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Op-Ed by Ashley Dingeman

The DZ Farm Meet the Chefs Event took place this past Sunday, October 12th, and I had the pleasure of attending on behalf of Saratoga.com.

After reviewing the invitation, I had a good idea of what to expect when I arrived at the farm, but reality blew out my prior expectations. The beauty of the property was completely overwhelming at first, initially making you forget where you were.

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Saratoga is well-known for drawing legions of sophisticates from all over the country who flock to the city for its cultural events, fine dining establishments, and shopping boutiques. Everyone knows about the Racetrack, the New York City Ballet at SPAC, and golfing at Saratoga National, but there are a whole host of other events that sophisticates might not be aware of that are right up their alley! To help out well-cultured locals and visitors alike, we've compiled the following list of 7 things sophisticates will love, but may not know about.

Saratoga is recognized for a variety of reasons, from horse races to spas to fine arts and music. Yet, what about a round of applause for 'toga and its vast ethnic cuisine? On October 11, Saratoga Food Fanatic and Network Saratoga are teaming up to present the FIRST annual Saratoga International Flavorfeast, giving your palate the opportunity to try something new!


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September is nearly here and college approaching fast, but before you hit the books, there's so much to do before classes start. The Fab Five awards were announced earlier this summer, and using those as a reference, I present to you the top 5 places to go in Saratoga before summer wraps up.

This summer, we are fortunate to be hosting the New York City Ballet at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center from July 8th through July 12th. But next summer we are even luckier to host them for a full two weeks! Don't miss either performance!

The 2014 Saratoga County Fair is right around the corner and with that comes the ever-anticipated Talent Contest! If you or someone you know has a talent, now is the time to showcase it!

Local fashion leader opens new designer-focused shop in downtown Saratoga that will feature luxury consignment at off Broadway prices!

Metzger Heaven and Earth.pngSaratogaArtsFest, Saratoga's annual celebration of the arts, officially kicks off its 2014 season with the grand opening of the ArtsFest Center and Gallery in downtown Saratoga Springs.

As the festival's headquarters, the center sells festival admissions packages and merchandise, provides ArtsFest information, and exhibits works of many area visual artists including: Takeyce Walter, (painting), Jack Metzger, (found-object sculpture), and Rebecca Kane (photography).

The Center's hours of operation are:
May 27-31, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 2-7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
June 8, closed
June 9-15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The center phone number is 518-871-1379.

In the age of the internet, people these days are becoming increasingly aware of "miracle" cures for everything under the sun--many of them natural remedies--because we'd rather practice self care than schedule a doctor visit over every little thing.

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Wouldn't it be great if your body was strong and healthy enough that the common cold, allergies, back pain, headaches and the effects of aging couldn't ail you? That is the goal of self care. Your journey toward optimum health includes nourishing your body with local, whole foods, detoxifying and treating your body with holistic medicine and freeing your mind and spirit through movement and through stillness.

But how do you know what you're doing, really? There are so many "natural" products, potions and lotions screaming at us from the shelves and being pushed by friends who sell this or that. Unless you're an expert, it can be difficult to decipher between trusted information and shoddy advice when it comes to self care. Trial and error can sometimes work, but wouldn't it be great to have a strong foundation and some guidance as you continue along your self care journey?

Beginning Thursday, April 30th, 2014, the two week Saratoga Springs Horse Show will celebrate its 55th consecutive show. Since 1960, the show has been the first outdoor USEF Premier (AA) Rating and USEF Jumper 4 Rating show in the Northeast. Last year, nearly 500 horses and riders of all ages arrived in Saratoga Springs to compete in this prestigious event.

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