant in the gardens of England long before Americans learned to appreciate them. It’s a classic case of one man’s trash becoming another’s treasure.

Asters are an easy-to-grow alternative to mums. They’re now available in an amazing assortment of colors and styles. Asters branch heavily without all the pinching mums need. They’re quite insect and disease resistant. Asters should be planted in full sun in soil that’s been enriched with organic matter like composted manure or peat moss and, as always, a good starter food like Bio-tone. The area should also be well drained but not excessively dry. You can also pinch them to make them low and full. The fine, dark green foliage of asters is quite attractive, making a lovely background for lower, summer-flowering annuals or perennials. Asters mature quickly and should be divided in early spring every two or three years. Whichever you choose you’ll enjoy great fall color for many years to come. Another benefit is that bees and other pollinators will take full advantage of aster flowers but will completely ignore the mums. That’s a big win for our native asters.


North American Aster
WildAster NativeAster 144 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 145

Traveling with or

Don't Worry,

'm not sure about you, but I love the state of New York and I travel through its many counties every chance I have. No matter which direction I choose to drive, I discover more beautiful places to enjoy. So, whether you're looking to take a road trip alone, head out with a few girlfriends, or feel 100% spoiled on a romantic getaway for a couple, there are plenty of destinations to fit the bill.

Take Genesee County, for instance. I visited the area a few weeks ago and found many fantastic treasures I'd never been to. I ran into several girlfriends traveling together and couples celebrating anniversaries there. It's also a great place to bring the family (don't worry, there's a story for that later this year.)

Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn
146 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 day trippin' with
GENESEE COUNTY Has What You’re Looking For!
your Significant Other?

Having lunch at Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant was a must for me, as I'd heard there was a waterfall I could sit next to on their outside patio. I'm always chasing waterfalls wherever I go, and New York has some amazing ones, but I hadn't seen this one before. Honestly, I wasn't even thinking about the food tasting good – I just wanted to relax with a drink and listen to the sounds of nature for a while.

Don't worry; the menu options are extensive, and everything sounded delightful. Try the ribs if you go – the meat was tender, fell off the bone, and tasted a little bit like Heaven. The porch off the back of the building was screened in, the windows were open, and I was happy to hear the water rushing by as I enjoyed my meal. The inside room and bar were huge, lit up with strings of lights throughout, making it easy to picture a romantic dinner later in the evening.

A few miles away, Two Eagles Smoke Shop and Gas Mart was the perfect place to fill up and browse through the gift shop, which the owners had filled with candles, incense, Native artwork, jewelry, and other items. It's a great place to buy more one-of-a-kind gifts than run-of-the-mill. Seeing that Christmas is right around the corner, I marked a few names off my list. Heading to my hotel for the night, I found this wonderful place on the side of the road called The Country Cottage. The property is comprised of clever little cottage shops with home and garden décor set in the middle of flower and water gardens. I was speechless – it was that beautiful. The owners told me they began with one barn in the '80s. When that burned down, they rebuilt and just kept adding. Seriously, it's like a little village in the middle of nowhere, but easy to find with your car's GPS. I want to go back during the holidays – I bet the holiday decorations and lights are heartwarming!

The Country Cottage Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 147

River Spring Lodge is a gorgeous country inn that makes you feel special from the moment you turn into the driveway. I caught sight of the private pond with Adirondack chairs grouped around the dock and manicured lawn and felt instantly at home.

Owners Dave and Carolyn have adorned their seven guest suites with tasteful furniture and artwork, thoughtfully designed to offer total comfort and privacy. I decided to stay here to recharge – the last few years have been super tough on all of us; I needed a tranquil and calm place for the night.

River Spring Lodge

During COVID, meals were served in each guest suite because of social distancing. Carolyn told me people enjoyed eating in their room so much that she and Dave continued the new tradition – even when people were allowed to gather again. Breakfast is served in your room between 8-10 a.m., a great way to wake up and greet the day! Amazingly, you choose your five-course dinner from the menu ahead of time, and Carolyn delivers it in stages – just like at a restaurant. Indeed, it was wonderful to eat at a table in my suite, with candles and wine – in my pajamas! I felt like a princess. Close your eyes and think a second; Can you see a romantic dinner in your future?

From there, I traveled to Batavia. What a charming town, filled with retail shops like Batavia Bootery, Charles Men's Shop, Valle Jewelers, plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, a toy store from the early 1900s, art, and more. I saw people wander in and out of landmark buildings, carrying bags of items they'd bought. (Believe me, I went home with a few of my own!)

Located inside Batavia's old J.J. Newberry building, I was happy to share lunch with a friend at Eli Fish Brewing Company. I love craft beer and treated myself to a flight the waitress chose for me, which included a new one they had just started featuring.

There was a J. J. Newberry in Franklin, Mass, where I grew up, so I was impressed with how the owner, Matt Gray, took care to preserve the old feel of the place while updating the structure simultaneously.

The brewery is on the bottom floor, dining and Bocce courts are on the 2nd floor, apartments are on the 3rd floor, and Jackson Square – a place to celebrate hip music and community events, sits right outside the back door. We sat at our table, enjoying their Tennessee Honey Chicken Sandwich special, drinking beers, and catching up on life. It was great!

After lunch, I drove about two minutes down the street to VivIFY Hydration Lounge & Medispa. What a treat! I had read a few things about IV hydration but didn't really know what to expect. After FNP-C and owner Michelle Maniace reviewed my history – things like recent exhaustion, trouble sleeping, and brain fog – she suggested a concoction of vitamins and minerals to clean out toxins and improve my symptoms. She recommended Dr. Myer’s t. After she explained the treatment and its benefits, I went for it. I didn't feel any different that day, but after a good night's sleep, I began to feel more energetic and clear-headed –a feeling that continued for the next several days.

I sat in the main room while there, but private VIP rooms are also available. I'm going to visit again with friends, and I can totally picture couples enjoying an hour of relaxation together during the hydration process.

Eli Fish Brewing Company VivIFY Hydration Lounge & Medispa Photo provided.
Self-Care Shop

If you want to experience a great time alone, with gal pals or your significant other, head to the hotel at Batavia Downs Gaming. It's a fantastic place to stay overnight, enjoy a great dinner, and maybe win some money at the slots while you're there. I made an early reservation to eat my meal and bet on the first few harness races at the Clubhouse and Rail Bar – I wanted to enjoy both before it got too dark. I won a little money, enjoyed a drink with my salad, and then headed downstairs to the machines. It felt a little like Saratoga, which made me happy.

The wonderful thing about long weekend getaways is you don't need to rush. I could take my time and enjoy everything I wanted to do during my time on the road. You might like to stop in the Self-Care Shop in LeRoy. It's a new shop that offers yoga, meditation, private reiki sessions, clothing, jewelry, and so many crystals it was hard for me to pick just a few! The owner was there, and she was a delight to talk to – make sure you spend a few minutes learning about her business; the evolution of her company is fascinating.

Many of my friends (girls and guys) love museums as much as I do. If this is the case for you, check out the Historic Leroy House. The mansion-turnedmuseum is bursting with over 100 years of history. It was built in 1822 by Jacob Leroy and later owned by the Chancellor of Ingham University – the 1st female university in the United States to grant a fouryear degree! I loved the cellar – which showcased Charlotte Leroy's original 1820s openhearth kitchen.

On my last night, I chose to stay at Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn so I could explore more of the area before heading home. I booked a suite on the 2nd floor, which was spacious and comfortable. The floors in the bathroom were heated (think winter!). It was everything I thought it would be – and then some. The owners remodeled and expanded the rooms in this nearly 200-year-old property after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2004. They kept the timeless beauty of the place alive in ways I could see throughout the building. Downstairs you'll find their tavern, a cozy restaurant and bar, with outside dining overlooking the water. It's a perfect girlfriend or couple's getaway – and you can even call to book all five suites if there's a family reunion, wedding party, romantic occasion, or another event where you want total privacy.

Look, I love road trips – it might take a few hours to get from point A to B, but I can veer off the main roads and see things I might not see otherwise. New York is impressive – I hope you'll jump in your car for a day or two, exploring the highways and byways yourself. The miles will be worth the memories! SS

See more photos at

Historic Leroy House FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 149

The Flower Barn & Gift Shop Has It All: gifts and fall fun!

If you love exploring quaint little shops filled with unique, eye-catching gifts, then you’ll surely want to visit The Flower Barn & Gift Shop in Northville. Owner Sally Peck continually searches near and far for just the right merchandise to spotlight her store’s distinctive vibe.

Cardinal print by Oregon’s Dean Crouser Mosaic
bear tableDelightful Peruvian butterflies Adirondackinspired buck silhouette

“My shop is nature-oriented,” Sally explains, “with an Adirondack, Bohemian, international flair. The resounding theme is nature-inspired art and art to inspire nature. I go artsy but not craftsy with prices ranging from $1 to $1000. I’ve never been afraid to invest in expensive art, if it’s worth it, but I refuse to be overpriced. I carry the work of local artists ranging from nearby communities to Rochester and Connecticut, and I carry the work of independent artists and fair trade cottage industries from as far away as Michigan, Oregon, Washington State, British Columbia, the Java Islands, and Indonesia.”

Sally offers a variety of merchandise and price points because she wants people of all ages and financial abilities to be able to enter the store, have fun looking around, and leave with something they love. “I want that little boy shopping for a birthday gift for his mom to be able to find something nice and leave happy.”

Located at the north end of town at 132 Division Street, The Flower Barn & Gift Shop is housed in an historic, beautifully renovated livery stable, roughly dating back to 1870.

As its name suggests, the barn actually comprises two distinct businesses: flowers and gifts. While the gift shop is Sally’s domain, the full-service florist’s is run by her husband, Bob. No stranger to the floral industry, Bob is a fourth generation florist with 45 years of experience.

For 30 years, Bob owned and operated Peck’s Flowers of Gloversville, a business begun by his grandfather in 1913. Upon opening his Northville shop in 2017, Bob brought not only a lifetime of floral experience but a much needed, warmly welcomed addition to the Village. As the sole employee, he does everything from ordering flowers and designing arrangements to making deliveries throughout the Great Sacandaga Lake region, ranging as far north as Speculator.

“Bob is busier than ever these days, but he’s very happy,” Sally says. “He loves working in a small, friendly community. He says he always feels like he’s making an arrangement for a neighbor. We even handwrite every card for our customers. That personal touch is unusual today, and we enjoy doing it.”

Restored livery stable circa 1870 becomes a thriving dual business. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 151

The Flower Barn & Gift Shop carries a floor-to-ceiling selection of intriguing gifts and colorful artwork as well as a variety of flowers and arrangements to suit any occasion, big or small. In choosing and arranging the gift shop inventory, Sally aims to engage all the senses, offering customers a sensory feast of enticing colors, textures, sounds, and essential oil scents. She decorates with an artist’s eye, resulting in striking displays that highlight the beauty of each piece.

Sally Peck, Gift Shop Owner Bob Peck, Florist
Be sure to explore the outdoor gift room!

“I love our rock sculptures out front,” Sally says. “They’re made of rock and sea glass from a cottage industry in the Java Islands. And our solar chimes are one of my favorite items, made by a woman in Michigan. They’re so unique! Powered by the sun, you just hang them indoors by a window.”

Sally also stocks an exceptional selection of greeting cards, ranging from big companies like Leanin’ Tree to local independent lines. And she handpicks every card! “I try hard to select a wide range that I think my customers will enjoy. People really seem to appreciate our many humorous cards.” The fact that prices start at just $1.95 is also much appreciated.

When it comes to their dual businesses, Sally is as passionate about running the gift shop as Bob is about running the flower shop.. “We work from the heart, that’s for sure,” Sally says, “and it’s definitely a family affair. Six or seven years ago, my husband worked tirelessly to renovate the barn and convert it to a florist’s. Two years later, in 2019, I opened the gift shop. It had always been my dream to combine the two businesses, flowers and nature-inspired gifts, with each complementing and supporting the other.”

Daughter Emma, a senior in high school, is invaluable to the day-to-day running of the store. “Emma helps out with whatever needs doing. She’s my right-hand man,” Sally says with pride. “She does it all.”

In autumn, the front of this quaint historic barn is lined with a stunning array of potted asters and chrysanthemums in vibrant fall colors. The mellow tones of wind chimes swaying in the breeze in an outdoor gift tent create a peaceful mood, welcoming and preparing customers for a relaxing stroll through the store’s charming interior.

“When you walk into the gift shop, you’ll see things hanging all over my ceiling,” Sally beams. “I just love things that hang. It creates a good energy. I try to make people feel good when they’re in the shop. I always hope they’ll leave feeling better than when they came in. This is a feel-good store. The world is so serious these days. You need a place where you can feel good.”

Without question, The Flower Barn & Gift Shop in Northville offers an outstanding selection of flowers and gifts. But what brings it all together is the warmth and friendliness of the shops’ proprietors. Sally and Bob Peck are living their dream in an old barn on Division Street. They’re doing what they love... and it shows.

The Flower Barn & Gift Shop: 132 Division St., Northville. 518-863-4374.

Hours: 10-5 weekdays; 10-3 Saturdays; closed Sundays and Tuesdays. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 153

YEAR-ROUND, it’s Pie Season at

As the long, hot days of summer give way to crisp, invigorating mornings, our thoughts naturally turn to the wonders of autumn in upstate New York... like crunchy apples, fresh from the orchard, and homemade pies, fresh from the oven!

At Smith’s Bake Shop in Charlton, owner Shelley Smith, daughter Kate Smith Daino, and their industrious kitchen crew regularly bake over 20 different varieties of pies. In addition to offering every fruit flavor imaginable, the shop creates luscious delights like pecan, Tollhouse, and chocolate peanut butter brownie pie. Regular crust or crumb topping are available on all fruit pies, and most can be made sugar-free, upon request.

Although extra pies are often on hand, Shelley encourages customers to call in their orders a day in advance. Given 24-hours’ notice, four-inch ‘minis’ are also available.

The bake shop also makes its own apple cider donuts daily and carries an extensive line of Smith’s farm-raised beef and pork products, all hormone- and antibiotic-free. A list of the nearly 40 cuts of meat available can be found online. The bake shop carries apples from the Smith family’s orchards as well as an impressive line of local products, including maple syrup, cider (in season), honey, Palatine cheeses, handmade gourmet ice cream, carrot cake, cheesecake, jams, jellies, pickles, and assorted relishes.

WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY WENDY HOBDAY HAUGH Pies of every imaginable flavor! Oil painting by Marjorie S. Hobday
154 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2022 Smith’s Smith’s Smith’s Bake Shop!

Located on Jockey Street, amid the Town of Charlton’s expansive and picturesque farmland, the ride to Smith’s pastoral farm brings to mind nostalgic, Rockwellian images of simpler times and a more grounded way of life. With its seven-day work weeks and never-ending chores, farming is hardly simple ‘n easy. But if farming is in your blood, as it is with the Smith family, then the love of the land and the way of life makes all the hard work worthwhile. The thriving orchard and farm property, which has been in the Smith family since 1931, is owned and operated by Shelley’s husband, Richard (Rick), and his brother, William.

“We own 300 acres of farmland, 10 of which are apple orchards,” Shelley explains. “We board 200 dairy heifers for a local farmer, and we have 50 beef cattle and 20 hogs of our own. The hogs are fed all the apple cores and peelings, so nothing goes to waste. We also produce hay for 20-30 local horse farms.”

With more and more farming being done overseas, Shelley encourages everyone to support their local farmers. “Keeping our farmland is very important to us and to the economy of our country. Already a lot of wheat and soy used in the U.S. is imported from Russia and Ukraine, so the current situation has had a tremendous impact both here in the States and abroad. It’s so important to support your local farm stands by purchasing locally-grown fruit and produce. We must keep farming in America rather than having even more of it move overseas.”

In addition, the inherent beauty of farmland—with its fresh air, wide open vistas, and rolling fields—offers spiritual sustenance and an abiding sense of continuity from one generation to the next.

When Shelley Smith first opened her bakery in 1999, she had two major goals in mind: to be home for her children and to put the orchards’ surplus crop of apples to good use. Shelley’s three daughters, Kate, Jenna, and Andrea, all grew up helping in the shop. Although just Kate continues to work with her mother today, the rest of the family is always ready and willing to pitch in during holiday crunch times.

“Thanksgiving week is our busiest time of year,” Shelley says, “with 1000 pies being made daily. But we have lots of help year-round. We couldn’t do what we do without our hardworking helpers.” She gives a special nod to her husband’s uncle, Walt Smith. “Walt is our official pie box maker. He is invaluable to our operation.”

The days may be cooling down, but things are always heating up at Smith’s Bake Shop in Charlton! So enjoy an idyllic ride out in the country and experience the Smith family’s friendliness, along with a tantalizing taste of their homemade pies, fresh from the oven.

Located at 4561 Jockey Street, Ballston Spa, Smith’s Bake Shop is open Monday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Tuesday Closed; Wednesday-Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. 518-882-6598 | SS

Jams and jellies galore. An idyllic pastoral setting. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 155

How the Village that hosts

The Way We Were Car Show switched gears from drive-thru dot on the map to desirable drive-to destination for all seasons

The following is the second in a multitiered feature by Ann Hauprich. To set the stage for this portion of the story, it is vital to know that at the dawn of the 1970s, Ballston Spa was a quasi bedroom community. It wasn’t just that so many residents commuted regularly to such distant places of employment as General Electric in Schenectady. Those seeking cultural enrichment on weekends typically got behind the steering wheels of their automobiles bound for more alluring destinations. As hard as it is for many to imagine today, the Ballston Spa of half a century ago offered no First Friday festivities. Nor was the village home to the National Bottle Museum or the Saratoga County History Center at Brookside. Nor was there a Jim Tedisco Fitness Trail near a Lions Club Music Park at the Old Iron Spring. Nor a Kids’ Creekside Village or a John Romano Nature Trail on property that had once been cultivated by Andy Rooney’s maternal ancestors to name but a few of the contemporary attractions that draw folks from near and far. Indeed some of the historic landmarks that are now thriving business and professional settings (such as The Old Chocolate Factory) were in such derelict condition when the cast and crew of The Way We Were arrived in the village in 1972 that even ghosts would have been afraid to haunt them. Of course, that’s the way we were rather than the way we are! Kindly read on to learn more about how we got from there to here.

The slogan would celebrate the upstate New York village’s triumph in changing course from a drive-thru dot on the map to a drive-to destination – and not just because of the popular event that showcases hundreds of exquisite antique autos, classic cars, and other vintage vehicles. As per the accompanying companion piece, the October 2022 car show sponsored by the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association (BSBPA) will additionally include commemorative displays, live musical performances, and children’s activities plus a diversity of merchandise and refreshment booths.

If souvenir bumper stickers were to be offered at the 20th annual Way We Were Car Show, they might well proclaim:

Who better than Dolores Taisey to provide a rearview-mirror look at some key milestones in the revitalization journey that ramped up four decades ago after she and her family acquired the Front Street landmark where a romantic moonlit scene between Way We Were co-stars Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand had been filmed on a crisp autumn evening in 1972!

As one of the founding members of the BSBPA in the 1980s, Dolores – who recently retired as proprietor of The Medbery Inn (which now also houses the Front Street Social Club and The Medbery Day Spa) -- quickly became a driving force in steering the historic village in the right direction: That of a welcoming community devoted to preserving the past, celebrating the present and embracing the future.

It was, after all, what Dolores eloquently describes as “the marriage of The Way We Were and the restoration of The Medbery” that marked a turning point in a noble movement that had been started by visionary Ballston Forward leaders in the 1970s to help bolster the appeal of the village’s downtown for residents and visitors alike. The foundational rebuilding blocks cemented by Ballston Forward shortly after the cast and crew of The Way We Were departed in 1972 ultimately provided a sturdy foundation upon which the BSBPA subsequently carved out myriad future business and professional — as well as recreational, educational and cultural enrichment — potentials. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 157
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TThe words “Lights, Camera . . . Rebirth!” quickly come to mind. Or, as Dolores puts it: “Ballston Spa is no longer a quiet cousin to Saratoga Springs, but rather a much sought out destination that has reclaimed the crown it so proudly wore at the time of its charter as a village in 1807.” At that time both The Medbery, built in 1804, and the 1792 landmark along the Gordon Creek that is now home to the Saratoga County History Center at Brookside, were hospitality destinations that welcomed patrons from across the nation and parts of Europe. While long ago visitors to the Brookside property partook of the healing waters of the neighboring Old Iron Spring, those patronizing The Medbery (then as now!) savored such amenities as relaxing in therapeutic mineral waters from the world-renowned Sans Souci Springs. The first time Dolores and husband Jim visited Ballston Spa (coincidentally in 1972), they immediately recognized its cultural footprint. In 1984 The Taiseys put down roots in the village, restoring Joan and Gus Edlund’s Second Empire Victorian home into the first Ballston Spa Bed and Breakfast, The Apple Tree on West High Street. “We were delighted to discover during both restorations to The Apple Tree and The Medbery that many others in the community, including longtime Mayor John Romano, cared deeply about preserving architectural treasures,” recalls Dolores, who worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to encourage and support other entrepreneurs.

In some cases, the original uses of structures that have received facelifts over the past half a century have changed. Among the first to be restored was the red brick commercial complex at the corner of Prospect Street and Milton Avenue where George West reigned as “Paper Bag King” before Frederick Bischoff made world class chocolates on the premises in the early 1900s. Another stellar example is the landmark at the corner of Milton and Malta Avenues. Officially known as The Lincoln Building, the hotel that had welcomed lodgers in the horse and buggy era is now home to The Coffee Planet and other perky business interests. Dolores is also in awe of initiatives that preserved The Old Iron Spring and Westbrook Square on Front Street as well as The Verbeck Mansion on Church Avenue. The latter Victorian “Painted Lady” was home to the National Bottle Museum, where history lessons are on tap year-round, prior to relocating to Milton Avenue. The NBM also hosts a national bottle show and sale that draws folks from far and wide to the village each year. The complete list is far too long to include in this story, however, each and every renovation and restoration has contributed to the sparkle in the jewel in Ballston Spa’s cultural crown, reflects Dolores.

To learn more visit or contact Dan Barner at dan@prolificmarketing. org or 518-309-3047.

Circa 1874 family home restored in 1984, to The Apple Tree Bed and Breakfast, West High Street Ballston Spa Way We Were Car Show with Medbery Inn & Day Spa on Front Street on the right.

Why the 20th annual Way We Were Car Show promises to be the most memorable yet!

Weather conditions will ultimately determine whether all roads lead to Ballston Spa for the 20th annual Way We Were Car Show on Sunday, October 9 or the rain date of Sunday, October 16. But one thing’s certain. Nothing can put the brakes on plans to make this fall’s festivities in the heart of the vibrant village the most memorable yet!

The 2022 event, which coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the autumn when Front Street was transformed into a Hollywood North movie set -- complete with antique automobiles that were used as props – is expected to showcase more than 400 motor vehicles representing myriad makes and models from the last century. “We have had cars travel from as far away as Canada in the past and will be awarding a trophy for the one that has traveled the greatest distance this year,” says WWWCS Committee Chairperson Dan Barner.

The gathering at which organizers are hoping to break all previous WWWCS attendance records, will additionally feature a special 20th anniversary display in Wiswall Park that will highlight the increasingly popular event’s history. Past leaders will also be honored for their contributions to the success of the show whose proceeds benefit Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association community efforts.

To spark added interest in the multigenerational celebration, The Kids Zone will offer bounce houses, a balloon artist and other children’s activities while Hersh Productions will serve as DJ. Entertainment will be provided in the form of live music performed by Betsy & The Bygones. Vendors, meanwhile, will range from local restaurants and food trucks to automotive businesses and specialty retailers. Local non-profit organizations and service clubs, including the Ballston Spa Lions and the Rotary Club of Ballston Spa will further enrich the memory-making occasion.

We think Barner and his committee are on the right track. And if the photos of past car shows shared by Dolores Taisey and the BSBPA that accompany this advance story don’t get your motors humming in the direction of Ballston Spa, we can only hope Ford has a better idea! FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 159 SS


Looking for something new to see and hear?

Universal Preservation Hall has a mix of up-and-coming stars of music and comedy –as well as a few established artists – announced for the fall and holiday season.

Musical artists that deserve your attention include KAINA (Oct. 1) who expresses her Chicago roots with influences from her Venezuelan and Guatemalan heritage. If a mashup of R&B, Latin, pop, and soul is your thing, check her out; LI & the Little Idea opens. The all-female group Flor de Toloache (Nov. 4) is another; the Latin Grammy winners break boundaries with an edgy, fresh take on traditional Latin American music. And Americana singer-songwriter Valerie June (Nov. 12) is coming to UPH on the heels of a 2022 Grammy (Best American Roots Song) and 2021 Americana Awards (Album and Song of the Year) nominations.

If comedy is your thing, check out Ryan Hamilton (Oct. 8), star of a recent one-hour Netflix special, “Happy Face.” One of Rolling Stone’s Five Comics to Watch, you may have caught him making the rounds of the major late-night shows. Maria Bamford (Nov. 5) follows; revered for her deeply personal and experimental comedy about mental illness, she starred in the Netflix comedy series “Lady Dynamite,” as well as several stand-up TV specials.

A familiar face to many is Megan Hilty (Dec. 3), who portrayed seasoned triple-threat Ivy Lynn in NBC’s musical drama “Smash,” and who rose to prominence for Broadway musical roles as Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked,” Doralee Rhodes in “9 to 5: The Musical,” and her Tony Award-nominated role as Brooke Ashton in “Noises Off.”


Schenectady Symphony Orchestra (Oct. 23) returns to UPH for another collaboration with Skidmore College, Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw,” described as one of the most dramatically appealing English operas. SSO follows up with a return appearance for a “Poinsettia Pops” (Dec. 2) for the holidays. Justin Roberts (Nov. 19) brings his “Not Ready for Naptime” show for families to Saratoga. A four-time Grammy nominee, the artist – accompanied by his 5-piece rock band – helps kids navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up while inspiring parents to remember their own childhoods with get-stuck-in-your-head pop songs. The Queen’s Cartoonists (Dec. 22) are touring with their “Holiday Hurrah: Yule Love It!” show, playing music from classic holiday cartoons and contemporary animation. Their performances are synchronized to video projections and the band leads audiences through a world of virtuosic musicianship, multiinstrumental mayhem, and comedy. Samara Joy (Dec. 23), who burst onto the New York jazz scene in 2019 when she won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, rounds out 2022 programming. For information on these shows and many others visit



Congress Park has long been known as a site for many activities including musical events. This was the first bandstand that existed in the park and was replaced by the War Memorial located in the same location today. It’s curious that today’s well-received “Summer Concerts in the Park” series from the Visitors Center continues a tradition of over a 150 years of music in the park


The Hunt for Saratoga Springs History

Uncovering the history of our city is a wonderful but winding path. Discovering the history, the legends and the lore of Saratoga Springs can be done in many ways, with the traditional research of primary sources and well written accounts of many aspects of the city, being the standard means of discovery but not the only one. Saratoga Springs is very lucky to have many groups and organizations that help tell the story of the city and help to provide a variety of delivery systems. A few years ago, members of the Special Assessment District launched a huge project to redo the signage in the downtown area to better direct traffic and visitors to attractions in the city. Under the leadership of Chairman Harvey Fox, the signage was updated as well as the inclusion of ten special informational kiosks on Broadway that would help direct people to area businesses. The back side of these kiosks had space that allowed for different topics in the history of the city to be written and displayed. The committee asked me and a few other historians to write the history sections that are today found on those kiosks.

As a long-time educator, I always searched for new ways to involve students of all ages in the discovery of their hometown. This Spring an idea for a new presentation was discussed with me and I immediately fell in love with the idea of a Scavenger Hunt in the Broadway area of Saratoga Springs. Years ago, I assisted in the writing of a Scavenger Hunt with Sheila Sperling that was well received and used for several years by many different groups in the city. Eventually the Broadway landscape changed and many of the questions in the Hunt were no longer able to be answered. When this idea resurfaced again this past Spring it was clear that another version to be written would be an

activity that might be exactly what people wanted, so with the help of many, the project started.

The two main players in the project would be the Saratoga Springs History Museum, located in the Canfield Casino and the Heritage Visitor Center located at 297 Broadway in the beloved Drink Hall. I contacted the Director of the Visitor Center, Karen Verrigni and we discussed the concept of a Scavenger Hunt on Broadway that would involve taking historical information from the kiosks found on both sides of Broadway. The concept was simple. Visitors could get a copy of the Scavenger Hunt at either the Saratoga Springs History Museum

or the Visitor Center. The visitors could then travel to the ten kiosks on Broadway to read and gather information that would allow them to complete the Hunt. The document was designed to have visitors start their hunt on the westside of Broadway near the Visitor Center and then systematically visit each kiosk on the westside, then cross Broadway to continue down the eastside of the street to complete the hunt. Upon completion the participants could again visit their starting point to “correct” their Scavenger Hunt to access their knowledge and ability to complete the questions from the information on the kiosks.


The Scavenger Hunt was written by me and Karen Verrigni. We asked many individuals and groups to “test drive” it and provide feedback that would help to guide the final writing of the product. As we were writing the Scavenger Hunt and using the area of Broadway to collect the information from the informational kiosks, I was reminded of the importance of Broadway for over 200 years in Saratoga Springs’ history. Broadway has always been the heart of the city and the place for so many famed visitors to stroll and “see and be seen” over the summer season. Today the kiosks provide the written history of the city for the last 200 years for old and young alike to remember, or learn for the first time!

The text on the kiosks helps to cover many different topics of the history of the city and are supported by important images from the famed Bolster Photographic Collection. The kiosk design was intended to engage visitors as they walk Broadway today.

An aspect of modern life shows us that many times individuals are walking with a purpose and not strolling as was popular in the 1800s. My hope is that the Scavenger Hunt would slow the pace and give visitors the opportunity to read and learn from this activity.

The topics in city history covered by the hunt are all encompassing and will provide visitors with a good initial look at the history of our great city. Topics such as mineral springs, horse racing, the grand hotels and the description of the original upper and lower villages that would give rise to one day, the city of Saratoga Springs.

This Scavenger Hunt has proven to be a big hit with locals, visitors, business groups and families. Depending on the speed of the group this activity could be completed in just one to two hours. In fact, there is nothing that dictates that it can’t be an entire afternoon event that would allow for shopping, lunch or dinner as the work is completed. Plan a date to do this

fantastic Scavenger Hunt. Get family, friends, or co-workers to form teams, or work together to have a really fun time in downtown Saratoga Springs. Enjoy the learning and the Hunt but don’t overlook the wonderful restaurants and unique shops that comprise our awardwinning Broadway.

The Scavenger Hunt can be picked up at the Visitor Center Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or at the Saratoga Springs History Museum from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. seven days a week. So, consider getting out and enjoying this beautiful weather as well as the great assets of our wonderful businesses on Broadway while learning the detailed history of our city. The history of a community is part of the “glue” that holds a city together and allows for future improvements by people that care about preserving their city. It’s never too early to start the children on the path of learning the history of the city and reminding adults about their heritage. Try it... I think you will like it! SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 163

Rarely Seen Photos of


A popular social practice in the later part of the 1800s and part of the 1900s was to visit “drink halls.” These locations afforded guests with the opportunity to drink mineral water while meeting friends. This drink hall was the Hathorn Spring Drink Hall and was located on the west side of the intersection of Spring and Putnam streets. The location today is a parking garage.



The High Rock Spring was the founding location of the city because it was the site where the first European visitor, Sir William Johnson visited in 1771. This is the way the spring looked in 1876 with the most elabo rate cover that ever graced the site. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 165

On SPOT.This

Nestled in the center of a residential street that could've easily been the stage set of "Leave it to Beaver" or "The Donna Reed Show," 64-66 Ludlow St. has served as a century-plus sanctuary for many locals. Architect Newton Breeze's handsomely designed three-story brick building has been a haven of safety and serenity since 1904 – first as a home for children, then as a YMCA, and finally a residence for scores of locals.

Today the former Hawley Home for Children is divided into 10 unique condominiums. Residents enjoy the shared front porch and the parking behind the building.

Beginnings - 1854-1901

In 1852, Matthias Pike and his family moved to Saratoga from Fort Ann, where he had served as justice of the peace and superintendent of the poor. Two years later, he and his wife Sarah purchased a large plot of land on Ludlow Street. It sat undeveloped for nearly 50 years. After the couple's deaths, Lemuel Pike, Matthias' son, sold the family property in 1901 to the Saratoga Home for Children (later named the Hawley Home for Children). One would like to believe that Lemuel followed in his father's footsteps of caring for the poor and collaborated with Reverend Bostwick Hawley to convey the property to create a safe sanctuary for needy children.

1901-1965 Hawley Home for Children

Ludlow Street remains one of my favorite streets to stroll and observe the architecture. Growing up, I often walked down Ludlow Street, never failing to stop and admire 64 Ludlow. The brick building, created as a home for children, is unlike neighboring clapboard structures. Local architect Newton Breeze was hired to create a permanent building to house needy children. The home was ultimately named for the president of a privately funded corporation, Dr. Bostwick Hawley. The building began housing as many as 34 children at a time, starting in November 1904.

The massive slate roof with the tall wooden shingled tower in the center softens what could be an institutional design. The covered porches feel welcoming. I love the symmetry of the attic dormers. They conjured up images of Sara from "A Little Princess" living in the attic, hungry and lonely. Nothing could have been further from this case. From all I have read, the children residing in the Hawley Home received attentive care.

Unlike typical orphanages, the home primarily served as a temporary placement for struggling families. Its mission was to "aid in the physical, mental and educational development of children."

Parents placed their children for a few weeks or even years in the Hawley Home until they could financially care for them.

The 1876 Beers and Cramer atlas shows the plot of land owned by the Pikes. This is the lot the Hawley Home was built on. Self-taught architect Newton Breeze was famous for designing over 50 buildings in Saratoga including some of this author’s favorites - 628 N. Broadway and 203 Union Ave., as well as 64–66 Ludlow St. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 167

Browsing through the comprehensive Hawley Home scrapbooks housed in the library's Saratoga Room, I was warmed by the generous outpouring of support our community extended to the children who lived there. Skidmore students were assigned a resident to read to and mentor regularly. Restaurants such as Siros, Pennell's, and the Ash Grove invited the children for yearly dinners. Jockeys from The Track made summer visits complete with gifts and treats. Other civic groups sponsored outings to Kaydeross Amusement Park. What particularly touched me to read about were the Tam O' Shanter restaurant employees, a once popular Italian restaurant in Ballston Spa. The employees saved their extra tips for an entire year to treat the children to a picnic and day at Lake George's Storytown Amusement Park (now known as The Great Escape.) Endowments and yearly letter-writing appeals funded the home.

Here is the inside text of an annual appeal from the 1960s: We think we get as much love and security as any kid who doesn't have his own home. Thirty-five of us, aged 3-12, live at the Hawley Home. We eat good meals planned by a dietician. We get cod liver oil, extra vitamins, and dental and medical care. We play, watched by resourceful housemothers, and we meet other kids at Church and Sunday School, at Cubs and Scouts, and at school.

Despite these efforts, new state regulations forced the closing of the physical building of the Hawley Home in 1965.

However, the valuable services the Hawley Home afforded our community live on today. The endowment was rolled into the Hawley Home for Children Foundation, a low-profile yet invaluable community organization aiding needy children.

Lois Radke has dedicated 40 years of volunteer service to the Hawley Home Foundation because "it serves children's health, education, and welfare. Every penny you donate goes directly to the kids of our area," says Radke. Besides college scholarships and various grants, the foundation works directly with school nurses and psychologists to identify and fund students needing summer day camp. In addition, the foundation's board members are a "who's who" of civic-minded community members.

Children at the Hawley Home were treated to lunch at the Ash Grove Inn with Mayor Mallory and Monsignor Burns of Saint Peter's Church. Photo courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection, Saratoga History Museum.

December 1965 - February 1972 YMCA

In 1965, the membership of our YMCA had grown to 1200 members. At that time, the YMCA consisted of a few meeting rooms in a building at 509 Broadway. There were no athletic facilities, and space was limited.

As a stop-gap measure, the YMCA purchased 64-66 Ludlow for $10,000 in 1965. It expanded its meeting room space to 20 rooms.

The move was controversial. Neighbors of the surrounding residential streets protested the sale, fearing there would not be adequate parking and the YMCA would reduce the value of their homes. Despite this opposition, the building became a short-term solution for a larger YMCA facility. Jr. high dances, a ping pong table, and a teen hang-out prevailed for the next seven years at this address.

1972 until the present - "Residential Sanctuary."

Once the YMCA relocated to a larger athletic facility on South Broadway, this spot was converted into smaller residential units. For many years the building operated as multiple apartments.

Then Larry Abrams converted the structure into ten privately owned condominiums. Each is unique and varies in square footage, ceiling height, and special features such as screened porches.

Chad Morrison and his husband David purchased unit 101 in 2021. "We really liked the small number of units in the building and the location. It's super quiet with a nice mix of owners. We also find the diverse architecture in the neighboring streets appealing."

Breeze's turn-of-the-century design has withstood the test of time, providing safety and serenity to countless Saratogians.

Author's note: Special thanks to Mitch Cohen and his deed research; The Saratoga Room; Lois Radke; and Chad Morrison.

Hawley Home for Children. Photo courtesy of Saratoga NY Gen Web Project. Once a home for children, now a sanctuary for adults. Photo courtesy of Chad Morrison. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 169 SS

Washington Street preservation …and development

There are many historic preservation projects involving unique structures in Saratoga Springs. A walk on Washington Street brings preservation projects of the present, and those made decades ago, into focus. Nearly every city in the Empire State has a Washington Street, named in honor of our first President. In Saratoga Springs however, it is important to remember that Gideon Putnam laid out the street plan and assigned the names, many for his children; Caroline and Phila, and in this case Washington. Underway right now, just west of the Broadway intersection, is the renewal of the Rip Van Dam and Adelphi Hotels being carried out by Thoroughbred horse owners Larry Roth and Mike Dubb. It is fascinating to see the plethora of old structures exposed from underground, and how the new construction is intermeshed to preserve and return these buildings to economic viability in the twenty-first century.

Aerial view of the the Grand Union Hotel courtyard showing a pergola along the east wall of the Bethesda Episcopal Church near the transept, 1953. Photo courtesy of the Saratoga Springs Public Library - Saratoga Room Collection.

Further down the street at number 41 is the former Washburne House, a one-time cure and track-season hotel in remarkably good shape in spite of its advanced age. Across Washington Street is the masonry Bethesda Episcopal Church, which was built in a Latin cross plan in 1842. One of the oldest operational buildings in the city, it was designed by the famous ecclesiastic architect Richard Upjohn in the Gothic Revival style, one of the first churches built in America of that type. The name of the structure commemorates the miracle of the healing waters of the Bethesda Pool in Christian literature. Modifications in the late 1880s planned by Spencer Trask’s architect, Arthur Page Brown, added an impressive center archivolt with concentric moldings, which surround the revised main entrance of the edifice, and a belltower with a pyramidal shaped roof. The church was nearly surrounded by the legendary Grand Union Hotel, one of the largest hostelries in the world which sprawled down Washington Street from Broadway, and famously dominated Saratoga’s downtown. The hotel was purchased in 1872 by Alexander T. Stewart, a New York City furniture and dry goods merchant, who happened to be the facilities’ largest creditor. Mr. Stewart also purchased a mill and the Penfield Boarding House on Washington Street for hotel expansion, and he suggested that Bethesda Church be relocated. The church members considered Mr. Stewart’s offer, and after a series of meetings and much discussion, where the voices of women were heard in an era where that seldom occurred, the church stayed put.

The expansion of the Grand Union and its famous courtyard was planned by architect Edward D. Harris who designed numerous Saratoga structures. The remodeling placed the walls of the immense hotel in very close proximity to the church, which limited religious functions to only the house of worship. In 1911, Katrina Trask, following the will of her late husband Spencer Trask, generously purchased and donated the Washburne House to Bethesda Episcopal Church for use as a parish house and Sunday school. It provided a remote adjunct to the church, in the only location possible at that time.

Postcard view of Washington Street and the proximity of the Grand Union Hotel (left) and Bethesda Episcopal Church (center). Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Digital Commonwealth Collection. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 1900 displays the Grand Union Hotel and courtyard relative to the Bethesda Episcopal Church. Cottage annex was demolished 1910. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress Digital Collection. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 171

After World War II, Americans became more automobile, rather than rail oriented for vacation travel, which had a negative effect on longer term lodging facilities in Saratoga Springs. Having fallen on hard times, a final attempt to operate the Grand Union Hotel in the manner and style of its glorious past was launched in 1950 by a man from Glens Falls; Louis B. Ginsburg, under the corporate moniker the Broadway Saratoga Corporation. This entity deeded property on the west side of the Church to Bethesda Episcopal. Unfortunately, the plush dignity of the Grand Union Hotel could not survive after too much official scrutiny was paid to Saratoga’s “other” gambling operations, and after a few years of losses the Broadway Saratoga Corporation was forced to sell the unique and stately building, which would be demolished for other future use. There was an unorganized effort by local citizens to repurpose the old pile which failed to gain traction and would be labeled by the New York Times as “impotent.”

It seems improbable that the stately hotel would be replaced by a mundane commercial operation sharing the same name, which intended to build a 1950’s-era shopping plaza on the site. After the sale, the Saratogian reported on September 24, 1952:

“Officials of the Grand Union Company, food concern which has purchased the Grand Union Hotel property, were in town yesterday to confer with city officials and leaders of the Bethesda Episcopal Church, which owns adjacent land to the hotel property.”

The Grand Union Hotel wreckers, contracted to Ralph L. Schooley of Auburn, with masonry saws and cables attached to bulldozers, reduced the Second Empire style building with precision. The bright side of this loss, literally, was re-illuminating the stained-glass windows of the Bethesda Church, some crafted by Tiffany, and others gifts of the benevolent Trask Family. As part of the shopping plaza planning, a right-angle wall of the

Saratogian - March 28, 1953.

former Grand Union Hotel was deeded by the new owners to Bethesda Episcopal Church and remains standing near that structure’s southeast corner. It is yet another uniquely preserved component of Saratoga Springs. The description of this surviving wall from the hotel was detailed in the Saratogian on April 17, 1953:

“The east side of the century-old Bethesda Episcopal Church was exposed to the sunlight for the first time at 10 a.m. today when R.L. Schooley, wreckers, hooked a bulldozer to one of the few remaining walls of the Grand Union Hotel and sent most of it to the ground in a cloud of dust. The Rev. Malcolm W. Eckel, pastor of the church, James A. Ryall, a vestryman, who also is the city's building inspector, and a few others were on hand. Mr. Schooley said the rest of that section of the wall will be removed later. Under provisions of the wrecking contract, a part of the wall around the southeast corner of the church will be left.”

Postcard view of the Grand Union Hotel courtyard with a pergola along the east wall of the Bethesda Episcopal Church, with east transept of the Church showing above. Private Collection. 2022 image of Bethesda Episcopal Church (southeast corner during roof replacement) displays the masonry walls that once surrounded the Grand Union Hotel courtyard which have been incorporated into the Chuch, with the east transept for reference.

The shopping center planned on the 6.5-acre former hotel site by the design firm of Kelly & Gruzen Architects, who specialized in military barracks and schools, calculated their project to again be in close proximity to Bethesda Episcopal Church. The former hotel walls left standing would provide a strong protective barrier. Soon after the shopping plaza opened in 1954, former mayor and local elder Clarence H. ‘Nuggy’ Knapp lamented that the new owners of the former hotel “have erected on the corners of Broadway, Washington and Congress streets, all in the name of city progress, a chain store of huge proportions. This in a measure may appease the indignation of some and alleviate the grief of others over the passing of this relic of former grandeur. When it is recalled that up to a couple of years ago there had always been a hotel of distinction on this very site since 1803 when Gideon Putnam opened his tavern there, the destruction of his monument of local history, inevitable though it was, will ever seem to many a matter of tragic consequence.”

By 1955, the church managers began incorporating the remainder of one of Saratoga’s most well-known buildings into one of its oldest. During the summer of that year the Saratogian reported:

“The church plans to extend the east sidewalk; place coping on the recently purchased Grand Union wall in order to protect the life of the wall; establish a second exit from the side of the church to facilitate evacuation in case the main exit doors are ever blocked.”

That autumn the local paper conveyed that at the church dinner-meeting this work, which incorporated something of an architectural-oddity, was complete:

“The parish has installed new sidewalks and curbing in front of the church, covered parts of the base of the old Grand Union wall with cement, placed in good condition by installing new coping on the old east and south Grand Union wall that now belongs to the parish, established a new entrance way through this wall to serve as a second emergency exit.”

Frank Sullivan, long the sage of Saratoga and a Lincoln Ave. resident in that era, would nostalgically wax poetic on the pages of the New York Times in 1959 about the lost age of “crinoline and, later, the bustle,” and of the fallen landmarks. He wrote:

“The vast hotels that once lined Broadway, the Grand Union, the United States, and Congress Hall, are gone. They gave the wide, elm-lined boulevard a unique and stately character and it would be idle to pretend that the supermarkets and one-story taxpayers which occupy their sites today are an improvement.”

Functional historic structures such as the Rip Van Dam Hotel and the buildings on Washington Street associated with Bethesda Episcopal Church are the exception rather than the rule in the Empire State, where sadly at so many locations we are left with only historic markers that announce what had once stood there. Fortunately, in Saratoga Springs the spirit of preservation is strong, and admirably resolute. So much of the past can still be viewed and touched there, due to the determined efforts of dedicated and organized individuals on behalf of preservation. FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 173 SS

Graduates Celebrate Golden Anniversary

High school fifty years ago was similar to today – there were cliques and rivalries, sports, and superlatives. Back then the students at Saratoga Springs High School and St. Peter’s Academy (now Saratoga Central Catholic School) did many things together, and in June this year, they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their high school graduation together.

In the years since high school a lifetime of things have happened to the 278 students that graduated from

Saratoga Springs High School and the 70 from St. Peter’s in 1970. To stay in touch, every five years since they left there’s been a reunion. Although their 50th was delayed due to the pandemic, there were 80 in attendance at the Inn at Saratoga this year.

“Every reunion we’ve had so far has been a chance to reconnect and have fun,” said event organizer Leta (DeGregorio) Betor. To “keep the dream alive” she runs the Class of 1970 Facebook page and relies on the dedication of the reunion committee, she said.



Even in an age when technology makes it so easy to stay connected, these former students circumnavigated the globe to be together in person. The furthest flew in from the Philippines, with others coming in from Honolulu and Minnesota.

Denise (Powers) Dixon flew up from Florida, where she’s lived for the last twenty years. She was excited to see her lifelong friend Pamela (Johns) Wilusz. When they were five years old, the two played together. In high school they spent their summers together at SPAC, seeing bands like Chicago, The Who, the Allman Brothers, and Santana when tickets were still just $2 each. They even lived together for a while in Tucson, Arizona after high school.


On this night, Skippy and the Pistons, whose members were in the graduating class, as well, were playing at the Inn while Jim Collins laughed and joked with some of his former teammates. Like many, he played football, basketball, and baseball in school.

“The beauty of it is, we all played together and tried to stay out of trouble,” he said. Today, it’s the absence of those who have been lost that continues to motivate his actions.

“Why did I come? Because we’re still alive. We keep losing folks so we have to make sure we take advantage of every day we have and take the time to just be friendly with one another.”


For their Senior Day in 1970, the class celebrated with a huge spur-of-the-moment snowball fight, remembers Bruce Jones. Bruce also played all three sports in school and recalls that his was among the first teams to play in the then newly-formed Saratoga Springs Pop Warner football team. Voted the Funniest, Friendliest, and Most Athletic in his class, Bruce is now a coach at the Saratoga Springs Recreation Center.

“It keeps me going,” he said, “but I feel like I’m the last man standing sometimes.”

The ski team was where Cathy (Woodcock) Hay really found her niche. Her family owned the Alpine Ski Shop and her boyfriend, Jack, loved skiing as much as she did. He was a senior and she was a junior when they became the prom king and queen. The couple now run the Alpine Ski Shop together and celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on September 18th this year. SS FALL 2022 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 175

Behind the Scenes


How cool that this year (There is something special about the first year AFTER a 25th Anniversary!) we get to feature the COVER HOUSE in our Architecturally Speaking section on page 99. We’ll just give you a glimpse on these pages because this house must be experienced! It was such fun getting to know Gus, the homeowner and her five-year old Great Pyrenees Buckley, (I think we all fell in love with him!!)

Thank you again Gus for letting us converge on your house for this great cover! (House #2 on the tour!)


Liz Bishop

HAIR & MAKE UP Brandon Scott and Nikki Miller of The Company Salon and Spa


Lifestyles of Saratoga with Stacey D'Andrea-Goodman

COVER SHOT STYLED BY Chris Vallone Bushee

COVER PHOTO Randall Perry Photography

Thank You EVERYONE for another great Showcase of Homes cover!

- Chris Vallone Bushee, Creative Director / Managing Editor of Saratoga TODAY’s Magazine Division

Group Photo From Left: Randall Perry, Chris Vallone Bushee, Liz Bishop, Stacey D'Andrea-Goodman, Brandon Scott, Barry Potoker, Lisa Licata, Augusta “Gus” Martin, Lindsay Butler

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