Even if the gravedigger isn't busy, Broadway is still buzzing
Published: Friday, May 16, 2008
On the corner of Broadway and Lake Avenue, shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday, a woman leans into the display window of Menges & Curtis Pharmacy and re-arranges a blue-veined floral display in the storefront window. SNAP.
Across the street, in front of City Hall, blue-suited public defender Andrew Blumenberg leaps onto the curb just as the small traffic box above him lights up with a giant red hand that proceeds to perform a countdown in the crosswalk for pedestrians: 3, 2, 1. SNAP.
Before the end of the business day inside the courtroom on the second floor of City Hall, 54 cases would pass in front of the judge, and on this day, most seemed to arise in the aftermath of alcohol, or drugs, or a sudden fit of madness.
On Caroline Street, where a community board is fixed to a wall, flyers announcing weekend events jockey for position: Ice cream and a free dance lesson at the Saratoga Music Hall, reads one. Brazilian fusion guitarist Ulisses at Cafe Lena, reads another. There is also a benefit dinner in Ballston Spa for a 2-year-old girl battling a rare, life-threatening disease.
Across the avenue, where Washington Street crosses Broadway, a group of smokers gathers beneath a canopy to shield themselves from nickel-sized drops of rain that suddenly begin falling from the sky.
Two blocks away, Louise Goldstein, co-founder of the Save the Victoria Pool Society, is seated at her favorite table inside Mrs. London's Bakery and Cafe, which she laughingly calls her "winter office." She wonders what she can do to get state parks officials to open the Victorian Pool earlier this year.
"We'll stage a protest on Broadway with people wearing bathing suits," she says, finally. "We just need to get a permit."
On Thursday, many of the staff of this newspaper set out on the streets of Glens Falls to capture "A Day in the Life" of that city.
There is a story about young newspaperman Jimmy Breslin looking for an angle from which to cover the Kennedy assassination in Dallas in 1963. He talked to the gravedigger.
So when the "Day in the Life" project came up, the gravedigger naturally came to mind.
Unfortunately, setting up an appointment to find a gravedigger busy doing actual digging on Thursday would prove to be challenging.
Instead, I spent an afternoon trying to capture images of Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
The gravedigger's reasoning, though, for being unable to provide an exact schedule was classic.
Sorry, the man said.
"We don't generally get that much advance notice."
Saratoga Bureau writer Thomas Dimopoulos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.