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A Saratoga TODAY Publication



Complimentary Holiday 2014

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Letter From The Editor SARATOGA


HOLIDAY 2014 I LOVE this time of year… I’m already making plans for Thanksgiving dinner, counting my blessings, starting to check off my Christmas shopping list and planning where the trees will be (yes, many trees!) Anybody that knows me, knows I LOVE the holidays and luckily, this issue is full of great ideas… For shopping, cooking, gift giving and helping others… We hope you enjoy them all! This issue of Simply Saratoga has all your favorites… restaurants, advice, great shops, fashion, history and of course H&G, but we also have fish… and deer. One of my favorite customers, Tom Mullan, shared some photos of a fishing trip he took to Alaska last year along with a friend of his, Carl Scuderi (who I hear is the uncle of Rachel Ray - wow!!) and I was hooked… those pics had to make it to our pages! I’ve known Dave Barker and his wife Mare for almost 20 years now and knew he would make a great addition to a story on HOW MEN BOND and myself, having a husband who lives for HUNTING CAMP, I knew this was the time of year to feature this great story – hope you enjoy it! See page 82 The Church of St. Peter on South Broadway is celebrating 175 years in Saratoga, read all about their wonderful rich history on page 66… What a treasure this church is!

Speaking of “treasures” we have DEREK JETER in this issue!! As a mom, I wish all professional athletes would live their lives as he has his… what a class act! I met the nicest young lady a few months back and she went on to become my intern. Carissa Kumlander from Saratoga High School has been such a BIG HELP with this issue… she’s done research, interviews, written and laid out articles and proofed – THANK YOU CARISSA!! We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together, and please keep those comments coming - we love hearing about how much you enjoy our publications. You can contact me at or (518) 581-2480 x201 As always, I have to close with a big THANK YOU to all of our readers and advertisers, without them, Saratoga TODAY couldn’t continue to offer these beautiful publications free of charge to the thousands that read them each issue – please mention us when visiting these businesses. I wish you “Happy Holidays” and may God bless you all. Happy Reading, Chris PS… Not to be bragging, but did I mention that Simply Saratoga won an award from Graphic Design USA?! Thank you Jessica Kane for putting my ideas on paper and making this magazine so beautiful… I couldn’t do it without you!!

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Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty General Manager Robin Mitchell Managing Editor Chris Vallone Bushee Creative Director Jessica Kane Advertising Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic DesignERS Jessica Kane Colleen Sweeney COPY EDITORS Brian Cremo Stephanie Hale-Lopez Writers Peter Bowden Alice Corey Helen Susan Edelman Stephanie Hale-Lopez Megan Harrington Juergen Klingenberg Charlie Kuenzel Carissa Kumlander Dave Patterson Megin Potter Carrie Rowlands Chelsea Hoopes-Silver Zack Vogel Photographers Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487 Simply Saratoga is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2014, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper.

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CONTENT HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 14 Q&A with Santa 17 Buy Local 30 It Feels Good to Give 32 25 Years of the Candlelight House Tour 37 Saratoga by the Numbers 38 Santa Exposé! 44 Shop For Your Teen 46 Date Night 48 Breweries & Distilleries 56 Holiday Gift Guide

129 62


A GOOD READ 62 Restaurant Feature - Mama Mia’s 66 175 Years of St. Peter’s Church 76 Northshire Books 80 Artist Spotlight - Maestro Longobardi 82 Water & The Woods 90 The Lost Mineral Springs



17 56

92 Meghan Lemery Fritz 94 Juicing on Broadway 98 Dan’s Fit Tips

FASHION Pages 101-109

HOME & GARDEN 110 Carriage House Chronicles 120 Peter Bowden 122 Handling Holiday Craziness

SAVE THE DATE Pages 124-127 10  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014



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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.

Meghan Lemery FRITZ

Meghan began her career in Boston where she spent five years counseling cancer patients at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She returned to the Saratoga area and started in private psychotherapy practice. She currently has an office in Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls. She is also the author of her first published book, titled “Please Pass the Barbie Shoes” which was published in Spring of 2011.

Helen Edelman

Megin Potter



Helen writes about other writers, which can be a daunting task. She also writes about education, health care, the arts, and profiles of important and intriguing people she has met along the way. Edelman has been living in Saratoga Springs since 1970, when she arrived as a Skidmore freshman. She is the mother of four children and the extravagently proud grandmother of Cyra Friedlander, a chattering 2-year old who brings out the brightest stars with her smile.

Megan is a freelance writer who has written for a variety of publications including national magazines, local newspapers, and websites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys training for marathons and coaching fellow runners. After spending the previous seven years in New York City, Megan and her husband recently relocated to Saratoga Springs and are loving their new community at the base of the Adirondacks.

Chelsea Hoopes Silver

Chelsea Silver owns Silverwood Home & Gallery in downtown Saratoga Springs with her mother, Charlene. She began writing her blog, The Carriage House Chronicles, in 2012, loving the new opportunity to virtually connect with other designoriented folks amateur and professional, local and afar. With degrees in English and American Fine and Decorative Arts, she is very happy to be combining these two passions in her new endeavor writing for Simply Saratoga.


Carissa is currently interning for Simply Saratoga Magazine. She is a senior at Saratoga Springs High School and plans on going to college next year for journalism. Carissa has been working closely with our managing editor, Chris Bushee. Besides working at the magazine, Carissa is also a part of the Saratoga Rowing team.

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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.

Carrie Rowlands Johnson is a former TV News reporter for Fox News. She is a freelance writer and blogger. Read more of her work at Carowlands.wix. com/carrie-rowlands


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.


Zack is the founder of, a new website in our area that compiles the live, daily specials menus from many of our area’s finest restaurants. Zack and family are thrilled to have found a bit more balance in life in Saratoga Springs since 2008, after just a few too many years working in finance and living in New York City.

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My chat with

Santa Claus! By Managing Editor, Chris Vallone Bushee

Have you ever wanted to wear a different colored suit? Hmmm… I did, but Mrs. Claus didn’t like it, so I stayed with the RED… Gotta keep the Mrs. Happy!

Do you carry a cell phone on the sleigh with you? Yes, I do… need to stay in touch with my Head Elf… Willie, and of course Mrs. Claus likes to know that I’m sticking to my schedule.

Who eats more cookies? you or the reindeer? I do of course!

Do you wear Under Armour under your suit? No, but I have always been a fan of fruit of the loom.

Whose cookies are best? Mrs. Claus or the elves’ Well… they all make good cookies, but Mrs. Claus’ are the best… why do you think I look like this - Ho! Ho! Ho!

Does Rudolph’s nose glow all year? No… it only glows on Christmas Eve… it’s a very magical event to watch!

Do you eat all the cookies or take them home with you? I’ll be honest… I do bring some home with me!

What’s the funniest thing that a kid has ever asked you for? It was a little boy, about 4 years old… and believe it or not… he asked for an ATM Machine!! I’ll never forget that one - Ho! Ho! Ho!

What do YOU want for Christmas? I’ve always wanted a little customized red and white golf cart, but after seeing some classic cars recently, I have my eye on an old red pick-up truck with wooden racks in the back.

What’s your favorite newspaper? Ho! Ho! Ho! - I tell Chad, and everybody else who will listen to me… I LOVE Saratoga TODAY… the stories, the coverage, the photos… I get more info from that paper than anything else out there! 14  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

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Saratoga Buys LOCAL By Juergen a. Klingenberg. Business profiles by Megin Potter, photos provided

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

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

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“It’s instant gratification. If you have a sweet tooth and are having a craving, you can just grab a cookie.”


If you are a kid on Christmas Eve, you have but one job to do. There’s one last chance to get yourself into the big guy’s good graces. Whether it’s to bribe him or to thank him, putting out cookies for Santa Claus is a Christmas tradition. Emily Damiano, owner of The Saratoga Cookie Company, has been baking up these sweet, buttery, rounds of goodness for 11 years and shipping them out to satisfied cookie consumers all across this country and overseas. Damiano always had a love of baking and inherited industrialgrade equipment from her mother-in-law, who made cakes out of her home. But after taking some cake decorating classes and seeing how time-consuming cakes can be, Damiano turned her attention toward creating something that was immediately satisfying for both the baker and the customer: cookies. “It’s instant gratification. If you have a sweet tooth and are having a craving, you can just grab a cookie,” said Damiano. She started her business out by tweaking and perfecting her recipes, making them her own by adding those special touches, such as freshly ground nutmeg, which you don’t always find at other bakeries, she said. Then, she simply handed out samples at small venues, farmers’ markets and specialty stores. Soon, wordof-mouth spread about her delicious, homemade cookies and she was inundated with orders. “Everybody and their mother was calling me and it was very overwhelming,” she said of her early years in business. Today she knows what to expect and makes approximately 20 varieties of gourmet cookies in big batches for corporate meetings, incentive programs and her thriving online business. The month before Christmas she has been known to bake more than 25,000 cookies to keep up with demand. Primarily a one-woman operation, Damiano said that she does have helpers come in occasionally, including her son and her three grandchildren, ranging in age from four to 10 years old.

“‘Grandma, Grandma, can we make cookies?’ They run in and ask me. I let them decorate and make as big a mess as they want because that’s how kids are. It’s really about the quality time that 18  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

we spend together, and it’s so much fun for me to see them at the very end and watch them savor the cookies.” Moist and chewy or divinely crispy and crunchy, cookies at Christmas remain a simple pleasure even in today’s busy world. “I just stick to the basics and that seems to work for me,” said Damiano.

Saratoga Cookie Co., LLC 518-884-9521

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“Saratoga Crackers is a snack that you can feel good about enjoying, the ingredients are so clean and fresh”

Setting out a lovely platter of the most exquisite cheeses, heavenly spreads and freshest dips on the “special” china deserves more than to be scooped up by some old saltine cracker straight from the box. That’s where the elegant Saratoga Crackers come in.

Completely created by hand, Saratoga Crackers was founded in 2009 by Teresa Alger as a healthy snack for her own family. Describing herself as an artist at heart who loves to create things, she combined all that she is passionate about and has grown it into a thriving business. Saratoga Crackers are available in 18 standard varieties and includes only the cleanest ingredients. With no soy, no trans-fat, and only the best extra-virgin olive oils, Alger makes a product that she can be proud of. “Saratoga Crackers is a snack that you can feel good about enjoying, the ingredients are so clean and fresh," she said. Alger grows some of the ingredients, such as garlic and onions, at her own Saratoga farm, and uses products from other local farmers and producers as well. She is always developing new recipes and works with ingredients while they are plentiful and in-season. “We are Saratogians. When people purchase our crackers, they know we live right here. As the world gets larger, the community gets tighter, that’s how we can sustain one another,” said a thankful Alger. "I thank God for giving me the talents that He has and the ability to honor Him with them. It truly is because of Christ that we are able to do all that we do." In addition to being local, the Algers are providing something that is unique. “People tell me it’s not like anything that they ever had before. It’s so one-of-a-kind.” Among the selection is a gluten-free cracker that people say is the best they’ve ever tasted, the popular Three Cheese Travers, made with parmesan, asiago and cheddar cheese and Alger’s (who is also known as the “Cracker Master’s”) personal favorite: the Saratoga Spice and Parmesan, a cracker that has a little kick.

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Whether she is out with her daughter roping cattle, riding horses with her father, a retired jockey, or in the kitchen baking, Alger lives a life that is all about health, history, horses and great food. “It’s really a joy to let other people share what I love. Who doesn’t like a cracker? How can you live without a good cracker?” Check out creative recipes using Saratoga Crackers by visiting their website or Facebook page.

Saratoga Crackers (518) 527-4407

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‘I love garlic, I wonder how you grow it?’


Take a short drive in any direction and you’ll be sure to find them. Mile after mile there are fields. Corn fields, hay fields, fields that were left to grow wild many years ago. After a long day of training thoroughbred racehorses, Bill Higgins would hop on his tractor and plow his fields on Route 29 just outside Saratoga Springs, simply because he found it relaxing and enjoyable. While out in his field one day, someone asked him what it was he grew there. “I blushed and said, I don’t grow anything,” said Higgins. But the conversation got him thinking. Then, while driving north, up from Manhattan one night, Higgins thought, ‘I love garlic, I wonder how you grow it?’ That was 20 years ago. Today, he has turned his farm into a garlic plantation that harvests 10,000 pounds of fresh German white porcelain garlic each year. It is a small operation; he said modestly, that provides organic garlic wholesale to vendors. For nearly a decade he has also processed his garlic into a line of Saratoga Garlic sauces, marinades, spreads and pickled varieties from recipes that were developed with a chef at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

A good crop makes everyone happy. As the years go by, Higgins said he returns to trade shows periodically that he attended previously, and when certain customers catch sight of him he will hear them yell out, “I’ve been looking for you!” As they emerge from the crowd, he’ll inevitably see them dragging a friend over and smile as they gush, “You’ve just got to try this stuff.” Higgins said his goal is to stay healthy and continue what he’s doing; but he’d also like to introduce some youth and vitality in the business, as well. “I’d like to find someone who could take the business and build upon it, there’s so much more that could be done.” To buy Saratoga Garlic products or see locations where it is sold go to

Growing an entire field of one crop comes with its inherent dangers. Muggy, hot weather can create mold for instance, or nematodes could eat through it. Higgins found that the market demanded he find organic solutions to these and other challenges that come up, so through rigorous soil analysis and by planting cover crops such as mustard, he tries hard to follow all the regulations and ensure that his product is certified organic. “While some farmers had a tough time of it, this year we had a good crop,” he said. 22  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

Saratoga Garlic 518-581-4093

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“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” –James A. Garfield

Americans love peanut butter. We’ve elected two peanut farmers—Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter, to presidential office; it sustained our fighting troops during the civil war; and we’ve dedicated March as national peanut butter month. Creamy or crunchy, nut butters satisfy us as a lunchbox staple and create a sensation when paired up with jelly or chocolate. The reactions that Jessica Arceri has seen from people once they try her peanut butter attest to this truth. “When they try it for the first time, they will fall over and hold onto the person next to them. People get excited and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’ve changed my life.’ One guy loved it so much, he teared up a little.”

more details about it yet. Updates on all of her decadent creations are available online. “I’m always posting on Facebook, it’s a great place to check in,” she said. “A lot of people have seen our product and tried our product and are coming to us. There’s a lot more awareness coming out now about choosing healthy foods and it’s great, we’re getting calls from people all over the U.S.”

Starting out in a small kitchen in Saratoga Springs in 2005, Arceri has grown Saratoga Peanut Butter Company into a line of highly sought after nut butter spreads that are stocked on the shelves of many local retailers, farmers’ markets and supermarkets in the region and beyond. It has been featured on Oprah’s website and magazine, been listed as one of Rachel Ray’s “faves” and was recently referenced as an inspirational way to reinvent the classic PB&J by Men’s Health magazine. Using all high-quality ingredients made in the U.S.A., with no added preservatives and naturally glutenfree, Arceri ensures that her products are always very fresh and healthy. “Peanut butter, to me, should be basically just peanuts and a little salt,” she said, and her “Plain Jane” flavor is just that. Her son, Abe, inspired her to create the “Monkey Boy” blend of banana raisin peanut butter and she didn’t stop there. Her line of plain, peanut butter blends and almond butters is regularly updated with seasonal varieties and new recipes. This holiday season, a surprise blend is due to join the pumpkin peanut butter and gingerbread peanut butter already on the menu, said Arceri but she isn’t giving away any 24  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

Saratoga Peanut Butter Company 1-888-yo-peanut (967-3268)

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“Our salsa is a food that once people taste of it, they absolutely love it,” -Carol Buckley.

It’s time to celebrate. Celebrations bring to mind joyous faces, warm feelings and that which is special to us. But what does celebration taste like? Saratoga Salsa is a celebration of fresh ingredients blended together to make sure the taste buds are in on the party. With nearly a dozen varieties, and more being added each year, their divinely delicious flavors invite everyone to grab a chip and take a dip. Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company is dedicated to the challenge of using the freshest ingredients and avoids using chemical preservatives in order to create the most memorable salsas. “The garlic is so fragrant you smell it as soon as you crack the lid,” said store manager Carol Buckley. A mixture of sensations for your mouth, they are salsas of substance. “Our pride is it stays on the chip. It’s not watery, it has a wonderful consistency to it,” said Buckley. Salsa is one of those foods that is so addictive to some that their quest is to try every flavor. They might even be called collectors, buying stockpiles of their favorite. “People almost become salsa junkies. Our cranberry salsa is a great example, it’s just one of those products that people can’t get enough of.” “Our salsa is a food that once people taste of it, they absolutely love it,” said Buckley. Originally founded in 2001 by Kate Francesa and Rick Monaco, Saratoga Salsa production and their current retail store, Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company, located on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, is now owned by the Knotek family. Offering specialty foods with “attitude” they have expanded to provide an array of exciting salsas, sauces, spices, local foods and more. In the fall of 2013, they took over operations of Saratoga Gift Baskets as well. Customers can now receive a beautiful assortment of their bountiful products in a sturdy wooden box

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constructed by Unlimited Potential, the same company that employs Saratoga County residents with mental illnesses to make the picnic tables set out on the lawns of the Saratoga Race Course each year.

Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company 518-580-0792

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“It puts a smile on people’s faces. ‘Wow!’ is their initial reaction when they take a bite. It takes your breath away.”

A hoarse throat calls for a cure by the same name: horseradish. This amazing root has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for everything from clearing out coughs and headaches to back pain. The heat created by this pungent plant not only opens up the sinuses but also has deemed it as an aphrodisiac to many. The chronicles of history attribute the Greek Delphic Oracle as telling Apollo, “The radish is worth its weight in lead; the beet, its weight in silver; the horseradish, its weight in gold.” While it is easy to dispute the truth of folklore and the validity of home remedies, one thing is certain; horseradish is one strong vegetable, and in Saratoga County, it is ground up and put in jars by a company that has been strong enough to withstand the heat. Established in 1925 in Ballston Spa, Whalen’s Horseradish makers must cover their skin with thick layers and their faces with gas masks to handgrate the fleshy horseradish roots, which are delivered from St. Louis, Missouri where they are grown, into an edible pulp. The 50-pound batches of horseradish are then used to create flavorful sauces, relishes, mustards, pickles, olives and cheese spreads. While the company has changed hands over the years, current owner Tim Bibens is from a family that has been rooted in the area for generations. Bibens bought it a year ago from his first cousin, Dan Bell, who bought it with his wife, Stephanie, back in 1997. It’s a company that’s all about the roots and all the things they bring to mind. “I wanted to go back to my roots, to make a special product with grassroots appeal,” said Bibens. Featured on the Food Network’s popular television show Roker on the Road in 2003, Whalen’s Horseradish products used to only be available online, at farmers’ markets or at specialty markets, breweries and wineries. Bibens is ready for even more people to “fire up and eat root” however, with Whalen’s Root Cellar, a new retail store located at 1710 State Highway 29 in Galway. Through the magnificent old cooler door entranceway, customers can find craft foods and locally-made items. New products, including several flavors of horseradish hummus have been added to offerings, as well. With all the things to admire about this amazing food, Bibens said his favorite is sparked by something very simple. “It puts a smile on people’s faces. ‘Wow!’ is their initial reaction when they take a bite. It takes your breath away,” said Bibens.

Whalen’s Horseradish

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Whalen’s Root Cellar 1710 State Highway 29 , Galway, NY 518-587-6404

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It feels

Good to Give

A SAMPLE O F Lo cal Organizatio n s that need yo ur help!

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

The Toy Shop 5 Municipal Plaza | Suite 3 | Clifton Park, New York 12065 This organization collects toys from the community and creates a free toy shop for families in need. These families are then able to choose from a variety of toys and stocking stuffers for their children. All donated gifts stay in the community. If you or your business would like to host a collection box please contact Mary Duclos or 518.371.1185.

“Happy Hands” Mitten Tree The Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center is sponsoring its annual “Happy Hands Mitten Tree” program through Dec. 31. Donations can be placed on the Mitten Tree in the Visitor Center, 297 Broadway, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Scarves, gloves, hats and muffs are all needed. Those in need of warm gear are invited to come into the Visitor Center during the holiday season. For more information, call (518) 587-3241.

Holiday Assistance at the Franklin Community Center The Franklin Community Center provides Christmas gifts to families in need of some holiday help. Gift requests are taken from the children and their parents, and are then matched up with generous donors from the area. For more information or to adopt a family, please email or call 518-587-9826.

Adopt a Family/ Chamber Angels The Chamber Angels has partnered with local agencies including the Southern Saratoga YMCA, Franklin Community Center, Mechanicville Community Center and Captain Youth & Family Services to provide holiday assistance to approximately 2000 local children whose families are enduring financial hardships. They provide clothing, toys, toiletries and daily necessities to these families. For more information contact them at (518) 371-7748 or 30  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

The Open Door Project The Open Door is a Christian ministry dedicated to reaching out and serving needs of the poor and homeless in the community. One major way this is accomplished is through the daily provision of hot, nutritious meals served in a friendly, welcoming environment. For more information, call 518-792-5900 or email at

Operation Adopt a Soldier This organization collects supplies and gifts and prepares them into packages. They are then sent out to thousands of men and women serving overseas. Families of soldiers are also served, with the help of the local community. For more information or to get involved, email at

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Celebrating 25 years

Candlelight House Tour

of the

photos by

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On Friday, December 12, 2014 the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation will ring in the holiday season and celebrate our city’s unique architecture with a tour through some of Saratoga Springs’ most beautiful historic houses on North Broadway, Bryan Street, Greenfield Avenue, and State Street. The Candlelight House Tour begins at 5 p.m. and will continue until 9 p.m.. While touring the homes, join in the Peppermint Pig Hunt by spotting the candy pig in each home and be entered to win a gift basket from Saratoga Sweets.

Founded in 1977, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is a not-for-profit membershipbased organization that promotes preservation and enhancement of the architectural, cultural, and landscaped heritage of Saratoga Springs.

The tour will be followed by an afterparty at the exclusive Saratoga Golf and Polo Club, 301 Church, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and ending at 10:30 p.m.. The after-party will feature a silent auction, light fare, holiday music, and a cash bar. This year’s auction will be packed with great holiday gift ideas including gift certificates to local restaurants, overnight stays, and other assorted items from area businesses.

TICKET INFORMATION Tour-Only Tickets: $40 members, $50 non-members. Tour & Reception Tickets: $75 members, $85 non-members. Tour Only Tickets can be purchased the day of at Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation’s office at 112 Spring Street up until 5 p.m. and from 5 p.m. -7 p.m. at a location to be announced. Tour & Reception Tickets are limited, so order soon. Funds raised at this event support the Foundation’s ongoing educational programs and efforts to preserve the unique architectural, landscaped, and cultural heritage of Saratoga Springs. 34  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

For more information or to purchase tickets call 518-587-5030 or email cht@ Visit our website at to order tickets online. For more details on this year’s Candlelight House Tour go to our events page or follow us on Facebook.

A special thank you to Michele Erceg and Bob Giordano for letting us photograph their house for this feature!

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By The Numbers

1,471 250 Dec. 1986 How many organizations are helped through Stewart’s Shops’ Holiday Match Amount of HOLIDAY eye glasses sold at G. Williker’s between Thanksgiving and Christmas

One Thousand

(150 in Saratoga County!)

number of trees, wreaths and center pieces at the saratoga festival of trees



1st DBA Gift Card ever issued, purchased collectively by the parents of the Beagle School – 1990

222,133 Population of Saratoga County

53 24K

The beginning of the Victorian Streetwalk in Saratoga Springs

Amount of Tin Whistles sold yearly at Celtic Treasures

2,576 how many people have Holiday Savings Clubs with Adirondack Trust Company

Amount of people at last year’s Victorian Streetwalk vs about 500 at the first one.

95k Amount of


money spent on DBA Gift cards during the Holidays ($225 Annually)

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Lo c a l

e n t I n d e p e n d

F r e e

: S W E N G N I K A E R B WS O N K ta n a S w o h w We kn o st! !

cember 24, 2014 41  •  November 14 - De Volume 9  •  Issue

1-2480  •  (518) 58


Featured Stories

N I C E li r o Y T H G U A N e th w h o’s on e

by Chris Vallone Bushe Saratoga TODAY

SARATOGA — That’s right, the Elf on the Shelf has been reporting back to Santa on little kids living in this area and we have proof… because our readers have sent us their photos! Here are a few for lf, you to see for yourse n’t just in case you do believe us!



See pages 16-17

Inside TODAY

Business 14-15 Education 18-19 Pulse 29-31 Sports


Weekend Forecast



ff 38  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

“Sparkle” Lucas hard at work

Our Scout Elf, Frisbee, likes to sit out in plain sight where he sees EVERYT HING that the kids are doing. It drives them crazy, but I send him a Thank You note each Christmas Day! Morgan H.

HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 39

“Elf” visits every

our girls awake they enjoy finding his various hiding

year. He star ts

places and positions. The girls are getting older, but

his journey on

our youngest who is just turning 10 speaks of Elf

December 1st

frequently and is hoping he will come back again this

and shows up at

year and visit. It is bittersweet on Christmas Day

our house in a

as Elf has lef t us but he always writes a note of

mysterious way

good cheer for his safe return the following year.

and stays until Christmas Eve. He once showed up

This year we were for tunate enough to get a “selfie”

in a candy cane striped box hanging from a tree in

of Elf. It is hung on our daughters bulletin board

the yard because it seemed he parachuted in and got

for good luck.

stuck. “Elf” switches spots every evening and when

Julie U.

That’s our elf, Billy, zip-

I love watching

room, but that is NOT

around the house

done. Oh no… he’s snuck

looking for Jingles,

and written his name

imagine Christmas in

(good thing she is such

Jingles! -Shelley D.

lining across the living

my daughter run

the craziest thing he’s

every morning

into my daughter’s room

our elf. I couldn’t

across her forehead

our house, without

a deep sleeper!) and

he’s GIFT WRAPPED the toilet and HID in

the medicine cabinet…

he’s quite the character! When Billy first showed up, he never lef t the

top of the tree, I think he was teaching Shelby how this works… “I

watch you, and you do NOT touch me!”

She loves her little elf! Tracy F.

40  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

Our Elf, Snowball, caused a lot of “discussion” in

our house the morning

she was found in the

front window... was she

trying to get away from

the cats? Was she

learning how to zip-line?

What do we do if she

fell down?! - Mack K.

Every year our son anxiously awaits the return of Joseph, our Elf on the Shelf. It

usually occurs right af ter Thanksgiving.

One story I vividly remember happened during a play date.

Our son’s friend touched the Elf!-YIKES!

Obviously he didn’t know that a

human touching an Elf can ruin the Elf’s Christmas magic. Our son’s eyes immediately welled up and we could tell he was very upset.

Could this ruin Christmas?

Would the Elf make it up to

the North Pole to report to Santa?

Luckily, my husband sent a

message directly to Santa and explained the situation. Crisis averted. -Kim K.

HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 41

My name is Nadine and this is my version of The Elf on the Shelf… and I’m sticking to it! “The Elf” came to me when I was just 5 year’s old. To be honest, I was very upset when she showed up; in fact, I cried. I had heard from friends that she watches everything you do and reports back to Santa every night. Come on, I’m in kindergarten…I’m into everything…I find everything interesting and I like to investigate. Mom is always yelling, “Get out of that” or “Don’t touch that” and the last thing I need is some spy elf telling Santa all my business. Mom assured me everything would be ok, because as the Elf gets to know you, a relationship grows and she understands that you’re young and just curious. I felt a little better about that and Mom said my next task was to name her…and I named her Suzie. Then the unthinkable happened…Mom said, “YOU MAY NEVER TOUCH SUZIE!” I thought WHAT…? I already had a new outfit I picked out in my head for her including a beret from Paris!

Starting the morning of

Oh well…Mom set her on the mantel of the fireplace and I found myself eyeballing her each time I walked by; wondering how this was really going to play out.

December 1st through Christmas

The next morning when I got up Suzie was not on the mantel. Mom said each night when Suzie returns from the North Pole she lands in a different spot in the house. How cool is that…now I’m in search of Suzie. Yelling “SUZIE…SUZIE WHERE ARE YOU?” You would never believe where I found her…hanging from the Christmas Tree Star! I laughed and laughed and thought her landing was kinda like Moms driving. Maybe she needs a little more practice. The next day I found her in the dog food bin; I think she was shooting to land on the kitchen table AND MISSED. LOL! I’ve found her on the washing machine, a picture frame, the dining room table, hanging off the light switch, in the wreath looking in the front door and in my stocking.

mischievous ways to surprise my

It is so much fun to see where she will land each morning. I now can’t wait for Thanksgiving because I know, Suzie will show up the next morning. I have a blast searching for her every day until Christmas Eve when Suzie leaves for the North Pole with her last report to Santa. All I can say is, I have an awesome Christmas every year so… I guess I’m not so bad af ter all.

42  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014 told to Grandma

Day our elves (yes we have

two) always find creative and

three children each morning. I’m

really not sure who loves it more,

the kids or me?! They are not to be moved or touched (if anyone has a 3 year old, you know how

hard this can be) or they will lose their magical powers. The elves “report” back to Santa every

night with their daily report of the kiddos, so they always try extra hard to be good and if they’re slipping, I just remind them of

who’s watching their every move. We are all looking forward to

this upcoming Holiday season and for the return of Chuckles and Ginger.


Our Elf, Jax, caused quite the stir the morning that the kids could not find him ANYWHERE! Af ter running through the whole house - twice - my daughter fell to the floor and started crying thinking that Jax was gone forever. Luckily her big brother told her to open her eyes and look UP... and there was Jax, hanging out watching everything from the ceiling fan! -Lisa M.

Our elf went sightseeing in Saratoga when he realized my daughter was spending the night at a friend’s!! -Cathy G.

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By Carissa Kumlander, Photos provided

N e t f l i x Su b scri p ti on u

P hotoc ub e P or ta b l e P r i n te r u

If you’re looking to get your teen something that they will get instant and endless use out of, a Netflix account is the way to go! With thousands of options of TV shows and movies, everyone is bound to find something that interests them, making it a perfect gift.

Make it easier for your teenager to print their photos, right from their phone! This portable printer connects to iPhones, iPads and tablets, and instantly prints out photos of your teenagers choosing. Available at most electronics stores.

t  iP a d M u s ic a l S how e r C u rt a in

K an -Ja m F r isbee Game p If your teen or family does not already own this game, then it is a must purchase! Perfect for barbeques and outdoor parties, it will supply your family with hours of fun! Available at most sporting goods and toy stores.

Give your musical superstar something they definitely do not already have this Holiday season, a shower curtain that plays music! With an auxiliary cord and a water proof pocket, your teen can listen to their MP3 device while taking a shower.

t Be a ts Hea d phon e s o r E a r phon e s These high-end headphones and earphones will allow your teenager to hear their favorite music in a completely new way. Available at most electronics stores. 44  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

p G a s G i f t C a rd If your teen has their license and pay for their own gas, this is the gift for them. Take the burden off of their shoulders for a little while with a gas gift card from any local gas station.

t Col or f ul S oc ks It seems as though it is almost necessary to buy children socks for Christmas, but why not spice up this dreary gift this year? With options like fuzzy socks and socks with characters on them, this typical gift can instantly be way more fun for your teen.

p A l e x a n d A ni Dozens of options from Alex and Ani make jewelry shopping for your teenager a lot easier. With a store located right on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, these popular bangles and bracelets will not be hard to find.

p W re c k th is Jo urn a l Through a series of creative prompts and questions, your teen’s imagination will surely be sparked with this book! Available at Northshire Bookstore on Broadway in Saratoga.

p Le tte r s to m y Futur e S el f This interactive book is the perfect gift for the nostalgic teen. Written by Lea Redmond, it includes several personal reflection prompts for your teen. Available at Northshire Bookstore on Broadway in Saratoga.

Lov e i t! Ha te i t! u

p i Pho n e 6 /6 pl us

No one is ever too old for board games, and especially not this one. This game is perfect for teens and their friends. Available at most toy stores.

Every teenager loves to have the latest technology, and the iPhone 6 is the latest you can get! Choose between the big iPhone 6 or the even bigger iPhone 6 plus.

HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 45

Downtown Dating Spree By Zack Vogel Photo by Deborah Neary

Desperate times

call for desperate measures. My wife Marla and I hit a bit of a rough patch recently. There was no marital strife or discord, but after a few years of smooth sailing, we ran into some turbulence—in the babysitter department. The result was nearly four months without a date away from our two fantastic, energetic, fantastically energetic young sons. For the sake of everyone’s safety and well-being, we all needed a few hours apart. It started back in August when my parents visited from Myrtle Beach. They had read my glowing review of the restaurant 15 Church, and proclaimed that they must take me and Marla there for dinner. Marla proceeded to call our main babysitter—unavailable. “No worries” I said. “We have other, eager new candidates.” But, seven is not the lucky number it used to be. Shockingly, exactly seven attempts resulted in zero available babysitters. Marla selflessly insisted that I go to dinner and she stayed home with the boys. We failed to find babysitters the next two times we planned a date. It turns out that babysitters aren’t what they used to be. They grow up. They go off to college. Shockingly, they even maintain personal interests extraneous to the devoted, albeit infrequent care of our children. It’s no wonder, with an epidemic of similarly babysitting challenged parents chained to their homes that global economic growth continues to stagnate. Something had to be done. Then, I was hit with a stroke of brilliance. We live in Saratoga Springs. Yes, we live here because it is a great 46  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

place to raise children, but we almost forgot how fantastic it is for an adult night out on the town. Saratoga Springs has a complete and compact shopping and dining scene all in one picturesque, walkable, historic downtown. If planned and executed to surgical perfection, I could chalk up four dates in just one night. A typical date for us involves about two destinations. Simple arithmetic dictates that eight stops equals four dates, and since seven clearly was not our lucky number, it must then be eight. My mind became obsessed with the challenge of pulling off this historic “super-date”, I had to give it a shot. With babysitter scheduled, I pulled out my GPS enabled smartphone, directory of local businesses, sextant, protractor, etc., and began to strategize. Of course, relaxation is also a key to any quality date. We started our date with quick, destressing, five minute massages with Theresa at the new Pavilion Grand Hotel Spa. We followed that up with a quick stroll up the hill to our 5:30 p.m. reservation at the bar at 15 Church for an appetizer and glass of wine. Yes, on Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. one does need a reservation at their bar. I’ve been tempted to make a reservation at 15 Church simply to walk by on the sidewalk. It’s super popular, and with good reason. The beet salad special, ordered after a glance at the online specials menu on my iPhone, was fantastic. Leave it to Chef Brady Duhame to combine whipped chèvre, horseradish crème fresh, duck cracklings, pistachios and a hardboiled egg in one dish. Never before had that assembly of ingredients met in my mouth, but much like this date of ours, that combination was clearly long overdue.

Marla and I tend to be quite practical and efficient with our time (in case you hadn’t figured that out already). Our slew of fall family birthdays, coupled with the holidays makes this season crazy, so we decided to incorporate some gift shopping into this date. With no time to waste, we went straight to the friendly, helpful staff of G Willikers Toys for a recommendation for our soon to be seven year old son. Minutes later we left with a wrapped, three-in-one, marshmallow launching, iPod holding contraption requiring lots of assembly— perfect for our little engineer in training. We then browsed The Savory Pantry leaving with a caramelized onion whipped mustard spread, and purchased some delicious, white truffle oil from the Saratoga Olive Oil Company, both gifts for fellow foodie family members. What stroll through Saratoga would be complete without a quick browse of Northshire Bookstore? After a short bookstore void following Borders’ departure, Northshire seems to have quickly filled those large shoes as the hub that ties downtown together. On this Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m., Northshire was hopping. We had plenty of time (yes, seriously) before our 8 p.m. dinner reservation at The Mouzon House, and bumped into friends on the sidewalk in front of Wheatfields Restaurant. It occurred to me that I would be remiss in leaving spontaneity out of any good date, so we popped into Wheatfield’s for a nice glass of wine at the bar, where we bumped into more friends. After many years living in Manhattan, we still have a great appreciation for the smallness of Saratoga, and how we merely need to leave the house to run into friends.

At 7:56 p.m. I realize that we had better hustle to The Mouzon House. Fortunately, Marla, without realizing it, walks roughly a nine minute mile. Her fleet of foot gets us to our reservation on time, and only twice did I need to call up ahead for her to back off the breakneck pace. Mouzon’s seafood jambalaya and mahi mahi special were both delicious. Each dish had just the right balance of spice and flavor, served in a relaxed yet formal villa-like atmosphere, wallpapered in murals and bottles of wine. We capped off our date with one final stop to split a pumpkin cookie at Plum Dandy Cookies and Milk Café. I asked Marla, in spite of the pace of it all, if she found these “dates” of ours relaxing. Without hesitation, she flatly responded, “No” “But”, she went on to say, “I did have a great time”. I’d call that a success, but may decide to back it off to seven stops next time. ❆

HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 47

Craft& Brews

Spirits for the Holidays By Carrie Rowlands Johnson, photos provided

I begin tipping the small glass to my lips, then pull back my hand and instead instinctively push it toward the small drinking vessel Matt is tipping toward his own mouth. The crystal sparkles as the beverage inside bubbles. It’s as if this pair of inanimate objects is proudly conscious of how delicious their contents are. How sweet and flavorful they’ll taste on our tongues. The liquid appears to dance inside our glasses. I clink mine with Matt’s as my lips form the traditional, “Cheers!” The flavors don’t disappoint. A lovely sweetness coats my tongue. Cinnamon, honey and pear all introduce themselves and hang out inside my mouth. It’s a yummy combination that reminds me of a sparkling wine. Though this stop is our first, my taste buds share a hunch, this particular beverage is going to be my favorite. My partner is all things delicious, Matthew Kieley, is accompanying me on a day and a half Brewery/Distillery Tour from Albany to Glens Falls. We are searching for that perfect bottle of beer, or vodka, or whiskey, or… something for Holiday gifts this year. Our goal is to find something that’s unique, drinkable and memorable. Our trip is mapped out so we hit as many craft breweries and distilleries as possible located up and down the Northway from Albany to Glens Falls. Thank you A D VA N TA G E LIMO fo r tra n s po r ti n g C a r r ie o n th is f un to ur !!

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NINE PIN CIDER WORKS The tantalizing drink in our glass is one of several flavors we taste at Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany (929 Broadway, Albany, 518-449-9999, www. It is a hard cider, appropriately labeled “Hunny Pear.” Owner Alejandro Del Peral explains that he adds a combination of pears and apples from local Orchards to extract this distinct flavor. He crafts all of his cider in much the same way white wine is made but uses apples instead of grapes. The name Nine Pin has local origins, too. Del Peral took it from the Hudson Valley-based story, Rip Van Winkle. “He spends so much time drinking and playing Nine Pin, he falls asleep for 100 years.” The 28-year-old opened the doors to his Cidery less than a year ago and has already produced dozens of flavors including Blueberry, Belgian, Ginger, and the traditional Signature Cider which are all rotated on tap right here in the tasting room and available throughout the state wherever you buy beer (check the website for hours). Because it’s made from apples and not the grains used in beer and whiskey, it’s naturally gluten-free. I’m definitely wrapping a few six-packs of this for the holidays!


Still licking the sweet taste of hard cider from our lips, we are now walking through the warehouse that is the Albany Distilling Company (78 Montgomery St, Albany;518-512-9949; www. We pass by huge piles of bagged grain. Co-owner/distiller John Curtin and his business partner, Rick Sicari, are just wrapping up a free tasting and tour as we enter the oversized tasting room/production facility. They explain that those bags of grain in the hallway are harvested from across NYS and ground fresh right here on the premises just before they’re cooked into whiskey.

Several bottles present themselves nicely on the tasting counter. Coal Yard is a first make whiskey. It’s sold on its own but is also used in the production of the obvious star of this distillery, Iron Weed. Both are offered in either a bourbon or a rye. The bourbons are crafted of at least 51 percent corn, according to NYS standards, and aged in small batches.

The small size of the barrels cuts down aging time while still achieving a smooth, balanced product. Gurgle, gurgle is the sound that comes from the bottle as Curtin pours a taste for each of us. I watch as Matt tips the glass to his lips before doing the same. I had never thought of sorting out the flavors of whiskey and realizing the nuances until today. “Its like a nice bottle of wine. Different flavor elements like vanilla, caramel, and honey come across,” Curtin proudly offers. Ironweed, by the way, was named after the book by local author William Kennedy, who Curtin says has also been the guest for at least one tasting here.

For a holiday gift, we choose the make-your-own whiskey kit. It includes three bottles of the first make Coal Yard and a small oak barrel. Age it yourself and create your own version of their popular Ironweed. HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 49

The Albany Pump Station After saying our goodbyes to our very personable hosts, we walk just a few steps to The Albany Pump Station (19 Quackenbush Square, Albany; 518-447-9000;, home of the C. H. Evans Brewing Company. The ambience inside presents as a very cool warehouse vibe. The menu is as tempting as the vast offering of craft beers, which are all brewed in house. We are pleased to find Nine Pin Cider on tap as well.

We order a very tasty plate of nachos while waiting for brewer Ryan Demler, who is in the middle of making a fresh batch. It’s worth the wait. Demler is a wealth of information about all things beer. He says this year they brewed 57 styles of beer, and serve up to a dozen at a time on tap. The Union Station Quad is my favorite.

I find it to be fruity up front, which Demler explains is from the plums and raisins. It finishes a bit tartly, which makes sense because pomegranate is another ingredient. Most of these beers are only available here at The Pump Station, though C.H. Evans does offer a limited distribution of drafts and an Imperial IPA in bottles. Demler believes the best beer is a fresh beer. “Most beer should be drunk fresh. It deteriorates the moment it leaves the brewery. Our goal is release at its peak flavor.” Matt suggests taking advantage of that peak flavor by buying gift certificates for holiday presents so the recipients can sit, enjoy the ambience, and order a tasting flight off the menu.

BROWN’S BREWING COMPANY After the Pump Station we call it a night. I’ve sampled but haven’t imbibed, so I drive home. The next day, a limousine from Advantage Transportation Service pulls up to responsibly carry us along the rest of our tour. Bob, the driver, politely opens the door and easily navigates to Brown’s Brewing Company (417 River St., Troy; 518-273-2337; It, too, is a restaurant as well as a brewery, though we don’t plan on ordering food as I have our time budgeted strictly for sampling.

Nine different brews are poured and ready for us the moment we walk into Brown’s. It’s an attractive selection, with shades varying from a light honey to a dark malt. Brewer Lee MacCrea recommends their popular Cherry Raz, which is served in-house with a cherry in each glass. He’s proud of every beer offered. “I like to think all of our beers are fairly approachable, and the names say what it is.” The English Pale Ale makes an impression on Matt. “I like this. It’s smooth and not as hoppy,” he comments. So a variety pack, heavy on the English Pale Ale, goes on our Christmas list. 50  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

OLDe SARATOGA BREWING COMPANY The Old Saratoga Brewing Company (131 Excelsior Ave, Saratoga; 518-5810492; is just what you might expect from a brewery. Beer, more beer, and only beer. Taproom manager Meg Thompson is warm and welcoming and outwardly pleased with the recent makeover here. A wider variety of beers are offered on tap and samples, which were once free, are now a buck apiece. Meg says it helps cut down on a less-than-desirable atmosphere at the bar. All of these craft beers are offered in both bottles and draft and widely distributed throughout the state and beyond. Kingfisher, a lager, an IPA, an oatmeal stout, and a white ale are just a few of the varietals. The pumpkin ale is Matt’s favorite. Meg says it’s popular, partly because “They dry-hopped it with cocoa nibs.” Keep an eye out for discounts here. Prices on seasonals are drastically reduced to make room for fresh stuff. We are gifting a variety pack to take advantage of the many styles.

HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 51


That’s me!

My fingers don’t even pick up one of the beautifully etched glasses before I’m hooked on the whole experience at Saratoga Courage Distillery. (Wilton Rd, Greenfield Center; “like” on Facebook for more info.) Serge Shishik is quite obviously a handyman in addition to being the owner and distiller. The space is spotless, decorated with a sliding barn door and farmhousestyle oversized letters that form words like “Drink” and the namesake signage “Saratoga Courage.” Shishik leads us up the stairs and into a funky loft overlooking the distillery for our private tasting. (This tasting room isn’t yet open to the public but keep an eye on his Facebook page for where he’s offering tastings locally.)

He’s poured generous helpings of each of his three Saratoga-themed libations. The first, Pick Six Vodka, has been on the market for about a year and is already distributed in about 135 restaurants, bars, and liquor stores, mostly in the Capital Region. It’s smooth, clean, and crisp, in keeping with the reputation of fine Vodka. Shishik says the purity of the flavor is partly due to the delicious natural spring that flows underground here and is used to cut the sixtimes distilled high proof GMO-free corn spirits he starts with.

The refreshments Serge pours next, however, skyrocket to the top of my tasting list. Both are classified as moonshines, which Shishik says is really not a classification at all. “Moonshine is a fanciful name. It doesn’t define anything. It falls under a generic class.” The flavors of the moonshines here are anything but generic. The Strawberry Jam tastes as though it should be spread onto a piece of buttered toast. The Apple is as scrumptious as pie. Like the Vodka, these are also distilled with GMO-free corn, so they are completely Gluten-free. I look across the table at Matt as I allow the delicious flavors to tickle my taste buds. We both agree, the only ingredient this needs to create a yummy cocktail is a sparkling water. I want to gift this to everyone on my holiday list, but there’s a slight catch- the Saratoga Courage Moonshine hasn’t hit the market yet because of a copyright issue with the name he chose. Shishik is hopeful it will be resolved in time for holiday sales and asks fans to keep an eye on the Saratoga Courage Facebook page for updates.

DAVIDSON BROTHERS BREWING CO. There’s no question about which beer is most popular at Davidson Brothers Brewing Company (184 Glen St, Glens Falls; and 1043 U.S. Route 9, Queensbury; (518)7439026; According to co-owner Rick Davidson, the Davidson Brothers IPA has been the number-one seller since it was first brewed in 1996.

“It is a traditional British IPA, wellbalanced, a refreshing alternative to the very highly hopped American IPAs which are now so popular.” And as far as a gift selection, a company store at their new location in Queensbury offers everything from bottle openers to hoodies to books about craft beers and home brewing. (Shhh.. don’t tell Matt, but he just might find one of these in his stocking this year!) 52  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

Shmaltz Brewing Company

If you’re into shtick, Shmaltz Brewing Company (6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park; (518)406-5430; is one stop you absolutely need to hit when you embark on your own tour. The tasting room is spacious and welcoming, with five generous samples for 10 bucks and about a dozen varieties of their signature He’Brews on tap to choose from. The atmosphere is as intoxicating as the refreshments that are poured. I’m a big fan of the labels on these craft brews. Messiah Nut Brown Ale, Hop Manna, Genesis, Funky Jewbelation, Rejewvenator and you guessed it, just in time for our holiday gift-giving, the very-appropriately named Chanukah. From the colorful website, to the posters on the walls, to the labels on the bottles, to the swag they sell in the tasting room, it’s clear this place is all about fun. It simply makes gifting for my friends, both Jewish and Gentile, pure “Jewbelation.” “Is this it? Are we in the right place?” Bob the driver asks as he pulls the limousine into a sort-of driveway in front of a small red barn that looks like it could very well be a storage shed. There are plenty of colorful trees and rolling green hills surrounding us. Yes, this is definitely Galway. And I know we’re in the exact right spot when I see a man walk out of the elegant Greek-Revival-style house across the street from us and wave in greeting as he approaches.

HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 53

The Adirondack Brewery & Pub

It seems crazy there is such a plethora of distilleries and breweries in the Capital Region. The Adirondack Brewery & Pub (33 Canada St., Lake George;; (518) 668-0002) is noteworthy not only because they make their own beer, but because they offer a fresh, non-alcoholic variety for the under-21ers on our list. Owner John Carr explains how they concoct the distinct taste. “We add extra winter green oil and less vanilla than typical root beer, giving it a lighter flavor, and making it more popular with kids.” Pure cane sugar and honey are added instead of high fructose corn syrup, making it a relatively healthy choice, too.

SARATOGA DISTILLERies Dave Devall leads us inside Saratoga Distilleries (Business address: 59 Franklin St.; (518) 584-8521;

patterns. This exposes more of the bourbon to the barrel and ages it three to five times faster than if 50-gallon barrels were used.

“Pop!” goes the cork stopping up one of the barrels. Devall samples the liquid inside and quickly sticks the cork back into the hole before reaching for a second barrel and repeating his actions. This taste satisfies him. He reaches for a glass and tips the barrel, pouring a few drinks of bourbon for each of us.

“We use the best water we can find, the best NYS corn, and the best NYS barley and then we brew and distill it using nothing else. So our secret isn’t what we put in, but what we don’t.”

Lawyers by day, Dave and his brother Richard say their law degrees helped wade through the mounds of paperwork they had to complete before ever producing their first batch of bourbon, saying theirs is the first distillery to open since prohibition. The 5-gallon baby barrels that hold the liquid are toasted on the inside and scored with honeycomb

The result is a bourbon that is pure, smooth, and flavorful. “That was pretty tasty stuff, as far as bourbon goes,” Matt comments on our way out. The only problem as far as our holiday shopping is concerned: every one of their one 100 bottles are spoken for. Devall says they’re looking for a bigger space in order to amp up production. He advises us to keep an eye on the website for availability this year.

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HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 55


GIFT Guide Ski Wine Rack

Perfect for the person in your life who loves skiing! Made from recycled skis - this holds 3 bottles of your favorite wine. No two are alike. Handmade in the USA. Homessence 439 Broadway, Saratoga Springs 306-6445

Holiday Ornaments

$35.00 each, 23rd and Fourth One Franklin Square, #2 Saratoga Springs, 584.3700

Complexions Day Spa

Purchase a $100. gift card receive an additional $20. gift card Purchase a $250. gift card receive an additional $20. gift card & a plush Spa Robe ($85. Value)

Not Your Mamma’s Dog Collars

Complexions Spa, 268 Broadway, Saratoga Springs,

For a great selection of bow ties, collar flowers, collars, leashes, and harnesses, check out Doggone Stylish. Our products are made in America, dry quickly & machine washable, available in tons of bright colors and custom designs!

Heather Bohm-Tallman Photography

56  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

Dawgdom 35 Van Dam St, Saratoga Springs 306-6600

Saratoga Stackable Bangle Bracelet Designed by Impressions and created by Wind & Fire, the bracelet is Made in the USA of recycled materials and a portion of each sale is donated to charities for Children with Disabilities. Available in a Silver or Gold finish for $36.99 Impressions Saratoga 368 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 587-0666

Bird Feeders The black cat is named Pip and his mouse is Squeak., the white (calico) cat is Sugar and his mouse is Honey. For the holidays only! Other seed characters are available. $19.99 each. Wild Birds Unlimited, 3084 New York 50 #1 Saratoga Springs 226-0071,

Motorcycle Enthusiasts...

Saratoga Olive Oil Sampler

Six sample-sized (60 ml) bottles of our most popular olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Saratoga Olive Oil Co., 484 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 450-1308

We have great gifts for any ME, from artwork to wine holders. Our motorcycle section is a gas! We go full throttle beyond the iron horse with gifts for the traditional horse lover as well. Come see our wide selection of gifts, affordable art, and custom framing. Crafters Gallery, 427 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 583-2435

Frye “Patty Riding Bootie”

Featured in the beautiful “Redwood” color is a sophisticated bootie. It has a comfortable stacked heel with gold buckle detail, the perfect addition to your winter wardrobe.

Magnet Board

Inspire someone with this handmade magnet board. The frames are milled directly from trees burned in forest fires, reclaiming the wood to its original beauty for years to come.

Violet’s of Saratoga 494 Broadway Saratoga Springs

Homessence 439 Broadway Saratoga Springs 306-6445

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Spa Day for Your Pooch

Christmas Ornaments

Every Puppy needs to be looking their best come the Holidays & with DAWGDOM CLEAN they all will be...With everything included & only the highest quality all natural products they are all set! Single Gift Certificates available for $15 or Packages of 4 at discounted rates. All come wrapped beautifully for any occasion!

Visit Lakeside’s Ye Olde Farmhouse Gift Shoppe for a large selection of Christmas ornaments and decorations to enhance your holidays! 336 Schauber Rd, Ballston Lake 399-2198

Dawgdom 35 Van Dam St. Saratoga Springs 306.6600

Laundromat Sweater

100% wool designed in Canada, and handcrafted in Nepal. Fair Trade Fashion. Alpine Sport Shop 399 Clinton St Saratoga Springs 584-6290

“The Dark Horse” Collection of Pottery, Gifts and Wearables “The Dark Horse” celebrates the tradition of the triumph of the long shots over the favorites that has earned Saratoga the nickname “Graveyard of Champions”. These durable and functional pottery pieces are crafted exclusively for Impressions in Wisconsin and range from $16.99 to $24.99. Impressions Saratoga 368 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 587-0666

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Jewelry Cheval

5’ Sliding Mirror in Cherry Sugg. Retail $1798 Sale price $1250 Gorgeous! Must See!

The Saratoga Maryann Bag By Rebecca Ray. Handmade and available in 8 colors!

The Furniture House Route 9P Saratoga Lake 587-9865

Pink Paddock 358 Broadway #101 Saratoga Springs 587-4344

Topo Pillows

14” x 14” $40.00 18” x 18” $ 50.00 Any area available. Custom made with choice of border. Order Now for Holiday Delivery

Handmade Gold Pendant with Diamond $295 deJonghe Jewelry 470 Broadway Saratoga Springs 587-6422

The Niche Gallery 480 Broadway Saratoga Springs 330-5176

Thinking of Hearts Hoody $28.99.

Stinky Dog 488 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 450-1939,

Lifetime Candles

Capture nature’s beauty in these amazing lifetime candles for many years to come. Lifetime candles are made in the USA and are filled with smokeless, odorless liquid paraffin oil. Stop by to purchase these unique and chic gifts at Pipits of Saratoga, where our gifts make your house a home! Pipits Of Saratoga, 487 Broadway, Saratoga springs, 587-2528,

Free Recipe Book Beaded Belt Buckle From bottle openers to belt buckles to Bumble and bumble… Saratoga Debut Salon & Boutique located at 58 Church Street Saratoga Springs NY. Featuring hair styling, coloring, manicures, pedicures…plus a boutique filled with a unique assortment of gifts and accessories. Make a Statement… 518-587-5200

“Delightful and Delicious!” Free recipe booklet included with each design Dehn’s Flowers and Gifts 178 Beekman St 584-1880

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Your home away from home:


by Helen Susan Edelman, photos by

Sometimes there’s a line out the front door to get a seat at Mama Mia’s Pizza and Café—and I know why. If you’ve already eaten there, so do you, and if you haven’t, well, now you have a plan for your next night out. (Hint: Make a reservation) Located at 185 Ballston Ave. (Rte. 50) in Saratoga Springs—the same strip of stores as the Ballston Avenue Price Chopper, but at the other end of the shopping center—the restaurant’s entrance isn’t flashy, so the giant taste fest inside comes as a fabulous surprise the first time and a happy reunion with flavor, great food and a hospitable atmosphere every time afterward. In truth, Mama Mia’s becomes your best friend once you’ve been introduced. That’s why it’s filled, even on a weeknight, with delighted diners there for as straightforward a meal as a gourmet brick-oven pizza prepared in front of your eyes with fresh ingredients, to a hearty Italian lunch or dinner, appetizer, salad, soup, entrée and dessert by Dolce and Biscotti, with a full bar available —and anything in between. The menu is extensive and varied and there are daily specials. Well, this is a place where everything on the menu 62  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

is special, so let’s say there are highlighted, off-menu items to keep things interesting. Mama Mia’s has been on the scene for the past decade, the joyful co-creation of Italian chef, businessman and restaurateur Giuseppe Grisio and his lovely wife, Saratoga Springs native Lauren Towner Grisio. Giuseppe is a native of the Puglia region in Italy, whose family has always been in the business. He began his career early, in his mother’s deli and his family’s restaurant, and later worked in Monte Carlo, as general manager for BICE restaurant, also spending time in the company’s Paris and London locations. In 1997, he was transferred to the United States, where he managed BICE in Palm Beach, Fla., as well as trained and opened new restaurants in Miami, Chicago and Mexico City. In 2000, Giuseppe became area director for Sbarro on Long Island, a division of Umberto's

restaurants. It was on Long Island that he met his wife. Lauren, meanwhile, had attended college on Long Island, where she remained to pursue exciting opportunities in marketing and media design with many innovative companies and entrepreneurs, both on Long Island and in New York City. She designed back-end Web portals and created marketing designs and animations for companies including Verizon, the Jacob Javits Center, the New York Islanders and the New York Jets. In 2004, Giuseppe and Lauren were visiting her parents in Saratoga Springs when he fell in love with the city. Soon after, the couple made the life-changing decision to return to Lauren’s hometown and open Mama Mia's. Today, Lauren incorporates her marketing and design skills into sustaining and beautifying the everyday business of Mama Mia's, as well as focuses on accounting, bookkeeping and human resources. She also has charge of details like choosing the music that plays in the background and pulling together the details that add extra polish, like tablecloths and linen napkins on the table—the details that make the

150-seat restaurant a subtle, low-lit embrace for all comers. In our after-dinner conversation, I was charmed to see that the genial Grisios, who have built an extremely successful business and civic good will, temper their pleasure in that success with modesty, both crediting and admiring the other and pointing at the vibrancy of the city as an element in their accomplishment. The Grisios are the people you want to have live next door—and not just for dinner parties. When the restaurant first opened, Giuseppe stood behind the counter and made every pizza sold with his own hands. He worked 90-hour weeks—now that he’s down to 70, he thinks things have eased up. Lauren, who came to the restaurant business later in her career, is thrilled for the opportunity to work (and play) alongside her husband. Together, they have built a business and a reputation that draws customers from the Saratoga Springs and Capital Region community year-round, but is also a magnet during track season for regulars from around the world who come to the city for the horses and want to relax before the track opens and after it closes with good friends and great food in an environment that Lauren describes as “an old-world family feel.” My curly-haired companion, P.W., is a regular at Mama Mia’s and was greeted and tended to warmly by the staff. It’s definitely her favorite place to dine, with friends and family or alone with a good book and a glass of wine. She navigates the menu like a pro. It is worth remarking that P.W. is a vegetarian and that one of the reasons she eats at Mama Mia’s so frequently is that there’s plenty on the menu to please her, as well as a very positive attitude when she asks for simple substitutions. On this night, she wanted the pasta special, but the sauce—squashbased—was prepared with shrimp, which the kitchen removed and subbed with mushrooms, which pleased her. P.W. is a discerning diner, so that’s saying a lot for the restaurant. I had a few moments to peruse the menu, which is a mouth-watering experience in itself, as the items are well described, not just named so that they need translation or explanation. A few samples from the menu: (See the very extensive menu here:

Left to right: Tom Clark, Jason Cramer, Giuseppe Grisio, Lauren Grisio and Lino Guzman


...They have built a business and a reputation that draws customers from the Saratoga Springs and Capital Region community year-round...



Cold Antipasto (serves 2), $13.95: A mix of salami, prosciutto, ham, provolone, fresh water mozzarella, artichokes, olives and roasted red peppers with extra virgin olive oil; LongStem Artichoke Francese, $10.95: Long-stem artichoke dipped and fried in an egg batter, lemon butter sauce over polenta

Stracciatella, $4.50: Fresh Spinach, cheese tortellini and egg drop soup

Salads Cranberry, Feta & Pear Salad, $10.95: Arugula, endive and radicchio with feta cheese, pears and dried cranberries drizzled with a Balsamic reduction; Spinach Salad, $9.95: Fresh spinach, goat cheese, mandarin oranges and walnuts with a balsamic dressing


ENTRÉES Entrées (include choice of small house salad OR Caesar salad OR pasta marinara. Enjoy both a salad AND a side of pasta marinara for $2.50 extra) Chicken Piccatta, $16.95: Tender breast of chicken and capers sautéed in lemon, sherry and butter sauce; Eggplant Rollatini, $14.95: Fresh eggplant rolled with ricotta cheese and topped with melted mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce; Baked Ziti Siciliana, $12.95: HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 63

Now, I’m going to tell the truth. I’ve eaten at Mama Mia’s many times—this was no firstimpression experience. I was tempted to order the Eggplant Rollatini—it’s the menu darling, as far as I’m concerned—but, in fairness, I knew it was time to branch out, so I chose the Chicken Francese. Going forward, I’m going to have to manage ambivalence now: eggplant or chicken? Or pizza? Can more than one thing be the best? Should we play favorites—food has feelings too!? Talking about favorites, I don’t want to leave out the tiramisu from the bakery. If I were Queen of the World, we would eat dessert first.

Baked with ricotta and battered eggplant topped with a marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese; Eggplant Timballo, $13.95: Stacked eggplant, fresh spinach, roasted red peppers and lasagna sheets stuffed with a cheese blend and marinara sauce

Baked Pastas (gluten-free penne available) Adina Speciale, $14.95: Rigatoni with sausage, sundried tomatoes and broccoli di rabe in a marinara sauce with shaved parmigiana cheese; Fresh Fettuccine with Shrimp, Asparagus & Portobello Mushrooms, $16.95: Fresh fettuccini with marinated Portobello mushrooms, sautéed shrimp, asparagus and cherry tomatoes topped with white truffle oil

Sides Italian Meatballs (4) OR Fresh Sausage (3), $6.95: with marinara sauce; Sautéed Vegetables (Serves 2), $5.95: SPINACH or BROCCOLI or BROCCOLI DI RABE (Seasonal); Calzone, $7.95: additional filling $1 each. ham, pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, imported prosciutto, spinach and broccoli; Garlic Knots, 64  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

$2.95, 6 per order; Sausage Roll, $7.95

Pizza (gluten-free available) Neopolitan: Thin crusted, round 18 inch, 8 slices, Mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, $13.75; Sicilian: Thick-crusted, square, 16x16 inch, 12 slices, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, $13.75; Grandma: thin-crusted, square, 16x16 inch, 12 slices, mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce and garlic, $16.95; Margherita: (The original pizza from Italy), $18.95: Thin-crusted, round, 18 inch, 8 slices, marinara sauce, fresh-water mozzarella and basil. House Special Meat, $18.95: sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, onions, black olives, tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese. Available in SICILIAN for $19.95; House Special Veggie, $18.95: spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, onions, black olives, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Available in SICILIAN for $19.95; Mama Giovannao’s Eggplant Parmigiana, $19.95: Thin-crusted with fresh eggplant, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese with dollops of creamy ricotta cheese

There’s something I want to say about Mama Mia’s—it’s about the portions. Is there a word for “plenty” that means “more than enough,” but not “too much,” yet still, you bring home a very nice meal for the next day? Ample? Generous? Sizable? So, my concern in a restaurant where the portion sizes are big is always whether we’re going to slip into that banquetty taste of foods that are prepared too often, in too great a quantity, for too many people. NO. (That’s quite deliberately capitalized, boldfaced and in italics for emphasis.) Mama Mia’s definitely makes each dish fresh—you can see it and you can taste it. Not to overstate, but even “house salad,” is actually a bowl full of fresh veggies. And by the way, I’ve seen the restaurant in action when a big group comes in (even been in the big group)—the party room is full, but the staff is unflinching, the food all comes to the table hot and on time. This was not a fixed menu, but everyone-order-whatever-you-want, and it was still to-order. The big event room in the rear of the restaurant has accommodated office parties, bridal and baby showers, anniversary and birthday parties and more. And, Mama Mia’s is bringing it on the road—in addition to a thriving take-out business (from pizza to a three-course meal to go), the restaurant is revving up with catering. (Find out more about that at 518-583-7783.)

One of the ways that Giuseppe keeps the ball rolling forward is by creating a stable, healthy workplace. Some of the employees at Mama Mia’s have been there for the whole decade it’s been open —unusual in the restaurant business.

says. “it’s comfort food, we want you to relax, like if you really are at Mama’s.”

“We are all equal here,” says Giuseppe, who empowers his team with planning meetings where the chef decides what goes on in the kitchen—a model not common in a business where owners want to control all aspects of the enterprise. Giuseppe seems to go with the idea that you surround yourself with the right people and let them do their jobs. “If you let a chef cook what he wants, you’ll see, you’ll get better food,” he explains.

“You’re special,” Lauren says, and Giuseppe nods his assent. “You told us how to keep our plants alive. That’s what makes this business so beautiful, the community.” ❆

The Grisios like to sit and talk, but there’s work to be done, so they say their adieux to P.W. and me, we are there until the end of the evening, after all, but Lauren pauses as she rises to sum it up: “When you come to Mama Mia’s, we want you to feel at home,” she

P.W. has something to add. “I love the way I am treated here, even when it’s busy,” she says. And then, for emphasis, “And the food is perfection.”

Mama Mia’s

185 Ballston Ave. Price Chopper/Taft Shopping Center Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday, 3 p.m.-9 p.m.

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The 175 Anniversary of th

The Church of St. Peter By Megan Harrington, photos by

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Part 1: Church Beginnings St. Peter’s Church is iconic of the area’s Catholic community but also Saratoga Springs itself. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the physical presence of the church, but the foundation of St. Peter’s congregation dates much earlier. The name itself is evocative of the very beginnings of the Roman Catholic Church. According to catechism, Jesus gives the keys of heaven to Peter, granting him the authority to create the church and become its first pope. This story is depicted in one of the church’s beautiful stained glass windows that face Broadway. If you happen to find yourself inside St. Peter’s, with the sun streaming through the window, you can’t help but think this scene has been touched by God.

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The roots of Catholicism in Upstate New York can be traced back to French Jesuit missionaries who first came to the area in the 17th and 18th centuries. By the 1830s, Irish immigrants began moving to the area for work and were meeting at various informal spots in order to worship. The first physical Catholic Church in Saratoga Springs was founded in 1839 when the Catholic community banded together and purchased the old Lyceum Theater to house their worship. The walls of St. Peter’s have undergone many updates in the past two centuries, but its geographical location on Broadway remains the same. Catholicism’s popularity continued to grow as an influx of Irish citizens immigrated to the U.S. in the wake of the potato famine. “They came to this area with nothing but a penny in their pocket and faith in their heart,” says Mark Phillips, lifelong parish member and Chair of St. Peter’s 175th Anniversary Committee. As the parish community flourished, they eventually outgrew their initial space and the first renovations began on St. Peter’s in 1850. During the construction,

the new church was actually built up and around the walls of the old space, allowing congregants to continue worshiping for as long as possible. As the second half of the 19th century dawned, new waves of immigrants sought out a living in Saratoga Springs, which was rapidly becoming a resort destination. The new residents were now primarily Italian, but still devotedly Catholic and their sense of faith continued to bolster the St. Peter’s community. While the founding congregants were largely working-class Irish and Italian, St. Peter’s has always been a bit of a melting pot. As far back as 150 years ago, members of the African American community worked in the city’s hotels and restaurants and then worshiped alongside the wealthy summer residents who visited during the track season. While the church community has always been strong, it was not without struggle. The United States experienced a strong nativist movement (anti-foreigner, especially Catholic) during the mid 19th century

Reverend Thomas H. Chevalier

They (irish) came to this area with nothing but a penny in their pocket and faith in their heart...

...Mark Phillips

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and this often resulted in conflict and violence for the area’s Catholic community. St. Peter’s experienced its share of ups and downs during this time, but fortunately continued to thrive and even began expanding its services. The 1860s brought the addition of the school to the parish community. The school began with a small number of male students, but continued growing its offerings until it was teaching both boys and girls, Catholic and Protestant alike. What eventually became known as St. Peter’s Academy continued to be an educational institution in the community throughout the majority of the twentieth-century. In the 1960s and 1970s, budget constraints led St. Peter’s to combine resources with nearby St. Clement’s to form Saratoga Central Catholic High School, which is currently located next to St. Peter’s Church. When asked about the relationship between St. Peter’s and its neighbor across town, St. Clement’s, congregants agree that the two churches have never been in competition. Instead, they often collaborated on joint programs and what church or school you attended was based largely

The Reverend and Mark Phillips, lifelong parish member and Chair of St. Peter’s 175th Anniversary Committee.

on geography. “In the old days, there was an unofficial dividing line for parishioners,” describes Barbara Cudney, a member of St. Peter’s for over seventy years. If you lived on the west side of the city, you’d likely attend St. Peter’s. And if you lived toward the east, St. Clement’s would be your house of worship.

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Part 2: The Changes of Vatican II

“...we became more of a community. We belong now to a church that is more open than it once was.”

The Catholic community in Saratoga Springs was no stranger to change, but the reforms that accompanied The Second Vatican Council (more commonly known as “Vatican II”) are a clear defining experience for the Church of St. Peter. As Mark Phillips explains, “I believe the turning point for our parish was also the turning point for the Catholic Church.” Vatican II is best known for the way it attempted to situate Catholic doctrine within the modern world and several key institutional changes were implemented in the late 1960s. These updates included: increased participation of laity in church services and activities, the use of the vernacular language rather than Latin in mass, and aesthetic changes in church design, music, and artwork. In the decades following the Second Vatican Council, even more changes were implemented. In the early 1990s, girls were officially allowed to become altar servers and women began to serve as Eucharistic ministers. Shortly after these doctrinal changes were implemented in Catholic parishes around the world, it became clear that major physical renovations were needed for St. Peter’s. In 1979, after receiving approval from the Parish council, construction began on the church building. Until recently, when your thoughts turned to traditional Catholic architecture, a long center aisle with pews on either side, priceless altarpiece frescoes, and the hallmarks of medieval and gothic architecture would have likely come to mind. The

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renovations performed on St. Peter’s in the late 1970s turned those ideas on their head. The new church interior eliminated the nave and incorporated a central altar surrounded by semi-circles of pews. This allowed for a more communal feeling during mass, parishioners were now able to surround their pastor, removing some of the hierarchy often associated with the Catholic Church. This new interior orientation coincided with Vatican II’s changes in protocol. No longer did the priest have his back turned to the congregation; he now faced his flock while performing mass. The original altarpiece on the west side of the church was also taken down and the space was turned in to what is known as the “day chapel” a space for small weekday masses and gatherings. The interior details also featured a very different aesthetic. White walls, wooden beams, and carpet replaced the existing medieval and gothic elements. As you can imagine, these changes brought upon a controversy within the church community that still exists today. Some congregants adapted to the changes while others missed the old layout so much that they decided to worship elsewhere. Barbara Cudney remarks, “The changes in the mass, I liked. The priest used to face away, but now he faced towards us and it was more inclusive.” However, the physical changes to the church were too much of a shift and Cudney ultimately decided to try out a new parish. After some years away, Cudney and her husband eventually found themselves being drawn back to St. Peter’s. “I didn’t recognize what I do now—with the physical changes to the church, we became more of a community. We belong now to a church that is more open than it once was. The word ‘neighborly’ comes to mind,” Cudney says. Of all the changes that took place, the consolidation to one main door is her favorite. Cudney explained that there were originally multiple doors and it was easy to never interact with your fellow congregants. “We never gathered as a community before the creation of the central door,” Cudney says. “Now we all go out one door. It’s the gathering place. After mass the priest will stand outside and greet each person as they pass through.”

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Through the good and the bad, the church has always been a sanctuary for its members.

...Mark Phillips

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Part 3: St. Peter’s Today The changes that accompanied Vatican II and the remodel took some getting used to, but eventually the divisiveness that gripped the parish waned and the community was able to heal and move forward. Through the good and the bad, the church has always been a sanctuary for its members. Mark Phillips describes gathering at St. Peter’s whenever a significant event rocked the community. “I remember that immediately after President Kennedy was assassinated, we all just gathered at the church. There was no Facebook or Twitter in those days, so people came to church to spread news and grieve with each other. We used our faith as comfort,” he says. That sense of community is what makes St. Peter’s so special and while this year is about celebrating the physical edifice, Phillips reminds us, “It’s not just about the building, it’s about the people.” Two Skidmore students recently spent a year researching the history of St. Peter’s. Rosalind Rothwell and Madison Lehrhaupt catalogued the church’s long and illustrious history in the city of Saratoga Springs, specifically focusing on the parish community. Their interest and dedication to this project demonstrate St. Peter’s standing and importance in the history of our city. And it’s important to note that while the church serves its 1,700 families, it also does much for the community at large. St. Peter’s continually raises money through collections for the church’s needy association. As Mark Phillips explained, any needy person can come in to the outreach office and request a basic necessity—whether that’s a bar of soap or a loaf of bread. The church also sponsors a giving tree at Christmas time and was the host location for last year’s Code Blue program. After the death of a young homeless woman, area residents came together to provide a safe and warm space during bitter nights. This community wide effort had a “no questions asked” policy, meaning there were no requirements or applications; the space was open to anyone on a cold winter night. The men and women were sheltered in the parish hall and were overseen by volunteers throughout the night. Phillips stopped by every morning at 4 a.m. to make sure the hall’s boiler was still working. It was old and on the fritz and no one knew if it would last through the winter. But

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through the grace of God and the vigilance of concerned parishioners like Phillips, it did last. It is stories like this that make you realize why St. Peter’s has remained such a vital force in our community. Part of the church’s strength has been in knowing when and how to adapt and what to offer to its members. Tara Sullivan, a member for over 15 years, keeps coming back for the fellowship and the music ministry. “We have a phenomenal music director [Philip Spaeth],” she said. “He could use his talent to go anywhere and do anything, but he decides to use his talent for his church and God,” Sullivan continued. “The music at St. Peter’s is very accessible and uplifting. There’s no judgment and people know they’re in a safe place where they can sing.” This down-to-earth and unifying approach to music is one of the lasting legacies of Vatican II. In celebration of the church’s 175th anniversary, the parish community has marked the occasion with a celebratory logo and an anniversary mass. The logo was designed by a Sunday school student earlier in the year and features a shield emblazoned with a cross alongside a set of keys symbolizing the story of St. Peter. The church is also using the phrase “Vibrant Catholic Faith” as part of their logo and as a sort of vision statement moving forward. The highlight of this anniversary year, a special mass, was held on June 29, 2014, which coincidentally happened to be the feast day of St. Peter and St. Paul. While it’s true that this year is about celebrating the anniversary of the physical presence of the church, any parish member will tell you that the celebration is about about so much more than a building. It’s about seeing faith as comfort and as a source of strength. And most importantly, this celebration is about the sense of community that St. Peter’s continues to provide. ❆ 74  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

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Northshire Bookstore:

So Many Books, So Little Time By Helen Susan Edelman, Photos by


in downtown Saratoga Springs is the high-energy heart of an effervescent and beloved city, but until August of 2013, something key had been missing for a while: a bookstore. Residents and visitors remarked on it. How could a forward-thinking, culturally sophisticated, educated, burgeoning, increasingly urban center not have an anchor bookstore on Broadway?

Lyrical Ballad on Phila Street is a gem, of course, and we are grateful to boast its presence as a landmark for literary types and history buffs, but even with its renowned specialty inventory of rare, used and out-ofprint books, maps and prints, it doesn’t solve the instant-gratification hunger for New York Times current bestsellers, a broad range

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of popular new and classic titles, a fabulous children’s book selection, or the more comprehensive shopping experience that includes creative gifts for adults and children, book-related activities and events and a café that comprise an enhanced modern bookstore. Thankfully, Chris Morrow of family-owned Northshire Books in Manchester Center, Vt., filled the hole in our collective heart by opening a location on Broadway in the welcoming Spa City. Northshire in Vermont was founded in September 1976 by Morrow’s parents, Ed and Barbara, when he was 9. Chris, who studied at Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, was back from volunteer stints in the Peace Corps in Thailand and Nepal when, in 1998, he undertook the Vermont store’s expansion. Ultimately, it was he who made the deci-

sion to respond to Saratogians who had approached him about the strong desire and need for an independent bookstore on Broadway. He listened, he researched, he acted. And, we got more and better in a bookstore than we could have imagined and hoped for. Meanwhile, he commutes to Saratoga from Weston, Vt., where he lives with his wife and two children. “Saratoga reached out to us after Borders went out of business. There were a few people who shopped in our Manchester store who thought we’d do well. So, I did due diligence and met interesting people and more interesting people and even more interesting people and got a sense that it’s a community that supports the arts and has a vibrant downtown and a lot of successful independent stores. I was intrigued,” Morrow says. “I did research on the economics and

demographics of the area and, at the end of the day, thought it was the type of place and type of community that could support us.” So, in August 2013, after much fanfare and titillation, Northshire Bookstore Saratoga opened its doors in a beautiful new building smack in the middle of Broadway, on the east side. Morrow put together a superstar staff with people like award-winning children’s writer Jennifer Armstrong, who works upstairs in the children’s department, which means that a parent, grandparent, child or teacher has access to her honed and brilliant insights in the process of buying a book for anyone from a tiny tot who likes picture books, to a middle schooler who loves historic fiction. Forgive me a personal moment here: To me, having Jennifer Armstrong talk to you about children’s books is a little like having St. Peter show you around heaven. My own granddaughter lives in Dallas, but much of her library has been dragged by me from Northshire to the southwest; one dream is, on her next visit to Saratoga Springs, is to make an appointment with Jennifer, who might help her choose the book of her dreams. Jennifer, are you listening? Also available to talk to is the incredible Maeve Noonan, well known in our community from her time at Borders. Maeve is somehow

in touch personally with every book in the store – have a vague knowledge of the topic? The author? The title? She can put her hands right on it. This has happened to me. “Ummmmmmm, my son is studying classics at university in Halifax, he told me he’d read a review of a book by a female author, it’s a new book, I forget the name, it’s in hardcover, it touches

on these interests of his…classics, philosophy and literature. I don’t know, I guess I better find out more about it.” Suddenly, she is standing in front of you, book in hand, saying, gently, “I think this might be the one you mean.” Yes, it is. As soon as I see it, I remember the title. Thank you, thank you Maeve, again and again, for helping me create those international care packages.

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group is held at the library and the knitters meet at Common Thread. The café attached to the bookstore is also used for those wanting to discuss apocalyptic fiction and poetry. “We wanted to offer an uplifting ambience and booksellers who read and can talk intelligently to customers,” says Morrow, who calls himself “an advocate for lifelong learning” who takes special pride in the children’s area. “We should be getting kids to read early and often, which will affect the course of their lives. Morrow reports that the first year in business has been “solid,” which he feels is largely because of the interaction with the community. Rachel Person And now there’s Rachel Person, event and community outreach coordinator, who has done such a tremendous job of creating what she calls “the third place.” There’s home, there’s work and there’s a public place for gathering, and that’s the bookstore,” she explains. “People come for readings, they meet here before dinner or after a movie, to talk and browse. A gathering place is a vital part of a functioning society. Chris Morrow and I both wanted Northshire to be that in Saratoga Springs.” Rebecca should know – she’s exactly the kind of well, person, who would be part of a literary community with a bookstore-driven pulse. She spent six years curating and producing literary programming at Symphony Space in New York City. During those years she served as associate director of the series “Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story,” heard nationwide on public radio and locally on WAMC. Prior to joining Northshire, Person served in the community relations office at Skidmore College, where she acted as art partner liaison for SaratogaArtsFest. She is on the executive board of Saratoga Reads. A graduate of Albany High School and Princeton University, she lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband, writer Steve Sheinkin, and their two children. She says, “I have the best job in town.” Rebecca plans between one and four events a week—many of them readings and signings—to bring people into the store and enrich their lives. She draws on both local and national talent, for example on the 250th anniversary of the publication of the classic and perennially still popular “Pride and Prejudice,” by Jane Austen, Person brought in Skidmore College Professor Catherine Golden, a specialist in literature of the era. Famously, she also arranged for Hillary Clinton to sign “Hard Choices” for more than 1,000 78  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

people (including me) who stood on a line that snaked around the block for the privilege of shaking Clinton’s hand. Also appearing in Saratoga Springs were notables including Cary Elwes and Joe Layden, of “The Princess Bride” fame, complete with the film; Jeff Kinney, author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books; Chuck Palahniuk, of “Beautiful You;” Francis Fukuyama, author of “Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy;” fantasy writer Jasper Fforde, “The Eye of Zoltar.” The store has also brought to Saratoga Springs Bill McKibben, Roger Ailes, Ann Rice, Ann Patchett and Gregory Maguire, as well as highlighting local writers Jennifer Sattler, Jay Rogoff, Mary Sanders Shartle and James Howard Kunstler. The impressive list would need its own article and a better idea is to visit www.northshire. com/event-list to find out what’s coming up. The events are often held in the store on the second floor, but Skidmore, the Hilton and Bowtie Cinema have also been better sites when the date involves a large crowd or a film. Many of the events are free, but others require paid admission or the purchase of a book. Person emphasizes, “This is definitely not just about authors selling their books, this is about enriching the community.” She works with publishers and publicists to find out who’s available to read and then, working with the list, decides who would have local appeal. She also works directly with authors to create a dynamic calendar. To underline that sentiment, the bookstore hosts reading groups to appeal to the broadest range of readers: parent-child, knitters, those who like to cook, fans of poetry, armchair explorers, young adults, and more. The groups are facilitated by bookstore staff. The groups are sometimes held off site, depending on the interest. For example, the parent-child

“Even in the heyday of bookstores, it has never been a super-successful economic model – it’s almost a nonprofit in the way it acts as an arts venue. A successful bookstore has the support of the community, and not just because there’s a good inventory, though that’s important, of course.” Northshire does well also, he says, because the book buyers have been at it for decades and know what sells. Everyone knows that bricks-and-mortar bookstores have been affected by Amazon and Northshire has not been immune to the battle. Morrow points out, however, that online booksellers can’t hold readings and signings and don’t support the community in other ways that Northshire can and does, like participating in fundraisers, holding arts and crafts workshops, hosting Dr. Seuss parties in PJs and reading to kids in Spanish. There’s also a projector, lots of stuffed toys, clothes and a baby shower registry. “It’s great to be here for an event,” says Person. “You see many people who attend all the time and it’s like old home week. People listen to the author and usually have time to ask questions, then they chat among themselves, sometimes on the signing line, sometimes at the register, sometimes on their way out to grab dinner. We’ve had to extricate the author from the audience, because so many people wanted to stay to talk.” Additionally, partnerships inspire special events such as the Healthy Living Market coming to read a book about good food and then serving up a healthy snack. Also, there have been fundraisers to support the Franklin Community Center, Shelters of Saratoga and the Rape Crisis Center. “We want to be good neighbors,” she explains. “We are looking for all kinds of interesting ways to do that.” The Northshire Bookstore Saratoga website is a treasure trove as well. There are book

views and blogs to satisfy every curiosity—if, by any chance, you are looking what to read next, and want to read up before you actually visit the store, I am going to go out on a limb here and say you are guaranteed to get a good idea from the reviews. There’s a balance—enough, plenty, but not an overwhelming amount of information. P.S. It’s so well-designed, that the website

is easy to navigate—you won’t be hunting around for what you want, but you will spend time reading because the writing is excellent and relevant. “We have a following,” says Person. “Our couches are full in the back, people are browsing to see if there’s a book they want to invite into their homes.” ❆

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Beautiful Music By Carissa Kumlander, Photos provided


You may have listened to the musical workings of the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra around town at events such as the Saratoga Arts Festival or First Night. This brilliant orchestra is headed by Maestro Gioacchino Longobardi, a longtime member of the music industry.

in the house. The piano became his main instrument, although he also plays the violin, which was his father’s focal instrument. From this point on, Longobardi was captivated by anything that had to do with music, and he knew he would have a career in it.

Maestro Longobardi’s musical desire was sparked many years ago. At the young age of 6 years old, most children are learning how to read, write, and play well with others. At this age, Gioacchino began studying music, with the help of his father.

“It’s kind of a funny thing, you know. Just as a child would be interested in a new toy, that’s how I felt about music. With the help of my father, I found myself being very attracted to it.”

As an adolescent, Giocchino’s father was never able to fully pursue his first love, music, due to times of war and family commitments. When Longobardi began to explore the beauties of music and his family’s history with it, he took it as an opportunity to fulfill the dream his father was never able to achieve. His father viewed him as “a possibility to continue to do something he was never able to do” and so Maestro Longobardi began his long journey studying music.

Prior to obtaining a job at the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra, Longobardi traveled around the world gaining knowledge in the music field. “Many years ago, before we moved to the states of course, I was at a conservatory in Italy, which I left in 1980. I left Italy to study in Austria and I spent two years there at the Academy. From there I went to Germany, where I spent another four years studying”, says Longobardi. He then moved to the United States, where he continued his adventure.

Six months after his first encounter with music, Giocchino says that his father “bought an upright piano, which was extremely expensive” so he would have an instrument to practice with 80  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

Journey to SSYO

After traveling for some time, he came upon the job opening at the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra to be a maestro. “There was

something about working with young people that I found very interesting. I wanted to see what I could do with young musicians as a teacher; I wanted to see what I could accomplish” says Longobardi. With an extensive background in music, Giocchino was hired and began working quickly to change the connotation of the “youth” orchestra. Longobardi says, “Some people have a different idea about a youth orchestra. I’ve been really trying to remove the label. A lot of people believe youth is a synonym for kid. But youth is a different idea.” While youth causes most people to assume children, the orchestra is comprised of a highly talented group of young musicians, mostly between the ages of 18 and 26. These musicians are chosen from high level college programs and even some top level high school programs to work with Maestro Longobardi and play in the highly acclaimed orchestra. “We’ve had many concerts in the Saratoga area, even playing at First Night and in the Dance Museum, very beautiful. We’ve also played at Carnegie Hall” adds Longobardi.

the chance to take his musicians there. A recording was sent to the festival hosts in Italy, and the orchestra was then invited to the festival. It took a lot of preparation, planning and practice, but the orchestra was finally ready to take on Italy in the summer of 2014. “They really have a very complex repertoire for their age and they’re actually really good!” says Longobardi. The orchestra was in Italy for nine days, performing in three different concerts at the International Festival of Giovanili. Being one of only three accepted entrants from the United States, the orchestra and Longobardi felt blessed to just be there. Besides being the maestro, Longobardi is also the artistic director of the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra and President and Artistic director of the Neapolitan Music Society. ❆ For more information about Maestro Longobardi and the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra, please visit

When the opportunity came for Maestro Longobardi and his youth orchestra to travel to Italy and play in a festival, he jumped at

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Water and The Woods Hunting and Fishing More Than a Hobby for Local Sportsmen By Stephanie Hale-Lopez, Photos provided

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You know what they say...

there’s no season like hunting and fishing season; especially in New York State. Some of the finest fishing in the country can be done in New York for coldwater, warmwater and saltwater fish species. Whether it’s smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Erie, brook trout fishing on crystal clear Adirondack Lake, Pacific salmon fishing on Lake Ontario, fishing for stripers on the Hudson River, brown trout fishing on the Beaver Kill or fishing for bluefish in Montauk’s surf, there’s something for everyone. With more than 7,500 lakes and ponds, 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, and hundreds of miles of coastline, fishing opportunities are easily accessible to almost anyone looking to cast a line and wait for a nibble. But even the most dedicated fishermen sometimes like to explore. Take Carl Scuderi for example; he’s been taking annual fishing trips to Alaska for the last 15 years. “Once you go, you’re hooked,” said Scuderi. “It was kind of on my bucket list. I fish the east coast all the time and I’ve always wanted to fish Alaska. So one year I just said, ‘I’m going to do it,’ and I fell in love.” Since his first trip in 1999, Scuderi has been exploring different parts of Alaska on his fishing trips, year after year. “I went 15 years ago, came back and told my wife that I’d go every year until I can’t physically go anymore or I die,” said Scuderi with a chuckle. “She jokes and says Alaska is my mistress.”

Once you go, you’re hooked -Carl Scuderi

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About two years ago, Scuderi met Tom Mullan and the two formed a friendship that started for their mutual love of fishing. When they met, Scuderi was wearing a t-shirt from one of his Alaskan fishing trips. The two men got to talking and soon enough, Mullan made arrangements for him and his son, Tommy, to join Scuderi in The Last Frontier on one of his fishing trips. “I said, ‘Yeah give me a call,’” said Mullan. “He calls me, says he’s got two openings, so my son and I went. I would never not go again. It’s a great place, the’s unbelievable. Hard to explain it.” Mullan got bit by the Alaska bug as well and he and Tommy joined Scuderi on another fishing trip. Scuderi and the Mullans have already booked their flights for next year’s trip. “I like the feeling of leaving a city like Anchorage, but two or three minutes out of the city, you’re in the wild,” said Scuderi. “And you know you’re not at the top of the food chain anymore. I’ve fished with huge brown bears; they’re pretty impressive.”

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I like the peace of it... The camaraderie of the guys you’re fishing with. -Tom Mullan

The men take chartered fishing trips when they arrive in Alaska and fish for salmon, halibut and rock fish. Deckhands make sure all of the fish that’s caught is filleted, vacuum sealed and frozen; that way, they’re able to bring it home to New York. But it’s not always about where you go or what you catch. The men say it’s the experience, enjoying nature and being with friends that make fishing a great hobby. “I like the peace of it,” said Mullan. “The camaraderie of the guys you’re fishing with.” “That’s a big part of it, being with friends,” added Scuderi. “It’s a good time.” Even if you can’t make it out to Alaska, here in New York State we’re currently in the midst of the annual fall salmon and steelhead runs on the Salmon and Oswego rivers. There’s also plenty of fishing time left left this year on Saratoga Lake, Round Lake, Great Sacandaga Lake and Kayaderosseras Creek. 86  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

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If you’re ready

to put away the tackle box and head into the woods, then you’re in luck. Hunting is among the most popular forms of wildlife recreation in New York State. Nearly 700,000 New Yorkers and more than 50,000 non-residents hunt in the Empire State and with a variety of wildlife including big game, small game, game birds and furbearers, it’s easy to see why. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in Saratoga County more in touch with outdoor mountain adventures than Dave Barker. Barker is currently working on a documentary titled “Adirondack Deer Camp,” which looks at the social and historical perspectives of a variety of camps and the relationship between camp members and the Adirondack wilderness.

Barker (far left) and friends prepare to butcher their kill.

“The documentary has a lot of different angles to it,” said Barker. “We talk about the history, the experience and the future of deer camps in the Adirondacks.” Barker said his first experience in hunting took place 25 years ago at one of the oldest camps in the Adirondacks called The Gooley Club. “I was into hunting and fishing and that was the perfect spot to do it,” said Barker. “I made a lot of friends and brought in a couple of my friends to be members. I loved going up there. You’d go out and fish or hunt during the day but at night you’d have a big meal around the campfire and share stories and experiences.” Private clubs located on the former Finch Pruyn timerland, like The Gooley Club, are dismanteling after the land acquisition of 2007. New York State is gradually adding more than 65,000 acres to the state forest preserve, as part of a conservation effort initiated by the Adirondack Nature Conserve. In doing so, the land would be open to the general public.

Members of an Adirondack deer club.

“There are still a few camps up there and I’ve looked at a few, but it’s nothing like The Gooley Club,” said Barker. “I like the way we had it. It was something we looked forward to all the time. It’s kind of like a state of mind I always call it, because you love thinking about it, getting ready to go, doing it and then when you get back, you have so many stories.” “Adirondack Deer Camp” is in the final stages of editing and is tentatively scheduled to air in early 2015 on Mountain Lakes PBS. In the meantime, visit to watch the trailer. “Going away to camp -- hunting is just one part of it,” said Barker. “You’re with a bunch of your friends, spending the day together. You get to see nature.” ❆ Photo by Carl Heilman 88  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

You’d go out and fish or hunt during the day but at night you’d have a big meal around the campfire and share stories

Members of an Adirondack deer club.

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Celebrating Saratoga Springs • Celebrating Sar

The Lost Mineral Springs of Saratoga Springs Part 1: High Rock Area By Charlie Kuenzel and Dave Patterson

Photo courtesy of Saratoga Springs History Museum

The City of Saratoga Springs was founded in the early 1800s as a health resort, with mineral springs as its main attraction. In the early part of the 1800s only a few naturally occurring mineral springs were available for drinking and bathing. In time, the technology to drill mineral springs arrived in Saratoga Springs and the number grew to almost 200. Today we only have about 17 mineral springs in the Saratoga Springs area, due to the overuse and abuse of the springs during the time period of the late 1800s to the early years of 1900. Legislation was passed to protect the springs in 1908 and the majority were capped to protect the few that we have today. In 1811, Gideon Putnam set forth a concept that the mineral water would always be free at the spring. He felt that the water had curing powers and that you should not be forced to pay for your health, an interesting concept. The area known as High Rock Park, adjacent to the Farmers’ Market, in the past was one such area of heavy mineral spring use. Many of those treasured mineral springs are now “lost” from sight but hopefully not from mind. Today people will visit the Peerless and Governor springs for a cool drink in their shared pavilion at High Rock. There is no other option for water in the immediate area.

High Rock Spring Let’s start with the mineral spring that was first used by the Native Americans, the High Rock Spring. Although you can view the mineral cone of that spring, the waters stopped flowing years ago. This is very sad, since the High Rock Spring is part of our city’s logo. The picture of a Mohawk family drinking from the spring is found on our city flag, police cars and even as a painting behind the Saratoga City Council in City Hall. When visiting the Farmers’ Market take a few moments to visit the structure covering the High Rock and see if you can’t imagine the busy atmosphere that surrounded this spring during the many summers of the 19th century. I hope we may someday re-drill the High Rock Spring to recreate the founding location of the city. Photo courtesy of Saratoga Springs History Museum

The following is a listing of a few mineral springs lost from use in that area.

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Seltzer Spring A few feet west of the High Rock nestled into the rock of the escarpment we find the Seltzer Spring. The spring was named Seltzer because people felt the taste matched that of the world famous spring in Germany. This spring was commonly mixed with wine to produce the wine spritzer of today. In the early days, this spring was called the Barrel Spring because a barrel was placed over the spring to be used for baths.

Qua Spring Directly across the street from the High Rock, and a few feet south on High Rock Avenue, was the Qua. This spring was used for baths at the High Rock Bath House, which sat directly across the street from the High Rock. The water was also bottled and distributed widely.

Star Spring The Star was located about 100 feet north of the High Rock and was very popular with visitors and locals in the 19th century. This spring was also called the Gunpowder because of its smell and later named the Iodine and then the President by future owners. As was the case with many springs it was also bottled and shipped widely.

Pavillion Spring (and United States) The Pavilion Spring was located on the site of today’s Pavilion Grand Hotel on Pavilion Place and Lake Avenue. This spring was originally discovered in 1816 by Dr. Steele. The position of the spring in an area of thick mud deposits made it very difficult to “tube” for use. Finally in 1839 Daniel McLaren began a new effort to tube this spring. During the winter, he excavated the area when the mud was frozen and spent large sums of money to bring the spring into use. In 1840 McLaren reflected on the money he had spent and decided to charge for water at the springs. This violation of Putnam’s rule caused an action by locals to boycott the spring. Shortly after hearing of the public’s displeasure McLaren dropped the practice of charging for water at the spring. The United States Spring was located a short 10 feet from the Pavilion but tasted completely different.

Flat Rock Spring The Flat Rock’s location was in the present day parking lot behind City Hall and the Police Department. This spring was one of the first to use a dipper boy to dispense water in the summer. It stopped being used shortly after 1840, but was re-tubed for use on Broadway in 1978 for a short time.

Royal Spring

Photo courtesy of Saratoga Springs History Museum

About 100 feet to the east of the Pavilion Spring on the corner of Lake Avenue and Henry Street was the Royal Spring. The location today is the home of the very popular Irish Pub, The Parting Glass Restaurant. This water was dispensed at the spring in brown earthen jugs. The well was drilled in 1887 to a depth of just less than 700 feet.

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Meghan Lemery FRITZ,


Just Say No:

Setting Healthy Boundaries during the

Holidays The holiday season is fast approaching, and while the season can be a magical time of the year, for some the holidays are a trigger for stress, exhaustion, anxiety and depression. Learning to set boundaries and have a strategy in place to get through the holidays is the key to keeping yourself healthy and sane. Be proactive: Before you rush out to begin frantic days of holiday shopping, take a few minutes to stop and reflect on years past. Are you always rushing to buy last-minute gifts? Do you dread visiting certain family members but torture yourself spending time with them because it’s “the holidays”? Do you wake up frantic, worrying about finances and the expectations of your children? Take some time to think about how you can change your approach and come up with a holiday strategy that leaves you feeling more in control and clearheaded. Take the time you need to think about what matters most to you and your family during the season and take action steps to honor your vision of a peaceful enjoyable holiday. Stick to the Basics: It is no coincidence that during the holidays I see a major increase in referrals and receive many calls from clients “in crisis.” 92  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

In order to feel clearheaded, rested and enjoy our day-to-day lives we have to honor the basics of self care. Good sleep, healthy nutrition, exercise and spending time with close friends and family are the basics to looking and feeling great. The basics are the first thing to go when we feel stressed and overwhelmed. Don’t abandon your day-to-day routine to accommodate a few days of holiday celebrations. Take the time you need to plug in and refresh so that you avoid hitting the New Year with exhaustion and an unhealthy body and mindset. Know what recharges your batteries and make a commitment to honor your self care plan daily. It only takes a few days of neglect to feel the affects of stress and anxiety. Safe guard yourself from the holiday hangover by taking small steps daily to refresh and recharge. Say No: The holiday season brings endless opportunities to socialize and get together. Don’t put pressure on yourself to attend every invitation you receive. Take the time you need to sort out your schedule and attend the gatherings that work best for you. If you have to attend the office holiday party but are dreading an evening with colleagues, make a plan to go for a short time and have an exit strategy in place. Don’t put yourself

in situations with people that will drain your energy and cause you to feel uncomfortable.

depression and anxiety, be honest with yourself about these triggers and do what you need to do to feel healthy.

Say “no” when you need to and attend gatherings that will be fun and lift your spirits. Get Real:

Don’t be bullied into putting yourself in a situation that will cause you emotional distress. Your peace of mind and sense of security is far more important than someone’s reaction to it.

The holidays are all about spending time with family and the people we love. Unfortunately, for many, the holidays can be a trigger for negative feelings that may lead to a downward spiral of major depression.

Anytime you override your emotional comfort to accommodate someone else, you are putting someone else’s agenda and comfort ahead of your own. Be real about what your triggers are and take the steps you need to honor your well-being.

If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, the holidays may represent chaos, insecurity, loss and feelings of hopelessness. Likewise, if you are going through a divorce, the holidays can bring on paralyzing fear and dread. Many of us plow through these uncomfortable feelings and put on our survival suits just hoping to make it through the season.

Self-care is not being selfish, it’s about making your health and well-being a priority in every season.

Be real about any feelings of depression that may creep into your heart and talk it out with a spouse, friend or therapist. Do not avoid or minimize your feelings if you are struggling and feeling blue. If we never stop to acknowledge a traumatic time in our lives we never allow ourselves to heal and move forward to emotional and spiritual health.

As we get ready to enter the holiday season in full swing, take a deep breath, stick to the basics, have a strategy in place and enjoy! Let the joy, peace and fun that the season brings lift your spirit and bring light into your heart. ❆ Wishing you a blessed holiday season! Mrs. Lemery Fritz is a therapist who practices in State College, Pennsylvania. She is available for phone consultation. For more information visit or email

If there are certain family members who can be a trigger for

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GETTING JUICED ON BROADWAY By Helen Susan Edelman, Photos by Erica Miller

The first step in a juice cleanse is making a commitment to it. You may be driven by curiosity at the outset. Maybe you know someone else who did it with good results. Maybe you’ve enjoyed fresh-pressed juice in the past, as a snack or meal replacement, and you do it for the pure, wholesome pleasure. Maybe you like the challenge, or maybe you read somewhere that it’s ‘good for you’ and you do it for health reasons to jumpstart weight loss, or because it makes you feel virtuous! Whatever persuades you that the time is right, there will be no outcome if there is no commitment. For me, it was curiosity spurred by a blend of all of those factors. The next thing you have to do is clear your calendar—that is, schedule the cleanse at a time that you don’t have plans for activities where food will be the centerpiece. Now that I’ve had the experience of a juice cleanse, I can tell you that being around people who are savoring their meals is no fun—even if you can power through it, as I did, there’s no good reason to. The cleanse won’t last forever, so try very hard to find a few days 94  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

when you can be relatively removed from foodie engagements, where you will feel or look out of place if you don’t eat. Simply put, deliver yourself from temptation. You won’t miss it. You might even like it. Third, find a juice cleanse that works for you—number of days, combination of juices, accessibility and cost are going to be considerations. Here in Saratoga Springs, we are fortunate to have options. The Saratoga Juice Bar on Broadway, where I chose to follow the regimen and adhere to the cleanse guidelines, as explained by store manager, Andy Scullin the an extraordinarily successful “graduate” of cleansing, and Christel and Colin MacLean, who own the juice bar, and who, in true MacLean style, were inimitably gracious in their personal welcome to the program, as well as their follow-up. The MacLeans are renowned in the region as restaurateurs and entrepreneurs, also owning the beloved, high-spirited, family-friendly Circus Café; the newer, upscale Crown Grill, for casual fine dining; Realty Saratoga; and

Curved Line Living, a consulting and seminar business that represents the principle that “life is not a straight line” and the realization that “there are multiple choices and paths that we can choose from to achieve our goals.” The thing you know about Christel and Colin is that they have done the research. They’re so articulate and passionate about the juicing program, you know it’s going to be the best it can be. Finally, to be fair to yourself and give the cleanse the best chance to work its magic, the few days before you start, eliminate—or at least severely restrict—refined sugar, processed foods, caffeine, wheat, dairy, meat and alcohol. I did—and I found, to my happy surprise, that I don’t need these items at all to have a well-rounded, satisfying, fun diet— snacks included. This is really not difficult at all, and a good-sense, good-health route to follow, cleanse or no cleanse. (As another step—and it’s neither required by the cleanse nor requested by the juice bar—I also talked to my primary care doctor to get

a read on whether this is a safe process or a good idea. She had no objection, especially since I was doing it only for five days, and wished me luck. Also, by coincidence, I had my regular check-up with the wise and wonderful gastroenterologist Dr. Arthur Ostrov and checked with him. He read over the brochure and gave his okay, emphasizing, however, that while a brief cleanse is fine, to really stay healthy, a person needs to eat well for life. He also reminded me that many diets “work,” but only if you follow them.) One more thing, before you leap—you’ll want to ask, “Why should I do this?”

The MacLeans share four reasons: 1. To help maximize your fresh raw food intake, while lowering your caloric consumption 2. To help give your digestive system a well-deserved rest 3. To help increase your energy levels and boost your immune system 4. To refresh and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit I can think of another: to see if you can carry through with it. Do you have the self-discipline? Do you have the flexibility? Also, if you’re not into cutting up and cooking fruits and vegetables, this is an excellent way to get the benefit of them. It doesn’t replace them, but it’s a start. By the way, the juices are also the interesting, nutrient-fortifying ingredients in muffin batter, soup broth, rice and pasta. Don’t forget, you can further enhance and balance the juice by adding proteins such as almond milk, Greek yogurt, flaxseed and peanut butter. One more thing I hadn’t thought of before I was in the situation. If you bring a juice, or two or three to work, you have a really refreshing and easy snack or lunch to snatch out of the fridge. Use the time you save to take a walk! What a luxury! The Saratoga Juice Bar cleanse is not complicated. It consists of five bottles of juice per day and a hot shot, as well as plenty of room-temperature water, beginning when you wake up, before the first juice. The daily juices include: • Going Green- a mixture of spinach (high in betacarotene and potassium), kale (an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C and K), romaine (said to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure), celery (lowers cholesterol, soothes digestive system, contains diuretic and antiinflammatory properties), cucumber (vitamins A and K, potassium and silica for tissue health), pear (fiber and vitamins B2, C, E, copper and potassium) and lemon (antibacterial and antiviral properties, immune-boosting, digestive aid, liver cleanser)

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• Heart Beets- a blend of beets (nourishes the liver, cleans blood, relieves high blood pressure), carrot (antioxidants, vitamins A and K, helps fight heart disease and cancer, improves vision, improves blood sugar regulation), apple (skin, liver and digestion aid, good for eight loss and antiinflammatory), ginger (fights inflammation, reduces blood pressure, anticoagulant) and lemon (antibacterial and antiviral properties, immune-boosting, digestive aid, liver cleanser) • Saratoga Detox- a blend of pineapple (aids digestion, eases inflammation, reduces arthritis symptoms), carrot (antioxidants, vitamins A and K, helps fight heart disease and cancer, improves vision, improves blood sugar regulation), orange (antioxidants, antiinflammatory, promotes healthy blood vessel function, reduces cholesterol) and ginger (fights inflammation, reduces blood pressure, anticoagulant) • Sprit of Life- a mix of cucumber (vitamins A and K, potassium and silica for tissue health), spinach (high in beta-carotene and potassium), celery (lowers cholesterol, soothes digestive system, contains diuretic and antiinflammatory properties), apple (skin, liver and digestion aid, good for eight loss and anti-inflammatory), ginger (fights inflammation, reduces blood pressure, anticoagulant) and lemon (antibacterial and antiviral properties, immune-boosting, digestive aid, liver cleanser) • Hot Shot- a blend of lemon (antibacterial and antiviral properties, immune-boosting, digestive aid, liver cleanser), ginger (fights inflammation, reduces blood pressure, anticoagulant) and cayenne (promotes circulation, natural joint pain reliever, boosts immunity and metabolism, releases endorphins in brain) (There’s definitely something appealing and delightful about being able to blend kale and lemon, or beets and carrots and create a fabulous new flavor.) You may or may not believe this and may or may not agree, but personally I found every one of these juices absolutely delicious. There’s so much variety, the cleanse is never monotonous. There is no particular order in which you must drink them and they are very filling. People have asked me, suspiciously, “Were you hungry all the time?” The answer is absolutely not. At least not during the day. The juices are extremely satisfying. But, at night, around 8 p.m., I would start feeling hungry. I tend to think that’s because it’s 96  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

the time I usually graze around the kitchen and not because my body needed to be filled up—the truth is, if I drank a juice at that time, I stopped being hungry. It bears repeating: If you drink the Saratoga Juice Bar mixtures and water regularly throughout the day, you will not be bored and you will not be hungry. You will, on the other hand, be delighted! Hint: Don’t stand in the middle of the kitchen gazing sadly at the refrigerator when you feel puckish. Read a book. Take a walk. Call your best friend. You don’t have to eat automatically just because you’re used to it. Throughout, I marveled at my lack of craving or need to consume dairy and sugar, which had been part of my daily food routines (the other foods I omitted were no burden at all, as none—except for caffeine in coffee or tea—really figure into my diet regularly). Upping the water intake has only well-known upsides, as well. There’s no downside to staying healthily hydrated. Other questions I was asked: • Did you have to pee a lot? Yes. • Did all those juices give you a stomach ache, make you gassy or cause diarrhea? No. • Did you get a headache when you first stopped caffeine? Well, I expected to and kept waiting for it, but I didn’t, really. I realized I wanted the caffeine because it was a habit, not a necessity. • Were you tired? No. In fact, there was nothing physical I stopped doing (except eating solid food for a few days, which I also have done after a particularly tricky oral surgery) and I slept well. It seems to me that some activities, like walking, bicycling, yoga or Pilates, will enhance the experience, as they are individually performed and encourage introspection. • What did you notice? Did you think obsessively about food? I noticed that I was thinking a lot more about my relationship to food and how I would extend the positive habits and effects of the cleanse after it was over. I was not thinking about what I could be eating instead of drinking juice and when I stopped the cleanse, I did not rush out to buy doughnuts. It was gentle going in and gentle going out.

• Did the juices taste good? Yes, yes, yes. • Is it expensive? At the Saratoga Juice Bar, each bottle represents 5 pounds. of vegetables!!! So, is it expensive? Yes, relative to another commercial beverage you might grab; no, when you think about what has gone into it and what you’re getting out of it. If you were to buy 5 pounds. of vegetables, you would outspend the price of the bottle of juice and you’d have to invest mucho dollars in equipment and time in production and cleanup. Here’s a little info: The Saratoga Juice Bar specializes in cold-pressed juices—fresh juice that is unpasteurized. I did a lot of homework before I launched into this cleanse, specifically on why cold-pressed juice is different than juice made by pulverizing fruits or vegetables and separating out the fiber from the liquid. The distinction is important. Cold-pressed juice is more nutritionally complete, containing more vitamins, minerals and enzymes than juice extracted with a traditional centrifugal juicer, which creates heat and significantly decreases the beneficial nutrients. Producing cold-pressed juice is very time-consuming and labor-intensive, but worth insisting on if you want the most nutrient-rich, tasty juice of the absolutely best quality. “The general population has moved forward

ahead of science in this,” says Colin. “It wasn’t even a business 10 years ago now, juicing is a $2-3 billion business in the United States, but people know themselves instinctively, they know their own bodies and what makes them feel good and better, and that’s what’s driving the growth of juicing. The key is that people are much more knowledgeable and concerned about what they’re putting into their bodies these days – just look at the success of the new Healthy Living and Fresh Market groceries locally, and the fresh produce areas of Price Chopper and Hannaford, which are being built up as people become more aware of how to read food labels and turn away in droves from unhealthy choices. Parents are doing this as well with their children.” “Juicing and cleansing is not going to cure the obesity problem in the United States, but it will help us get healthier, one person at a time. This is what’s driving ‘cold-pressed juice madness,’” he comments. Colin notes that a person who has a serious ailment or who is pregnant is advised NOT to start a cleanse without a physician’s knowledge and approval. “Owning a juice bar is like providing a service, selling health, selling something good for people, Colin explains. “It’s not an easy business to make a profit in we didn’t do this to get wealthy. We did it because we wanted to fill a hole in the market and we had the opportunity and the location. The closest cold-pressed juice bar is in Woodstock. We’ve been approached by a variety of local markets, as well as people in Minnesota, Buffalo and Massachusetts to bring our juice bar model there.” In Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Juice Bar products are available at Skidmore College and

Roma’s on Washington Street, as well as in Hot Yoga in Stuyvesant Plaza and a spinning center in Clifton Park. Other locations are being investigated. Hundreds of cleanses have been sold and the Saratoga Juice Bar has the capacity to serve anyone interested, Colin says. The products are available by delivery to Skidmore. He notes that a significant population of students and transplants from urban areas used cleanses in their home neighborhoods and have been very receptive to the program. Of course, individual juices and salads, as well as smoothies, are available for purchase in the store, independent of a cleanse. Colin reminds consumers that the cold-pressed juices are good for three to five days, and should be discarded after seven. The juice bar sells between 75-100 juices a day, as well as the cleanse packages (which come with a nifty green carrying bag). Maybe the ultimate testimonial comes in the form of the answer to, “Would you do it again?” To that, I’d respond, “Yes, I would. I would definitely do a juice cleanse again for five days, maybe twice a year.” Also, for sure I will be keeping a few bottles in my home and work fridges for frequent boosts. I worried what would happen when the cleanse was over—would I have become a vegetarian? (No.) Would I gain weight? (No.) Would I advise someone else to do it? Yes, I have, I would and I will. In fact, that’s what this article is all about. It’s my experience, and I offer it to you to ponder, but you’ll have to have your own, now. You can be sure your friends will be asking you the same questions they asked me. There’s something very exciting about leaving your comfort zone, about rebooting, about taking a purposeful vacation from the Fast Food Nation. ❆ HOLIDAY 2014 | Simply Saratoga  | 97




BODY BACK “I just want

my pre-pregnancy body back”, said Cindy, a client I recently started working with. I’d be a rich man indeed if I had a dollar for every new mom who said that to me. Like Cindy they want their body to look the same as before they got pregnant and they want it “Now!” But as I said to Cindy, I’ll say to you: “It took almost a year for your body to go through the transformation of giving birth and it will take about the same time for it to go back to the previous version. It’s about setting realistic expectations.” Even though Cindy was an avid gym rat prior to (and even during) her pregnancy, she needed to understand it would take time to get back into the same shape. Contrary to what many might tell you, there is no quick fix or magic formula to getting that pre-pregnancy body back, though it IS absolutely possible. It takes hard work, dedication and exercise, which is no easy feat when you’re balancing the demands of a newborn baby. I hear it all the time… ”I’m too exhausted from taking care of the baby to exercise,” and trust me I get it. As a father of five myself, I’ve spent many a night with a crying newborn while I tried to let my wife sleep; however, there are many benefits to be had by exercising even if you are “exhausted.” Among them: Weight loss (I’ve never heard a woman yet say she wanted to keep those extra pounds she gained during pregnancy), improved cardiovascular fitness and restored muscle strength and toning, especially those abdominal muscles that have had to carry the load during pregnancy. Perhaps more importantly, post 98  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

pregnancy exercise will help boost your energy level, improve your mood and relieve the stresses that being a parent can bring. Many studies have also shown that getting into a workout routine can help limit the effects of post partum depression. A common question I am asked is, “How soon after delivery can I get back to the gym?” In my experience, most medical professionals say to wait a minimum of six weeks post-delivery before getting back to your workouts. However this is a general guideline and is largely dependent on several factors including: Did you work out prior to or during your pregnancy? Were there any complications during delivery and how do you feel now? I’ve worked with clients who have been about to resume their workouts as soon as two or three weeks after delivery and others who have had to wait 2-3 months post delivery before they could begin working out. If you are feeling good and there were no major complications, then you are likely OK to begin working out again; however, you should contact your medical professional and verify with them that you are cleared to exercise. The next most common question I get is “what kind of exercise and how much of it should I be doing?” This is a great question and the answer is “go slow”…. This is not the time to go out and try to run a marathon. For our clients we recommend a mix of cardio and strength training—starting out slowly and gradually building up. For cardio we suggest going for a walk every day. The side benefit is you can do this with the baby. For strength and resistance, we recommend simple circuit routines that you can complete in 15-20 minutes. You should begin with a five to seven minute long low intensity warm

up like walking or using a stationary bike set very low. Then go through a circuit of lowimpact light-weight exercises.

dizziness, shortness of breath or feel faint, stop exercising and contact your medical professional immediately.

For example, do 10 reps each of the following exercises:

Having a baby is both a joyous and stressful time in a person’s life. When you’re exhausted, have only gotten a few hours of sleep and aren’t feeling your best, exercising may be the last thing you want to do. But even short easy workouts can help you sustain your energy, relieve stress, help you sleep better at night and get you started back toward your pre-pregnancy body.

• Squats

• Dips

• Lunges

• Bicep Curls

• Shoulder Presses

• Woodchoppers.

Use dumbbells in the 3-5 pound range and rest 20-30 seconds between each exercise.

Oh, by the way… Cindy is four months in and has lost about 90 percent of the weight she gained. In many ways, she is even stronger than she was before. ❆ Dan Romand is a certified personal trainer and Yoga Instructor as well as co-owner with his wife, Laure, of Full Circle Fitness-NY. The staff at FCFNY believe that anyone can improve their fitness level and make their daily life more enjoyable. They specialize in working with the morbidly obese and showing them through lifestyle changes, how to not just lose weight safely and effectively but keep it off.

Initially go through the circuit two times. If you have no issues and don’t feel fatigued, you can gradually increase the number of circuits, reps or the weight. Be sure to cool down and do some light stretching when you are done. Do the strength circuit three times a week at first with at least a day off in between. You will also want to incorporate some kegels to help strength the pelvic floor that was weakened during pregnancy and delivery. You can do kegels several times a day… standing, sitting or laying down. This will help with that little bugaboo no one wants to talk about: incontinence. Some other recommendations… If you are breastfeeding, plan your exercise sessions for immediately after a feeding so that your breasts are not as large, also, wear an athletic bra for support. Keep in mind also, that post childbirth, there is often a high level of hormones that remain in the body, which can leave joints, muscles and ligaments susceptible to injury. So in the beginning when doing aerobic type exercises, keep one foot on the floor and avoid strenuous hopping, jumping or jerky movements. Avoid putting excess pressure or stretching to the point that it causes pain. Balance can often be affected postpartum, so take care when making rapid changes in direction and if possible, avoid hard surfaces. Finally if you experience any pain, bleeding,

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Fashion: aratoga tyle

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Celebrate the Holidays with unique, chic, sophisticated fashion! Find that perfect gift for someone special. AVAILABLE AT: ALEXIS AIDA BOUTIQUE 437 BROADWAY 788-8545

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Obermeyer Squall Jacket Snow Angel Rainbow Zip T Obermeyer Malta Pant Tecnica Skandia Boot Mitchie’s Ribbed Stones Hat with Fur Pom Pom Smith Cheetah Sunglasses ...on table, Salomon Icon Custom Air Helmet Smith I/OS Neon Goggle w/ Red Sol-X Mirror Lens Obermeyer leather Snowmass Mittens AVAILABLE AT: Alpine Sport Shop 399 Clinton St 584-6290

Photo by

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Left to right Milannia Shift Dress in Metallic Zebra Jacquard with the Resort Chic Wedge in Gold Metallic Jade Dress in Zig Zag Crochet Knit Lace with the Resort Chic Wedge in Gold Sparkle Brielle Dress in Cameo White with Gold Metallic Stripe with the Kat Kitten Heel in Nude All Lilly Pulitzer and available at Pink Paddock on Broadway and NOW in Stuyvesant Plaza!!

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Available at: Pink Paddock 358 Broadway (518) 587-4344

From chic cocktail dresses to floral day dresses and cozy knit sweaters, Lucia is sure to complete your wardrobe this Holiday season! Floral dress by Knot Sisters Available at LUCIA BOUTIQUE 454 Broadway 587-7890

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Our sleek statement by Don O’Neill for THEIA. Combine with a chic piece of jewelry from GAS Bijoux. Exclusively at Saratoga Trunk,lady’s finery. Meet Don, at Saratoga Trunk’s Annual THEIA TRUNK SHOW,Thursday, November 20th at Circular Manor Inn. Holiday,Resort and Don’s entire Spring/Summer 2015 Collection being shown. Call Saratoga Trunk 493 Broadway 584-3543 for your appointment!

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Sophisticated and sexy! Frank Lyman holiday Red dress with vegan leather trim topped with a vegan leather illusion jacket also by Frank Lyman. Paired with peacock crystal drop earrings by Taolei for an unexpected pop of color. Available at: LIFESTYLES CLOTHING • JEWELRY• ACCESSORIES 436 BROADWAY, 584-4665 LIFESTYLESOFSARATOGA.COM Photo by at the Pavilion Grand Hotel Lobby

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Fall shouldn’t be boring.... nor should your jacket!! Groa is a Danish company that loves mixing feminine touches with a bit of funk. Made of a soft tissue boiled wool, you will find yourself wishing for cold every day! Available at: Spoken boutique 27 Church Street 587-2772 108  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

Product Spotlight “It’s the worldwide brand with hometown roots.”

EMBRACE THE RACE® speaks to the discerning enthusiast, celebrating and promoting The Horse Racing Lifestyle®. The Brand, founded and based here in Saratoga Springs, ultimately combines an inspirational logo with an impassioned phrase to captivate customers. t A refined necktie for the man who loves the life! Featuring the iconic and striking EMBRACE THE RACE® Logo in a variety of vibrant and elegant colors. You’ll look classy and sharp with a suit or a sport coat. Handmade and constructed of fine silk and featuring a matte surface.

Just released in time for the season, EMBRACE THE RACE® is proud to unveil their exclusive line of ladies pendants. Wonderfully elegant, and simple yet striking - in silver, 18 k white gold and 18K gold. Handmade with care to reflect the allure of the brand, it’s ideal for the woman who knows what it means to EMBRACE ...


The Passion of Horse Racing® It’s the core fabric woven throughout a world that celebrates its personalities, participants and unforgettable moments. With EMBRACE THE RACE®, The Apparel for The Horse Racing Lifestyle®, express your passion for horse racing without saying anything at all.

From generation to generation, from on track to off. Celebrate in style. Visit the EMBRACE THE RACE® flagship retail location at 12 Circular Street (across from the Holiday Inn with private customer parking), select Saratoga retailers; online at or call for a private shopping experience 518-580-4500.

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Carriage House Chronicles The

Story by Chelsea Hoopes Silver, Photos by ©

Hi, I’m Chelsea Hoopes Silver... And as some of you may know, I have a blog called The Carriage House Chronicles, where I feature various design, architecture, lifestyle, and art inspirations I find while living in the beautiful and historically rich city of Saratoga Springs. I come by my love of collecting and house obsession honestly—my parents have been flipping and building houses since I was five-years-old and my grandfather traveled the world collecting art and antiques. I also love a nice, “raw canvas” and I would probably never buy a “turn-key” home. My first and current homes were both big renovations and even my store (Silverwood, Home & Gallery; which I own with my mother), was a total renovation. Although I can certainly see the appeal of buying something that is done, I just love a good project! Now I’ve got a new “project”— adapting my blog into a series for the award-winning Simply Saratoga!

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Christmas at The Farm:

A Home with History and Heart

Middleline Road is a beautiful, bucolic road with a storied past. The old “Dee Farm,” which sits directly on that road, has been standing as long as the “road” has existed, if you could call it a road back then. In the late 1700s, when the first portion of the farmhouse was built, this road was probably nothing more than a couple of trenches, dug by wagon wheels, matting down the weeds and grass beside the house. More than 200 years later, this stately brick homestead is owned by Billy Bischoff, who bought the house a couple of years ago on a tip from his daughter, Caitlin. Originally from New Jersey, Billy’s

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The oldest portion of the home was built in 1778

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parameters for a new home were flexible and it was the beauty and history of this particular home that drew him upstate. “I had always wanted an old home and this one was perfect,” Bischoff remarks. “Being a ‘closet historian,’ I was fascinated by the history of the home and the area. The original cistern is still in the basement, [the] support beams are hand-hewn timbers and the bark is still on the sides. There are original wide-plank floors throughout the home and the windows are leaded glass; they distort the view a little bit but in a good way. We see things the way they would have looked through those same windows in the 1800s.” Interestingly, Bischoff discovered through his own research and stories from previous owners that the home likely saw some action during the Revolutionary war; and there is evidence that British Captain Monroe marched his troops and the 26 prisoners he took from Ballston Spa in 1780 through the farm. When work was being done in the yard by the home’s previous

I had always wanted an old home and this one was perfect.

owners, a 1769 Irish Half Penny was found in the dirt—a pretty strong confirmation that the British had in fact camped on the property. “I can only surmise that Jonathan Cole, the home’s first owner, may have been a sympathizer with the Crown since the home was not burned to the ground,” says Bischoff.

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...The home always seems full of love, life, laughs, and guests. The house is also very “easy on the eyes”...

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A century after Captain Monroe’s nasty march through our countryside, a Mr. John Dee II bought the farm and accumulated over 1,000 acres over the 40 years he owned it. The farm became one of the biggest dairies in the area, according to Bischoff. John Munter, who bought the place from John Dee’s son, John Dee III, claims his father rebuilt the massive barn on the property after it burned in a fire in the 1920s. “The barn was built with wood from a stand of American chestnut trees that once stood on Middleline Road,” Bischoff says. “Blight, introduced around 1900, wiped out all the American chestnut trees in North America by 1940 and the wood is impossible to find anymore, making it quite valuable. When I bought the home in

Owner Billy Bischoff

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The holidays are especially cozy in this old home.

2012, after almost 50 years of neglect, the old barn was at the point of collapsing. To make the barn structurally sound we had to lift it off the foundation, pour a new one and set the barn back down for the next 100 years. I think John Munter's father would be pleased.” The history of the old farm is fascinating, but how does it “live” for a modern family? Quite well, it seems. Bischoff has four children and the home always seems full of love, life, laughs and guests. The

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house is “grand yet charming” and was beautifully renovated by the previous owner, local designer, Ed DeRocker, who adeptly infused gorgeous classic design into the home’s innate period charm. For instance, the kitchen is large and features a chef-worthy layout and appliances, but it is also rustic and feels true to the home. With historic charm around every corner, it’s hard to pick a favorite room in this house, one of Bischoff’s favorites, the “Barn Room” (it was literally a small barn that was annexed onto the main house some time), is especially cool with it’s open loft, exposed original beams and massive Rumsford fire place. The holidays are especially cozy in this old home. Other than the fact

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Photo provided

...When it’s all done up for Christmas, it just feels right.

that the place looks downright Rockwellian when it’s all done up for Christmas, it just feels right. As a close friend of the Bischoff family, I can say from experience that the home exudes a warmth and character that just can’t be replicated in a new home. Of course there are drawbacks to a 200 year-old-home, but Bischoff doesn’t seem to mind. He fixed what he could (like a leaky roof and a too shallow well that kept showers brief during hot summer days) and lives with that which he cannot (the house is close to the road, but again, when your only traffic was the occasional 118  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

horse, it didn’t much matter when they built it). But ultimately, the Bischoff family is just happy sitting under the stars down by the barn, enjoying their time on this pretty farm’s storied grounds. ❆

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WINTER FLOWERS Photos provided

The term “forcing” has always seemed a little harsh when referring to bringing flower bulbs (tulips, hyacinths, etc.) into their flowering cycle prematurely in pots. “Enticing” or “tricking” seem more appropriate. To trick or force flower bulbs, we want to fool them into reacting as if they have already undergone the cooling period that bulbs planted in the ground experience over winter. To do this, we need to pot them up and place them in a cool location for a long enough time to undergo the enzyme change that causes the bulb to start its growth and flowering cycle. It isn’t hard to do. Although any hardy bulb can be forced, some varieties are better suited to it than others. Very tall tulips, for instance, are not good candidates because they tend to get leggy and flop over when forced indoors due to lack of direct sun. Smaller and shorter varieties are the best candidates for forcing. There are still bulbs available at the garden center and they are usually on sale this late in the outdoor bulb planting season. After selecting your bulbs, get some pots to use. Pots for forcing are generally shallow. They are referred to as “bulb pans.” For hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils a bulb pan about 6 inches deep is perfect. Crocus, iris, and other smaller bulbs won’t need a pot more than four to five inches deep. Place a couple of inches of soil in the bottom of the pot, then place the bulbs in the pot pointy side up. The bulbs should be placed very close together...even touching. Then fill the pot the rest of the way with more soil and water thoroughly. Now your potted bulbs are ready for their cooling period. They need to be chilled to 40 degrees or lower for at least three 120  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

months. This can be done in an unheated basement, or in a spare refrigerator. It is also possible to chill them in the garden. To do this, dig a trench in your garden deep enough that the rim of the pot is at, or just below soil level. Then fill in the trench around the pots with more soil. Cover

your trenched bulb pans with mulch. Be sure that they stay moist. It’s OK if they freeze....that’s just what they need. An inch or so of mulch on top and a couple of stakes so you can find them in mid-winter and you’re all done, except for the waiting.

Starting in late January or early February you can start bringing them in. It will take another four to six weeks for them to grow and flower. All over the country, greenhouse growers are planting bulbs in pots right now. They’ll put them into coolers and must pull them out at just the right moment so they’ll flower right in time for Easter. Timing is everything. There is one bulb you can force without the chilling period. Paperwhite narcissus is not a hardy bulb and so can be forced without cooling them. For these, I like to use glass containers filled with stones, glass chips or marbles so I get the added interest of watching the roots grow. Simply nestle the base of the paperwhite bulb into the gravel, again placing the bulbs so that they are almost touching. Fill the bowl with water to just BELOW the base of the bulb. Don’t let the bulbs sit in the water since they might rot. Then, just step back and enjoy the show. ❆

Have fun and thanks for the read!

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the Holidays

By Jordana Turcotte, photo provided

Being organized and planning it all out keeps things straight and gets things done.

The Holidays; yes the whole season is an event. Even for those that LOVE and LIVE FOR them as well as those that are extremely organized (like me;) the thought of shopping for all those gifts, decorating, ,entertaining and more, has their head spinning. Add that on top of the regular day-to-day activities and you have a recipe for stress.

1. Pick what parties you want to host and the type.

Being organized and planning it all out keeps things straight and gets things done. I find party planning and gift buying to be the areas of most stress.

3. Have a page for each in your notebook; write out all the specifics, such as menu and guest list.

My first recommendation is to have two key tools. The first is a small 5x8 notebook; a flat, small one will be easiest to tote around throughout the season to keep you organized. They sell holiday planners out there (as shown) with sections already in it, or you can make your own. Secondly, a monthly calendar of November and December will become your snapshot of all holiday events and to-do’s. You can find them on the internet or in Microsoft Word to print out. Take the notebook and make some sections (post-its work just fine.) Make sections for gifts, parties, and to-do lists to start with. You may want more as you go based on what you have going on. Next, comes the calendar… fill in all you have scheduled, such as travel, parties you are going to, church services, school events, work parties, theatre events, when you will have guests and such. Doing this visually shows you your commitments so you can then plan out when you will do all of your own things. Use pencil so if something changes you can adjust immediately. I am always surprised how little time is left! It is party time! Decide what you can really do this year. Dinner? Multiple Dinners? Holiday Party? Cocktail Party? Open House? 122  |  Simply Saratoga | HOLIDAY 2014

2. Select dates / times for all and put on your calendar.

4. Draft your guest lists for each. 5. Do invitations for each, (e) mailing out at least 2-3 weeks

prior (put this on your calendar). A save the date email or call may be in order if you are planning late and want to ensure all know. 6. Plan the menu adding paper product supplies with it and start buying each week; checking off as you go so just consumables and fresh items are the last minute purchases. 7. Enjoy! Really…enjoy the party.

Other holiday-related calendar items to mark are due dates for making or filling out cards, dates to mail cards, book travel, get tree, time to decorate indoors and outdoors, shopping time(s), time for wrapping, due dates for gift shipping, events you need to bake for, and major cleaning times just before parties or hosting guests. An ongoing holiday to-do list may have these calendar items as well as… prep for company, getting items dry cleaned, and so on. It is all in the details and remembering them. And now for those gifts. Gift buying should be fun but it is a daunting task; who to buy for, what to buy and how to afford it all. I read a stat in Real Simple that you should spend no more than 1.5percent of your pretax annual income on gifts; that means on $65,000, you wouldn’t

spend more than about $1,000. You should budget for wrapping supplies, stamps and shipping too. Streamlining the gift buying will be the biggest de-stresser of all. In your notebook, make a comprehensive list of each person you need to buy for (maybe separate pages for each grouping;) family, friends, colleagues, service providers, teachers, babysitters, neighbors. I would give those that you will buy a lot for several lines in between the next so you have space to document things. At a minimum, fill in the name and budget for each. If you have ideas for them, jot them down. Setting this up in the beginning gives you a true picture of what you need to get. Once you buy something, document item and price. Also, grab an envelope to stash in the back of the notebook to keep all receipts in – try to put the person’s name by the item. Consider the same gift within a group if possible; like all teachers get movie tix attached to a $1

store candy. It helps to streamline the shopping trips. My personal favorite gifts with the most meaning (and are clutter-free!) is to give an experience, such as taking that person out to eat or to an event. The memories will last longer than any item. You can get creative and make up a small coupon to enclose in the card. Lastly, don’t forget the miscellaneous purchases; create a general holiday shopping list with wrapping paper, tape, bows, ribbon, tissue paper, bags, cards, stamps, shipping boxes and more. Check your stock on all of these items as soon as possible and add specific quantities to the items so you don’t overbuy. But the real last point is to savor the holidays, really concentrate on what they mean to you and how you want to enjoy them. Doing this will bring clarity and focus while you get things done. ❆

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Saturday, November 15 8th Annual Lake George Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Shepard Park Beach, Lake George, 9 a.m. Hundreds of people take the plunge each year in Lake George and at different locations around the state to raise funds for the Special Olympics New York. These daring participants’ help by showing their support for the Special Olympics and raising money for the organization. For more information call (518) 388-0790 x 109.

Family Saturdays at the Tang Tang Museum at Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs The Tang offers children ages 5 and older a chance to express their creativity in the museum through its Family Saturday’s programs. These free programs use current exhibitions as a starting point to give children (and their adult companions) the opportunity to express their creativity in fun and inspiring ways. Each program includes a brief tour followed by a hands-on art activity, with all materials provided. Space is limited. Reservations can be made starting one week before the program by calling the Tang’s Visitor Service Desk at 518-580-8080.

Holiday Craft Show The American Legion, 34 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Leave the hustle and bustle of the malls behind - When Fall is in the air, and the holiday season is right around the corner, you’ll know it’s time for ... A huge selection of booths with tempting treats, unique handcrafted treasures and holiday gifts.

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Thursday, November 20

Sunday, November 30

Historic Downtown Greenwich, NY

Longfellow’s restaurant, 500 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, 11am-4pm

Annual Holiday Lighted Tractor Parade

Join us for the 2nd Annual Lighted Tractor Parade in Downtown Greenwich! Proceeds will support a GCS Scholarship in Agriculture and GGCC activities.

Sunday, November 23 South Glens Falls Holiday Parade Rte. 9, South Glens Falls, 1 p.m. The Annual South Glens Falls Holiday Parade will take place on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This year’s theme is “Winter Wonderland”! There will be community groups, bands, floats, costumed characters, and of course, a very special guest, Santa Claus! For more information call (518) 761-1220.

Thursday, November 27 Christopher Dailey Turkey Trot

Annual Dickens Holiday festival

Shop for the holidays in the English Market, enjoy one-day-only Dickens Deals, food tastings, photos with Santa, strolling carolers and Dickens characters in a Victorian setting. Bring a new unwrapped toy or canned good for those in need. Admission is $8 (25% of the proceeds goes to the Saratoga Hospital Foundation) children 8 & under are free.

Gingerbread Workshop Saratoga Springs Public Library, Various Times through December 14 Learn to make a gingerbread house. For children in grades K-6. Register for one session only. Saratoga School District residents only. Pre-registration required, beginning November 8th. For more information visit

2nd Annual One Stop Holiday Shop

Saratoga Springs City Hall, Saratoga Springs, 8:30 a.m.

Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs, 232 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

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

Get some of your holiday shopping done in ONE place! Stop by the One Stop Holiday Shop on Sunday November 30th from 11 am – 2 pm at the Holiday Inn on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.

Saturday, November 29 39th Annual Craft Marketplace

Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saratoga Center for the Family’s 38th annual Holiday Craft Marketplace will host over 100 crafters offering unique creations including pottery, stained glass, quilts, dolls and much more. For more information call (518) 587-8008.

Thursday, December 4

The 28th Annual Victorian Street walk, Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival! Downtown Saratoga Springs, 6 – 10 p.m. Music, magic, gingerbread house displays, the Festival of Trees, choral groups, Victorian Costumes, Santa & Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, lots of venues with entertainment, all free and open to the public. For more information call (518) 587-8635. ****For full coverage of the Festival of Trees, the Victorian Streetwalk, the Tree Lighting and Santa’s arrival, please pick up a copy of A SARATOGA CHRISTMAS, due out on November 26th

Friday, December 5

The Ninth Annual Saratoga Restaurant Week Participating Restaurants in Saratoga Springs, Friday, December 5 – Thursday, December 11 3 course meals for just $10, $20, or $30 and lunch for $5 or $10. For more information visit

2014 Saratoga Festival of Trees Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 6 p.m. For more information call (518) 587-5000. For full coverage of the Festival of Trees, the Victorian Streetwalk, the Tree Lighting and Santa’s arrival, please pick up a copy of A SARATOGA CHRISTMAS, due out on November 26th

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Saturday, December 6

Sunday, December 14

Saratoga Arts Council Center, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Gideon Putnam Resort, 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs

11th Annual Center Crafts Show

Come get inspired for the Holidays and Celebrate the Arts in Saratoga. Handmade jewelry, fine woven garments, hand crafted leather belts and sculpted buckles, sculpture, functional stoneware and raku pottery, handmade bow ties, quilts, mixed media paintings and much more will be available for sale. Admission is FREE and refreshments are served. For more information visit or call (518) 852-6478.

Friday, December 12 The Jungle Book

Spa Little Theater, 19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs

Candle Light House Tour Union Gables Bed and Breakfast, 55 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 5 – 10:30 p.m. Tour festively decorated homes celebrating our city’s unique architecture and historic East Side. Party and silent auction held at the historic Union Gables Bed & Breakfast. For more information call (518) 587-5080.

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

Winter Dance Concert Dance Center Dance Theater, Skidmore College, 8 p.m. Skidmore Dance Department presents works choreographed by the faculty and guest artists. Students & Senior Citizens $5; Adults $10; Box Office opens 45 minutes prior to the performance. cash/check only. Arrive early for best seating. For more information call (518) 580-5392 or visit:

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The Jungle Book is the delightful story of Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungle by Bagheera, a wise black panther, and Baloo, a goofy bear. Mowgli runs away with a band of monkeys – only to be held captive by them. Will the cunning python Kaa help rescue Mowgli? Will all of the animals in the jungle learn they are truly “brothers of one blood?” In the end, Mowgli’s animal teachers find they have something to learn from the boy. Offering shows up until December 20th. For more information visit

Saturday, December 13

Gingerbread Workshop

Come as a family to the beautiful Gideon Putnam Resort from 10am until 2pm and build a gingerbread house to decorate your home!

Wednesday, December 31 17th Annual First Night Saratoga 5K

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

First Night Saratoga Downtown Saratoga Springs, 5:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. First Night is a New Year’s celebration of the arts and community. Saratoga’s First Night is the largest New Year’s event outside of New York City. Each year, thousands of revelers come to Saratoga Springs to experience a wide-ranging variety of arts and music. It is a true showcase of the diverse and immense talent in the Capital-Saratoga region. For more information visit firstnight.

A Saratoga Christmas with The McKrells Spa Little Theater, 19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs, 7 – 9 p.m. Home Made Theater continues their tradition of hosting Christmas shows with Kevin McKrell and his merry musicians. Join Home Made Theater for an evening of Christmas favorites, Kevin’s trademark sound, and their popular rendition of A Visit from St. Nick (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas). For more information visit www.

Saturday, January 24 Winter Antique Show

National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY, 10 a.m. Looking for something to do on a winter weekend? This is the perfect way to spend a cold day! The National Museum of Dance is happy to announce their Sixth Annual Winter Antique Show. Last year, the show welcomed over 1,400 guests and this year is expected to be the best year yet! Don’t worry; there will be plenty of parking. Over fifty vendors will be displaying their vast variety of wares.

20th Annual Frost Faire Saratoga National Historical Park, 648 Route 32, Stillwater 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Snow, or no snow…come enjoy the 20th Annual Frost Faire. If there’s snow, bring your snow tube or plastic sled for spectacular rides on the “Big Hill.” If there’s no snow, escape cabin fever with winter nature trek, contra-dancing, special exhibits, games, plus hot chocolate and cookies by the bonfire. The event is free.

Saturday, January 31 Chowderfest

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

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A Class Act By Alice Corey, photo provided all the negative stories about the bad apples of the NFL this season, the story of a true role model cannot be spotlighted enough. Derek Jeter retired the number 2 at the end of this season as shortstop with the New York Yankees.


That’s me! In a Learjet with Derek’s arm draped around my shoulder like we are old friends. How did it happen? In 1999, I was working in a Tampa Emergency Room as a Registered Nurse when a young man came in having an MI (Myocardial Infarction) aka a heart attack. He was scared (and unbeknownst to me, very wealthy.) Luckily the cardiologist, Kevin Klein, knew of my desire to meet the famed Derek Jeter and happened to be the patient’s neighbor. As I held the hand of the patient, connected to more drips than he had arms for, the cardiologist made it known that I would love to meet Derek Jeter. A few weeks later that patient, now fully recovered, called and said he would like to make my dream a reality to pay me back for saving his life. I was in disbelief and the more I told him that it was my pleasure and job, the more he insisted. He arranged this through Tino Martinez, a local Tampa boy, who played first base for the Yankees at the time.

As I think back, I remember my excitement as I readied myself, as girls do, with hair and make-up. etc. I wondered what he would be like. Handsome, yes, of course. Tall, yes, of course…but I hoped that he would be nice and friendly. He was all that and so much more. Character is something that shines through both on and off the field and Derek Jeter is everything you think he is and then some.

baseballs, photos and hats and stood smiling with us for countless photos. He wanted to hear some of my ER stories. The worst, the craziest and the most heartwarming. He was a real guy—a real nice guy.

Derek has proven to be a class act since his rookie year. He has been scandal free; no stories filled with wild women, drugs, violence or abuse. This past season, every opposing team had some tribute to the man in pinstripes with a reputation cleaner than his baseball pants. Even his opponents He has proven love and respect him. He has to be a leader, proven to be a leader, a role model and a class act both a role model on and off the field.

As I boarded the jet in Tampa with my college roommate, whom I brought to catch me if I fainted, I couldn’t hide my excitement. Armed with a bag full of National and a class act League baseballs (oops) Fast forward 15 years and for him to sign. I smiled both on and now a happily married ear to ear as the pilots mother of two, I find myself off the field. introduced themselves wishing that the sports world and offered us mimosas to could clone Derek Jeter and sip on during our short flight from Tampa to provide that kind of role model for children Miami. There, we would meet Derek and Tino everywhere. Hey, sometimes wishes do come and return to home base in Tampa after a true, just look at the picture. ❆ fundraising gala in Miami.



After they boarded we chatted like friends. Derek was humble, gracious and genuinely interested in us and our stories. They signed

Alice Corey is a wedding and newborn photographer who also covers social events and galas for Saratoga TODAY. For more information about Alice’s work, visit

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Editor’s Choice

WHAT: Paper Dolls of Saratoga WHERE: 438 Broadway, Saratoga Springs WHY: Because holiday stationary is a must!

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Simply Saratoga Holiday 2014  
Simply Saratoga Holiday 2014