Sunday, December 30, 2012

SPAC we hardly know ye

Readers' View: SPAC headed in wrong direction

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center administration’s decision to restrict the New York City Ballet’s 2013 residency to one week is deeply troubling.

Their decision to push the New York City Ballet off a “fiscal cliff” will not just affect the economic vitality of businesses in Saratoga Springs and surrounding towns and cities. It will also place the future of SPAC in jeopardy by eroding its international reputation and prestige. It is the latest in bad management decisions plaguing SPAC since the 1970s.

The New York City Ballet is the world’s most celebrated dance company, as recognized recently by the prestigious CBS News program “60 Minutes.”

In the last three years, its Saratoga residency has fallen from three weeks to five days. New York City Ballet dancers, staff and orchestra members rent and buy homes here, eat in restaurants, shop and buy groceries and frequent local businesses during their residency. Tourists who are drawn here by the quality of NYCB performances and reputation spend money locally, too. The five days allotted to the New York City Ballet next summer is not a residency. It is merely a quick stint.

The dance companies with which SPAC will replace the New York City Ballet in July 2013 could not possibly draw as many people or as much fund-raising support. While these replacements would make a fine addition to programming, they can’t replace audiences built over nearly 50 years of Saratoga’s having the honor of calling itself “The Summer Home of the New York City Ballet.”

All around us, arts venues — from Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow in the Berkshires, to Proctors in Schenectady, to Glimmerglass in Cooperstown — survive and even thrive because they are run by experienced arts managers who have steeped themselves in dance or music all of their lives. Given proper fundraising and arts management skills, SPAC could thrive, too. But if SPAC sticks to its current course, its slide in artistic and financial health will worsen.

There are steps that SPAC’s administration must take to ensure its financial viability. Most of these recommendations were made in the New York State Parks and Recreation audit eight years ago and never followed. They are the key to building a thriving arts organization. Among them:

• Hire a professional fundraiser — SPAC’s financial difficulties are caused by inadequate fundraising and outside support.

• Analyze compensation and performance — The president, an employee of SPAC, does not perform at the level commensurate with her compensation, which takes up nearly 4 percent of the center’s budget.

• Reaffirm its commitment to the fine arts, centered on the music and dance residencies of the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York City Ballet, which have been at the core of its mission since 1966. Continued...

• Rely less on ticket sales and Live Nation and, instead, revitalize its Endowment Committee.

• Rely less on visually distracting gimmicks like mounting cellphone antennas on the amphitheater as a substitute for solid fundraising.

• Increase the size of the board of directors to include dance and music lovers regardless of their financial status.

• Join with the community — Due to past and present investment of public funds in SPAC, it is appropriate for the public to have a greater voice in the operation of the corporate affairs of SPAC.

Please join with us to let New York state know of your displeasure. Contact Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Rose Harvey and tell them that SPAC is headed in the wrong direction. Contact New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and request a new audit of SPAC’s books. Only political pressure may convince SPAC to reverse its course in 2014.

Louise Goldstein, Saratoga Springs; John Tighe, Saratoga Springs; Rhona Koretzky, Saratoga Springs; Lisa Akker, Saratoga Springs; Mary C. Mahoney, Malta; William McColl, Schenectady; Zoe Nousiainen, Saratoga Springs; Paul Sulzmann, Troy; Ron Barnell, Schenectady (freelance photographer/classical music reviewer); Helen Bayly, Troy (member of the Royal Academy of Dance, London); Don Drewecki, Galway (Capital Region music lover/recording engineer — attended the very first concert at SPAC Aug. 4, 1966); Ron Wasserman, New York City (double-bass player in the New York City Ballet Orchestra)

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hurricane Sandy takes its toll on our New York State Parks.

State Parks resources stretched thin by hurricane, budget woes

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and already tight budget constraints are stretching state parks resources to the limit, officials say.

The late October storm caused an estimated $120 million worth of damage at Robert Moses and Jones Beach state parks on Long Island.

The federal government will pay for repairs, but much of the manpower needed to plan, design and do such work is coming from state personnel.

“We can’t catch a break,” said Alane Ball Chinian, Saratoga-Capital region director. “Sandy really hit us hard. We sent a crew down to FDR State Park to clean up trees for a week. It takes a tremendous amount of time and attention.

“It takes a toll.”

Some area sites, such as Schoharie Crossing, still haven’t been fixed following last year’s ravaging floods from Tropical Storm Lee. The parking lot there was washed away and a temporary one is in use until a permanent replacement can be installed.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey has established a three-pronged plan for parks statewide in 2013. Goals are:

ä Keep existing parks open, safe, affordable and accessible.

ä Boost attendance by providing more value-added experiences for park visitors — anything from better restrooms to new campground grills, wheelchair accessible trails or educational programs.

“We really want to be responsive and provide all the little pieces our patrons are looking for,” said Heather Mabee, regional parks commission chairwoman. “We want to do things to attract new people to our parks, too.” Continued...

Mabee outlined priorities to commission board members Thursday at Saratoga Spa State Park.

ä Continue infrastructure improvements. Statewide, the parks system has a $1 billion backlog of capital projects. Last year the state budgeted $89 million for such work, the first such allocation in many years.

In 2013, plans call for trail and sidewalk improvements at Saratoga Spa State Park, along with a Route 50 pedestrian crossing, with an activated light, near the intersection of West Avenue. This roughly $150,000 project will connect Railroad Run trail to the park.

At Moreau Lake State Park, a new comfort station will be built near the main entrance parking lot.

Statewide attendance at parks was up 2 million visitors this year over 2011. Mabee attributed this to exceptional weather on Memorial and Labor day weekends, compared to washouts at those same times last year. Tropical Storm Lee hit right around Labor Day in 2011.

Attendance at the Saratoga-Capital region’s 10 state parks and 10 historic sites was up, too, mirroring the statewide trend, Mabee said.

Chinian said her regional office is continually pursuing cost-saving efficiencies to stretch her budget. For example, about one-fourth of Spa State Park’s parking lot lights have been replaced with new LED lights.

“We’ve saved about 30 kilowatts of electricity so far,” she said.

Plans call for installing more LED lights and replacing old boilers at various buildings throughout the region as funds become available.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rest in Peace "Haley Rose".

Our esteemed Board member, John Tighe, has written a fitting eulogy for a troubled but devoted Victoria Pool person below:

In sad news Edward Darren Beliveau of Beach Street in Ballston Spa died peacefully Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at Saratoga Hospital after a long and courageous battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. He was 42.

Better known at the Victoria Pool as “bikini man” he was a colorful if controversial figure who could be seen almost daily at the pool. Many children had their first introductions to a “alternative lifestyle” when they first saw “bikini man”. Many parents used this experience to teach their children respect and tolerance. I truly hope “Rose” as he liked to be called finds peace in his passing. God knows he found little in life.

Friday, December 07, 2012

maybe SPAC could ask APPLE for a few bucks to Save the New York City Ballet at SPAC.

Rumors are rampant that Apple,APPLE, as in Steve Jobs-RIP, the largest and richest company in the world is coming to Saratoga County......and SPAC is decimating the greatest ballet company in the world in Saratoga, the New York City Ballet.  They are dancing ONLY  5 days in 2013 and nothing certain for the future.  Surely, Saratoga County is being promoted for its great cultural offerings.  What is SPAC doing to continue that reputation?  Not much.  Article in today's Saratogian below:

SPAC unveils 2013 classical program dates; will break even in 2012

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Thursday unveiled its classical programming for 2013 that includes one week of New York City Ballet and two other ballet companies.

The schedule opens on June 29-30 with the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival and runs through August, which includes the Philadelphia Orchestra and Saratoga Chamber Music Festival.

SPAC also announced that it will break even financially in 2012, its eighth straight year of operating in the black.

“In 2013, more than 700 classical artists will be part of our season and more than 130 masterpieces will be performed live,” Marcia White, SPAC’s president and executive director, said in a statement.

However, next year marks the first time ever that the financially-plagued New York City Ballet will have a one-week Saratoga residency. The dance company lost $1.1 million and saw attendance drop 4 percent at SPAC this year.

In addition, the ballet cost SPAC more money this year than it did in 2008, when it still had a three-week summer season. One cause was the high cost of producing elaborate performances of “Romeo & Juliet.” Trucking, lighting and labor were some of the main expenses.

Overall, SPAC’s programming costs rose about 10 percent this year — roughly $400,000.

SPAC’s board on Thursday approved an $8.4 million budget for 2013.

Ticket sales pay for less than half the ballet and orchestra’s residencies. SPAC makes up the difference with membership fees, corporate sponsorships and individual gifts.

SPAC Chair Susan Philips Read has said she would like to get the ballet back for two weeks beginning in 2014. Next year, two other companies will make up for New York City Ballet’s shorter season. They are the National Ballet of Canada and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Continued...

Next Thursday, SPAC will make the first in a series of online programming announcements, called “Building a Season.” Each week, a selection of artists, works and events that are part of next year’s season will be announced at the website

By announcing programming online, SPAC can highlight each artist with streamed videos, YouTube interviews, photo galleries, media articles and reviews. A similar initiative, which debuted last year, increased off-season traffic to SPAC’s website by nearly 60 percent, White said.

The website had more than 1 million visitors this year, highlighting the importance of modern electronic marketing strategies. In addition to its website, SPAC will publicize the weekly announcements through digital channels including Facebook, Twitter, email and its digital sign on Route 50.

“The format and timing of ‘Building of a Season’ encourages people to explore the breadth and depth of that artistry, which ultimately enhances appreciation of the programs they’ll experience here at SPAC,” White said. “In this digital age, the series is also a powerful tool for educating people about the classical performing arts, which is a key component of SPAC’s mission.”

2013 SPAC classical program schedule

  • June 29-30 — Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival
  • July 9-13 — New York City Ballet
  • July 16-18 — National Ballet of Canada
  • July 24-25 — Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
  • Aug. 7-24 — Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Aug. 4-20 — Saratoga Chamber Music Festival
  • July 19-Aug. 3 — Live at the Algonquin Cabaret Series

Saturday, December 01, 2012

the committee to Save the New York City Ballet at SPAC strongly urges you to sign and send this letter to the NYS Comptroller to audit SPAC's finances.

sign and send this letter or your own to the two addresses listed for the Office of the New York State Comptroller to trigger an audit of SPAC's finances.

The Honorable Thomas P. DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller
Office of the State Comptroller
Division of State Government Accountability
110 State Street, 11th Floor
Albany, NY 12236

December 1, 2012

Dear Mr. DiNapoli,

I am writing today on behalf of the effort to save the New York City Ballet’s summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, which, in 2013, will be diminished to merely one week. I believe this decision places the future of SPAC in jeopardy.

On February 27, 2004, more than eight years ago, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) commenced an audit of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Inc. (SPAC). Most of the findings and recommendations from that audit have never been instituted.

While SPAC is a private, non-profit entity, it is unique in that it enjoys a significant asset at public expense in the form of its rent-free license for its premises. It is dependent on the state’s ownership and responsibility for capital facilities and receives both direct and indirect publicly funded support for its purposes and programs. I ask that your office inquire into its current operations, based on recently legislated initiatives.

First, a Governor's task force was appointed to investigate the executive and administrator compensation levels at not-for-profits that receive taxpayer support from the State. The State Comptroller is responsible for ensuring that the taxpayers’ money is being used effectively and efficiently to promote the common good. The current administration at SPAC has ignored the recommendations made by the State and is not operating efficiently or effectively. The Executive Director’s salary and experience is not benchmarked against similar positions at like venues and is excessive.

Second, as part of an ongoing effort to make government more transparent, accessible and accountable to New Yorkers, the Comptroller’s office selected the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to be audited this year and a report was issued on October 26. As a follow-up to that procedure, I request that OPRHP initiate an audit to determine the financial standing at SPAC, a facility that receives significant public support, and why the recommendations from the OPRHP 2004 audit have not been followed.

Best regards,

ATT, Page 2: Pertinent recommendations

Pertinent Recommendations from 2004 Audit
Request for 2012 investigation

             SPAC’s financial difficulties are the result of inadequate fundraising and outside support.

             The President, an employee of SPAC, does not perform at the level commensurate with her compensation. The duties of the SPAC President and its Director of Development should be clearly defined, performance goals established, and compensation awarded based on attainment of those goals, commensurate with similar positions in like organizations.

             SPAC needs to reaffirm its mission and commitment to the fine arts.

             The fundamental purpose for SPAC is centered on its music and dance residencies, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet. These two internationally renowned cultural organizations are much more than tenants that occupy space at the performing arts center during the summer months, they are true partners with SPAC and have been at the core of its mission since its inception.

             Due to the past and continuing investment of public funds in SPAC, it would be appropriate for the public to have a greater voice in the operation of the corporate affairs of SPAC.

             Compensation provided should be tied to specific goals and performance expectations that are clearly defined at the beginning of each fiscal year and benchmarked to appropriate similar venues.

             SPAC is disproportionately dependent on ticket sales and on Clear Channel and needs to revitalize its Endowment Committee.

             SPAC should hire an experienced fundraiser.

             SPAC should analyze fundraising expenses on an annual basis and benchmark their dollars raised to expenses incurred.

             SPAC consider increasing the size of the Board of Directors and explore items such as members at large, term limits and rotating committee assignments.

happy December 1st, 6 months(more or less) to go till pooltime.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

does SPAC get any of the money for the cell antenna?

Cell antenna planned at SPAC

Device to benefit Verizon customers

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Text Size: A | A
Hear For You $500 coupon
— A second cellphone communications antenna will be erected on the top of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in the Saratoga Spa State Park within the next four months, a state official said Monday.
One 4-foot cellphone antenna already is located atop the SPAC amphitheater, said Randy Simons, a spokesman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. This antenna provides cellphone coverage for AT&T customers.
He said these antennas are typically 4 feet high and 6 to 8 inches wide.
Another antenna is located on top of an old smokestack in the Spa State Park, behind the Lincoln Baths building on Route 9.
Simons said the cellphone antennas are not “cell towers.” In fact, the smokestack antenna is just a circular band around the top of the stack, he said.
“There are no cell towers in the park,” he said.
Verizon applied to have a second antenna system erected on the SPAC amphitheater to improve its telecommunications in the Saratoga area,
“That one is going up in the first quarter [of 2013] between January and March,” Simons said.
The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which owns the buildings in the park, receives a host benefit for allowing the telecommunications companies to locate an antenna there.
The state has an agreement with a company called Crown Castle, which describes itself as “one of the country’s largest independent owners and operators of shared wireless infrastructure.”
Simons said the state reviews and approves the cell antenna placement, and then Crown Castle works out the details with the customer. Crown Castle’s customers include the country’s major wireless carriers: Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
The state and Crown Castle typically share the lease revenue from the wireless company. For the new antenna on the amphitheater, the split will be 50-50.
Simons said that by the end of 2013, the state will receive approximately $1 million in annual revenue from telecommunications antenna lease agreements in parks across the state.
Louise Goldstein, co-founder of Save the Victoria Pool Society and a supporter of Save the New York City Ballet movement, said she hasn’t noticed the antenna on top of the amphitheater or on the smokestack at the other end of the state park.
Michael Greenslade, Saratoga Spa State Park manager, said the antenna is attached to the top of the SPAC amphitheater in such a way that it is not easily visible.
“Most people don’t even know they are there. It’s not a big tower,” he said.
Goldstein said she would like revenue generated by the cell antennas to be used to extend the New York City Ballet summer season at SPAC.
The New York City Ballet will perform for only one week next summer rather than the two weeks it has been performing the past four years.
Two other ballet companies, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada, will also perform at SPAC during its 2013 summer season.

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Chairwoman of SPAC Board cannot fundraise. Outrageous while they cut NYCBallet to 5 days.

New leader of SPAC's board of directors discusses opportunities, challenges for the Saratoga Springs venue

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In May, Susan Phillips Read, a justice on the New York State Court of Appeals, took over the reigns of Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s board of directors, succeeding chairman William Dake.

Recently, the Averill Park resident talked about her career, her love for the arts and SPAC’s future.

Briefly describe your legal, education and family background.

Growing up in small-town Ohio, I was taught ballet by a refugee from New York City who filled my head with visions of George Balanchine. I studied piano and voice and spent hours listening to my dad’s classical recordings of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

I graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Chicago Law School, where I met my future husband, a native upstate New Yorker. After a short stint at the State University of New York, I worked for almost two decades in the private sector, first at General Electric and then in private practice. I joined the governor’s staff in 1995 and have been a judge since 1998, first on the Court of Claims. I’ve been on the Court of Appeals since 2003.

Judges are not allowed to fundraise for political campaigns. Are you allowed to fundraise for SPAC? If yes, do you see that as part of your job, and how will you do it?

Judges may serve as members or officers of a not-for-profit cultural organization such as SPAC. While judges may assist in planning fundraising, they may not personally participate in the solicitation of funds or other fundraising activities. They may not use or permit use of the prestige of judicial office for fundraising or membership solicitation, but they may be listed as a member or officer, including on letterhead.

Although I may not ask for donations to SPAC, there are 23 other board members and a staff who are not similarly constrained.

What was your first SPAC experience? What do you like best about SPAC?

Given my love of the New York City Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra, I was naturally attracted to SPAC after moving to the Albany area as a young married woman in 1973, when I attended my first performances. I became a member in 1977 and have donated every year since then, always anonymously until 2012 upon becoming chairwoman. I have a separate history of significant giving to the New York City Ballet and its affiliated School of American Ballet. Continued...

Friday, October 26, 2012

You can help Save the New York City Ballet in Saratoga Springs.

A very productive planning meeting of Save the New York City Ballet in Saratoga Springs was held at the home of Louise Goldstein last night. The group will be giving a big push to educate all businesses about the loss of money to Saratoga Springs with the ballet being reduced to one week by spac for july 2013. In addition, petitions will be available to sign supporting the nyc ballet summer residency in Saratoga. We want to educate and raise awareness of politicians, residents, visitors, shop, hotel and restaurant owners as to what this loss would mean to the special and unique culture and brand of Saratoga Springs.

The NYC Ballet is the foremost ballet company in the world and is unique in US artistic history. Solely responsible for training its own artists and creating its own works, the New York City Ballet was the first ballet institution in the world with two permanent homes, the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York.
If you want to help please email, call, sign the petition or come to the next meeting.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Daily Gazette review of a thrilling October NYCBallet performance and world premiere at Skidmore.

DANCE REVIEW : NYC Ballet, city share the love at Skidmore
SARATOGA SPRINGS — One could say Saturday’s “Saratoga Dances II” was an exercise in mutual admiration.
New York City Ballet dancer and resident choreographer Justin Peck offered his homage to Saratoga Springs in two ballets, one of which was a world premiere. And Saratoga audiences, which have a deep and abiding love for the New York City Ballet, demonstrated their affection by packing the Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College for this rare glimpse of New York City Ballet dancers outside of the summer months.
And the dancers, and choreographers, satisfied the off-season craving with a varied program: George Balanchine’s “Apollo,” with Ask La Cour as the young god, was followed in the second half by the two Peck tributes to Saratoga Springs. The evening also featured a divine work by the chairwoman of Skidmore College’s dance department, Debra Fernandez. Finally, live music was finely played by the Hyperion String Quartet for both Fernandez’ “Swan Song” and Peck’s ballet from “Saratoga Dances I,” “The Enormous Room.”
But first and foremost, there was the world premiere — Peck’s “Yaddo Shadow.” This work, as in Peck’s “Enormous Room,” refl ected upon the life of an artist — in this case, in the studio. This duet, with Daniel Applebaum and Ashley Isaacs, has the two appearing in rehearsal — Applebaum, the choreographer who winds up Isaacs, and Isaacs, the dutiful dancer.
To Nico Muhly’s “Quiet Music,” Isaacs was putty in the hands of Applebaum, but their relationship was oddly cool. She was his instrument — but hardly his muse. As he stood back and watched her dance his steps, he looks bemused but not impassioned. Of course, it was unclear if this was Peck’s intention. If so, this was an unfl attering portrait of a dance maker.
The work was brief, however, and if felt like Peck could delve deeper into the theme of artist and his medium. Likely, he will.
Certainly, he polished his “Enormous Room,” to music by Mendelssohn. Danced by the wonderful La Cour with Applebaum and Teresa Reichlen, the dance clearly juxtaposed the wild abandon with constraint. Peck said it points to his sentiments about Saratoga Springs, where he feels free, and New York City, where he does not.
Fernandez’s “Swan Song” was a beauty. Featuring the New York City Ballet’s Abi Stafford and Andrew Scordata, along with Skidmore student dancers Alison DeFranco and Victoria Stroker, the dance brought into play the large windows at the back of the stage to a marvelous and mysterious effect. Stafford sat and looked out onto the trees, where Scordata lurked and eventually drew her out. To music by Richard Danielpour, “Swan Song” was both surprising and magical.
Finally, the evening opened with Balanchine’s iconic “Apollo.” LaCour, who does not dance the role for the New York City Ballet, took on the god of the muses with a romantic artistry not seen before. The women were terrifi c.

Friday, October 19, 2012

next meeting to save the new york city ballet at spac, 10/25.

The next meeting to save the new york city ballet at spac will be Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 7PM.
Location is 55 Railroad Place, apartment 414 in the
new Price Chopper building. Ring #414 and press the green bell symbol and take the elevator to the 4th floor.  Building entrance is at corner of Railroad Place and Division St.   One week of the greatest ballet company in the world is not enough.  Bring your good ideas for ways to raise lots of money.
for more information: email:
                                    call:   518-683-8476

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"gone with the wind" sunset on Railroad Place" Saratoga.

Saratoga one of the "super cool" cities......with the best pool anywhere.

e talking about, or will be

Saratoga one of `super cool’ cities: site

Broadway and Washington Street in Saratoga Springs. (Times Union Archives)
Saratoga Springs is pretty cool. The track, Broadway, SPAC in the summer, the Victorian homes. Yeah, pretty cool.
But “super cool”?
A new website dedicated to highlight communities as ideal to travel or move to named five dozen “super cool” cities around the world. Making the list: Saratoga Springs.
“Saratoga Springs is a natural to be on any list of the world’s super cool communities,” said Andy Brack of Charleston, S.C., founder of “With its sporting culture, cozy village atmosphere and outstanding quality of life, it’s no wonder Saratoga Springs ranked high on our list.”
Travel & Leisure magazine says Saratoga Springs is one of America’s greatest Main Streets: ‘Historic Broadway Avenue looks like a Main Street on steroids, with grand buildings of Beaux-Arts and Colonial Revival styles. It feels almost heroic in scale, but when crowds fill the streets to browse and nosh, it takes on a more accessible feel.’”
Using the definition you deem best, what is the most “cool” community within an hour or so of Albany?
  • Saratoga Springs (66%, 146 Votes)
  • Other (14%, 30 Votes)
  • Woodstock (9%, 20 Votes)
  • Albany (6%, 13 Votes)
  • Great Barrington, Mass. (5%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 220
Posted in General | 8 Comments
  1. steelwheels says:
    Saratoga feels like it tries very hard to cultivate exactly the image reflected in this ranking. If you have to try to be cool, you’re not. I spent a weekend in Rhinebeck a couple of years ago and remembered thinking, “This is what Saratoga thinks it is.” It was graceful, laid-back, welcoming and interesting, and not a chain store to be found. In other words, it was authentically cool.
  2. Hal Jordan says:
    If other cities want to get on this cool list they better take up smoking.
  3. Virginia Fields says:
    Saratoga is a beautiful town and does not even have to try to be cool. It already is and has been. Walking the streets of Saratoga Springs is one of my favorite all time things to do.
  4. Chad9976 says:
    How could Cooperstown not make the list?! Baseball Hall of Fame AND Ommegang brewery!
  5. Mark McGuire says:
    @Chad: Atop my personal cool places list.
  6. Kathy says:
    I love Rhinebeck and agree with #1. Love Terrapin and the other cool restaurants.
    Saratoga may be cool to visit but it gets a “meh” for living here. Same old same old and Broadway gets sleepier every year.
  7. RJ, the One & Only says:
    Saranac Lake is very cool. Seriously, you need a sweater.
  8. KGB says:
    I’m a huge Saratoga fan so it gets my vote, but I would add Hudson NY as a strong “Other” candidate.
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