What's New in Saratoga

August 2011 Archives

Take some time this coming Friday to think "yoga" and visit the grand opening of "The Yoga Spa" in Ballston Spa.

The event at 53 Front Street will feature an art opening, chair massages, bellydancers, and window yoga performances.

It will begin at 7pm, and culminate at 9pm, when the ribbon will officially be cut.

Find out more about this new business at 53 Front Street and what it's all about this Friday, September 2nd!

It seems like only yesterday the horses left the gates for the very first time, but the Saratoga Race Course is nearly 150 years old. It's sesquicentennial (sess-kwa-sen-TEN-ee-ull. Impress your friends) birthday will be August 3, 2013...and such a big number deserves a big celebration.

You can star in the Saratoga Lip Dub with the rest of Saratoga Springs! You've probably heard by now the Spa City is joining in the craze and shooting a lip dub video in Congress Park. New details have been announced regarding filming of the video and everyone's invited!

Next to Saratoga's famous Dough Boy and Dough Girl, a distant relative comes to join the family - the Dough Cousin.

Irene is one crazy party girl, let me tell you. If the Hurricane-turned-tropical-storm were a person, she'd be one of those celebrities of fleeting fame who makes most of her TV time by arriving in places like 'Toga, partying hard, and leaving a mess behind.

Believe me, I would know. As a resident of Saratoga, I've seen this starlet's destructive habits from close up.

We would like to extend a big congratulations to the 2011 Travers Stakes winner, STAY THIRSTY, jockey Javier Castellano and everyone else who was smart enough to place their bets on him and win some money in this year's Travers race!

3-year-old Stay Thirsty has had an inpressive career with many 1st and 2nd placements, including winning the Jim Dandy last month here in Saratoga and coming in 2nd in the Belmont Stakes back in June. Now winning the 2011 Travers Stakes is one more to add to the list!

But I guess this pair wasn't hard to pick, especially since they both have winners blood running through their veins. Jockey Castellano also won last year's Travers Stakes on the back of Afleet Express, who was Stay Thirsty's father, or sire.

The race to the finish at the 2011 Travers Day in Saratoga was literally like watching the definition of the phrase, "He stole the show." People kind of watched more silently because it was not neck and neck approaching the finish line, but rather Stay Thirsty bolted to the lead in the final stretch and kind of ran away with it. I like the way Horse Racing Nation described it best, for those who missed the excitement and want to imagine they are watching it live:

Leaving from post position 9 as the 5-2 favorite, Stay Thirsty found himself on the lead between horses as the field of 10 barreled toward the first turn and through an opening quarter in 23.45 seconds. Eased back by Javier Castellano into second as Preakness winner Shackleford took over through a half in 47.63 and three-quarters in 1:11.91, Stay Thirsty ranged up to challenge for the lead on the far turn and spun into the stretch with a lead that was never seriously threatened.

Congratulations to all, and don't miss the last week of track season, with a Party at the Spa sunset racing day and Family Fun Fest capping off another exciting season of horse racing in Saratoga!

Article by: Maura Bannon

As the summer draws to a close and back-to-school shopping is top priority, many parents are crossing their fingers that this year won't bring the kind of drama and struggles their child had to cope with last school year.

And then other parents are resting easy because they have found a school where their child excels and is accepted, accomplishing things they never thought possible.

Sound like the kind of school you would want your child to attend? Read on.

We all know the Saratoga Farmers Market on High Rock Ave in the summer and Division Street in the Winter, is the best. So why not let everyone else know?

American Farmland's Trust is having an "America's Favorite Farmer's Market" contest, and you can help Saratoga win!

Use your vote to help the 70% farmer-grown, within 50-miles "locavore", super fresh and always good Saratoga Farmers Market!

Hurry and vote now - the contest ends at midnight on August 31!

Some of us simply don't like to cook; in fact, some of us don't like to enter large grocery stores unless the cupboard is just that bare (guilty as charged). Imagine my surprise and delight when I, in desperation as mom-in-law was due for dinner in 47 minutes, careened into Sanders Meat Market at 2100 Doubleday Ave, Ballston Spa and in six minutes walked out with a complete, freshly PREPARED dinner (we had the Shepard's Pie: AMAZING). With dessert and fresh salad fixings, plus chicken salad for tomorrow, I know I would not have paid less at the supermarket.

I am so pleased to report that this family-run business, with Tim and Heidi Sanders at the helm, is here for us, only five miles south of downtown Saratoga. Genuinely pleasant, quick, and helpful service, ample parking, great hours: 9am-6pm, Monday through Saturday.

Selection? You bet! In addition to a full deli and standard butcher fare (angus beef, chicken, pork, all cut to your specifications with a smile), how's lamb, veal, and game meats such as rabbit, quail, and bison for the more adventurous? And did I mention the Shepherd's Pie? (and so many more prepared dinners to go!) Grab a homebaked dessert while you're at it!

Make your life easier, and head to Sanders Meat Market. You'll get what you need and much more, all at big grocery store prices! Find them on Facebook, or call 518-288.3405....they'll be happy to take your special order for any occasion!

I recently paid a visit to Esperantos, 6 1/2 Caroline Street for a delicious, coconutty, creamy curry, and I had one, which I enjoyed very much, as usual. However, I also discovered a new "love": Doughboys! And now mourn the many that I haven't had over the years!

This delicious concoction of cream cheese, chicken, and savory spices, with it's chewy, doughy outside, is sublime. Maybe not in the healthfood category, but hey, moderation is the key, right?
Taking "fast food" to a new level, the Doughboy was first created by Skidmore College Psychology Professor Sheldon Solomon back in his college days (he is still part owner together with partner Will Pouch). The Doughboy far outsells the restaurant's other delicious international offerings, and is snapped up by the hundreds on a busy night. It's unique packaging allows it to be carried out and consumed quite handily.

A favorite for students with late-night munchies (Esperantos stays open on until 4:00am! on weekends; 2:00am weeknights), it's well worth it to "grab and go" a few of these uniquely Saratoga savories. That is, if there's any on hand; they sell out almost as quickly as they make them!

Make sure you pop into Esperantos, 6 1/2 Caroline Street, downtown to find out why!

The dog days might be over, but the excitement is still going strong! I just got this image from NYRA...I can already feel the adrenaline rush!


Read our exclusive interview with Susan Lee, the Saratoga native who designs and creates the floral winner's blanket for the Travers Stakes!

What are you looking forward to most at Travers Day in Saratoga this year? Will you try your hand at the Pick Four?

See you there!

The date is rapidly approaching for the Saratoga Lip Dub! Brush up on your Train lyrics and remember to come to Congress Park next Thursday, September 1st, at noon.

The lip-dub route will begin at Grove Street, move down Broadway, and end in Congress Park. Businesses will line the streets to show off their best moves and grooves while lip-syncing to "Hey Soul Sister" and "It's Love".

The video route will end in the park, with the multitudes (including you and I!) syncing and doing simple dance moves to "Drops of Jupiter".

The first run is scheduled for 1pm, so don't be late next Thursday! In case of rain, the make-up date is the following afternoon, Friday Sept. 2, at the same time and place.

See you there!

For the third year in a row, the Harness Track drivers will donate one day's worth of driving fees, matched by the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, to benefit "Project Lift" at the Franklin Community Center.

Fans of Quintessence in Albany...the day has arrived! The restaurant has opened their second location, 1/4 mi. off of Exit 13S of the Northway at 2853 Rte. 9 (formerly Chez Sophie/Bloomers) and is serving up their trademark delectable menu!


As we talked about back in May, visitors and locals alike will no doubt delight in the funky vibe and uniquely prepared, delicious food that Quintessence has offered patrons in downtown Albany for years. Make sure to stop in this week as there's an $18.64 dinner menu special offered through Thursday in honor of Traver's Restaurant Week! Perfect timing!

13 Phila: The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same in Saratoga Springs, NY

The new Kettlewell & Edwards Fine Art & Framing at 13 Phila Street is a lot like its predecessor - just with some new management, and more emphasis on the "Fine Art".

Who says journalism is dead? Jill Cowburn, a teacher at the Saratoga Springs High School, certainly doesn't believe this is true, and come fall semester, she will be leading a group of young students to learn all about the art of journalism.

Photo courtesy of Saratoga Specialties
Saratoga is all that and a box of chips! For those who aren't aware, the potato chip was invented here in Saratoga Springs, NY over 150 years ago, and Saratoga Specialties company offers the original recipe of the 'Saratoga Chip' in their original packaging -- little snack boxes! (more on this later)

And now Mayor Scott Johnson has declared August 24, "Saratoga Specialties Original Saratoga Chip Day!"

Don't miss Mayor Scott T. Johnson's official presentation next Wednesday, August 24 at 11 a.m. on on the steps of City Hall in Saratoga Springs. Free snack boxes of chips will be provided for the first 100 lucky visitors to attend this presentation. If you are among this crowd, you will also get to sample the new "For Goodness Shakes" seasoning!

As legend goes, these salty snacks were invented in the Spa City in 1853. If you want the long story, click here; if you want the short story, read on.

The New York branch of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children opened a new office in Saratoga Springs this month.

We're not the only ones concerned with our own retirement - the same thought could stress out anyone standing at the starting gate of the Saratoga Racetrack!

Most racehorses start their career at age 2, and only have a few years to run because of the physical stress of racing. Around the ages of 7-9, a thoroughbred racehorse retires.

The trouble is, most racehorses live to be at least twice their retirement age (Man O' War lived to see 30). So what does a champion or a mediocre competitor do after their careers end?

The Pikulski Basha Group, LLC, is combining the skills of Dianan Pikulski and Jacqueline Basha to form a company to develop communications and marketing strategies for corporations, nonprofits, and individual clients.

Something's brewing in the Cupcake Lab...and it whiffs of new changes.

Money Magazine has included Saratoga Springs in their list of 'America's Best Small Towns'

Saratoga Springs was named as one of the best small towns in America, and we can help our town by voting it a fan favorite!

The Jockey Club, an organization dedicated since 1894 to the improvement of Thoroughbred Racing, held its annual Round Table meeting yesterday on August 14.

The outcome of this tradition was a decision by the club to start implementing changes in the Thoroughbred racing industry.

Cinqui Studio opened on July 19 on the second floor of the historic Palmetto Fruit Warehouse Building, now known as 36 Phila Street.

It has been a dream of Victor Cinquino's since he realized his passion for abstract art.

Originally from Schenectady, he moved to Saratoga to pursue architecture. Working at his own firm, the engineer realized his inner artist who yearned for creativity outside the rigors and mathematics of designing buildings.

Even the expressiveness of Saratoga's art seemed a little traditional to Cinquino. There are many talented artists in the area, he says, but a lot of Victoriana and horses.

What sets Cinquino's work apart is that it is all produced digitally - no paints involved. Once the art is created on the computer, it is converted into a larger, high-quality print.

These prints, usually sized about 16 x 20 and selling for around $280 framed and $200, are on display at Cinqui Studio.

One print recently received an Honorable mention at the Museum of Computer Art in Brooklyn's July 2011 "Contest of the Month."

In addition to Cinquino's artwork, the gallery at 36 Phila Street will also display work from guests artists, in mediums such as photography, pottery, jewelry, and others.

Cinqui Studio is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 12pm-5pm, with extra hours from 6pm-8pm through Labor Day.

Combine two favorites for a night of class - sipping wine and attending the theatre. See the world premiere of the first wine-tasting musical, Wine Lovers, in Saratoga Springs!

Attention all lip-syncers: Saratoga Springs is getting into the Lip Dub craze! The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea and will include thousands of volunteers to become involved in the video. Once the video is posted, the chamber is shooting to get 10 million people to watch the video and generate some buzz about the city. So Come to Congress Park on September 1, 2011 at noon and be a part of the video. Be prepared to lip-sync your heart out to Train. 

In my opinion, there's nearly nothing better than cheese. I'm not a knowledgeable connoisseur, but as a fervent fan I can appreciate the upcoming Washington County Cheesemakers Tour.

Wherever it ranks on your food list, if you like cheese just a little bit, then this tour is something for you.

Gavin Degraw was scheduled to make a special guest appearance tonight at the Train and Maroon 5 concert at SPAC, but has cancelled and will no longer be performing, due to a serious stroke of bad luck!

When you want to make sure you can get a seat on a busy night, it's great to be able to call up a restaurant and make reservations. It's even more convenient to book a table online. And now DZ Restaurants are offering both options.

The Hudson River Community Credit Union is generously giving back to the community. The Saratoga Regional YMCA Corinth branch recently received a donation of six HP computers and accessories from the credit union.

The horses won't be the only ones galloping on Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Saratoga Racetrack.....from noon-6 pm, join an A-list of New York's finest wineries as they roll out their selection of delicious vintages in an exclusive wine tasting event to be held right at the racetrack!

For $20 in advance/$25 at the door (track admission not included), trackgoers can support the Times Union Hope Fund, with proceeds benefiting The Classroom Enrichment Program which helps students and teachers of the Capital Region. Vendors include Saratoga Winery, Atwater Vineyards, Knapp Winery, White Springs Farm Estate Winery, and Cascade Mountain Winery, to name a few. Tasters will be given the opportunity to purchase their choice of favorites to take home and enjoy at their summer parties!

Don't miss Saratoga Racetrack's only wine tasting event this season! Come and enjoy the horses, company, and "the grape!" For more information: 518-584-WINE

Urban clothing store City Linkz is set to open today in downtown Saratoga Springs. There are plenty of shops and boutiques in downtown Saratoga, but City Linkz takes a new, urban approach.

under-the-sea.jpgIt's true that dinner at the Wishing Well in Saratoga Springs is absolutely amazing... the only thing more amazing, in fact, might be the generosity of Marylou Whitney and her husband John Hendrickson, as Wednesday night's auction proved.

On the evening of Wednesday, August 3rd, The Lodge at Saratoga Casino and Raceway played host to the annual Under the Sea Gala and Auction to benefit the Saratoga Hospital Foundation. Prizes ranged from gift cards to home remodel packages and more. But there was one item that sent Saratoga's famous couple into a bidding war against each other...

The Saratoga Casino & Raceway has always been a place to win big, but this time they have outdone themselves. Every Saturday in August at midnight, they will be raffling off a Kia Optima! To enter, visitors must be a member of the casino's Players Extras Club. Players can earn entries into each drawing all month by using their Club card.

When we think of taxis, yellow is the color that comes to mind, but Bryan Norswothy is starting a cab company that's a little more "green".

I Won a Buy-in to a Charity Poker Tournament this Weekend


Yesterday while surfing the web, I came across All In for Wishes - a charity poker tournament. It's been years since I've bellied up to a card table, so I looked a little closer.

A $200 buy-in, with re-buys and add-ons available (which I'm not crazy about). However, this is an event to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation of Northeast New York, so I'll let it slide. The real catch for me is the prize pool.

"Lillian's Lot" Will Soon be a Construction Site for a New Property

Plans for a new building in Lillian's parking lot are close to being approved, and details from the plans sound like the new building will be an aesthetic and economic addition to Saratoga Springs.

Well, what a blast....and the rates are so reasonable! The Kayak Shak makes it so easy to spend the day enjoying Fish Creek or Saratoga Lake....bring the family or your group and get out on the water!
Kayaks (single or double), canoes, rowboats, and new this year, stand-up paddleboard rentals are available and what a way to enjoy some excellent exercise and the great outdoors! The can't miss it, neon-colored Kayak Shak is ready and waiting to set you up for an hour or for the day at 251 Staffords Bridge Rd., near the Fish Creek Marina and Saratoga Lake. Right now, rent five kayaks and the sixth rental is free!

Head to the lake for an unforgettable day before heading in for your Saratoga Springs night on the town. For information: www.saratogakayak.com, or call 518-587-9788....open 9:00am-7:00pm weather permitting. Your ride and the water await!

.....the "biggest little full service bead store in upstate NY". This gem of a shop, touted by experienced crafters and beaders as one of the best in the country, has an amazing selection of glass, fire polished, gemstone, ceramic, metal and precious metal, and seed beads to choose from. Located at 80 Henry Street, I recently took a large party of "girls" and had a delightful afternoon (ages varied from 4 - 71 years young).

Established in 1995 and owned/operated by a mother-daughter team, who are joined by a few other knowledgeable staff, Saratoga Beads offers friendly encouragement, creative ideas, and patience! with newbie and younger jewelry makers, and a large community worktable. Certainly a great way to bond with your group (and learn a thing or two you might not have known....this pastime definitely tends to reveal personality quirks!) The beautiful and unique resulting jewelry was the icing on the cake, and was amazingly accurate in reflecting each maker's personality.

For more information: 518-584-7733, or find them on Facebook.

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