Simply Saratoga Home & Garden 2024

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SARATOGA Simply...


® 2024 Home & Garden
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Chad Beatty


Chris Vallone Bushee


Samantha Nock


Kacie Cotter-Harrigan

...Still out on Maternity Leave

Look at Blakely Grow!!


Kelly Schoonbeck


Jim Daley

Cindy Durfey


Samantha Bosshart

Colleen Coleman

John R. Greenwood

Carol Godette

George Hanstein

Wendy Hobday Haugh

Barbara Lombardo

Julie Malesky Putzel

Robert Lawrence

Bill Orzell

Gianna Pennacchia

Megin Potter

John Reardon

Theresa St. John

Ralph Vincent

Maureen Werther


Charlies Annibale

Susan Blackburn

George S. Bolster Collection

Marisa Dooley

Megan Mumford

Randall Perry

Skidmore College

Theresa St. John

Beatrice Sweeney Collection




2254 Route 50 South Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-581-2480 Simply 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.

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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.


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


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:


John Greenwood is a leftover Saratoga Springs milkman who loves capturing stories about the people and places that surround him.

John and his wife Patricia have been holding hands since high school. The couple recently retired and are looking forward to having more time to enjoy the nooks and crannies of the surrounding area. You can explore more of John’s writing at, where you will find the glass half full and the weather mostly sunny.


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.



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


Robert Lawrence, a retired elementary, middle, and college educator, authored What's With Those Adirondack Mountain Names? (The Troy Book Makers), which describes over one hundred mountain place name origins. Bob, a Saratoga County resident, enjoys many outdoor activities with his wife, Carol Ann, and their wire-haired Dachshund, Adi (Adirondack). Contact:


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.


Gianna Pennacchia is the Nutrition & Resource Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga County. Her master’s degree focuses on public health/chronic disease prevention (MPH), public health nutrition, and community outreach. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, attending farmers’ markets to obtain and learn about local/seasonal ingredients, taking her MaltiPoo, Scarlet on walks, doing yoga, and anything on the lake!


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 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.


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.


Heritage Garden Club of Saratoga Springs Herb, Perennial Plant & Garden Decor Sale.

June 1, 9:00am to sold-out Italian American Center 247 Grand Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Perennial plants, a variety of herbs, and garden accents will all be available for sale!




Simply Saratoga

Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

Saratoga Bride

Saratoga Home & Lifestyle

Welcome Home


Saratoga Christmas

from the editor

Chris Vallone Bushee

Creative Director/ Managing Editor 518-581-2480 ext. 201

I don’t even know where to start…

Just when I think Saratoga Springs is the greatest town in the world (which it is!!) and I have the best job in the world (which I do!!) – it gets even better!

I’m pleased to share with you, in this issue – three – (yes, THREE!)television shows covering Saratoga Springs! (Awesome, right?!) I’m not surprised, I always knew we were destined for national exposure :) Speaking of “national exposure” – if you’re here for the Belmont Stakes – Welcome!

Please enjoy this complimentary issue of Simply Saratoga – one of the Award-Winning publications put out by the locally owned and operated Saratoga TODAY (look for our newspaper and Equicurean also!) As our cover says… We bring you The People, The Places and The Lifestyle… all while providing a Good Read :)



I hope you enjoy every article… From People to Fashion, History to Entertaining, Music, Road Trips, Yaddo, Garden Tours… We even have a Vertical Farmer! (or a farmer doing VERTICAL FARMING – lol!!)

I hope I have what you’re looking for and you leave these pages agreeing with me…

Saratoga Springs is the greatest town in the world! Before I go…

I would like to say THANK YOU! to all our advertisers who enable us to provide these 100+ page magazines to all of you… for free! Please mention us by name when frequenting their businesses, Simply Saratoga… the Saratoga TODAY magazine!

Welcome to the Home & Garden edition, may you be inspired!

oPS… If you’d like to receive our publications each Friday in your inbox – for free! – Scan the QR Code to the left!

Meet... Our COVER GIRL... Marisa Dooley on page 28! Photo Credit: Marisa Dooley

Simply... ® 2024 Home
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Simply SARATOGA contents

A GOOD READ 20 Preserving Saratoga 24 Restaurant Feature… Park & Elm 28 Meet… Marisa Dooley (our COVER GIRL!!) 32 Meet… Colleen Pausley 34 Meet… Diana Petrillo 36 Artist Spotlight… Charles Annibale 40 Name That Mountain OUT + ABOUT 43 Waterwheel Village –The Original Cheese Shop! 46 Magic on Beekman 48 Adirondack Experience –The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake 50 Time to Fish? 55 French Salons in Saratoga? …Yes! 56 47th Annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival FASHION 59 Saratoga Trunk, Union Hall Supply Co., Caroline and Main, Lifestyles, Pink Paddock and Violet’s Saratoga Springs! H&G 58 American Dream TV 67 Architecturally Speaking 88 Colleen’s Picks 92 High Point Market 98 “Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House?” 102 George to the Rescue 104 The New Face of the Trades 114 In the Kitchen with John Reardon 116 Entertaining with Ralph Vincent 118 Foothills Farm 122 Homesteading 101 124 29th Annual Soroptimist Secret Gardens Tour 130 Cutting Garden HISTORY 133 Bill Orzell 138 Carol Godette 142 John Greenwood ONE LAST THING 144 George Hanstein Home & Garden 2024 HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 19 Saratoga Springs, NY 518.584.3700 FULL SERVICE INTERIOR DESIGN | PROJECT MANAGEMENT

SARATO GApreserving



On July 1, 2020, Marc Conner became the eighth president of Skidmore College. It was in the midst of Covid that he and his wife Barbara ReyesConner moved from Lexington, Virginia into their new home, 791 North Broadway. It is not just any house, it is the former home of the founder of Skidmore College, Lucy Skidmore Scribner.

Lucy Skidmore Scribner was born on July 4, 1853, to Joseph Russell Skidmore, a New York City coal merchant, and Lucy Ann Hawley. Her mother died shortly after. Lucy’s aunt raised her until she was 13. It was then she chose to move in with her father and stepmother. Lucy was sent to private schools where she learned proper manners, fashionable foreign languages, and music. She joined the Presbyterian church and taught at the mission school. At the age of 19 she was introduced into society. In 1875, Lucy married John Blair Scribner, the president of the prosperous publishing company that his father had founded. Sadly, they suffered the loss of two infants. On January 20,1879, her husband unexpectedly passed away from pneumonia at the age of 28. Afterwards, Lucy returned to her father and stepmother’s home.

Following the death of her father in 1882, Lucy and her stepmother traveled abroad. However, Lucy chose to return to teaching at the mission school and helped at a home for aged and blind women, reading to residents. In 1895, she made her first visit to Saratoga Springs. Two years later, Lucy purchased from Walter and Rhoby Bryant the house that they had built at 791 North Broadway in 1895 and four adjacent lots for $28,500. The unique house, with stucco and a rough faced stone exterior was built in the Colonial Revival style. It featured a gambrel roof with dormers, a wraparound front porch with delicate paired columns, and a Palladian window in the gable. HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 21
Photo courtesy of Skidmore College Historic photo of the Scribner House in 1934. Photo courtesy of George S. Bolster Collection, Saratoga Springs History Museum

Lucy acquired the house initially as a summer residence. By 1902, she was a permanent resident of Saratoga Springs. She made several changes to the house including the addition of the stained-glass windows, porte-cochere, second-story sun porch that she called her “nest,” and a large rear extension. Lucy protected her view of Vermont’s Green Mountains by purchasing 12 additional lots across the street, developing the land into a park-like garden where she hosted garden parties and receptions.

In 1903, she established the Young Women’s Industrial Club (YWIC). Her desire was to empower women through education and offer them a way to have richer lives with a measure of financial independence. Lucy started the club at the former parsonage of the Second Presbyterian Church located at 102 Spring Street. The first curriculum was a mix of practical courses in stenography, typewriting, bookkeeping, millinery, sewing, art, music, and dance. To recruit teachers, Lucy hosted a reception at her home at 791 North Broadway. Membership of the YWIC grew steadily and over time the YWIC expanded. In 1911, the YWIC became the Skidmore School of Arts, and chartered as Skidmore College, a fully accredited four-year institution, in 1922.

Lucy continued to reside at 791 North Broadway until her death on May 2, 1931. Upon her death she willed the property to Skidmore College. It remained vacant until 1937 when the College negotiated a trade. In exchange for 791 North Broadway, two miles from the Skidmore College campus, the College received 134 Union Avenue from

Anna May Boone Scott. Mrs. Scott moved into 791 North Broadway and 134 Union Avenue became a dormitory known as the Scott House. In 1940, Skidmore College acquired the 1832 John Clark House, a Greek Revival residence at 46 Circular Street that was near the campus, to serve as the home of the college president.

According to the December 23, 1943, Saratogian article, Mrs. Scott sold 791 North Broadway to Madame Edmond Terrien, who was “prominent in New York society and before the war in Paris society,” who had previously lived in a villa in Monte Carlo. It was reported that Terrien came every summer to take the baths. In 1950, following the death of Madame Terrien, the house was sold intact, including contents, for approximately $25,000 to Mrs. Marie Lemke and her daughter Lillian Lemke of Troy, New York. The Saratogian reported that they made “extensive repairs and redecorated the home.” Marie and Lillian resided in the home until 1964.

That year, Skidmore College reacquired the home, coinciding with the decision to build a new campus on the land at the end of North Broadway, ironically the same tract that Lucy had attempted to purchase 50 years earlier. However, at the time, 791 North Broadway was considered

Clockwise from top left: Dining room showing the stained-glass windows that Lucy added to the home. Photo courtesy of Skidmore College. Lucy Scriber with her secretary, Charlotte Smith, on the porch with her “Winter Garden” in 1913. Photo courtesy of George S. Bolster Collection, Saratoga Springs History Museum. Barbara Reyes-Conner and Marc Conner in their home. Photo courtesy of Skidmore College.

too small for the entertaining of the president, Joseph Palamountain. In 1965, Stephen Wilson donated 760 North Broadway, the large Neoclassical residence across the street, to Skidmore College, and it became the home of Joseph and Ann Palamountain. John “Ted” Butler, the Comptroller of Skidmore College, and his large family lived at 791 North Broadway until 1986. In 1987, with the arrival of David Porter as president and his wife Helen, 791 North Broadway returned to being the house of the president of Skidmore College. They restored the house, returning Lucy’s remaining furnishings. Jamienne Studley and her husband Gary Smith resided there from 1999 to 2003 during her presidency. From 2003 to 2020, it was the home of President Phil Glotzbach and his wife Marie.

Marc Conner is the eighth president of Skidmore College following over 24 years at Washington and Lee University, a private liberal arts college, where he was a professor of English and most recently served as provost and chief academic officer. He and his wife Barbara, an experienced professional in the field of special education and working with individuals with intellectual disabilities, were not only attracted to Skidmore because of its reputation and commitment to providing quality education, but also because of Saratoga Springs. “We were amazed by all that Saratoga Springs had to offer, especially for what some consider a ‘small town,’wonderful restaurants, many great music venues, walking trails, and more” said Barbara. “The sense of community that we have felt since arriving here has been tremendous. People were so welcoming despite arriving during Covid,” continued Marc.

Since Marc and Barbara moved into the house with their dog Molly, the exterior was painted and exterior repairs were made, including the balcony. They respect the history and honor it, but have made changes such as adding new furnishings, hanging different works of art from the collection of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and painting the interiors lighter and brighter colors to make it their own.

As a former professor of English, Marc particularly appreciates the stained-glass windows that have literary references. The south-facing dining room windows have lines

from Sir Walter Scott’s writings with accompanying scenes of the Scottish countryside. “My favorite room is the ‘Lucy Suite,’ in particular, the sitting room and balcony with great views of the front and back yards. The sitting room has some of Lucy’s old family photos and books and when the sun is out, the room lights up. It is a great place to sit and read, one can imagine Lucy doing the same,” said Barbara.

“It is inspiring and daunting all at the same time to live in the founder’s home. Lucy gave so much, creating the Young Women’s Industrial Club, which provided women access to education

and career opportunities. I am hoping to live up to that, finding ways that I can contribute to helping others live their best lives,” shared Barbara, who serves on the boards of the Saratoga Regional YMCA and AIM Services Inc.

“It is an honor to have a connection to the founder and those who followed. A connection to the past is so importantyou must know where you have been to know where you are going, particularly now during a time of so much change in the world,” said Marc. The community looks forward to the history that Marc and Barbara will write in the next chapter of 791 North Broadway. SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 23

“Food, Glorious Food!”

Does anyone remember that resounding lyric belted out by a chorus of hungry boys in the hit Broadway musical, Oliver!? A recent dining adventure at Park & Elm restaurant in Glens Falls could be summed up in that one simple lyric.

The Market at Park & Elm opened in November 2022 and the restaurant opened the following month. In that short time, it has made a name for itself in the evergrowing culinary scene of the region. A combination finedining establishment, gourmet market and delicatessen, Park & Elm is the not so little place on the corner that was purchased and renovated by Glens Falls businesswoman, Elizabeth Miller and her son, Ben Miller.

Behind the scenes, the success of Park & Elm is orchestrated by the dynamic team at Park Street Hospitality, the driving force behind both the restaurant and the catering and events services at the iconic Park Theater (which was purchased and renovated for $4 million by Ms. Miller).

Ben Miller leads the team as its Operations Manager. Assisting him are Brian LaRock, Dining Room Manager at Park & Elm, who oversees the restaurant's day-to-day operations; Anita MacDonald is the Marketing Director; Trevor Faulkner is the Retail Manager, he manages the Market & Delicatessen; Kibbie Vedder is the Catering and Events Manager at The Park Theater. Together with a dedicated culinary team, they form the backbone of Park Street Hospitality.

But enough of that– let’s talk about the food!

I’ll set the scene. We enter a spacious anteroom, where we have an option to go right or left. On our right is the spacious Market and Delicatessen area. The shelves are lined with row upon row of imported foods and local products, and there’s ample counter seating space at the windows allowing diners to ‘people watch’ as they enjoy one of the many delectable breakfast and lunch items from its menu.

The Park & Elm kitchen creates all the items on the Market menu, including the signature homemade focaccia bread, which is, frankly, to die for.

To the left is the restaurant, which is a blend of upscale, East Villagelike charm and hubbub, combined with a laid back and relaxed style that lets you know you’re in Glens Falls. On this particular Friday night, things


are hopping in the restaurant and there’s hardly an open seat in the bar area, as people enjoy great food and drinks before the hockey game at nearby Cool Insuring Arena. Despite how busy it is, our service is outstanding, and our seating is roomy and relaxed.

But we’re here to taste food –and drinks – so it’s not long before our cocktails and first course arrive. Amid sips of a beautifully balanced cocktail called Provencal Tonic, we are treated to starters of Deviled Fried Oysters with hot honey and sea salt, which are a sexy version of southern “Po Boys,” combined with the best deviled eggs you’ve ever had. The Cheddar & Chive Tater Tots are a sophisticated version of a childhood favorite served with a tomato chili jam that works quite nicely in place of ketchup, thank you very much!

The salad course is a Sweet & Sour Roasted Cauliflower, created from a tri-color heirloom cauliflower and fresh herbs from Sunset Farm in nearby Queensbury, owned by Elizabeth Miller. In fact, many of the ingredients used in the Park & Elm kitchen come from the farm. Didn’t think you liked your vegetables? Think again.

While we’re waiting for our next HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 25

course (and sipping on a savory and yummy Berry Curry cocktail), we talk about the talent in the kitchen and behind the bar.

Executive Chef Matthew J. Delos and Sous Chef Colin Chase are the creators of the feast. Delos is wellknown from his tenure with Mazzone Hospitality and other highly successful restaurants in the Albany and Glens Falls region. Chase is also well known in and around Glens Falls, where he has been honing his

culinary skills for o ver 16 years.

Park & Elm’s beverage “mastermind” is Ethan McKee. He manages the entire beverage program, and his libations are fresh, flavorful, and artfully garnished. Many people will remember McKee’s mixology talents from his days at Morrissey’s at the Adelphi Hotel.

The surf and turf courses did not disappoint. We sampled the Maple Moonshine Half-Chicken with a

delightful broccoli-rabe salad, the Bone-In Pork Schnitzel in a juniper brown butter emulsion, seared sea scallops with roasted beet risotto, and the pan-roasted salmon with roasted fennel resting atop a crispy and flavorful polenta cake – perfection.

Our dessert choices – as if we had room for dessert – was a modern take on the classic six layer carrot cake, with crystalized ginger and caramel sauce. My personal favorite was the – Wait for it – Lemon, Lavender &


Blueberry Crème Brulée. Both choices went quite well with the remarkable Espresso Martini.

From soup to nuts, our evening at Park & Elm lived up to its hype – and then some. The combination of skilled culinary professionals, fresh local ingredients,

lively eclectic takes on classic favorites, and a highly professional management team and staff, makes Park & Elm that little place on the corner that I, for one, will keep coming back to for more great spirits, wonderful food, and a stylish, welcoming ambiance.  SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 27

marisa DOOLEY Meet


GGreen herbs are given the golden spotlight when a food photographer puts a priority on freshness.

For Marisa Dooley, high-quality whole foods take precedence in life and work. A recipe developer trained in nutrition, and the food, product, and lifestyle photographer behind Lemon Thyme Kitchen, Marisa’s clean recipes and sharp images beam with vibrant, healthy, beauty.

“It’s a common misconception that the food in these photographs is fake,” said Marisa, “but everything you see is edible and we do eat most of the food that you see.”

Head Start to Healthy

Raised among a family of artists on Inspiration Farm, an organic meat and dairy farm in Washington State, Marisa found working with the food blog to be a fun, creative, avenue for expression.

After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Culinary Arts from Bastyr University and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine, Marisa worked as a sous chef at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, an all-girl’s school offering farm-to-table style food service.

Marisa moved to Saratoga in 2018, where pediatric nutrition remained important in the years she spent working as a nanny while launching her freelance food photography and recipe development business (which became a full-time profession last year).

“As much as possible I love to get kids involved in all types of food preparation, starting out with planting – kids love digging in the dirt – and getting them interested with what I’m doing in the kitchen. Kids will eat from the garden what they might not typically from the grocery store when they’re out there picking it themselves,” said Marisa.

Even children as young as two-and-a-half-years-old enjoy eating fruit when they are given safe plastic serrated knives to cut bananas and strawberries with, she said. Marisa and her husband, Chip, currently have five raised beds in their backyard garden.

“We love gardening and the flowering herbs are so pretty. They are essential for the herb garnishes in my photos because you can’t get that freshness from the store. It’s not something you can buy.”

Incorporating a heavy herb garnish is the hallmark of Lemon Thyme Kitchen’s light, bright photography. While using full sprigs in the shots deviates from how you would normally prepare the dish, it adds a fresh, romantic element to the photos that Marisa said she just loves.

Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce, shot for Healthy Seasonal Recipes Raspberry Overnight Oats, shot for Healthy Seasonal Recipes Pesto Cream Cheese and Veggie Sandwich, shot for The Natural Nurturer Red, White, and Blue Seafood Platter, recipe developed and shot for Wild for Salmon

Bringing Better Food to Light

The vivid shots seen in Lemon Thyme Kitchen are prepared in Marisa’s kitchen and photographed in her home studio using natural light, a variety of backdrops, and her extensive collection of props, which includes several China cabinets full of dishware - using dessert plates and tiny pinch bowls makes the food appear more prominent in photos, she said.

The images, which range from the refined elegance of sophisticated dishes, to the feel of a cozy cook’s kitchen, are based on her client’s individual style, and then edited in Marisa’s home studio.

“My clients are attracted to my lighter, brighter photos but within that some prefer warmer or cooler edits. There are lots of variations I can recommend based on what they’re trying to achieve,” said Marisa.

Fresh Food Styling Secrets

Although Marisa prefers to focus on local, in-season food for her recipes and photography, it’s not always possible when working in Upstate New York, because content must be created long before it is published.

When necessary, Marisa gets great pictures by coming up with creative solutions to work around the seasons; like using mangoes instead of peaches, brushing olive oil on food to make it sparkle, and imitating the look of wine with soy sauce diluted with water. Marisa’s least favorite food to photograph is a melty cheese sauce, she said, because it dries out and hardens so quickly. “It’s delicious, just not so fun to photograph.”

Marisa shops for all the ingredients and includes these costs in the Lemon Thyme Kitchen’s tiered photography contracts. Food bloggers often contract several recipes a month with Marisa at a consistent rate, while brand development imagery pricing is based on the specific demands of the shoot and how

the client plans to use her content.

To see more of Marisa’s published photography, go online to The Natural Nurturer, Healthy Seasonal Recipes, and Real Food Whole Life blogs. To find out more about her services and a portfolio of Marisa Dooley’s photography, follow Lemon Thyme Kitchen on Facebook, Instagram, and go to https:// SS

There are several ways I approach developing a recipe or composing a photography scene. Sometimes I find inspiration in a single ingredient, either something fresh and beautiful in my garden or at the Farmer’s Market, or simply something that needs to get used up in my fridge. Then I build the layers of the dish and image by thinking primarily about colors, but also textures, seasonality, flavors, and props. Sometimes I develop an image based on the mood I would like it to have, maybe I want it to be richly monochromatic or full of contrasting colors. I think about the light I would like to use and the feelings that it will evoke. The soft morning light that hits my studio creates a feeling of coziness and calm, where as the bright and sharp afternoon light has a cheerful fun vibe and creates beautiful shadows through glassware that I love.


colleen PAUSLEY Meet



RReclaim. Refresh. Reveal. That’s the formula for creative building and crafting projects in the Pausley house.

In 1995, Colleen and Kevin Pausley bought their first home. These Burnt Hills High School sweethearts had just become newlyweds when at 25 years old, they launched into an enormous renovation project - restoring an 1865 farmhouse and two barns sitting on 30 acres.

“We wanted an old home, loved the character, and dug in,” said Colleen.

The novice remodelers learned through trial and error, and refurbished room-by-room, learning as they went, checking out books from the library, and following the advice of trusted experts featured in episodes of the PBS program, This Old House.

The process, however, was trying on their relationship, and by 2004, the couple divorced. They reconnected not long after, however, and remarried in May 2005.

Home Sweet Farmhouse

With their relationship restored, in 2007, the Pausleys began building a new home. This 3-bedroom, 3.5 bath center hall colonial is where they would raise two children, Anna and Sean, and where they would embark on a uniquely upcycled adventure all their own.

Taking the DIY skills they learned from their first home and applying it to their second, this house is all about family. “I took a new job and a pay cut to be home with our kids, so we really focused on using what we had to make our house a home,” said Colleen.

The Pausleys made a life together by incorporating creative solutions (like using a painted picture frame as a ceiling medallion), super salvages (such as a stellar butcher block

table), and sheer manpower (as with the Adirondack-style footbridge crafted from felled trees on their property and in their massive two-story tall central stone fireplace).

Creating Meaning Within Your Means

Recording and sharing these projects on her blog, Life on Kaydeross Creek, Colleen shows how to create a space that speaks to you – while living within your means.

“There’s really nothing you can’t paint,” said Colleen, a SUNY Cortland graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business who works as a healthcare consultant. She enjoys revamping, decorating, and blogging, on the side, she said, for the opportunities it offers.

“It’s an opportunity to be super creative, to come up with ideas to decorate in unique ways and to make something useful from things others may overlook.” Collecting and remaking heirloom pieces saves money, but she cautions, your home should be a collection of what you love and that takes time. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Walking into the Pausleys’ home, you’ll see items like antique pulleys used as bookends, candle holders made from lockboxes, and flowers displayed in an old ice bucket. Each item holds special meaning to Colleen.

“These pieces create a unique look and feel to our home.”

Where Goodness Gathers

Welcoming family into their home for the holidays became all that much jollier in 2020 when the Pausleys’ kitchen makeover – and Colleen’s favorite project to date – was complete.

In 2021, Colleen opened a booth in the


Ballston Spa Antique Center, at 217 Ballston Avenue, featuring items from her Life on Kaydeross Creek.

“These things are duplicates of what I love most from my own home and what I think others will like,” said Colleen. Constantly rotating the merchandise, Colleen displays different ways to use items including painted dressers, upcycled art, candle holders, and antique stools.

New Be-You-tiful Projects

This season, on the Life on Kaydeross Creek blog, earth tones, including gratifying greens, continue to be big, as is adding character with wood wainscotting, and installing electric lights without unsightly wires.

In addition to being a contributor to Simply Saratoga magazine, Colleen’s work has been featured on, The Huffington Post, and

On the Life on Kaydeross Creek website you can also find Colleen’s brand new Be-Youtiful Interiors eBook, featuring different ways to make your home beautifully your own with thrifted finds, furniture flips and DIY projects.

This fall, look for her in Country Sampler Farmhouse magazine. For updates, follow Life on Kaydeross Creek on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and at https:// SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 33

diana PETRILLO Meet

The Brimfield Scouting, Antique Peddling, Cottage Industry Leader behind Adirondack Girl at Heart.

…The site that has us VINTAGE LOVERS captivated!

TToday, the welcome charm and character of well-worn kitchen implements, distressed furniture pieces, and simple, homespun decorations made from antique and vintage items looks fresh and exciting to eyes accustomed to the haze of mass-produced mediocracy.

Buying, selling, and creating with these unique (and often undervalued!) pieces is a lucrative cottage industry for savvy shoppers like Diana Petrillo, a collector and crafter with a clever eye for business.

Growing up on the edge of the Adirondacks in Peru, NY, Diana was always creative and making things as a child but went in a different direction as a young adult. Crafting took a side seat to studying law and working in the legislature until Diana became a stay-at-home mother for her two children, now ages 27 and 25.

In “retirement” she began buying and selling antiques. “I could do as much or as little as I wanted, depending on the needs of my family,” she said.

Finding Farmhouse Flair

The creativity of dealing in antiques afforded Diana the flexibility she needed. By repurposing her second-hand scores and sharing her best tips for accentuating their usefulness, beauty, and value, she built an immensely informative collection of eBooks, price guides, and other resources on her blog, Adirondack Girl at Heart.


“It served as an emotional outlet for me initially, but as the family needed my time less and less, while needing money more and more, I became more involved in working on the business. I learned how to make my website more attractive to Google and what people were looking for and needed. Then, I started writing in-depth articles about antiqueshow to sell them - and how to buy them,” said Diana.

Appealing to the DIYer as well as those looking to make money in the antiques market, her virtual courses are full of helpful webinars, lessons, and tutorials for enthusiasts. Diana’s Facebook group, Your Vintage Headquarters, has more than 5,600 members.

“It’s a happy place, and a helpful place, and that’s how I want it to be.”

Diana sells items through her Adirondack Girl at Heart Etsy shop, on eBay, from a booth in the Gristmill Antique Center in Troy, and at the Shaker Heritage Society gift shop in Colonie. Her work has been featured in national magazines including Farmhouse Style, Country Sampler, and First for Women.

Braving Brimfield

Before buying, selling, refurbishing, and decorating with antiques and vintage pieces, first Diana must find them. Scouring estate sales, flea markets, and antique shows, Diana and her husband also attended last year’s massive Brimfield Antique Flea Markets in Massachusetts. A town tradition for half a century, the markets’ multiple fields draw more than 50,000 people annually eager to see what thousands of exhibitors will have on display. Because they were only going to be there for a single day this year, they set their sights on the Black Swan Meadows field.

With their stomachs full of good

While large furniture flips don’t travel or fit well in an antiques booth’s limited space, Diana has found smaller, hallmark farmhouse elements, including English Ironstone and beautifully made, tightly constructed Ash Splint baskets, are always popular.

• Refreshingly Real: practical natural wood in lighter tones replaces heavily painted, rusty, and chippy, as farmhouse style trends tilt toward cleaner, more simplified designs, lighter looks, and less stuff.

• Fantastic Flips: For eye-pleasing orderliness, turning books backward (so their pages face out) is a shelf-styling move that’s been catching on in recent years.

• Hop to It: The one item that remains a perpetual best-seller; charming vintage flower frogs that beautifully hold stems in place.

fair food (sausage and peppers sandwiches and cheesy fries!) The couple found many interesting booths, including one with a huge trough of bread boards.

“I have a large personal collection of bread boards, but I also sell them. They often have these beautiful pieces of worn wood in different shops but to see so many in one place is exciting!”

Another booth had an eye-boggling array of feed sack fabric.

“Feed sacks, at one time during our history in the early 20th century, were made with this calico fabric. Women made clothing and household items out of it during the depression and would pick out what fabric they wanted when their husband went to buy seed,” said Diana. SS

For more information on buying, selling, upcycling, and decorating with vintage pieces, go to HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 35
TO BUY IN 2024/2025

Artist Spotlight charles ANNIBALE




Charles Annibale is well-known throughout the Saratoga region as the friendly, hardworking owner/operator of Clean and Clear Windows. But there’s another whole side to this industrious dynamo—and it, too, involves glass! Over the past seven years, Annibale has earned a thriving reputation as a mosaic artist whose abstract masterpieces are made exclusively from fragments of glass rather than traditional mosaic tiles. Annibale’s Adirondack home-based studio, Mosaic of the Muses, is located in Chestertown. But for a few months each winter he heads to Naples, FL, to participate in The Sunshine State’s bustling art show circuit.

The artist studied mosaic art at The Pratt Institute in SoHo. But after earning his Fine Arts degree, he veered away from art for a number of years to raise his family. “I’m kind of a jack of all trades,” he muses. “I worked at several Marriott’s for about five years, and I’d step up whenever artistic input was needed. But after moving up here in 2004, I became heavily involved in the work of Bittersweet Herb Farm in Shelburne, MA. I began taking their homemade oils, sauces, jams, and herbs to festivals and craft fairs all over the northeast.”

Close-up of Annibale’s gold leaf mosaic.

When the Great Recession of 20072009 caused a lag in his traveling business, Annibale filled the gap by utilizing the window-washing skills he’d acquired as a teen in one of his first jobs. Although Clean and Clear Windows was an instant success, Annibale found himself longing to return to the art world in some meaningful way. Seven years ago, he did just that when he began experimenting with mosaics.

“I tell people, I clean glass, and I break it down,” he quips. “Initially, I tried using mosaic tiles, but I just didn’t like it. Then I got into glass—and loved it! I’d always been drawn to abstract art, so I began combining the two to create abstract glass mosaics.”

Annibale’s works generally run 3’x4’ in size, but he has created pieces as large as 4’x6’ and as small as 12”x12.” It takes him about three weeks to make a 3’x4’ mosaic. “I make the plywood frame first,” he explains, “gluing it and letting it set, then painting it and letting it set. Meanwhile, I get all the sheets of glass and start cutting them. I do all the cutting by hand with a mosaic nipper. I don’t use hammers to shatter the glass, and I don’t use grinders to smooth out sharp edges. I just want to be a true mosaic artist and do everything by hand. Cutting the glass is the easy part. The hard part is shaping it. That can take a couple of days. I tend to use five or six colors in each of my pieces, seldom more and often less.”

Annibale has traveled to Greece several times to study the country’s rich mosaic history. “I learned that all the beautiful old mosaics seen in cathedrals were done, not by artists, but by slaves, working under the worst conditions with the very worst lighting. That gave me even more respect for the art.”

After his most recent trip, Annibale challenged himself to start making pieces without any sharp edges. “I wanted to round out all the sharp corners by hand with just the nipper, so I experimented extensively. I also learned a lot from artist Kate Hartley, HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 37
Artist Charles Annibale at work in his home studio. Annibale’s glass creations always leave clients smiling!

who runs the HART Gallery up in North Creek. She taught me a lot—but there’s always so much more to learn!”

When he first returned to mosaics, Annibale’s biggest challenge was the grout, the cementlike substance that holds all the pieces in place. “Initially, I just didn’t know how to work it. But now, after generously covering a piece with grout, I take a big wet sponge and just keep going over and over and over an area. Then, when the grout is low between all pieces, and hardened, I begin buffing the glass to get the shine back. I’ve learned that the best way to get rid of grout residue is to use those green dishwashing pads and white vinegar. That combination works really well.”

Today, Charles Annibale actually enjoys working with grout. “I like adding different colors and different textures to it, and I’ve learned to let the

grout tell the story. When I add grout to hundreds of pieces of glass, it creates this little web that ties everything together and almost tells a story. It’s pretty amazing.”

The artist is an avid glass-hunter, forever on the lookout. “I’ve found sheets of glass hidden in an old Mom & Pop store near Poughkeepsie. I’ve found gold-colored glass, which is very rare, in Tennessee. I’ve gotten glass from an old church in Brewster, NY, and a Johnsburg lamp-maker saves all his scrap pieces for me.”

Annibale’s many clients continually inspire him to try new techniques. “One client wanted some gold leaf on a piece, so I decided to try mixing the gold paint into the grout. After the glass was glued down, I took a toothpick-like instrument and glued between the pieces, working the gold leaf

The artist uses a toothpick-like device to add gold leaf to a piece.

into the glue. The glue acted as the grout, in this case, which is a very different way of looking at grout. Generally, people think of it as cement or concrete. But I’m always trying to put a different spin on it, and people really seem to like the results.”

Recalling how his daughter loved drawing leaves as a child, Annibale was inspired to add crushed leaves to one of his fallthemed mosaics. “I wanted to add some browns to the piece, so I crushed up some dried leaves in a Cuisinart and added them to the grout. They kind of got buried in it, but it was still a pretty neat effect. I want to experiment even more with adding different colors and textures to grout, clumping it sometimes rather than smoothing it out.”

When asked how he manages to juggle a bustling windowwashing business and a thriving art career, Annibale admits it isn’t easy. “It’s tough—really tough sometimes. After work, I’ll spend weekends and evenings doing my mosaics. I don’t sleep much, maybe 4-5 hours a night, and I get up early to get working. But I really don’t consider mosaic art ‘work’ at all,” he adds. “I enjoy it that much. There’s always more to learn. The creative possibilities are endless.” SS

To learn more, visit Mosaic of the Muses by Charles Annibale on Facebook or call (518) 763-1808. HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 39

Name that Mountain


Mount Emmons

The cluster of mountains in the neighborhood of the Upper Hudson and Ausable Rivers, I propose to call the Adirondack Group, a name by which a well-known tribe of Indians who once hunted here may be commemorated.”

— These are words of Professor Ebenezer Emmons of Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, taken from his Report of the Geological Survey of New York, published as Assembly Document Number 200 in February 1838.

While kayaking on beautiful Lake Durant near Blue Mountain Lake, New York, one June day, my wife Carol Ann asked, "Where does Blue Mountain get its name?" The next day, we visited the nearby Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake to buy a place names book. But there was no such publication. So, I wrote What's With Those Adirondack Mountain Names?

Born in the Western Massachusetts village of Middlefield, Ebenezer Emmons (May 16, 1799-October 1, 1863) was the son of Ebenezer and Mary Mack Emmons, farmers. He was the only boy of the five siblings. Growing up in a rural area, Ebenezer became interested in the natural world surrounding him. He received his secondary education and preparation for college in nearby Plainfield.

In 1814, he commenced his studies in medicine at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. While at Williams, Ebenezer was introduced to geology Professor

Amos Eaton and received a medical degree with a minor in geology after four years at the college.

After graduation, Ebenezer married Maria Cone of Williamstown and settled in Chester, Massachusetts, where he established his medical practice. While living there, he developed an interest in stone walls and decided to continue his studies in his minor, geology. So, his medical career was short-lived, and he turned to teaching chemistry, mineralogy, and geology at Williams College.

Longing for even more knowledge in geology, Emmons attended the Rensselaer School, founded by his former Williams College professor of geology, Amos Eaton, and higher education advocate Stephen Van Rensselaer. It was one of the first schools in the nation dedicated to science and civil engineering. Today, the school in Troy, New York, is known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.). Emmons graduated from the school's first class of 1826 with a degree in geology. After graduation, he taught chemistry at Williams College and mineralogy and geology at the Rensselaer School.

In 1836, New York State Governor William Learned

Ebenezer Emmons’ Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century | Courtesy of Union College.

Marcy appointed Ebenezer Emmons to be a State Geologist for the Northern New York State Geological District to conduct the geological survey of Northern New York State (Counties of Essex, Clinton, Hamilton, Warren, Saint Lawrence, Franklin, and Jefferson), including the Adirondacks.

Emmons and other scientists organized and led Mount Marcy's first ascent the following year, naming that feature after New York Governor Marcy. One year later, Emmons called the mountain ranges in New York State the "Adirondack" and the "Taconic" Mountains and acquainted the public with these areas.

Emmons was appointed state geologist for North Carolina in 1851 and died in Brunswick, North Carolina, in 1863. He was laid to rest in Albany, New York’s Albany Rural Cemetery.

The American Museum of Natural History in New York honored him as one of the "Scientists Who Have Served the State of New York and the Nation." On the campus at his alma mater, today's R.P.I., a historical sign commemorates his connection to the school and highlights the achievements of his career in geology. Emmons was further honored by his induction into the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007.

Mount Emmons, originally South Seward Mountain and one of New York's forty-six highest peaks, is in Harrietstown, Franklin County. It is a fitting tribute to one of the most prominent geologists in New York and America in the nineteenth century.


(The Troy Book Makers) is available at the following retail locations: Market Block Books (Troy), The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza (Albany), Open Door Bookstore (Schenectady), Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Outdoors (Saratoga), Adirondack Country Store (Northville), St. Andrews Ace Hardware (Queensbury) in many retail establishments in the Adirondack Park and on SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 41

On the Hunt for Great Cheese


Icannot believe it; I adore trying all different kinds of cheese, with or without wine, meats, olives, crackers, and chocolate. I’ve been known to drive hours (yes, hours) to visit specialty shops that serve up a variety of flavors and ages – yet I’d never even heard of Waterwheel Village, which is but a short drive down the road from me.

Located in Galway, on Route 29, the shop also sells oldfashioned candy, homemade pies, craft sodas, beer, and more. However, what truly sets it apart is its specialty in

aged cheddar cheese, a unique offering that will pique any cheese enthusiast's interest.

“You can’t make everyone happy. You’re not Cheese.” —Anonymous

I’m the first in the parking lot, and Laurie Klamp, who I later learned has worked there for over forty years, is busy opening up for the day. I am glad she waves me in, as there is so much to look at and choose from; it will take a little while to HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 43

decide. There’s even a gift shop in the back!

She is multitasking as she speaks with me, something I admire in a hard worker. “Part of the current store was first a foundry that made hand-drawn plows. It was constructed in 1839—you can see the sign over there by the road,” she points out to me.

The Foundry was owned by Frank Fonda, and he added the store in 1923, calling it Wagonwheel, (which some people still call it!!) Eventually Frank’s son Hawley, took over. The family owned the shop until 1971, when it underwent a series of proprietorship changes. Eventually, the Marvin family bought Wagonwheel and have been running it successfully for the past 50-plus years, as Waterwheel Village. When she pauses, I ask how she came to work here and

what made her choose Waterwheel, and she smiles. “I lived up the hill, so it was a nice little convenient place to work in the summer. I was happy when it turned into something more.” Laurie is now the shop’s manager, and I’ve heard some people say she’s become its unofficial historian.

“A member of the Fonda family initiated the process of aging cheddar cheese here over a century ago,” Laurie shares with me as she places four wrapped blocks of cheddar cheese under a glass dome on the countertop near the register. “We’re proud to say we’ve been aging it the same way for 101 years.” She smiles and shares a secret to excellent macaroni and cheese. “Buy it here,” she chuckles. “We have families that come in every week to buy a pound. They say it’s the only cheese they need, and the dish turns out delicious!”


I'd never heard of Amish Roll Butter before, and Laurie was happy to explain that it's churned cream with a higher dairy fat content than American butter. I need to try it. And I love Asiago cheese, so I was pleased to see Waterwheel carrying some. Not only does it have a sweet, nutty flavor - which I enjoy, it melts nicely on everything.

Here's a recipe I make all the time using Asiago cheese. It's a quick and easy dip, perfect for any party during the year. My friends and family rave over it. Serve it straight from the oven with fresh baguettes, rich, crusty bread, or savory crackers. And it's simple. Just mix all ingredients in a bowl (hold 1/4 cup of Asiago cheese to the side.), transfer to a medium-sized cast iron skillet, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake in a preheated oven 400ºF for 25 minutes. Let me know what you think!

• 1/4 cup Bacon

• 1/2 tsp Garlic powder

• 8 oz Cream cheese

• 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese

• 5 oz Stella asiago cheese

If you enjoy trying different types of cheeses, Waterwheel probably carries them. Double Gloucester and Stilton, English Caramelized Onion, Fourmage, Havarti, and Irish Cheddar with Whiskey are only a few I spotted in their coolers that day.

Here comes better weather, so people jump in their cars for a nice leisurely drive. Hopefully, you steer towards this great cheese shop. It really is a great find right here in our backyard.

Needless to say, I was carrying two bags when I left that day; one held three kinds of cheese I couldn’t wait to try and – call me nostalgic, the other a variety of old-fashioned candies from yesteryear. I can’t help but enjoy glances back into a happy childhood. SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 45

The Magic Happens


“One plus one equals a lot more than two...”

Iwas intrigued when I first heard the stirrings of a collaborative work in progress on Beekman Street. After all, Meg Dalton and Susan Rivers already worked together in a cute little shop, The ‘Cottage of Art and Design,’ alongside three others.

“This is not just any collaboration,” Susan emphasizes when we finally have a chance to catch up. "Meg and I embarked on a unique project, a sunrise tryptic. I designed the fabric, and Meg quilted the project with her then-new long-arm machine. It was a real challenge, and I am thrilled that Meg was open to joining forces again!”

Meg and Susan met during “pop-ups on Beekman Street, and as fellow quilters, they were impressed with

each other’s skills and subject matter choices. Their techniques differ, yet they share a strong passion for fiber art. And it shows.

“Artists can get very attached to certain pieces. Reginald the Rooster was a Cottage favorite, and when he found his forever home, we were all filled with a mix of happiness and sadness. Especially Meg.” Susan grins. “I had been creating fabric via an on-demand service called Spoonflower, using my own quilt designs. Since I had the technological know-how, I thought it’d be a nice gesture for Meg to have some material with Reginald’s image. That way, she could make one of her amazing bags, an apron, or even a purse.” I smile and take pictures of Meg and Susan parading around the


shop with several items while we chat about this unique venture. “But we couldn’t stop at Reginald, and soon our other animals - Callie, Luka, Saratoga Sam, and Ellie were born.”

I’m very impressed; Meg creates the initial design, and then Susan zones in on one section, fabricating the vibrant colors and a secondary design used to imagine new products. These already include different-sized bags, kitchen towels, totes, pillows, laptop covers, iPad sleeves, jean jackets, and more. The prices range from $30-$150.

Both Meg and Susan explain that they plan on continuing to grow the fabric line collaboration, adding that, since this is Saratoga, after all, there will be more horse items to choose from.

“Custom work is a focus for the two of us. We’re excited to work with clients to develop things made exclusively for them.” Susan states. “Additionally, we envision working with our animals to develop their backstories, allowing us to create story quilts and accompanying videos. We’re also looking to expand our collaboration with other Cottagers to make jewelry and other items of interest for people visiting the area for the day or repeat customers who come in regularly.”

I see the glint in their eyes. It makes me smile. “Oh, this is definitely just the beginning,” Meg laughs. “You just wait and see.”  Stay tuned... SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 47

Adirondack Experience The


Believe it or not, this past September was my first time visiting the Adirondack Experience - The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. Now I wonder what took me so long to make my way there, and when can I go again?

Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches, or its romance.”

—Theodore Roosevelt

It’s not like it’s far away – just a beautiful, leisurely 60 miles from Saratoga.

The town itself was busy with some sort of antiquing weekend; people were happily moving from one vendor to the next. Me? I was thrilled to find a parking space in front of the main building once I made my way through traffic.

I fell in love with the Adirondacks years ago and was pleased to discover how important the history and culture of people who lived and worked here were highlighted all around the museum, outside on the grounds, and inside each building.

When I spoke with Laura Rice, Chief Curator responsible for the Adirondack Experience's numerous collections, she shared how it offers more than 40,000 square feet of displays and exhibitions for visitors' enjoyment. “There are over 30,000 objects, 70,000 photographs, hands-on workshops, interactive exhibits, and our Lake View Café, where we offer the freshest foods and breathtaking views overlooking Blue Mountain Lake – you can easily spend an entire day here.”

One of the first things I saw, which impressed me, was a short video about the Adirondack Park and what it means to the people who live here -or visit for a day! I sat on a long wooden bench with a few other people and listened to mothers, fathers, singles, and couples share their impressions of the mountains, lakes, and grandeur of nature with us. Their stories and love for this beautiful area


of New York made me feel connected to them in the most basic way: appreciating and even worshiping the outdoors.

Many families were visiting when I was there. Some were coming back from hiking along the trails at the museum. It was a warm day, so most had sweatshirts tied around their waist as they’d worked up a sweat, either on the trail leading to the hidden Minnow Pond or somewhere along the more vigorous loop, which offered up views of Blue Mountain Lake.

The gardens were still in full bloom, and children were leaning in to sniff the fragrant blossoms. I took several photos, hoping to identify some flowers I didn’t recognize later once I was home.

“Artists & Inspiration in the Wild” opened in July of 2023 and is their newest permanent exhibit. This collection highlights over 250 items focusing on Adirondack art in a dedicated space. “Many of the pieces have been in storage for 60 years,” Laura stated. I shook my head in awe. “But each of these artists took their inspiration from the Adirondacks we all love so much.” The four galleries cover light, forests, water, and mountains – all sparking the creative nature of all types of art. They include photography, watercolor, woodcarvings, skies, snowshoes, ceramics, beautiful wood furniture, oil on canvas, fine art paintings, and more.

Exploring one of the other buildings was so much fun. I listened to a young boy and girl calling to their parents – “Look at this old carriage! Oh my gosh, what a big car! Can we go inside the train, Mom?” They definitely weren’t bored wandering around the museum. And neither was I. In fact, I will have to head back in order to see every one of the 24 galleries and historic buildings that dot this 121-acre attraction.

Some galleries taught about the Native American people of the Adirondacks; other galleries spoke to the ‘why’ of folks who made their way to the area and then called it home. There was an exhibit where you could jump into a boat and learn how to row, an exhibit where you could go into a mineshaft and blow up a wall, and another exhibit where you could interact with a digital log jam – let me tell you, I couldn’t stay on top of the log for long!

The Blue Mountain House, a resort hotel that existed on the property from 1876 to 1950, still has a small part remaining – a structure known as The Log Hotel. There was an outhouse I could view, a beautiful building named Sunset Cottage, what looked like a hunter’s cottage, an old oneroom schoolhouse, and so much more that piqued my interest.

Their 2024 Season starts on May 24!

One thing I always look for when I travel is signs of accessibility. I have friends in wheelchairs, and I want them to be able to visit as well. That’s the whole idea, right? I tell you about a fantastic place, and you want to plan to go yourself. I can happily tell you that it seemed very accessible. There are wheelchairs and scooters available to rent, and all of the main buildings and café areas are wheelchair friendly. There was plenty of room for strollers as well, so bring the kids – the fresh mountain air is lovely!

Speaking of fresh mountain air, I brought a book with me that day and sat near this little pond in a comfortable Adirondack chair for about a half hour before I bought a few trinkets from the museum store and walked to my car to head home. It seemed I had a new appreciation for the Adirondacks and the strength of people who lived and worked through hardships here in the mountains. My heart was full as I drove away, and I couldn’t wait to return for more of this truly unique experience. SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 49

into the Wild River

Ralph Yusavage isn’t as untamed as his name might suggest. Even though in high school his lacrosse teammates would shout, “Ralph, You Savage!” after a sensational score, as the founder of Savage Anglers, it’s the fierce fish at the end of Ralph’s rod who are the real brutes.

Especially the area’s small mouth bass, who haven’t traditionally been targeted by fly fisherman, but are fun because they put up such a fight, he said.

The last three years of consistently rainy, cool summers has also revived great trout fishing in the Battenkill and other rivers and tributaries in the New York and Vermont regions, but that could all change with one hot summer, he warns.


Growing up in Saratoga, when Ralph was just a boy, he rode his bicycle to the lake dock, and learned how to tie his own flies, but what he really fell in love with was casting.

“The challenge is what I found exciting about it, then searching for different species, and traveling,” he said. “I love fly fishing because it puts you in places you wouldn’t otherwise be.”


Although a younger guide, Ralph has accumulated significant expertise, a deep understanding of local conditions, fish behavior, and effective fishing techniques.


After high school, Ralph attended an intensive Orvis fly-fishing course and began working as a guide in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. While teaching summer casting school for Orvis, he attended the University of Southern Maine but found himself skipping class to go fishing and began hosting fishing float trips. Last year, he was one of three selected for Orvis’ coveted Guide of the Year award.

“I want those I’m taking out fishing to become inspired to get more into the sport,” said Ralph. “They are interested in learning where to cast and which fly to use. I meet them where their skills are at and where they want to get to by the end of the day.”

With beginners, he starts with basic casting instruction and practice, for kids, he talks about entomology and points out where the cool crawfish are.

“A good angler knows how to adapt to different circumstances and step up to the challenge of 20 knot winds in your face, extreme weather conditions, and when the water is too high or too low,” he said. Clients often want to fish at the worst times (in the middle of the day in the summer) so trusting in Ralph’s adherence to high standards and his ability to adapt is vital to experiencing that dream flyfishing experience they’ve been hoping for. HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 51


For one couple, it was the wife who really wanted to learn, but the husband (who was just along for the ride) who had all the luck.

“He did exactly what I told him to do, and despite his wife having the better spot, he probably caught nine fish that day. It wasn’t two minutes after he’d hooked up and I landed the fish for him that he’d hooked another one. It’s true that how tense your hand is on the rod really does transition down the line,” said Ralph.

“After some decent drifts, the wife asked to switch spots. We kept working and at the last cast, she hooked one! After all that build up, she hauls the fish in, the rod fully bent over, when suddenly all that energy is released, the fish comes flying toward her face, and she falls back into the shallow water.”

Ralph, ready with the net, caught the fish and said to her, “You’ve now been baptized into the fly-fishing community. Welcome to the club.”


In addition to leading you to the fish, it’s Ralph’s knowledge and personality that make him a great guide. Offering couples 3hr wading, 6hr or 8hr floating excursions, he works with other guides to accommodate larger groups.

Supplying all the fishing gear and equipment, he also brings beverages and snacks, and provides lunch (with ingredients from local markets) when requested. He also invites clients to bring their own coolers, wear sunglasses, sunscreen, and proper clothing.

This August, the Savage Angler’s tackle shop adjacent to the Battenkill’s public access point, 4012 State Rt. 22, in Salem will be open Saturdays and Sundays. Located in a 75-year-old renovated garage, the shop’s interior has been constructed from reclaimed wood, and features new flooring, windows, countertop, and terminal tackle including flies, tippets, and leaders. The parking lot is being extended and the attached home will be available as a vacation rental for 3-day, 2-night adventure packages. SS

For more information, go to


Patricia McBride-Friesen

BRINGS THE splendor of french salons TO SARATOGA

For Saratoga resident Patricia McBride-Friesen, the secret to happiness lies in surrounding herself with things she loves . . . like music, literature, and enlightening conversation! Since April 2018, this gracious supporter of the arts has been hosting Literary and Music Salons in her personal living room and rooftop terrace, inviting guests to experience the arts in a truly unique and intimate setting.

Drawing from the Capital District’s wealth of talent and the countless creatives who visit our regional venues, McBride-Friesen works year-round to schedule vocalists, instrumentalists, ensembles, and bands to perform for her warm and welcoming audiences. “My radar is always up,” she says, “searching for new performers and speakers. I’m continually planning and scheduling upcoming seasons.”

Literary events abound, too, including talks by well-known academics, novelists, poets, cartoonists, and investigative journalists. In 2021, when the pandemic struck, McBrideFriesen quickly pivoted to create SalonZ by Zoom. Thrilled to discover that these online events were being enjoyed by people throughout the States and abroad, she decided to continue her SalonZ programs indefinitely.

McBride-Friesen patterns her modern-day salons after the 17th century French Salons, gatherings organized by aristocratic French ladies to encourage intellectual life through robust conversation, literary criticism, and political discourse. “I’d always been fascinated and intrigued by salons and the endless possibilities they might offer. Gertrude Stein held salons in her Paris apartment and hosted amazing authors and artists, including Hemingway, Picasso, and Fitzgerald.”

McBride-Friesen’s very first Literary Salon, christened Literature & Libations, featured author Lawrence Dudley and his debut novel, New York Station. A year later, singer/ guitarist Tim Wechgelaer headlined her first Music Salon. “After seeing my friends’ positive reaction to my literary salons, I reached out to Joel Brown, former Music Director at Skidmore College, and asked if he thought I was crazy to consider doing music salons. Joel loved the idea and has performed for us several times, both with the Finger Lakes Classical Guitar Quartet and as a duo with fellow singer/ guitarist Dave Maswick.”

Originally from San Antonio, TX, Patricia McBride-Friesen moved to Saratoga County in 1980. “My passion for the arts

WRITTEN BY WENDY HOBDAY HAUGH | PHOTOS PROVIDED BY PAT MCBRIDE-FRIESEN Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys make the good times roll at Pat’s.

and literature has developed over the years,” she muses. “I wasn’t really raised to appreciate those areas, but I made sure my two sons were exposed to the arts, played instruments, and developed an appreciation for the arts. I am not a writer or musician—I cannot read a note of music! But I am an avid supporter and lover of musicians and authors of all genres, and I have a passion for bringing people together and making creative community connections.”

Since 2018, this dedicated, innovative organizer has hosted over 175 salons, with many more to come. “The experience of organizing and hosting my salons,” she notes, “has far exceeded anything I could have imagined six years ago.”

Typically, each Music Salon attendee is asked to contribute $20, all of which goes to the performers as an honorarium. Over time, however, McBride-Friesen has become keenly aware that many musicians travel great distances to attend her salons. “One even comes from Brazil,” she explains, “and I feel they all deserve greater compensation for their willingness to share their talents with a small group, out of the pure love of performing their craft. To bolster my Music Fund and help defray these travel expenses, I am planning a special fundraising event.”

On Friday, June 14th, from 4-8 PM, McBride-Friesen will host an unforgettable night of Cuban music on her enchanting rooftop lounge under the stars. Worldrenowned musicians Jorge Gomez, keyboard and vocals, and William A. Rodriguez, percussion and vocals, will headline the event. Both musicians are members of two bands: Tiempo Libre, the 3-times Grammy-nominated AfroCaribbean band founded and directed by Jorge Gomez, and Alta Havana, Gomez’s Saratoga-based Cuban band.

A VIP Social Hour from 4-5:15 PM will feature a special signature cocktail created exclusively for this event by Lisa Elovich, founder of One with Life Tequila. VIP tickets are $35 per person. General admission ($20 per person) opens at 5:30.

To learn more about upcoming salons and Pat’s special music fundraiser, call (518) 223-3077 or email

“I’ve asked local businesses for donations for a number of really exciting drawings,” McBride-Friesen enthuses, “including a music-themed beaded bag from Heidi West’s Lifestyles of Saratoga, a $150 gift certificate to Brendan Dillon and Dennis Kiingati’s Hamlet & Ghost, and a $300 guided tasting for two at The Bocage Champagne Bar, courtesy of owners Zac Denham and Clark Gale.” Tickets for these and many other prizes will be available for $10/1, $15/2, and $20/3. Winning tickets will be drawn by Jorge Gomez and William Rodriguez following their 6 PM performance.

So, why not start off your summer season with an amazing musical adventure in a star-studded Saratoga setting?

On June 14th, head to Patricia McBride-Friesen’s rooftop paradise to enjoy two world-class musicians . . . and the world’s most welcoming hostess! SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 55
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Good Together:Summer, Live Music and SPAC Jazz

The 47th Annual Freihofer’s Saratoga

Kick off summer with good times and great vibes as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) welcomes back its iconic Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30.

Enjoy craft beer, tasty eats, a fine arts fair, family fun and of course, two full days of incredible live music in a beautiful park setting. With twenty-two artists spanning jazz to roots, funk, blues, pop, indie and beyond, the festival will bring its signature blend of world-class artists and ensembles, solidifying its place as an international destination and the ‘can’t miss’ weekend of the season.

“Our 2024 festival has a record number of female headliners, all among the most exciting musicians in the industry today. From young, new sensations like Laufey and Samara Joy, who are bringing jazz to the next generation, to beloved superstars like Norah Jones and Rachael Price, dynamo lead singer of Lake Street Dive, this year’s line-up is over the top with powerful female presence,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

The line-up is co-headlined by the spirited and joyously soulful Lake Street Dive, multi-GRAMMY winning singer and pianist Norah Jones, 25-year-old Icelandic-Chinese singer-songwriter and TikTok sensation Laufey, and “silkyvoiced rising jazz star”(New York Times) Samara Joy.

Music icons returning to the festival include jazz and

blues legends Stanley Clarke with his exciting new band N*4Ever, which is a celebration of his long-time collaborator Chick Corea and their time together in Return to Forever; seven-time GRAMMY winner, two-time Oscar nominee and Opera composer Terence Blanchard with his Sextet, performing the music from his 2005 GRAMMY nominated album Flow, and blues guitar virtuoso and vocalist Coco Montoya. Representing the next generation of jazz talent on the stage is captivating composer and drummer Yussef Dayes, fan-favorite jazz pianist Joey Alexander who will celebrate his 21st birthday at the festival, 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and jazz pianist and composer Helen Sung, and GRAMMY-nominated jazz violinist Sara Caswell.

Bringing the party are electrifying Afro-Cuban and funk bands including progressive R&B artist Cory Henry, AfroCuban rockstar Cimafunk, The New Orleans Groove Masters featuring Herlin Riley, Jason Marsalis & Shannon Powell, GRAMMY-nominated Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez with his band for his fifth festival appearance, and hard-grooving, soulful crowd-pleaser Olatuja, which reunites Alicia and Michael Olatuja in music.

In addition to two non-stop days of great music on two stages, guests can peruse a fine arts and crafts fair full of local and artisan made items, get their posters or albums signed by artists, and enjoy expanded food and drink options like New Orleans-style BBQ, an oyster bar, new vegan offerings, Filipino Street Food, craft beer, specialty coffee, and more. SS


festival is back

Tickets and additional information can be found at Children 12 and under are free on the lawn and 50% off in the amphitheater. Performances will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29 and at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 30. HOME & GARDEN 2024 SIMPLY SARATOGA | 57
Cimafunk Lake Street Dive Laufey Norah Joy Samara Joy Stanley Clarke Terence Blanchard Yussef Dayes

Local Real Estate GOES NATIONAL


During the 10-year anniversary season of American Dream TV, local realtor Caitlin Cucchiella became the positive voice of the Capital Region in the Emmynominated, nationally broadcast ADTV television program striving to educate, empower, and engage entrepreneurs in the property and finance markets.

In February, Cait’s premiere episode garnered its highest number of views ever, catapulting Cait into the exclusive “Million Views Club.”

“I’m super excited and honored to be the host for the Saratoga market, and to showcase businesses, beautiful homes, and the lifestyles of who I meet and know. I’m also excited to learn about the businesses, charities, community events, and restaurants that I don’t yet know exist,” she said.

For the premiere, Cait highlights one of her favorite places in town to shop and eat, inviting the audience to elevate their expectations at the amazing Franklin Square Market, 55 Railroad Place, in Saratoga Springs. Then, to revel in the architecture and history of 5 Franklin Street, the renovated private residence of Cait’s former clients and the original location of the renowned Clinton Street Hotel.

In April, we saw the perennially pleasing Congress Park and met designer Jennifer Marcellus, owner of the chic Miss Scarlett Boutique. In addition to showing off some of Jennifer’s designs in the episodes, Cait wore them at the Franklin Square Market viewing parties celebrating Saratoga’s appearance.

“I just love her designs,” said Cait. As an extra incentive to visit her shop at 19 Phila Street, when ADTV viewers mention “RECAIT”, they’ll receive 10 percent off their purchase.

The next episode, debuting at the end of May, will feature Cait's $1.2 million timber frame home in Saratoga with stunning views of Loughberry Lake, staged by interior designer, Andrea Masterson, owner of 3 Eleven Home, and a visit to 46 Marion Ave. for the standout quality of Kru Coffee.

The American Dream TV airs on major cable networks, digital, and social media channels. Episodes featuring Saratoga life and culture, hosted by Caitlin Cucchiella, air every other month. To learn more, go to SS

Caitlin’s TV PremieresWatch & Newly Released Saratoga Segments at Franklin Square Market. Photo shoot for Rising Star Article on Caitlin Cucchiella, A Top 100 Agent featured in Real Producers Magazine.

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60 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOME & GARDEN 2024 493 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.584.3543 HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 61 437 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.450.7025 @unionhallsupplyco
62 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOME & GARDEN 2024 438 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.450.7350 Ca rolin e AN D Main HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 63 lifestyles {}
436 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 518.584.4665 @lifestylesofsaratoga
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HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 67 Let Us Show You Around... H&G
Randall Perry Photography



Architecturally SPEAKING HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 69
Follow us as we explore some of the area’s unique spaces...
Randall Perry Photography

A Cleverdale Gem


Welcome to all my readers.

What an honor to be “hosting” Architecturally Speaking for my own project. I love writing my Simply Saratoga column, Colleen’s Picks, for each magazine along with many interior design articles to educate my readers…but my depth of interior design is so much more. When Chris Vallone Bushee, the Creative Director & Managing Editor for the magazine division of Saratoga TODAY stepped into my latest project during the photo shoot, she insisted that I share this undertaking with my readers. As a contributing writer, she handed me the wheel. It’s quite humbling to share this story with all of you, my readers. In my passion for creating beautiful homes for my clients, this gave me the opportunity to pause and reflect.

Let me introduce you to The Cleverdale Gem and its owners, Steve & Dee Haraden.

Cleverdale Living

My client, Steve Haraden, grew up in Lake George, spending many hours at the Lake; Cleverdale was his fun-in-the-sun home. His parents met in the mid-1940s while their parents were spending summers at the lake and loved sharing their lake life with their children. In fact, he confessed that on occasion, a boat ride was the means of transportation to school in a pinch!

As a single dad of two boys, Steve decided to buy a slice of Cleverdale for himself in 2012.

“The old camp was built in 1920. It didn’t have a true foundation, only cinderblocks with dirt below. I fixed it up a bit by replacing the subfloor, installing a new kitchen, and knocking down many of the dividing walls to open the space for easy living. It was all a temporary band aid.” states Steve in recollection of his original purchase. After he and Dee…a single mom of two more HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 71

boys…were married, they knew that the Cleverdale location would be the perfect summer respite to retire once the kids were established and on their own. BUT… some changes needed to be made.

It was a knock down, start over kind of plan

Some of the challenges facing the original structure were aging electrical, cramped spaces, and mostly, the view was more of the boat house than the lake itself. It was time to start over. The house was

torn down and a new set of plans were crafted by Dean Howland and built by his son, Jake, of Howland Construction. With the project starting from scratch, the Haraden’s knew they wanted help with the interior and exterior selections…they wanted to get everything right…that’s when I was invited to become part of their dream lake home endeavor.

In reflection, Steve noted, “We were looking for a contemporary Adirondack style and you grasped our vision right away. We were impressed with your

knowledge of how a home should function. You had excellent working knowledge of plumbing, lighting and even the details of proper storage in the kitchen! You brought to the table what your average homeowner wouldn’t even think of.”

…Dare I say, I’m blushing. But, this is what interior design is to me…To capture the essence of my client’s personality and lifestyle and create environments for their life. A personal touch that can’t be replicated. HOME & GARDEN 2024 SIMPLY SARATOGA | 73

Change the View

Dually noted, Dean Howland’s approach to the design of the house was magnificent. “The original house sat only 22 feet off the water. If we moved it back, we were able to go a bit higher. This elevated their first-floor view above the boat house, capturing endless views of the lake and the mountains in the distance.” Take a look for yourself…breathtaking!


Satisfying a need while putting a stamp on it

There are so many details that need to be ironed out when building a home. I hope you had the chance to read my article, “The Value of Interior Design,” in last year’s Simply Saratoga FALL, the Showcase of Homes Magazine. It actually gave a sneak peak of the Haraden’s home through construction drawings that highlighted all the responsibilities of an interior designer for their client. In this home, I was able to have a little fun adding special details that truly put their stamp on this family home. The impressive main sitting room called for an authentic

wood burning fireplace with custom builtins on either side. Hewed of walnut, the mantle was fashioned to gracefully ease into the face of the side shelves, creating a sense of unity from one end of the room to the next. To ensure a true hand-crafted finish, my mill shop, Meunier Woodworks out of Granville NY, added surface joinery at each plane intersection to capture the genuine meaning of craftsmanship for this family home.

Just above, rather than spotting the ceiling with recessed cans, I designed a layout of LED strip lights to be installed within the ceiling beams to cast light softly from the

ceiling rather than bathing in it. “We get endless compliments,” remarked Dee. In the kitchen, subway tile was not top of my list…my Made in the USA tile source just so happen to have a tile in the shape of an “H”…with a little convincing, and a big nod from the boys, the Haraden signature has now been marked for generations to come. Dee also reminded me that one of her wishes was to have a dream island; as big as I could fashion from one piece of stone…Done!…And with no wasted room just below that beautiful countertop! Extra deep drawers were crafted to house silverware for a HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 75

crowd, dishes, glasses arranged in individual compartments, endless room for Tupperware and lids and a drawer microwave! Just under one ledge of the dining overhang, I installed deep pullout cabinets to keep less often used items, but ones that she wanted at the ready instead of burying in a closet somewhere, never to be found again.

As a surprise for Steve, a sailor at heart, Dee had me sketch a compass rose that was etched into one of the slate pieces of the mudroom floor, centrally located under the pendant above it. And yes, pointing due North! (see these photos and more at!)

Atop the main staircase resides the hall bathroom shared with a guest bedroom via a walk-through shower area. I was inspired by the dimensions of the room to craft

an elongated trough vanity where grandkids would one day line up to brush their teeth together before heading off to bed. The dual waterfall faucets spoke to the feel of summer splashing fun while the hammered polished nickel sink nestled itself within the white oak cabinetry below, echoing the timeless notes of the Adirondack woods. The cross and star hand crafted tile glazed in crackled blue and green added a touch of playfulness over a more expected selection.

In the master suite, the private bathroom was detailed to reflect the needs of the masters of the house. With a long slender space to work with, I designed a hand crafted walnut floating vanity that stretched the length of the room, concluding with a tower for additional storage. The openness below expanded the sense of space. Hand crafted circular


mirrors were carefully placed so both Dee and Steve could properly utilize the vanity without compromising symmetry. To add a nautical touch, the streamlined faucets were artfully mounted over glass carved bowls that brought the essence of water to a whole new level. For the shower, a steam option was desired, but the space was not large enough to add a full bench. Just our luck, the chimney enclosure for the fireplace below just so happens to reside on the outside wall, adjacent to the shower stall area. This provided just enough room to create a large niche where I could incorporate a lift-up teak bench for two when needed. With the use of authentic boat seat hinges, luxury was not sacrificed over size. But what about the steam generator? That had to be accessible…no worries. It’s well hidden within the lower bottom “drawers” of the dressing table just to the right of the shower stall. With a little tug, the generator is fully exposed for repairs.

As we progressed with working through the details of each room, we had a bit of a debate over a small room just across from the master suite. Steve was looking forward to an exercise room while Dee swooned over a large walk-in closet. Well, in the end, it was decided to be an office space

which could double as a guest bedroom…and one day…a hide away for the grandkids to watch TV removed from the adult clamor. Just lower the room darkening shades and let the movies begin!

Down the guest hallway, the laundry alcove was hidden away across from a large window overlooking the main entrance to the home. I envisioned a window bench with nautical lights above for a cozy reading nook and soaring barn doors to contain the chore of laundry from sight. To draw your eye down this hallway, custom painted oars with playful geometry and bright hues connect to the pillows atop a navy-blue cushion that beckons the homeowners to sit for a spell. Who knew waiting for laundry to dry could be so restful!

The guest bedrooms each had their own individual feel. The larger rear room is appointed with a private bath. The oak vanity detailed with book matched woodgrains sets the stage for the hand-crafted ship’s wheel with mirror above. To add the sense of water to this back room, ogee-dropped tiles both on the floor, and within the shower, were installed in varying layouts to create the feel of being on the water even though the view was a bit removed. The bedroom came


together with the inspiration of highlighting the long wall with wallpaper. A custom headboard was upholstered in InsideOut faux leather for its durability, yet authentic in touch, to pair nicely with a leather recliner adjacent to the bed. Another long builtin bench offers a restful view of the lake while an antique Taylor trunk sits just below an original printed map of Lake George by New York Central Lines depicting the railways to the Adirondack Mountains.

In the lower level, which leads to the lake, it was all so important to the Haradens to have a space that would function for gatherings with friends and family. Having a bar—complete with all the kitchen amenities— was not only a want, but needed, as the hike upstairs to the main


kitchen would become wearisome when entertaining. Undercabinet appliances, well hidden from sight, keep the space airy yet function as efficiently as the main kitchen. A speak easy styled mirror was crafted behind the open shelves to bring depth and drama into this corner bar area.

When I first reviewed the plans for this level, I noted a row of 4 large windows that needed to be broken up to better designate each area. I discussed the idea with the Haradens to use the same stone we selected for the exterior foundation and bring it inside to suggest that possibly they retained the original basement and built up. From there, the sitting area would be defined by angular planks on the wall, divided into sections to create an architectural feature. This singular large space in the lower level now found intimacy without disrupting the open feel they longed for. It also lent itself to incorporating a built-in “loveseat” with shelving, side tables and a little surprise…you see, that loveseat backs up to the staircase leading to the first floor. With the desire for additional sleeping quarters in the lower level, I designed a queen trundle bed that pulls out from beneath the staircase…and voila! In addition, the cozy built-in bench just to one side of the fireplace houses all the bedding needed as well!

“One of our friends dubbed it the Grotto!,” Steve remarked as he was recalling a recent gathering.


I know, you’re wondering where the true basement area is? See that Bees Ranch sign? That was a favored pub of Steve’s family when he was growing up. When it closed down, Steve acquired the signage. It was a perfect size to frame and turn into a hinged door allowing access to the area we all affectionately called the “Scuttle Hole,” dubbed by their builder, Jake Howland.

History remembered

Just as this home will be passed to the next generations, in the same vein, it was important to remember who taught Steve to sail, enjoy family and continue the heritage of running the family business…his dad. The two loved sailing together, so as a memorial, I suggested commemorating his legacy by adding a tiled rug of his sail cloth number into the lower-level bath floor. When the next generation asks what the number means, it’s an opportunity for storytelling and memories to come alive!


Classic or Organic

When it came to the lighting, I presented the Haradens with two options…Classic or Organic. Steve took one look at the hand crafted fixture for over the dining table and declared…

“Organic!” He was in love! In the end, we used mostly organic fixtures for the main floor and master bedroom and mixed in nods of nautical pieces and copper fixtures for the exterior to melt together the two ideas which ultimately speak to the lake as a whole.

The Jewels of a Home

As I said before, there are so many decisions that go into making a house a home, right down to the final details such as pillows, drapery and cabinet hardware. When I asked the Haradens for their reflection on the finished selections, Dee stated, “It’s a Lake Life Theme, great palette, and the look we wanted to achieve. Soothing, welcoming, open with a cozy feel overall. It all flows nicely, and every room blends well.” That’s music to a designer’s ears. “It’s a home that’s very special to both of us. Who knows if we could have done this by ourselves.” SS


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

What an exciting time of year! I know it always seems like the winter is so long, but when that sun starts to shine and the days get longer, Saratoga starts hoping! I love seeing everyone downtown; the stores are filled and our favorite outdoor dining decks are up and humming with people watchers. Ready for another season of Horses? This year we have the Belmont Stakes to get ready for in June…so what are you waiting for… let’s go shopping!


Impressions of Saratoga has just brought in the best outdoor serving and dining set I’ve seen in a long time. The Racing Dishware Collection is colorful, fanciful for our area and perfect for patio and poolside entertaining. The Platter, serving tray, dishes and even the coffee mugs are all made of melamine. I was totally fooled until I touched it. The whimsical artwork, available in cocktail napkins too, is by Susan Winget, an artist whose work had been seen at major National Venues such as the White House and Colonial Williamsburg! Be sure to start your personal collection before they become history! And if you’re like me, my assortment of candles has vanished, but fear not all my soy burning buddies…a new wick is in town, Shop Local Candles by Ella B. Candles! Made in the USA with the finest 100% pure soy wax, each scent is reminiscent of our own Saratoga and the memories we make such as Health, History and Horses… which I just took home…divine! You can also find other aromas such as Saratoga Tack Room, Spirit of Life, Broadway Stroll and Canfield Casino! Grab one for the house and one to give away!

368 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | 518-587-0666

Susan Blackburn Photography


398 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | 518-583-3600


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

785 U.S. 9, Latham | 518-785-8555

With a quick summer stroll, you’ll head right to Silverwood Gallery where they offer original Tom Myott paintings. My eye was drawn to one of his pieces, Track Hats, with a gold frame and slight linen mat. The colors range from bright yellow and reds to violets topped with apricot accents. All the while, you sense the anticipation of these ladies as they await their chosen horse to finish the race ahead of the others. When you hang your Tom Myott painting, you may just want to compliment it with a Bit Strapped Pillow in blue and white linens. The center brass bit is beautifully framed with a black linen background and bound on each end with linen strapping. A simple “Saratoga” motif goes a long way!

Now, I can’t go into the summer months without showing you the latest and greatest for my outdoor cooking friends. Wait ‘til you get your hands on the new EVO Professional Wheeled Cart and Grill at Earl B. Feiden Appliance! The surface is a 30” circular black, oil seasoned steel cooking extravaganza! It has two circular cooking zones, one on the outer edge and the other at the center which are controlled separately. This miracle of a cooker will allow you to sauté, braise, flattop (Plancha) grill, pan fry, roast, poach, steam and toast! Unbelievable!! Where was this genius of a cooker when I was renovating my kitchen?! With 48,000 BTUs, you can start imagining the recipes that are possible! And no worries, the cook surface has a quick release top and drip pan to make clean up a breeze! If you’re more into adding color to your back patio, take a look at the new Hestan Outdoor Built-in Grills in Colors! And its not all about the looks…these grills deliver the highest performance in cooking with patented ceramic infrared top burners for searing, finishing and cooking including a rotisserie. Their Trellis Burner™ provides high-performance power with greater heat coverage and precision control while the DiamondCut™ grates create a superior grilling surface and greater heat distribution. So much so that this grill earned the VESTA Awards for Best in Gas Grills and Best in Show! You just might want to check it out for yourself! HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 89

On the softer side, Curtain & Carpet Concepts just updated their Kaleen Rug display to feature the new indoor/ outdoor rug Boca Collection, a P.E.T. Polyester fiber made from pieces of recycled plastic containers…very ecofriendly. These jeweled toned, flatweave rugs are hand-loomed in India making each a unique piece of artwork. Soft enough to take on kids for the interior but tough enough to endure the fun of family gatherings all summer long!

Finishing Touches is always a delight to visit with its tasty fudge collection and homemade ice cream shop. Next time you stop by for a cone, pop inside the shop and pick up one of these musthave Fun in The Sun 70” x 90” Mega Blankets. Perfect for days strolling in Congress Park or an impromptu picnic at Yaddo Gardens…One of my favorite spots to take my kids for summer photos. The best part, the blanket is water resistant so damp grass won’t spoil your outing! For the indoors, I just had to include these Floral Bouquet Pure Soy Candles in a votive trio. Not only do you have floral scents for your home, the packaging is plantable, containing seeds which will blossom into a garden! Now that’s a summer gift that gives twice!


46 Marion Avenue #7, Saratoga Springs | 518-886-1389


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



2570 U.S. 9, Malta | 518-899-6222


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

Just down the road at Accents at Allerdice, they just collaborated with artisan Aaron Jackson known for his rough metal sculptures first sold in Australia. Featured in the shop is this hand-crafted Butterfly Lighted Sphere. The delicate interplay of each butterfly was inspired by the many natural surfaces Aaron found on his worldly travels. It’s so much more than a light fixture, it’s a hanging sculpture! And for underfoot, the rage has been Vinyl Rugs! Allerdice is featuring the Artful Home Floor Mat of Sunshine Flowers in various sizes. Easy to clean, fade resistant, allergen-free and lies flat to reduce tripping in high traffic areas. Need a little colorful boost on the floor, well, head over to Accents to see what all the craze is about!

I’m heading back outside for one more grill thrill…The XO 40” Grill & Cart XLT at Marcella’s Appliance. This 68,000 BTU of awesome power has 4 heavy-duty Tubular Stainless-Steel Burners, offering full coverage to your cooking interior. The top rack is versatile for baking and roasting but can swing up when not is use. Halogen lights aid in cooking for late night burgers while blue LEDs backlight the controls and offer a dramatic accent to your outdoor cooking experience. Having a large crowd, no worries…with 872 square inches of cooking, you have plenty of room for a variety of meats and roasted vegetables! And for my cooking enthusiasts who insist on organization, there’s a built-in utensil hanger and bottle opener. The chef has to stay hydrated!

Are you going to be ready one month earlier this year? If you even question your senses, be sure to stop into all our wonderful local shops to prepare your home for the coming summer events. You can never start too soon…

Until next time my friends, HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 91 SS
Certified Kitchen & Bath Designer Certified Aging in Place True Color Expert @cmcdesignstudiollc “Creating Environments for Life” TM
Coleman of
Design Studio LLC

What’s Trending at High Point Market 2024

MY FRIENDS, DO YOU KNOW THERE’S A DREAM LAND, right in North Carolina, where all interior designers and shop owners visit twice a year to buy goods to showcase to you? This is the mecca of furniture and textiles…its known as High Point Market. I have just returned from stomping out 20,000 steps a day to shop for my clients and bring you the highlights of my trip. Buckle up, wait ‘til you see what I found!

Fabrics & Leather

Immediately noted was a greater source of high-performance fabrics being used on furniture, even the quick ship, high volume pieces. So many stools, chairs and benches are being covered in varying hues of white & beige fabrics to easily fit the bill for a project…but now the fabric on readyto-order pieces can withstand a wine spill and ketchup drips.

Linen fronted cabinets were a luxurious surprise both visually and tactilely. It’s beauty in a subtle way…adding a woven uniqueness that pairs well with a grass cloth walls or the simplicity of linear grained wood. And all that on quick ship items in lieu of custom pieces.

Natural vibes definitely keep showing their best side in fabrics of lush botanicals. Large scale prints create drama and leave room for more subtle elements such as pillows or blankets. Don’t be afraid to add that one piece to set the tone in a room!

For Leather, cognac has been at the top in the last few years but we’re now seeing more pieces upholstered in navy blues. I love a good blue leather sofa, which I’ve traditionally custom ordered in the past. Now these classic leathers hues are being offered as an off-the-shelf option. And don’t forget, InsideOut fabrics come in a faux leather, meaning…you can have leather pieces outside or the durability of outside fabrics in leather indoors! I recently crafted a custom headboard with Arcata Faux Leather from Thibaut at a lake house. No worries about wet hair in bed but the look is so authentic!

fabrics of lush botanicals

Wood & Case goods

Wood furniture is always going to be welcome in the home, however, we do cycle between different woods taking the lead as trends change…these days, walnut and oak hold our attention. This Market, I found more natural pieces with fissures and grain variations in ready to order pieces that create a custom look without the high-ticket price… There’s a continued return of beautiful woods, book matching and grain play which sings to my soul as a custom cabinet and furniture designer. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to make every piece for all my clients, but sometimes picking up a ready-made piece fits the budget and brings the project to completion ahead of schedule.

Green is also showing its force in case goods. Take for instance this beautifully detailed chest of drawers finished in a green stain with gold accents and tapered legs. The grain of the wood is just peeking through, giving this chest a sense of sophistication. Other playful colors on the scene were noted in a shagreen leather of green and chambray. Go ahead, be bold in your living space with a little contemporary flair! Okay, let’s pause… educational moment…

I know many of you have heard of Shagreen but have no idea what it is. Here’s the bottom line… Shagreen is a texture made of natural hide from mostly dogfish, shark and stingray. It’s sought after for its unusually rough and granular surface. But fear not my animal lovers, there are many faux shagreen items on the market today!

Old world caning is back and I’m loving every weave! Indoor and outdoor pieces were abounding. This is a lost art. Many pieces are now woven by machine; however, the juxtaposition of delicacy and strength has always made it one of my favorites! HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 93

Black, black & more black!

If you love black elements for your home, this market was filled with selections right up your alley! Whether black is a balance to green elements, a classic combination, or complimenting woven or wooden features, the composition is striking! It’s been said you need one piece of black in each room to ground it and focus your eye. Well, this year, there’s lots to choose from!


In lighting, the natural element theme continues with woven rope beckoning me back to the days of macrame but with an elegant sophistication when mixed with a modern metal accent. Glamour through nature is also achieved in this stunning chandelier by fusing arching brass stems with small white glass leaves. The meticulous process alone mimics natures beauty of uniqueness in all things. French wired lamps seemed to be prevalent, in large and petite, shelf sizes. This means that the wire is extended directly from the bulb socket rather then being fed down into the belly of the lamp and out the back at table level. The cord is usually wrapped in a cloth offering a finished look complimenting the fixture rather than being an element to hide. Color is also strong in the lighting industry as manufacturers are beginning to offer a full spectrum of opportunity from the big paint companies, we all love and adore. Here colorful, floral pendants hang in an array of hues, showcasing their flair to the stem and ceiling canopy. In the same vein, outdoor lighting is brought to life by accenting the back plate in an endless palette of color adding personality to your home’s exterior! LED lighting has also opened avenues of possibilities for design. With the slightest of lights, glass can now be infused to echo a sculpture and create artwork where a fixture was merely purposeful. Dedicated LEDs are now becoming more of the standard in new light fixtures entering the market. These streamlined fixtures do not require a bulb…ever. You simply install them and they’re ready to go. Be sure to always review the kelvin, lumens and CRI values of the fixture before purchasing to ensure the illumination coordinates with your other lights in the house. If you’re not sure of these values, read my article “Illuminated” previously featured in Home & Garden 2022 starting on page 80. simply_h_g_2022_issuu


With light bulbs slowly being replaced by concealed LED tape, technology is upping the ante at High Point Market as rechargeable & dimmable bulbs were introduced specifically for petite lamps. Use them on a shelf, add light on a side table where an outlet is not available or take them outside. Check out my Instagram post @cmcdesignstudiollc on April 23rd to see it working on the showroom floor!

And lastly for lighting, look at these modern outdoor lanterns that are rechargeable! WHAT?? They use reflective light to softly illuminate the outdoor spaces. If you’re anything like me, you have battery operated candles and lights throughout your yard that make the evening glisten in delight for firepit chats. But with the cost of batteries escalading, wouldn’t it be nice to simply recharge your power source when needed?

Sphere Shape palooza

The sphere shape has been used in interior design for ages. This is not new but there seems to be an explosion since the ever-popular Kelly Wearstler Linden Lamp hit the market a few years back. High Point Market was filled with fun décor from sphere edged floor mirrors, to 3-dimensional Tic-Tac-Toe boards and a subtle sphere ring foot on this new ottoman introduction. SPRING 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 95
lighting continued

Hand woven rugs, Alpaca

& Oversized pillows

I was in love! Being very partial to hand made everything, I couldn’t get enough of the woven products abounding at the Market. I was a nubby-aholic! Many of these area rugs were available in endless colors making my design possibilities endless! And to top it off, with the use of recycled materials, these soft weaves were also available in indoor/outdoor formats. I even spotted artwork created from the original study of designing a handwoven oriental with hand dyed wool fibers attached to express the depth of color suggested in the blueprint. And fun, fun finds with near lifesized Alpaca’s and the abundance of large scaled alpaca wool pillows and throws.

Accessories & general overall findings

Other items that caught my interest were recycled hardcovered books from libraries that were repurposed into artwork. What a great conversation piece for an office or great room shelving! Sassy too! And what about these eye-catching marble carved dresses on a stand or the large scaled purse? Fabulous pieces to create a fun atmosphere in a large dressing room! Ceramic pieces also came to life as they echoed nature, embodying a delicacy that caused me to pause and desire to run my hand upon them. And a bit of a surprise hit me and my shopping companion, Stephanie Salway, as we made our way from building-to-building, finding references to Georgia O’Keefe works of art. It made us chuckle a bit like school girls at the abundance…but then again, this is what’s trending!


Behind the Scenes

I hope you loved this excursion from High Point Market! Keep your eyes out for these pieces to arrive in stores or call me if you just have to get your hands on something! And be sure to follow me on Instagram to see all my upcoming trips as I explore new areas of design in 2024! SS

Until next time my friends, HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 97



IIn the current economy, people are flocking to fixer-uppers, with local property enthusiasts, Ethan and Elizabeth Finkelstein, pointing out just where to find them.

n May, the premiere of the HGTV program, “Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House?” with hosts Ethan and Elizabeth Finkelstein, showed millions of Americans the unconventional dream home of two scenic artists in Whitehall, NY.

“Whitehall had its share of struggles; issues with water, businesses staying afloat, a lack of jobs, but now they have a spectacular environment downtown, ripe with opportunity and beautiful bones, it’s really amazing,” said Elizabeth.

The magical transformation of a $99,000 firehouse into a gorgeous home the community can be proud of is just one of the local properties featured in the program’s eightepisode season chronicling the emotional highs and lows of renovating older homes.


In 2016, the Finkelsteins started an Instagram account, Cheap Old Houses, to showcase America’s hidden property gems (for under $100,000). Born out of CIRCA, a curated online real estate marketplace founded in 2013 featuring everything from tiny cabins to sprawling multi-

million-dollar estates, Cheap Old Houses inspires the once disillusioned to purchase and preserve historical fixer-uppers. Hundreds of people have purchased and restored homes they saw on the Instagram feed and in the e-newsletters.

“It was a fun thing we decided to do - that during the pandemic - spun out of control,” said Elizabeth. The account also gave the couple something they’d been missing – a real sense of community.

Today, Cheap Old Homes has more than 2.8 million followers while CIRCA Old Houses has become a National Trust of Historic Preservation listing partner garnering two million page views/month.

Said to be “hacking the housing market” the Finkelsteins’ online presence spawned a newsletter; two other nationally-broadcast television programs; appearances on programs including the Drew Barrymore Show, Good Morning America, and the Daily Show; as well as features in publications such as Architectural Digest, Forbes, House Beautiful, and the New York Post.



Before immersing themselves in preserving properties across the country, Elizabeth, who grew up in an old home in Glens Falls, became enamored with local architecture, earned a Masters in Historic Preservation from, then taught at, Pratt Institute, and worked to preserve NYC’s East Village row houses and landmarks.

Through her experience, Elizabeth discovered that when areas under stress are reclaimed and restored, they eventually become the most desirable places to live in the city. Saratoga Springs has undergone a similar transformation.

“Saratoga really was the first historical downtown I ever knew, and I fell in love with it,” she said.

Today, the couple lives just 25 minutes from Saratoga and with so many affordable homes available in the Capital Region, all of the “Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House” episodes have been filmed within an hour and a half of the city.

“Saratoga is where we live, where we play - it’s all things for us,” said Ethan.


After working for years to create a “more beautiful digital world” as the Creative Director of Color + Information in Brooklyn on accounts including L’Oreal, Mariott, Jeep, and Viacom, Ethan said he was feeling burnt out. Now, having traveled the country and has become “mega-famous,” Ethan said filming “Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House” in the Capital Region and helping first-time homeowners (like they were when they started out on this journey) feels like a full-circle moment.

“Many times, what we create digitally goes out into the ether and disappears after. Moving over into the physical environment (and working with dozens of brands to assist homeowners) then being able to drive by with my son or a friend and see what we’ve accomplished, is an amazing feeling. It gives permanence to the work we do on Instagram, which is often so fleeting.”

Cheap Old Houses: An Unconventional Guide to Loving and Restoring a Forgotten House, released in October 2023 featuring a collection of restored homes across the country, showcases the 1795 Danascara Place, a Montgomery County home bravely rescued five years ago, on the cover. The book is a resource that’s “very evergreen,” said Elizabeth, who was also a real-estate contributor to Country Living Magazine for eight years,

The Finkelsteins’ next book signing, July 20th at Owl Pen Books, 166 Riddle Road, in Greenwich, includes a tour of the property’s circa 1800s farmhouse. To reserve tickets to this event,, go to https://www.cheapoldhouses. com/book. Cheap Old Houses can also be found online and at local bookstores including Northshire, Battenkill Books, and Barnes & Noble.

For more information, follow Cheap Old Houses on Facebook, Instagram, and go to https://www. SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 99
Cheap Old Houses Cheap Old Houses Stephanie Munguia Stephanie Munguia Stephanie Munguia Stephanie Munguia



people own something of sentimental value, they are sometimes unsure of how to pass it down to their family for future generations to enjoy. This is especially the case with a vacation home or camp that has been in the family for years.

Example: You own a beach or lake-front vacation home for years in a now sought-a er area. You have seen your children (and grandchildren) grow up there and recall memories of watching sunsets over the water, roasting marshmallows over a camp re, and teaching the kids how to swim. It may be di cult to think that this home will be sold out of the family when you die and would like to preserve it for enjoyment of generations to come.

• How can you best insure this property will be there for future generations to enjoy (and at times cohabitate), as your family tree grows or in future a er your passing?

• Who will be responsible for paying the Insurance? Taxes? Repairs? Maintenance? Fees?

• Who decides which family members or friends use it and when?

• What impact would future divorces or bankruptcies have on the property?

• How can you protect the property from a Medicaid spend down?

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While all of your children enjoyed the vacation home or camp growing up, some may no longer live in the area or use it on a regular basis. Other relatives may also like to use the property when it is not in use. If you leave the vacation property as part of your estate and divide it among the children without thinking of the particulars, the risk is that the joy will be replaced with future disputes about the future and use of the property. Some of your children may not want to pay to maintain an asset they rarely use. ose that do want to keep it may not be able to a ord to buy the others out. It can also create sibling squabbles when it comes to its use, cost of repairs or allowing non-family members use the property.

To alleviate your concerns, there are a number of Estate Planning options you should consider for the transfer and management of a vacation property.

Transferring a Vacation Home to the Next Generation

You can always transfer the property to one of more children during your lifetime, or leave it as a bequest upon your death. However, this “direct” or outright gi ing strategy comes with many risks and potential tax implications. Since no one can predict the future, your family’s vacation home may become a part of future divorce proceedings, bankruptcy, lawsuit or probate. Without proper planning, a vacation home may need to be sold to pay for long-term care costs. e asset may now also be counted for purposes of college nancial aid. Worse yet, due to second marriages or death, the house may be inadvertently inherited by in-laws and not stay in the family.

7 Southwoods Boulevard Albany, New York 12211

Phone: (518) 465-7581

Fax: (518) 462-2743

ere may be a better legal solution that might work for your family. Several options include:

· Co-ownership. Ownership among family members could include being tenants in common or joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Risks above may still apply, especially if siblings do not get along.

· A Trust. With the property held in trust, it may be sheltered from future divorces, an unforeseen bankruptcy, a child who needs public bene ts, becomes disabled or in case of their unfortunate death, while simultaneously keeping strategic tax bene ts. A er your death, the property could continue to be managed within the trust.

· A Limited Liability Company (LLC). e LLC can own the home and would be managed by its members or an independent property manager. e rights and responsibilities of the members are spelled out in the LLC operating agreement. An LLC can contain speci c provisions on the use of the property, sharing of costs, and the transfer, inheritance or selling of member interests. An LLC helps centralize the management function for the property.

Any structure for ownership of vacation property should account for the possibility that eventually, the family may no longer want to own the property, it has become cost prohibitive, or receive an o er that they can’t refuse. Whether it be a modest cabin in the Adirondacks, a beach house along the Jersey shore, a condo in Florida, or a ski chalet in the Swiss Alps, a plan needs to be in place.

If your dream is to keep your cherished vacation home in the family for years to come make sure you have created a plan.

(518) 462-2743 HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 101 David A. Kubikian, Esq. David A. Kubikian is a Partner at Herzog Law Firm PC with locations in Saratoga Springs, Albany and Kingston. Go to or call 518.465.7581 to request a free 1 hour consultation. ALBANY,
OFFICE Corporate Woods
KINGSTON, NY OFFICE 130 North Front Street Kingston, New York 12401 Phone: (845) 338-6405
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60 Railroad Place #302 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Phone: (518) 465-7581 Fax:
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with the help of


The all-time record – most energy EVER on a reveal – my heart is full!
– George Oliphant, host, NBC’s “George to the Rescue”

You know that feeling when you think you are being punk’d?

That’s how I felt the day a producer called me for the 15th season of NBC’s hit home renovation series “George to the Rescue,” with host and contractor George Oliphant.

The project was to refresh the art room and outdoor playground of Hope 7 Community Center in Troy, NY, which supports low-income families with a food pantry and safe, joyful resources for children ages 5-15 years old.

All the work needed to be completed in three weeks, with all material and labor donated. We had to coordinate with the city, meet code requirements, reroute kids, and somehow keep all of it a surprise. The success of this project was in my lap, and I needed to move quickly.

One of the beautiful truths to our region is that our construction community is strong, and we are all tied together in some facet. I am so proud of our design/ construction community for stepping up to help one of our own. It is a great example of how this area comes together to build each other up. Bravo Capital Region!


Transforming the two-hundred-year-old Hope 7 Firehouse started with a computerized rendering of the modern, clean, organic design. Accentuating the building’s bright, natural lighting, both the Art Room and the Playground feature three pod layouts.

Now brimming with versality, the Art Room renovation began by replacing the carpeting with luxury vinyl flooring. Secure shelving and coordinated wicker baskets optimize storage. The durable, easy-to-clean surfaces are

designated by energy-efficient motion-sensing LED strip lighting and oversized bamboo shade pendants. After National Grid conducted an energy audit, mini-splits and smart thermostats were installed to help the non-profit community center further control energy usage.

Inviting inspiration, the Art Room’s clean design exudes warmth with blank canvas white walls, black metals, and wood furniture. The preserved moss walls (natural art that help with sound absorbency), add pops of sage green into the space which features a centralized teacher’s desk, rounded tables, an interior wall work station, and a standing station.

Outside, the narrow 16’ x 67’ playground was transformed into a cleaner, healthier space for creative exploration that inspires a sense of pride in the entire community. The old, dirty, rubber mulch was removed, new landscaping, and new turf added. Wall murals illustrate the building’s heroic history, while the sandbox, climbing area, performance stage, planter boxes, and outdoor play items uplift and enrich the children’s experience.

In addition to National Grid employees volunteering to help with the Hope 7 Community Center renovation, a $50,000 gift through National Grid’s Project C Program will help them further their mission of bringing hope to more families in Troy’s East Side neighborhood. SS



all here!


The New Face of the Trades

Instead of college, today, more top students (male and female) are choosing a career path into the trades.

The justification that school teaches you about life, not about work, sent so many more kids to college than into the trades, that today, we have vast numbers of adults prepared for nonexistent jobs, while available job openings remain unfilled.

The Northeast Construction Trades Workforce Coalition (NCTWC) is working to change that by introducing students to the trades as early as second grade.

We live in a rapidly evolving knowledge economy with increased automation and global competition, where the number of openings for those with advanced degrees is significantly smaller than the number of jobs available not requiring that level of education.


Top scholars and athletes like Alex Dominguez felt pressure to go to college from adults and peers who viewed entering the trades as “just something to fall back on.”

The best possible outcome when choosing between college and career and technical education (CTE) helps children find their passion, AND their profession.

“One choice isn’t better than the other,” said NTCWC Coalition President Doug Ford.


Alex Dominguez had been on the engineering tract but after graduating from Saratoga Springs High School in 2023, he knew after just one semester at Clemson University that he was on the wrong path.

“I felt like I was sitting on the sidelines and wasn’t as engaged as I anticipated,” said Alex. “So, I stepped away from engineering and gravitated toward the trades and construction. Then, I took a leap of faith and connected with Doug Ford and the Coalition.”

By January 2024, the Coalition had arranged for Alex to participate in multiple day-long job shadowing opportunities with construction contractors. After this experience, Alex was offered employment at Munter Enterprises in Clifton Park (whose portfolio of commercial construction projects includes Druther’s Brewing Company, the Saratoga Regional YMCA, and Rocksport in Queensbury, among others).

“It’s really been awesome. They’ve taught me a lot,” said Alex. In addition to witnessing the fruit of his labor first-hand, Alex is learning creative problem-solving skills and how to work in a team environment. He is developing transferable skills including steel erection, carpentry, drywall, drop ceiling, insulation, and window installation. As a field laborer, he is an extra set of hands on-site while pouring concrete foundations and performing floor renovations. In just a few months, he has already had the opportunity

to operate machines and learned a bit about electric and plumbing, as well.

“For anyone hesitant about the trades, I’d say to them, you’re making assumptions without really knowing. You don’t have to be a huge body-builder and do crazy things. It’s more about being flexible with what you think you’re able to do. People have an idea about themselves and put themselves in a box, thinking they can’t work outside, or are afraid of getting dirty, but it changes your perspective when you give it a shot. You learn you’re a lot more capable than you might assume,” said Alex.


In research published by the National Library of Medicine, those with CTE are more likely than those with other forms of advanced education to belong to economically disadvantaged minority groups, participate in unhealthy, risky behavior, and be exposed to psychological distress, leading to higher rates of disease and an increased risk of mortality.

Ford feels that while unhealthy lifestyle choices may be more visible among those working in the trades, they are just as prevalent in other industries, especially with workers that aren’t seen often, as with employees who work remotely.

Alex said he’s looking forward to growing his skills, getting to know about how job sites work, and being the best he can be for his team and for the project at hand. “I want to learn all the skills and be immersed in field work, but I’m also interested in other avenues, like becoming a leader,” he said.

Other forms of education also don’t have the level of engagement built-in, that Alex has experienced after just a short time working with the Coalition.

“Mr. Ford and the Coalition haven’t just set me up, he checks up on me, invites me to events, and wants to educate more young people like me that this is something a lot of people can be interested in,” said Alex. “It’s really an amazing program. You’re being set up for success. They really want you to grow and flourish.”


Industry Mixer Promotes the Trades

Attendees Ginny & Arthur Zobel, Zobel & Co. Kitchens

In April, the Saratoga Builders Association (SBA) and Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association (CRBRA) celebrated the launch of the Northeast Construction Trades Workforce Coalition (NCTWC) with 200 industry professionals, local leaders, legislators, and community members at Clifton Park’s Hilton Garden Inn.

Originally founded in 2018 as the Capital Region Workforce Development Coalition in response to the shortage of skilled construction workers, the organization has already educated hundreds of students, as early as 2nd grade, about viable employment prospects in the trades.

Those in attendance at the event enjoyed updates on the Coalition’s progress promoting careers in the trades at local schools and heard from speakers, including student Alex Dominguez, who participated in job shadowing opportunities and found successful employment through the program.

Special guests, including Assemblywomen, Carrie Woerner and Mary Beth Walsh; Saratoga Springs Mayor, John Safford; and Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett, were also at the joint mixer to show their support.

PHOTOS BY THERESA ST. JOHN Photo No. 1: NCTWC Board Member Dr. Denise Fernandez-Pallozzi and her husband. Photo No. 2: Assemblywomen, Carrie Woerner and Mary Beth Walsh, joined by Pam Stott, Executive Director, NCTWC, Doug Ford, VP Public Relations & Purchasing, Curtis Lumber and Barry Potoker, Executive Director, SBA. Photo No. 3: Photo No. 4: Matt Whitbeck, NCTWC Board V.P. and Owner Whitbeck Construction and Julie Putzel, JMP Interiors Photo No. 5: Simply Saratoga Editor in Chief Chris Vallone Bushee with Saratoga Mayor John Safford
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Photo No. 6: Very well attended!


Beginning in 2018 as the Capital Region Workforce Development Coalition, the program is the brainchild of Curtis Lumber’s Vice President of Public Relations Doug Ford, and former executive assistant Pam Stott.

According to the Department of Labor, there are more than 60,000 job openings in construction every month across the nation. The shortage of skilled construction trade workers is felt locally, as well. Engaging with contractors every day who were looking for labor, Ford and Stott realized that to fill these jobs more education was needed informing students about the trades.

“We did significant research in the early years to really understand the problem and found that school staff and counselors didn’t have the tools to talk with students about the trades. As an industry, the trades historically have not been in the schools educating and promoting themselves.”

Through the program, hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students became involved in presentations, career day expos, business, and work site tours, connected with job shadowing experiences, and participated in hands-on builds.

Students discover that the pay for those working in the trades is higher, the jobs more secure, and the work safer (and less physically demanding) than they previously assumed. Technology, science, math, and design are all part of today’s trades work.

Continued on Page 110 » HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 107
Everyone recognizes the common goal of the need for labor in the trades.
—Pam Stott, NCTWC Executive Director ” “

Photo No. 1:

Prospective tradeswomen learning about the automotive industry at the F. Donald Myers Education Center for Women in Trades Day in 2023.

Photo No. 2:

Maya Wiskoski, a student from Whitehall in the power sports technology program, shows how to take apart a Briggs & Stratton engine and put it back together.

Photo No. 3: Women in Trades Day at the F. Donald Myers Education Center in December 2023. 100 girls from 12 school districts engaged in hands-on activities.

Photo No. 4:

Amelia Shattuck, a student from Queensbury in the construction trades program in front of the 8’x12’ shed she helped to build with her class for the SoBro Conservancy. The SoBro Conservancy will be planting three large beds full of native, pollinatorfriendly perennials and shrubs in May. The shed will house the garden tools, hoses, and the brains of a timed drip irrigation system.

Photo No. 5: Women in Trades Day at the Southern Adirondack Education Center in December 2023. 100 girls from 12 school districts engaged in hands-on activities. Seen here is a prospective tradeswoman in the power sports technology program learning how to take apart a Briggs & Stratton engine and put it back together.

Photo No. 6:

A prospective tradeswoman learning to change a tire in the automotive technology program.

Photo No. 7: Prospective tradeswomen practicing rafter layout.

1. 2. 3.

Breaking Barriers: WSWHE BOCES Empowers Women to Explore Traditionally

The Washington-Saratoga-Warren-HamiltonEssex Board of Cooperative Education Services (WSWHE BOCES) Women in Trades initiative is focused on narrowing the skills gap and encouraging young women to enter the trades, in particular traditionally male dominated fields such as automotive technology, auto body repair, construction trades, environmental conservation & forestry, heavy equipment operation, HVAC-R, industrial and performance machining, power sports technology and welding.

“We recognize the value young women have in meeting the workforce demands of our region; and we are not alone. Through a collaborative effort with our component school districts and business partners, WSWHE BOCES has put a focus on recruiting, retaining, and supporting young women in the trades. Our hope is to encourage young women to see themselves in non-traditional programs by creating opportunities for them to experience the trades with a fresh perspective,” says Jared Davis, director of career and technical education at WSWHE BOCES.

Since the 2021-22 school year, over 500 students have participated in engaging hands-on activities that educate and inform female students about the earning potential, career opportunities and educational resources that are available to them. Another 100 adults have been involved in Employment Training for Adults expos over the past three years. Sixty business partners have contributed to the overall effort in some way.

It looks like the efforts are paying off. So far, the initiative has resulted in more than double the enrollment of female students in traditionally male trades.

Male Dominated Trades

“We have grown from about 21 female students in 2020, to currently having 55 female students enrolled in these programs,” says Davis.

Businesses are also taking advantage of the program. Just ask Kate Mancini, the Parts and Service Director at Saratoga Honda.

“Collaborating with WSWHE BOCES and engaging in Women in Trades events has proven to be immensely beneficial for Saratoga Honda. Through these initiatives, we have successfully recruited female talent for our service department and provided mentorship opportunities for women seeking to enter the automotive industry.”

From the beginning of the initiative in 2021, WSWHE BOCES also sought to inspire other BOCES to make a difference in this area through webinars, workshops, and social media.

“It is exciting to see BOCES all over New York State now highlighting young women in their traditionally male dominated programs,” says Davis.

WSWHE BOCES administrators are also working in collaboration with the Northeast Construction Trades Workforce Coalition to develop a middle school summer camp focusing on Women in Trades.

“We have learned that by making an intentional effort to show young women what is available to them, we can make a difference,” says Davis.

→ Parents and students who are interested in Career and Technical Education programs should talk with their school counselors about their options for enrolling. To learn more about Women in Trades, visit apps/pages/WomenInTrades HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 109
4. 5. 6. 7.


Initially sponsored by Curtis Lumber and the Saratoga Builders Association (SBA) the Coalition now has expanded to include 50 organizational and business participants and works with more than 40 schools and several colleges.


Rachel Wilbur

Women at Work

More women than ever are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities in the trades. Through financial assistance provided by the AnnMarie Mitchell Legacy Fund (named in honor of the former CEO of Legacy Timber Homes) women interested in advancement in the industry are awarded apprenticeships, childcare, tools, and training. The fund has also helped further initiatives by the Northeast Construction Trades Workforce Coalition including a program with six schools and six companies building six sheds in just five hours.

“They used power tools, really got in there, and were doing it. They loved it,” said NCTWC Executive Director Pam Stott.

In May, an all-female vertical garden building event took place with girls in grades 10-12 at the Whitbeck Training Center in Gansevoort. The finished projects will be for sale at the Capital Region Parade of Homes in June.

“Just go to college, you’ll figure out what you want to do while you’re there,” is a statement students like Rachel Wilbur have heard, and often.

Homeschooled through 12th grade, Rachel was working at a farm when she joined the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex (WSWHE) BOCES Employment Training for Adults (ETA) program to study automotive technology in January.

“I walked in with zero experience. I knew basically nothing, but they made sure I walked out with more knowledge and experience. I’d 100-percent recommend them to anyone,” she said.

“I’d encourage kids to take time after high school and not jump right into college if they don’t know what to do,” she continued. “Take a few years. College is very time-consuming and very expensive – those aren’t things you’re able to get back. Make money until you figure out what you want to do. It will help you out in the long run. There are so many options out there.”

Rachel enjoyed the hands-on teaching style at WSWHE BOCES, and never felt overwhelmed, spending just three hours, twice a week, taking two classes.

“I had great teachers and at BOCES they took the time to make sure I understood what I was doing before sending me out. It’s one of the best ways of learning.”

After graduating in March, Rachel began working at Saratoga Honda as a Technician-in-Training. By fall, she hopes to be an Express Technician performing oil changes and tire rotations on her own.

As the only girl in her electrical class, Rachel said she never felt out of place.

“Thankfully, I chose a trade that’s very, very, very accepting of women,” said Rachel. “In class, they never treated me any different and were just so nice and welcoming. It made me comfortable enough to come back.”

At Saratoga Honda, Rachel works with several other women, including her boss.

“They’ve accepted me with open arms,” she said.

The WSWHE BOCES offers Adult, Career and Technical Education, Early College, and Enrichment courses. In their continuing education programs, students obtain the skills necessary for careers in the skilled trades. Classes include welding, commercial driving, computer skills, machining, and a variety of healthcare disciplines. For more information, go to

Continued from Page 107 » 110 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | HOME & GARADEN 2024

To reflect their expanded reach, the group was recognized as a 501(c)(6) in March and officially relaunched in April as the Northeast Construction Trades Workforce Coalition.

“We didn’t know how it was going to grow and didn’t anticipate its growth to expand well beyond Saratoga County,” said Stott, the Coalition’s Executive Director. “Our membership includes professionals and businesses from various sectors including competitors within the industry. Everyone recognizes the common goal of the need for labor in the trades.”

Another important component of the Coalition’s mission is improving the visibility of trades in government.

“Legislators have done a 180, they didn’t realize the significance of the problem,” said Ford, who has worked to help identify workforce development as a legislative area of focus and brought students to meetings with legislators and lobbyists in Albany so they can hear from the children directly impacted by the issue.

“Housing is fundamental to any community and comes on the backs of the tradespeople. How a community flourishes comes from the trades. Housing is extremely critical to the dynamic fabric of any community and education in the trades are a key part of that,” said Ford.

Continued on Page 112 » HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 111

Full STEAM Ahead

Driving elementary and middle-school interest in STEAM activities, student teams from WSWHE BOCES construction, autobody repair, welding, and new media classes have been renovating a retired school bus, transforming it into a mobile learning lab to be revealed at the 2024 Showcase of Homes this fall. Modeled after the successful Queensbury Union Free School District “Q-munity Bus,” this mobile classroom will be equipped with incredible hands-on learning spaces where students can get excited about the trades, and subjects including applied mathematics, robotics, coding, and more.

Check out this PAUL FREDERICK video for a new look at “The Trades”

Determining how to replicate the successful model they already have in place so that it may be expanded into more of the region requires a significant level of commitment, he said.

As a nonprofit, the Coalition will now also need significant resources from sponsors.

“The costs associated with this are significant. There are real costs and money being spent. We’re going to need help financially moving forward.”

For more information, go to SS



Hello my Foodie Friends!

The beautiful weather is here, and it is time to enjoy the Great Outdoors. We have a tremendous summer ahead in Saratoga Springs. Our fabulous city carries the motto of “Health, History, and Horses” and our summer season truly reflects these three key areas. The energy level in the city rises with SPAC events, the ballet and orchestra, a season of world-class horse racing, and of course, shopping and eating in our beautiful downtown!

Everyone loves to cook outdoors during the beautiful weather season. I think you would agree it's always lots of fun to cook outdoors, since everyone loves to get out of the kitchen and outside to prepare a delicious meal. When I think about cooking outdoors, I am reminded about one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie. I love John Candy, especially his role in the movie “The Great Outdoors.” I still laugh when I think about the “Ol’ 96er” scene in the movie; this amusing scene involved the star’s attempt to consume “a 96-ounce prime aged-beef steak” — and earn his crowded table a free meal. The scene includes the challenge of eating this much steak and Candy’s “meat sweats” and the gurgling distress that Dan Ackroyd hears beneath his friend’s stomach. This movie scene remains one of my all-time favorites. I think of it every time I cook outdoors! But there are other reasons I enjoy cooking outside… The scent of dinner sizzling on the grill and the joy of eating in the open air — cooking and dining outdoors are simple summer pleasures that deserve to be enjoyed. When you are cooking outside, preparing dinner is part of the fun instead of the chore that keeps you holed up in the kitchen alone. Family and friends can easily hang out and chat with whoever is stationed at the

grill and can pitch in by prepping sides or gathering plates. With slow-cooked barbecue being an option for outdoor grilling, there are also grilling options to fall into the quick-cooking category. Think grilled veggies, kabobs, and burgers — it’s so easy, there’s no reason you could not cook dinner on the grill most weeknights, especially if you have a quick-to-heat gas grill.

Below are some fun BBQ items that you can use for your next BBQ.

BBQ Grill Mats (reusable): The grill mats help to maintain grill marks and keep foods’ natural juices and flavor. The mats prevent food from falling through the grill grates. You can always have a clean grilling surface. Just place the grill mats on the surface of the grill and put the food directly on the grill.

Tongs: The use of tongs for outdoor grilling can help you maneuver your food on the grill. Not only will a good pair of tongs make for a much more enjoyable outdoor cooking experience, but it will make the whole process much easier, too. You can use tongs to flip burgers, chicken, steak, sliding veggies around, or turning items you make have on skewers.

Instant-read thermometer: named because it gives a temperature reading very quickly, an instant-read thermometer is an essential food safety and sanitation tool. An instant-read thermometer consists of a stainless-steel stem that serves as a temperature probe, and either a dial or a digital readout.

Grill cleaning brush: Grills work better when the surface of the grill grates are clean of food and carbon build-up. This means brushing the grill surface after every use. Using a nylon brush can help to not damage the surface of the grill grates.

Skewers for Kabobs: One tool that can help those who are firing up in the backyard is the skewer. Creating food on a stick offers the ability to be creative and to offer various food choices for your family and guests. Serving food on a stick is not only convenient, but it’s also fun! Skewers


Sticky Ribs


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.


• ¼ cup light brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon onion powder

• 1 teaspoon paprika

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• One 3-pound slab baby back ribs

• 2 cups BBQ sauce

2. Combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.

3. Place the ribs on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal, then place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the dry rub all over the top of the meaty side of the ribs. Wrap the foil around the ribs and seal tightly so that no juices can escape during baking. Bake until the meat is tender and can easily be pulled away from the bones with a fork, about 2 hours.

4. Heat the BBQ sauce in a small pan over medium heat until warm. Remove the ribs from the oven and open the foil pack. Remove the ribs from the foil and pour any juices that have accumulated into the BBQ sauce and mix to combine. Continue to simmer the sauce until thickened, about 7 minutes.

5. Heat a grill or grill pan for cooking at medium-high heat.

6. Slice the ribs into 1-bone pieces. Brush all over with the BBQ sauce. Place the ribs on the grill and cook until grill marks appear, a few minutes on each side. Brush with more BBQ sauce and remove from the heat, then serve with the remaining BBQ sauce on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh at

can be made of bamboo, flexible stainless steel, or stainless steel. Finding the right skewer for your grilling mission is key, since skewers come in a variety of lengths and shapes, with handle embellishments and smart features.

BBQ tool sets and tools that include: Grill Spatula, Grill Tongs, Grill Basting Brush, and Grill Meat Spear.

Let’s BBQ together this season and enjoy the Great Outdoors. Stop in and share your stories, even the disasters! There are always times when everything doesn’t go perfectly. As in the movie, I’ve had my share of disasters, but the good times are worth it. At one point I did not have a mustache (for a reason!).

Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, located at 33 Railroad Place. We are Saratoga Spring’s true kitchen essentials store, for your culinary needs. Quality tools for Quality results! We have an assortment of cool tools for grilling. Remember my Foodie Friends that: “Life Happens in the Kitchen or around the BBQ grill. HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 115
Care, John & Paula SS
Here is a delicious recipe. It may not be the “Ol’ 96er” but it is a fantastic outdoor recipe to serve.


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

Feeling Fresh!

THERE IS SO MUCH TO LOVE about this time of year, especially the availability of fresh herbs! You can easily find an awesome variety of them at the local farmers’ markets and stands in and around our fabulous “Spa City.” They are fun to grow as well, be it a few pots on your windowsill or tucked into your garden.

Fresh herbs are a must-have in my kitchen, especially when I want to wow my guests with something fabulous and delish. These culinary treasures add flavor and visual appeal to party foods and cocktails too.

Yes, I did say cocktails too. Such is the case with my latest signature tipple, the Barb Perry Basil & Blueberry Cocktail. You can’t help but feel good when you’re with our friend Barb Perry. Her lovely smile, kindness, and positivity are contagious. She is a phenomenal cook as well, and I admire her attention to fresh and seasonal ingredients. Every summer Barb bakes the most delectable berry crisps, and that, along with her appreciation for fresh herbs inspired this drink recipe. The flavors of blueberries, basil, lime, and elderflower liqueur are showcased in this cocktail that can be enjoyed “up straight” or “on the rocks.”

Now for a few herb-enhanced party noshes to go along with your Barb Perry cocktails! My Herbed Cream Cheese and Almond Spread is so delish and so easy to put together. It presents well too, dressed up with a sprinkling of fresh herbs, sliced almonds, and a drizzle of olive oil. Even better you can substitute plant-based cream cheese or hummus for a vegan option.

Most of us don’t think of strawberries when we think of salsa, but that’s what you will find in my Strawberry Salsa Fresca. Fresh cilantro and Italian parsley contrast deliciously with sweet strawberries, while jalapeno pepper adds just enough heat to this novel take on classic salsa.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. As I always say, have fun in your kitchen cooking (and making drinks!) for the people you love and remember... it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to taste good! SS

This is Barb... aka: Mrs. Randall Perry!!
The Barb Perry

Basil & Blueberry Cocktail

• 1 ounce of basil flavored vodka. I like Square One Organic Basil Vodka

• 1/2 ounce of Elderflower liqueur

• 2 ounces of blueberry juice

• 1-2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice

• Fresh basil leaves and blueberries to garnish


Pour all the ingredients into an ice filled cocktail shaker, pop the lid on and shake it like crazy. Strain into a martini or coupe glass to serve up straight, or an ice filled “rocks” glass or small tumbler if preferred. Garnish with a few basil leaves and float a few blueberries on top. Here’s to Barb!


Strawberry Salsa Fresca

• 2 cups of fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and diced

• 1 small jalapeno pepper minced

• ½ half cup diced red onion

• 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro

• 1/4 cup of minced fresh Italian parsley

• 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

• 1 tablespoon of agave nectar

• 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice


In a medium size bowl combine the first 6 ingredients. Stir in the agave nectar and lime juice. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.

Herbed Cream Cheese and Almond Spread

• One 7.5-ounce tub of whipped cream cheese

• 1 garlic clove crushed

• 1/4 cup of minced fresh dill mixed with

• 1/4 cup of minced fresh Italian parsley

• 1/4 cup of sliced almonds

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

• 1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl mix the cream cheese, garlic, and ½ of the mixed herbs. Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl and smooth the top with a small spatula or back of a spoon. Sprinkle the surface of the spread with the remaining herbs and sliced almonds, and drizzle with the olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables. HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 117

FUTURE OF FARMING investing in the

While most other farmers around these parts have their noses to the wind, Max Poritzky, cofounder of Foothills Farm, has his in his phone - he controls the entire farm from there.

From his phone, Max supplies the exact blend of nutrients, light, humidity, CO 2, and wat er his crops need at Foothills Farm. Working with a team out of Boston, he’s developed recipes for growing lettuce, leafy greens, and herbs in a setup that looks almost out of this world.

“It’s like farming inside the international space station but with gravity,” he said.

Foothills Farm, located on 28 acres in Greenfield, is concentrated into a 40ft metal shipping container purposebuilt by Freight Farms. This climate-controlled box enables crops to grow year-round, regardless of the weather.


At the hydroponic Foothills Farm, having more control over crop production results in plants proliferating faster, more consistently, and in larger yields than those grown with traditional methods. This type of farming is pesticidefree, weed-free, and uses 90 percent less water (leaving a smaller carbon footprint).

Max and his wife and co-founder, Nikki, both have extensive backgrounds (and continue to work in) the nutrition, health, and wellness field, but were looking to downsize and travel less, so began researching hydroponic farming five years ago.

“Our business acumen, rigor, and forecasting skills are certainly rare. We both grew up in nutrition science and have worked to bring nutrition and wellness into the everyday lifestyle,” said Nikki.

After purchasing this property from Max’s father, they moved into the home on the property while, with the HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 119

assistance of Farm Credit East, invested their entire savings into the delivery and setup of growing facilities, the solar power and electricity infrastructure. By late fall 2023, Foothills Farm launched.


Once the system is properly adjusted and the door opened, the first thing you see walking into this container farm is the nursery where supplies, calibrating instruments, and replacement parts are kept. Here, too, are harvestable Reishi mushrooms from The Mushroom Shop, LLC in Salem, producing CO2 and cutting down on the number of CO2 canisters needed for homeostasis.

As many as 600 seeds/week are planted in peat moss and coconut plugs here. After germinating for two weeks, they are transplanted into four 7ft. vertical sliding walls, each containing 22 panels (creating ¾ mile of linear growing area).

Here, thousands of red and blue LED grow lights, medical-grade peristaltic pumps, and recirculating lines

monitor, and precisely adjust for the optimum level of light, water, minerals, and nutrients for herbs, four lettuce varieties, several types of leafy greens, and specialty crops (like radishes and watercress).


Currently, Red and Green Oak Leaf lettuces are Foothills Farm’s best-sellers, followed by basil, and mustard greens. They’ve invested in a nice crop of microgreens and are considering adding Asian greens, like Bok Choy, in the future.

“We’ve done significant research into plants that are healthy, flavorful, nutrient-rich, and that thrive in this environment. The flavor profile is quite rich, a premium product for our customers to enjoy,” said Max.

Foothills Farm cuts down on packaging by selling in reusable bins directly to local restaurants, including Hamlet & Ghost, Scallions, Brook Tavern, Kindred, and Farmacy in Glens Falls.


“Farmacy is one of the best culinary experiences in the area. They say to me, ‘You be the creative genius at the farm, and we’ll be the creative genius in the kitchen,’” said Max.


“It’s very symbolic to come back to my roots where I grew up and to be setting down roots for my family here,” added Max.

Even the Poritzkys’ children, now ages 11,13, 20, and 26, help with the business and find the flavor of this healthy food enjoyable, said Nikki.

“It’s a marriage of business, health, and sustainability,” she said.

Having access to well-balanced nutrition (that isn’t dependent on the seasons yet remains hyper-local) is also a priority for some Skidmore College students, which is why Foothills Farms is happy to be working with Skidmore in several capacities, including having an intern onboard to

learn about these new technologies (while helping defray the farm’s labor costs).

In addition to the substantial startup capital needed, electricity bills, constant monitoring, and labor involved, there are other roadblocks to contained environment farming.

“It’s not a perfected science by any means,” said Max. Because the farm is assembled with parts from multiple different countries, syncing them is a challenge, and already, the control module has needed replacement, as has the condenser fan - twice.

Looking to troubleshoot with others and grow his local connections further, Max said because of the type of farming he’s doing, expertise exists mostly online, but adds, “We see lots of opportunities. We want to know everywhere we can plug in, and we’ve been investing with that in mind.”

For more information, go to HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 121

Homesteading 101

As the new Nutrition & Resource Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga County, I’m elated to be developing, implementing, and assessing public health nutrition programs throughout the county to improve overall quality of life! My background focuses on public health/chronic disease prevention, public health nutrition, and community outreach.

I have always been amazed by how powerful eating healthily can be to support our overall health status! Nutrition impacts every aspect of our lives,

from feeling our best, to showing up for our loved ones, to enjoying more of everything life has to offer! Ensuring we are fueling our bodies with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals through the foods we consume is essential for optimal health, both physically and mentally. Being aware of where our food comes from, incorporating local and seasonal ingredients is another key aspect our programs strive to raise awareness about.

As part of this flourishing community, please look for our nutrition program updates to promote health and prevent disease through workshops on healthy


eating and cooking. Upcoming programs will focus on food preservation, such as our upcoming homemade jam class this summer during berry season, holistic nutrition topics to help prevent disease, including the health benefits associated with cooking with herbs, in early Fall, as well as childhood obesity prevention initiatives that focus on cooking skills, including our “Kids in the Kitchen” cooking class this September! Additional nutrition classes will focus on obesity and chronic disease prevention, addressing Diabetes, and the positive health impacts associated with the Mediterranean Diet. Assisting the homesteader will continue to be a vital focus to connect us with our food, bring a sense of freedom, and enrich our lives in terms of sustainability and family traditions.

Updates will be provided on our CCE Saratoga County Website, our CCE Saratoga Nutrition Instagram “ccesaratoganutrition,” as well as our Facebook page. If looking for readily accessible/sharable recipes, please visit our ‘CCE Saratoga Nutrition’ Instagram page, as recipes will be posted on select Fridays. All recipes will focus on healthy, easy, great tasting recipes to support your health, celebrate humanity, and integrate into our community.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga County also offers programs and low-cost workshops for a variety of essential topics to enhance our community! For home gardeners we have our Master Gardener Program, where for a minimal fee, gardeners can have their soil PH tested for optimal growing conditions. For farmers, our agricultural department consults with small-scale and large-scale growers to enhance their productivity. And the 4-H Youth Development program strives to help youth become competent, caring, and contributing members of society by way of diverse, hands-on learning experiences. CCE Saratoga County also hosts The Capital Region Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM). Educators are available to coordinate invasive species management, deliver education, and establish early detection and monitoring networks for invasive species amongst other key functions. SS

For more information regarding our programs please visit Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga County’s website at www. and connect with us! Or call (518) 885-8995. HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 123

Secret Gardens Tour

Maureen Nest loves being in the garden. She loves flowers that attract bees and butterflies, and plants that remind her of her childhood. She loves tucking tomato plants in unexpected places among perennials.

Simply put, she says, “I feel very comfortable playing in the dirt.”

“People have lost touch with the earth,” Maureen says. “I don’t want to sound off the wall, but kids don’t play in the dirt anymore.”

Getting out in the sun and down in the dirt makes you stronger, helps your immune system, and is good for the soul, says Maureen. Her eclectic garden is one of 11 that will be on the 29th annual Secret Gardens Tour presented by Soroptimist International of Saratoga County on Sunday, July 14.

Maureen’s garden is testament to what can be accomplished in small spaces, a theme of this year’s tour – although expansive secret gardens on the tour are sure to inspire as well. Many of the gardens are designed to attract pollinators and are focused on edibles just as much as flowers. Some owners do all their own gardening, while several achieve their goals with a combination of sweat equity and professional assistance.

Just outside Saratoga Springs, new garden features unfold each year all around the generous suburban property of Sharon Finch and her husband, Jack Chapman.

Their garden transformation began about six years ago when Sharon was looking out the window of her home office. “I’d love to see a garden and a waterfall,” she told Jack, whose career as a home builder and carpenter came in more than a little handy.

For this initial project, Jack worked with garden consultant and artist Susie Kane-Kettlewell. “Susie made him take all the rocks down

The photographs on these pages show a small sampling of the gardens on the July 14 Secret Gardens Tour.

Carriage House Lane Marvin Street HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 125
Carriage House Lane Spring Street Marvin Street

and do it all over,” Sharon says. “It turned out really nice.”

The waterfall garden was finished, but Jack was just getting started.

Evidence of Jack’s imagination and expertise is everywhere: a trellis that leads to a koi pond, (where a stone bench allows visitors to sit and enjoy the music of falling water), a little sitting area looking onto a shade garden, bird feeders, a patio, a deck, and a firepit.

“It’s hard to hold him back,” says Sharon, who enjoys the fruits of Jack’s labor. Whether looking out her office window or relaxing in a backyard sitting area, Sharon says she feels “fortunate. Blessed.” And, she adds with a laugh, “Spoiled.”

Sharon has years of experience as a Soroptimist, including a stint as chair of the hard-working committee that organizes the Secret Gardens Tour. Founded in 1979, the nonprofit Soroptimist International of Saratoga County is part of a more than 100-year-old international organization whose mission is to improve the lives of women, girls, and their communities. The one-day, self-guided tour is the local club’s sole fundraiser. (Visit for ticket information.)

The club’s keynote program is Project Hope and Power, provided in partnership with Wellspring to help domestic violence victims in Saratoga County obtain financial and legal independence. The organization also funds scholarships for women and girls seeking to further their education, and recently introduced a two-day program for area high school girls to build skills and self-confidence.

Last year, between ticket sales and sponsorships, the Secret Gardens Tour raised about $40,000. “The success of the event rests first and foremost with the generous people who show their gardens,” said Joette Delaney Drum, a cochair of this year’s tour committee.

Gardens for the tour come to Soroptimists’ attention by word of mouth and, more often than not, by club members walking and driving around and knocking on the door of homes where gardens look promising. Sometimes members have their eye on a particular garden for several years before the timing works out. Such was the case with the sprawling, park-like secret gardens of Karla Austen and Pamela Perry, barely a mile from Saratoga Springs’ bustling Broadway and yet a world away.

Spring Street

Behind Karla and Pam’s impressive home are rolling lawns with terraced upper and lower gardens, a kidneyshaped pool, ornamental trees, shrubs and perennials, and a picket-fenced vegetable patch. Enter the lower lawn and gardens from a central English bluestone staircase or, alternately, from large fieldstone steps framed with a hand-hewn Adirondack-style fence and handrail. Stands of Norway and blue spruce frame views to a meadow line, accentuating specimen flowering trees and beckoning to other rooms of the landscape that meet the wings of the house. It’s abundant, elegant, and relaxed, all at once. HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 127
Ash Street Ash Street Ash Street Ash Street Ash Street Phillip Drive

Good things on the 2024 tour also come in small packages. The home of Niki Rowe and Michael Amo, a short walk to Saratoga Race Course, offers a totally organic garden, home to insects, birds and chipmunks. Walk through their compact corner lot to discover the “outdoor rooms” for reading, contemplation, or watching the races on the TV that rests over the fireplace. They asked Suzanne Balet of Balet Flowers and Design to “make us an English garden,” though they had only an inkling of what they meant. But Suzanne understood.

Suzanne’s handiwork can be seen in a multitude of local gardens. Patty Lane and her husband, Eric Tepper, say they couldn’t have the garden they enjoy today without the expertise of Suzanne and her team. Despite limited space for planting, they have created an impressive “urban edible” garden and a flower garden with splashes of color from summer through fall. A whimsical cricket weathervane and woodpecker sculpture peek

Ash Street Phillip

through a variety of perennials, vegetables, and herbs. Several neighbors along this city street have joined in to create an informal “pollinator corridor” between the sidewalk and curb.

On the other side of the city, the chemical-free garden of Susan Wendelgass and Mary Withington, who describe themselves as “very non-professional gardeners,” is highlighted by a rich variety of hosta and assorted native species shaded by looming pines and maples. Outdoor art is scattered throughout for visitors to discover.

In Ballston Spa, three adjacent houses are on the tour. The gardens of Jean and Peter Relyea and, next to them, the gardens of Buddy Glastetter and Cathy Shiffert, reflect the owners’ special touch with some help from Daisies and Dahlias, a garden design and plant care business. Jean opts for pink and purple blooms that thrive in direct sunlight and complement the colors of their Victorian home. Next door, Cathy selects the statuary situated throughout their property, where annuals add lasting color among the perennials.

On the other side of the Relyeas live Bradlea and Michael Raga-Barone, who do all their own gardening, tweaking, pruning, moving, and redesigning as needed. Visitors will find a mix of vintage perennials and more contemporary plants, as well as a potted olive tree, antique urns, and a weeping cherry. Many of the plants were given to Bradlea by her mother, herself an avid gardener.

Sharing plants with family and friends is part of the joy of gardening.

“That’s fun for me,” Maureen Nest says. “As you divide things, you tend to give plants away. I have some extra valerian, I’ll ask, you want some?”

Two of Maureen’s neighbors across the street are also on the Secret Gardens Tour. Judie and Fred Brenner have increased their number of garden beds to 10 in the front, back and sides. A raised-bed vegetable garden sits in the lower half of the yard. Next door, Rose Fennessey’s roughly quarter-acre lot boasts a riot of season-long color and thriving ornamental trees, not to mention hard-to-find vegetables like Chinese broccoli.

“Rose turned me on to a lot of Asian greens,” says Maureen, who strives to keep her own garden as “organic and clean as I possibly can. You’re eating it, you’re working in it.”

And, of course, playing in it.

The Secret Gardens Tour is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 14. Tickets are $25 in advance online and at select locations, and $30 on the tour day outside the Saratoga Heritage Area Visitor Center. The tour program includes descriptions of the gardens and a map with suggested driving directions. Visit to learn more. Questions? Email SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 SIMPLY SARATOGA | 129

Starting a Cutting Garden IN SIX



Wistfully wandering through a lush garden plucking plumes and snipping stems is more than just a daydream. Even without a green thumb, you too, can have an undeniably beautiful cutting garden this year.



You don’t need sprawling space for vivid color, just a window box 30” long and 12” deep is enough to start some zinnia, celosia, gomphrena, and blue saliva, said Suzanne Balet Haight, owner of Balet Flowers & Design in Ballston Spa.

If you do have more space, start with raised beds, or plan for a 10’ x 10’ sunny garden patch with 2ft. wide walkways that allow you to reach both sides easily.

“The more sun you can give a cutting garden, the better,” said Suzanne. If you do have shade, choosing hellebores, bleeding hearts, or Paris coral bells will keep your garden humming all summer long.



Grab hold of a shovel or rototiller and turn over the soil to make it pliable. No matter what type of soil you have, add compost to feed plants and limit weed growth. If you decide to test your soil’s pH level, the ideal measurement is 6 -6.5 for optimum growing conditions - if the soil is too acidic, add lime; too alkaline, add sulfur. To build up soil health even further, add organic fertilizer.



Next, lay down reusable landscape fabric


to control weeds and place plants in 3 ft. wide rows 12” apart after any chance of frost. Suzanne recommends waiting to plant outdoors until at least after Mother’s Day or delaying until after the cooler nights that come with the last full moon in May.




When shopping, look for plants that will regenerate and produce flowers throughout the season, said Suzanne. Many of the annuals, perennials, and shrubs at Balet Flowers & Design deliver glorious color in varieties that rebloom quickly after they are cut, avoiding annoying bare spots in the garden.



To keep pesky pests away - like Japanese beetles (that love fresh zinnias) - buy traps or pick insects off by hand, then wipe plants with a mild solution of soapy water.

Suzanne likes to use insects to control other insects and ladybugs work wonders, she said. If an aphid infestation is already underway, it’s too late to buy ladybug larva, so she recommends using organic neem oil instead.



To keep snipped flowers looking lovely longer, place cut stems in a preservative made of 1 quart water + 2 drops bleach + 2 drops vinegar + 1 tsp sugar.

Then…simply enjoy the applause! SS

For garden inspiration and beyond beautiful bouquets, stop by the cutting garden at Balet Flowers & Design, 5041 Nelson Ave., Ballston Spa, 10am – 3pm every day from July 5th – end of September. For more information, go to

Sensational Cutting

Shopping List

Awesome Annuals:

q Bachelor’s Buttons

q Celosia – Century Mix or Red Velvet

q Cosmos – Sensation Mix


q Gomphrena – Audray Mix

q Larkspurs

q Lisianthus

q Sunflowers

Pretty Perennials:

q Delphinium

q Dianthus Jolt Series

q Heliopsis

q Indian Summer

Black-Eyed Susans

q Lavendar

q Shasta Daisy

q Victoria Blue Salvia

q Zinnias - State Fair or Benary’s Giant Series HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 131
Mildew in its Tracks
Solution to Stopping Powery
Smother disease spores with a homemade spray containing 1 TBSP Baking Soda + 1 TBSP Dish Detergent + 1 Gallon Water

“Yaddo in Winter” created by William Bliss Baker and published in Saratoga: Winter and Summer by Prentiss Ingraham in 1885. The artist deviated from his Hudson River School training by including improvements of mankind in his landscapes.

The Original

Yaddo Structure

Jacobus Barheyt was an immigrant settler, brought to the vicinity which would become Troy, New York as a twelve year old boy, by his parents who left behind the principalities of unincorporated Germany. His folks developed a farm in an area near the Hudson River that had been burned over by generations of conflicts which originated in Europe, between France, with native allies the Huron and Algonquin Tribes, and England, with the Iroquois Confederacy. As a young man in his early twenties when the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, Jacobus Barheyt stood with the Patriots seeking to overthrow colonial rule. His familiarity with the terrain on both sides of the Hudson, which had long been a battleground, combined with his awareness and tactics of native tribes, made him a valued trooper in the Army of General Horatio Gates. Barheyt also had an

ability to procure supplies for the new Nation’s warriors from the innate environment, the quintessential solider by nature.  A productive collection area for Barheyt was the raised ground just west of where the Fish Kill left Saratoga Lake. This forest yielded much game, and the streams and ponds provided many fish for famished fighters.

Events across the Empire State in the pivotal Summer of 1777 set the stage for a conclusive battle that Autumn. Upstate New York citizens in the Mohawk Valley engaged the Army of the Crown at Fort Stanwix and Oriskany, which denied a flanking and provisioning operation from Lake Ontario from reaching the Hudson River. These much-needed supplies and reinforcement Redcoats were unable to join the march through the Champlain Valley, led by British General John Burgoyne, which proved decisive for the American Revolution at the pivotal Battle of Saratoga.



Artist William Bliss Baker created “Yaddo Manor, The Home Of Spencer Trask” prior to his unfortunate 1886 death at age 26 as result of a skating accident, allowing us to conclude that this image is Yaddo’s original structure. Saratoga: Winter and Summer by Prentiss Ingraham 1885.

Burgoyne’s Army was not only made up of regular Redcoat soldiers; a compliment of German mercenaries assisted the Crown through their Anglo-Saxon relationship. Also, many camp-following females and wives and children of some officers completed the mix. One German nobleman who surrendered along with Burgoyne at Schuylerville was General Friedrich Adolphus Riedesel, Baron of Lauterbach, in charge of a group known as the Brunswickers. General Riedesel (pronounced Re-day-zel, with accent on the second syllable), who is frequently referred to as von Riedesel due to his title, was separated from the capitulated British regulars. General Riedesel was relocated to Albany with his charming wife Friederike and their three young children. Due to his forest skills, and being a German speaker, Jacobus Barheyt drew the prisoner of war relocation duty, and General Riedesel was eventually exchanged for a Continental Officer, although the process took years to complete. Friederike Riedesel kept extensive journals of her family’s adventures in North America, and many believe her to have been the progenitor on this continent of the illuminated evergreen brought indoors at the Winter Solstice.

Following the conclusion of hostilities, Jacobus Barhyte, who adopted that spelling of his surname which an Army administrator’s clerical error transposed from the original Barheyt, became interested in a farm and homestead. He began his pioneering efforts on 200 acres surrounding a fine chain of ponds, which along with what would develop into Saratoga Springs, had been deeded by royal decree to Rip Van Dam. Jacobus improved his stake by developing the water power of his pond network into mill production, and married a neighbor’s daughter, Christiana Abel.  The Barhyte Family built a home and also a lodge to accommodate guests; the tarns again yielding delectable trout, which complemented the produce of their farm, garden and poultry lot. The fine reputation of the nascent enterprise spread by word of mouth, and the clan name had to endure yet another spelling corruption, and the waterfront operation was commonly known as Barhydt’s Lake by those making the two mile journey from the Springs.

An image labeled “Yaddo, Residence of Spencer Trask, Esq,” from Saratoga Chips and Carlsbad Wafers by Nathan Sheppard, published 1887, which displays the structure with the terrace added by architect A. Page Brown.

Jacobus Barhyte, millwright and landlord, passed away in the early 1840’s, and his sons John and Richard continued the operation until 1849 when they sold the property to three partners interested in exploiting the cathedral pines and hemlocks. This partnership dissolved in foreclosure in 1852, and the property passed to Dr. Samuel Russell Childs. The Doctor constructed what some might consider a Queen Anne style villa on the site of the old Barhyte Tavern house, which was relocated, and continued in operation. Dr. Childs was

financially straitened by the panic of 1873, and the referee in the foreclosure proceedings sold the property to Barclay Jermain of Albany in late November of 1878.

Directed to the Spa under orders of his physician to take the healing waters in his youth, Alanson Trask introduced his youngest child Spencer to Saratoga Springs when he was still a schoolboy. Alanson Trask established a farm along Nelson Avenue, south of the race track, and instilled in his son, and later his daughter-in-law, the affinity he felt for the location. When Spencer and Katrina Trask sought to escape steaming Gotham in the summertime, a visit to Saratoga Springs, which they had enjoyed many times, was the natural selection for their summer home. Barclay Jermain had never occupied the property which originally belonged to Jacobus Barhyte, but instead leased the house. The Trasks became tenants in 1881.

The home that Dr. Childs had built, combined with several years of neglect, was not at the level which the Trasks had become accustomed, yet they were enchanted with the setting. They felt they could upgrade the house, and appreciated the combination of improved and rustic acreage. The deed instrument recorded January 23, 1882 is made out to the grantee, “Kate Trask, wife of Spencer Trask,” and had a covenant running with the land reserving the use of the Barhyte burying ground. In sentimental and personal family badinage, a desideratum title for their newly acquired property was discussed, which at first seemed puerile, yet has proven felicitous. The Trasks called the vicinage Yaddo.

The Trasks began improvements to Yaddo immediately, and acquired the additional acreage of the Gridley Farm, with its noted trout ponds. In their Manhattan social circles they were acquainted with the family of architect Arthur Page Brown, who they brought to Saratoga to improve their manor house. Having been built in earlier times, enhancements had to be planned around existing structural HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 135

The trade publication, The Sanitary Engineer and Construction Record of December 11, 1886 contained an excellent full-page illustration of Spencer Trask's residence at Yaddo on Union Avenue, A. Page Brown architect, rendered by artist Edwin J. Meeker.

supports, which dictated much of what the architect planned and retained. The first story of the improved original Yaddo was clad with Perth Amboy brick in its characteristic speckled gray buff color. A terrace with walls of rock-face limestone, and paved with red tile, added an outdoor social space. The walls above the first story, spiked with numerous balconies, were shingled and left unpainted to allow natural weathering. A terra-cotta fountain, with a shell-shaped basin and dolphin spout, was built into the exterior wall of the staircase bay overlooking the terrace, which led further to a crowning turret. The interior allowed the Trasks to offer a welcoming parlor of white and gold high wainscoting with a large, uniquely carved mantel supported by onyx columns, with parallel highlights that magnified the fireplace’s glow. The dining room was finished in cherry, and the library in oak. The entry hall had panels of a dark hue and a ceiling divided by oak beams, gilt with arabesque stencil work. The Trask’s architect ensured that their home, in keeping with their unique personalities, include a charming enfilade which balanced their interior space. The Saratogian reported in early September 1886,

“The result, under Mr. Brown's direction, is the erection of a villa, so completely altered, that there is not apparently a trace of the old house left, the new structure presenting, if one may so express it, a modified Norman, with modernized colonial architecture.”

While in Saratoga Springs, Spencer Trask introduced A. Page Brown to the elders of Bethesda Episcopal Church. Mr. Brown planned an extension of twelve feet to the front of the church, relocating the main entrance to the center.

The same edition of the trade publication, The Sanitary Engineer and Construction Record also contained a floor plan of the original Yaddo structure as modified by the Trasks in 1886.


On the west side a new tower was erected where the chimes would be located, along with interior remodeling. This work, completed in 1887, is the front of what we see at Bethesda Church today. During the busy design and construction work in Saratoga Springs, the architect found time to be married to Lucy Pryor in Manhattan. The couple frequently visited Yaddo, and would name a daughter Katrina.

The lure of westward expansion drew A. Page Brown to San Francisco, where he designed the Ferry Building, which as one of the few survivors of the 1906 Earthquake, remains gracing the Embarcadero and Market Street. Unfortunately, Mr. Brown was fatally injured by a runaway horse in 1896. His young widow and children would continue to join the Trasks in Saratoga during the Floral Fetes.

Another frequent visitor to Yaddo, prior to the remodeling, was the young painter William Bliss Baker, who had an affinity for capturing the interface of natural spaces with the work of man. Originally from Ballston Spa, he made a name for himself in New York with his award-winning paintings. Artist Baker captured some very creative images of Yaddo in his brief lifetime, allowing us a view today into an otherwise inaccessible past.

On March 9, 1891, carpenters were at Yaddo making interior improvements. The crew lit a fireplace and perhaps due to an obstructed flue, a fire broke out, reducing the Yaddo manor house to ruin. The Trasks, disappointed by the loss of Yaddo, resolved without hesitation to rebuild, and enlisted the services of William Halsey Wood to design the replacement, which was completed in 1893, and is the Yaddo manse we know in our time. SS HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 137

On this SPOT.



In the early 1900s, when communication was slower and travel was more arduous, postcards were more than just pretty pictures. They let loved ones know of safe arrivals while offering recipients glimpses into another place.

Until 1907, the backs of postcards were undivided. Before March 1, 1907, postal law stated that only an address could be written on the back. Thus, messages on the front were short.

These vintage postcards from the early 1900s are not just nostalgic tokens but invaluable historical artifacts, providing us with unique insights into the past.

Beatrice Sweeney, Saratoga Springs City Historian from 1969-1986, was a collector of “all things Saratoga.”

Her passion for collecting postcards of Saratoga Springs led her to antique shops all over the northeast. She categorized her nearly 1300 postcard collection into 20 alphabetized categories.

Mrs. Sweeney loved gardening, and as the former acting secretary of the Yaddo organization’s executive committee and the Treasurer of the Katrina Trask Garden Club, she deeply appreciated Yaddo.

Over the years, she amassed 90 postcards of Yaddo, mostly focusing on its gardens. Like most collectors, Sweeney had a few duplicates for trading purposes. These images of Spencer’s 1899 gift to his wife Katrina showcase Yaddo’s landscape of yesteryear while underscoring the Trasks’ love of nature. SS


The original iron grill gate entrance to the Rose Garden is shown in this 1906 postcard. Like other cards of this time, the postcard was printed in Germany. Until 1907, Germany was ahead of the U.S. in the lithography process, which began with drawing an image on a flat stone with a waxy crayon for reproduction. The end result produced a beautifully colored card.


After Yaddo was turned into an artist’s retreat, this tower became a favorite place for musical composers to work on their pieces. Twenty-three years after this postcard was mailed, Aaron Copeland composed his Piano Variations in this tower.

The card’s pencil-written message states, “Dear Jennie, This is a handsome spot. We all drove there yesterday. We are on our way now to Schuylerville Parade this p.m. Lake George tomorrow. We have fine lodging thanks to my ——-. Love to all




Katrina Trask wrote a 1905 article describing “The Garden of Yaddo,” which states, “The pine tree is the central point of the garden in reality, but architecturally the central point is the June-embowered, crimsonrambler-hung pergola that stands on the front terrace and divides the garden into two parts—the formal garden and rock garden.”

Over time, these columns deteriorated but were restored thanks to Jane Wait's efforts.

Son Charles Wait, current Chairman of the Board of the Adirondack Trust Company, says, “My mother’s swan song was redoing the ceramic Greek Columns.”


Gardens of the time included sundials, and Katrina’s advisory board showed her a sketch of an antique Roman sundial from a shop in New York City. However, Katrina wanted one that reflected the Trasks' life and the tragic loss of their four children. Spencer commissioned a sundial from a British craftsman. It was placed on the second terrace of the gardens.

The face of the sundial was inscribed with a poem from their friend Dr. Henry Van Dyke: Hours fly. Love stays. Time is Too Slow for those who Wait, Too Swift for those who Fear, Too Long for those who Grieve, Too Short for those who Rejoice; But for those who Love, Time is not.

The edge of the sundial is inscribed with the verse: “Flowers die, New days, New ways, Pass by, Love Stays.” Unfortunately, the sundial was stolen in August 1962. It was replaced thanks to the efforts of Jane Wait, who formed the Yaddo Garden Association in 1991. Her son Charles Wait Sr. said, “Mother went to great lengths in keeping with the original plans. Through rigorous research, she found the original files on the sundial. Now, a plexiglass case surrounds the sundial to help prevent further theft. Charles added, “The ‘Time is’ poem on the sundial was Lady Di’s favorite, and it was read at her funeral.”
2 2



Yaddo's website's self-guided walking tour page explains, “The rock garden looked very different in the Trask period than it does today when the hundred-year-old pines create a dense understory.”


The white borders of this postcard saved on ink in the printing process while the linen texture allowed for vibrant colors.

The garden’s original color scheme was pink, yellow, and white. Katrina described an evening walk in this garden: “In the pathway, bending over the box border, were two royal roses—a rose of luscious pine and a rose of royal gold. It was the sunset glory reflected on earth.”

Yaddo’s website explains, “Since then new varieties of roses have been added for a variety of colors and resistance to fungus and disease.”

Today, a crew of volunteers tirelessly works to maintain the roses in this beautiful garden.


A series of marble statues form the eastern border of the more formal rose garden. This memorial statue, sculpted in 1900, combines two of their children’s names—Alanson, who died at age five from meningitis, and Christina, who died at age 11 from diphtheria. The names of the Trask's four children are immortalized at the statue’s base—five-year-old Alanson, 11-year-old Christina, three-year-old Spencer Jr., and three-day-old Katrina.

Perhaps these vintage postcards will inspire you to stroll the garden paths of Yaddo. The gardens will be open from June 10 until October 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.



The water around the lower pool now has many peonies, rhododendrons, Bee Balm, and perennial geraniums,” added volunteer Nancy Stevens.


Simple Request One

It started with one simple request, "Honey, would you please change the aerator in the bathroom faucet?"

This story could be the defining moment of my writing career. Having owned a home since my early twenties, the experiences I've logged would provide enough material for a 26-volume collection. People across the country can identify with stories that begin with a similarly simple sentence. Volume #1. could be "Trips to the ER and How They Happen." Volume #2. could describe in detail the damage that occurs when a husband is left alone in a hardware store with a fresh credit card. Volume #3. would tell the tales of the decades-old projects stacked in the back of the garage, the original plan long forgotten. What began as a $3.98, three-minute repair became an elongated transmutation requiring large amounts of cash, checkbooks, credit cards, and taking bottles back for the deposit. I'm glad to report that I did finish that particular bathroom renovation

over a decade ago, just in time for our 39th anniversary.

Since the theme of this issue is Home & Garden and because Mrs. G. and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary this June, I wanted to share some marital wisdom with my fellow man and reveal the #1 secret to a happy marriage.

"Separate Bathrooms."

To clarify, Mrs. G. and I purchased our starter home from the happily married couple who built it. We would spend the next half-century transforming our modest onestory ranch into our retirement home, with no downsizing necessary. Although the "his and hers" bathrooms are tiny in scale, they have been hand-crafted with care by the people in the mirrors.

I want to share a piece I wrote to my wife for our anniversary in 2013. The sentiment continues to grow on a daily basis.


To my wife: I am sending you a simple anniversary message from my heart to yours. It is an open message meant to spread a little love from our hearts to the hearts of others. I ask anyone reading this to refrain from commenting. Instead, I ask that you reflect on someone dear to you. It may be a spouse, parent, or sibling. Maybe it's that new baby on the way or the toddler in your lap. Perhaps you have a loved one serving their country in a far-off land or living in another state too distant for you to stop by and say hello. Reflect briefly on what that loved one means to you and how different your life might be if they hadn't turned up on your doorstep. We need to do more of that these days. We take everything for granted. We expect instant potatoes and gourmet meals in thirty minutes or less. In this world of 'me,' we expect more and give less. The greatest gift I ever received came from my wife. She has given me that gift in small daily doses for 39 years. It is the gift of 'unselfishness.' I am a slow learner and a stubborn

student. It has taken me years to realize how unselfish a mother and wife must be. They sacrifice holidays and cold dinners for others. They put themselves at the back of the line regardless of how long that line is. I now understand how fortunate I have been.

We are surrounded by selfless loved ones who want only the best for us. They want us to be safe on the way home, our bellies full, and our faces smiling. These loved ones don't think about it; they simply do it. It comes naturally to them.

To my wife, I love you. I thank you for not skimping on anything you do for me. To everyone reading this, you have a person who is long overdue for a hug, a kind word, or maybe a handwritten letter. Don't wait another minute. Grab a pen, car keys, or phone, or yell across the street. The person who means so much to you deserves it. Spread the love. After all, there's not a day that someone isn't celebrating an anniversary somewhere.

Happy Anniversary, Mrs. G. Love, John HOME & GARDEN 2024 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | 143
St. Joseph’s Church, June 15, 1974


Igrew up in New Jersey. There is a reason that New Jersey is called the Garden State. The soil is rich, and the environment is not very harsh compared to the Adirondacks. As an example, my dad used to throw a few tomato seeds in a little patch of dirt in the side yard of our house. With very little care we would end up with beautiful, delicious tomatoes, all summer for tomato sandwiches.

One of my favorite memories of that little house was the spring blooming of the lilac bush. It sat just outside one of the living room windows. Every Spring, right around Mother's Day, like clockwork, that huge, beautiful lilac bush would bloom. The scent of the lilacs would fill the house. My Dad would look out the window and declare "It's lilac time again." Then on Mother's Day, my mom would cut a huge bouquet of lilacs from the bush and with me in tow, she would bring them to her mother's grave. It was a ritual that brought my mom comfort.

About 20 years ago, after my mom passed, I took a tiny cutting from that lilac bush. It was not much more than a twig. I stuck it in a coffee can full of dirt and brought it to

my house in The Adirondacks. I stuck it on my deck and forgot about it. It sat there through an entire Adirondack winter. The following spring, I assumed it was dead. I stuck it in the ground anyway, not expecting much.

Surprisingly, it grew.

It didn't bloom the first year, but it has thrived. It has bloomed profusely every year since. Of course, it doesn't usually bloom by Mother's Day due to the colder climate here. It is, however, usually in full bloom by June 1st.

Every year when I smell the beautiful scent of those lilacs in my house, I think of my mom and dad and the little house that I grew up in in New Jersey.

I love Lilac season.

The little house is gone. My parents are gone, but the scent of lilacs in the spring keeps the memories alive.

This year, I may take a big bouquet of lilacs and drive to Jersey and place them on my parent's graves.

I think they would like that. SS


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