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May/June 2019 Complimentary

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Home & Garden 2019

HOME & GARDEN Over 50 pages of Home Décor and Entertaining Inspiration, starting on page 53.

A GOOD READ 28 Celebrating 25 Years of Secret Gardens! 36 Step inside a Secret Garden with Taz Steiner 38 Preserving Saratoga: 108 Circular Street 42 Step inside the Gardens of Wiawaka 44 Meet the men of Saratoga Horseshoes and Metalwork 48 Saratoga Co-Works… creates the trendiest office spaces 50 Lesley O’Donnell trains the stars


51 Artist Spotlight: Matthew LaChapelle

133 Charlie Kuenzel reflects on Saratoga

1 52 NEW COLUMN: Reader Submitted Essays

136 Rarely Seen Photos of Old Saratoga Springs

141 Mouzon House… A Remarkable Past an Exciting Future!

138 Carol Godette Remembers… Saratoga Harness Track

161 Karen Krasny reflects on the lost art of manners 162 Lessons Learned by Ralph Vincent HOMESTEADING 101 105 What you need to know about Chickens, Butterflies and the Art of Composting. FASHION / SAVE THE DATE 116 Fashions, Accessories, Day Lashes and Things to Do! 8  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019 Photo by Susan Blackburn Photography

145 Does anybody remember… The Homestead Sanitarium 148 John Greenwood Muses… 149 2nd Installment of Saratoga’s Best Kept Secret… The Saratoga Reading Room by Stewart White, Forward by Carol Godette SUMMER CAMPS 153 Seven great options for your children (or grandchildren!) to do this summer!







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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

Lily Neher is a senior at Schuylerville High School. She plans to attend the University of New Hampshire to study Mass Communications and Dance. She enjoys writing, dance, and music. Lily also runs cross county, acts in school plays, and participates in the french club.

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






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

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

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

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

Stewart White, an avid weightlifter and a sports enthusiast is a Saratoga native and a graduate of the class of 1972. He’s worked with 13-18 year old troubled boys & girls for the last 24 years. Stewart is an all-around great guy with a knack for storytelling and he’s thrilled to have this opportunity with Simply Saratoga Magazine to tell his story and make his mom & brother smile from the heavens above.



From the Editor

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

Welcome Spring - and the H&G edition we’ve been waiting for you! I just love putting this issue together. To be honest with you - I think it’s because we choose to garden and to decorate our homes, these are the “extras” that we do to enhance our lives. I hope you love these gardens and home décor tips… (and recipes and shopping suggestions and great stories and beautiful, helpful ads!). But most of all… I hope you take the time to sit and enjoy this magazine. I always suggest starting with the Save the Date section, (page 116) so you don’t miss a single thing – there is just so much to do in this town – get it on your calendar! Check pages 17 and 18 for upcoming Plant Sales, and don’t miss the stories on the Soroptimists’ Secret Garden Tours (starting on page 28) – a garden lovers MUST DO event in Saratoga. Our restaurant feature for this edition is the perfect blend of home, garden, history … and mouthwatering cuisine (!). Read about the Mouzon House, in our History section, on page 141. Once you read about this home’s storied past, you’ll agree with me it couldn’t be in any other section. The story on page 145 came from somebody driving by an old building and wondering “Hey, what was that?” If you’re curious about something – ASK – I might be able to answer (or find someone who can). I’m starting to collect Reader Essays… so, if you think you can write, please share it with me. See page 152. Saratoga TODAY offers a great Summer Camps section each year – see page 153 for some ideas to keep kids of all ages busy! I must close with a Thank You to our readers ...and advertisers! Without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide these beautiful publications - free of charge - to our tens of thousands of readers. Please, mention us by name when visiting them… Simply Saratoga - the Saratoga TODAY magazine. And keep those comments coming I LOVE hearing from you -

Love, Chris In Print & Online. Sign up TODAY for FREE email delivery of our publications!

PS… Check out a teaser of Sharing Saratoga’s Soft Patina on page 26. To hear more from Ralph Grasso and Ralph SanFelice, pick up a copy of our multi-generational magazine, Saratoga Family, due out May 31st. Find it wherever you pick up Saratoga TODAY publications!

Cover photo by Susan Blackburn Photography. No accompanying article, we just loved this home and garden - nice work!








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

Samantha Bosshart Collen Coleman Jodi Fitz Barbara Lombardo Carol Godette John R. Greenwood Himanee Gupta-Carlson Tamara Johnson Ashley Keatley Karen Krasney Charlie Kuenzel Lily Neher MegIn Potter John Reardon Theresa St. John Kristen Schultz Elena Scrivo Jordan Turcotte Maureen Werther Stewart White Ralph Vincent


Susan Blackburn Photography The George S. Bolster Collection Dawn Foglia Brian Hoffman Shannon Krasny Randall Perry Marisa Scirocco Stockwell Media Theresa St. John Terri-Lynn Pellegri

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 © 2019, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper


Herb, Perennial Plant & Garden Decor Sale

BY THE HERITAGE GARDEN CLUB OF SARATOGA SPRINGS Saturday, June 8th, 9 am to 1 pm Italian American Center 247 Grand Avenue Saratoga Springs A large variety of perennial plants will be available for sale as well as many different varieties of distinctive daylilies developed by the late Stanley Saxton, a hybridizer and long-time Saratoga resident who developed and registered many varieties of daylilies. Also, a variety of herbs and garden accents will be available to enhance the beauty of your garden. Club members of the Heritage Garden Club will be at the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center, 297 Broadway, for the 25th Annual Soroptimist Secret Garden Tour, Sunday July 7 from 11 am to 2 pm. The Heritage Garden Club’s Memorial Garden at the Saratoga Visitor Center will be open to welcome the public. Garden accents made by members of the club will be available for sale. Please feel free to contact




Garden Club


A walk around Schuylerville, especially in the early spring months, is instantly brightened by the colorful flower boxes scattered throughout the small village. The blooms begin to pop up everywhere, but not all on their own. This is just one of the positive acts for the community that The Schuylerville Garden Club is behind. This modest organization is slowly bringing the spring season to the close-knit community of Schuylerville and the greater area… one flower at a time. An organization that has been active for eighty years, The Schuylerville Garden Club is a very well represented community organization that has been recognized state wide. One of five district clubs, they are supported by the Village of Schuylerville and continue to have very involved members. Phoebe Hunt-Fontaine, daughter of an original club member dating back to 1938, served as the State Organization President from 2003-2005. Her fellow gardener, Pam Foesher held the same position in 2013. The Schuylerville branch has also won awards for their annual flower show three years and counting! They are proud to have a Schuylerville Chair Woman at these events, their own Liz Gee. The gardeners are committed to growing, watering, and nurturing the small seed that is the Village of Schuylerville. The club annually contributes to the Schuylerville High School Dollars for

Scholars Fund, which provides scholarship money to graduating high school students going on to college. They also donate to the S.A.F.E.R. Food Pantry that provides important resources for community members in need. The club continues to partner with the Department of Environmental Conservation to send students on scholarships to the summer program of the same name. Schuylerville’s own Andrew Nevins has been a participant recently, as well as Bella and Sam Estill from Stillwater, the latter selected as a state representative. Know a future SHS graduate? The Schuylerville Garden Club does! They annually provide the flower arrangements for the Schuylerville High School Graduation at the Saratoga City Center with flowers from their own gardens. They make the beautiful arrangements themselves, aided by classes and guest speakers that the club offers monthly on gardening tips, floral arrangements, and other horticultural events. Club president and twenty-year member Leona Brownell values her experience in the club greatly. “You learn a lot about gardening, but really it’s nice feeling a part of a bigger organization.” Show your support for this ray of sunshine in the Schuylerville community and attend their annual flower show, entitled “Games People Play” at the Saratoga Town Hall on July 13-14, 2019. SS



Saratoga’s Second Big



or the second year, an exciting artistic twist has been added to Saratoga’s summer season calendar.

The REVEAL International Contemporary Art Fair is a showstopping world-class visual art event. “Saratoga is at the crossroads of several regions that attract an art loving marketplace — the Adirondacks, Lake George, Boston, the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley. We were quite pleased with the reaction to the high quality of the 2018 fair and look forward to an exciting 2019!” said Susan Eley of Susan Eley Fine Art.

ART AMBASSADOR In March, Grande and Susan Murphy received the Discover Saratoga Hometown Ambassador award for bringing so many new faces into Saratoga Springs. This year, she’s received many more applications from galleries located across the country (and even internationally) who want to participate. A couple of cultural institutions have also expressed interest.


“It's important to keep the fair fresh so fair-goers know they will find something new and exciting each time they attend,” said Grande.

Like many others, they’re coming back to Saratoga because of the success they experienced during REVEAL’s inaugural year.

One new exhibitor at REVEAL will be the Schacht Gallery, located at Saratoga Clay Arts Center in Schuylerville.

“The response from last year was amazing. I still get stopped by people on the street or in a restaurant saying how much they loved the fair, and especially the idea of bringing such a high level of contemporary art to Saratoga Springs,” said REVEAL Art Fair Owner Jacquie Grande. The New York City-based Susan Eley Fine Art gallery will be delivering a dynamic mix of bold colors, exciting patterns and complex layering at their booth this year. Their collection of representational and figurative abstracts, landscapes and nature-based art includes works by Francie Hester, James Isherwood and Angela A’Court. The Fremin Gallery will be returning as well, to show photographs and sculptures from their New York artists. “We show extremely talented artists who make strong statements with their work such as Ardan Ozmenoglu's Nail Polish glass sculptures Those are works attendees are not used to seeing, so it usually makes a great impact on them,” said gallery owner Emmanuel Fremin. 20  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019


“We’re very excited to be participating, to meet new galleries and interact with people from all over the country. We’re also excited to educate people with what the clay world is all about right now,” said center director Jill Fishon-Kovachick. Her sensual vessels will be on display at their booth along with the work of up to five other clay artists. “Our gallery displays clay in a very different way for people. It’s more of a fine art than a craft. It’s not just about the vessel, it’s conceptual,” she said. This year, REVEAL has grown to include 40 galleries displaying work from 225 artists all under one roof. They are developing a VIP program for sponsors and special guests, expanding their special events, and adding more educational programming, The REVEAL Art Fair will be held July 18th through 21st at the Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. For more information, go to SS


AIM to Dance




he National Museum of Dance is thrilled to introduce AIM To Dance!, a new program in partnership with AIM Services, Inc. which brings the therapeutic benefits of dance to those with disabilities, including those with traumatic brain injuries. AIM Services, Inc. is dedicated to partnering with people of diverse abilities in fostering growth and independence. This ideal alliance combines AIM’s mission to discover people’s “power of potential” with the lifeenhancing benefits of dance. Through AIM To Dance!, the National Museum of Dance is providing weekly classes promoting physical, emotional, and mental health to AIM participants. “Teaching this class brings me such joy!” said instructor, Leslie Kettlewell. Leslie sees the class as an opportunity to help people with stress reduction, self-esteem, creative expression, and social integration. Most importantly, she wants everyone to have fun.

“One of our goals at AIM is to forge meaningful community partnerships that includes and enhances the quality of life for the individuals we support and connects them to the rich experience of Saratoga. This program has long lasting benefits for the class participants. This experience would not be possible without the vision of Board President Michele Riggi and her dedicated and compassionate instructor, Leslie Kettlewell”, says AIM Services, Inc. Public Relations Director Walt Adams. AIM To Dance! is offered on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 am. For more information about this program call Leslie Kettlewell at 518-584-2225 x3002. The Museum’s hours will are Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Please visit our website at for more information about upcoming exhibitions and programming. SS

National Museum of Dance • 99 South Broadway • Saratoga Springs • 518-584-2225 x 3002



Bartender Becky Tassinari


• Closets – pick a day and have everyone go through their clothes and shoes for non-used, outgrown and damaged items to let go of. • Throw out ALL holey socks and underwear. • Wash all bedding and curtains • Let go of all expired Rx and OTC meds (safely dispose of) • Discard beauty and cleaning products that look and/or smell bad. • Purge all expired and stale food. • Match up containers with lids – let go of all unmatched ones. • Let go of movies you hated or will never watch again. • Recycle old catalogs and magazines. • Vacuum all upholstered furniture. • Blow and/or sweep out the garage after taking out all built up trash and recycling. • Batteries – change smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor batteries • Windows – wash them all! Make appointments on your calendar with each one you want to do and get checking them off! SS




With Friends From the West Side

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” - Andy Bernard WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY THERESA ST. JOHN


eeting each other was inevitable. They lived a short block away from one another on the west side of town while growing up. Aside from that, their parents had become fast friends, so the families spent a lot of time together. “We really didn’t have a choice.” It’s said with a grin as the two men jab each other playfully. Ralph SanFelice is 86¾s. He laughs when he reveals his age. “At this point in life, I’ll take any ¼ I can get.” He’s a tall man, with a firm handshake and a broad smile that lights up the corner table where we’re seated, inside the Principessa Elena Society. Ralph Grasso is 85 and apologizes as he walks through the door to join us. “I got carried away working outside this morning.” He tells me, dusting off the sleeves of his shirt. “We’re trying to raise the sheds out back. Until just a few minutes ago, I was busy working underneath them.” His grin is contagious and still full of mischief. Their minds are as sharp as tacks with the memory of Saratoga when they were young kids. And, boy, do they love to talk about the old neighborhood to anyone who’ll listen. They were ‘depression babies,’ born in 1932 & 1933 respectively. Both men remember Waring Butcher Market & General Store, where soup bones covered with flavorful meat cost .25 cents each. “Our mothers were resourceful.” They state, almost at the same time. “They’d gather dandelion greens to add to our dinner. It helped stretch out our monthly ration booklets. It was tempting to use them all at once to fill our bellies, but once they were


gone, you had to wait for the next allowance, so they learned to space them out over the month.” “People helped each other out in those days.” Ralph G says, gazing out the window. “It wasn’t about what you had or didn’t have. It was about caring for your neighbor, your friends, your family, strangers.” I listen avidly as the old pals talk about the tracks near Division Street and Railroad Place, selling newspapers from two stands along Broadway, enjoying the fireworks that spanned four blocks in the westside neighborhood during St. Michael’s Festival every September. Ralph Grasso, of Grasso Italian Ice, laughs as he recalls making money shining shoes. “One of my favorite moments was shaking hands with Thomas E Dewey, the 47th governor of New York and the Republican Party’s nomination for President. He lost to Roosevelt, I know, but at least I got to shake his hand.” They walk me up and down both sides of Broadway from our table inside the club - naming all of the grand hotels, general stores, ice cream shops, the Convention Hall, the Jack Harlem Club, even Congress Theater, where kids could go to watch western cartoons and win cool giveaways. Ralph SanFelice was into wrestling, boxing, and basketball sectionals during his years at Saratoga High School. “It was so long ago,” he says wistfully. “Sometimes, it seems like just yesterday.” To hear more of “The Ralphs” Multi-Generational Memories of Saratoga, pick up the Summer Edition of Saratoga Family, due out May 31st. SS


25 Years of Secret


In the late 1970s, a handful of Saratoga-area business and professional women recognized the need to come together to network, socialize and provide public service. Soroptimist International fit the bill.

Soroptiwhat? Soroptimists, created to mean “best for women,” boasts thousands of members in 130 countries around the globe. They are committed to improving the lives of women and girls and their communities, offering programs and assistance that will empower them socially and economically. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Saratoga County club and the 25th anniversary of one of its major fund-raising events, the Secret Gardens Tour, slated for Sunday, July 7. More than a dozen wonderfully varied gardens are featured on the day-long tour. Some are making their tour debut, and some are past favorites whose owners have generously agreed to participate yet again. The gardens are a mix of compact city spaces, sprawling rural gardens, young sites, mature properties and, in the words of most of the owners, perpetual works in progress. Most resulted from the combination of creative imaginations and old-fashioned physical labor of the owners; others reflect the work and guidance of professionals. Often, they are truly “secret” gardens, gorgeous gems hidden from public view. Among the special features visitors will find this year: • A two-level gazebo overlooking a pond, stream and wetlands. • Outdoor garden “hallways” lined with European Rohani beech trees. • A labyrinth created with stones from the property that provides a peaceful meditation area. • An extensive hosta collection of more than 1,800 distinct cultivars. • A jam-packed city backyard that includes a koi pond, a Baby Twist locust, and raised vegetable and flower beds using the hügelkultur techniques.



• An English-American garden in vibrant hues of blue, chartreuse, green, pink, white and deep yellow, enfolding a swimming pool, terraces and koi pond. While much time and energy are devoted to making the Secret Gardens Tour a memorable event, this is not the group’s focus. “We are not a garden club and often have to explain that to visitors as they walk through the gardens where our members serve as hostesses,” explains Saratoga Soroptimist President Lynn Farenell. MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 29


Farenell describes Soroptimists as “interesting, intelligent, professional women who are leaders in our local communities.” The Saratoga roster includes about 80 women ranging in age from their 20s through their 70s. They represent a wide variety of fields, and many are active volunteers both in and out of the club. Some current club members first heard about Soroptimists because of the tour.

“We look for variety – big gardens and small, gardens filled with just annuals or just perennials, and many with both. The gardens on the tour generally have ‘good bones’ resulting from well-placed elements like mature trees, water features, trellises, sheds, and stone elements. We want our tour-goers to get ideas for their own gardens from the ones on display,” Powers says.

She’s quick to give credit where it’s due. “The Secret Gardens Tour is a fundraiser “While many members of Soroptimists and so much more. We raise in the work all year to make the tour a reality, neighborhood of $20,000, a combination the garden owners are the people who do of ticket sales and sponsorships from the really hard work in preparing for these many civic-minded businesses and tours. Great credit goes to them for their individuals, enabling us to give out support of the Soroptimist mission while awards and grants to deserving women at the same time generously sharing their and girls and organizations who passion for gardening with hundreds align with our mission,” of visitors.” Farenell says. “The tour This year, one of the also enables us to garden owners is Marie showcase local Hoffman, a longtime gardens and “For 25 years we let Soroptimist. “I always educate 800-plus look forward to the people about the path of the sun tour, and I am thankful our club and and the flow of to all the previous mission in the gardeners who’ve seasons guide our course of been my inspiration,” a fun and decisions,” says Ted. says Marie. Her interesting day.” husband, Brian, created Saratoga the labyrinth in their yard Soroptimists was a that visitors are invited to fledgling club when walk through during the tour. then-member Carol Wells Several of the gardens on this milestone returned from a garden tour in New anniversary year are favorites from tours England and proposed adopting the idea. past. These include the gardens of Susan The Secret Gardens Tour has been an anand Ted Collins, whose property truly nual event ever since, growing each year embodies the “city in the country” in participation and revenue. Among the concept. New since their last time on major business supporters is Sunnyside the tour is a two-level gazebo that Gardens owner Ned Chapman, who hosts a free wine and cheese Soroptimist visitors can enter to view a pond, stream and wetland. Garden Party the Friday before Mother’s Day. (See You’d guess from visiting their property to register.) that the Collinses were lifelong gardeners. Not so. An ongoing constant over the last 25 years is the extraordinary generosity of owners “Neither of us had any experience or real willing to open their beautiful gardens interest in gardening before we bought to appreciative strangers. The process of our house in 1993. It came with some finding those gardens begins more than a small gardens that were well done. We year in advance. thought, ‘Oh my, now what do we do?’” Ted says. They figured it out, taking on “We find gardens through word of new projects each year or two. “For 25 mouth, by going on walks and peeking years we let the path of the sun and the into people’s yards, or driving around, flow of seasons guide our decisions,” especially in the spring, and watching who says Ted, who credits Susan with having is out doing gardening work. We like to developed a great eye for placement of cluster gardens for easier visiting by tour plantings. “She is the garden artist.” attendees,” says Mary Caroline Powers, a veteran Soroptimist and longtime garden committee member.


“It’s nice to share how beautiful it’s become,” Ted says. “We didn’t set out to get compliments, but I’m thrilled that Susan gets the recognition she deserves for all the hard work she’s done. We love it for ourselves and our friends, but we get pleasure from sharing it and seeing how much people enjoy it. Last time we were on the tour I introduced myself and a couple asked, ‘Who’s your landscape architect?’ When I said we did our own work, they said, ‘You nailed it.’”

different views of their garden, and listen to the sound of the waterfall in their pond. The Daltons have an extensive hosta collection of more than 1,800 distinct cultivars in addition to hundreds of their own hybridized seedlings. New to the garden since their last time on the tour are more than 20 varieties of David Austin English roses. Adding interest throughout their garden are statues, urns and ornaments reflecting the theme of the area in which they are located.

This will be their fourth time on the tour. “Who can say no to Mary Caroline?” says Ted with a laugh. Besides, he adds, “We think the Soroptimists do a nice job raising money for so many worthy causes.”

Two “clustered” gardens this year are on Beacon Hill Drive – Marcia MacDonald’s colorful retreat, which past tour-goers said reflects the exuberant spirit of its owner, and across the street, the graceful gardens of Bob and Mary Clark, new to the tour.

Support of the Soroptimist mission seals the deal for many of the garden owners, including Ron and Michele Riggi, who will be welcoming visitors for the third time.

“I love trees, and when the astilbe is up and the sun hits it, it’s so pretty,” says Bob while relaxing in his yard one recent evening. He and Mary The architecture of Palazzo Riggi were persuaded to participate in the on North Broadway reflects tour by the MacDonald’s garden the Italian Renaissance era “The love between caretaker, Paul Church. “He told influenced by the us, ‘It goes to a good cause. And exquisite country homes them inspired me.” people will enjoy it.’” of Parisians. Its natural The result was a extension are parterres Bob studied some botany – formal gardens that and forestry in college and parterre comprising originated during the understands plants well, but it three heart-shaped French Renaissance, with took some time after moving boxwoods brightened from Long Island to decide what symmetrical patterns connected by pathways. to do with their Saratoga Springs with red annuals. This is exemplified at the property, which is frequented by Riggi home by extensive use of deer. The Clarks were drawn to the boxwoods brightened with beauty and screening effects of lush plant annuals and “hallways” lined with island borders to accentuate the large trees European Rohani beech trees that create a that grace the property, revealing the style of the natural canopy as visitors move from one garden home’s architecture in a park-like setting. to the next. In addition to visiting the private gardens, the Rich Morris, owner and founder of Toadflax Nursery in South Glens Falls, relates how one day he was going over garden plans with Michele when Ron came home from work and gave his wife “a big smooch.” Says Morris: “The love between them inspired me.” The result was a parterre comprising three heart-shaped boxwoods brightened with red annuals. As visitors wind through the front and to the side of the home, they will be able to experience the beech tree canopies and see (but not access) those elements in the rear and around the pool area. “Plants are a decorative amenity, like carpeting and furniture, only outside,” Morris explains. “Gardens aren’t just about plants. They are about how a home attaches to the surroundings, how you flow from one area to the next.” That concept is appreciated by other owners opening their gardens again, including Meg and Jim Dalton of Middle Grove. Their serene setting on two and a half acres incorporates many paths and sitting areas for visitors to relax, enjoy 32  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

Soroptimists encourage people to enjoy the public gardens of the artists’ retreat Yaddo, the patio garden maintained by the Heritage Garden Club behind the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitors Center, and the Skidmore College Alumni Memorial Garden.

A unique stop on this 25th anniversary tour is the Pitney Meadows Community Farm. This 166-acre farm on West Avenue has been used for agriculture dating back to 1862. It was owned by the Pitney Family since that year until 2016, when, thanks to the generosity of the Pitneys and in partnership with the City of Saratoga Springs, it was preserved in perpetuity. Visitors will see the 100-bed community garden as well as the Monarch Butterfly Way station, the Grandmother Garden and the numerous Fairy Houses created and maintained by the Girl Scouts. In addition, garden tour participants can visit the five-acre vegetable farm, the pick-your-own flower patch and the “Giving Garden,” which produces a variety of vegetables for donation to local food pantries and soup kitchens.


A Secret Gardens Tour program that includes descriptions of all the gardens and a suggested route with driving directions serves as the admission ticket to each site. To learn about the club and how to buy tour tickets ($25 in advance, $30 on tour day if still available), go to Participants are welcome to visit the gardens at their own pace in whatever order they like. The event takes place rain or shine. “I can remember very hot days and even rainy days, but mostly the weather is gorgeous that Sunday in July,” President Lynn Farenell says. “And we don’t let any type of weather get us down!” Member Mary Caroline Powers can attest to that. “In 2000, midway through the afternoon of the tour, the skies opened up and it began to rain really hard,” says Powers, recalling one of her many years as committee co-chair. “I was very worried about people slipping and possible damage to garden owners’ lawns with hundreds of people walking on rain-soaked grass. I set out to survey the situation and consider ending the tour early. The first garden I went to was in Birch Run, and I talked with some tour attendees about closing down. ‘Don’t you dare,’ they declared. I thought they were going to beat me with their umbrellas. ‘What’s a little rain?’ they asked. ‘We’re gardeners!’” The tour continued in spite of the rain. “While our primary goal is to raise money for distribution to projects that enhance the quality of life for women and children, the tour serves a secondary purpose – sharing with an ever-widening community of garden lovers the beauty that abounds in gardens throughout the Saratoga Springs region. It truly is a joy-filled day, for tour attendees, garden owners and Soroptimists,” Powers says. “I am very proud to be a Soroptimist, knowing that the little bit of effort I put in, when combined with the efforts of all the other members, actually does make a difference for women and children in our community and well beyond.”

2019 Secret Gardens Tour tickets may be ordered online or purchased at several retail locations. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of tour, if still available. Visit SS 34  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019




iding in plain sight, in one of Saratoga’s newer neighborhoods, is the secret garden of Tas Steiner. Tas claims that he purchased the house in 2013 because of the garden. Which is a good thing, because the former owner, Pat Friezen, said she would only sell the house to someone who would take care of the garden she had begun. Pat had visited England on a Jane Austen tour and came back home determined to plant her own English tea garden.

She bought more than fifty rose bushes and created a “vignette,” Tas tells me. The roses still occupy a space of honor along the border that frames one side of the contemporary home. For Tas, gardening is both a labor of love and an expression of the beauty, whimsy, and the deliberate order of the natural world. To the left of the home’s entrance is a small stone path leading to an archway encased in long trailing blue wisteria vines and surrounded by annuals like impatiens and broad leafed hastas. In the front, the bed containing Pat’s dusty rose bushes are a profusion of impatiens and brilliantly hued begonias. Tas faithfully follows the seasonal edicts, which dictate which varieties of flowers and shrubs will flourish and which will wane in grandeur as their season in the sun fades. The garden is at once a glorious profusion of birth, growth, decline and rebirth and a carefully mapped out blueprint of design. The goal, which Tas has accomplished admirably, is a winding maze of stone paths that lead the way from one horticultural vignette to the next. Roses, phlox, hydrangeas, lilies, dahlias and sedum all understand the natural order of things, blooming in their time and receding in time to make way for the next colors of the seasons that follow. Tas’ philosophy is that there are no such things as “pests” or “weeds.” “In Nature, they are all plants and animals,” he tells me as we wend our way from one riotous burst of color, texture and scent to the next, each nook of his design more delightful than the next. An unapologetic lover of all animals, Tas welcomes them to share his garden. Bird feeders and animal feeders dot the garden and Tas says he doesn’t fight with the squirrels or rabbits, that other gardeners may view as natural enemies. He has an abiding respect for the ecosystem, and he does nothing that would interfere with the natural order of things.


oga ‘Secret Garden’ He uses no weed killers or bug sprays. Instead, Tas asks the bugs and weeds to “take a little piece of the garden and leave the rest,” an arrangement that seems to have worked well for Tas and the animals and plants with whom he shares his living, breathing sanctuary. Of course, there is a lot of work and planning that goes into the creation of such a natural wonder. Tas labors outdoors from April to the beginning of August. After that, he leaves the garden and its inhabitants to their own devices. “She’s quite independent,” says Tas, referring lovingly to his backyard enclave as a fertile female natural wonder. Tas’ garden has become a staple on the annual garden tour and for good reason. His sense of symmetry is balanced by nature’s inclination to do what it wants. When I ask him to name some species that are unfamiliar to me, he cannot always do so. But that isn’t a problem for Tas. “I don’t want to know every name. The flower doesn’t know it has a name.” Interspersed throughout the garden are little nooks offering respite and contemplation. In one place, a charming wooden bench is protected by a natural roofing of cascading vines. Tas enjoys sitting beneath the natural umbrella on rainy summer afternoons. In another niche is a stone lion, which Tas calls the “protector” of the garden. In yet another nook is an iron hummingbird sculpture and an old iron wheel, which looks as if it was left there by accident and has been taken in by Nature. On another border of the garden is a living canopy made of hydrangeas in brilliant shades of reds and punctuated with vibrant whites. For a newcomer, this is truly a garden of earthly – and other-worldly delights. Whispering angels watch over squatting garden gnomes, while graceful swans nest serenely among the green under-foliage. My tour nearly over, we emerge on the other side of the garden as if stepping from one world back into another. As I leave the tranquil beauty behind me, I’m left with a feeling of serenity and calm that is a welcome balm to the more frenetic pace of everyday life, and I realize why Tas Steiner is such a willing caretaker of his secret garden. SS


Mansion of Memories


SARATOGA 108 Circular Street as it looks today.







t is hard not to notice 108 Circular Street with its grand porch with three-story fluted Corinthian columns. Its presence on the street makes one wonder about its history. On the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation gave the public the rare opportunity to see the interior of this magnificent private home during its annual Historic Homes Tour. The circa 1845 brick Italianate house was built by James Savage, a hardware store owner and part-owner of the Congress Hall Hotel. Over the years it was the residence of Louis D. Griggs; E. Valencourt Deuel, a physician; Col. Prentis Ingraham, an author of dime novels; Charles Schleslinger, a resident of New York City; and Robert H. Johnston, the proprietor of the Saratoga Star Spring. In 1922, Joseph Sovatkin and his wife Fanny purchased 108 Circular Street and opened the Ro-Ed Mansion, which was named after their children Rose and Ed. The Ro-Ed Mansion was a Jewish hotel. Not long after purchasing 108 Circular Street, the Sovatkins added a wing to serve as the dining room and purchased 110 Circular Street to serve as an annex. Between the two buildings, the Ro-Ed Mansion could accommodate 60 guests and the dining room could serve 125 people. The Ro-Ed Mansion also had lush gardens for guests to enjoy. “They did not come because it was kosher. They came because it was so good,” Rose Sovatkin Goldberg fondly recalled about the food served in the Ro-Ed dining room. “There was so much to eat they wouldn’t know when to stop,” she continued. Over the years, the Ro-Ed had several famous guests – bandleader and radio personality Ben Bernie, actress Fay Wray who starred in the original “King Kong” movie, popular entertainer Sophie Tucker who was best known for her song “Some of These Days,” and Metropolitan Opera stars. Al Jolson, the first openly Jewish entertainment star in America, would come down Friday nights when staying in Lake George. “If he couldn’t make it, he’d send down the chauffeur to pick up the food…. He wanted me to cater for him up there,” recalled Mrs. Goldberg in an interview by Sophie Goldstein, who researched the Jewish community of Saratoga Springs.

Historic photo of the Ro-Ed Mansion showing the rear additions, including the dining room, and gardens. Photo: George S. Bolster Collection, Saratoga Springs History Museum

The hospitality, cleanliness, and food made the Ro-Ed the height of Jewish hospitality. Once Joseph, who was a founder and the first president of the Jewish Community Center, passed away in 1942, Fanny and Rose operated the Ro-Ed. In 1948, Fanny passed away and Rose continued to operate the hotel until she sold the property to Dr. and Mrs. Erwin Feigenheimer of New York City in 1953. According to the announcement of the sale, the Feigenheimers were to maintain the hotel’s high standards and continue to serve a high clientele, but it would not be kosher. MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 39

Erwin’s background and interest in European spas attracted him to Saratoga Springs. After an extensive renovation he and his wife, Hilde-Marx-Feigenheimer, opened the Hilwin House in 1953. Similar to the Ro-Ed Mansion Name, the name Hilwin House is a combination of the owners’ first names. It was advertised in a brochure as “the ideal resort and health hotel” being “owned and managed by a practicing physician.” “The Hilwin House welcomes those who use the mineral, mud and Sulphur baths or take the healthful drinking waters” and “general medical supervision, essential for the cures, free of charge,” the brochure also noted. The Feigenheimers operated the Hilwin House only in the summers, returning to Brooklyn for the winters. In 1966, the property was sold. The house was listed as vacant and was home to transients from 1966 until 1980. While it was vacant the rear addition suffered a fire. In 1980, after watching the beautiful house deteriorate for years, John Hettinger purchased it from Tibor Cseley, who was planning to demolish it. John Hettinger had made his wealth in real estate, building a vacation development on 450 acres of land in Spain near the Rock of Gibraltar. Upon the sale of the development, he and his wife Betty returned to the United States where he took over his father’s Akindale Farm in Pawling, New York. Over time he expanded the farm from 55 acres to 1,000. John bred and owned thoroughbred horses and enjoyed racing seasons at Saratoga Race Course.

The parlor with many of Robert's antiques.

Due to deteriorated conditions, the rear additions that the Sovatkins had built that included bedrooms, restaurant kitchens, and dining room needed to be removed. John undertook a massive rehabilitation that took several years and included restoring the porch that had extensive rot and was structurally starting to fail, replacing the roof, installing new plumbing and electrical, removing inappropriate paneling, linoleum, repairing windows and replacing missing doors. The home served as John and Betty’s summer residence. Not only did John rescue 108 Circular Street from demolition, in 1991 John stepped in at a critical time to rescue Fasig-Tipton, North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction company, from closing. He supplied $3.6 million of the $6 million recapitalization plan, most of which was used to pay off the company’s debt. John became a vocal advocate against the slaughter of horses and successfully lobbied to close horse slaughterhouses in the United States. He also founded Blue Horse Charities, one of the first organizations to focus on Thoroughbreds after their racing careers end. In 2006, his Akindale Farm operations were expanded to include a rescue, retraining, and adoption facility. John passed away in 2008. Rarely using the home at 108 Circular Street after John’s passing, the Hettinger family sold 108 Circular Street to Robert Bolen Jr. in 2016. Robert moved from Florida in 2011 to Saratoga Springs, where he had regularly visited family during the holidays and track season. The recently remodeled kitchen.


Bedroom with a painting of Robert's grandfather's home in Kentucky.

Plaster detail.

Robert's grandfather's home in Kentucky, which also features grand Corinthian columns.

“I was attracted to the house because of the grand columns that reminded me of my grandfather’s home in Kentucky and father’s home in Florida, each featuring grand columns,” shared Robert. In addition, the style of the house is in keeping with the antiques that he inherited from his grandfather, Amos Alonzo Bolen, who was a prominent attorney, recognized by Sports Illustrated in 1958 as “Men of Achievement.” The house needed extensive work after being rarely used and vacant for a period of time. However, it was not a challenge for Robert to take on the work as he has 20 years of experience in construction. He owns Bolen Builders Inc. and the Saratoga Springs branch of 911 Restoration, which assists people with unexpected damage from water, fire, and natural disasters. He removed multiple layers of paint and repainted the exterior of the house, repaired damaged plaster, and remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms. Robert also installed a pool since the lush gardens that the property had, no longer existed. He lives in the home with his two children – Brianna, who is 17 and will join the rowing team of Syracuse University next year, and his 15-year-old son, Robert Bolen III – and Duke, their German Shepherd. While you missed your chance to see this stunning home, mark your calendar for next year’s Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, May 9, 2020 to have the rare opportunity to see other beautiful private historic homes in Saratoga Springs. For more information about this event and our upcoming Summer Sunday Strolls, please visit or call (518) 587-5030. SS The grand stairs.



Gail and Jackie



he Wiawaka Center for Women on Lake George has many layers to it. Of course, there are the beautiful buildings and programs. There’s also the active Lake George Waterfront which sits directly across from the bustling village of Lake George, with the Minnie-Ha-Ha and Mohican steamboats taking tourists past the grounds throughout the long summer days, passengers waving to the women of Wiawaka— as they’ve done for decades. But, there’s also a part to Wiawaka that’s so well integrated into the retreat grounds that it can be easy to miss, or not even realize just how much of it surrounds you. That part? It’s the more than 21 gardens and 40 container gardens that are woven along the center’s central 19 acres of land that sits between the lake and Route 9L. Head Gardener, Gail Oakes, has been tending these gardens for the past 16 years, and she knows more than anyone just what these verdant vegetable, herb, and decorative spaces mean to a place like Wiawaka— a place where women go to heal, restore, and renew their spirits. While visiting the center for a short three-day retreat, Oakes wanted to help out, so she asked if she could weed the grass out of the hostas along the main building, the centerpiece of the center, a Victorian structure named Fuller House. Things took off from there. “I fell in love with Wiawaka and wanted to be there more often; I could envision gardens here and there.” After weeding the hostas, Oakes moved on to resurrect


what she suspected may have been an old garden under a spruce tree. She brought plants from home and made a crazy quilt garden. After that, she proposed a 60-foot grass border—and on, and on, and on it went. Oakes has put a great deal of thought into the gardens she has created at Wiawaka. “The [gardens] range from vegetable and herb, perennial beds, annual cutting gardens, building enhancements, dry sedum beds, butterfly and pollinator attractors, and erosion control gardens. I have attempted to match each garden to its site, from the formality of the Victorian-style at Fuller House to an Oriental motif near Lake House, to a wilder Adirondack look at Wakonda Lodge.” These days, the sprawling gardens are both pretty to look at and practical. The organic vegetable and herb gardens are both used in the cooking that the Wiawaka kitchen does for its guests, with lovingly prepared healthy meals. Oakes generally plants mesclun, green beans, chard, peppers, tomatoes, beets, carrots, and sometimes eggplant in the raised-bed vegetable garden. In the herb garden there’s one section dedicated to various mints, and the rest features perennial sage, oregano, winter savory, chives, garlic chives, fennel, and sorrel. She also adds in rosemary, basil, parsley, and cilantro each year. Aside from gardens, per se, there is a fairy trail that Oakes created the fall that her husband was ill with cancer. “I only had a few hours to rake the shape of the trail, but it seemed to know where it wanted to be. My plan was to have a safe way for women to access the woods to a stream without tripping over fallen logs,

rocks, etc.” Each summer new fairy houses appear—brought by guests at Wiawaka. Each fall the items are cleaned and stored for winter, reappearing the following summer. Another favorite is the labyrinth. Often mistaken as a maze, this meditative site has only one way in and the reserve way out. Oakes created it after she made one for a different retreat center in the Adirondacks. “It was a very spiritual experience, from being led to just the right place, to our consecration of it with drummers and Native American prayers.” The labyrinth has held weddings, and an Abenaki family drumming their way through it. During the summer, guests leave mementos on the center rock. The Birch Women Sculptures, near the water, are also garden-like, and were created by artist Pam Golden. These three sculptures: Birch Girl, Birch Woman, and Birch Elder, are made from clay, and have been defacto mascots for Wiawaka. Oakes says that while she can’t pick a favorite garden at Wiawaka, she is very fond of the ornamental grass boarder. “It skirts the edge of the large meadow across from Fuller House, and I could see it in my mind before building it.” The area is home to several types of grasses, shrubby trees, and perennials. In the background you’ll find seven foot plus plume poppies. “When the breeze blows from the lake, the poppy leaves alternately show green-gold on the surface and silver on the undersides. The wind sets the grasses swaying with the most beautiful sound—like whispers,” Oakes muses. Of course, she hasn’t done it all by herself. The caretaker, Joe Wylie, was instrumental in making the gardens happen, and he is always ready to water the gardens if needed. Otherwise, Oakes handles everything herself. SS





ave Drexinger and Rich Hahl have known each other for about 30 years, becoming fast friends from the first seconds of meeting.

Rich is retired now and keeps busy selling parts for and restoring antique Ski-Doo snowmobiles from the 1960s while Dave’s an avid hunter and fisherman who loves the outdoors and all things Saratoga. He’s also the proud father of Sarah, 23, and Adam, 20.


Some of their custom made products...

Check out Dave's office!


Father and son love the outdoors and share a deep affection for horses. They often spend time together riding trails near trickling streams, open meadows, or in the peaceful forests throughout the Adirondack Park in Upstate New York. They also love getting a taste of the old West by attending local rodeos. With an annual season pass to Saratoga Race Course, the pair gets to be around Thoroughbreds all the time, which is just how they like it. They watch the horses warm-up in the early morning hours as they eat breakfast on the Clubhouse porch, then enjoy the line-up of many day’s races while standing at the rail, cheering at the finish line, or relaxing in a box seat. They’ve even stood inside the Winner’s Circle four times, exciting moments for both men. Pondering over ways to celebrate Saratoga and their love for horses, it made sense for Dave to think about horseshoes and a variety of unique items the guys could fashion from them. Their strong background in welding helped. Rich and Dave bought their horseshoes from Green County Horseshoes Dave and Rich hard at work. and began designing all sorts of things… wine racks, coat racks, wall designs. Yup, they were on to something. They also incorporated old barn wood in some of their pieces. “The wood we found has to be more than 150 years old.” States Dave as he shows me a gorgeous sample. “Where did it come from?” I ask them. “It sounds like there’s a story here.” Rich laughs. “There sure is.” He tells me, grinning. The guys were out driving one day when they discovered a barn that had seen better days. They made a deal with the landowner. In exchange for a new metal roof on one of his woodsheds, Dave and Rich could tear down the barn and take the old, weathered planks home with them. One handshake later, the wood was theirs. Today they accept custom orders and their prices start at $12.95 You can reach them at .

Adam with one of his first loves "Kat."

Meet the guys... Dave and Rich






ccording to the 2018 Global Coworking Survey, a total of 1.7 million people worked in more than 19,000 co-working spaces by the end of 2018. Twenty-nine percent of those 19,000 spaces opened in the last year alone. Those statistics can only be good news for the growing number of local office spaces available to entrepreneurs and corporations who want to utilize shared spaces for their staff. For Dorothy Rogers-Bullis, longtime Saratoga resident and business owner, this is not new news. She understands how tough it can be for solo entrepreneurs and new businesses just starting out to juggle the dual demands of working on your business as well as in your business. When Dorothy decided to open a co-working space on Broadway, she seized the opportunity to create a work environment that successfully married form with function, technology with style. The result is a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and offers state of the art technology. Dorothy understands that the ‘working world,’ as she puts it, is not confined to an office with high walls where you never meet new people or see anyone else. Her goal was to create a space where people could work in their business and present a professional image to potential clients and customers.


The 3,300 square-foot location at 462 Broadway represents the best of technologically-savvy office equipment and furnishings with the best of Saratoga architectural aesthetic. High ceilings, hardwood flooring and original exposed brick is evocative of the kind of prime office real estate one might find in Soho or London. For the increasing number of ‘solopreneurs’ migrating to Saratoga Springs, Dorothy solves their office needs and does it in a space that is both beautiful and serviceable. “After looking at vacant spaces all over the city, this location offered the perfect place for people to be their most productive,” says Dorothy. When she found the second-floor loft at 462 Broadway, she knew she’d hit pay dirt. The lease was signed in February 2018 and the newly renovated space opened in June. On any given day, Saratoga Coworks can accommodate as many as 35 professionals. Nikolas Goupil and his wife, Sarah Merkel, moved to Saratoga Springs from Plattsburgh about a year ago and they could not be happier with their arrangements. Sarah occupies an office just a few doors down from her husband. Her employer rents a private office for her on a yearly basis. Sarah was having a business meeting with a client, while Nickolas was discussing schematics with his team in Plattsburgh. Other business people were


seated in private modular “pods” – beautifullyappointed and ergonomically designed single office spaces complete with desktops, Wifi access and insulated cushioning to allow for private phone conversations with clients and coworkers. Toward the front of the space is an impossibly long conference table, with plenty of internet and power connections for people looking to rent space for a day, a week, or a month at a time. Chairs, desks and other office equipment are not only ergonomically suited to each person’s needs; they are aesthetically appealing and represent the most beautiful and up to date office equipment, rivaling anything available in large urban hubs like New York, LA and London. The space also contains a large, virtually soundproof conference room and fullyappointed kitchen, with all the amenities. There is even a soundproof telephone “booth” that Dorothy jokingly refers to as the Batman phone booth. Standing inside, it’s easy to understand why. The fully padded and insulated space offers complete

privacy for the most sensitive of phone conversations, while adding comfort. Dorothy has tapped into the global trend that is increasingly geared toward a shared work environment. From an economic standpoint, it works for the solo entrepreneur – who is often faced with small rental spaces at high rates – as well as larger corporations looking to reduce the costs of their workspaces. Another benefit of working in a shared space as opposed to operating out of a home office is the chance to interact on a regular basis with other business people in a mutually cooperative atmosphere, rather than working solo in a more isolated environment. “It’s all about creating a space where professionals can connect while also enjoying the benefits of the marriage of beauty, with form and function. We’ve created a space that works for people so they can work on growing their own businesses.” SS



Taught to Sing



inging on a national stage takes a special kind of preparation.

Modern Day Music in Clifton Park trains approximately 200 instrumental and voice students each week. Recently, two of those students have demonstrated poise and precision under pressure as they competed in popular televised singing competitions. Shaker High School junior Madison Vandenberg has blown away the judges at ABC’s “American Idol” and powerhouse Moriah Formica - who appeared in 2017 on NBC’s “The Voice” – has since played on tour with rocker Joan Jett.

NURTURING NATURAL TALENT For years before they sang in front of millions, they sang for Modern Day Music vocal coach Lesley O’Donnell. “Both have been like the little sisters I never had,” she said. Nurturing a love of music with a well-rounded approach has been O’Donnell’s mission with all her students. “As a singer, your instrument is yourself. More important than being on Idol, is being a whole, authentic person. Keeping the whole self - healthy and grounded - is first and foremost,” she said. Each singer’s success has been based on learning how to naturally connect with emotion. “Think of a friend walking away and only your voice is going to get them to turn around,” O’Donnell tells her students. Emotional readiness balances the stress of adapting to musical changes quickly so the final result is a polished performance. “Watching them do that, I’m blown away,” said O’Donnell.



As preteens, both Vandenberg and Formica were in Modern Day Music’s band program. Open to children ages 8 to 18, the program places participants in 3 to 5 member bands. After 10 weeks of rehearsals, they perform in front of more than 100 people. “The kids do a real show – with sound, lights and smoke. It definitely helps them get into the whole groove of a band setting. They learn how to compromise and communicate consistently and grow as an artist,” said Paul Benedetti, owner of Modern Day Music. Similarly, the school’s singing showcases also help to ready students. “It prepares them so much more to move on to national exposure and is a precursor to being out on their own,” he said. In addition, Modern Day Music’s recording studio helps advance their student’s musical careers by putting their voice under the microscope in a more precise way than a live performance does. “I produced with both of them in the studio. It pushes them as artists, really to the limits of what they can do,” said Benedetti.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Modern Day Music’s next public show features six bands of students ages 10 to 17 years old. It will be held June 23rd, 11:30 a.m. at the Wicked Eatery, Pub and Entertainment (formerly Trick Shot), 1602 Route 9, Clifton Park. For more information follow them on Facebook @moderndaymusicschool. SS




eyond the borders of the digital world, there is a universe of offline illustration.

This is a place where Matthew LaChapelle puts pen to paper. He captures the essence of his surroundings, drawing in delicate detail the area’s dilapidated structures and natural places. “It just reminds me of where I grew up and inspires me because of the textures. I wonder who was here and who left these things behind. Who was it that lived here and inhabited it once?”, he said.

BETWEEN THE LINES “My whole life has been centered around art,” said Matthew LaChapelle. Ever since he was a small child, LaChapelle has been making art. He enjoys sculpture and is a lover of all kinds of drawing mediums, but he primarily uses ink or oil paint. “I love sculpture, painting, drawing, so it took a while to figure out what my style is,” he said. LaChapelle’s artistic interests were nurtured by Argyle Central School’s high school art teacher, Rick Fleury, who retired last year after dedicating 38 years to passionately guiding many of his students’ artistic aspirations. LaChapelle, a 2015 Argyle Central graduate, went on to study fine arts at PrattMWP College of Art and Design, Pratt Institute’s extension campus located in Utica. Today, LaChapelle works at Wesley Health Care and continues to be inspired by an appreciation for nature and his life experiences. “I love old places and hope people are as interested in them as I am,” he said.

A FINE LINE Working from photos or his imagination, LaChapelle’s perceptive eye and steady hand captures - in intricate depth - the feeling of a place. “I try to find a connection between the work and the viewer, so that they may be inspired or find meaning in the piece,” he said. Starting with a preliminary pencil sketch, LaChapelle will then use old pens that are about to run out of ink (to achieve a consistently lighter line) and very quickly layer in thousands of lines to darken shadowy spots while simultaneously bringing other elements forward. It takes from just several hours up to many days for LaChapelle to complete an image. “I try to make the pieces as interesting as possible and touch the viewer’s eye,” he said.

UNDERSTANDING LINE In an age when everything seems to be competing for our attention, LaChapelle is using an almost forgotten medium to capture our overlooked spaces. This partnership tells a special story with the strength of a marked understanding of how the passage of time affects us all. LaChapelle’s work has been featured on cards, displayed in eateries and received first place awards from the Hyde Museum and the Fort Edward Historical Association. To see more, follow him on Instagram: SS




Step Inside... Randall Perry Photography


Archite Randall Perry Photography


cturally SPEAKING Follow us as we explore some of the area's unique spaces...



“Beautiful view.”

That is the name the owners chose for their modern 2,500 square-foot of main living level home overlooking Loughberry Lake, a small tranquil body of water on the outskirts of downtown Saratoga Springs. The owners moved into their new home last summer, after several years of planning and construction, working with Brett Balzer of Balzer & Tuck Architecture and Bonacio Construction. Brett claims that he would love to have more clients like this couple. “They were so involved in every detail of the home, which the owner refers to as “woodsy contemporary.” The result is a clean, open space with perfectly proportioned geometric symmetry and long vertical and horizontal lines traveling the length, width and height of the structure. High ceilings add to the expansiveness of the space and the long lines of the exposed beams are mimicked in the lines of the dining room table and hardwood floors. 56  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

Randall Perry Photography


Randall Perry Photography

Sitting on approximately two-thirds of an acre, the configuration of the lot was very important to the design of the home. The cedar and glass exterior suits its environment perfectly, with large Anderson E Series windows that allow the natural beauty of the outdoors into their home. While the lot size is not large and Bella Via is flanked on either side by homes, they are not seen from any of the windows, allowing for maximum privacy and maximum exposure to the outside at the same time. Every detail of the home was meticulously planned and the owners hand-selected most all materials and fixtures, including wood, the onyx, marble and soapstone counters throughout the house, as well as the terra cotta leather sofas and the copper framed fireplaces. 58  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

In the front of the house is the husband's office, which has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake and soundproof walls. Pocket doors afford privacy when needed. On the wall across from the desk is a collection of guitars and vinyl record albums.


Randall Perry Photography


Situated off the living and dining areas is an enclosed sun porch with stained concrete floors, a large fireplace and an equally large gas grill surrounded by a soapstone counter. This is a perfect room to sit by a cozy fire and enjoy the natural view on either end of the room.



The home’s cabinetry is all custom-designed and built, allowing the owners to achieve their dream of “de-cluttering.” Everything has a place. In the master suite, there is plenty of storage for personal items and accessories. In the master bath, the contemporary dressing table includes long rectangular recessed lighting on three sides, mimicking the old makeup mirrors that were popular in the 70s and 80s. The result is an area with perfect lighting while readying for any event, daytime or evening.


Randall Perry Photography

The kitchen design is perfectly suited to preparing meals, whether it is for a quiet dinner for two or prepping for an evening of entertaining family or friends. The couple enjoys cooking together and chose the appliances to accommodate their culinary endeavors. The over-sized Whirlpool refrigerator is commercial-size and two Miele ovens adjacent include one speed oven and a regular convection oven. The large counter top is a creamy white marble they found in a Vermont quarry, the same quarry that supplies marble for the tombstones at Arlington Cemetery. Here, as in all other rooms, the custom cabinetry keeps the countertops free of clutter. The huge kitchen cabinet that takes up most of one wall, dubbed the “appliance garage.” Inside are food processors, coffee makers, blenders, everything needed to prepare meals. 64  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019


Randall Perry Photography

Located just off the kitchen area is a small, cozy nook with a table for two. The couple takes many of their meals there, which is decorated with stitched wallpaper and angled recessed lighting. Directly behind the kitchen is the wife’s office, with ample space for doing the crafting and scrap-booking that she loves.



Randall Perry Photography

While they refer to their house as single floor living, the lower level of the home has two guest bedrooms and bath, and a state-of-the-art fitness room with an extra deep endless pool that has a treadmill in it.



Randall Perry Photography

The three-car garage has Texture 111 exposed plywood, rather than using drywall, which is perfect for hanging gardening tools and other outdoor equipment. The garage doors are paned with milky opaque glass that allows lighting in, while maintaining privacy from neighbors. The couple says that, while the 22 months of building seemed to last forever, now that they are in their new home, in retrospect it doesn’t seem that long. They actually miss the process now that it's over. “We challenged each other and had good dialogue,” says Brett. “I like it when we can work with people who help you realize your dream,” agrees the happy owners. SS






Found Objects



hen Susan Waldron opens her front door to invite me in, the first thing I see is the color white. The rooms are open and airy, with crisp, clean whites on the walls and ceilings… every single place I look. I’ve heard so much about the reasons why we shouldn’t use this color over the years as a homeowner myself: it’s too stark, too sterile, too boring. White will make your home too cold, too bland, unwelcoming. You’ll have to work harder to decorate it, make it all come together. And although some of these things may have a ring of truth to them, stepping inside Susan Waldron’s home disproves them all.


“Your home is your canvas,” Susan tells me as we wander around the bottom floor. “White just makes sense.” Built in 1991, it was your typical cookie-cutter house in a cookie-cutter neighborhood. Back then it was a two-room cottage, not at all what it is today, though it’s still filled with a ton of cottage charm. “When I was a kid, I was rearranging furniture all the time. I would walk into my girlfriend’s house and instantly think about where I’d be placing things if it was my home.” Susan laughs a little, remembering. There are splashes of color on the floor, walls, in the doorways. I feel as if we’re in a boutique shop as Susan touches this piece and that piece, explaining where it came from – many times from the side of the road – and how she transformed it into the beauty it is today. “Most of my things aren’t new.” There’s a pause as her statement sinks in. “I drive around a lot. You wouldn’t believe what you can find at the end of someone’s driveway, set out for trash-day. I bring my finds home, use a little elbow grease and chalk paint, add new hardware. Now they look like I spent a million bucks, right?” 74  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

You can say that again. “Here’s the thing,” Susan tells me. “You make your house a home. It doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. With a little imagination – a vision, so-to-speak – anyone can transform what they have into what they wish they had.” We walk through several rooms while she runs her fingertips along the fireplace mantle, touches a lampshade, opens and shuts a bureau drawer. “My hands have worked on every single thing you see here. I can tell you where I found it, what it looked like, and how I loved it back to life again.” Susan tells me this is her passion and helping other homeowners arrange their own Zen space using both old and new pieces of furniture and decorations is a big part of it. She’s busy with interior design consultations, has a strong media following, and even won the Interior Decorating 2018 Luxury Home Award, alongside The Form Collaborative, during the 2018 Showcase of Homes. Her passion? I’d say so.

1 2 3 4 5

5 HELPFUL HINTS THAT’LL CHANGE THE LOOK AND FEEL OF YOUR HOME, INSTANTLY HIGH AND WIDE – Rooms in the home can feel closed-in at times, much smaller than they are. Low ceilings can add to the problem. By raising your curtain rods 4-6”, the room will appear taller, as it draws the eye upward. CARPETING – If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, layering it with another area rug can make it feel cozy. It creates a different feel to the room, minus the expense of removing the carpet altogether, replacing it with something like hardwood. DIFFERENT HARDWARE – If you have a piece of furniture you don’t want to get rid of, changing the hardware will make it feel brand new again. Think about trying polished brass, matte stainless steel, or brushed nickel instead of what you have now. REMOVABLE WALLPAPER – A great way to jazz up a set of stairs at home might be to pick out some cool, removable wallpaper to line each step. Look for flowers, stripes, patterns, something out of the ordinary to brighten the area. FEEL THE FLOW – Don’t be afraid to walk through your home and re-imagine each room. Could you switch the dining and living room around? Would core pieces of furniture or decorations suit your space better if you moved them from where they’ve sat for years? SS You can learn more about Susan here:


“Welcome to



Our Home!”




ur front porches are the entry to our private space within. Without us being aware, our front porch can say a lot about how we welcome others into our home. Some say “Stay away!” while others call friends to share a glass of wine and visit a while. Whether a small stoop or grand veranda, your front porch will speak volumes to others as they approach your humble abode. I know none of you would intentionally want your home to be anything but welcoming, so let’s discover how you can make your entry speaks volumes to your Saratoga warmth and friendliness all summer long! Be sure to pay attention to the “TIPS” along the way! First, let’s talk about “How” you use, or want to use, your porch. Is it a simple step that is rarely used except for company or the neighbor who stops in to borrow a cup of sugar? A railed porch that can be sat on with friends, family & food? Or a large Veranda to host a small party while taking in the summer track season on live TV? Whatever the size, you CAN create a welcoming entry to your home that encourages others to approach your front door rather than entering through your garage.


TIP #1: Close the garage door! Your

home is beautiful, you have no reason to display the clutter of pots, lawn equipment and shovels that reside within! Once you know the purpose of your space, it’s time to discover how to reflect your style. Do you like lots of color? Would loading up the front porch with flowers mean more to you than incorporating seating? Are you a black and white person, crisp and clean? No matter which, look around your interior décor and take that same palette to the exterior! I know, not everyone has an eye for decorating, so here’s a simple trick I use with my clients…

TIP #2: Look in the mirror. What

colors are you wearing? What style of clothes do you tend to select? Even if you feel you can’t decorate, your personal selections of items for “self” usually speaks volumes to your inner-most desires. Now, take that same thought process and apply it to your porch. If you’re not a gardener, maybe a chair with a small outdoor pillow with a welcoming message is all you need. Accessorize a console table with a tray, seasonal glasses, or even cloth napkins. Place a Saratoga Horse print and lanterns above and you’ve got an outdoor entertaining space ready for neighbors to drop in at any time! If you love flowers, try using several different sized pots, both on the porch as well as the walkway to create layers. If you favor people watching, by all means find the right sized chairs to sit and enjoy the summer scenes. Add a few throw pillows, maybe a side table or two and you are ready for a summer’s worth of friends, family and fun! Budget, yes, we need to talk dollars… I see eyes rolling, stay with me here… We all have a champagne taste but many are on a beer budget. Not to worry, it may take some elbow grease, but trust me, the champagne lovers may just like these ideas too! For flowers, buy seeds or bulbs now and put them into pots or garden along your pathway. With regular watering, you will have a garden in a few weeks… Just in time for summer! Mom was right, patience IS a virtue!


TIP #3: Take your old flower pots

that have faded in the sun and spray paint them with summer color fun! Also, spruce up your old furniture pieces, that are still in good condition, with new cushions and pillows to breath new life into them! Terra cotta pots are extremely reasonable in price; buy a few different sizes and plant herbs in them. You will have a garden to harvest as well as a welcoming scent for guests! Use this idea to embellish your outdoor seating areas as well!

TIP #4: Lemongrass is the source

of the citronella essential oil, a natural mosquito repellant! Habitat Restore and Rebuilding Together are both great resources for small tables and items to decorate with for pennies on the dollar. Adorn your exterior while helping others with a hand up! Now that’s Saratoga Hospitality! On a yearly basis, edge your front walkway garden beds and give your concrete or stone pavers a blast from your hose to remove the dirt and grime that collected over the winter. Like I’ve always told my kids…Presentation is Everything! The flowers that you’ve grown from seed will be jewels in a beautifully manicured bed! And don’t forget your porch floor! If it’s worn and needs a pick-up, paint it with a pattern that will create an introduction to your home within. A simple black and white checkerboard is easy to achieve with outdoor paints and a little time to plan the layout. Like I said, elbow grease goes a long way! If this is too complicated, there are plenty of outdoor area rugs available today to mask the tired floor boards and add texture to your new front porch sitting area!

If you’ve planned your summer updates and have a bit more cash on hand, replace your worn and faded light fixtures. Nothing says “Welcome” in the evening more than a house lit-up and ready to receive visitors! Also, try adding an assortment of lanterns on the floor or mounting them on the porch posts. By utilizing outdoor rated, battery-operated, candles to spaces that lack permanently installed light fixtures, your once dim and dreary seating area will come alive and twinkle like an evening star! Create a small romantic area for dessert or invite a crowd to watch the Travers Race… either way, these candles can be preset to come on at the same time each night and turn off automatically. Now that’s setting the stage for a great summer evening in! All-in-all, no matter what size porch you have, it is ready to take on anything you want it to be! So have fun getting your outdoor space ready for the summer season. Go all out! Dig, power wash, paint, and be happy! The sun’s warmth has returned once again to the Saratoga Springs area…make every minute of your outdoor fun a moment to remember! Sunglasses, shorts and Saratoga! I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!


For evening gatherings, pick up a few solar garden lights and stagger them along the front landscaping to your door. No need for batteries or setting timers. They will automatically come on at dusk and turn off at daybreak. Now that’s being financially savvy! Besides, it’s a good backup if you forgot to replace your outdoor light fixture bulbs.

TIP #5: You guessed it…replace the

bulbs in all your outdoor fixtures and clean the glass while you’re in there so your all your hard work is visible at night!


American Society of Interior Designers award-nominee presents:



to Stay


omfort and eleganc


come together at the Harbor Suite, The Landing Hotel’s new apartment-style space that opened in February.

“There’s not another one like it in the entire region. It was an opportunity for us to really create a unique one-of-a-kind experience,” said interior designer Julie Maleski-Putzel of JMP Interiors. The 1,675 sq. ft. Harbor Suite features two bedrooms with king-sized beds, walk-in closets, two full bathrooms, a complete kitchen with granite countertops, full-sized stainless-steel appliances; an expansive open plan

living area with a 65” TV and seating for 30; and floorto-ceiling windows offering spectacular views of the Mohawk River. Plus, there is a 300 sq. ft. balcony. PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES Since it’s inception, the Harbor Suite has been far from typical. Although she was initially contacted in October, Maleski-Putzel essentially put the project together in just four weeks. “That’s not a typical turnaround time but we had great communication in all the elements and worked together great as a team,” she said. MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 81

Even with hiccups along the way – like when six pieces of furniture arrived broken – Maleski-Putzel said having the relationship she does with her vendors enabled her modern design to come together ahead of schedule.

“My inspiration came from The Landing Hotel’s Van Slyck’s lounge; those amazing trusses, the oversize black glass chandelier. It’s moody and dark, but enticing and fun. It’s grandeur, industrial, yet refined,” said Maleski-Putzel.

“Each designer has their own aesthetic. I like to break rules and push boundaries,” she said.

Her mission – above all – was to recreate the feeling that space gives you when you walk in.


“It’s just like in a conversation, you get the first ten seconds to make an impression,” she said.

The monochromatic color scheme is layered with an intriguing mix of unexpected textures. Leather, velvet and linen fabrics come together cohesively in the space. Materials as diverse as rugged reclaimed wood pieces and crystal are expertly in sync. One of the ways Maleski-Putzel made it work is with illusion. For instance, by mirroring the geometric pattern of the wallpaper in the shape of the wall sconces. “There is attention to detail in everything we did,” she said. Located adjacent to the Rivers Casino and Resort, The Landing Hotel’s Harbor Suite pays homage to Schenectady’s industrial steel and locomotive history.


The Harbor Suite has a sophisticated story to tell. “It’s the whole complete package. The first thing I want them to say is, ‘Wow!’,” said Maleski-Putzel. NEW OPPORTUNITIES Affording guests the chance to stay in style at The Landing Hotel’s Harbor Suite is not only unique but may soon be an award-winning opportunity. The design has been nominated for the American Society of Interior Designers Award in the “Outside of the Box” category. Their annual awards dinner will be held in Troy this year. To see more go to SS

Susan Blackburn Photography

Colleen's Picks

A carefully curated selection of HOME DÉCOR ITEMS WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY COLLEEN COLEMAN OF CMC DESIGN STUDIO LLC Colleen Coleman is the Principal of CMC Design Studio LLC located in Saratoga Springs. With certifications in Kitchen & Bath Design, Aging in Place and True Color Expert, her curated design extends into all areas of her field including new construction, historical and major renovations. Her passion is in designing & customizing hand-crafted cabinets for all areas of the residential market.

Oh my, isn’t the sun lovely! The flowers are in bloom and the smell of fresh air is in our homes! All is made new again…speaking of which, I know many of my readers are looking to make some changes to their home & gardens, so let’s look at what’s available to bring some color and summer fun to your home!. THE WOOD CARTE 1063 Route 9 Queensbury 518.793.7655

I caught an amazing day to travel around the highways and byways in search of goodies for you! My first stop was at THE WOOD CARTE, located in Queensbury NY…it’s a scenic drive up the Northway to exit 19, 20 minutes…worth the trip! If you’re looking for outdoor furniture that is low maintenance, never needs to be brought in during the winter, and cleans up like a charm, then you should definitely take a look at the Hostetler Outdoor Furniture line that greets you in the parking lot! There is an array of bright summer colors to choose from that do not require a cushion! Seating options are plentiful ranging from a chaise lounge for your pool to bistro tables and bar stools! The best part, these pieces are made of recycled material…so your outdoors are truly GREEN! A great option for salt pools too!


Colleen's Picks

On your way back to Saratoga, hop off exit 16 and explore the new selections that just arrived at FINISHES TOUCHES. Animal lovers should be all over these! Between the Hand Towels and the Pillows, I was just in love! The colors and playful images would pop any room with pet-lover pride! Need something to add a little summer fun to that wall or table as head out the back door to your patio? I couldn’t help but chuckle at this Sign…and the Lake Rules are the best rules! Pick them up before they’re gone! And a quick note… Finishing Touches has just added a children’s décor area…One of my favorite pieces in the collection are these Whimsical Hot Air Balloons which come in pink or gray with varying patterns. Hang a few in your kid’s bedroom or playroom area to inspire dreams of far away places! Can I come too? Once off Exit 15, I dropped into 23RD AND FOURTH to find these lovely All-Weather Doormats. Hand woven in Maine, they are crafted from the same material used for lobster netting; making them rough, rugged & ready for visitor! I also found these versatile Accent Tables made of aluminum that are perfect for interior or exterior use. The antique rust finish highlights the details from the hooved legs to the modern tripod base. Mix and match, in or out, either way, there a great addition for this year’s entertaining spaces!



217 Ballard Rd. Wilton 518.584.1490

23RD AND FOURTH 103 Excelsior Ave Saratoga Springs 518.584.3700

Just down the street at CURTAIN & CARPET CONCEPTS, I was able to find some of the new Fabricut and Kravet Textiles that just came out at market this Spring. (see page 96 for the Trends report including finds from High Point Market) The fabric tapes are a lovely addition to add pop to a simple drapery or pillow. And the new wall coverings will add drama whether they are on an accent wall or the whole room. Don’t forget the ceiling! Yes…the ceiling is a great accent wall that should be considered when updating a room. Glad I could help! Be sure to ask if you can peak in the new Jaclyn Smith Home or Vern Yip Wallcovering books too. Modern, bold and something for everyone! Once downtown, I popped into SARATOGA SIGNATURE INTERIORS to find this enchanting Tree Trunk Table Base topped with an Overscale Chessboard & Pieces. The base, with it’s undulating extensions could house a large-scale glass top, highlighting the natural details of the trunk while entertaining the night away. The chess set is a great table top accent piece too. Or, place it on the floor and meander the night away with wine, forks, pins or skewers… my chess players got that one…how about Checkmate! If you’re more of a garden person, be sure to walk their display of open-air décor. For fun, add one of these Fanciful Tin Planters to your garden bed or anchor your outdoor recreation area to welcome little friends for play. Kids love to decorate their special places too!

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

SARATOGA SIGNATURE INTERIORS 82 Church Street Saratoga Springs 518.581.0023


Colleen's Picks In my search for more outdoor furnishing options, I found myself at THE FURNITURE HOUSE on Saratoga Lake. They were just unloading these new Outdoor Seating pieces by Wildwood, an environmentally friendly company that uses recycled materials to craft their furnishings. Handsomely made, these new pieces come with ultra-comfortable cushions…I sat in them; it made it hard for me to go back to work… All weather Sunbrella fabric options make coordinating with your outdoor space a breeze. And look, it reclines! …Ok, just bring me my wine, I’m staying!

THE FURNITURE HOUSE 1254 Route 9P Saratoga Springs 518.587.9865

Wait…this sling-back, cushioned chair just may convince me to shift my thoughts. I can kick up my weary feet on this ottoman and take an afternoon break right here! Recline? Yes, it does! The best part about these pieces, they fold up for easy storage. Or, if you prefer, leave the main furniture pieces outside all year and take in your cushions. One of my tips to clients…remove the cushion covers at the end of the season, wash, air dry and recover. Be sure to read your labels for washing instructions! …Now you are ready for next season! Another outdoor seating option are these Lounge Chairs by Wildridge Heritage. Also crafted of recycled material, they come in 30 colorful options including wood grains. These two are in a Wildwood Sand finish that will never fade or need re-staining… there’s a 20-year residential warranty to back that up too! Perfect! Okay, I had to go back to work. No, I really didn’t have any wine… I’m driving…


So off to DEHN’S FLOWERS AND GIFTS I went to see what new home décor they had in the shop located on Trieble Ave in Ballston Spa. If you have been looking for a Saratoga gift for guests, you’ve got to see these! Hand towel, mugs and trivets all designed by the talented David J.W. Manny. Each piece of his collection entitled “In Saratoga” is based on architectural, historical and emotional details that resound the heritage of our beloved town. Place these pieces in a basket with a “Welcome” card to travelers and mark their stay in Toga for 2019!


180 Beekman St., Saratoga Springs, 518.584.1880 15 Trieble Ave., Ballston Spa,, 518.885.6222

Need more unique ideas… ACCENTS AT ALLERDICE, now located on RT 9 in Malta, has an expanded showroom featuring home goods and outdoor furniture. Upon arrival, be sure to follow the colorful footsteps on the floor to the shop. Once there, I immediately spied this Glass Indonesian Root Wood Escape piece. While the molten liquid is still being worked, the glass blower places it into a root base and creates a one-of-a-kind show stopper. Add some water to the main bowl and float fresh flowers for a table centerpiece or simply add some faux elements for an enduring arrangement. Need a new piece of furniture to add a bit of emphasis to a room? Accents just brought in these Hand-painted, Antique Furniture pieces. Delightfully detailed, they will be gone in a flash…so get over to Malta and claim yours today! Speaking of which, Accents also has these Bird House Art Poles and Bird Baths. Made of long lasting, maintenance free PVC, the vivid artwork is fade resistant for up to 5 years. Individually detailed by hand, these painted pieces will add color and height to your garden scape. ACCENTS AT ALLERDICE

2570 Route 9 Malta, (inside the Allerdice Ace Hardware) 518.899.6222


Colleen's Picks But don’t stop there, grab a Lake Sign before you go…with lots of goodies for your lake house, Accents at Allerdice points the way to decorating for 2019! My last stop of the day took me to PATTERSONVILLE FURNITURE, about 25 miles south of Ballston Spa. If you enjoy the countryside, which I do immensely, the drive is a breath of fresh air, literally! Put the rag top down and immerse yourself in a trip worth taking to meet the store owner, Greg Welsh. He’ll show you his full line of Amish made furniture including these Morris Reclining Chairs. Available in multiple wood finishes and highperformance fabrics, these classical seats are a hot seller for comfort and style! Need a sofa sleeper for additional family when entertaining? Try sitting on this Marshfield Sofa available in multiple fabrics including Crypton. Wait?...What? don’t know about Crypton!! Mom’s, Grandma’s…listen up…no more worries about spills or sticky fingers. This fabric is the end-all-be-all of worry-free fabrics. So, go ahead and purchase this charming white and blue sofa, it will give you years of stress-free family living!


2570 Route 9 Malta, (inside the Allerdice Ace Hardware) 518.899.6222

PATTERSONVILLE FURNITURE 1664 Main Street Route 5S Pattersonville 518.887.2741

That’s it my friends, it is time to go sit by the water and enjoy my favorite season of the year, Summer! I love gardening and seeing all the beautiful blossoms, day after day…and I can never resist a cool NY summer evening that keeps you by the firepit for hours while living, loving and laughing with family and friends. Until next time my friends.

Colleen Coleman of CMC Design Studio LLC AKBD, CAPS & True Color Expert “Creating Environments for Life” TM Psst…I would love to see what my readers have done with these inspirations! Post your photos on Instagram to @cmcdesignstudiollc #colleenspicks SS




taging a house often leads to that home spending fewer days on the market and selling for a higher price.

“It’s always worth it to stage a house. It really makes a difference and doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. Everyone should look into it,” said Howard Hanna Real Estate Agent MaryAnn Paratore. HOW TO STAGE A HOME When her neighbor couldn’t sell her house and asked Paratore for her help, she knew she’d found her calling.



After implementing her suggestions, the home sold within weeks for $100,000 more than previously offered. Since then, Paratore has staged more than 400 houses and many of her stories end the same way: sellers are getting more money, faster.

1. Photos are So Important.

“Everyone shops on the internet,” said Paratore. Put your home’s best face forward with photographs that show off it’s assets. “Big, bright and beautiful is what you want when you’re selling,” she said.

7. Create Breathing Room. Keep closets

less than 70 percent full so they feel larger. Position cabinets so their corners aren’t pointing out into the room at uncomfortable angles. Hang mirrors to add depth to dark hallways.

8. It’s Hard to Keep a House Show Ready. Rolling underbed storage bins let you quickly stash away everything from laundry, to toys, and even dirty dishes so your house is ready to be viewed by potential buyers.

9. Spend Small for Big Gains. “I usually

don’t have people buying very much and

I know where to find things cheap,” said Paratore. She knows where to get great deals on furniture rentals too. Spending a few hundred dollars up front can lead to a sale that nets thousands more. Plus, if you list your home with her, she’ll stage it for free and utilize her own 2,500 sq. ft. collection of props.

10. It’s Never Too Early to Start Preparing

a House for Sale. “Every little thing makes a difference and they add up to so much,” said Paratore. “At least have a conversation about staging. I can’t stand to see people give away their hard-earned home equity to the buyer.” SS

2. First Impressions Set the Mood. Go for the golf-course look by keeping the grass short and the lawn edged. Trim overgrown bushes and decorate the front stoop in a warm, inviting way to give it the curb appeal that says, this home matters. 3. Focus on the Main Spaces. The kitchen, family room and master bedroom should get most of your attention. “Sometimes all I do is rearrange. So many times, I’ve changed things without spending a dime and then they beg me to stay and finish the rest of the house the same way,” said Paratore.

4. Pack Up Personal Collections. “It pays you to pack it up now,” said Paratore. She understands you created a home that you love and that change can be difficult, but also that it will help potential buyers to more easily imagine themselves in the house if you pack your items sooner rather than later. 5. Color Carefully. To buyers, white

walls and white trim are just as detrimental to a home’s appeal as bright, unusual colors. Instead, opt for a neutral palette when choosing wall color and inject liveliness with silk plants.

6. Go Trendy for a Head Start.

“Trends always feel new. When you’re selling, you want the house to feel fresh and updated and with trendy décor, it takes less to get it to that point. It’s going to feel like the house is more today, modern and with it,” said Paratore.



A Time of Change



rends are an ever-changing part of design. When we buy a home, we can usually tell when it was built by the type of cabinets installed, the tile or countertop material and even the plumbing fixtures. Trends are a product of human nature…our desire to move forward, to try new things, to take an idea from one industry and evolve it into another. When we have satisfied our thirst, we move on. In the market of home trends, we usually hold onto a trend for about 10 years. Think back, the 90s were earthy with sage green leading into the browns of the next century. When we saturated the market, we all wanted a change; something cleaner, crisper, brighter…NEW! Now look at us, we are all goo-goo eyed about grays… Green-grays, blue-grays, smoky grays and charcoals! So, what’s next? Well, I have just returned from three fabulous shows (International Builders Show, Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and High Point Market; I’m exhausted and elated all at the same time!) concerning just this topic and I can’t wait to tell you what I found and how it reflects our ever changing view of our world. So, find a comfortable chair (if you don’t have one, call me, I can help with that!!) and let’s discover where we are and where we are going in the world of design.

First, let’s look at what’s in store for the new construction and renovation projects for 2019. I love plumbing! It’s the jewel to a great kitchen or bath next to the cabinet hardware. It can speak volumes to your project and is an item that is worth allocating a few extra dollars to so you don’t have to call a plumber anytime soon! As for finishes, Kohler just introduced a new metal; Ombre’ Vibrant, which moves between a soft rose gold and


either a titanium or polished nickel. Rose gold is already known as an effortless, luxury finish. This new, gracefully blended metal may just be the jewel you were looking for in your next project! Other goodies for a kitchen renovation are foot activated drawers…just move your foot in front of the sensor and your garbage appears before you! Better yet, Thermador now offers the ability to open your refrigerator & dishwasher with a gentle touch of the door panel. So, go ahead and truly hide your appliances and kitchen utility items, no hardware required! And WiFi, it’s all around the kitchen. Siri, Alexa or whoever you speak to through that magic genie of a tower, can now command your kitchen! She can turn on your oven, cook & monitor your foods progress, and then, notify you that your hors d’oeurvres are ready. When you have an abundance of guests and you’ve run out of clean wine glasses (Heavens to Betsy! Not the wine glasses!) just place them in an entertainment dishwasher designed for stemware - and when spotless - she’ll play your “notification song” on your playlist so only you know the dirty deed is done! Priceless! If you have fallen in love with the air fryer, steam oven…or maybe you’ve even heard of Sous-vide cooking (su:´vi:d; French for 'under vacuum') … appliance manufacturers have started to incorporate these cooking methods directly into the range. Both Thermador and Monogram upped the ante this year in response to consumer demands for healthier living! And now, you have the ability to customize your appliance hardware, too. The new GE line offers choices to make your appliances “Distinct by Design”!



Onto bathrooms! So, don’t laugh, but the toilet was the big hit this year! Our throne is becoming a statement piece in this private space. With higher demands for a full skirted look, water conservation and heated bidet seats, the sleek lines and engineering of this piece have thrust it into the spotlight! 94  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

It’s no longer just a necessity, it’s a statement! Therefore, when you’re renovating your bathroom, remember to add an outlet next to your toilet so you can “plug into” all the amenities a modern toilet has to offer. You didn’t laugh, did you?




Lighting…What is design if it’s not illuminated properly to showcase all the work you’ve done? Layering your lighting is so important from ambient to task, functional to form, just as defining your style is from fantasy to farmhouse or retro to renewed! So, what’s coming… hand blown glass to Star Wars-like spires…LED incorporated bulbs to fanciful beads and newly formed modern crystals. The open cage fixture continues to rule the roost with white and black metal shades coming to the forefront of modern design. Mixed metals are abundant and strikingly appointed. Don’t get yourself in a tizzy if all your metals don’t match; just be intentional about using each metal (no more than 2 different finishes) a few times over, so the repetition indicates purpose and planning. Lamps can assist in this quest with bases ranging in materials from glass and brass, ceramics handsomely appointed with hand-painted motifs, to leather and a variety of shade colors to boot! And be sure to allocate a minimum of 2% of your budget to lighting so when it comes time to purchase those fixtures, you have the dollars available to make beautiful selections without compromise! Let’s not forget to love our floors…Wall-to-wall carpet continues to trend in the textural direction as it competes with the natural market of sisal and jute. With cleaner lines in our sights, our installed flooring need not be the center of attention. A carpet is the back drop for all that is placed on it. Texture allows for simplicity while being quietly complicated. As for area rugs, the classic Persian or hand-woven rug, intricately detailed with motifs or modern art-like palettes, will always extend a nod to the past or launch you into the future. However, more manufacturers are offering cow-hide throws, beautifully patterned, as they don’t trap pollen and dust the way an average rug would. With a few good shakes outside, it’s quickly dust-free! And check out the skins with printed metallics!



Speaking of nature, it was everywhere at High Point Market! From woven light fixtures, feather and leaf artwork, to agate stone accessories. Many of these natural finishes were paired with metal too, a kind of refined rustic…casually sophisticated was about right! Glass, ceramic and metal handmade pieces reflected a personal touch while the enticement for retro and industrial mingled throughout. Occasional pieces were embellished with textures of linen or grasscloth while interior and exterior furniture pieces were adorned with a touch of caning; a process that weaves rattan vine into a unique pattern. However, the pattern was not applied to the seat but as a vertical element that softened the hard frame it rested within. And the fabrics…Moms are you ready for this one? You CAN have your lovely furniture and children too! The technology in 98  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

the textiles industry has created plush fabrics, called Crypton, that won’t stain, even with ketchup, mustard or wine…So, Mom… allow the thrills and smile through the spills! With the Pantone Color-of-the-Year being “Living Coral”, it set the scene for all the jeweled tones throughout the show. Blues and greens are as popular as ever but I saw more metallics pop into the scene than ever before. Leopards are becoming an iconic symbol of success and strength as we are quickly coming to the end of our first quarter of this century. Found on pillows, wall coverings and fabrics, this wild side is contrasted with plenty of plush textiles with nubby details, fringe and embroidery. No, not like your mother’s, a new expression of the old. See, it comes full circle…our need to make old…New!



Clear, seeded and hand-blown glass was prominent for furnishings and lighting. From reinventing glass jar lines into clever plate covers, to crystal lamp bases paired with brass for a sturdy foundation. Even live edge table tops were encased in resin forms, allowing us to “see in”. Which brings me to my overall view of what these shows meant to me and the future of design. I sometimes wonder…do we enjoy glass and its transparency as an outward sign of our acceptance of being exposed all the time through social media? Even many of our light bulbs are clear, exposing the new inner workings of the modern-day LED bulb!! Many of our treasured goods are also wide-open vessels with oversized motifs, perhaps embellished with a bit of shiny brass or gold…we are secure in our finances… Are you getting the correlation? Did you realize that design is a direct reflection of the times we live in? Its changing forms and styles lead us into the next generation of thought and 100  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

reflection of security. For many, the natural elements that began as a bohemian rhapsody may be signaling that we are acknowledging the need for a more natural way of living within our personal environments. Our homes may be on the way to reflecting the Jetsons, but our personal lives might just be hammering for a bit of serenity and privacy as we are constantly bombarded with the outside world looking in! My take on this year’s shows is a reflection of change. No, don’t cancel your renovation project, heck I just remodeled two bathrooms in my own house! But do keep in touch with what technology is available while you are renovating and prepare your space for what is to come. Whether you prefer the retro vibe or farm house shiplap, your interior decorating should always reflect you! Examine your inner desires for tranquility, play with your favorite colors while accessorizing and blend in the upcoming trends to keep your home current and fresh! Love the experience…love the inner searching…love your home as a reflection of you! SS





The organic, intuitive, rounded architecture of dome buildings have an undeniable beauty. From the world-famous monolithic domes gracing St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Taj Mahal, to the metallic glimmer of the geodesic sphere at Epcot Center’s Spaceship Earth attraction, these rounded wonders stand out in an environment populated by straight-edge architecture. So why aren’t there more of them? The benefits of dome building are numerous. Their high ceilings and curved walls feel open yet comforting. They enclose a maximum amount of space with a minimum amount of materials and there’s no breaking into the flow of the space with interior supports. But historically, domes haven’t gained a lot of momentum as a viable alternative to traditional building techniques. The massive sound and light that domes capture spectacularly for the public in performance spaces can resonate uncomfortably in a home environment.


Building materials, everything from plywood to picture frames are made of rectangles. Rectangular roofing materials don't easily conform to a geodesic domes' triangular surfaces, so weather often wreaked havoc on early dome examples of the 1960s and 1970s creating moisture issues and the attendant problems with that. All these factors (moisture issues now solved throughout the industry) had pushed domes into the foray of simply being a futuristic fantasy. Now, an enthusiastic group of local residents feel they've gone at least a couple of steps further, taking advantage of the domes' immense natural strength and created reasons to seriously rethink domes. YOU REGRET MORE WHAT YOU DIDN’T DO, THAN WHAT YOU DID. “It was an idea that just didn’t go away. It got stronger over time,” said James “Jimmy G” Garofalo. So after spending the last four years meeting with engineers, designers, realtors and others in the building business, a plan was developed and a patent (pending) secured for a groundbreaking 1,925 sq. ft., 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath home within an earth-sheltered 40foot diameter free-span geodesic dome. The team gives a special shout-out to designer Gary Richards of Alplaus, NY for all his valuable input and expertise. “We want to build these for both residential and commercial purposes. We think people deserve better performance from their homes. They are ready for this” he said. Carol Bohl of Brass Tacs Real Estate agrees. “They’re not just ready for them, they’re hungry for them,” she said.


EARTH – THE GREAT EQUALIZER Geodesic Earthworks combines the advantages of earth-sheltered building with geodesic dome construction. “The earth as a construction asset needs to be reconsidered. We've maxed its role,” said Garofalo. The Geodesic Earthworks' design calls for three feet of earth covering a properly sealed structure. Couple this with the fact that at 7 feet underground, the earth is a constant 55 degrees year-round. Earth-sheltering simply takes advantage of this fact. Adding a passive solar component to the home design can bring the home to (or very close to) comfortable living temperatures year round. By comparison, the internal temperature of a traditional home is based on the outside air-temperature. It takes a lot more energy to heat a home from 15 degrees (Saratoga Springs nightly winter average) up to 70 degrees or to cool it down from 90 degrees in the summer: earth-sheltered homes are less expensive to heat and cool. Because the unique Geodesic Earthworks design incorporates southfacing floor-to-ceiling windows, sun/heat collection is maximized and stored in the earth to minimize or even eliminate the need for other heating options. “It'll have conventional heating installed but it might never get used” Garofalo said. FORM MEETS FUNCTION To construct the Geodesic Earthworks home, the concrete components, including the patent pending dome formwork will be erected and sprayed with a concrete mixture containing Helix Steel. The earth covering the structure has a “watershed-insulated blanket” to retain heat and shed water, drainage will be installed, then topped with the earth cover. We’re not simply digging

a hole and dropping this down inside,” said Bob Keller, who had many years of experience in heavy construction at Keller & Sons Construction Corp. A five-foot 1/8th scale luan model demonstrates to interested parties, investors or home-buyers, how this patent-pending geodesic dome design functions to maximize accuracy and strength. Designer drawings detail interior floorplans as well as exterior landscaping and lighting options. “There’s different geometry throughout the house and added features that make it pop,” said Bohl. PIONEERING PROPERTY Geodesic Earthworks' 2019 goal is to get the model home built. “We're ready to build and it is going to be amazing. You don't have the typical worries about this home,” Bohl said. Cost-effective, low-maintenance and aesthetically-pleasing, this is a forward-thinking building that could change the way people live. And a Geodesic Earthworks home will be competitively priced. “Everyone is conditioned to work for their home – this is a home that works for you,” said Keller. Geodesic Earthworks is hoping that their sustainable design will inspire people to look closely at eco-conscious construction. “We can do much more with much less. We’re building a new model that makes the old model obsolete,” said Garofalo. To find out more visit or call 518-232-7239 SS

photo by Marisa Scirocco

Home Steading A homesteader strives for maximum self-sufficiency in order to reduce reliance on others for the basic needs of food, shelter and energy.


Homesteading skills are piquing the interest of many people who are trying to be more selfsufficient and want to be closer to the land and provide real, unadulterated food for themselves and their family. This is the beginning of a series of articles on homesteading topics by Cornell Cooperative Extension staff; Jessica Holmes, Master Gardener Educator, Ashley Keatley, Agriculture Educator and Diane Whitten, Food & Nutrition Educator. Our articles will focus on gardening, raising chickens and other livestock, plus home food preservation, cooking from scratch, and more skills for homesteaders. Cornell Cooperative Extension offers classes, a list of upcoming events can be found at, where you can also contact our educators. You can take homesteading to the degree you want to, by learning new skills. Some people will want to jump right in, but most people develop their skills and change their lifestyle over time. Make no mistake about it, homesteading is a lifestyle that’s work intensive, but very rewarding. The most popular homesteading skill is gardening, which we covered in the first installment and now we're moving on to chickens.









aving chickens in your back yard can be a fun and rewarding adventure. Who isn’t tempted when you go to the store and see those fuzzy little chicks running around? Chickens are often referred to as the “gateway” livestock. Once people are comfortable caring for chickens they often look into ducks, turkey, and larger livestock. There are great health benefits to fresh eggs, and chicken owners are usually able to supply their family and friends as well.

When bringing home a new animal you should always do adequate research before purchasing. While chickens are relatively independent, they do require daily care, housing and attention. A new trend is chicken “rentals” if you’re not ready to jump right in. Companies now supply the coop, food, and chickens for the warmer seasons for a small fee. It works as a short-term commitment to see if you really want to take them on full time. Chickens have specific needs for housing, nesting, and thriving. If you meet all the needs for the chickens then they will be a healthier animal which in turn will provide you with eggs. When you bring your chicks home, they will need what’s called a heated “brooder” for the first couple weeks. This is just a smaller safer area for them while they are fragile and need extra


care. As they start to grow their feathers, you will move the heat source further away so the chicks can transition to their larger coop without heat. A coop can be a shed, barn, or other safe, well ventilated structure. There are spacing requirements for chickens, so they don’t peck at each other and have space to move freely. Ideally, you need 2-3 square feet per chicken inside and 8-10 square feet per chicken outside in a confined yard or chicken run. Inside your coop, you need to provide nesting boxes for the chickens to lay eggs. One nest for every 3-4 chickens is recommended. Using shavings in the nest boxes creates a comfortable material for the hen to lay her egg in and it also acts as a barrier, so the egg doesn’t break when it lands in the box. At night chickens will roost while they sleep or relax. They will roost on whatever they can get on top of, so it is best to supply them with a proper place before they learn bad habits. They will need 8-10 inches of space depending on the breed of chicken. Daily care of your chicken is quite simple. They will need fresh water twice a day and feed. Their feed is usually a complete “layer” formula, but you can also purchase other kinds of treats for your chickens. When you go to the feed store for your chicks, you’ll likely see several different brooders with all different

colors and variations of chicks. It’s easy to get excited or overwhelmed, but don’t! The basics of “pullet” vs “straight run” will help determine what you’re bringing home. A pullet is a female chick and straight run means there is a mix of males and females. Some chickens will lay different color eggs; such as, white, green, brown, blue, and pink. If you want a high production chicken, its best to look into a White Leghorn or a production red. If you want to get different color eggs, look at the Americauna or Olive Egger chickens. Before you commit to buying chicks, you should check the zoning laws where you live. Some laws allow hens and not roosters. Some towns will also require a permit for your chicken coop. New York State’s law for chickens is a minimum of 6 chicks purchased if they’re under the age of two months. If your town has a law for keeping less than 6 chickens, you’ll need to purchase older birds instead of chicks. For more information, call your local town zoning officer. Your chickens will start to lay eggs by 16-18 weeks depending on the breed. The important part of washing, storing, and eating comes next! You will be collecting eggs from your chickens daily. It is recommended by the USDA that you refrigerate as soon as possible. Washing eggs isn’t recommended because the egg shell is porous and submerging in water could pull bacteria inside the egg. When storing your eggs in the fridge, be sure to keep them “point” end down in their carton as this keeps the air sack in place. Doing this is important because the

air sack will rise as the egg ages and bring potential bacteria closer to the yolk. In a conversation with Chad Beatty, chicken owner in Galway, he describes owning chickens as a rewarding experience. Chad and his family have had chickens for about four years now, with a flock of nine. On the theory that chickens are gateway animals, Chad will disagree; however, his son would love more livestock. His son is the main care taker for the chickens. The biggest difficulty in owning chickens for them, has been cleaning their coop in the winter, predators, and working through the chickens “pecking order.” The predators that have been their biggest nuisance are red fox, hawks, and fisher cats. Even with a small flock, they can supply themselves with plenty of eggs and share the extras with their friends. Chad says the best part of owning chickens is watching them roam around their yard pecking at bugs, ticks, and other things. The family enjoys watching them from their deck on nice summer days. Ashley Keatley holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science, is the local agriculture coordinator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County and a small farmer. She has raised all forms of poultry including chickens, turkey, and ducks. Her chicken flock was at its highest two years ago with 250 chickens. The farm raises laying hens and meat chickens. For more information call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County at 518-885-8995 SS





It’s something people do quietly, not something people bring up in common conversation,” said photographer Terri-Lynn Pellegri.




Unlike the event or portrait photographs that Pellegri regularly publishes, her current body of work examines a growing underground culture. “This type of photography has an organic birth. It’s about being present enough in the moment to see what’s in front of you without judgement or labeling,” she said. Love Compost is a multi-level exploration into food waste. “This is as close to my essence as anything I’ve done,” said Pellegri.


IT’S ABOUT TIME In image after image, Pellegri shows what so many of us ignore – the cherries’ pits, the eggs’ shells, the coffees’ grounds. Accessible to all on the walls of Uncommon Grounds, the show opened during International Compost Awareness Week to encourage a dialogue about what happens to the leftover parts of our food. “Maybe someone will be curious enough to say, ‘Hey, I never thought of that - of composting - or that garbage has value,” she said. Pellegri began kitchen composting five years ago. “It’s hard to explain how satisfying it is. I just couldn’t bare to put it in a plastic bag and have it go to a landfill to suffocate. I just couldn’t do it anymore,” she said.

A NATURAL COMPOSITION Composting allows food waste to naturally decompose into rich soil. “Once you start composting, you hate to do anything else with that garbage,” said Margie Shepard, Sustainable Saratoga’s Zero Waste Committee Co-Chair. The Zero Waste Committee grew out of Sustainable Saratoga’s Bring Your Own Bag initiative aimed at reducing the use of plastic shopping bags. Their efforts expanded to include hosting Saratoga Recycles Day and Repair Cafes, and in the last three years, interest in their backyard composting workshops has grown exponentially. “People get really excited, even passionate when they start talking about compost,” said Shepard, who has reduced her own household garbage so much that it can take weeks for her to fill a single brown paper bag with waste.

Some love composting because it produces matter that is beneficial in their gardens, others because their garbage isn’t as heavy, wet or smelly. How you decide to deal with food waste can also have a larger impact on climate change. It is estimated that 40 percent of food produced in the United States is wasted and that 90 percent of this food waste ends up producing methane gas in landfills. Composting is an easy, concrete, daily way to reduce the environmental damage caused by food waste. “It’s one of the most flexible things you can do – it’s hard to mess it up,” said Shepard. See Love Compost until June 2nd at Uncommon Grounds, 402 Broadway, Saratoga. A portion of the proceeds from photograph sales will go to benefit Sustainable Saratoga’s initiatives. For more information, go to For composting questions visit Sustainable Saratoga at SS MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 109








awn Foglia’s Wild Things Rescue Nursery occupies a sunny spot on Saturdays at the southern edge of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s center pavilion at High Rock Park. An avid plant grower, Foglia fills the spot with plants native primarily to New York that she seeds and propagates herself.

the pace of environmental catastrophe that scientists are warning is upon us.

The stall brims with beauty. And, for those new to native plants, a bit of mystery.

Foglia grew up with her hands in the dirt. Her grandfather or “Papa,” who she describes as a fifth generation German gardener, tended rows of vegetables and grape arbors, deploying secret organic farming tricks to warding insects and other garden pests off. Her greatest joy was following him around, helping out.

Newcomers approach shyly, looking at the blossoms, checking out the sometimes hole-pocked leaves, asking questions: What is this? How would I take care of it? Where would it fit in my garden? Foglia has the answers. She began her nursery 24 years ago by rescuing wild plants from logging areas, with permission, and propagating them herself. Over the years, she saved seeds and divisions. These days, she grows everything herself. For her, the plants are more than objects of beauty. They are each a small solution to creating what she calls “a multifaceted world of intricate balances and purpose.” Such a world, she proposes, can help slow


“You see it as you go out in nature, and get to know the plants more closely,” Foglia says. “You see how it will attract certain insects that then bring certain birds and other creatures. You see how Mother Nature has got it programmed.”

She left the dirt to pursue a college degree in fine arts, and then returned. A meaningful career in the arts, she says, probably would have required her to move to a large city, away from the nature laden spaces that she loved. She worked for some time managing other people’s gardens until the mid-1990s when her parents gifted her with land. She cleared the land, established a greenhouse, and built garden beds. For years, she focused on rare plants.

“And then I started noticing things happening in the garden, that certain plants were much stronger and able to withstand severe weather,” Foglia says. “I began reading and saw that many of these plants were the natives to our area. They also were bringing in more beauty to my gardens, not just with flowers but flying color – life, butterflies, birds, moths.” “Planting natives became something more at that point,” she adds. “I felt responsible to keep them going.” Her nursery consists of three acres of display gardens, an acre of space dedicated to propagating woodland plants, and a greenhouse. Foglia offers plants for sale at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market and at her nursery by appointment. She also offers landscaping services and consultations. At her market stall at High Rock Park, Foglia demystifies the names and roles of her plants for customers. She encourages them to think of their backyard gardens as ecosystems that bloom not all at once but in stages, on nature’s schedule: early spring, mid-summer, late fall. She invites them to bring in heavy-nectar plants to attract bees and butterflies, and to think of gardens as holding color not just

in the flowers but in the movement of birds, butterflies, and other winged creatures, as well. Sometimes, she even steps outside the tent with a customer. Together, they’ll lay out a garden that offers color and future habitat to birds and butterflies, plant-by-plant. The customer will take a picture, load the plants into a car, and replicate the garden on their own. For Foglia, introducing Saratogians and others to the value of native plants is more than a business. It’s a mission, of sorts. “I know plants and how they’re grown,” she says. “Ninety percent of my knowledge came from my grandparents first and then from me being outdoors every day, in close contact with the natural world. We probably can’t stop environmental collapse, but if we can build corridors of native habitat, we can at least slow it a bit.” It's complicated. But, Foglia says, her voice rising a bit with excitement, “Saratoga people get it. They understand that if you have a community of homeowners who start to put in native plants in their gardens, they’ll create a corridor of habitation for threatened and endangered species to thrive.” SS


In the Kitchen with

John Reardon

HELLO MY FOODIE FRIENDS! Sunny days and warmer weather remind me of some of my treasured childhood experiences. Getting to spend more time outdoors was my favorite for many reasons; sunshine and swimming, the feel of grass under my feet, the sound of the ice cream truck, melting popsicles and ice cream cones, and playing baseball outdoors until dark. The weekend days allowed me and my brothers and sisters to sleep in a bit. However, we would always awake early and would roll over and talk until my mother came in to get us moving to eat breakfast. Our yard was always full of the neighborhood kids. Some of them were there before we even finished breakfast, just waiting for the five Reardon children to come out to play. Among my childhood memories include the visual of the beautiful vegetable gardens that almost every family in my neighborhood had. Don’t get me wrong because as a child, I did not like working in the garden. On hot and humid days - my Mom ordering us to weed and remove bugs from her vegetables was beyond fun! The bugs looked cool though. My mother and my grandmother took much pride in how big the tomatoes or the eggplants were. When we would come in from playing for lunch or a snack, vegetables were always part of what was served, such as a wonderful cucumber and tomato salad, zucchini, or carrot sticks (all that came from the garden). Recently, I was reminiscing with my sister about our childhood friends and us playing Hide-N-Go Seek in the corn fields next to our neighborhood, the outdoor fun we had, and shared our ongoing challenge of eating those vegetables as adults that we so often were eating as children.

During the warmer weather, none of us want to be inside for too long. This time of year, it’s all about feeling light and healthy. The last thing we want to do is stand over a stovetop or turn the oven on. With gorgeous weather, we want to spend as much time outside as possible, soaking up the sun’s rays. However, we still want to eat healthfully. If you want to minimize the time you’ll be in the kitchen, but still feel good (from the inside out, of course), then we have a cool tool that may help you feel inspiralized; the Vegetable Spiralizer. Vegetable Spiralizing is your key to healthy and light meals. The spiralizer is a kitchen tool that turns vegetables and fruits into noodles. Those noodles can then be used to make healthy pasta, noodle, salad dishes and more. While these veggie noodles can be cooked, they’re equally as delicious in their raw, cold form – perfect for easy, no-fuss, no-cook meals. By spiralizing, you’re naturally eating more vegetables – without even noticing (especially when they’re covered in a delicious tomato basil sauce!). Vegetables are high in water (such as zucchinis) and help detox your body, ridding it of unwanted toxins and leaving you refreshed and hydrated. Vegetables have an abundance of dietary fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer and help with your everyday digestion. Certain vegetables even help spike the metabolism, such as the zucchini. What are the Best Veggies for Spiraling? You can transform all sorts of vegetables into noodles, but the best candidates are those that are firm (not floppy) and long or that can be cut long (if you want long spaghetti that you can easily spiral). One of the best aspects of veggie noodles is their spectacular names. Here are some of the best vegetables for spiraling (Paula found these terms not me): Zoodles (zucchini noodles) Coodles (carrot noodles) Swoodles (sweet potato noodles) Squoodles (squash noodles) Boodles (broccoli stem noodles) Poodles (parsnip noodles) Toodles (turnip noodles) At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place, we carry several brands of Vegetable Spiralizer’s and even small hand held ones you can bring with you camping or to a friend’s or relative’s house to assist you. Enjoy the outdoors – maybe even start a garden. It will make for some lifelong memories made with family and friends while sharing your culinary creations. Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen”. Take care, John and Paula


INDIAN-SPICED COD AND SPIRALIZED VEGETABLE-GARBANZO SALAD Ingredients For the fish: 2 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger salt and pepper, to taste 4 tablespoons lemon juice 4 cod filets or other flaky white fish For the salad: 1 large seedless cucumber 1 large carrot (about 1 lb) 1 small red onion 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 1.5 cups quartered grape tomatoes 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon curry powder ¼ teaspoon salt ground pepper, to taste Instructions • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. • In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, ginger, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Place the fish in a shallow dish and pour over the spice mixture and toss around gently to coat. Bake the fish for 15 minutes or until fish flakes when forked. • Meanwhile, spiralize the cucumber (Blade C), carrot (Blade C) and onion (Blade A). Pat dry the cucumber noodles thoroughly. In a large bowl, combine the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and onion. • In a screw-top jar or dressing shaker, combined the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper. Shake well. • Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve alongside fish.


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




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





2 eggs 1. Chop the spinach in a mini food processor until it’s 1 cup fresh baby leaf spinach finely chopped and looks like ¼ cup milk a spice. ¼ teaspoon sea salt 2. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, 1/8 teaspoon onion powder onion powder and black 1/8 teaspoon black pepper pepper together. Stir in the Shredded Sharp cheese chopped spinach. Nonstick cooking spray 3. Heat the waffle iron. Spray both sides of it generously Safety Reminders: with the cooking spray. Pour the egg mixture onto one Use an oven mitt glove side and close it. The eggs before touching will take 5-8 minutes to cook. the waffle iron. Also use cooking tongues 4. Remove them, add a to remove the egg waffle. tablespoon or two of the



2 cups ice 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 2% 1 cup fresh baby leaf spinach ¼ cup honey 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 drops of mint extract

1. Place the ice, yogurt, spinach, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla and mint extract into a food processor or blender.

shredded cheese and serve.

You can always catch what’s going on in our lives at SS and, or check out my new cook books - available on my website! 114  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

2. Blend until it’s thick, creamy & well mixed. 3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and top it off with the following toppings; Rolled oats Chia seeds Dark chocolate mini morsels




BOHO BLUES The overall takes its name seriously this summer . . . Whether you’re headed to a backyard BBQ, your favorite summer festival or a comfy night out. Paired with an airy off-the-shoulder blouse and macrame bag, this blue jean trend really does go over all.





Wooden Beads Triple Stand Necklace $30.00

Pop of Coral Clutch $36.00

Fringed Cuffed High-Rise Jeans $80.00

Summer Kicks in Lemon Yellow $36.00

White Washed Wooden Bead Strand $ 26.00 xx $61.00

Striped Linen Paper Bag Pant $68.00

CAROLINE AND MAIN 438 Broadway • Saratoga Springs 518.450.7350• Warm Wood Double Strand $119.00



A LINEN LOVE STORY It’s airy, It’s breatable, it’s natural and it’s cute! The wide leg pant and tie front top by LILLA P will take you everywhere you want to go this summer!


Coral Beaded Earring $15.00 Raw Edge Ankle Jean $79.00

Botanical Blooms Linen scarf  $61.00

Embroidered Cork Wedge $110.00

Multi-Colored mules $110.00

LIFESTYLES 436 Broadway • Saratoga Springs 518.584.4665 • Wooden Bead Bag $60.00



Complete all of your Summer wardrobe needs at Lucia this season Floral Heron Kimono by GENTLE FAWN


Boyfriend Denim Jacket by Blank NYC $98

Moonlight Dangle Earrings by Girls Crew $68

Floral Wrap Dress by Knot Sisters $108

Mountain Mama Mug, Handmade Locally by The Bohemian & Co $24

Dottie Bag by Moda Luxe $60

LUCIA 454 Broadway • Saratoga Springs 518.587.7890 • Striped Jumpsuit by ASTR $148



Who wouldn’t go crazy for these adorable jeans from PRINCIPLE DENIM? THE OPTIMIST IN TIME TO RUN is sure to be a hit wherever life takes you! 122  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

These feather earrings can do no wrong in our opinion! Rock these beauties on the daily or dress them up for any special occasion. They’re sure to make a statement. 

Vintage inspired and beautifully crafted little accessory bags from Johnny Was! These colorful, textured little beauties are most definitely for the free spirited, sophisticated gal in all of us.

Fuel your ambition with these all around cool bags from Sol and Selene! From AM to PM, these bags will take you anywhere you need to style, of course.

These soft leather crossbody bags are one of Spoken’s fave picks! Throw all of your little necessities in this cutie and off ya go!

SPOKEN BOUTIQUE 27 Church Street• Saratoga Springs 518.587.2772•


BCBGeneration Scallop Edge Crop Top in Illusion White, $68 BCBGeneration Scallop Edge Skirt in Illusion White, $68 Sam Edelman Odila Sandals in Bright White, $120 Sondra Roberts kiss lock convertible clutch in Blue Geo, $62

Violets 124  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019

Hudson Jeans Amelia Knee short in Vagabond $145

French Connection Cecile Midi Dress in Summer Surf $248

Frye Melissa Shoulder Bag in Lilac $358 (also in Dusty Rose)

Bella Dahl Belted Linen Shirt Dress in Barely Pink $149

Splendid Serenade sandals in Orange $128 (also in Bone and Navy)

VIOLETS 494 Broadway • Saratoga Springs 518.584.4838 •




e all know that false lashes are the perfect “party accessory” and since they make us look amazing and feel even better… why not wear them every day?! With lash bars all the rage – and our favorite celebrities wearing them in every photo – why not? Eyelash extensions can help you confidently face every day in doe-eyed bliss.

Casey Clements

Here’s how…

EYE-OPENING APPEAL “You can just wake up and be ready to go. They enhance your natural beauty,” said Casey Clements. Clements, a recent graduate of the Aesthetic Science Institute, opened The Lash Room by Casey at the Hair Divas Salon in Schuylerville this year. Offering a line of facials and waxing services as well, it’s lashes that she loves to do most. “I just love helping women look their best and feel more confident,” she said. Lash extensions are glued onto your existing eyelashes, adding to your natural beauty and sparing you all the drama that comes with applying, smudging, clumping and flaking mascara. These lightweight black synthetic mink lashes hold their curl and are customized for length and fullness based on a client’s desired look.


TAKING A LASH NAP Don’t wear any eye makeup and be prepared to lay back and relax during your 1 hour and 45-minute appointment. You can choose the Classic, Hybrid or 3D lashes for your daytime look. Classic lashes are a one-to-one application and are longer and darker but only as full as your natural lashes. 3D lashes are all about fullness, giving you 3 lashes for every one of your natural strands, and Hybrid lashes are a mixture of both the Classic and 3D lashes. Clements painlessly tapes your bottom lashes down and uses fresh wands and clean micro swabs during the application. The glue is latex and formaldehyde-free, and sensitivities are very rare, she said. “The number one thing is the health of the lash,” said Clements. TRY NOT TO CRY When they see the finished look, most women tell her how much they love them and sometimes they even begin to cry. “’Oh, no! Don’t cry!’ I tell them (because they can’t get wet for the first 24 hours!!) but it still makes me feel good because I know they feel good,” said Clements. Proper aftercare results in better lash retention. Resist the urge to rub your eyes or tug on your lashes. Never use an oil-based product around the eyes, try to sleep on your back, and use a silk pillowcase to reduce lash shed. Fill Appointments every two-to-three weeks will keep your lashes looking their best. “The smallest thing can make someone happy,” she said. As a Schuylerville native, Clements knows the area well and strives to keep her pricing fair - charging substantially less than other comparable providers. The Lash Room by Casey, in the Hair Divas Salon, 122 Broad Street, Schuylerville is open Monday through Thursday 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information find her on Facebook @TheLashRoombyCasey or call (518) 248-9331. SS

SATURDAY, MAY 18 13th Annual Ryan's Run

Saratoga Spa State Park Warming Hut, Saratoga Springs, 9 a.m. Run or walk to support a great cause! The 13th Annual Ryan's Run will be held in memory of Ryan Wersten, a beautiful baby boy who was born with Malignant Infantile Osteopetrosis (MIOP). MIOP interferes with the proper breakdown of bone in the body, resulting in fractured bones, deafness, blindness and ultimately death. To register for this family-friendly 5K,

2019 Spring Auto Show

Saratoga Automobile Museum, 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Join the Saratoga Automobile Museum at the Saratoga Spa State Park for our annual Spring Auto Show. As a showcase display, we welcome Cars of the Sixties to be placed around the parks reflecting pool. Don’t forget with a car registration you get a ticket for the Museum, where we will be inviting you to view our new exhibit Wheels of Change: Cars & Culture of the Sixties. Fun for the entire family! We'll be welcoming some awesome local friends to join us. The day will include: Family Model T rides as well as fun, interactive activities provided by Mad Science, We Rock the Spectrum - Ballston Spa, The Children's Museum at Saratoga and National Museum of Dance. Pre-Register with your Car Club and receive a special promo plus VIP parking. Pre-Registration - $10, day of registration $20. Rain date is Sunday, May 19.

11th Annual Armed Forces Day Parade Downtown Malta, Route 9, 10 – 11 a.m.

In appreciation of our Malta Military, Veterans, and First Responders. Let's come together and thank our military and first responders in support of our community and country. For more information and if interested in participating in this year’s event, call the Malta Community Center at 518-899-4411. This event is sponsored by the GLOBALFOUNDRIES/Town of Malta Foundation, Inc.

Saratoga Horse Symposium

4-H Training Center, 556 Middle Line Rd., Ballston Spa, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Saratoga Horse Symposium will feature well known equine experts and veterinarians, along with live horse demonstrations, riding clinics, and educational presentations. Horse enthusiasts from across New York State and New England look forward to this popular annual event every year. In addition to the Symposium daily events a Silent Auction is featured with a fantastic selection of goods and services donated by many local businesses. All proceeds from this annual fundraiser directly benefit educational CCE Equine Programming and the 4-H Training & Education Center.

Saratoga Brewfest

Saratoga County Fairgrounds, 162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa, 2 – 5 p.m. The biggest and best Brewfest yet! Make your way to the winner’s circle as you race through the best selection of craft beers you’ve ever seen in Saratoga. With more than 160 craft beers from 80+ breweries available to sample, there’s no telling which brew will be the front-runner. Must be 21 years old, ID required. No children. Designated driver tickets are available for $10 at the door only. For more information and to buy tickets, visit


SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, MAY 18 – 19 9th Annual Winter Raptor Fest

Washington County Fairgrounds, 392 Old Schuylerville Rd., Greenwich, 10 a.m – 4 p.m. Experience the wonder of flight when Friends of the IBA's 9th annual Winter Raptor Fest returns to the Washington County Fairgrounds. Exciting Live Bird of Prey programs introduce you to many of our native owls, hawks and falcons, including some of our most endangered species! Winter Raptor Fest is a fundraiser for Friends of the IBA’s work to conserve critical habitat for endangered Short-eared owls and other at-risk grassland birds. General admission: $12 for ages 13 and older, $6 for ages 7-12, age 6 and under are free. FIBA members: $10 for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 7-12, age 6 and under are free – Bring membership card. For more information, visit

2019 Vanguard Show House

The main fund-raising event for the Albany Symphony Orchestra has a rich history of beautiful homes and talented designers. This years’ home, The Norman Vale Estate is a 24-room home on 9.1 acres in the heart of Albany County. Built in 1790 as a Dutch Colonial and restored in the Colonial Revival style, the home was added to the Historic Register in 2009. The estate is known partly for its frequent visitor, Eleanor Roosevelt who is said to have been granted an entire wing to herself. Running through Mothers’ Day weekend and hosting over 15 decorated rooms, each by a different designer, the house offers a wonderful day out to those who love old houses and design combined!

Proceeds from the tour ticket price of $14 per person, along with many items for sale in each of the rooms and the gift shop will all go to benefit the Albany Symphony Orchestra. For more information: continued on page 130 MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 127

JAZ Z F E ST THE OFFICIAL START OF SUMMER IN SARATOGA SPRINGS… The two-day, two-stage Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest l is beloved by audiences for its dynamic lineup of international jazz talent and for its spectacular setting amid the towering pines, hiking trails and mineral springs of the idyllic Saratoga Spa State Park. Slated for Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, performances will begin on the Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” Stage at 12pm and 11am respectively. Performances on SPAC’s Amphitheater Stage will begin at 2pm and 1pm respectively. The 2019 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival features an extraordinary roster of twenty-two musical groups, highlighted by the festival debut of Grammy® award winning artist Norah Jones, and the return of jazz legend George Benson and festival favorite Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Back by popular demand is also Los Van Van 50th Anniversary, Django Festival All-Stars with Edmar Castañeda and Grace Kelly, Joshua Redman Quartet, and James Carter Organ Trio. Fifteen emerging artists making their Saratoga debuts include Kandace Springs, Donna Grantis, Joey DeFrancesco Trio, Mercy Project which features Jon Cowherd, Brian Blade, John Patitucci, and Steve Cardenas, Antonio Sanchez & Migration, and Cha Wa. The festival will also feature a record number of groups led by women artists, highlighted by Allison Miller, Veronica Swift, Ruthie Foster and Youn Sun Nah. Also returning on Friday, June 28 is the second annual Freihofer’s Jazz Fest Friday, presented by Times Union, a collaboration with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the rich history of jazz in the region. Jazz Fest Friday will welcome festival attendees and the local community with approximately 20 free live jazz events, themed dining, and social dance options throughout the city that will serve as a festive kick-off to the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs. While two-days and two-stages of live, world class jazz is the centerpiece of the weekend, fans can also enjoy a host of amenities including a fine arts and crafts fair, CD signings by artists, southern style barbeque and other food vendors. Guests are welcome to bring in their own food and beverages, as well as blankets, tents and lawn umbrellas. Tickets to the festival start at just $65 for adults. Children 15 and under are admitted free to the lawn. Back by popular demand is also a $20 jazz ticket for students and children over 15. Festival details are available at For a list of participants or to sign up for Freihofer’s Jazz Fest Friday, visit


SPAC ON STAGE “SPAC on Stage” Returns with Four SPAC Debuts:

Indian Sitar Player ANOUSHKA SHANKAR, Latin Grammy® Nominee TONY SUCCAR & MIXTURA, Bhangra Party Band RED BARAAT, and the Multi-Cultural BANDA MAGDA The popular “SPAC on Stage” series will return with four Saratoga debuts including Indian sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar (June 19), the heir to the transcendent musical tradition of her father, Ravi Shankar; Latin Grammy® Nominated multi-instrumentalist Tony Succar with his band Mixtura (July 23); Bhangra party band RED BARAAT (August 26), and the multi-cultural Banda Magda (September 9). “Our community has embraced the innovative format of ‘SPAC on Stage’ and the genre-crossing artists that it features with enthusiasm,” said Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of SPAC. “This year’s summer line-up turns SPAC into a world stage, showcasing artists from every corner of the globe who blend genres from Indian-classical to pop… afro-latino to jazz… and bhangra to hip-hop to create a completely unique sound and performance experience.” “SPAC on Stage” features a unique seating arrangement that transforms the SPAC amphitheater into an intimate concert experience, where the entire audience is placed onstage with the artists, looking out into the theater. The series takes place once per month – June 19, July 23, August 26 and September 9 – and showcases ensembles whose artistry crosses through classical, contemporary and global music genres. All performances begin at 8 p.m.


Credit: Luis Castillo, LC Photography

Latin Grammy® nominee Tony Succar fuses an irresistible mix of exuberant Afro-Latino inspired music, the seductive rhythms of salsa, and the energy of jazz and pop beats. According to Miami New Times, “If the King of Pop had ever produced a Latin album, it probably would have sounded a lot like the Magic City's Tony Succar.”


Tickets to “SPAC on Stage” will be $50 or $40, depending on location; visit for details. SPAC ON STAGE SERIES:


Credit: Sachyn Mital

The infectious rhythms and pioneering style of RED BARAAT intricately layer lively North Indian bhangra with elements of hiphop, jazz and raw punk energy. RED BARAAT’s album Sound The People, reached the top 10 on the World Music Charts Europe and was heralded in the US as the anthem soundtrack for the South Asian diaspora by STEREOGUM: “The album is full of moments that hit with the force of a spiritual awakening…The funk, ska-punk, and other American forms that make their way into the music are layered intricately within the same threadwork as the ragas on which these songs are pulled from. Each piece is a gesture of cultural harmony, rendering not only genre irrelevant, but the geographic placement of those sounds.”

BANDA MAGDA – SEPTEMBER 9 The heir to the transcendent musical tradition of her father, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka will bring her hypnotic melding of Indian classical and progressive world music. Known for her spiritual musicality, the sitar player and composer has garnered several prestigious accolades, including six Grammy® Award nominations. Her most recent nomination came for her album Land of Gold, which was written in response to the humanitarian trauma of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty. Anoushka on Land of Gold: “Land of Gold is the culmination of my journey to the interior, channeling my distress at the [humanitarian plight of refugees] in a constructive way, exploring the stories of the voiceless and dispossessed. I believe that art can make a difference – it connects us to our hearts, bringing us back to what really matters. Music has the power to speak to the soul.”

Credit: Shervin Lainez

The multi-cultural Banda Magda seamlessly moves from samba grooves to polyphonic French chansons, with journeys into lively Greek folk and percussive Afro-Peruvian landó for a courageously fresh and bold performance. Led by Greek-born singer, film scorer, and composer Magda Giannikou, the group has collaborated with everyone from Kronos Quartet to Louis CK and Snarky Puppy, where she participated in its Grammy® Award winning album Family Dinner -- Vol.1. MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 129

SUNDAY, MAY 26 15th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Duathlon and 5k Run/Walk

May - June TUESDAY, MAY 21 The Spring Luncheon

Hall of Springs, 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The Flower and Fruit Mission of Saratoga Hospital will be hosting The Spring Luncheon. There will be a social hour at 11:30 a.m. and a seated lunch at 12:30 p.m. Attire is Spring Chic-hats are encouraged. Guests may enjoy some shopping with local vendors, a silent auction of container gardens and a chance to participate in the raffle. The Flower and Fruit Mission has supported the William J. Hickey Women’s Health Services of Saratoga Hospital for over 100 years and most recently pledged $250,000 to a multi-phase expansion and renovation project. Cost is $60. Tickets may be purchased at

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 Cocktails for a Cause

Cantina Restaurant, 408 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 6 - 9 p.m. Come out for the official Cantina Kids Fun Run Kick Off Party. Enjoy an open bar, complimentary appetizers, and DJ Tru at this pre-party for adults. Casual cocktail attire recommended. To be added to the event waitlist, contact Klare Ingram at or 518-583-8765. Visit about-us/events/cantina-kids-fun-run/ for more details.


Saratoga Casino Hotel, 342 Jefferson St., Saratoga , 8 - 10 a.m.

The 15th Annual Saratoga Lions Club Duathlon (5k Run/15k Bike/5k Run) event and a separate 5k Run/ Walk. All proceeds go to the Saratoga Lions Clubs' ongoing effort to help those with visual and hearing impairments along with aiding the community-at-large. We also celebrate our Veterans with our Honor-aVet program. Cost: 5k - $30 fee includes free t-shirt, refreshments, Duathlon: cost varies; fee includes free t-shirt, refreshments, awards Registration and additional event information can be found at:

THURSDAY, MAY 30 9th Annual Music and Mingling

National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, 99 S. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 7 – 10:30 p.m. The 9th Annual "Music & Mingling" event will benefit the Saratoga Senior Center. This event is known as the "kick-off event of the season," this exciting evening will feature an open bar, gourmet foods by The Old Daley Inn, cigar tastings, lawn games, live music, Tarot Card readings, a fire pit, a silent and a live auction, and much more! The Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization that uses grants and fundraising to cover operating costs.

FRIDAY, MAY 31 Mohawk Hudson Humane Society Gala for Animals

National Museum of Dance, 99 S. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 6 – 11 p.m.

Come out for this traditional, family-friendly folk music festival in Ballston Spa. Performers, open mic, swing Jam, a good old-fashioned folk concert (concerts on Saturday and Sunday). Workshops for singers and musicians. A traditional barn dance on Saturday night at 8 p.m. An authentic pub sing on Sunday.

We're bringing our 2019 Gala for Animals to beautiful Saratoga Springs! In addition to our Animal Care Center in Menands, our Saratoga Spay/Neuter Clinic serves North County pets. We're thrilled to have Michelle Riggi as our Honorary Chair and welcome back Benson's Pet Centers as our title sponsor. We promise an inspiring evening complete with fine dining by Longfellows, the incomparable music of Grand Central Station, exciting silent and live auctions, very special animal guests and more! Visit for details. Cost is $195.



Flag Placement and Memorial Day Ceremony

8th Annual TUFF eNUFF Obstacle Course Challenge

GottaGetGon Folk Festival

Saratoga County Fairgrounds, 161 Prospect St., Ballston Spa

Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Rd., Schuylerville, 8 a.m. – Noon Join us as we place flags on every Veterans gravesite here at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. Stay with us shortly after this event at 11 a.m. as we hold a Memorial Day Ceremony where we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of these great men and women. After this event you will truly understand the real reason, we have a Memorial Day. Stand proudly with others as we show honor, dignity, and respect, to our Nation’s finest.


BOCES Campus, 15 Henning Rd., Saratoga Springs, 8:30 a.m.

To benefit The Prevention Council. A fun, muddy adventure for both families and athletes. Mirrors the Prevention Council’s mission of helping youth navigate life’s challenges. Two challenging courses – One for kids; One for teens/ adults. Directly involves BOCES students in Heavy Equipment, Culinary Arts, and Criminal Justice programs in course design,

refreshments and event management. TUFF eNUFF is a mud-filled course with obstacles for participants to crawl under, hurdle over, wade through, and work together toward success! For details and registration visit: TuffeNuff5KObstacleChallange.

Spring into Summer Malta Marketplace

The Malta Community Center, One Bayberry Dr., Malta, 9 - 3 p. m. The Malta Department of Parks, Recreation and Human Services will be hosting the Marketplace. Vendors selling art, handmade crafts, seasonal products and more will be located on the grounds and inside for your shopping pleasure. Admission and parking are free. Call the Malta Community Center at 518-899-4411 for more information.

SUNDAY, JUNE 2 Cantina Kids Fun Run

Congress Park, 268 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 8 a.m. The Cantina Kids Fun Run is the only run in Saratoga that’s designed especially for kids! Since its founding in 2008, the event has raised more than $409,000 and made a difference for every pediatric patient treated at Saratoga Hospital. Registration and activities open at 8 a.m. Races begin at 9 a.m. Choose from two courses: 1/4-mile or 1-mile. Run as a family strollers welcome. Kids activities, including challenge course, face painting, and more. Healthy snacks and warm up exercises. Medals for all runners up to age 12. Trophies for top three boys and three girls for each course. School with highest participation wins Healthiest School Contest. During early bird registration - on or before Tuesday, May 21st the entry fee is $15 per participant. The regular entry fee is $20. There is day-of registration from 8 to 8:45 a.m. in Congress Park near the Carousel. Visit about-us/events/cantina-kids-fun-run/ for more details.

40th Annual Saratoga Antique Bottle Show and Sale

Saratoga County Fairgrounds, 162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Sponsored by the National Bottle Museum, 76 Milton Ave Ballston Spa. Serving as the Museum's chief fundraiser, the show is attended by dealers and collectors across the United States. Parking is free. The Show and Sale will feature old bottles, stoneware and related items from dealers and collectors from across the United States. There will be educational displays and attendees are encouraged to bring in their empty old bottles for identification. Collecting bottles, with all their different shapes, colors, and embossing is a fascinating hobby for


May - June SUNDAY, JUNE 2

40th Annual Saratoga Antique Bottle Show and Sale Bottle, continued from page 131 youngsters to get into. There will be a free bottle grab bag for all students with research materials available for the student to learn about the bottle they have chosen. Live flameworking demonstrations will be provided by the Glassworks Studio and food and refreshments will be available on site by the Brickyard Tavern. The Bottle Museum will be open along with the JRM Artists Space on the second floor for everyone’s enjoyment. Cost is $5 for adults, children 12 and Younger are free, $15 Early Admission at 8 a.m.

Wildlife Festival 2019

Camp Saratoga, 80 Scout Rd., Wilton, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Our annual Wildlife Festival will feature nature walks, pond exploration, live animals, nature crafts, community organizations, fire tower tours, and lots of hands-on fun. The wild blue lupine will be in full bloom and the Karner blue butterflies will be plentiful in the meadows. All activities are offered free to the public. There will be food for sale at the BBQ and a bake sale.

2019 Festival of Young Artists

SPAC, 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, 2 p.m. A free event for the community, the Festival of Young Artists will celebrate the collaborative creativity of more than 400 of the Capital Region’s brightest young dancers, musicians, singers, poets, and visual artists. SPAC’s grounds will be transformed into a festive celebration with student pop-up performances, fine art displays, food stands, poetry slams, immersive workshops and activities. The festival will culminate with hundreds of young artists gathering together to present a one-hour concert on SPAC’s main stage. SPAC’s 2019 Festival of Young Artists is part of the venue’s new commitment to fostering artistic collaboration and providing free access to enriching arts programs. This event is free, but registration is required for admission to this event. Advance registration is strongly recommended.

SATURDAY, JUNE 8 Flag Day Parade

Broadway Downtown Saratoga Springs, Noon – 4 p.m. Hosted by the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge #161. The parade will feature a special performance by the Avant Garde Drum & Bugle Corp.

SUNDAY, JUNE 9 2019 Capital Region Tour de Cure

Saratoga County Fairgrounds, 162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. The Tour de Cure is an event where no matter what road you take, you will be joining thousands of people from around the country who have the same passion as you to fight diabetes and its burdens. Help the American Diabetes Association in joining our fight against diabetes by signing up today.


Tour de Cure is more than just a ride, walk or run– it is a celebration of the ADA’s mission and a chance to raise critical funds to help fight diabetes. Every mile covered and every dollar raised brings us that much closer to a cure. For details and registration, visit

10th Annual Hudson Crossing Triathlon Hudson Crossing Park, County Rd 42, Schuylerville, 8 a.m.

A sprint distance triathlon featuring a 500-yard swim, a 12-mile bike, and a 5k run. The number of entries will be limited due to the size of the venue and registration is now open. Fantastic venue in the Champlain canal way system. Clean, still water. Beautiful bike course through Northumberland farm country. Run through Schuylerville and Hudson Crossing Park trails. In addition to money raised through donations, a portion of race proceeds go to Hudson Crossing Park, a 501(c)(3) that is not only the race venue but provides many of the great volunteers at the event. This event is supported by the Saratoga Triathlon Club. For details and registration visit: Schuylerville/HudsonCrossingTriathlon

THURSDAY, JUNE 13 10th Annual Route 50 Mile

Route 50, 818 Saratoga Rd., Intersection with Kingsley Rd., Burnt Hills, 6:50 – 7:20 p.m. Join us for this USATF-certified one-mile race fundraiser in support of CAPTAIN Community Human Services. Your participation helps us further our mission to lift people up and build brighter futures. For details and registration visit:

SATURDAY, JUNE 15 Frances Day 2019: A Summer Celebration at the Tang Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 1 p.m.

Join us for our sixth annual Frances Day, a community open house. Visitors can experience multiple contemporary art exhibitions, art-making activities, tours, food, music, and more in honor of the museum’s namesake, Frances Young Tang, Skidmore College Class of 1961. This year, the featured artist will be Elizabeth Streb and her dance company, Streb Extreme Action, in conjunction with the exhibition Streb. Free admission.

SUNDAY, JUNE 16 Saratoga County's Sundae on the Farm

Clear Echo Farm, 800 Route 32, Schuylerville Sundae on the Farm is fun and educational for the whole family - a perfect way to spend Father's Day together. Free events include: tours of the dairy farm, children's activities, farm animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, agricultural exhibits, and demonstrations by three area chefs using farm products. Follow on Facebook for updates:


Saratoga Springs



hen you search back in history at the beginning of most cities, many started as a cluster of buildings at a single point - near a fort or the junction of rivers or a port on a river or the ocean. When we look back to the beginning of Saratoga Springs, we find that it started in two locations that eventually grew together to form the city we see today. Saratoga started as an Upper and a Lower Village located almost a mile apart. The first area of development for Saratoga Springs was focused around the famous High Rock Spring. This was the medicinal spring of the Mohawk and they visited this location for hundreds of years before European settlers came to the area. We believe in 1771 the Mohawk brought the first European, Sir William Johnson to the spring in an act of kindness. Sir William was the British agent for “Indian Affairs in North America.” He helped his effectiveness as an agent by becoming friendly with the Mohawk and eventually married a Mohawk woman named Molly Brant. When the Mohawk saw their good friend Sir William in poor health, they carried him on a litter to the High Rock Spring to allow him to bathe and drink the waters. After four days of this regiment his health improved, and he returned to his home in the Mohawk Valley to tell the story of this wonderful

spring. Sir William’s correspondence in later months provided his friends with the idea that a wonderful healing mineral spring existed in the area known as Saratoga. As a result of the good “press” that Sir William gave the waters at that location, the earliest development of the city was around the area of the High Rock Spring. Eventually this area would be called the Upper Village. The first houses and very primitive commerce would begin there. Alexander Bryan would eventually become the first permanent resident and bought the log cabin on the site of today’s Olde Bryan Inn and operated it as a tavern and small boarding house. The accommodations were small and less than comfortable causing early visitors to the site to write of how terrible the experience was when they visited. Early visitors came for the waters and they drank and took baths daily during the height of the summer season. One of the first baths offered was near the High Rock Spring. This early bath location was at the Barrel Spring, adjacent to the High Rock. The name came from the fact that the bath was given in a barrel. A barrel missing both ends was placed over the spot in which the spring bubbled from the ground. As the barrel sat on that site it gradually filled with mineral water high enough to allow a paying customer to jump in the barrel for the mineral bath. MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 133

The bather was timed and then removed from the barrel at the end of their timed “session.” Whether they emptied the barrel before the next bather is not known, but this cold-water bath provided a less than comfortable experience for early visitors. In 1789 Gideon and Doanda Putnam moved to the Saratoga Springs area. On the south end of our present city, the Putnams leased land from Henry Walton and began to harvest timber to supply Putnam’s saw mill. As Gideon turned timber into dimensional lumber for use in construction of early buildings, he realized the importance of the naturally occurring mineral springs in the area. Soon Gideon came to believe that the mineral springs would draw visitors to the village and that they would need accommodations while taking the waters. In 1802 the Putnam family opened the first hotel in the village called Putnam’s Tavern and Boarding House. This first hotel/tavern was located on what is now the northwest corner of Broadway and Congress Street. The Putnam Tavern and


Boarding House was three stories, containing 30 rooms with 17 fireplaces that boasted a capacity to house 70 guests. At that time in local history it was thought by area residents to be a real mistake to build such a large hotel in an area that was basically, a wild undeveloped pine forest. Locals called the venture “Putnam’s Folly.” The early jokes and disparaging comments were quickly silenced when at the end of the first year it was known that he had filled that hotel on most days of the season and that Gideon was starting an addition to the hotel to provide more space for visitors during the next summer season. These activities formed another nucleus of development that would be called the Lower Village. The Lower Village was defined in the early days as the area around the Putnam Tavern and Boarding House and the soon to be developed Congress Spring (Congress Park area). This lower village was always a commercial area with more hotels and businesses being built. Gideon and Doanda purchased more land in the Lower Village area and laid out and named early streets such as Broad Street (later called Broadway), Phila Street, Washington, and Congress Street. Phila Street was named for their daughter and Washington after one of their sons. As the streets were laid out Gideon cut the trees to form the streets with the help of his talented wife Doanda, who marked the trees with whitewash to define the width and direction of the streets. Many of us have been amazed for years of the apparent wisdom that the Putnam’s demonstrated as they laid out Broadway at a width of 120 feet. This was a wide street for the time period but provides us today with a major thoroughfare that can support four lanes of traffic with parking on both sides of Broadway. Pure genius. Recent research supports the idea that Gideon’s large horse-drawn wood cart, used to remove the harvested timber, required 120 feet to turn around. So maybe the Putnam’s demonstrated more practicality in their work than just pure genius. Without question Gideon and Doanda were right in their initial thoughts that mineral water would draw people to the city. The Upper Village was a less developed natural setting that perfectly supported the original mineral spring; the High Rock. In 1811 Gideon continued to develop the Lower Village with the construction of an enormous second hotel called Congress Hall. He also further developed the Columbia Spring, Hamilton Spring and Congress Spring in the Lower Village area. Gideon also added a bathhouse at the Hamilton Spring (located near the present-day Carousel in Congress Park on Spring Street. Initially Spring Street was located a few feet further south and was called Bath Street. The street was moved and the name changed later in the 1800s.

THE SARATOGA SPRINGS HISTORY MUSEUM ANNOUNCES SECOND SATURDAYS IN SARATOGA In John Morrissey’s day, locals weren’t allowed at what is now known as the Canfield Casino, home of the Saratoga Springs History Museum. But they are welcome now, introducing Second Saturdays in Saratoga. On the second Saturday of every month, Saratoga County residents are welcome to tour the museum for free. Normally, admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for students, but we invite you to learn about your history for free - on the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Inside, you will find the exhibit “Internationally Famous,” which celebrates the creative and bohemian lives of celebrity photographer Cris Alexander and his husband, NYC Ballet dancer Shaun O’Brien. The men lived along Greenfield Avenue in Saratoga Springs for many years. Also, on the second floor, see our exhibit about Victorian mourning rituals and the High Stakes room, where Morrissey and his buddies played faro, roulette, rougeet-noir, and Boston. The museum tells the story of Saratoga Springs. There’s more in the Walworth Memorial on the third floor and the orientation gallery on the first floor. Parking is allowed along the street in Congress Park. Show our admissions staff your ID and get in free. For more information about this or other programs offered at the History Museum, visit

As both Upper and Lower Villages grew, they quickly became a single village of Saratoga Springs with no sign of division between them. As the 19th century continued, the village grew in size, population and popularity. By the later half of the 1800s, Saratoga Springs was considered the number one tourist destination in the nation having grown from the Upper and Lower Villages into one vibrant village. SS



TRAIN STATION 1871 This Saratoga Train Station was located on Railroad Place on the west side of the city. The first train came to the city in 1832 and a few years later the station was moved to the Railroad Place location pictured. The station was there until the mid-1900s when it moved to its present location off West Avenue.

SARATOGA BATH HOUSE The Saratoga Bath House was located on the north side of Phila Street between Broadway and Putnam Street. There were many bath houses in the city until about 1908 when the mineral springs were reduced in number and the remaining baths were moved to the new Spa State Park.


NEWMAN’S LAKE HOUSE 1916 Casino gambling was popular in the city of Saratoga Springs until the Canfield Casino was forced to close and was sold in 1911. After that closure, gambling began to move to many lake houses on Saratoga Lake including Newman’s on Crescent Avenue. Many of the gambling houses on the lake were eventually run by organized crime. Law enforcement finally closed the illegal gambling houses in the 1950s after the Federal Kefauver Commission brought charges against Grand Union Hotel organized crime.

TROLLEY STATION 1930 The Trolley Station today is the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center on Broadway. A few years after this picture was taken the trolley station closed and became the Drink Hall. The Drink Hall offered the mineral waters that were bottled in the Spa State Park to locals and visitors.







ong before Lena Spencer opened her legendary performance cafe, Saratoga Springs was graced with “mom and pop” residents willing to invest their time and talents into establishments to provide us with quality “after hours” entertainment. Residents newer to the area are unlikely to have a historical perspective on the now defunct Saratoga Bowl, Kaydeross Amusement Park, Rafters Bar, the Community Theater, or the changed face of the Saratoga Harness Track. Yet for nostalgic lifelong locals these establishments conjure up images of a simpler Saratoga. This series will take a look at the entertainment venues that once flourished and provided us with countless hours of amusement. It’s hard to imagine the elegance and ambiance of an evening at Saratoga Harness Track in the 1960s and early ’70s. Harness Racing enthusiasts described the Nelson Avenue venue as the “prettiest trotting track they’ve seen.” Henry Knauf, 1950 President of the U.S. Trotting Association, referred to the track as a “dollhouse.” “Life gets more luxurious by the season at Saratoga Raceway,” was a 1962 Times Union society page lead. The capacity crowd of patrons- dressed in their evening’s finest attire of elegant hats and furs- was ready for a memorable after-work evening out. The grandstand and clubhouse were decorated with red, white, and purple petunias planted by Schrade’s Florists. Maître d’s stood by ready to seat patrons and jacketed wait staff served dinner on white linen clad tables.


Saratoga Raceway, later named Saratoga Harness Racing Inc., sat on a 107-acre plot of land originally used as a vegetable farm. The land, once owned by Henry Payne Whitney, was purchased by horseman W. Ellis Gilmour in 1941. Gilmour partnered with local area attorney Frank Wiswall to create a 1/2-mile harness track and racing stands. The track, soon known as the nation’s fastest half mile track, opened June 26, 1941 to a crowd of 4,000 fans and had a successful 26 day meet. Now among the oldest continually running harness tracks in the country, it boasts clubhouse seating for 1,100 fans along with a half mile training track, stables and 8 blacksmith shops. Like most successful local business ventures, it took the dedication and daily hard work of local individuals. One of the most notable leaders in the track’s history was a local father and son team who were at the helm in the heyday of the track. Albany attorney Ernest B. Morris was president of Saratoga Harness from 1963 through 1978. He literally lived at the track in the stately green Nelson Avenue home now known as The Lodge. His son David was the attorney for the track in 1967, and later became the executive vice president. In 1980 David moved his family to Saratoga Springs after succeeding his Dad as the president in 1978 and “made the track his life’s work.” Both Morris men were committed to the care of horses. “For us, it was always the horse, the horse…” reflects David. He and his father Ernest were present every evening to insure the condition and proper treatment of the horses, regularly inspecting the

Photo from the George S. Bolster Collection

Photo from the George S. Bolster Collection

stables and banning any horseman who mistreated the horses. Ernest and David also strived to create an atmosphere of mutual respect between all employees and patrons. Their belief that patrons relied on management’s presence proved true. Once a pari-mutuel clerk cashed a $50 winning ticket as a $5 ticket, cheating the patron of winnings. After review of the terminal, David Morris immediately fired the clerk. Ernest Morris fought hard to ban off-track betting in NYS. He believed in the need of the crowd’s excitement and cheering during a race, along with the fact that OTB lost revenue for the tracks, through lost parking, admissions, program and concession revenue. Once he even switched the order of the first three races to throw off the daily double at OTB. In OTB's first year of operation in Schenectady, Saratoga Raceway had a net loss of $200,000. Despite valiant efforts to change with the times - launching a winter meet, offering a $100,000 purse - in 1987 David Morris was bought out by a group of Capital District investors. Since then the facility has had several name changes-Saratoga Equine Sports Center, Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, and is currently named the Saratoga Casino Hotel. Harness racing does not hold the allure it once did. Pari-mutual wagering on horse racing no longer supports the purses, so the Casino subsidizes them.” But for just one night I’d like to relive those glory days… dining at that circa 1960 fancy Clubhouse Terrace alongside my reporter mom as she gathered material for the society column of a local newspaper. SS Author’s note: Thanks to David Morris for providing photos and information for this story.



Mouzon House WRITTEN BY




The Mouzon House is a house ahead of its time. In 1915, four years before women won the right to vote, Ardell Mouzon, a full-blooded Cherokee, bought the house at 1 York Street in Saratoga Springs for $2,200 – cash. In 1947, before Brown vs Board of Education outlawed separate but equal education, Ardell’s daughter, Mia Mouzon, became the first woman of color to graduate from Skidmore College. In 2005, before chefs started slapping the “farm-to-table” label on practically everything, David and Dianne Pedinotti bought 1 York Street, restored it, opened The Mouzon House and started serving food featuring locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. Inspired and intrigued by chefs like Alice Waters and academics like Michael Pollan, Dianne and David set out to create a restaurant that was involved in the community and conscious of the environment. Dianne doesn’t need to name-drop Alice Waters and Michael Pollan to demonstrate her bona fides; she is a Master Gardner who manages the restaurant’s herb and vegetable gardens as well as the flower pots and planters throughout the property. With Dianne growing food and flowers outside (and running the front of the house), David mans the kitchen inside, drawing inspiration from the flavors of the season and Creole comfort food.


“[His training] was training-by-grandma,” Dianne said of David’s culinary education. David’s grandparents were Italian immigrants who settled in Schenectady. His grandmother set up a small grocery and sold her own homemade pasta and garden-grown produce. David became interested in Creole food due to its diverse French, Caribbean, African and Spanish influences. “Grandmothers of the world, unite,” Dianne said of the cuisine. The crawfish beignets appetizer would make any grandmother – Creole or otherwise - happy. The fried starters are crispy outside and light and fluffy inside with the sweet crawfish offset by the mildly-spicy creole remoulade. The creamy remoulade makes another appearance drizzled over the fried chicken: three boneless Sap Bush Hollow Farm’s chicken thighs, fried crisp and laid atop mashed sweet potatoes and savory collard greens with diced bacon. The charcuterie board is equally satisfying. Assorted cured meats including salumi, North Country smoked ham, mortadella, and prosciutto are served alongside crostini, tangy house-made pickles and creamy, decadent chicken-liver pate.


The Mouzon House menu rotates with the seasons which gives David the opportunity to let seasonal ingredients shine. For spring, the Buddha Bowl features a mound of thin soba noodles surrounded by tart kimchi, pickled cabbage slaw, savory cauliflower, creamy hardboiled eggs and fried chickpeas for a light crunch. A drizzle of citrus vinaigrette brings it all together. Brightly colored beets shine in the seasonal risotto where bite-sized bits are incorporated into the arborio rice along with sautéed kale and dotted with creamy chevre. A fluff of micro-leeks from Saratoga Urban Farms gave the already vibrantly-colored dish a decidedly springy flare. In addition to seasonal highlights, there is also a daily menu which draws on the freshest ingredients of the moment. The Market Salad on our late-April visit saw earthy, roasted baby beets, crunchy toasted hazelnuts and creamy goat cheese set atop a bed of arugula and watercress dressed with a strawberrybalsamic vinaigrette. The fish of the day an unctuous, pan-seared Faroe Island salmon steak served with sides of hearty celery root and potato mash and tender asparagus all finished with a dreamy, rich hollandaise.

David and his team, led by Executive Chef Tony Bifano, prepare the generously-sized dishes in the commercial kitchen which had to be added to the once-residential property. Chef Bifano worked at Cafe Degas in New Orleans and some of the best restaurants in Boston and Florida. The renovations to The Mouzon House involved more than adding the kitchen. When the Pedinottis bought the property, wood paneling covered the walls. Once the decades of decorating had been removed, the house revealed its original nature – horse-hair plaster walls and wide-plank hardwood floors that pleasantly creek underfoot. The family’s four daughters – Rebecca, Elizabeth, Sarah, Kait – and their cousin Danielle set to work, using their artistic talents to paint murals throughout the first-floor dining area and up the staircase. They had fun with the gardened-themed project. Their work depicted each other, with one sister painting another, as well as an homage to Mia’s days as a dancer on Broadway. It took them two weeks of continuous work to complete their paintings.

Upstairs, there are three smaller, private rooms which can accommodate groups as small as four and up to a dozen. Also upstairs is a bright, cheerful rooftop dining room which lets in every drop of the waning springtime sunshine. A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace keeps the evening chill at bay. Just like the house and the Mouzon women who owned it, the Pedinottis have an eye on the future. While the restaurant is currently open for dinner only, daughters Rebecca (who has a master’s degree in food studies) and Kait (who attended the Culinary Institute of America) plan to expand the wrap-around porch and take on breakfast and lunch service focusing on healthy fare. “You can’t stand still in this business,” Dianne said. For the past 14 years, Dianne and David have made it a point to read and travel and learn about food and food trends. They have built relationships with farmers and artisans including Vermont Creamery, Lovin’ Mama Farms and David Gambuzza Microgreens.


The staff at The Mouzon House are equally passionate and knowledgeable about the ingredients that go into every dish. Our waiter Matthew accurately described every dish, offered recommendations for our return visit and was acquainted with the ingredients and the people who made them – including the Ice Cream Mann – who provides an exclusive cinnamon ice cream that offers a sweet spice that perfectly complements the dense, rich flourless chocolate cake. A maple-walnut ice cream topped the seasonal bread pudding which, on our visit, was a lightly-spiced carrot cake flavored variety. The cocktails also get the seasonal treatment. The whiskey sour had a floral orange note and although the base spirit was whiskey, the sour mix and egg white all shook up to a balanced not-too-boozy tipple. Our bartender, Sarah, also shook up a Mouzon-Rita. The tequila-based drink was accented by jalapeno -infused agave, lime juice and a salted rim. This refreshing sipper was served elegantly in a highball glass and garnished with a lime wheel. Whether you prefer a seat in the intimate dining room or want to savor your supper with a side of sunshine on the patio or porch, The Mouzon House will delight. Its dedication to preserving history and the environment, coupled with its focus on quality ingredients thoughtfully prepared will surely carry this Saratoga Springs institution well into the future. SS


ABANDONED BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD Taken over by time, a fantastic structure becomes a forgotten relic. WRITTEN BY MEGIN POTTER PHOTOS PROVIDED


he abandoned ruins of the Homestead Sanitarium may be tucked away in the town of Providence near the edges of Saratoga County, but this sprawling brick building is impossible to ignore. Stories about this place abound and its lingering presence remains provocative. This complex of connected structures on Barkersville Road may have been vacant for almost 50 years, but its crumbling architecture has an irresistible allure. “Any dilapidated, abandoned building just looks totally out-of-place and people make up crazy stories about it,” said Saratoga County Historian Lauren Roberts. Explorations of the off-limits property give you a fractured glimpse into the not-so-distant past. It

has been the subject of rumors and ghost stories, the site of an unauthorized 2006 film and numerous YouTube videos. Roberts’ presentations on the property have drawn crowds of more than 50 people interested in piecing together the history of the Homestead. “They want the truth to get out there,” she said. CONTESTED CONSTRUCTION Contracting tuberculosis at the turn-of-the-century was a terrifying, yet common condition. Because the deadly disease was so widespread, in 1909 the New York State Legislature passed a law permitting each county to erect their own hospital to administer the only known cure at the time – fresh air, sunlight, bed rest and good nutrition. MAY/JUNE 2019 | SIMPLY SARATOGA  | 145

Sun bathing, Aug. 1928. Photo by Claira Wilbur

1928 Children's Wing

Children's Sun Porch

By 1911, Saratoga County had chosen to build a hospital on a site in Greenfield known as the Vischer Whipple Farm but this resolution was rescinded due to considerable discord among residents uneasy with the prospect of bringing the dreaded illness into their own backyards. AN UNEXPECTED ANGEL Amid the upheaval, a local man named Horace Walpole Carpentier stepped up with a generous solution. Born and raised in Galway, his family had owned property here for a century when he deeded it to the county in 1905 to be used for a health-care facility. A land-speculator who became the first mayor of Oakland, California, his dealings earned him the reputation of being Oakland’s “Most-Hated Man”. In New York however, his donations of land and funding contributions told a different story. A local newspaper clipping called him an “honored and respected citizen of the county” and detailed his intentions for the 200-acre forested site “…on the condition that, for twenty years, the trees shall not be cut down or wasted, or the waters


diverted…A secluded spot, high, well-wooded and fairly productive; the air is always sweet and wholesome, the water pure and the prospect pleasing.” This previous gift was paired with his $2,000 gift to begin building. The old Carpentier family homestead was demolished and Homestead Sanitarium was constructed. Continuing to provide financial backing, Carpentier donated $5,600 in 1915 for the structures and $1,000 a year followed for several county roads (including Dean Lung Road which he named after a faithful Chinese servant). Carpentier died in 1918, at the age of 94, and is buried in the Barkersville Cemetery. A HALF-CENTURY OF HEALING The crisp white pavilions of the Homestead Sanitarium were opened in 1914. The facility consisted of separate men’s and women’s facilities. The structure’s wide doors allowed for beds to be rolled out onto the long sun porches, while the library provided patients with much-needed distraction.

Dr. Dimocks Lab

By 1928, a children’s wing was added. Smaller summer camp cabins and a playground offered children opportunities for fresh-air exercise. Nurse dormitories, a power house and small gardens to grow food provided a degree of selfsufficiency because the hospital was quite isolated. (Reports from the 1920s detail an instance when they had no communication with the outside for three days during a winter storm.) In 1936, the large main building that still stands there today was constructed. Beautiful marble detailing and elegant light fixtures made this a fine place to recover. With the introduction of antibiotics and a waning fear of contagion, by the late 1950s, the hospital opened their movie theater to the public so local residents could attend showings. Remodeled into an infirmary known as “The County Home” in 1961, the hospital operated until 1972. Although it was sold to a private investor in 1982, it was never reopened.

HAZARDOUS HUSK The walls were hollowed out and stripped of their steel and copper pipes by scrap metal scavengers, leaving the hollow shell that remains there today. An ill-conceived, misinformed movie titled “The Expedition” that is advertised as “based on true events” chronicles a group of filmmakers illegally exploring the property. Ghost stories like this one persist because of the building’s eerie appearance and a history that includes a large number of patients who passed away here. Despite the myths, Roberts hasn’t discovered any record of ill-treatment and bodies were shipped off-site for burial. In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency finished hauling out hazardous materials including asbestos and roofing tar, fenced it in and boarded up the windows. SS




own and operate the Greenwood Stick Farm here in the foothills of the Adirondacks. It’s a quarter acre farm speckled with a dozen or more maple trees. They vary in height, girth, and degree of decay. Decay is a friend of the Stick Farmer— it provides a never-ending crop. I became involved in Stick Farming back in the early 60s on my friend's property high atop “The Hill” in my hometown of Greenfield Center. It was one of the largest Stick Farms in Upstate NY. It consisted of acre upon acre of mature old maples whose branches seemed to rain down in an endless downpour of cracks, snaps, and crashes. Stick Farming on the “The Hill” required the involvement of all family members. Outside stick-pickers were subcontracted at a fair wage. The older more tenured stick-pickers (big brothers) had the

cushier job. They got to drive the pickup around collecting the harvested stick piles. The fun started when the truck bed was full (this was a subjective call), and the pickers got to jump in the back and ride the side-rail down the hill to the “Pile.” Unloading a freshly harvested crop of sticks is a lot more fun than loading, and the ride back to the stick-pasture was more exciting. It inevitably included a spinout followed by a gravel-spitting run up the back driveway. It was the most fun a boy could have growing up. Stick Farming and Leaf Harvesting provided me with more blisters and enjoyment than you could ever write a check for. I relive those wonderful memories every time I drive by “The Hill.” The Greenwood Stick Farm is much smaller and less exciting. I still enjoy the sight and smell of a post-storm maple-stick crop. The farm is in good hands. My grandson Caleb has inherited the stick-farmer gene. The first thing he does when he gets to the farm is open the barn (cluttered garage) and pull out his John Deere. Within minutes he’s happily harvesting the current crop of sticks. Endless circles around the yard reveal sticks of every proportion. The lawn smiles greenly as the weight of the world is lifted from its shoulders. When my son asked why Caleb was so eager to help his grandfather harvest sticks, but seemed disinterested in harvesting in his own backyard, I gladly explained. My sticks are organic and grow naturally. The sticks in his yard were the result of a chainsaw-wielding father who became addicted to the roar of his Husqvarna and didn’t know when to say when. Those sticks are less brittle. The feel and texture are not the same as those grown and harvested naturally via Mother Nature. A true Stick Farmer knows and appreciates the difference. I want to share one last sentiment… Life is special. The news that gurgles up these days would make you think otherwise, but there comes a time when we must disengage our minds from the madness and chaos that seems as endless as a crop of sticks. If we don’t, we will have missed the point of this journey. Whether you derive joy from painting a landscape, riding a Harley, reeling in a brook trout, or walking your dog, it’s important to savor it like a July Popsicle. Happiness doesn’t need to include Disney or a Carnival Cruise. A pause on the way to the mailbox to linger at the sight and sound of a passing flock of geese can soften a bad day. Wisdom doesn’t come from age, it comes from those little non-distinct pauses we take and how we absorb them. An old stick farmer once told me that happiness can come before, during, or after a storm. It might even show up during all three. The anticipation of a crack of thunder can heighten the senses. Viewing a lightning strike across the field can make you appreciate the fact you're in the safety of your home. The rainbow that follows and the sight of a robin yanking up a juicy worm from the soggy side-yard should make you glad to be alive. The resulting blanket of fresh sticks strewn across your property should have you stomping in the puddles and smiling like a kid. If not, you may have missed a turn. Go back and start again. Happy stick pickin’! SS




Driving by 148 Union Avenue, one hardly notices the stately 3 story white clapboard house with green trim. The building is tucked into a corner surrounded by a black iron fence and shrouded with shrubbery, marked by a small sign on the front screen-"SARATOGA READING ROOM.” Originally intended as a private social club for men only, The Reading Room was founded for Thoroughbred horse owners, trainers and breeders to read the daily racing papers before crossing the NYRA grounds for the afternoon racing. It later became an exclusive dining club serving breakfast, lunch and after-race cocktails for its members. Few local residents ever entered the building, unless they were there to work. From 1972-1989 The Reading Room’s kitchen and dining rooms were staffed by a group of young black athletes living on the westside of Broadway, which they referred to as the “Best Side” of Saratoga. Ernest “Sonny” Gooden, a 6”2” basketball star at Saratoga High School began as a dishwasher in the Reading Room due to his father’s job at the track. As positions in the Reading Room opened up, Sonny would recommend neighborhood relatives and friends. Two dishwashing positions became available and Sonny recommended his friend Eddie Pinn and his cousin Stewart White. “We had fun and made lots of money,” reflects Stewart. Both teenagers knew if they worked hard, they could make serious money by being promoted to waiters. Within a few years, both were wearing the coveted white jackets of a Reading Room waiter. That’s when they got to meet people that may never have otherwise crossed their paths. For both Sonny and Stewart, the job was really about the relationships they built with the regulars. “We were so comfortable around them and they were equally comfortable around us,” said Stewart. In today’s world where stories of racism and prejudice are all too frequent, Sonny and Stewart didn’t experience any of this at the Reading Room. “Our boss wouldn’t stand for any disrespect. Once someone who came for sales week was disrespectful and the maitre d’ sent them packing. He had to apologize to us, or his membership would be revoked,” they both stated. Pittsburgh Pirate owner John Galbreath and horse trader Stanley Petter were just a few of the patrons who were interested in Stewart and Sonny’s personal lives. “We were all playing ball at the time, especially Sonny ‘cause he was the MAN,” jokes Stewart-referring to Sonny’s success on Saratoga High’s basketball court. (When Sonny was inducted into the Capital District Sports Hall of Fame, he was described as the best basketball player Saratoga High ever had.) “The people at the Reading Room got us ready for college. They went out and bought some of our stuff like trunks and supplies,” they fondly recall. Stewart, Sonny and their friends worked hard and were good at what they did, always going the extra mile for their favorite patrons. Stewart describes the job as a “match made in heaven.” Eventually Stewart’s brother James was also hired. When James passed away two years ago, it inspired Stewart to document their experiences in the story “Saratoga’s Best Kept Secret.” Simply Saratoga is honored to bring you the second installment…




Fred and Al, part of the Old Gaurd.



ne thing about the members of the Reading Room, they loved the simplicity of the club. Not a lot of extravagance. They enjoyed arriving at their tables and seeing the same faces. They seemed to enjoy seeing someone they trusted taking care of their needs. Trust was very important. Once you established their trust, it was like a match made in heaven. The staff of the Reading Room consisted of some old timers. As young whippersnappers, we marveled at the older men and energy they had. There was our boss, Otis Buggs - who actually - was a bit intimidating. He was a short, older man whose job was to make everything the members wanted, happen. The ladies who prepared the food for the members during the early years were named Lucille and Helen. Helen had roots in South Carolina, and Lucille was from NYC. Boy could they cook and bake. I used to love the peach cobbler Lucille used to make. The servers during this period of time in the 70s were Mack, Tom, Bill, Fred, and Hickenbacher or Hick. All the waiters had the same traits, older black men with a crazy work ethic. Mack probably was in his 60s - he was a server but did the work of a valet for the live-in men. He would pick up the dry cleaning for members and run errands for them during the downtimes. Bill was a server who was one of our favorites. He was not as intimidating to us as Otis and Mack. Bill was from Philadelphia. I used to love his thick handle bar moustache. Bill used to be an excellent basketball player. He was a younger man than the rest of the wait staff; he was in his


40s. I think that’s why we related to him. As a matter of fact, we loved listening to him tell his exploits at basketball games in Philly. Our favorite stories were about playing basketball and growing up with Wilt Chamberlain. Plus, he was kind of - to us - just a plain ole “cool dude”. Tom, from NYC was the brother of Frankie who served as the housekeeper for the members who stayed in the rooms upstairs. Tom would eventually take Buggs’ place as the person in charge of the staff and the person in charge of handling the special needs of the members. Tom was very skilled. He had worked the railroad as a server and we watched him carefully, as I hoped that one day, we might get our chance to become servers at the Reading Room. Another server whom we watched closely, and we thought was probably the hardest worker and most skilled of them all, was a man named Fred. Fred was a tall, thin, dark skinned man who was from the south. He was probably in his early 60s at the time. Now, if you’re talking about a man who could work, it was Fred. Fred had more of a “yes massa” way about him than the others. I later found out that Fred was part of the famous, historical group of professional black porters known as Pullman Porters. They worked on the railroad. It was the porter that gave the sleeping car that feeling of luxury for the wealthy. They were there to serve the very fortunate. That explained why Fred looked so very professional. Then there was an elderly server we called Hick. His last name was Hickenbacher. I didn’t know a lot about Hick. One thing I did know was he had the gout and it caused him to have problems with his feet. I remember when my cousin Sonny stepped on his foot by accident. He was in such pain. I knew he wasn’t going to last long as a server with those bad feet.

James and Sonny, waiters

Stewart White at the Saratoga Reading Room

Frankie #2

Stanely Petter, Reading Room member

Helen, the cook

Sonny Gooden and Stewart White share their experiences in a recent interview with Simply Saratoga.

Lastly, I want to introduce to you the two sweetest ladies that were part of these special and extraordinarily group of hard workers. These ladies happened to both be named Frankie; Frankie Johnson and Frankie Romaine. Frankie Johnson, the younger sister of Tom, was a short, chunky, freckle-faced woman who took care of the housekeeping for the male members who stayed in the rooms. She made the beds, changed linens, and kept them supplied with clean towels and bathroom products. Frankie had been the housekeeper at the Reading Room in the neighborhood of 30+ years. She would also help as a server on days we were really busy and needed that helping hand. I got a kick out of her because she used to refer to us as her “little boys”. Sonny was 6’2, I was 6 feet, but to her, we were her little boys. I can still hear her high-pitched voice calling us to do something she needed done. For a long time, it seemed like I could hear her calling my name in my sleep. All the members loved Frankie Johnson. We used to love listening to her many stories of her exploits during her younger days growing up in NYC and at the Reading Room.

what they did, and she treated everyone as if they were her best friend. Frankie got sick in the late 90s and last I heard she was in a better place. God bless you Frankie. You were a great lady.

Frankie used to supervise us during the setup of the upstairs rooms before the Reading Room opened for the members. She used to go through the rooms with a white glove making sure we had dusted. She was very meticulous and wanted things done right. There was no hiding or getting away from her. Even with all our little hiding spots we had as young boys, that high pitched voice of hers would reach us. As I said, there was no escaping Frankie Johnson!

So that is my introduction of the older guard, who during the upcoming years started fading into their twilight years. They would come up from time to time to visit, eat some of Lucille and Helens cooking and go to the track. After 3 years of washing dishes, the door of opportunity was finally opening for a couple of young, upstanding, eager young bucks who were primed and ready to replace the old guard. It was finally our time to shine. The arrival of the young bloods as servers was upon us. We called ourselves the New Breed and in 1975, we couldn’t wait to get started.

Frankie had close relationships with the wives and female guests of the members. She was another one who we noticed was pocketing lots and lots of money from the lady members. Matter of fact, she used to flash the $20s, $50s- or $100-dollar bills, she had just received. She knew everyone, their families,

Now Frankie #2, as she was known to some members, was in her early 60s, she came on during the late 70s and was one of the last of the black staff that remained into the 1990s before she retired from working. Frankie was a local woman who lived in our neighborhood in Saratoga Springs. A little-known fact is that her daughter Toye - who sadly passed away in 2009, at the young age of 53 and periodically helped out at the Reading Room - was my first ever girlfriend. We were in the 7th grade. She was the first girl I ever kissed. A funny thing about that was, I must have been a terrible kisser. She broke up with me shortly after. Mrs. Romaine knew all of us as we grew up through the years. As Frankie Johnson’s assistant, she had the same traits. She was very meticulous, very detailed, and wanted things done correctly the first time.

In the next installment, we’ll meet “The New Breed” – due out June 21st SS





ou are three years-old. You are wearing your red velvet jumper and white tights and black Mary Janes. It is early fall. I take you outside for some pictures. You run away as I try to capture your image. You are laughing and smiling. I am laughing, too, as I beg you to stay still for one picture. You don’t listen, but you turn and look behind you every once in a while and smile as I try to keep up with you. You are twenty-one years old. I am still chasing after you and trying to keep up with you. It is, I have come to realize, a losing battle. I have learned that the hardest part of being a parent is the letting go. From the first moment I held you, I had to let you go. I allow the nurses—people I have never met— to hold you and examine you and tell me you are just fine. It is just the first of many times I will hand you over to complete strangers. I will do it again and again, and each time is not any easier, but actually harder. I send you to preschool, kindergarten and high school. And finally, college. I get closer and closer to the day when you will not return to me.

Make notes in the margin. Highlight the important sentences to remember what you’ve learned. Change the setting of your story. Travel and experience new places. Introduce new characters. Some will be friends, and some will be villains, but each will allow growth and development. I hope there is romance, but even more, I hope you find your one true love. Lastly, don’t be afraid of conflict in your story. You will grow and change and learn from it. Remember, you are not a static character, but a dynamic protagonist. I know I will never catch you. I’m not supposed to. I only hope that you will turn around and let me catch a glimpse of your smile and that you will read a chapter or verse to me from your book from time to time. But most of all, I hope we bound the book, so it is strong and durable to hold your precious story. SS

I used to think your father and I built the foundation and ground floor upon which you would build your own life. The succeeding floors were yours to add on from there. But lately, I’ve been thinking that we are bookmakers. We make the book cover and binding of a volume that holds the pages of your life. It will be up to you, the author, to fill those blank pages with your own story. You will make mistakes. Don’t erase them or cross them out.

Elena Scrivo is a Saratoga-based pharmacist specializing in long-term care. She is a graduate of Albany College of Pharmacy and lives in Queensbury with her husband, daughter and son. When she is not working or spending time with family and friends, Elena enjoys reading, writing and all the Capital Region and Adirondacks have to offer.

This is our first.... READER SUMMITED ESSAY Send your stories for possible submission to: with Short Story on the subject line. 300-500 words preferred 152  |  SIMPLY SARATOGA | MAY/JUNE 2019












anners is defined in the dictionary as ways of behaving with reference to polite standards; social comportment.

What does that mean now, in 2019? I was recently with my 17-year-old grandson and realized he didn’t know how to set a table. He didn’t know that the knife went on the right and the fork on the left. He told me that manners were not important to his generation.

I had the discussion with many of my children – the 36-year-old and her 40-year-old husband and after a long discussion (while we held their 9 and 4-year-old children at the table), we decided they were. Later the 9-year-old had a friend for dinner and watched her pick the ice cubes out of her water glass with her fingers and eat them. I see that my 30-year-old son is teaching his 2-year-old how to shake hands. He thinks manners at home are not important. He knows manners, as while he was growing up, we had manners night every week. Does he think they are not important at all? What happens when his son is dating and doesn’t know which fork to use or the difference between a white wine glass and a red wine glass? My 32-year-old daughter wanted to know about tipping etiquette as everyone uses square space now and even merchants are trolling for tips. Do you tip someone who rang up your book at the cash register in a bookstore? Or who poured you a cup of coffee at a counter? Do you tip the owner of the beauty salon when you get your hair cut? I like manners. It pleases me to have doors held open for me, to sit across from someone who chews with their mouth shut and who ignores their phone (at least until there is a break in the conversation). I like it when I get a thank you text after I send a gift. My granddaughter just turned 16 and I sent her flowers. Two days later, I asked her mother if she received them. My daughter was appalled as she reminded her several times. I wasn’t expecting a hand-written thank you note, just a quick text. I asked her not to remind her again and sent her another gift – a book on manners – with no explanation – Just a Happy 16th birthday, love message – same as the message with the flowers. Her face in this little photo story says it all. Message received. SS


Lessons Learned


…how my garden gaffes led me to respect the knowledge of experts.


have learned a great deal about gardening from my successes - and countless more from my blunders. These lessons have made me realize that I do not know everything about gardening… and there is always much more to learn!

For years I have proudly soiled my garden gloves while ignoring advice from gardening authorities, especially regarding proper growing conditions. It took time and some pitiable results for me to realize that I am not a horticultural expert but simply an experienced home gardener, and as such, should not take authoritative information for granted. A few years back I chose to disregard the proven fact that roses need four to six hours of full sun exposure each day. I planted a bed of rose bushes in a shady woodland location, confident the dappled sunlight would somehow suffice. The consequence of my poor judgement was a plot of weak leggy plants with very few blooms. Stubbornly I watched the unfortunate shrubs struggle to survive until I was forced to admit defeat. I moved those rose bushes to a sunny site where they now flourish. Unfortunately, the rose garden in the woods humiliation did not end my defiance of accepted horticultural theory. It took another debacle to change this pattern. In this instance, I decided to enlarge the garden and extend it onto an embankment outside the fence. The site is in full sun exposure most of the day and very dry despite yearly application of compost. The challenge of dragging a hose over the fence makes watering this location difficult, so it infrequently receives supplemental irrigation like the rest of the garden.

specimens turned out to be tasty treats for local wildlife. What resulted was a landscape marred with stressed out plants such as wilted Gentians and drooping Phlox. A deer-nibbled Ninebark never increased in size, and Hydrangeas were chewed to twigs. Poor judgement had caused yet another unhappy outcome and additional labor as I set about correcting my misdeeds. I ended up moving the suffering perennials into the more hospitable fenced in section of the garden. With adequate moisture and a protective barrier from marauding deer, the rescued plants recovered and are now robust, cheerful specimens! The embankment looks happier as well, now planted with Dianthus, Catmint, and other perennials that tolerate the arid environment and do not appeal to the neighborhood wildlife I have learned the path to success in the garden is made easier by listening to the pros’ recommendations. If the facts state a perennial requires partial shade I do not allow it to fry in full sun, and plants that require abundant sunshine will not be found stressed out along our woodland trail. SS

I enthusiastically started adding new plants to the embankment, but carelessly ignored the fact many of them required more moisture than the site had to offer. To make matters worse, a lot of these unfortunate




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Simply Saratoga Home & Garden 2019  

A H&G issue you are sure to love! Simply Saratoga Magazine, a Saratoga TODAY publication, brings you the people, the places, and the lifesty...

Simply Saratoga Home & Garden 2019  

A H&G issue you are sure to love! Simply Saratoga Magazine, a Saratoga TODAY publication, brings you the people, the places, and the lifesty...

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