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Winter 2019


The Winter Edition Brought to you by







Who will be on the COVER



Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty

of the Spring / Summer


General Manager Robin Mitchell Creative Director/ Managing Editor Chris Vallone Bushee Graphic Designer Marisa Scirocco Advertising Designer Morgan Rook Advertising Sales Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Contributing Writers

DISTRIBUTION STARTS ON FEBRUARY 8TH Pick up your copy at your favorite bridal shop! (Also available at the library, both YMCA locations, and our office at Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs) 2018




Samantha Bosshart Peter Bowden Colleen Coleman Jodi Fitz Carol Godette John R. Greenwood Karen Krasny Charlie Kuenzel Meghan Lemery Fritz Dan Lundquist Matt McDonald Megan Potter John Reardon Kristen Schultz Robert j. Sofarelli Jordana Turcotte Maureen Werther


Blackburn Portrait Design Tracey Buyce Carol Godette Javier Monjas Marisa Scirocco John Seymour Francis Zuber

Published by

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



2015 Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866 (518) 581-2480


Simply Saratoga is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2019, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper


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

Happy New Year Everybody! You know how we all start off the new year wanting to try new things and live life as we imagine it should be... where we’re living to our fullest potential and making a difference in the world? Well, I hope this issue inspires you! Our first restaurant feature of the year was at Solevo Kitchen + Social, the hot new spot on Phila that serves melt-in-your-mouth old world Italian dishes you remember from the old days, (just like dinner at nana and pop’s!) Ronny and G are gracious hosts and the food just melts in your mouth! I was transported to my youth during that meal, and my new food writer Kristen Schultz agrees – Solevo will be your new place too! (page 28) As you know, I love introducing you to people you might not otherwise know. Great individuals with interesting stories… that’s what I’m always looking for and it’s my honor to introduce them to you. I could chat with Tom Spaulding for hours (days?!), I can only wish to have half the fortitude that Marie Thorne has if I ever need it, and to make a difference in the world like Maz Trieste is doing - that would be amazing! Wow - this is a great group – I hope you enjoy meeting them as much as I did. As much as I enjoy introducing you to new people, the feature on my fearless publisher, Chad Beatty, (who everybody knows!) is awesome! That may not be him on our cover but wait till you see what he did (page 15). For fans of Carol Godette’s historical look back on Saratoga, you’ll be happy to know that she’s covering where we went “after hours” for 2019. Hmmm… does anybody out there remember The Rafters? I must close with a big Thank You to our advertisers, without them, Saratoga TODAY couldn’t continue to offer these beautiful publications free of charge to the thousands that read them each month. Please mention us by name when visiting these businesses… Simply Saratoga, the Saratoga TODAY magazine! You can contact me at (518) 581-2480 x 201 or at I wish everyone a blessed year filled with adventure, good times and purpose!

Love, Chris For 15% off one (or more!!) of these luscious cozy throws by Pretty Rugged, (read the story on page 20) tell them Chris from Simply Saratoga Magazine sent you !

Cover Photo by Francis Zuber, story on page 15. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 5






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

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

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

Jodie Fitz is a wife, working mother of three and the creator of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club. She is the author of two cookbooks (The Chaotic Kitchen and Cooking Up Fun) as well as a children's book (Fidget Grows a Pizza Garden). You will find her on WNYT with her Real Food Fast Segments and at sharing her delicious recipes and brand programs.

John Greenwood is a leftover Saratoga milkman who loves to write, laugh and share stories. John and his wife Patricia have been holding hands since high school. By day he’s a Transportation Manager for Stewart’s Shops. On his off hours he’s an observer/writer/blogger who is quite content taking a walk or painting the side of his garage. Learn more 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:

I am a mother, a grandmother, a widow, a photographer, a writer, a cancer survivor and the most organized person you will ever meet. I have been an office manager, an editor, and an executive assistant. Born in Canada, I lived in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, New York City, Sanibel, Morristown, Rupert, and now Saratoga Springs.

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

Meghan is a native of the Glens Falls Saratoga region. Her passion is to provide her clients and readers with the tools necessary to live a life grounded in peace and emotional well-being.

Our newest contributor-at-large, Dan Lundquist, prepared for a career in education by attending three high schools, dropping out of college, and finally getting a graduate degree from an Ivy League university. Besides passions for international travel, photography, and environmental advocacy, Dan was a college vice president for over twenty-five years, including sixteen at Union College in Schenectady. Despite, or because of it, Dan retired and has been living on an historic farm along the upper Hudson ten miles east of Saratoga Springs.






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!”

Kristin Schultz has been writing about food, beverages and restaurants since 2014. She moved to the Capital Region in 2016 and enjoys scouring the area looking for delicious and interesting eats and drinks. She also loves spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking and has recently made it her mission to perfect the art of waffle making. Kristin will never turn down a glass of bourbon or a bowl of noodles. When she's not eating, Kristin

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

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


She is an author and writer for various publications in Upstate NY and State College, PA. She is also the co-host for a monthly radio segment focused on how to improve relationships. She currently resides in State College, PA where she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.



CONTENTS winter 2019




A GOOD READ 10 Saratoga County Pre-School Directory 15

Cover Story: Challenge Accepted


Tracy Slocum’s Pretty Rugged


Meet… Tom Spaulding


Meet… Marie Thorne


Solevo Kitchen + Social… Like coming home!


Preserving Saratoga: UPH


Architecturally Speaking


Colleen’s Picks


In the Kitchen… with John Reardon


Peter Bowden explains… Snowflakes


Jordana Turcotte: Accomplish Stuff


Entertaining with Jodi Fitz

35 Meet… Maz Trieste



Meghan Lemery gives good advice!


Start here – great stuff happening all winter long!


New Column: Saratoga’s Book Clubs


The Flurry Festival


Slide Science


Schuylerville’s Marshall House


John Greenwood


Karen Krasny


p. 73


Charlie Kuenzel


Carol Godette kicks off a new year remembering what we did “After Hours”

Toboggan Run at Glen Mitchell from the George S. Bolster Collection. See page 78





Saratoga Springs Area PRESCHOOL FAIR



For more information, please call 587-2224 or email Sponsored by:




SARATOGA CO ABC Nursery School

(518) 373-8ABC • 13 Old Route 146, Clifton Park

Abilities Center

518-306-1808 • 10 Mountain Ledge Rd., Gansevoort

Academy Nursery School

(518) 664-5066 • 4 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park

Apple Blossom Bunch Pre-K in the Park (518) 527-3105 • 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

The Beagle School

(518) 587-7507 • 115 Regent St, Saratoga Springs

Burnt Hills United Methodist Christian Preschool (518) 399-6133 • 816 Route 50, Burnt Hills

Church Mouse Nursery School

(518) 885-8362 • 202 Milton Ave. Ballston Spa

Community Roots School

(518) 306-6829 • 48 Beekman St., Saratoga Springs



U N TY PRESCHOOL DIRECTORY Saratoga EOC Head Start & Early Head Start (518) 288-3206 • apply on-line at email: For information, contact the SCEOC Head Start Administrative Office at 39 Bath Street, Ballston Spa Head Start is a FREE preschool program for low income children Preschool classrooms located throughout Saratoga CountyHome-based programs for pregnant women and children birth to age 5

Katrina Trask Nursery School (518) 584-8968 • 24 Circular St. • Saratoga Springs

KidsFirst Childcare Center (518) 309-3540 • 12 Church Ave., Ballston Spa

Learning to Know 1536 Crescent Rd., Clifton Park - (518) 371-3722 3 Hampstead Place, Saratoga Springs - (518) 226-0222

Milestones Early Childhood Center (518) 884-4868 • 3459 R Galway Rd., Ballston Spa


(518) 899-9235 • 23 Sitterly Road, Clifton Park

North Country Academy •7 Care Lane, Saratoga Springs, (518) 584-9982 • 2381 Route 9, Mechanicville, (518) 289-5485 • 1756 Route 9, Clifton Park, (518) 373-9679

The Sara Marie School

(518) 280-3982 • 942 Route 146, Clifton Park

Saratoga Independent School

(518) 583-0841 • 459 Lake Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Saratoga Regional YMCA

Malta Montessori School • 290 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs, 518-583-9622, ext. 114 • 20 Old Gick Road, Saratoga Springs, 518-587-3000 • 10 Medical Park Drive, Ballston Spa, 518-583-9623

Maple Leaf Childcare Center

Intergenerational Preschool Program at the Wesley Community • 131 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs, 518-583-9622, ext. 114

(518) 633-1971 • 100 Saratoga Village Blvd. Suite 34 A, Malta • 10 Hemphill Place, Malta, (518) 899-4159 • 2737 Route 9, Malta, (518) 889-5045



St. Paul’s Lutheran Christian Childhood Center

Skidmore Early Childhood Center

Storybook Academy

Small Wonders Christian Pre-School

Sweet Chickadee School

SmartEarly Learning Center

Time 2 Learn Pre-School

(518) 371-2306 • 609 Route 146 A, Suite 104, Clifton Park (518) 580-5473 • 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 584-3720 ext. 114 175 5th Ave. Saratoga Springs

(518) 290-7607 • 39 Old Route 146, Clifton Park

(518) 584-0904 ext. 105 • 149 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs (518) 587-0707 • 421 Geyser Rd. Ballston Spa

(518) 567-9527 • 337 Daniels Road, Saratoga Springs

Spa Christian Pre-School

(518) 225-0294 • (518) 605-2925 202 Milton Ave., Ballston Spa Held in the First Baptist Church time-2-learn-two-year-old-program/

St. Clements Catholic School

Teddy Bear Day Care Center

(518) 885-0508 • 206 Greenfield Ave., Ballston Spa (518) 584-7350 • 231 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs Half-Day programs for 3 and 4-year olds Full-Day Pre-K for 4 and 5-year olds Full-Day Jr.-K 5-year olds

(518) 584-2273 • 4 Mountain Ledge Drive, Wilton

St. George School

The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs

(518) 280-7196 • 912 Route 146, Clifton Park

Tiny Tots Early Learning Center

(518) 371-2014 • 1536 Crescent Rd., Clifton Park (518) 587-2224 • 122 Regent St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

St. Mary’s School

(518) 885-7300 • 40 Thompson Street, Ballston Spa Half-Day programs for 3 and 4-year olds Full-Day Pre-K for 4 and 5-year olds











bout a year ago I first wedged the sharp end of my ice axe into a 50foot frozen plume of ice in beautiful Keene Valley. I had already been bitten by the climbing bug years earlier, but thus far, my climbing had been limited to warm, dry rock; this was my first time on the ice. I didn’t know what to expect, but I have to tell you, it was simply awesome! I began my initial ascent with the same rhythmic movements I had been taught - swing, step, step; swing, step, step. The swing of the ice axe was to gain my next hold; and ideally

my feet would always end up evenly placed below my shoulders. My feet, by the way, were securely nestled inside a pair of warm mountaineering boots which were covered with sharp crampons meant to exploit every weakness in the ice for my advantage. As I systematically ascended the icy labyrinth, a cold wind ripped against the exposed skin on my face sending a quick chill down my neck. All my senses were on overdrive as the sun slowly crept over the mountain top. I hung there on the ice, the daily worries of life fading away as my whole being focused on one simple task: staying attached to the wall. My first few climbs were filled with flying ice fragments as I overswung the ice axe, and over-kicked the crampons. At that point, power and strength meant safety in my mind. However, by the end of the day my movements were smoother and my technique crisper. I quickly realized that ice climbing is not about muscling

your way up the wall. A well-placed tip of an ice axe, in just a tiny divot, can support all of my weight. Other than the sheer beauty of crystal blue ice towers rising into the sky, I attribute much of my enjoyment that day to the fact that I chose to hire a professional guide. There is something to be said about the peace of mind when a seasoned professional is watching your every move and making sure safety protocols are followed. I first reached out to Keene Valley local Ian Osteyee two months earlier. I was immediately impressed with his positive attitude and thorough knowledge of the sport. Ian, who was the first local guide to have AMGA certification, is owner of Adirondack Mountain Guides. Watching him climb was as smooth as watching a trained ballerina perform Swan Lake. He glided up the ice with the fluid movement and confidence that only comes with decades of experience.


Among many other things, I learned about proper technique, equipment placement, balance, ice screws, movement, and safety. This is definitely an activity I will be doing again. I had a great time and have the pictures to prove it. I was recently asked why I climb mountains, and I simply responded “Because they’re there!” OK, perhaps that was first said by Gregory Mallory about his expedition to climb Mount Everest, but I think it holds true for any of us who push the limits simply to test ourselves against nature, and against ourselves. SS





A primary tool for ascending icy walls …the ice axe.

Crampons used for securing footholds on the ice.

An ice screw can be used to secure climbers or SS equipment to ice surfaces.


Sheila Mendelson, Executive Vice President and Tracy Slocu m, Founder of Pretty Rugged 20  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA





hese qualities established the core identity of Tracy Slocum’s family. “I always grew up hearing my great, great grandfather Joshua Slocum’s story. It was a story we loved to hear and share. We are proud of our heritage,” she asserts. Joshua’s 1898 accomplishment of being the first person to sail around the world has been Tracy’s inspiration throughout her life. His 1900 memoir “Sailing Alone Around the World” chronicles his adversities (small pox, encounters with pirates) and successes (friendship with Teddy Roosevelt) and has always resonated with Tracy. Just as her rugged great, great grandfather chose to challenge himself, so has Tracy. Spending summers boating in her Hacker-Craft on Lake George, Tracy and her husband Daren would find their seats became dewy and evenings could quickly become chilly. Despite trying an arsenal of fleece and wool blankets to wrap herself up in, Tracy was either cool or damp. She had a vision of “a pretty blanket for a pretty boat; a functional luxury item.” Using a gore-tex like backing and faux fur, Tracy skillfully created her own boat blanket. Soon she began bringing her creation with her to events… a James Taylor lawn concert at SPAC or her son’s high school football games and people asked where she got it. They too wanted one!


Writer Carol Godette with Sheila and Tracy enjoying the warmth first-hand at Carol's place! “Pretty Rugged’s attention to detail is evident in each blanket. Their signature red, white and blue ribbon with a gold embroidered sailboat is sewn with love on each piece. It represents Tracy’s American Drea m and the history of her great, great grandfather’s sailing accomplishments.” 22  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA


She co-owned a specialty food store, but knew her heart was being pulled in another direction. Husband Daren encouraged her to mass produce the throws and her friend’s father agreed to invest in her venture. She bravely placed her first purchase order in November 2017. Joshua’s story of being true to himself and finding a way to follow your dream was her inspiration for the creation of Pretty Rugged. “My great, great grandfather’s heritage is the DNA of my brand.” Just as Joshua achieved the impossible, so has Tracy. In just one year her notoriety has skyrocketed. The luxury blankets are now sold in almost every state and in the past year the company has gone global- expanding to all of Europe and South Korea. Oprah selected the Pretty Rugged Luxe Pet blanket for her “2018 Favorite Things List,” adding credibility to the brand and catapulting the company’s success. The original 50” by 70” Silver Fox faux blanket has expanded to 6 other versions. The line also added 4 versions of a 33” by 40” lap blanket and 7 versions of a 20” by 32” Luxe baby blanket. All come with a carrying case and custom monogramming embroidered in their Latham, New York factory.

programming. That is when I first experienced the feel of wrapping myself in such a warm, stunning piece. After chatting with Tracy and Sheila, I quickly became an enthusiastic new customer and love the experience of enveloping myself in the silver faux fur at our outdoor fire pit. My only dilemma was choosing which faux fur to purchase! Tracy concurs. “Clearly, I have trouble picking my very favorite, as I love them all. Every blanket we make has a part of me in it. I DO love the navy mink with navy backing. It has a very nautical feeling, which obviously is where this all came from!”

Knowing how Tracy’s life has paralleled her great, great grandfather’s, it is clear she will find new ways to grow. She continues to make a name for herself and is working on launching a line of apparel and accessories which will debut at the NY NOW show to demonstrate Pretty Rugged is more than just a blanket brand. One of Joshua’s legacies is The Slocum River in Dartmouth, Mass which is named after him. One can only wonder what legacy Tracy will leave behind. SS

In 1900 Joshua was unique. In 2018 so is Tracy. Everyone she employs is a woman. “I love creating a culture that supports moms. Most employees are women looking for a flexible schedule. My business strategist lives on the west coast, My PR person is in Boston, and my website guru lives in London, England.” Sheila Mendleson, Executive Vice President of Pretty Rugged, is an extension of Tracy. She focuses on connecting the brand with other businesses and sets up pop-up shops and trade and boat shows. “It’s such a great opportunity to get in front of new audiences that wouldn’t know about Pretty Rugged. Once we see the faces of their customers who feel the blanket it’s a win-win for us both,” shares Sheila. In October they participated in the SPAC Lecture Luncheon series as a pop-up shop, donating a percentage of their sales to SPAC’s educational





pend a few hours with Tom Spaulding and you will walk away with a deep understanding of Saratoga’s past. A native born Saratogian, Tom was raised on Granger Avenue and returned to his childhood home six years ago with his wife Ange. His career as an 8th and 9th grade remedial writing teacher and director of 30 school musicals brought him to Rockland County, but his heart and summers belonged to Saratoga. Tom is a true Renaissance man beloved by his 3 children and described by his son as the “Crown Jewel of the family.”

He offers eloquent first hand family accounts on many aspects of life in 20th century Saratogadetailed descriptions of our town’s many fires and setting up coffee with the Red Cross to aid firefighters; firsthand accounts of the filtration systems at the Victoria and Peerless Pools from his summer college jobs there; witnessing the wrecking ball knocking down the original Grand Union Hotel; his dad’s role in the introduction of fingerprinting by Saratoga's Police Department; his job of parking cars at the Fasig-Tipton horse sales and remembrances of his mom’s ownership of horses at the night track …all part of his family’s rich history. In fact, an entire room of his house is a tribute to his family, displaying framed photographs of all his ancestors. A particular favorite shows his grandfather Edgar H. Spaulding as a young 14-year-old soldier in the Spanish American War. Edgar was responsible for raising funds to build the Spanish American War monument in Greenridge Cemetery. His grandfather’s postwar involvement in the war even led Tom to be a NYS President of the Sons of the Spanish American War Veterans. Tom’s house contains a treasure trove of articles and memorabilia. Of interest was a 1937 news article describing a series of local gas station robberies. Tom’s father Gordon began studying fingerprinting as a Saratoga Springs police officer. He applied his newly discovered knowledge of reading fingerprints to catch the culprit and helped institute the technique for future crimes. 24  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA


A graduate of St. Peter’s class of 1960, Tom sentimentally reflects on growing up in a less developed Saratoga. His modest fenced-in backyard has a view of Caroline Street School but it was home to “Happy Hour Ranch” where he and his sister once boarded a horse and a pony. The small horse shed still stands as a reminder of his Christmas Day ride down Granger Avenue and his sister’s horse Rusty “dancing” to the music of the Eastside Rec skating rink. When he was in high school, he became president of the Teen Center founded in the old Convention Hall by his mother Auleen and her best friend Marguerite Maddock. Tom was often found playing piano there. As co-owner of the Spaulding/Chickering Stable,Tom’s mother introduced him to the world of horse racing. She owned as many as 5 pacers at a time and knew every jockey and horse trainer at both the “day and night” tracks.Tom would accompany his mom and recalls cheering on Honor Siskiyou, one of Auleen’s favorite pacers. Ask Tom about himself and his modesty surfaces. He prefers to share the accomplishments of his children who dedicated books to him and blessed him with 7 grandchildren-rather than to discuss his own accomplishments. His children credit their success to his selflessness in the same manner he credits his success to his grandfather and mother. Clearly, the 5 generation Spaulding family’s commitment to community and family exemplifies what makes Saratoga Springs such a special place. SS


RISE After the Fall




t started with walking into doors and banging into walls. Then, Marie Thorne felt crawling sensations in her back and couldn’t remember how to sign her name.

“I said to my husband Bill, ‘There’s something wrong’.” On December 13, 2013, Marie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Devastated, the following year she fell down and fractured her right elbow. She had to quit her job at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, but Marie refused to give up on the idea of living a fulfilling life.

Taking Command Naturally spontaneous and never bored, Marie and Bill, who have two daughters and have been married for 31 years, decided to take control and make the best out of their challenging new circumstances. “I always had goals and things I wanted to do, but since I was diagnosed, I’ve been doing things I never would’ve done before,” said Marie. She has strapped on a jet pack and gone fly boarding. She has jumped out of a plane and sky dived 120 miles free fall until the parachute opened enjoyed a relaxing ride to the ground. She has embraced fear. “I felt fear, but I did it anyway. It was amazing and I’m so happy I did,” she said.

Conquering Doubt Fun outdoor activities such as biking, triking, kayaking, disc golf and snowshoeing fill the Thorne’s days now, making the tougher ones better and the good ones great.


“Having Parkinson’s is like having a full-time job.There’s keeping up with exercise, your brain, and the social aspect too,” said Marie. Barely able to remember three out of 10 numbers when she joined Brain Training classes led by Kathy Johnson, founder of Pyramid of Potential, and attended by Saratoga artist and author Barbara Garro,now she can recall nine. “That’s a tremendous thing,” she said.

Powering Through As the member of a group calling themselves the “Medical Misfits” because they’ve all been diagnosed with chronic illnesses, Marie said she feels fortunate to have found people who support one another through their struggles. Whether paddling tandem while out on the water, writing The Parkinson’s Monthly Newsletter for her 150+ subscribers, or hosting a community movie night in her car port, Marie is eager to spend her time wisely while also enriching the lives of others. “I felt like I didn’t even have Parkinson’s tonight,” a friend told her after one such event. This year, Marie completed a triathlon and plans to participate in the ambitious Schenectady County Pedal-Paddle-Run this May. “I always come in dead-last, but I feel like a winner because I did it!”



From left to right: Marie Thorne, Bill Thorne, Linda Lille, Jim Lille, Kathy Johnson, Rich King, Cindy Petker, Barbara Garro and DonaleeWebster.



Sunday Sauce





or four generations the Solevo family has owned restaurants… feeding friends, family and strangers alike in their south Connecticut restaurants. Last year, brother and sister Ronald and Giovannina (or simply, G) sold their acclaimed Italian eatery and moved west to open Solevo (So-LEE-voe) Kitchen and Social in downtown Saratoga Springs. G, a certified sommelier, runs the front of the house - personally taking every reservation over the phone and overseeing the beverage program and service. Ronald is top toque in the kitchen, serving old-world favorites, whimsical bites, and more than one homage to the siblings’ childhood. He remembers being a child and waking up to the savory smell of meatballs cooking in the pan, browning off before being set to simmer alongside spare ribs and other assorted meat in Sunday sauce. Ronald serves those memories on a plate called simply, Sunday Sauce, featuring rigatoni, nearly tennis-ball sized meatballs and a velvety San Marzano plum tomato sauce. On the day we visited, the kitchen had prepared 400 meatballs – all of which, we were told, would be gone in two or three days. Ronald’s dad, Big Ron, a life-long restaurateur himself, arrived early that morning to help make those meatballs. “As kids, we learned a way of life,” Ronald said of watching his parents and working in their restaurant. “We learned a love and appreciation of food, of eating, and feeding others – giving them memories.” In a memorable spuntini (Italian for “snack”), eggplant chips are one of the most popular menu items – and for good reason! Eggplant is thinly sliced and lightly dredged in flour before getting flash-fried and piled high. The tangle of crispy eggplant strips is drizzled with a Calabrian chili honey, salt and a sprinkle of mixed micro basil for a delightful, delicately crunchy, sweet-hot snack. Other antipasti standouts include broiled little neck clams and pane cotte, a cozy, savory bowl of beans and greens tossed with chunks of crusty bread that soak up the silky sauce. G offers us sweet memories of her family’s legacy of service and hospitality. “I remember after morning kindergarten going to the restaurant and standing at the line watching my father cook,” she said. “The passion, the heart and the hard work. It was a magical environment.” For her part, G puts the same passion, heart and hard work she watched as a child into the service and beverage program at Solevo. By taking reservations over the phone, she’s speaking with and developing relationships with their diners …and walk-ins are always welcome at the 50-seat restaurant. The bar program features 75 domestic and imported wines, including 17 by-the-glass options. In true Italian fashion, Bell’Agio Chianti (available by the half bottle, bottle or magnum) is charmingly served half-wrapped in a straw basket. The cocktails are thoughtful and accessible. We sampled the whiskey sour - a clean, warm yet bright sip that features Catskill Provisions honey bourbon, fresh sour mix and lemon bitters. Served over a large ice cube and garnished with a lemon wheel, it’s a balance of bourbon and citrus, perfect for a winter pick-me-up.


In developing the concept for Solevo, Ronald and G wanted the restaurant to be ingredient-driven and serve homemade dishes using the best available, seasonal ingredients. So, while produce and protein can come and go from the menu depending on the time of year, diners can depend on 12 pastas always being freshly made - in house. A scratch-made tagliatelle and some sweet peas gets a coating of creamy plumb tomato sauce that has an extra layer of richness thanks to a bit of ground veal and prosciutto. A thin slice of prosciutto sits atop the pleasantly springy noodles for a dish that hits all the right notes and sent our forks diving back for more. The dish, The Cortile, exemplifies the Solevo’s concept: It is a meal they remember enjoying with their parents in Little Italy in New York City. But Ronald adds his touch -and commitment to excellence- by swapping out the dried pasta of the original with handmade noodles. The menu also features more than a dozen seafood, chicken, veal, pork and beef choices in a secondi course along with ala carte sides like polenta, fries and Brussels sprouts gratinato. Being owners and operators gives the Solevos the chance to collaborate and control ingredients, ensuring that only the highest quality of food and hospitality is dished out. It’s not just the food that reflects the heart and soul of generations of Italian cooking; the Solevos designed a space that enhances the familial, neighborhood experience. Dozens of family photos hang in a collage on the forest-green wall in the main part of the dining room. A tufted banquet and a couple of small tables sit between the dining room and bar area where classic white subway tiles stretch floor to ceiling in a way that extends the kitchen into the rest of the space.

Eggplant Chips


The décor and dishes may be reminiscent of your Nona’s kitchen, but Ronald and G also bring their own culinary talent. Solevo Kitchen and Social is not just another Italian joint serving up continent-sized portions of Italian-American grub. It is a place where experience shines. The brother-sister duo applies talented, deft hands to quality ingredients creating dishes and drinks that interest and enliven the palate with complex flavors and textures. And why wouldn’t Solevo be excellent? It’s a family tradition. SS Solevo Kitchen & Social, 55 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, (518) 450-7094, Winter hours:Wed. to Fri. – 4 to 9 p.m.; Sat. 1 to 10 p.m.; Sun. 1 to 9 p.m. Carry-out available Pasta courses: $17-$29; Secondi course: $18-$38 Must try: Eggplant chips ($10); Sunday Sauce ($18); The Cortile ($19)

Yoga Along the Trail



The Cortile

Littleneck Clams

Pane Cotte


Fostering Preservation


UPH, the 1871 HighVictorian Gothic church located at 25Washington Street. Photo Credit: Shannon Rose:Web, Design & Marketing





eddy Foster exclaims with a smile when asked about why she is so passionate about UPH (Universal Preservation Hall) and her work to transform the former High Victorian Gothic church into a dynamic community performing arts and events space, “It’s the building – it is special and just draws you in!”

becoming involved - the task to stabilize and adaptively re-use the space was overwhelming. The first phase, stabilization, was $3.3 million. Fortunately, those reservations did not win out – she felt compelled to help in some way to preserve this magnificent building. In September 2006 she joined the board of directors and became the chair of the Fundraising Committee.

In 1984 Teddy moved to Saratoga Springs, where she raised her two boys and finished her bachelor’s degree at Skidmore College. While her kids were in school, Teddy volunteered for many different organizations. In 1998 her work with Genworth Financial required her to move to Richmond,Virginia and give up volunteering. Thankfully, Teddy loved Saratoga Springs so much she was unwillingly to sell her home, a key decision that eventually lead her to UPH.

As a result of the 2008 recession, Teddy was laid off from her position at Genworth Financial in early 2009. This coincided with the long-time president of the board, Tom Lewis, resigning. “It was a challenging time to find a job and I decided to contribute my time to UPH,” she recalled. Later that year, Teddy was elected president of the board. In her volunteer role, she dedicated her time as if it were a full-time job. To support herself she started a personal coaching business for health and weight loss called Foster Good Health.

In 2005 her work brought her back to Saratoga Springs and gave her the opportunity to get involved in the community again. She had lunch with Deane Pfeil, who shared about a project that she and her husband Jeff had been working on – Universal Preservation Hall. Following lunch, Deane took Teddy to see the building. Teddy, like many who walk into the sanctuary, was in awe of the space. However, she had serious reservations about 32  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA

In 2012 despite her and the board’s best efforts and the progress that had been made, the organization that began its work in 2000 was on the brink of closing – “no money was coming in, pledges had diminished, and members of the community were losing faith because the momentum was so slow,” JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

The stained glass window that was beautifully restored in honor of CharlesV. Wait. Photo Credit: UPH

The Great Hall with balconies and beautiful natural light. Photo Credit: Shannon Rose: Web, Design & Marketing


Teddy Foster, Campaign Director of UPH Photo Credit: Lisa Miller of Studio di Luce

lamented Teddy. “People don’t want to be remembered for failing and I certainly did not want to be remembered that way,” she went on to say.

fully accessible and have heating and air-conditioning, allowing it to be used year-round rather than seasonally.

In a moment of desperation, Teddy contacted Philip Morris of Proctors in Schenectady, hoping he would be able to give advice or share an idea. “It was serendipity at its finest! Proctors had already been discussing branding regionally and prospective venues in the Capital Region - unbeknownst to me, UPH was on their list of possibilities.” shared Teddy. Philip made a visit to UPH the following week – he loved the building! Together they moved forward with feasibility studies. In 2015, the formal affiliation was finalized, and Teddy stepped down as president and was named Campaign Director, a paid position with Proctors Collaborative.

This is unimaginable for a building that was condemned and threatened with demolition not just once, but twice! The 1871 church was built to serve a Methodist congregation and their annual convention. It was host to luminaries Henry Ward Beecher, William Jennings Bryan, Frederick Douglass, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and others. In 1976, the Methodist church built a new church and sold the building to the small congregation of the Universal Baptist Church.

This past fall, UPH closed to the public to undertake the long-awaited $9.4 million second phase designed by Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson. The extensive work will be completed by local firm, Bonacio Construction, Inc. When UPH reopens, the Great Hall will be a 700 seat in-the-round theater with high efficiency lighting and state-of-the-art sound and video. The stunning space - for the first time in its nearly 150 year history - will be

Shortly after the Universal Baptist Church took ownership, the building was deemed unsafe and condemned by the City of Saratoga Springs due to the condition of the east tower. The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation received a $100 grant to complete a structural report, which indicated the tower could be repaired and the building did not need to be demolished. It was the first preservation effort of the Foundation following its establishment in April 1977. “I, along with Reverend Minnie Burns, convinced the City of Saratoga Springs to be a partner in preserving the JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 33

building that dominated our city’s skyline,” recalled Julie Stokes, founding Executive Director of the Foundation. With legal assistance from John MacArthur, the Foundation was able to have the City Council enact a “Confession of Judgment.”

The proposed east elevation entrance and lobby designed by Lacy Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture and Preservation LLP.

This allowed the City to make repairs and have the church sign three buildings over as collateral and agree to pay $150 per month until the total cost of $5,000 was paid. “If it were not for the Foundation’s efforts and that initial $100 grant, the building would not be standing today,” Julie stated. Unfortunately, in 1998, the small congregation again was faced with the building being condemned due to fear that the roof would collapse. The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation again intervened to stabilize the building. However, a more permanent solution was needed - a new non-profit, Universal Preservation Hall, was formed to adapt this majestic church into a community performing arts/events space while retaining a chapel for the church. A debt of gratitude is owed to Teddy for her tenacity; Operations Manager Mary Beth McGarrahan, who has been faithfully working by Teddy’s side since 2008; the many members of the board of directors; and the countless volunteers and contributors over the years as well as Philip Morris and the Proctors Collaborative for their commitment to preserving this architecturally and culturally significant landmark! I am certain that this project has caused Teddy to shed many a tear over the years. I, as well as many others, look forward to seeing her shed tears of joy upon reopening the doors in 2020! SS

Construction is underway! Only $300,000 is needed to reach the final goal! To make a donation, learn more about future programming, and volunteer opportunities, please visit or call (518) 584-2627.

Historic Postcard from the George S. Bolster Collection, Saratoga Springs History Museum

Crew of Bonacio Construction, Inc. hard at work. Photo Credit: UPH





turns her into her life's work



rassroots organizing, educating and working to protect the environment are at the core of everything Marion (known to everyone as “Maz”) Trieste has done throughout her career. Her passion and her life’s work have centered on creating a safe and sustainable environment for everyone.

It certainly hasn’t been easy, but just talking to Maz, you know that she hasn’t lost any of her passion for the path she has chosen in her life and her career. About four years ago, she co-founded another company, Red Feather Energy, to develop energy solutions for businesses in the US Virgin Islands.

Originally from Long Island, Maz studied wildlife management in college and worked for the Sierra Club’s Northeast regional office in the 1990s. During that time, the city of Saratoga Springs became involved in cleaning up the area that is now known as the Spring Run Trail. As a concerned citizen, the single working mom began volunteering in the efforts to clean up the brownfields created by years of pollution. She soon created the Saratoga Springs Waste Coalition, which succeeded in obtaining a 50k grant from the EPA to clean up the site and help the development of the beautiful trail enjoyed by so many residents and visitors to Saratoga Springs today.

“We went to a place where the energy prices are among the highest in the world and we worked to develop more energy efficient systems for the people living there.”

From there, Maz’s career has taken her across the country, to the US Virgin Islands, and back again as a grassroots organizer, educator and consultant for the wind and solar industries. She has testified in front of three different congressional committees and she has been called the “tag” lady, because of her efforts in obtaining the technical assistance grants for people living amid hazardous waste. “We were a shining example [in Saratoga] of how the EPA’s assistance programs were making a difference in the lives of the community,” says Maz. Maz realized early in her career that she needed to form a business that supported public involvement at hazardous waste sites. Trieste and Associates became her vehicle for affecting meaningful change on a local, national and international level. She has worked for Scenic Hudson, educating people living in the upriver communities on the importance of cleaning pollutants from the river. Her work in the commercial wind industry came next, and she spent 11 years helping to educate the public about proposed wind developments. “This is another example of people needing to be educated about something in their backyard that’s going to hopefully have a positive impact on their lives.”

Maz and her partner began building a pipeline of energy efficient projects and attracting investors who understood the benefits of building this type of infrastructure. Then, the hurricanes hit. Everything she had built was torn away with the winds and rain. “We couldn’t hold onto the business through recovery.” However, that did not stop Maz from continuing the work. Because of her grassroots activities on the islands, she had developed trustworthy relationships with business people and government officials. Within a month following the hurricanes, she was hired as a consultant by Richard Branson’s company, BMR Energy, to help locate and build solar powered microgrids facilities on the islands. Currently, Maz is concentrating on rebuilding of her own. With Red Feather Energy dissolved, she has once again turned to the important business of grassroots education and consulting, and she is working with wind developers in New York and Michigan. The work Maz has chosen is hard and the paths are not easy. There is significant opposition on many fronts to the renewable energy movement and Maz fights daily against beltway lobbyists organizing people to reject renewable energy. Her message is simple: climate change is the issue of the human race and we need to come together as an informed public. “We can do small things in our individual communities, but no one will be safe unless we all move together,” she says. In the meanwhile, Maz will continue to work – one community, one project, one environmental issue at a time – to educate, inform and help create a safer environment for people to live their lives and raise their families. SS



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



ou can always tell the start of the New Year based on the number of weight loss commercials you see on TV and the deals you can get on a new gym membership. It’s a time of year when most of us take stock and think about the changes we want to make to enhance our emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Research shows that most New Year’s resolutions only last a few weeks. Why is it so hard to make lasting healthy changes? Why do most of us crash and burn far short of our goals? Years ago at the start of a new year I was having lunch with a friend who had been working with a personal trainer. She looked strong and fit and her success inspired me to make the call to her trainer and start working on my fitness goals. The first week was torture- I was sore, grumpy, exhausted and not exactly having fun on my journey. I stuck with it for a few months and realized that every time I pulled up to the gym I felt dread and anxiety. The trainer’s coaching style was of the boot camp military style and instead of feeling empowered and working harder, I felt angry and embarrassed for my inability to do a burpee without crying and crawling to my car in agony. I came to the conclusion that anything that stole my joy and selfworth was not worth pursuing - no matter how much I wanted to fit into my skinny jeans - this was definitely not the path for me. In hindsight, I see that if I had been thoughtful and truthful with myself about how I could reach my goals of feeling fit and strong, I would have signed up for a weekly yoga class or made time to


take more walks outside. I have never been a boot camp learner and had I been more thoughtful about what worked for me I would have chosen a different path. The key to success in meeting your goals is to do what works for you! Don’t set yourself up for failure by committing to doing something that steals your peace and your joy. Take the time you need to think about your learning style, what inspires you and how you can make small improvements daily. Don’t be afraid to say NO if someone suggests something that doesn’t make you feel inspired. Just like how each car comes with an instruction manual, we as humans all have different manuals. What works for me may not be what works for you and these differences can be respected and celebrated. Don’t put pressure on yourself to set resolutions that feel big. Start with small steps that create momentum and keep you feeling inspired. If at any point you feel that you need a new game plan, make one! This year make the intention that you will honor your wants and needs above all else. Don’t say yes to things that you know will drain your energy and make you grumpy. Choose the path of peace and inspiration and you will find that you begin to meet your goals easily and effortlessly. Take some time to think about what works and be patient with yourself. Say yes to joy and no to dread and watch how everything begins to fall into place!









ook clubs abound in Saratoga Springs. They can magically transform a solitary activity into a social experience and quickly build a sense of community among members. A group’s discussion opens perspective on thinking about the world and members more readily get to know their fellow readers on a deeper level. Local book club member Grace Frisone notes, “A book club opens our minds to new ideas. Sharing other people's vision and views and how we can look at the ‘same’ person, thing or circumstances and come away with completely different views is an aspect that forces us to open our minds and maybe become more tolerant.”

Our bookclub send off to founding member Deb Reed (center) as she prepared to take a 5 year “leave” to live in Spain.

For some groups it’s all about the book; for others the food is the thing; and still for others, it’s a support group of like-minded people bringing a stronger sense of community to their lives.This series will take a closer look at some of the many groups in Saratoga Springs. If you are not currently in a club, or would like to explore others, check out the reading groups at Northshire Bookstore where five different clubs are run by the staff at the store each month. The Saratoga Springs Public Library also offers four different interestbased book groups open to the public. If your club would like to be featured in a future article, please contact


A favorite tradition is our annual Christmas dinner held at Eleanor Mullaney’s festively decorated home.


The Twenty Somethings “I mark my years by the books I read,” Elizabeth Sobol, CEO of SPAC, recently reflected while introducing a SPAC lecture speaker. For me twenty-two years of rich books, discussions and experiences have marked my recent years, thanks to my book club. Originally nameless, we are now called “Twenty Somethings” based on our membership number and years of existence. Throughout that time, the club has introduced me to literature I would never have read. Fellow member Patsy Culbert observes, “I loved being introduced to authors I've continued to read more of: Bill Bryson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Andati Roi, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Chimamanda Ghozi Adichie, all of whom have enriched my world and cultural viewpoint.” We began in 1997 when book clubs in Saratoga Springs were a novelty.Three friends in the North Street neighborhood decided to share their love of reading by first choosing a book and then a place that evoked the setting of the book. Nothing was off limits for a meeting location; a bowling alley to discuss Book of Ruth; a Czech Restaurant located in a Geyser Road garage to share thoughts on Snow in August. Initially only immediate neighbors comprised our group, so we were a relatively small club of six. I recall that we chose books that strongly described a particular setting, transforming us to a different place. In 2005 we began adding members outside of the immediate neighborhood and in time, membership crept up to 20. Typically, though, busy personal schedules meant that most meetings were attended by 12 or so members. We also began meeting exclusively at members’ homes and added a “cohost” for each meeting. Our dedicated secretary, Sue Hensley Cushing, documents our meetings and sends regular emails reminding us of future meetings, book selections and locations. Other rules were few - no attendance requirements, and since we have long acknowledged one another's busy lives, it's not obligatory to have read the book. We don't even insist that our book club meetings stay on topic, though we do typically manage to steer the discussion back to the book when we stray too far. In Will Schwalbe’s mémoire, The End of Your Life Book Club, his mother declares, “We can’t be a book club. There’s no food!” Happily, lack of food is not a problem. Our hosts provide snacks, wine and seltzer and some intrepid hosts even manage to serve food that fits the book's theme but that's never required. We've become a community of women supporting not only our love of reading, but our desire to spend time together, sharing our lives and supporting one another. We have capitalized on local, unique opportunities to hear author presentations at Skidmore College and Northshire Books and with FaceTime, we discovered that there are authors like Chris Bohjalin; Kurt Wisner and Jeff Goodell willing to attend a meeting virtually. Our members were delighted to have dinner with visiting authors Elizabeth McCraken and Amy Conner and local authors Robin Antalek and James Kunstler.

HOW HAVE WE SURVIVED OVER THE YEARS? It’s the mutual respect, shared love of reading and meaningful conversation that keeps us committed to the group. Most of all it comes back to living in a community with easy access to wonderful books.

SO WHAT BOOKS STAND OUT? Martin Dressler by local author Steven Milhauser surprised us with his descriptions of a magical, lavish hotel. How could the man standing in front of me at Bruegger’s Bagels be the Pulitzer Prize winner? I wondered. After our discussion, we understood why. Our summer companion book selections of Heart of Darkness by Joesph Conrad paired with Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible was memorable. Member Patsy Culbert loved to compare and contrast these reads and “shift our lens of experience to the African Congo.” Future book discussions returned to Kingsolver’s style of alternating narrative in four distinctly different voices of daughters living in the Belgian Congo. This introduced us to Kingsolver, an author we continued to read. The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan forced us to examine our relationships with our mothers and our thoughts about family. Our discussion was longer than usual and helped bond us together as “family.” Elizabeth McCracken (The Giant’s House) enthralled us as she described her writing process. Elizabeth graciously accepted our dinner invitation when she was a visiting professor at Skidmore for a semester. By the end of the evening we couldn’t wait to read more from author Ann Patchett, a close friend and Elizabeth’s editor. We discovered that authors are often eager to talk with book clubs - you just need to ask. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, first published in 1985, had been initially passed by many of us. Member Grace Frisone had long “resisted reading it. I thought it sounded awful. But for book club I gave it a try and LOVED it.” SS



Science Hiker said to the mountain: “Hey, where'd you get that scar?”





hick thunderheads choked Giant Mountain on June 29, 1963, but the loudest rumble didn’t come from the sky. When afternoon showers became evening tumult, dumping more than six inches of rain on Giant’s 4,626-foot summit, mud, trees and boulders tumbled 325 feet over Roaring Brook Falls. Picture it next time you snap photos from Route 73 of the falls, now flanked by sheer rock, and the peak’s west face, bruised and scarred. Slides, these swaths of exposed mountainside, mark the Adirondack landscape. Tour the High Peaks region, from the Whiteface gondola to any view of the Great Range, and you can’t miss them. Equally as characteristic, though, are the conditions that form the slides—notoriously thin soil on top of smooth anorthosite, an igneous rock also found on the Moon, clinging to steep slopes.


It’s a simple formula. When heavy rain saturates the soil, the resulting mush moves downhill on the waterslide below. Trees and rocks in the slide path take a ride. Fortunately for hikers, precipitation, though common, rarely reaches the magnitude needed to wash away hillsides. Records indicate that rain fell at a rate near three inches per hour on that Saturday in ’63. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene poured more than seven inches of rain onto the High Peaks, swamping the Keene area and clearing more slides. Curt Stager, professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith’s College, says these and a few other recent rain events aside, most slides probably date to the end of the last ice age around 12,000 years ago. “When the land was coming out from under the ice sheets, there would have been more slides happening,” he says.



And because the valley below Giant was a lake at the time, the ice age also left conditions for another kind of slide. When snow-melt and heavy rain permeated clay-rich soil on a low elevation slope of Little Porter Mountain, 82 acres of soil and rock began sliding slowly—a few inches to a foot per day—and damaged several homes in Adrian’s Acres outside Keene Valley. A land shift rather than a washout. Stager says that because clay is slippery when wet, clay-rich soil becomes unstable when water saturates it. “You can find clay in the soil at lower elevations with lake or ocean deposits,” he says. “You find it a lot around Montreal and Lake Champlain.” But being wary of the ingredients and possible locations for slides wouldn’t make predicting where they will occur an exact science—or anything close. Stager says that’s especially true for the high-elevation

variety. “We’d have to know the peaks under their skin in a way we don’t know,” he says. “We can expect more slides during the next big rainfall.” If there’s a silver lining to slides, beyond some mystical quality they add to NewYork’s most wild place, it’s the outdoor recreation they can attract. Roaring Brook Falls has become a classic climb. Bennies Brook Slide serves as a ramp up Lower Wolfjaw that some people find more interesting than the trail. A narrow Irene-born slide on Mount Colden called The Couloir beckons backcountry skiers. The North Face of Gothics Mountain offers a playground for multisport mountaineers. Several guiding services offer courses and trips built around adventuring on slides. So whether they fill you with ambition or dread, slides tell the story of the mountains we love — and they’ll evoke bolder floods to do it. SS




H&G Randall Perry Photography

Flip the page for the rest of the house


Archite Randall Perry Photography






“My family and I always look forward to returning to Circular Manor each year - the same weekend, the same room with the same other guests,” enthusiastically responds David Brause when asked about Circular Manor. David, president of New York City-based Brause Realty who developed Congress Park Centre in 2003, began staying at the boutique bed and breakfast in 1999, the first year Michele and Dieter Funiciello opened. “I couldn’t find a place to stay for opening weekend at the track for me and a group of friends so I called Joe Dalton, then president of the Saratoga County Chamber. Joe said ‘there is a new bed and breakfast recently opened by a lovely young couple in a beautifully restored Victorian – I promise you won’t be disappointed.' And, I wasn’t! I have returned there with my wife, children, extended family and friends ever since," said David. 48  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA


Randall Perry Photography


Photos provided

He went on to say, “Dieter makes the best breakfast in town, but still will not ever share his recipe for the fluffiest pancakes, and Michele always has a smile and knows exactly where to eat or what to do in town.” What is readily apparent when speaking with David is that what initially was only meant to be a place to stay for a weekend is now a special family tradition and has resulted in a wonderful friendship with Michele and Dieter. However, David and his family are not unique - many guests return every year because they have developed lasting friendships with Michele and Dieter as well as other guests. It is hard to believe that when Michele and Dieter bought the 12 bedroom house they did not intend to open a bed and breakfast. Michele and Dieter were not even planning to buy in town, but were planning to build a house outside of Saratoga Springs when 120 Circular Street was placed on the market by the Stein estate. “We walked in the front door and despite the falling down plaster and broken windows, we both knew we needed to buy the house – it had so much character,” Dieter recalled. Initially they thought that they would subdivide the house into two to three units to rent or sell. “We kept trying to come up with ideas of how to make it work, but nothing would do justice to the house and we just could not bring ourselves to be the ones to chop it up,” continued Dieter. While Dieter had thought one day long into the future he may want to operate a bed and breakfast, it became apparent that a bed and breakfast was the best solution to keep the integrity of the house - thus marking the beginning of a successful business.



After photo of the formal parlor of 120 Circular Street. Michele is personally responsible for all interior design.


The handsome Queen Anne was designed by prominent local architect, R. Newton Brezee. William Case built the house in 1903. Case, with his son Frank, owned W.J. Case & Son, a contracting and lumber supply firm that most likely partnered with Brezee on projects. According to the Saratogian, W.J. Case & Son was “one of the largest contracting businesses in north New York” and built, among many other structures, the Skidmore School of Arts, the Saratoga Hospital, and the George N. Ostrander mansion, now the Saratoga Golf & Polo Club. Case moved with his wife and their four children from their previous residence at 119 Nelson Avenue to 120 Circular Street. Their new home soon became the site of opulent social gatherings that were periodically described in the Saratogian.

The north facade of 120 Circular Street in 1996 before the Funiciellos restored the house.

Sadly, all that changed after Case’s death in 1915. His wife Frances moved back to 119 Nelson Avenue with her youngest daughter and rented 120 Circular Street for several years before selling it in 1923. The new owner operated it as the Viasana Convalescent Rest Home for the next 22 years before selling it in 1945 to Moses and Frances Stein. Including 120 Circular Street, the Steins owned six rooming houses on Caroline and Circular streets. In 1984, the house became vacant and remained so until Dieter and Michele purchased it in 1996. It took nearly three years to restore the house. After serving as a rooming house and being vacant for 14 years it was in rough condition. The house needed new wiring, plumbing & heating and air-conditioning. “We did much of the work ourselves, taking great care to preserve as much of the original plaster, moldings, windows, doors, and fixtures because that was originally what made us fall in love with the house. We understand that we are only temporary stewards,” shared Michele. Before photo of the interior of sitting room of 120 Circular Street 52  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA



Randall Perry Photography

One of the finishing touches of their restoration effort was the installation of the wrought iron fence in 2013. The wrought-iron inserts in the windows of the front entrance inspired Dieter to design and build a matching fence that would run the full 160-foot length of the Circular and Caroline street corner property. A producer of educational videos, Dieter had never before worked with metal, but he had a long-standing interest in trying. Self-taught, Dieter for the most part used the same techniques that craftsmen would have used in building such fences at the turn of the century. He undertook the time-consuming task of bending all of the steel scrolls by hand. However, he did not use rivets or bolts to attach his intricate scroll work as craftsmen of that era would have used. Instead, he used a MIG welder, making more than 6,000 welds. This is just one of many examples of the attention to detail that both Dieter and Michele give to not only preserving the house, but to their guests. “We want to be authentic to the house and to our guests,” said Michele. They were a newly married couple when they purchased the house. Despite challenges, they clearly work well together – each bringing their own strengths to the business and their relationship. “We complement one another - we have had wonderful experiences with the house, our guests, and working together over the years,” smiles Dieter. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Circular Manor. Please join us in celebrating this special occasion and Michele and Dieter’s efforts to preserve this stunning Queen Anne by attending the highly anticipated Porch Party on Thursday, May 9 that will kick off the 2019 Historic Homes Tour that takes place on Saturday, May 11. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation website or call (518) 587-5030. Michele and Dieter Funiciello standing in front of his hand-crafted wrought-iron fence.


If you are unable to join us at the Porch Party, make your reservation to stay at Circular Manor by visiting or call (518) 583-6393. SS



Susan Blackburn Photography

Colleen's Picks


Colleen Coleman is the Principal of CMC Design Studio LLC located at 6 Franklin Square 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.

THE FURNITURE HOUSE 1254 Route 9P Saratoga Springs 518.587.9865

Welcome 2019!

I have missed you all between the family frenzy and the Holiday fun! I couldn’t wait to show you what I found at some of my favorite Saratoga stores now that all the new winter treasures are in stock! I know, it’s winter …it’s cold… and we need some warmth in our homes right now! So, let me show you where you can locate some cozy, splurge-the-day-away-in-front-of-the-fireplace finds while the snow falls all around you! While the ice fishermen are having fun in their huts, may I suggest a warmer option of driving up to The Furniture House on Saratoga Lake and experiencing the Taylor King Curved Sofa. Available in an endless choice of fabrics, this sofa is winter comfy cozy with pillow fabric options and a matching ottoman… Layer and get lost! If you need a place for your brandy to rest while lighting the fire, be sure to bring home this Fairfield Trunk in charcoal canvas with wooden ribs and leather detailing! I couldn’t help but heap it with a blanket and wine glasses to give it that stay-at-home feeling we all need after a long, snowy week!

Curtain & Carpet Concepts is ready to rescue a cold winter’s night with their customizable bedding by Traditional Linens. Made in New York, each piece, whether coverlet, duvet or shams, is ordered to meet your winter night blues and turn them into warm, sleep-filled dreams. Cool wood floors and tile are no match for their new Karistan Broadloom Collection which can be bound - even in leather - to fit any room! CURTAIN & CARPET CONCEPTS 146 Marion Avenue, Suite 7 Saratoga Springs 518.886.1389



Need a little more? Bring home this Flokati Tibetan Sheep Hide to toss on the floor in front of your fireplace or cuddle under it while watching your favorite Netflix drama in pure hot cocoa induced tranquility.

CURTAIN & CARPET CONCEPTS 146 Marion Avenue, Suite 7 Saratoga Springs 518.886.1389

How about spicing up your entry, too, for a warm welcome with this circular Afshar area rug, hand crafted in India. Made of 100% New Zealand Wool…Wouldn’t we all like to be in New Zealand now for their summer season?! Its presence says “Good-bye” to dreary winter blues and “Hello” to crackling firesides and savory cups of soup!

23RD AND FOURTH 130 Excelsior Ave Saratoga Springs 518.584.3700

Just down the street I popped into 23rd and Fourth to catch a glimpse of their new upcoming collections for winter. If you love to entertain, this Luxe Down Cushioned Sectional is perfect for a crowd! With a full array of fabrics and multiple configurations, its sure to fit into any room’s décor! If you’re not looking for a sectional, its available in a sofa and love seat option as well! Add a little texture to your new sitting area with this 18” Woven Accent Table made of rattan and Lauan in a palm gray finish. Even on the frostiest days, a handsomely woven piece can kindle your heart with thoughts of warmer days ahead! Now to add an Accent Chair … and what a better way than with this stunning Teal Leather Piece. With an arm span of 33” wide and 36” deep, the luxe down cushions are sure to nestle you like a warm snifter of brandy! Choose from assorted leather or fabrics… be daring!…It’s always thrilling to invite color into a room! Now let’s add a little ice to the mix, shall we? Try playing with this Arctic Accent Table with a cast wood grain pattern…opposites attract as Grandma would say…So warm and cuddly, meet glacial and tranquil!... Wouldn’t a Rum Hot Cocoa with heaping whipped cream and a cinnamon stick look divine on that?

“Cherry Cordial Cocoa!” Compliments of Shaundra at the Olde Bryan Inn” : )

1 hot chocolate package of favorite brand 1 oz Pick SixVodka 1 oz amaretto 1 oz Godiva 1 oz grenadine (or real maraschino cherry juice)

1. Prepare the hot chocolate in a generous sized mug. 2.Rimming it with chocolate syrup is a nice touch and visually pleasing for guests. 3. Add the liquor and grenadine and stir well. 4. Top with whipped cream and a cherry! A chocolate covered cherry placed atop a hefty mound of whipped cream will really add a special touch – enjoy!


Colleen's Picks

On Broadway, Impressions of Saratoga completely bundles you up in this Saratoga Patch Beanie winter hat! Pair it with one of their leather patched vests or plaid shirts! The hat is available in 6 seasonal colors; teal, rust, hunter green, charcoal, cayenne and their most popular - oatmeal chunky knit with a pom-pom! Wrap yourself with a coordinating scarf and you’re ready for a stroll in Congress Park with your best fourlegged friend! Don’t forget the kiddies as the cold winter air blows through town. Their Kids Buffalo Check Plaid Zip with Hoodie is sure to keep your little ones warm as they ice skate at one of the Saratoga State Park’s seasonal outdoor skating rinks. Available in sizes 2T – youth 14/16. Top it off with a Saratoga Pony Fleece hat to keep the ears from chillin’! Afterward, warm their toes in a pair of Toastie Toe Horse Boots…Check out all the winter goodies Impressions has to offer next time you’re strolling on Broadway! Remember, dogs and their humans are always welcome!

IMPRESSIONS OF SARATOGA 368 Broadway Saratoga Springs 518 587-0666

Further north on Broadway I dropped into the Dark Horse and spied this utterly cozy Buffalo Plaid Check Sherpa Blanket… Super cushy and cuddly for reading a book fireside… in fact, use it all year long on camping trips and cool outdoor evenings! And doesn’t everyone need a Double Walled Coffee Tumbler that keeps your beverages hot, or cold, all day long?! This 16 oz. laser-etched tumbler with the Dark Horse logo comes in red, black and white with kiddie size options… perfect for a Cross Country skiing trip through the park!

THE DARK HORSE MERCANTILE 445 Broadway Saratoga Springs 518 587-0689



TOGA HERITAGE 389 Broadway Saratoga Springs

With all the outside fun done for the day, its time to retire at home and enjoy some of the hardy comfort foods we love here in the North East. T O G A Heritage, located in the lower level of Silverwood Antiques on Broadway, has infused our area with its brand, offering the spirit of Saratoga in its finely crafted goods. Take for instance this TOGA, large 18oz Mug…don’t miss the Scottish Wool Herringbone Blanket beneath… sized just right for a cup of Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Soup from Austin Bayliss Catering & Cakes. Pick up enough mugs for the entire family and try her recipe at home:

Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Soup Serves six, cooks in 30 minutes! 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 leek stalk, thoroughly cleaned and finely sliced 4 garlic cloves, sliced 1 tsp red pepper flakes 2 cans drained cannellini beans 1 cup water 3 tablespoons pesto 2 tablespoons grated parmesan 3 cups chicken broth 1 cup roasted red peppers, sliced salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in stock pot over medium / low heat. Sauté Leeks until softened. 2. Add Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes Sauté until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. 3. Add Cannellini Beans and Water and simmer until thick, about 8 minutes. 4. Stir in Pesto and Grated Parmesan 5. Add Chicken Broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. 6. Stir in Roasted Red Peppers. 7. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. 8. Serve hot with fresh, crusty bread.

Many thanks to Austin Bayliss of Austin Bayliss Catering & Cakes, the Innkeeper at Inn at Five Points, for sharing her favorite soup recipe with my readers! …She baked the cookies too! Now what about dessert? No worries, TOGA Heritage has their logoed Cookie Cutter with a keepsake Pouch which will entice even the fairest

of sweet dabblers to nibble, dunk and delight in their hometown personalized treat! Serve these enticing goodies made of ginger or short bread on one of TOGA Heritage’s Tartan Melamine Plates and make your way to the fireplace for a winter night cap. Don’t forget to pick up one of TOGA’s scented candles…This visit I chose the TOGA HOME Candle, a comforting blend of Patchouli, Juniper and Jasmine, layered with sandalwood, rose and vanilla. In fact, I’m burning it right now as I write to you, from in front of my fireplace… Just dreamy! But why settle for just one? Try the TOGA FIRESIDE Candle, too, with its woodsy notes of spa pine, oak and warm amber combined to make the perfect gathering blend! Invite friends for laughter, food and a sip of warm goodness this winter season. Be sure to celebrate our region, our spirit of Saratoga and remember to buy local this winter… I’ll be seeing you on the snowy sidewalks of Saratoga! Make a point to say “Hi” …and I love hearing from my readers!! Remember, Winter is a beautiful season of warmth… cherish the crisp white snowflakes, make a snowman, and smile with the heart of a child! Until next time my friends…


Colleen Coleman of CMC Design Studio LLC AKBD, CAPS & True Color Expert Creating Environments For LifeTM


In the Kitchen WITH



HELLO MY FOODIE FRIENDS! he sounds of cooking can be music to our ears with the sounds of beeps, pans, clinging, clanging …and thuds in your kitchen. Having the right cookware is important to the entire culinary experience.

This brings me back to the time my father and his friends went on their yearly hunting trip to Vermont. Every year four dads got together for a week of deer hunting. After about four years in a row of not bringing back a deer, my mom got wise and had a meeting with the other moms. They gave each dad a condition they had to fulfill if they wanted to go… they were required to bring all their children, over the age of five. The negotiations went on for months and my Dad, who was the ring leader, finally gave in. So, some very excited little boys and girls got to go with their Dads on a weekend- long November vacation. Dad’s cookware at the “Cabin” was not the best and the first night the dads had a great time laughing and enjoying their “refreshments” (as they referred to them) while we ran around endlessly. It started getting dark and I asked my dad when we were going to eat? He told me to go ahead and cook something up. I replied: “Dad, I’m seven.” There was literally no food. My Uncle Cass found some cans of beans and first looked at the other Dads then to all ten of us kids and with a very loud and enthusiastic voice said: “Hey kids, how about some BEANS!” Then all the Dads started yelling, “beans, beans beans,” and then the kids started yelling “beans, beans, beans!” Uncle Cass started pouring six cans of beans into a wooden handled sauté pan while singing made up songs that we all joined in on. He kept stirring and singing while we assembled at the table peacefully. I must admit he had me more excited to eat a plate of beans than I have ever been for a meal. “Ok,” he said, “here it is kids” and we all cheered. As he turned around the wooden handle came loose, and the pan spun around multiple times and the beans went flying. Hot beans hit like little bean-pellets bouncing off every child at the table. It was obvious no one was hurt, because all of us were laughing so hard we couldn’t talk, but Uncle Cass thought he killed us.

-They’ll do what the heat source tells them to do - heat up, cool down almost instantly. -You get fast heat flow. Heat flows more easily through a good heat conductor, assuring a quick equalizing of temperature on the cooking surface. -You get even heat diffusion. A thicker pan has more distance between the cooking surface and the heat source. By the time the heat flows to the cooking surface, it will have spread out evenly, because heat diffuses as it flows. -You get more heat. Mass holds heat (heat is vibrating mass, so the more mass there is to vibrate, the more heat there will be). The more pan there is to heat, the more heat the pan can hold, so there’s more constant heat for better browning, faster reducing, and hotter frying. Our staple product is All-Clad cookware. Our local chefs in town use this. All-Clad is an American Heritage. The company began during the U.S. steel age in 1967 when Clad Metals began as a small metallurgical company that specialized in formulating bonded metals for a variety of industries. After years of perfecting the bonding process; founder John Ulam established All-Clad Metalcrafters in 1971 and began producing professional quality bonded cookware for chefs and avid home cooks. All-Clad is recognized for its extraordinary properties and exemplary cooking performance. All-Clad cookware is handcrafted in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, with American-made steel the same way it was four decades ago. This cookware is widely sought after by the world’s top chefs and passionate home cooks. When you’re ready to invest in the best cookware… stop by.


A good pan would have prevented this disaster. However, it is to this day -one of our all-time favorite experiences with our dads. Dad had a tense moment explaining to mom why her three boys had red dots on their foreheads. So many of our customers come in and state that they want good cookware. They are tired of going through tons of pieces that do not last or are not providing them with the heat conduction or distribution they are looking for. Good pans are worth their price because they manage heat better. Being a “good conductor” and “heavy gauge” are the key features of good cookware.

Here’s how these characteristics affect cooking: -You get responsive heat. Good heat conductors, such as copper and aluminum, are responsive to temperature changes. 60  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA


Compliments to the Chef - your neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place. Make music in your kitchen with the sounds of stirring and pots and pans clanking. Play some music while you cook. Dance and embrace those who make those creative dishes that say, “I love you.” Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen!” Take care,

John and Paula

5-INGREDIENT BARBECUE BACON BAKED BEANS PREP TIME: 25 minutes COOK TIME:1 hour 15 minutes TOTAL TIME:1 hour 40 minutes Ingredients 1/2 of a medium white onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup) 4 strips thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into pieces 2 cans baked beans (Organic) 3/4 cup homemade sweet barbecue sauce or your favorite jarred sauce 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses. Instructions • Preheat your oven to 350°. • In a skillet pan, add onions and bacon and then heat on medium. • Cook until onions are soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. • Remove the pan from the heat and add in the beans, barbecue sauce and black pepper and stir. • Cover the pan and slide it onto the middle rack of your preheated oven. Cook for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. When the hour is up, use pot holders to remove the lid and slide the pan back into your oven for 15 minutes. • Allow the beans to cool for a few minutes before serving. Season with black pepper to taste. • Beans will thicken up more as they cool.


Taking a Closer Look WITH



’ve been an avid fan of photography since my late teens, inheriting my interest from my Dad who had a pretty good eye for composition. I’ve followed the evolution of cameras since the 1960s, and with that perspective, I’m amazed with modern digital cameras and what they can do. An example of this is macro or close-up digital photography. My first digital camera was purchased around Y2K. It was a Sony Mavica FD-95 that took 2.1 megapixel images and stored them on floppy discs that were inserted into the camera. You could get 4 images per disc. As bizarre and clunky as that sounds now, it was pretty amazing to be able to shoot a picture, see it and edit it on your computer immediately. You could print a decent 8” X 10” from the files. My epiphany came when I tried out the little macro button on the side of the camera that is identified by a “flower” symbol. Pressing it causes the sensor to move back from the lens allowing it to focus on very small objects very close to the lens...almost touching it in fact. With film cameras, macro photography required expensive lenses and bellows. It was a specialty few could afford, and now it was available simply by pressing a button! This opened up a whole new world of interesting subjects. It didn’t take long before I was hooked. Naturally, as a gardener, I turned my lens upon the plants and flowers. I was now able to capture details of the textures and colors that make them so alluring. Getting in so close, you can’t miss the delightful cast of characters we share our gardens with. Bees, butterflies, toads, newts and critters of every description all became costars in my ever-growing collection


of macro pictures. Soon the camera was never far from hand when there was gardening to be done. As the 2000s progressed, digital camera development exploded, and I progressed too with a series of upgrades. More megapixels and better technology brought more capable cameras and highly detailed photographs. I used one of those cameras to convert all my dad’s slides and negatives into digital files that I shared with my brother and sister. I evolved from “point-and-shoot” cameras to a DSLR, always with an eye toward macro capability. The DSLR and a 50mm macro lens coupled with a flash produces amazing images for me. Through all this experience, I’ve learned that the camera that will allow you to get closest to the subject is still a “point and shoot” camera. A year ago, I gifted myself with a macro monster, the Olympus TG-5. Coupled with an accessory light ring called a “light guide,” this camera lets you capture images of snowflakes! All this for less money than a decent macro lens for a DSLR! Here’s a little sampling of the crystalline beauties I’ve shot. Most were taken on the hood of a convenient car or the side table on my gas grill but any frozen dark surface will do. I’ve learned that the variety of snowflakes is endless from classic flakes to needles, plates, capped columns and many others that form under different conditions. Shooting and learning about snowflakes continues to be a fun and challenging pastime. Living where we do, it is always nice to have an activity that makes the next snowstorm something to look forward to. Thanks for taking a look. SS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019



or those of you who may not know or don't remember… a drive-through Safari Animal Park opened in Northumberland in the mid-seventies and yes, it was complete with lions, tigers, buffalo, camels, etc. Why an attraction like this would open in Upstate New York is still a mystery to me. On opening day my wife Holly and I drove to the park to take a look. We met the manager and because I had always had an interest in zoo medicine, I asked if they had a veterinarian on staff, which they did not, so I offered my services. They were accepted with the agreement that I would not be on premises, but on call. This worked well for me as I had recently opened the Saratoga Veterinary Hospital and was in the process of building my practice. My first call was a request to check a Camel with severe skin issues. Upon examination it was clear that something serious was going on. He had lost most of his hair and was extremely uncomfortable due to the skin inflammation. My first thoughts were a bacterial or fungal infection or external parasites. Seeing no obvious signs of fleas or ticks, nor any scabs or pustules, I took a skin scraping. A microscopic examination confirmed that the Camel had a serious case of Scabies (sarcoptic mange mites).

Sarcoptic mange in dogs is species specific, therefore not very contagious except to other dogs. However, in large animals, this mange is highly contagious to other animals, including humans. The process of treating this condition in dogs is well known but not applicable to an animal as large as a Camel. So, I called the New York State Agricultural Department for some help. The first thing they asked me was "Did you report this to the State Health Department?” Not having been practicing large animal medicine since I left school, I had forgotten that there are some diseases that must be reported to the State immediately and large animal scabies was one of them. After being mildly scolded, I got the proper forms and treatment regimen. I immediately returned to the park to let them know that the Camel must be isolated. All other animals and humans who had direct contact must be carefully monitored for any skin issues. Fortunately, after a few weeks of isolation we had a happy ending, as the treatment was a success and no other Camel, animal, or human had any signs of Scabies. In my next installment… I will tell you about my encounter with an adult male lion.


Jordanna NEW YEAR Real Female Northern Cardinal



goal without action is just a dream. When a new year comes along, most of us think of some resolutions to try. These resolutions are really your years’ goals. The ones that top most lists are to get organized, lose weight, save money, change jobs or quit a bad habit. All of these are great ideas but with no action plan to carry them out, that is all they are – great ideas. Figuring out what your goals are should come with a brain dump session of what is important to you and everything and anything you want to do. Some things you may need to admit will never get done -because of the actual items you list out as being important. For example; that extra degree means quitting your part-time job, but your job pays for the private education you want to provide for your children. So, pull out what you want to do in the next year – those become your short-term goals. The rest stay on that master list as long-term goals and/or lifetime goals, or shall we say… bucket list items. Another key point is variety. Pick goals from several different areas; business and career, contribution and giving back, financial, health and fitness, relationships, home, personal or other. This ensures you will have growth and change in several ways during the year.

Here are some examples:

A career goal can be to get the promotion within your department and a giving back goal can be to get on the schedule of your favorite charity to volunteer one day per month. Try to be specific – not lose weight but lose X number of pounds. Specific amounts provide a measurement for success/completion. If you are a visual person, a fun project for your goals can be to create an inspiration board to represent your master list or just your years’ goals. Visual reminders will keep them present. If one of your goals is to have a beach house, find a great picture of one and put it up there. The board should remind you daily of the greater picture.


Now for the action part:

Some goals may require a lot of steps, time and money. Quantifying that in the beginning helps you figure out how to make it happen. This also means that time you are spending on other activities may need to be reduced – what can you say no to? Funding the goals, what can you cancel in services or cut out in purchases to fund the new item? Everything must be prioritized, because if everything is important, nothing is important. Read that last line again… if everything is important, nothing is important – so true! For each goal, write out the sub steps to complete it. Be very specific and add dates if possible. Here is a deep dive into the goal of losing weight – 1. Pick meal plan or program to follow for nutrition by Jan 7 2. Sign up for gym by Jan 15 3. Figure out days of the week or classes to attend by Jan 20 4. Enter these sessions into your calendar for 2 months by Jan 25 5. Pick goal weight for end of Feb, Mar, Apr and track 6. Assess each month’s successes in programs and modify if not working 7. Pick goal date for completion – goal weight by June 1 (or major event if you have one!) The more prep you do, the more successful you will be. The most important tool you can have for success is a planner or calendar system you can trust. You need to have a planner that acts like your personal assistant; follow it and constantly update. Additionally, add a 1 hour session each month to review all your goals, how you are doing and add future actions to get you to completion. It is exciting to start a new year and be open to what can be. With goals, planning and monitoring you can make the New Year a year of real change. SS

Happy New Year!





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

VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP Baby it’s cold outside!

…and that is precisely why soup is on my stove top and ready to warm things up around here. My weeknights are B-U-S-Y and I like to keep my time in the kitchen to a minimum. This soup recipe tastes great, but even better, you can make it in 30 minutes. Just follow my time saving tips to make this recipe that’s packed with lots of delicious veggies that are even easier to add in thanks to new products in the produce aisle.


• • • • • •

3 lbs lean ground beef 2 zucchinis (medium sized or see my time saving tip below) 1 ½ lbs carrots (see my time saving tip below) 1 lb frozen corn 1 sweet onion 3 – 14.5 oz cans of Italian styled diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano


• • • • • • • • •

32 oz organic beef stock 2 cups water ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 1 tablespoon onion powder 2 teaspoons sea salt 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon coriander ½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Start by browning the ground beef over medium heat. Stir frequently.

2. While that is browning, simply dice your onion into small pieces and prep your zucchini by cutting it into quarters.

3. Carefully drain any excess juices from cooking the meat once it’s fully browned. 4. Add in the cut zucchini, the sliced carrots, the frozen corn, the diced onion, the

three cans of diced tomatoes, the beef stock, the water, the Italian seasoning, the onion powder, the sea salt, the garlic powder, the coriander & the black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium/low & simmer until the vegetables are soft. Approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese just before serving,

5. Serve alone, over cooked pasta, cooked rice or cooked barley. Made too much? NEVER! I always keep my pasta, rice or barley to the side. I only add it in as I am serving each bowl, because I FREEZE any excess soup for future use. And, I never freeze it with the starch in the mix. When I’m ready to thaw and use, I simply make the rice, pasta or barley fresh.

TIP # 1

Time Saver Tip #1: Buy your zucchini pre-sliced. If the yellow squash comes in the packet, it’s fine (it will taste extra delish). If you have a good knife, you can stack three pieces at a time to cut them…

TIP # 2

Time Saver Tip #2: Buy

your carrots pre-peeled & sliced.

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


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 TIMES UNION HOME EXPO Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St., Albany


FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 MURDER MYSTERY DINNER Saratoga Wilton Elks Lodge, 1 Elk Lane, Saratoga Springs, 6 – 9 p.m. Join us for an evening of interactive murder mystery will have you laughing, puzzling and thoroughly involved in the investigation to solve the whodunnit! Murder Mystery Dinner includes entertainment by Adirondack Flat Line Players and a Turkey Dinner. $30 at the door. Cash bar available. Proceeds to be used for Elks Charities. AGATHA CHRISTIE'S THE STRANGER Riggi Theater, National Museum of Dance, 99 S. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 7:30 p.m. Theatre Saratoga presents a special World Premiere production of Agatha Christie's The Stranger. The Dame herself penned this stage adaptation, which was lost in the shadows of a later collaboration. This thriller confronts themes of feminine vulnerability and the seduction of the trope “love at first sight.” Enid has accepted what she believes is her last, best chance at marriage. It's a safe, sensible choice and she can't help but feel a little trapped. Then a handsome stranger walks into her life and opens the door to new possibilities. It seems too good to be true... and very well may be. Performances: January 25, 26, February 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m. and January 27, February 3 at 2 p.m. Audience Tickets: $15 Student/$25 Adults. Available at:

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 SARATOGA WEDDING SHOW Hall of Springs and Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa, 24 Gideon Putnam Rd., Saratoga Springs, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Brides will sip champagne and taste hors d’oeuvres and sumptuous wedding cakes and speak with over 130 exhibitors representing every service a bride will need to create the perfect wedding day - Including 30 wedding locations highlighting their creative foods as they present their elegant ideas and venues to you! Come speak face to face with the area’s premier wedding professionals and find out how to transform your wedding day into the celebration of a lifetime! SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2 21ST ANNUAL SARATOGA CHOWDERFEST Downtown Saratoga Springs, Various Locations, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saratoga’s Annual Chowderfest is one of the area’s most highly anticipated events of the year. Family-friendly, fun and utterly delicious, Chowderfest features more than 80 vendors—including Saratoga County’s best restaurants and caterers—who open their doors to the public and serve hot bowls of chowder to event goers. If you'd like to participate in or sponsor Chowderfest, contact Connie or call 518-584-1531. 66  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA

With the help of some of the Capital Region's most talented home improvement businesses, you can make your dream home a reality. Our exhibitors specialize in anything from windows, doors, and kitchens to building a home from the ground up. Whether you’re looking to freshen up your current residence or build a new one altogether, the Home Expo delivers you experts in the industry who can help make the home you live in one you love. As the largest and longest running consumer home show in the Capital Region with over 8,000 attendees, this annual showcase of the best builders, re-modelers, decorators and home improvement experts in the area is the show to be seen at. Friday, 3 – 8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $5.00. Children 14 and under are free with paying adult.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 WINTERFEST 2019 AT WILTON WILDLIFE PRESERVE AND PARK Camp Saratoga, 80 Scout Rd., Gansevoort, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Join us outside for a day of snowy fun! Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park will be hosting a day of fun activities to celebrate getting outdoors in winter. The day kicks off with an 8k Snowshoe race. There will be a bonfire at the Fire Circle by the Winter Lodge where participants can warm up by the bonfire with hot cocoa and s’mores. Snowshoes and Cross Country Skis will be available for rental from the Information Cabin in Parking Lot #1. Rentals are $5. No registration is necessary. LEGO® AMERICANA ROADSHOW Some of America’s most famous landmarks are temporarily moving to Crossgates – or at least, their LEGO replicas are. The LEGO Americana Roadshow, presented by MVP Health Care, is a free traveling roadshow stopping at Crossgates on February 9-24, marking its first Upstate New York appearance for the 17-day interactive exhibit. The all-ages event will be open to the public, taking place throughout the upper level and lower level of the mall, with a LEGO Play Area, from 10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. Anchoring the festivities are ten large-scale replicas of iconic American buildings, including The White House, U.S. Capitol, The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, and The Lincoln Memorial. LEGO Brickscapes will be placed throughout Crossgates and will feature an intricate level of detail and creativity in these six themed landscapes, such as Mount Rushmore and Duplo Castle. A LEGO Play Area, presented by MVP Health Care, where people of all ages can build whatever their heart desires. A scavenger hunt and activity map, where guests can answer questions while visiting each landmark and receive a free LEGO Americana collective card pack. For more details visit THE MOUSETRAP Home Made Theater at The Spa Little Theater, 19 Roosevelt Dr., Saratoga Springs 7:30 – 10 p.m. Mysterious twists and thrilling turns abound when a group of strangers stranded in a guest house during a snowstorm discover that a murderer is in their midst. Whodunnit? Is it one of the suspicious newlyweds or the spinster with the curious background? Perhaps it’s the architect, the retired Army major or the strange man running from his past. Enjoy an evening of exhilarating intrigue as Agatha Christie’s greatest mystery unfolds to its surprising conclusion. Come find out why The Mousetrap is the world’s longest running play! Weekends Feb 9 – 24. Tickets are $27 for adults and $24 for students and seniors. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15 2019 FLURRY FESTIVAL Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs Shake off the winter blues! It's time to dance, sing, jam, and more at The Flurry Festival! The 32nd Flurry Festival will run from February 15 – 17. The Flurry is well-known as the best winter weekend ever for dancers and music lovers of all ages! Featuring: dances, workshops, singing, concerts, jamming performances, family events, storytelling, vendors, and more. Stay tuned for more 2019 details as they become available!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19 SARATOGA BEER WEEK Saratoga Springs, Various Locations From February 19-23, enjoy a wide range of beer-themed events throughout the city. The 2019 Saratoga Beer Week promises fun, food, and fantastic beer! With multiple beer-centered events, locals and visitors alike will enjoy top regional and national brews while seeing the best of what Saratoga has to offer, including restaurants, hops, and hotels.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24 Longfellows Wedding Show Longfellows Restaurant, 500 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 11 a.m. The charming setting of Longfellows Restaurant and its unique atmosphere makes the Longfellows Wedding Show a one-of-akind experience. With amazing wedding professionals to offer you their expertise and help plan the day of your dreams, you will be ready to say those two little words. Register in advance at for the show and stay in the loop with everything we have in store for that day. For more information call 518-406-0505. Friends and family do not need to register to attend with the couple.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22 Capital District Garden and Flower Show Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy Renowned for its full-scale landscape exhibits and creatively designed gardens, the Capital District Garden & Flower Show, now in its 32nd year, brings together local landscape professionals to transform the McDonough Sports Complex at HVCC into a backyard environment complete with shrubs, flowers, ponds, waterfalls, retaining walls, sidewalks, and lawns. There will be demonstrations, lectures, and presentations from local and regional experts; plants, bulbs, flowers, and seeds available for sale; soil testing by the Cornell Cooperative Extension; a Garden Cafe; and much more. Partial proceeds from the show benefit Wildwood Programs, which serves individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities, complex learning disabilities, and autism. This is an event not only for garden enthusiasts, but anyone who wants to escape winter for a taste of spring. Friday, March 22, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday, March 24, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information, visit SS


Shake off the winter blues!

Photo by

It’s time to dance, sing, jam, and more at The Flurry Festival. The 32nd annual Flurry festival is on President’s Weekend, February 15th 17th with events being held at the Saratoga Springs City Center, the Saratoga Hilton Hotel, the Parting Glass Pub, Putnam Den, and Excelsior Springs.

there is no need to bring a partner to come have fun. North American dances will include non-stop contra and square dancing, Cajun and Zydeco, Appalachian clogging, country line dancing, Native American and Cuban.

The Flurry is internationally known as a destination for dancers and music lovers of all ages, featuring more than 300 performers, five venues, and more than 250 events!

Not a dancer?

The 2019 schedule includes a diverse lineup of programs for families with young children, teens, as well as international music, singing, jamming, storytelling and dance events for all ages. There is no need to bring a partner or even know your right foot from your left. Young children and their families can take part in fun family dances, square dancing, storytelling, movement games, sing-a-longs, and much more. Teens will have their very own youth-only contra dance, youth-only Irish step dance, techno contra dances, teen level sing-a-longs and storytelling, a teen talent showcase, teen jam session, world dance for teens, body percussion workshops, unlimited contra dancing, swing dancing, and international experiences with music, song, and dance. Attendees of all ages will enjoy a lineup of international music and dance experiences. Along with our traditional weekend filled with non-stop contra and swing, we have programming lined up all weekend with dance styles such as French, Balkan, African, Indian, Irish, Scottish, English, and more. Many styles have instruction available for beginners on up, and


That’s fine! There is more than enough to keep you busy with jamming, music instruction workshops, concerts, storytelling, demonstrations and special dance performances to watch. The weekend will bring you many live concerts and performances including the Vanaver Caravan's World Dance Festival, The Strawberry Hill Fiddlers, and more. Music instruction and jamming will be happening all weekend long including workshops for Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Ukulele, Percussion, and a full weekend long of tune workshops and jamming for all instruments. Instrument check is available on site all weekend long. Participatory singing and storytelling are woven through the weekend. Vendors will be on hand with beautiful and fun dance wear and shoes, and a variety of food options, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free. Tickets (full weekend passes or day passes, with special discounts given for students, children, military and seniors) are available online until Feb 8, 2018 and will be available at the door all weekend long. Come for the day or stay all weekend! To see a full schedule of events and learn more about the festival, please visit our website at JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

FESTIVAL HISTORY It was pure luck that the Dance Flurry Festival came into being. In 1987, Nancy Gretta and Paul Rosenberg were car-pooling to the Brattleboro, Vermont, Labor Day Dawn Dance. As they drove, they reminisced about how wonderful the one and only Old Songs Winter Dance Fest had been. In the Autumn of 1986, the 2nd annual Winter Dance Fest was in the planning stages when the director stepped down, and Nancy had just learned that the 1988 festival was also canceled. She asked Paul (partially in jest) if he would organize a replacement festival. The wheels began to spin, and Paul thought a smaller, one-day winter dance festival could be a logical extension of the Schenectady contra dance series, which he had developed earlier in 1987. This series was (and still is) unique, because it was totally dedicated to the showcasing and development of callers and musicians from within the Capital District of New York State. The Hudson-Mohawk Country Dancers (later known as HudsonMohawk Traditional Dances, Inc., and now as the Dance Flurry Organization) was formed as a not-for-profit chapter of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) around 1987, which allowed for grants and the ability to obtain liability insurance. The first February Dance Flurry was a one-day festival held at the Westmere Elementary School in Guilderland, NY, on February 13, 1988. Over 300 dancers attended a highly successful event, staffed entirely by 38 local and regional performers, including Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, George Wilson, Selma Kaplan, Pat Rust, Mary Cay Brass, Van Kaynor, and the St. Regis String Band. The Festival evolved to become a three-day extravaganza, which was held for several years at the Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland. In 1994, just two-and-a-half weeks before the Flurry, very cold weather burst water pipes in the school's gymnasium and ruined the floor. The Flurry organizers scrambled to find an alternative venue and managed to cobble together a festival held at several venues in the city of Saratoga Springs. The location was a perfect match, and Saratoga Springs has been the home of the Flurry ever since. The attendance - including over 400 performers and 300 Flurry staff and volunteers - has climbed to over 4,000! Around 2010, the "Dance Flurry" festival name was changed to reflect both dance and non-dance events (an often-said reply to being asked about attending the "Dance Flurry" was: "Oh, I don't go, because I don't dance"). And so, "The Flurry - A Festival of Traditional Dancing and Music," became the proper name and motto, known now, simply as… "The Flurry.” The organization retained the "Dance Flurry" name and hosts The Flurry, as well as a fall Adirondack dance weekend, and an assortment of dances throughout the year. SS


A Place in History:




itting at an old wooden table in the kitchen of Schuylerville’s Marshall House, I am listening to David Bullard, a member of only the second family to reside in here in its nearly 250 year existence. Bullard (a graduate of Cornell and the University of London, world traveler (fluent in Japanese and the first to drive a motorcycle across Africa, apple-grower, and successful businessman: a true polymath) resides here with his wife, famed Welsh composer Hilary Tann. “We consider living here a privilege,” says Bullard, who was born in October of 1930, the year his family purchased the residence from the Marshalls. He pauses, gazing across the room, and I imagine him rifling through his encyclopedic knowledge, deciding how to capture centuries of history – stories of developing the new territory, of war and conflict, architecture, families and human adventure – in a brief meeting. Heading up the curving gravel driveway – the manse is located at the top of a hill overlooking the old Champlain Canal and the Hudson River just north of Schuylerville – the serenity of an early autumn afternoon makes it difficult to imagine the signature ferocity that occurred near and on this spot in September and October of 1777. As General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne headed south from Canada toward New York City - with the aim of seizing control of the Hudson, so the British could effectively cut New England off from the other colonies - their encampments clustered along the Hudson north of Bemis Heights, where Colonial forces had settled in. The Marshall House sat abandoned on a hill north of where German “auxiliary” troops were camping. (The only other extant structure from the time, the Neilson Farmhouse located on the grounds of the Saratoga Battlefield National Park, has been reconstructed and consists of approximately 10 percent of its original materials.)


Major General Frederik Adolph Riesdesel, the commander of the German troops, upon whom the British were so dependent, sent his wife Baroness Frederika Riedesel and their three girls – ages 6, 3, and 1 – to take refuge there. She offered shelter to other women and children accompanying the British army family and, eventually, to wounded soldiers. The “Battle of Saratoga” was actually three battles that took place on September 19th and October 7th, on farmland near Bemis Heights, nine perilous miles south (the National Park visitor center has an excellent animated diorama that illustrates the skirmishes.The final battle occurred in Old Saratoga.) The fray that occurred on the 19th was fierce and both sides experienced heavy casualties but, as night fell, the British held the field, though unable to proceed further south as planned. Expecting reinforcements from New York City (which the British held), Burgoyne ordered his troops to dig in and await the vital assistance. They never made it farther north than Kingston and returned to New York, leaving Burgoyne’s isolated, diminished forces rapidly exhausting their supplies as the damp and unseasonal cold of October set in. The “Turning Point of the Revolution” was sealed on October 7th when the insurgent Colonial forces – a ragtag band of farmers - whose lack of training was made up for by their passion, familiarity with the land, and tactical good fortune. Capitalizing on British mistakes, they pressed the demoralized invading forces to retreat north toward Schuylerville (then known as Saratoga) where the final fighting took place. The intrepid Baroness and her coterie remained ensconced at the Marshall House, which had been built by Albany businessman Peter Lansing who intended to use it as a tenant farm to supply produce but the venture never launched as hostilities grew. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

1876 photo of the was Marshall William Sipperlyhostess Frederika Riedesel quite aHouse figuretaken in herby own right: aH.charming known for her gay parties in Canada (at one fête she erected the first Christmas tree – a German tradition – in North America), her brilliance, outspoken candor, and plucky bravery. She was the first woman to provide a first-hand chronicle of war in her diaries.

As the bedraggled allied British forces huddled in rude dug-outs around Old Saratoga - and on October 10th Colonial forces continued the rout – constituting the final “battle” of Saratoga and mistaking the Marshall House for an enemy headquarters, peppered it with cannonballs fired from the east side of the Hudson.The Baroness, other women and children, as well as some wounded soldiers, took refuge in the dirt-floored cellar. As she later wrote “… in one corner of this I remained the whole day, my children sleeping on the earth with their heads in my lap; and in the same situation I passed a sleepless night. Eleven [cannon balls] passed through the house, and we could distinctly hear them roll away.” The group lay in refuge for nearly a week – out of food and short on water – as the Colonial forces continued their harassment of the Loyalists, until General Burgoyne finally surrendered on October 17th.

General Schuyler and Baroness Riedesel

In the spirit and code of the day, General Schuyler hosted the Baroness and her children, offering shelter, food, and comfort to this remarkable woman. Though not the end of the war – it would formally end in 1783 – the astonishing defeat of the world’s premier professional fighting forces by amateur militia not only foiled plans of dividing the fledgling American territories but rallied the French (steeped in enmity for the British anyway) to throw their resources behind the revolutionary effort which marked the “turning point” of the entire campaign. In the growing darkness of the Marshall House kitchen, I sat looking at David’s professorial visage as he explained that he still has some of those cannon balls, as well as many other artifacts. He told me that when he was a boy he recalled his father returning from digging “cold frames” for plants by the nearby barn and reported discovering the remains of a makeshift burial ground that must have included some of the wounded soldiers who died in the house. (A carpet covers bloodstains that can be seen to this day.) South of The Marshall House, on the other side of what is now Route 4, is a graveyard the Bullards own that contains fifty-four Marshalls (including four who fought in the war) who returned to farm their property for many years. Maintaining it is a part of Bullard’s sense of stewardship.

Recently discovered cannonball displayed in the Marshall House

Descendants of the original Marshalls lived in the house until Jenny Marshall died in 1930. David’s great-great grandfather Alpheus was a resident of Old Saratoga since 1821 and David’s father purchased The Marshall House after Jenny died, the same year David was born, and they moved in when he was a month old. A residence rich in generations of two distinguished families. An historic site witness to some of the great drama – and personal bravery of the “gentle sex” – of events many historians count among the most significant in world history. A living and lively spot that has hosted thousands from around the globe and is the focus of ongoing scholarly research, The Marshall House is a remarkable gem “hidden in plain sight.” A phone call interrupts our conversation. I stand and thank David for his generosity and ask about the future of the place. While specific plans have yet to be worked out, David and Hilary have created a non-profit education corporation through the New York State Regents. Its primary purpose will be investigating and chronicling the role of women in wartime. The Marshal House’s place in history is thus indemnified. SS For more information please visit


In honor of

Valentine's Day

…and a forever kind of love. One White Mitten



his story began the day a Saratoga Springs High School ski trip pulled away from the curb in front of the Lake Avenue School on Saturday, February 28, 1970.

I submitted the piece on October 12, 2008 to, This I Believe. It was accepted and can still be found by searching OneWhite Mitten, @ It was one of my first ventures into writing. This is a love story. The ultimate high-school-sweetheart love story. It is a story of two average teens that fell in love, raised an average family and lived an average life. It is a story that a husband needed to put in print. It is a story that is not unique, it is as I said, “Average.” This story is happening next door, across the street and maybe in your house. This story is going be told, because you see, it’s long overdue. The average story doesn’t make big headlines or profits. But, is the average love story really average, or is it as I believe… “extraordinary?” For those two teenagers to live and love for richer or poorer, through sickness and in health, till death they do part is to - this average man - a story worth telling. I dedicate this story to my wife, the beautiful young high school sophomore with the Irish dimple and the white mittens. The woman who gave me goose bumps, Brendan and Kevin and the never-ending love that moved me to put this down on paper.


It was a high school ski trip on the last day of February 1970. We made the date at our hall lockers. I was excited. It was Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks in the early years.The weather was cool not cold. A yellow school bus full of high school sights, smells and sounds sat at the edge of a snow encrusted parking lot. It was 48 years ago but I can see, smell and hear that day like it was yesterday. She had on her long green ski parka, knit hat and the white mittens. The white mittens that started this lifelong love in motion. It was a great day of skiing, hot chocolate and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She was different from the rest. She was herself. No makeup just Chapstick, nothing phony, just pure Catholic school girl honesty at its best—young and beautiful.We were all alone on a yellow school bus full of people. Laughing and teasing teenagers warm with anticipation and cold feet. Then it happened. One clean white mitten fell to the floor of that dirty old yellow bus. I bent over. She bent over. It happened just like that. She looked at me. I looked at her. I picked up the mitten and kissed that beautiful young girl.That moment, that instant and it was never going to be the same. She stole my heart and changed my life. Epilogue: For those readers out there, who possess a passion for something or someone, please don’t wait for the perfect circumstance to express it. Imagine if the mitten never falls… SS




STAR SPRING 1868 The Star Spring was a very popular afternoon and evening spring in the city and was also bottled and shipped to a wide area. The Star was located near a cluster of other springs in the High Rock Park area of today.



Putnam’s Vision






he grand hotels of Saratoga Springs, in the 19th century, were the most visible indication that our city was the number one tourist destination in the country. The hotels were huge in size, eloquent in style and known throughout the country as “the place” to be in the summer season. Gideon Putnam built the first hotel in the village in 1802 and it was then known as Putnam’s Tavern and Boarding House. This initial hotel had the capacity to house 70 guests. In 1802 Saratoga Springs was not in need of large hotels because it was a small fledgling destination but as our popularity grew, it didn’t take long before Putnam needed an “overflow” for his first hotel and began to plan and build a new hotel. The new hotel would be called Congress Hall. The Congress would be located on the east-side of Broadway, stretching from the south-east corner of Spring Street to East Congress Street (the entry to Congress Park today). Gideon Putnam began construction of Congress Hall in 1811 with the name coming from the nearby famed Congress Spring that was a well-known asset in the early village. While working on the north façade of the hotel, Gideon fell from the scaffolding and was seriously injured. Putnam suffered for months from those internal injuries until he died on December 1, 1812. Congress Hall was three stories tall with 196 feet of frontage on Broadway and two wings that went down Spring Street and East Congress Street for a length of sixty feet. The front side of the hotel had 17 columns each thirty feet in height that framed a very beautiful porch that gave guests a place to sit and observe the activity on Broadway day and night. For this period in Saratoga history the Congress was a very large hotel that had a capacity to accommodate 150 guests. Early ownership of the hotel preferred to make this destination a house of temperance and religious activity. In 1814 the hotel was purchased by Grandus Van Schoonhoven who worked on the property until 1815 to further match the original plans set forth by Putnam. At this point in city history the Congress Hall was the largest hotel in Saratoga Springs until the United States Hotel was constructed and opened in 1824. Van Schoonhoven was joined in business by his nephew in 1822 and then again joined by others in 1823. In general, the hotel was leased to many different proprietors during the period from 1823-1855. In 1819 the village of Saratoga Springs was declared a special township with the right to self-govern. In that year the town decided to allow certain “pleasures” to be introduced in the village. In the summer of 1819 the Congress Hall introduced billiard rooms, an orchestra for concerts at night and allowed men to play cards in their rooms. These new additions made Congress Hall a desired location for dancing and other flirtation activities of the day. In 1822 Frank Johnson, a prominent band leader, came to provide the music for the dances called “Saratoga Hops” that would continue for years as a much-anticipated event of each season.


After midnight on May 30, 1866 the original Congress Hall burned in a very rapidly spreading fire that also destroyed the nearby Hamilton Spring and Bath House. The management had been working to prepare for the Congress Hall to open for the summer season of 1866 on June 1st. The original hotel was constructed of wood and was very susceptible to catching fire from the many open flame devices used in that time. Henry Hathorn was the owner at the time of the fire and began to immediately make plans to re-build. The new hotel would be constructed of brick and be much larger and grander than the original. The new larger Congress Hall would be rebuilt in 1868 and would extend 416 feet down Broadway with two right angle wings, 300 feet in length with a rear courtyard in the middle. The entrance to the hotel revealed a lobby with a grand staircase and 16-foot-high ceilings on the first floor. The piazza on the Broadway side was 20 feet in width that would hold countless rocking chairs for guests to rock away the summer days while fueling the gossip of the day. As the new Congress Hall was planned and constructed it was evident that the hotel needed a large ballroom to compete with the other larger hotels in Saratoga Springs. Property that was not part of the original footprint of the hotel needed to be purchased to allow for the ballroom. The needed property would be found on the north side of the intersection of Broadway and Spring Street. The building that would house the ballroom still stands today but is composed of retail on the first floor and condo housing on the floors above. Henry Hathorn connected the hotel to the ballroom with a convenient iron pedestrian bridge, made in Troy N.Y., that passed over Spring Street. This passage-way allowed women to maintain clean silk shoes and hems of long dresses during inclement weather as they walked above an unpaved Spring Street. The metal bridge was further dressed up with the addition of carpeting, Chinese lanterns and an awning used during rainy weather. During the summer of 1869 the Congress Hall hotel was prepared to host the first suffrage convention with Susan B. Anthony in attendance. By 1873 the new ballroom allowed the hotel to offer many great forms of entertainment during the summer season featuring Friday night balls with famous orchestras and performers. A travel guide in 1874 defined the Congress Hotel as the spot for American aristocracy to spend their Saratoga summers, that offered no barriers to the mixing of average people to high society. It has been noted by some travel guides, and a few historical accounts, that many felt that during this time that the village of Saratoga Springs taught the average American how to take a refined, civilized vacation. Undoubtedly, Congress Hall provided a location and an atmosphere for that education. As the years went on and the city approached the 1900’s, Congress Hall began to fall from favor with the vacation crowds and went into bankruptcy on May 9th, 1904. Between the summers of 1904 and 1911 many attempts to re-open and re-organize Congress Hall eventually failed. Congress Hall was closed forever and sold to the City of Saratoga Springs in 1911 with demolition to follow. The land on which the hotel stood was added to expand Congress Park and was just a foreshadowing of the eventual demolition that would take down the other two giant hotels, the Grand Union and United States. Vacation styles in American were changing and so would Saratoga Springs as it continued to re-invent itself to stay as the “summer place to be.” SS 76  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA



CONGRESS HALL This is the view of the second Congress Hall hotel from Broadway. Eventually the Congress would be one of the three largest hotels in the village in the 1800s.


TOBOGGAN RUN AT GLEN MITCHELL In the later years of the 1800s a delegation from Saratoga Springs visited Canada to study the construction and operation of a toboggan slide. After that visit, this popular slide was constructed on property that today is adjacent to the present-day Maple Avenue Middle School, near the end of North Broadway.

RAILROAD STATION 1947 This rail station was located on Railroad Place in the city, close to Broadway and the big hotels. Years later the station would be moved to its present location near West Avenue, taking rail service away from the core of the city.



There Ain’t No Cure


few months ago, our friend, Ellen, asked me if I am lonely. You had been gone about five months. It made me think about what I am feeling, how I am feeling. It has taken me a long time to tease it out, and longer to articulate.


So I can never have what I want. I can never have those seconds that made me feel deep contentment, that made me feel deeply and totally satisfied. I can't have you for that one minute that would cure the ache.

Sometimes I do think that I am lonely or that I want someone to go to a movie with, or someone to kiss me, or someone to hold me. But that isn’t it. None of that would satisfy. A whole person and a whole story and a whole life would come with those small gestures. That isn’t what I want.

And now, a year is here, and I know I will never want to date. I met a man in January, when I thought I would take my pilot license (just for fun). I thought at the time that he was nice and handsome and when I was ready, I might date him, provided he wasn't married.

What I want is the contentment of the well-known moment.

Last Monday, I went flying with him just to see how I liked the small plane. We talked for two hours about our lives. He is divorced with three grown children, he was easy to be with and easy to talk to. He asked me out for lunch sometime and I said sure. If I were to join a dating site, he would be perfectly acceptable. So now the possibility is here and I would rather go to a movie with our son Ben, drive to the Cape to visit Debbie or have dinner with Ellen and John or just be alone at home.

I want to hear you come in the front door. That's all. That would satisfy me.To hear the door close, to hear you put your keys down, to hear you take off your shoes, as I have thousands of times. Or to smell the fresh air on you when you come in and lean over to give me a little hello kiss. To put my hand on your cheek and see the wrinkles and crinkles around your eyes as you smile to me, for me. Or to feel your sleepy warmth as you collapse onto the couch beside me. Or to see you start to twinkle right before you tell me a really bad joke (sometimes for the thirtieth time). Or to wake to see you stumbling at the doorway, trying not to spill either coffee while you balance the cups and replace the baby gate over the doorway so the dog, who is jumping on you, won’t get out, all the while hushing the dog to not wake me. I would love to trip over your shoes again or spend an hour hunting for your wallet, or chase you down the road because you forgot your suitcase.

What I want, and what I miss, is the little ways that you took care of me.The little ways you showed me you loved me - the trips out for ice cream, getting the mail, bringing me tea or flowers, the cooking, the little thoughtful gifts. Mostly I miss you taking my hand as we walked together, or while we watched TV. When you took my hand, I felt cherished. SS


The ornamental Congress Theater was once one of two downtown theaters run by Saratoga Theaters Inc.




ong before Lena Spencer opened her legendary performance cafe, Saratoga Springs was graced with “mom and pop” residents willing to invest their time and talents into establishments to provide us with quality “after hours” entertainment. Residents newer to the area are unlikely to have a historical perspective on the now defunct Saratoga Bowl, Kaydeross Amusement Park, Rafters Bar, or the Community Theater, yet for nostalgic lifelong locals these establishments conjure up images of a simpler Saratoga. This series will take a look at the long-gone entertainment venues that once flourished and provided us with countless hours of amusement.



One of my favorite children’s picture books is On This Spot. Author Susan Goodman chronicles the dramatic change of a spot in NYC from present day back through time. If I were to author a Saratoga version, I would focus on 322-328 Broadway, a rambling block-long building facing Broadway with its south side sprawling down Spring Street all the way back to Putnam. The book would begin with a present-day illustration of Hat Sational at the 328 Broadway side and a hair salon at the 322 Broadway space. Flipping the pages back in time, readers would view Schrade’s Posie Peddler florist shop. Perhaps the mid-1960’s illustration of The House of Gee, a Chinese Restaurant, would surprise readers as much as the indoor roller-skating rink depicted for the early 1960s. My book would then linger from 1919-1958 on what I feel was the most remarkable tenant of this space-The Congress Theater, operated by local resident and lawyer William E. Benton.

These October 1937 photos show the balcony and stairs leading to the balcony of the grand theater.

This lavish theater existed in the days of “atmospheric theaters.” Initially it served as a Vaudeville theater as well as a movie theater. The tall blinking marquee drew patrons into a well-appointed lobby with plush carpet, chandeliers, concessions and even air conditioning -a rarity at the time. Entering the 1400 seat theater, patrons found their eyes drawn to the balcony and the ornate domed ceiling. A velvet curtain covered the screen. Elaborately dressed ushers patrolled aisles with flashlights, maintaining order and helping latecomers find a seat. Five exits were located along Spring Street. According to reporter Sal Devivo, the Congress was “acclaimed as one of the most attractive theaters in Northern New York.” Attending a movie there was an event. Movie goers dressed in their finest and loved using the elegant, spacious bathrooms, complete with couches. To this day Susan Bokan remembers watching the amazing “Ten Commandments” on the giant screen with her grandparents. Elizabeth Sexton Weiss can still recall “Snow White,” her first movie experience at the grand theater. It was one of many matinees she would enjoy. For 25 cents she was treated to a full afternoon of entertainment: cartoons, two feature movies, the Path news and a series of Lone Ranger cliff hangers. Elizabeth babysat for the Bentons, who tipped her with her movie passes to their theater, making her a frequent patron. Although the ticket price sounds like a bargain, the theater struggled to fill seats during the depression and early post-depression days. Once a week there was “dish day” for women. Salem China sold dishes at wholesale to theaters like the Congress in an effort to fill seats. A plate, bowl or saucer was given away with each ticket sold.

Other times, guest appearances from actors helped fill the seats. An August 18,1939 issue of the Saratogian describes actor Charles Coburn making a personal appearance at the Congress for the opening of his film “In Name Only.” After years of success, the theater closed in 1958. When the building was remodeled in 2011 to accommodate a window for the business Chic Underneath, a 1919 poster advertising the Irish play “Lushmore” was uncovered. It had been adhered to the brick side of the building, reminding us of this legendary space that many will never forget. SS

A fully lit marquee was added in the 1930s to attract customers and advertise shows.


Looking forward to Spring Photos by John Seymour

...our Spring Issue that is! Due out March 22, 2019.

For free email delivery of our publications visit To advertise in our Spring edition, call Saratoga TODAY at 518.581.2480 by February 22!

photos by John Seymour 82  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA





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Simply Saratoga Winter 2019  

Our Winter Edition of Simply Saratoga Magazine features Inspiring People, Advice for the New Year, Home and Décor Tips, Historical features...

Simply Saratoga Winter 2019  

Our Winter Edition of Simply Saratoga Magazine features Inspiring People, Advice for the New Year, Home and Décor Tips, Historical features...