08/26-08/28 Weekend Insider Roundup

Hello and welcome to a special Travers weekend edition of the Insider Roundup. There's something happening this weekend everywhere you look so keep reading to get the scoop on Travers-related events and other unique offerings including a trip inside the wizarding world of Hogwarts for Harry Potter fans, and an intimate massage class for couples. Enjoy! 

Sample and vote for the best handcrafted beers in the region this Friday
  • Battle of the Brews. Head to the backyard this Friday at the track to quench your thirst and help raise money for the Adirondack/Saratoga chapter of the American Red Cross. DeCrescente Distributing and the Red Cross have teamed up with the region's best breweries to present the 14th annual Battle of the Brews. Guests will have the opportunity to sample some of New York's finest craft brews and vote on their favorite company and variety. Vendors will face off in hot competition to ensure you, the drinker, comes back for more and votes them grand cerveza champion. Some participating breweries include: Anchor Brewery, Blue Moon Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Davidson Brothers, Harpoon Brewer, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Olde Saratoga Brewery and many more.  Must be 21 + to enter. Ticket price includes sampling, light food and commemorative track beer glass. Backyard, Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 26. Noon to 4 p.m. (792-6545 www.saratogaracetrack.com). $25
Celebrate Saratoga summer at the Travers Eve Downtown Party
  • Travers Eve Downtown Party. Stroll down Broadway with friends and family to be a part of the annual Travers eve festivities in downtown Saratoga. The streets will be hopping with live entertainment, music and more as excitement for the running of the 142nd Travers Stakes builds. There will also be a jockey autograph signing and many downtown businesses and restaurants will be offering special track-themed giveaways. Broadway & Downtown, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 26. 7 to 10 p.m. (584-7064 www.saratogaracetrack.com). FREE.
Taste Wine for Travers
  • 13th Annual Travers Wine Tasting Benefit. This annual event is held to benefit senior services of Albany's Meals on Wheels program and other senior-related services. While spending money for a good cause, guests will also have the chance to sample gourmet appetizers and entrees from Capital District restaurants. To whet the pallet, guests can also sample over 100 wines and craft brews from around the world. A live and silent auction will be held. Usher in Travers with style at the National Museum of Racing. National Museum of Racing, 191 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 26. 7 to 10 p.m. (463-4381 http://www.seniorservicesofalbany.com/event_travers.htm). $135-$150 
 Watch the 142nd running of the Travers Stakes
  • The Travers Stakes. An obvious must for the weekend. Join the crowd and celebrate the 142nd running of Saratoga's most famous race at Saratoga Race Course. Save your money to bet a few bills on the 1.25 mile long, $1 million Travers, also known as the "Mid-Summer Derby" for 3-year-olds. Gates open at 7 a.m. on Saturday with the first post time at 11:35 that morning. Bring your coolers, fabulous track hats, friends and family for an unforgettable day at the races. Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, August 27. (584-7064 www.saratogaracetrack.com). $3 Grandstand, $5 Clubhouse.
Harry Potter fans - journey to NYC for the adventure of a lifetime
  • Bus Trip to Harry Potter Exhibit at Times Square Discovery Center. Witches, wizards and muggles alike will love the new Harry Potter Exhibit in New York City. Brought to you by the Friends of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, this bus trip to the big city is open to children, families and the general public. The bus departs the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library parking lot at 7:30 a.m. on the dot. After an enchanting day exploring the wizarding world, the bus will depart the exhibit at 6 p.m. getting families home at a reasonable hour. Price includes transportation and tickets to the exhibition. Times Square Discovery Center, Manhattan. Saturday, August 27. 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (505-1303 http://www.cliftonpark.org/friendsofcphl). $70 Adults, $45 Children.

Celebrate summer at the CP community fair
  • 2011 Summer Community Fair. It's not summer until you've been to the fair. Families looking for a fun outing this weekend in a calmer atmosphere than the track have the chance to check out the Clifton Park Community Fair on Saturday. Each year the Shenendehowa Adult Community Center hosts the fair, which features an array of activities like crafts, demos, a bounce house, food vendors, face painting, a petting zoo, book sale, Chinese auction and much much more. Admission is free and there's fun for everyone at this day-long event. Shenendehowa Adult Community Center, 6 Clifton Common Court, Clifton Park. Saturday, August 27. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (383-1343 http://www.shenacc.org). FREE.
Give back to Bridges on Travers day
  • Saratoga Bridges Travers Day at the Races. One of Saratoga's most renowned charities, Saratoga Bridges, will hold its 22nd annual Saratoga Bridges Travers Day fundraiser event. Guests arrive 30 minutes before the first post and can stay well through the day's last race. Ticket price includes lunch, open from noon to 3 p.m., where guests can dine on selections from a fully catered buffet. Along with gourmet bites, ticket price includes one free cocktail, admission to the Clubhouse and a Post Parade program. Proceeds will help Saratoga Bridges continue running programs for adults with developmental disabilities across the Capital District. Carousel Restaurant, Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, August 27. 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.(587-0723 www.saratogabridges.org). $125 Per person.
Get cozy with a couples massage
  • Couples Massage Class. Couples have the chance to spend quality time together bonding through the art of massage this Saturday. Learn the tricks of the trade so in the future you and your significant other can utilize massage to relieve each others tension. You'll learn muscle relaxant techniques and motions to relieve achy muscles. A great way to grow closer to that special someone while also pampering yourself in a soothing setting. Why not? Try something new this Saturday. Kaivlya Massage Therapy, 7 Wells Street Suite 201, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, August 27. 3 to 5 p.m. (209-1150 www.kaivlya.massagetherapy.com). $60 Per couple.
 Go back to 1874 on Broadway
  • Summer Stroll: A Very Good Year: Broadway in 1874. The Preservation Foundation presents the 10th in a series of 13th walking tours of historic Saratoga Springs this Sunday. Walk down Broadway and learn all about how the street looked and felt back in 1874 - one of Saratoga's golden years in the Gilded Age. Hear about the three world famous hotels and the wealthy, sophisticated socialites who stayed there during the time. Did you know the Grand Union hotel on Broadway was the biggest in the world during its heyday? Learn about the hotel and other hidden secrets of Saratoga in the late 19th century. NW Corner of Congress Street & Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Sunday, August 28. 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (587-5030 www.saratogapreservation.org). $5 Members, $8 Non-members.
In case of Hurricane Irene cancellations...
Grab some hot coco, stay insider and be safe!


The dough cousin joins the dough boy and dough girl at Esperanto

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Watch out dough boy and dough girl, rumor has it your delicious dough cousin is in town.

Esperanto pizza at 6 ½ Caroline Street has been cooking up its signature dough boy — a tasty roll of fresh baked dough stuffed with sautéed spiced chicken, three kinds of cheeses and scallions — since 1994, when the place was still known as Sidelines Pizza.

Since its birth, the dough boy has become a staple snack in Saratoga Springs and across the Capital District. In fact, the boy even made its way into the recent WMHT-TV documentary, “Our Town Saratoga Springs,” as one of the things that residents feel makes Saratoga unique.

After dough boy cornered the market for not-pizza-but-still-satisfying late night snack, the dough girl came along 11 years later in 2005.

The girl, a vegetarian alternative, is full of roasted vegetables — olives, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms — and the same three cheeses and scallions as the dough boy.

Six years later, on August 24, 2011, the dough cousin joined the Esperanto family.

“We’re trying to experiment with new types of dough boys; it’s our biggest seller so it makes sense to try different things,” said Esperanto Manager Joshua Bebb. “It’s our biggest season in the summer so we figured we’d give it  a shot."

If the dough cousin is well received, Bebb said he would likely mix up the ingredients every month or so to keep the dough cousin fresh and exciting.

Right now, the cousin is wrapped around spinach, onion, roasted red pepper, feta cheese and mozzarella.
“The cousin isn’t really the mother or father of the dough boy,” Bebb said about how he chose the name of the new dough boy. “They’re just cousins, it’s more like extended family.”

All three dough boy versions cost $3.50. For takeout or pickup orders call 587-4236.


Metalsmith crafting Old World Wine Racks in Saratoga Springs

 SARATOGA SPRINGS — Mark Lessard, an experienced wine cellar designer and metalsmith, recently started his custom wine rack business Old World Wine Racks here in Saratoga Springs.

Lessard's custom racks cater toward the fine wine collector and connoisseur. Made from premium Italian wrought iron and artisan products, Lessard crafts each rack by hand to meet his customers' needs.

Lessard has spent his career designing and managing cellars in numerous capacities. After working for years in the wine industry, Lessard began to grow a passion for metal working.With Old World Wine Racks, Lessard is transitioning his hobby to his business combining his love of wine with his love of artistic design.

Each of his racks are made with wrought iron in a European style and fit to meet the collector's specific space, style and size requirements. Customers can currently visit Old World Wine Racks products online at www.odlworldwineracks.etsy.com or learn more at their Facebook page.

The business recently announced the opening of their Saratoga showroom, upstairs in the Menges and Curtis building at 472 Broadway, open by appointment only. For more information or to schedule a showing call 290-0734.


13th annual Travers Celebration week offers fun, prizes and food

13th Annual Travers Celebration
It's almost here: Travers weekend. This week visitors from across the country will start pouring into Saratoga Springs to celebrate the 142nd running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 27. Leading up to the weekend is NYRA's annual Travers Festival, which kicked off on Sunday with the start of the Travers 1864 Restaurant Week. 
From now until Thursday, August 25, guests have the opportunity to dine out at over 50 participating restaurants offering a special 3-course meal for a steal - just $18.64 (may not include tax, tip or beverage) to commemorate the first running of the Travers back in 1864.

Wednesday, August 24. 
  • NYRA and Stewarts have teamed up again to host the annual Saratoga Race Course Stewart's Ice Cream Eating Contest on Wednesday the 24th. There are categories for kids, teens and adults - anyone brave enough to tackle pints of Stewart's world famous ice cream. Cool off, get messy, or just watch and cheer for the competitors outside the jockey silk's room Wednesday afternoon. Prizes include free gift certificates for (more) Stewart's ice cream.

Thursday, August 25.
  • Those who have a passion for fashion and a heart for charity can join the 13th annual Ronald McDonald House Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Rail Pavilion in the Clubhouse on Thursday. The catered lunch and fashion show, featuring new styles by Theia, runs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets start at $150 per person and can be ordered by calling 438-2655 or email, cturner@rmhcofalbany.org. Proceeds go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House charities across the Capital District.
  • The party continues after the races with the official 2011 Travers Celebration gala presented by Northeastern Fine Jewelry and Macy's. The extravagant event begins with an outdoor cocktail party featuring unique and elaborate food stations, beverage offerings and live music from the New York Players. Guests can dance under the stars and sip champagne to celebrate the contenders running this weekend in the $1 million Traver's Stakes. Tickets are $175 and proceeds benefit the Backstretch Employee Services Team (B.E.S.T.) and the Times Union Hope Fund. For tickets, call 383-6183 or visit http://traverscelebration.eventbrite.com/.

Friday, August 26
  • Brew masters will battle it out this Friday in the backyard on the eve of the Travers Stakes. The 13th annual American Red Cross Battle of the Brews kicks off at noon and runs until 4:30. Guests (of age, of course) will have the chance to sample some top-notch microbrews crafted right here in the Capital District. Patrons will have the chance to judge the various offerings voting for the winner in the people's choice and judge's choice categories. Admission is $30 and proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Adirondack-Saratoga chapter.
  • Friday night, as anticipation for Saturday builds, the annual Travers Eve celebration will take on downtown. All along Broadway, there will be different racing-themed events including a jockey autograph signing from 7:30 to 8:30. The street will be bustling with outdoor entertainment including Reggie and the Red Hot Feetwarmers and jugglers. Stop in to local boutiques and restaurants who will be hosting special Travers giveaways throughout the evening.
Saturday, August 27.
  • The day itself. The running of the 142nd Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.


08/19-08/21 Weekend Insider Roundup

Welcome to the weekend!

TGIF and happy Friday, am I the only one who feels like this week dragged on forever? Well, it's over now, the skies have cleared and it's time to have some fun as our August track season weekends are dwindling. This is the weekend before the running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 27 and there's lots to do to start counting down the days. It's also a weekend of fun events geared toward several great charities. It begins today with Fabulous Fillies day at the track where a portion of proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Tonight at Saratoga Polo, there's a tailgate party to raise awareness and funds for those who suffer from kidney disease in Saratoga County. The kidney cause is the highlight this weekend, culminating on Sunday at the Gideon Putnam for the "Cat Walk for Kidneys" brunch and fashion show.

In other weekend news, keep your eyes out for a special celebration of culture in Congress Park and check out a world-class Cabaret show at SPAC. Enjoy!


Note: Please forgive the slip, but Grey Gelding is NOT one of the participating restaurants in NYRA's 1864 Travers Restaurant Week as stated in the video - for the full list, click here.


Celebrate the fab fillies in your life at the track 
  • What Women Want Gala Affair. On the eve of Saratoga Race Course's premiere filly race, the Alabama, lady track goers will have the chance to browse a variety of item's and displays provided by B 95's "What Women Want - Saratoga Style" event in the backyard. There will be fashion products, health services and much more from home improvement goods to fabulous track hats provided by Hats & Things. Ladies, this is your day so come dressed to impress, celebrate your fab fillies and help support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 19. 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. (584-6200 www.saratogaracetrack.com). FREE (with $3 grandstand admission).

Canter for kidneys at Saratoga Polo
  • Cantering for Kidneys Tailgate Party at Saratoga Polo.  Celebrate the first "Health and Horses" event at Saratoga Polo to help raise money for those in Saratoga County who suffer from kidney disease. The tailgate party is themed "Health and Horses" and there will be prizes awarded to the top two tailgaters. Judging the contest is Hall of Fame Jockey Randy Romero and equestrian Colleen Cunningham, also a Saratoga High School student - both diagnosed with a kidney disease. Guests are encouraged to bring family, friends and everyone in between to this evening of fun and raising awareness and funds for kidney disease in the region. Saratoga Polo, 2 Bloomfield Road, Greenfield Center. Friday, August 19. 5 to 8 p.m. (225-8205 www.saratogapolo.com).  $10 entry fee, does not include entry to polo match.

Get in touch with your creative side at the two-day Saratoga Arts Celebration
  • Saratoga Arts Celebration. This juried fine arts and crafts festival will be running on Saturday and Sunday this weekend on the lawn of the National Museum of Dance here in Saratoga Springs. The event features a variety of exciting visual and performance art, including children's activities, demos, art talks, dance and musical performances. There will also be a food court on site to refuel throughout the day. Over 100 artists from more than 25 states will be present exhibiting their work. A high-quality (and free!) event perfect for both artists and non-artists alike. Bring the family and enjoy. National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, August 20 & Sunday, August 21. 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (893-2633 www.gordonfinearts.org). FREE.
Get classy with Cabaret 
  • Cabaret Series "Live from the Algonquin." This evening of musical dance theatre is highlighted by "Live from the Algonquin" star and Cabaret legend Steve Ross. Ross will sing the Great American Song book in three shows: "Puttin' on the Ritz" (by Fred Astaire), "Ridin' High" (by Cole Porter), and "Rhythm and Romance." Ross has been internationally recognized for his smooth Cabaret style by the New York and the London Times. Catch it before it's gone at SPAC. Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Little Theatre, 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, August 20 through Thursday, August 25. 8 p.m. (584-9330 www.spac.org/cabaret.cfm). $35-$55

Celebrate the annual Shalmon Festival in the park...L'chaim!
  • 8th Annual Shalmon Festival. For the 8th year, Saratoga Chabad Jewish Center will host the Shalom Festival in Congress Park. There's fun for the whole family at this unique cultural event regardless of religious affiliation. Check out Jewish music, dance and activities. There will also be food stands selling Kosher hot dogs, falafel, cold drinks and fresh produce from local farmers. Saratoga Apple will be there, Harry the Juggler and many face-painting and game opportunities for the young ones. L'chaim again! Congress Park, Saratoga Springs. Sunday, August 21. 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. (526-0773 http://www.saratogachabad.com). FREE.

Get fit for free in Clifton Park
  • Clifton Park CrossFit Fitness Festival & Grand Opening.  Clifton Park has a new workout center in town. This Sunday, the new CrossFit Clifton Park center celebrates its grand opening with a free, day long fitness festival. Some of the event's highlights include free workouts and demos, nutrition information and lots of other surprises, activities and prize giveaways. There will be food provided by the Meat House, athletic competitions and Fly 92.3 will be on site for live entertainment.  If you're in search of a new gym to join this fall, come see how CrossFit stacks up to the competition. CrossFit Clifton Park, 1580 Route 9, Clifton Park. Sunday, August 21. 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (221-8531 http://www.albanycrossfit.com/my-weblog/2011/06/clifton-park-crossfit-officially-opens.html). FREE.
Celebrate fashion for the kidney cause
  • Cat Walk for Kidneys. In addition to the tailgate event for kidney disease on Friday at Saratoga Polo, the Gideon Putnam Hotel will host its own fashion fundraiser for the cause this Sunday. Ticket price includes a fabulous brunch at the Gideon Putnam Resort and a preview of Saratoga Fashion at a runway show. Strutting their stuff on the catwalk will be Miss New York City Brittaney Jasenski accompanied by a large number of both celebrity and local fashion models. See local fashion on the runway from stores like Rockabella, Piper and Evoke Style. Kidney disease survivor jockey Randy Romero will also be present to support the cause.  Gideon Putnam Hotel, 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs. Sunday, August 21. 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (533-7881 www.healthykidneys.org) $45 per person.
Feast on a fancy Sunday dinner without breaking the bank
  • Travers 1864 Restaurant Week. Sunday marks the kick off of the annual "Travers 1864 Restaurant Week," sponsored by NYRA and over 20 restaurant partners across the Capital District. The week long event runs until Travers Day itself on Saturday, August 27 at Saratoga Race Course. Guests can receive a 3-course meal for just $18.64 (honoring the first running of the Travers Stakes in 1864), at local participating restaurants. Enjoy a night on the town and start ushering in the 2011 Travers Stakes in style. For a complete list of restaurants click here. Participating Restaurants throughout the Capital District. Sunday, August 21 until Saturday, August 27. (584-6200 www.nyra.com/www.saratogaracetrack.com). $18.64 (may not include tip, tax or beverage).


The Candy Co. of Saratoga Springs launches new and improved website

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Dawn Oesch, owner and founder of the Candy Company of Saratoga Springs at 5 Washington Street, launched a new and improved website yesterday, Tuesday, August 16.

The revamped www.saratogacandy.com features online ordering across the United States as well as a new line of gift baskets.

“It’s exciting — we’re starting a new line of gift baskets that people can order online,” Oesch said. “In the last year we’ve been doing a huge amount of gift bags; a lot of people want to leave something for wedding guests in their rooms so we wanted to make it easier for brides and corporations to hand pick gift bags online and have them delivered right to the hotel.”

The new interactive site features a large selection of the same products offered in Oesch’s retail shop.

“We’re expanding it to a broader group, but also keeping it easy for locals who see something they want to order online if they don’t have a car or don’t want to come downtown – it brings more accessibility to everyone.”

Check it out here: www.saratogacandy.com
Or “like” the Candy Co. on Facebook to receive exclusive deals and promotions

The couponing craze continues; TLC producers look to cast locals; More saving tips

TLC looks to Saratoga Springs for "Extreme Couponing" 2nd season

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A story I wrote for Monday’s issue of the Saratogian about two local “extreme couponers” — Charlene DuBuque of Ballston Spa and Kate Scott of Saratoga Springs — appears to be gaining some national acclaim.

On Monday afternoon I received a personal email from one of the producers for TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” show (see below).

Before sending out their contact information, I contacted Charlene and Kate early Tuesday afternoon to see whether or not they would be interested in initiating communication with the TLC about potentially applying for (and hopefully being cast in) the second season of “Extreme Couponing.”
Both women were surprised, but more than willing to talk to the producers and see where the conversation would lead.

TLC contacted DuBuque on Tuesday and personally asked her to apply for the shows second season.

“Basically the show sent me an application wanting to know about my couponing experience and wanting to see pictures of my stockpiles (which are spread out across the house because I don’t have any one large area to isolate everything),” DuBuque said on Wednesday.

Although she remains skeptical that her level of couponing might not be extreme enough for the show, DuBuque said she still plans to apply just to see what happens.

“The whole thing makes me a little nervous… I’m not sure my stockpile is big enough, but five years ago I would have easily made it on the show,” DuBuque said.

The chance to appear on national TV is undoubtedly a life changing opportunity, but DuBuque knows to be wary of reality television especially as some former “Extreme Couponing” cast members have come off in a negative light.

DuBuque still isn’t sure if cast members are compensated for the show, but said it would definitely be an extra incentive as she recently had to turn down a well paying full-time job in order to stay home with her kids for a few more years.

Once she applies, DuBuque (and Scott if she submits her application as well) will have to sign a disclaimer not to speak about certain aspects of the show. However, we will continue to follow DuBuque and Scott as they enter the next exciting step of an unlikely opportunity that could change their lives forever.

Below is another couponing follow up with some of the leftover material from Monday’s article that I couldn’t squeeze into the word count. Enjoy and stay tuned for more.

More tips for savings searches

SARATOGA SPRINGS — So how exactly do they do it? The couponing process can seem confusing and intimidating to the novice clipper, but DuBuque and Scott assure that anyone with an open mind can save a good chunk of change.

“Just start slow — if you’re not worried about switching brands here and there, you can really save a lot of money,” DuBuque said. “Even if you’re not willing to switch, keep your eyes open — $10 to $20 per week will really add up.”

For beginners, savings might stay allocated to groceries and toiletries, but for DuBuque and Scott, there isn’t a single outing free from discounts. By searching local coupon books, papers and magazines, DuBuque finds restaurant deals in Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs. Another no-brainer is applying for discount cards at clothing stores like Gymboree, where DuBuque is a card holder and receives constant deals on apparel for her kids.

Another tip for families – buy in bulk.

“I save $100 to $150 a week just at BJ’s because you’re saving by buying in bulk to begin with — For example, I spent $99 on one trip after saving $85 in coupons,” DuBuque said.

Besides bulk trips to BJ’s, both DuBuque and Scott agree the biggest local savings come from Price Chopper. This is good news for the couponing newbies out there who can test out savings on their next grocery run.

“I went to Price Chopper with my mom recently and I got a whole cart for $41 and she got two bags for $35,” DuBuque said.

The next accessible saving spot is CVS — where CVS card holders receive “extra bucks” with each purchase.

“If I buy Colgate at CVS for $2, I would get a $1 back in extra bucks, so I’ll buy a whole bunch of that with the discount card,” DuBuque explained. “Then you’ll accumulate a lot of extra bucks so I’ll pay $15 for the first order (would have been $30-$40) and then get $15 back for my next purchase – the first order is always the most expensive.”

Scott said she typically receives her toiletries for free just by doubling coupons at Price Chopper and using the rewards program at CVS.

“Using the coupons combined with the extra bucks — one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon — and then using the extra bucks lets me get things like shampoo, air fresheners and laundry detergent for free,” Scott said.

Some of the details remain slightly unclear for new couponers, but both DuBuque and Scott urge community members to apply for discount cards, rewards programs and to check local coupon listings to find their own method of savings.

“Some people just throw the coupon sections out,” DuBuque said with a laugh. “At least give them to someone like me!”


Two local women launch new integrated marketing firm with specialty in horse racing; Tropic Hut restaurant reopens

Local ladies create new, multi-level marketing firm

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Two local entrepreneurs, Diana Pikulski and Jacqueline Basha recently joined forces to form the Pikulski Basha Group LLC., a Saratoga Springs-based integrated marketing and business development firm.

The company will work with corporate, non-profit and individual partners to offer counseling services and help clients advance public policy initiatives, improve government and community relations, perform program analyses and much more.

The Pikulski Basha Group will pay homage to its Saratoga roots with a strategic specialty in working with clients in the horse racing and equine industries. As the former head of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Pikulski is no stranger to the thoroughbred business. One of Pikulski’s goals with the new firm is to help combine local partners with established clients in the horse racing, business and entertainment worlds in order to create integrated marketing plans focusing on local venues. 

Between her career as an attorney and her 15 years of leadership as executive director for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Pikulski was named one of the 25 most influential women in the racing industry by the Thoroughbred Times. With her new marketing firm, Pikulski plans to continue working on promotion and fundraising for the Retirement Foundation, which she helped create over 30 years ago.

Pikulski’s local racing expertise will be complemented by Basha’s extensive business and multimedia experience. Basha has worked as a TV and radio producer and for the past 20 years, Basha has been running her own public relations and advertising agency working with clients from California, Florida, New York and Massachusetts. Like Pikulski, Basha has also worked with racetracks and gaming industries throughout her career.

In a recent statement, Basha expressed her excitement about the partnership with Pikulski — “With our combined experience, we are committed to establishing successful models for business and marketing strategies suited for evolving racing, gaming and entertainment venues.”

The Pikulski Basha Group will initially launch with three office locations in Saratoga Springs, New York City and South Florida.

For more information visit, www.pbgmarketing.com

Tropic Hut Restaurant Reopens after over a year

SARATOGA SPRINGS — According to a sign outside the Bayshore Tropic Hut and Marina located at 550 Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs, the Tropic Hut restaurant is reopen for business after over a year of closed doors. A member of the Saratogian's advertising team also confirmed this bit of biz news, but I haven't yet been able to contact owner John Ambrozak as the phone number listed on the restaurant's website (www.bayshorestropichut.com) is out of service.

I did, however, find another number for Ambrozak so I should have his statement within the next few hours. All signs point to a grand reopening and for those looking for dining options on the lake, this is certainly cause for celebration!

Saratoga Springs man on his way to international success with Vermont Peanut Butter Co.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs native Chris Kaiser was recently honored for the success of his new enterprise, the Vermont Peanut Butter Company.

Kaiser received an exclusive invite to speak alongside Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice ream, at the Best of Vermont Distributor show at the Killington Grand Resort and Hotel in Vt.

The invitation reaffirmed Kaiser’s recent success in the premium food business. Although Vermont Peanut Butter Co. is just two years old, the company has grown more than 500 percent since its inception and continues to expand monthly. In recent news, the company was awarded a national Whole Foods account and contracts to be featured on the sets of NBC, FOX and CBS for the upcoming shows — Glee, NCIS, Californication, Two and a Half Men and 10 more.

Like Ben & Jerry’s, Vermont Peanut Butter had humble beginnings as a small start-up business operated from a garage space and eventually expanding into a full factory.

On August 11, Kaiser spoke with Cohen at the Best of Vermont Distributor show in Killington. Each shared their stories about the challenges, setbacks and ultimate success of starting a Vermont-based premium food company and expanding it nationally. The two entrepreneurs discussed the values of community involvement, socio economic responsibility and maintaining a positive attitude that have helped them succeed.

Kaiser’s Vermont Peanut Butter Company is quickly becoming another renowned specialty food business started in Vermont, which many critics are calling the “next” Ben & Jerry’s of peanut butter.

The company currently sells 13 (soon to be 17) varieties of healthy and uniquely flavored peanut and almond butters. The products are now sold in over 700 stores across 13 countries. Another eerie Ben & Jerry’s similarity — Kaiser is currently manufacturing Vermont Peanut Butter out of the same 4,000 square foot in Waterbury, Vt., where Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield originally started making Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Sounds like this business-savvy Saratoga Springs native could be on his way to some very tasty international success.

For more information visit, www.vtpeanutbutter.com


DeCrescente Distributing Co. to expand headquarters; Spirits of Saratoga Wine & Liquor closes

New corporate facility for DeCrescente Distributing

MECHANICVILLE — DeCrescente Distributing, a leading beverage distributor serving 11 counties around the Capital District, recently announced plans to break ground on a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Mechanicville.

In less than two weeks, the fourth-generation family run company will start work on two new buildings: a 19,000 square foot POS vending building and a 29,000 square foot conference center.

DeCrescente Distributing Co. teamed up with C.T. Male Associates and BBL Construction to begin construction on the new corporate facility, which features a full gym, cafeteria, wellness center, main conference area and plenty of extra office space.

Construction will commence on August 22 and the project is expected to wrap on June 1, 2012.

Wilton liquor store closes its doors
WILTON — Just heard from a fellow co-worker that Spirits of Saratoga Wine & Liquor, located on Lowes Drive near WalMart in Wilton, has officially closed for business. No word on why or when at this time. 

08/12-08/14 Weekend Insider Roundup

SARATOGA SPRINGS Welcome to another stunning summer weekend in Saratoga and beyond. Yes, the track is still roaring and open for business, but if you're feeling like taking a break from the crowd (or trying to keep your wallet fat) there are plenty of other low-cost options for weekend activities. Editors picks? The "Adirondack Circuit" American Kennel Club Dog Show and Atmosphere live at Northern Lights. But from a wine lovers theatrical production to free ice cream and concerts, there is bound to be something for everybody this August weekend. Enjoy!


Become a wine connoisseur at the theater
  • "Wine Lovers" — The Wine Tasting Musical. Wine enthusiasts and fans of the theatre will both take pleasure in watching this unique musical production. Wine Lovers tells the story of two students who attend a wine class led by one energetic teacher. As the class and the show goes on, the characters, and the audience, will learn all there is to know about reds, roses, whites and possibly a little about romance. Wine and love, sigh. Universal Preservation Hall, 25 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 12 through Sunday, August 14. Friday: 7:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 2 and 7:30 p.m. (584-2627 or 212 328 0388 www.wineloversthemusical.com). $45-$59.
Check out Saratoga’s own “Best in Show”
  • "The Adirondack Circuit" AKC Dog Show. An absolute must. I covered the 5-day show on Thursday and the over 900 dogs – over 150 breeds – that show each day are some of the nation’s top show champs. In less than an hour I ran into the #1 ranked female French bulldog, a national champ Shiba Inu, and the top Canadian Shih Tzu. From pint-sized pups to silky St. Bernards, there’s a pooch that will find a special place for any observer. Watching the owners groom their locks and looking on as Chihuahuas prance around the show ring – I can’t recommend this eclectic event enough. Most owners will let guests pet and cuddle their pretty pooches, but be sure to ask – some get a bit nervous with the crowd. Enjoy this puppy paradise. Saratoga County Fairgrounds, Prospect Street, Ballston Spa. Friday, August 12 through Sunday, August 14. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (http://www.infodog.com/prm/218/prm218.pdf). FREE.
Sweat it out for free lift tickets
  • Whiteface Road Warriors in Saratoga Springs. The Whiteface Road Warriors are back, bringing Saratogians the opportunity to snag free lift tickets to ski and ride Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid this winter. Here’s the catch – to qualify, you must be decked out in ski gear – goggles, winter coats, hats, ski boots, whatever. Even if you can’t dig the snow gear out of storage, join the fun anyway for the chance to win lift tickets or other ticket packages including two for one deals.The Road Warriors will be out about this weekend so keep your eyes peeled. Various locations. Friday, Bailey’s Café, 37 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Congress Park, Saratoga Springs. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Gaffney's Restaurant, 16 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs. 9 to 11 p.m. (523-1655 http://www.whiteface.com/summer/events/road.php). FREE.
Watch or run the Jailhouse Rock 5K race
  • Jailhouse Rock 5K. The Saratoga County Historical Society will host the 9th annual Jailhouse Rock road race starting from the organization’s home at Brookside Museum in B.Spa. The course trots past the Saratoga County Fairgrounds to the correctional facility. The first 250 runners receive a free T-shirt and awards for age-group winners and for overall fastest male and female will go to the day’s champs. Proceeds go to benefit Brookside’s education program.  Brookside Museum, 6 Charlton Street, Ballston Spa. Saturday, August 10. 8:30 a.m. (885-4000 http://www.brooksidemuseum.org/jailhouse-rock-5k/). FREE to watch. $22 pre-registered, $27 day of to run.
Rock out to Atmosphere at Northern Lights
  • Atmosphere at Northern Lights. One of the best-know (yet still semi-underground) American hip-hop groups, Atmosphere, is right here in our own backyard this Saturday. Rhyming since 1989, Atmosphere has released over 10 albums and is known across the globe. Famous for their intricate rhythms and smart rhymes, Atmosphere's still got it. See what the fuss is about this Saturday in Clifton Park. Northern Lights, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park. Saturday, August 13. 7 p.m. (371-0012 www.northernlightslive.com). $20 Advance, $22 Day of.
Indulge in a sundae this Sunday
  • Sundaes on Sunday: 9th Annual Ice Cream Social. If you're around the Schenectady/Niskayuna area this Sunday, stop by the Dominican Retreat and Conference Center for a free make your own ice-cream sundae. A great chance to bring the family, interact with the community and learn more about what the community center is all about (and did I mention free ice cream?). A choir will perform at 1 and 2:30 p.m. for live entertainment. There will also be fun activities for the kids and a chance to win a retreat giveaway. Dominican Retreat and Conference Center, 1945 Union Street, Niskayuna. Sunday, August 14. 12-4 p.m. (393-4169 www.dslcny.org). FREE.
Dance to some authentic Lousiana bayou beats
  • Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers. You might have seen them at the track on Mardi Gras Wednesday, but if you haven't caught Captain Squeeze (or even if you have) you'll want to get down to Clifton Park this Sunday to experience the excitement. Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers play true, Cajun-style zydeco music straight from New Orleans and on a show featuring toe-tapping dance moves, accordions,  and one mosher playing a tin washboard strapped right on his chest. Perfect for any age, Captain Squeeze guarantees an evening of quality live entertainment and dancing (SEE BELOW VIDEO). Clifton Common Stage, Vischer Ferry Road, Clifton Park. Sunday, August 14. 7 p.m.(371-6667 http://www.cliftonpark.com/things-to-do/common-performing-arts.cfm). FREE.


NYRA announces 2nd annual Travers 1864 Restaurant Week starting August, 21

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Over 50 restaurants in Saratoga Springs and the surrounding Capital District will offer special price deals and menus to celebrate the 142nd running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 27 at Saratoga Race Course.

This marks the second annual Travers 1864 Restaurant Week, which runs from Sunday, August 21 through Thursday, August 25.

Over the course of the five days leading up to the 2011 Travers Stakes, diners have the chance to sample a three-course meal at participating restaurants for a fixed price of only $18.64 — in honor of the first running of the Travers back in 1864. The Travers Stakes is the oldest major stakes race in the nation for 3-year-old horses.

New York Racing Association Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Hal Handle said the organization is pleased to host the second year of the Travers 1864 Restaurant Week to bring the community together and celebrate Saratoga’s biggest and oldest race.

Below is the current list of confirmed eateries participating in this year’s Travers 1864 Restaurant Week:

•         Antipasto’s in Clifton Park
•         Aperitivo Bistro in Schenectady
•         Bangkok Bistro in Colonie
•         Bangkok Bistro in Schenectady
•         Barcelona in Albany
•         Black Watch Steakhouse in Glens Falls
•         Buca di Beppo in Albany
•         Café Nola in Schenectady
•         Caputo’s Pizzeria in Saratoga Springs
•         Cella Bistro in Schenectady
•         Carney’s Tavern in Ballston Lake
•         Charlton Tavern in Ballston Lake
•         The Chocolate Mill in Glens Falls
•         Circus Café in Saratoga Springs
•         Cornell’s in Schenectady
•         Crystal Ristorante in Amsterdam
•         Dolce Vita Restaurant in Schenectady
•         Dunham’s Bay Resort in Lake George
•         East Cove Restaurant in Lake George
•         Finish Line Restaurant and Bar in Malta
•         Fortunes at Saratoga Raceway and Casino in Saratoga Springs
•         Grandma’s Pies and Restaurant in Albany
•         Jack’s Oyster House in Albany
•         John Riccitello’s in Schenectady
•         Loca Luna in Ballston Spa
•         Londonderry Café in Albany
•         Manhattan Exchange in Schenectady
•         Marche at 74 State in Albany
•         Market Restaurant at the Albany Marriott in Albany
•         Nicolino’s in Amsterdam
•         Nove in Wilton
•         The Olde Post Grille in Lake George
•         The Pasta Factory in Latham
•         Pasta Pane in Clifton Park
•         Paolo Lombardi’s Ristorante in Wyantskill
•         Peaches Café in Albany
•         Provence in Albany
•         The Pub at Cooper in Glens Falls
•         Raindancer Restaurant in Amsterdam
•         Ravenous in Saratoga Springs
•         Reel Seafood in Albany
•         Salty’s Pub in Clifton Park
•         Simpson’s Grill at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany
•         The Stockade Inn in Schenectady
•         Sunset Café in Ballston Spa
•         Tesoro in Guilderland
•         The Van Dyck Restaurant and Lounge in Schenectady
•         The Vista Restaurant in Clifton Park
•         Turf Tavern in Saratoga Springs
•         Valentino’s in Amsterdam
•         Water’s Edge Lighthouse in Schenectady
•         Wheatfield’s Bistro and Bar in Clifton Park
•         Wheatfield’s Restaurant and Bar in Saratoga Springs

($18.64 price may not include tax, gratuity and beverage.)

For more information on Travers 1864 Restaurant Week, a complete list of participating restaurants, and to view the prix-fixe menus, please visit http://www.nyra.com/Saratoga/RestaurantWeek.shtml.


Jitters Café on Geyser Road Closes

BALLSTON SPA — A rumor overheard in the newsroom said Jitters Café, formerly located in the Country Club Plaza at 418 Geyser Road, suddenly closed for business.

The old local favorite featured homemade food — wraps, salads, desserts — made by former owner Gina Prince and her family. Jitters also offered a full breakfast menu, coffee, smoothies and every Wednesday night hosted a 7 p.m. open mic night followed by local musicians playing on the weekends.

Jitters phone number is disconnected, so I had to do some online sleuthing for this one. It turns out the surprised staff in the newsroom might have just learned about the closing today, as my biz detective work revealed signs of a Jitters shutdown as early as late June.

According to fan posts on the Jitters Café Facebook page, talk of an upcoming closing generated in early July.

Jitters' last activity was a post about an open mic night happening on June 22, but right after that loyal customers began expressing their dismay writing, "Please call — no answer at the shop," and "How sad to see the artwork, creativity and talent of such a wonderful place come to an end."

Other Facebook followers begged for owner, Gina, to return their calls, but there was no activity from Gina or Jitters since late June.

Anyone have any more information as to why Jitters might have closed or what's going into the empty space next, please comment and let me know!

We'll miss you Jitters.

Margie Rotchford to host shopping party and track luncheon to benefit breast cancer research

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Tomorrow night at Encounter boutique on 482 Broadway, Margie Rotchford will host an exclusive kick off shopping party from 7 until 10 p.m. as the first of two upcoming events to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“The foundation started in 1993 and today they’ve raised over $300 million for breast cancer research — it’s a great cause,” Rotchford said.

The shopping party is free and features an evening full of hors d'oeuvres, pink cocktails and dancing to live tunes spun by DJ Joe Bell.

“We’re encouraging anyone to come and have a good time — there’s no pressure to buy anything, but anything someone might buy, 10 percent of sales goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” Rotchford explained.

Thursday’s event also includes hair embellishments by Simplicity Salon and fabulous track-style hats and fascinators designed by Nancy Matt and Christine Moore. Most importantly, guests can stop by Encounter to pick up an invitation to the main event, the Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon, on Friday, August 19 at 11 a.m. in the upper Carousel restaurant at Saratoga Race Course.

The luncheon, sponsored by the New York Racing Association and co-chaired by Rotchford and Joanne Adams of NYRA, is a premiere fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with $100 of the $150 ticket price going directly to fund breast cancer research.

Recognized activists and local philanthropists such as Mary Lou Whitney, wife of former New York Governor George Pataki Libby Pataki, , and the mother of current Governor Andrew Cuomo, Matilda Raffa Cuomo will attend the event as honorary chairmen next Friday to support the cause.

The hot pink themed luncheon is emceed by ESPN’s Jeannine Edwards and features a fully catered lunch buffet, informal fashion show featuring designs by St. John, and several guest speakers. Keynote speaker Larry Norton, scientific director of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, deputy physician-in-chief and director of breast cancer programs, will present his speech, “Breast Cancer: How we are Winning the Race.”
Ticket holders will also have the option to keep their seats in the Carousel restaurant throughout the full day of racing.

“It’s a great charity — I think it’s around 93 percent of the money raised by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation goes directly to research,” Rotchford said. “I’m behind it 100 percent.”

For more information click here

Albany hot yoga studio moving to larger space in Stuyvesant Plaza this fall

ALBANY — Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany announced today it will be undergoing renovations to house a new yoga studio the Hot Yoga Spot coming this fall.

Studio owner Jessica Lustig opened the Hot Yoga Spot near Stuyvesant Plaza on Fuller Road in December, 2010. Since then, Lustig’s following has increased and outgrown the original studio’s small 700 square foot space. This fall, when the Hot Yoga Spot relocates to its new 2,707 square foot home in the shopping center, Lustig will have nearly quadrupled the size of the Fuller Road studio.

Stuyvesant Plaza announced its plans to renovate the space, formerly Tynan’s Center for Dance, to include two different yoga studios with hardwood floors and mirrored walls.

With the new location, Lustig will be able to offer more classes and potentially hire additional instructors. The Hot Yoga Spot currently offers an array of hot classes (room heated up to 95 degrees) including yoga flow, power yoga, prenatal yoga, core fusion and more.

The studio’s new home will open its doors in September. For more information, www.thehotyogaspot.com.


Chianti now taking reservations for the first time in 13 years

SARATOGA SPRINGS — After 13 years and numerous locations, Chianti il Ristorante is finally offering reservations for the first time.

Formerly located on South Broadway, Chianti has spent several years at its current location at 18 Division Street, where guests would have to arrive well before 7 p.m. to guarantee a table. Others just crossed their fingers and sat back for several cocktails at the bar as they waited for their name to be called on the long list of hungry diners.

As one of the community's (and my own) favorite fine-dining spots in downtown Saratoga, Chianti's new reservation system is sure to be welcomed with open arms.

Chianti il Ristorante, Directions & Location
According to Chianti staff, the restaurant launched its live reservation system through OpenTable.com on July 27. Customers can now make reservations several ways: by phone (584-0025), or using the Open Table application on their Facebook page, as well as on the regular Open Table website.
I'll drink to that!



Ballston Spa business news: Tai Chi classes start this fall; Buick dealership wins GMC franchise

Local expert to offer Tai Chi classes in Ballston Spa this fall

BALLSTON SPA — This fall, Tony Grimaldi will offer Tai Chi classes to the community at the Malta Community Center located at 1 Bayberry Drive in Ballston Spa.

After earning his certification in Tai Chi, a martial art form that originated in China over 1,200 years ago, Grimaldi’s reputation and following has grown throughout the Capital District. Grimaldi credits the art for its mental, spiritual and physical strength benefits and works across the Capital District to help bring Tai Chi to local communities. He teaches his New Moon Tai Chi classes regularly in Scotia at the Academy of Okinawan Karate and Kung Fu and at Charlton Elementary School.

This fall, Grimaldi plans to bring his expertise to Ballston Spa and the greater Saratoga County beginning September 13. Classes range from 6-15 weeks long and are recommended for ages 18 and up.

From September 13 until November 15, New Moon Tai Chi classes will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the community center. Registration for class spots opened August, 1. To register or learn more visit www.newmoontaichi.com or email Tony Grimaldi at newmoontaichi@gmail.com.

Ballston Spa Buick dealership awarded GMC Franchise
BALLSTON SPA — One local car dealership, Mangino Buick on 1484 Saratoga Road in Ballston Spa, recently won a contract by General Motors to carry GMC vehicles, parts and services.

Recently, the local Buick dealer consolidated with the former Buick-GMC dealership in Mechanicsville, allowing GMC to appoint Mangino Buick a certified GMC dealer.

On Thursday, August 4, Mangino Buick added GMC automobiles to its current line up of Buick cars and crossovers.

The family owned and operated dealership has been in the Mangino family since 1978 when Ralph Mangino Sr. purchased the dealership. Today, Mangino Buick is overseen by Mangino’s son Ralph Jr., and his daughter Patty. The family expanded their operation in 2004 when Ralph Sr.’s daughter Tina and her husband Mike Coffey bought a Chevrolet dealership on Route 30 in Amsterdam.

In addition to their active role in the Capital District’s automobile industry, the Manginos are involved with several community service initiatives. The family has sponsored community events, scholarships and donated a vehicle for Ballston Spa High School’s driver education program.


Reserved Travers day picnic tables available this week through NYRA

SARATOGA SPRINGS — This week racing fans have the opportunity to reserve a picnic table at Saratoga Race Course for 142nd running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 27.

The New York Racing Association initiated the table reservation option last year as a means to (relatively) control the chaos and raise proceeds for a number of different equine charities.

Beginning today, parties can register for the chance to purchase one of the select reserved picnic tables set aside by NYRA for Travers day.

Registration closes at 6 p.m., on Saturday, August 13. On Sunday, 50 randomly selected applicants will be notified of their selection and then have the option to buy one of the designated tables for $100 each. Tables are set for a maximum of six people per unit.

With lines for the coveted picnic tables in the yard likely to begin well before dawn, NYRA’s reserved table contest doesn’t sound like a bad idea for those hoping to get a few extra hours of shut eye before the big day.
To apply and for a full list of rules and regulations visit www.nyra.com.

Local artist/architect opens new abstract gallery on Phila Street

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local artist and architect Victor Cinquino brought a new edge to the Saratoga art scene on July 19, when he opened Cinqui Studio on the second floor of the historic Palmetto Fruit warehouse building at 36 Phila Street.
"Rising Storm" 16x20

“Deep down I’ve been a modernist for a very long time,” Cinquino said.

A practicing architect for the past 42 years, Cinquino learned the potential of digital software in design early and as technologies grew, he realized a passion for abstract art outside the rigid lines and mathematics of traditional architecture.

“I’ve had a desire to do and offer this kind of abstract art — we have a lot of very accomplished artists here in Saratoga Springs, but it tends to be very traditional stuff — Victoriana, horses,” Cinquino said. “It was really an opportunity to offer something different and really get into the abstract world.”

Cinquino, originally from Schenectady, moved to Saratoga in 1975 to pursue architecture. After over 30 years of operating his own firm, Cinquino is now the sole employee in the process of transitioning out of the architecture world to pursue his up and coming artwork.

"Blossomer Moon" 16x20

Recently, one of Cinquino’s prints received an honorable mention for the July 2011 “Contest of the Month” at the Museum of Computer Art in Brooklyn.

The work featured at Cinqui Studio is produced digitally and made into high quality prints using a Giclee printing process to emphasize the colors and quality of each piece. He offers mostly 16 by 20 inch digital prints, which run for around $280 framed and $200 unframed.

“I’m hoping to offer Saratoga an alternative by offering true abstract modern work,” Cinquino said. “I’m in a very new place here that some of the art community is having a hard time grasping their head around — the idea that it’s all done digitally and there are no ‘originals’ in that sense.”
Since opening on Phila Street in mid-July, Cinquino said he’s still working on establishing Cinqui Studio as a prominent local art gallery, but that word of mouth is steadily building his business.

“Most of the clientele has been people looking to decorate their homes,” he said. “As an architect I’ve had some connectivity with interior designers and am looking into going corporate in the future.”

Corporate meaning he would partner with local interior designers who would recommend Cinquino’s pieces as décor for the right clients and homes.
"Collide-O-Scope" 20x20

The boutique gallery will also feature guest artists who work in mediums like photography, pottery and jewelry making to make special appearances at Cinqui Studio. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon until 5 p.m., and Tuesday through Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. through Labor Day. For more information visit www.CinquiStudio.com.


08/05-08/07 Weekend Insider Roundup

Welcome to your first August weekend! There are plenty of great events going on in town over the next few days including wine tasting at the track, a world-class poker tournament and an acrobatic special with the Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC.

Enjoy the weekend.


Support your team at Saratoga Race Course's first ever Rivalry Day
Rivalry Day. Even if you miss the races, Red Sox and Yankee fans have the opportunity to be part of NYRA's first ever Rivalry Day this evening at the Saratoga Race Course. Early this morning players lined up sporting red and navy for the Sox or white and navy for the Yanks to get the autographs of two legendary ballplayers, Mickey Rivers from the Yankees and Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd from the Red Sox. Throughout the day, racing fans donning Sox or Yankees gear receive $2 off grandstand admission. Following the races, tonight's 7 p.m. Red Sox-Yankees game kicks off and will be broadcast on the television screens around the track where fans can watch the ball game with a few cold ones and support their favorite team in one of the greatest historical sports rivalries of all time. Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 5. 11 a.m. until after the 7 p.m. game. (584-7064 www.saratogaracecourse.com). $3 grandstand, $1 with Red Sox/Yankees gear. 
Sip champagne to celebrate Fiat Feminae lingerie's grand opening
  • Bustiers & Bubbles: Fiat Feminae's Grand Opening at the Paddock Lounge. Today marks the official opening of Saratoga's newest intimate wear boutique - Fiat Feminae located at 489 Broadway. This evening, to celebrate the boutique's grand opening, owner Lisa Alden will host a "Bustiers and Bubbles" event at the Paddock Lounge on Caroline from 8 until 10 p.m. The first 25 (error in video!) guests to enter will receive a complimentary gift bag full of intimate surprises and gift certificates from local businesses. The bags also provide an entry into the grand opening drawing where the lucky winner will receive an exclusive Fiat Feminae piece valued at $300 and adorned with Swarovski jewels. Get in early for a chance to win, a champagne toast and live music by Crossfire. Paddock Lounge, 6 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 5. 8-10 p.m. (www.paddockloungesaratoga.com). FREE
Watch world class acrobatics set to the Philadelphia Orchestra

Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC: Cirque De La Symphonie Magical Tales and Love and Romance. This unique show takes place on both Friday and Saturday evening at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Watch a body twisting acrobatics and poetic dance performance set to the smooth classical tunes of the Philadelphia Orchestra for a visual and audio combination treat this weekend at SPAC. A perfect way to access the orchestra for those still hoping to get involved. The theme of Friday's performance is "Magical Tales" and Saturday's is "Love and Romance." Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 8 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs. Friday, August 5, & Saturday, August 6. 8 p.m. (584-9330 www.spac.org). Tickets start at $20.

Check out Saratoga's biggest trucks with the family
  • Big Truck Day. Remember when you were a kid and felt that allure and mysterious pull toward all the biggest and brightest firetrucks, construction vehicles and dump trucks? Well, even if you can't, there's a chance your child will and Saratoga's Big Truck Day is a perfect Saturday family activity to wow the little ones. The event will let kids and families check out the town's big trucks and emergency vehicles and guests will have the chance to meet the faces behind Saratoga's metal giants on wheels. Rain date is August 13. Maple Avenue Middle School, 515 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, August 6. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (584-5540). $5 per child. $1 per adult.
Play poker for a cause
  • "All in for Wishes" Charity Poker Tournament. For Saratoga's avid poker stars who want to have fun and give back to the community, the Make-A-Wish Foundation's charity poker tournament might be up your alley. The Northeast chapter of Make-A-Wish is bringing in world-renowned poker celebrities at this weekend's tournament for community members to buy in and face the stars in a Texas Hold 'Em tournament. All proceeds go to the Foundation's wish-granting program, with a goal of funding 10 wishes from the event. A $200 buy in lets players compete for prizes including an entry into the World Series of Poker main event in 2012. Saratoga City Center, 522 Broadway. Saturday, August 6. 12 p.m. (584-0027 www.saratogacitycenter.org). $200 buy in.
Spend your Sunday getting crafty

  • VFW Post #420 Annual Craft Fair. This Sunday, the local VFW on Excelsior Avenue is hosting its annual craft fair to benefit the Guardian House Woman's Veteran Shelter in Ballston Spa. The fair features local crafts, artisans and galleries to raise donations for the shelter. There will also be a snack bar and used book sale. VFW Post #420, 190 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Sunday, August 7. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (885-9029). FREE.
Sip wine at the races
  • Galloping Grapes: A New York Wine Event at the Saratoga Race Course. Wine lovers and racing enthusiasts can combine passions this Sunday at the track. A special section in the backyard will be dedicated to all things New York wine. Wineries from across the state and right here in Saratoga will be on display for guests to sample, taste and purchase products. The first 500 guests through the door to the event will receive a commemorative Saratoga Race Course wine glass. All proceeds go to two education based charities run by the Times Union. Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Sunday, August 7. Noon until 7 p.m. (584-7064 www.saratogaracecourse.com). Entry to the wine event is $20 in advance, $25 day off and does not include regular track admission price ($3 Grandstand, $5 Clubhouse).

New life coaching center celebrates opening on Broadway today; Keller Williams welcomed to 38 High Rock

New self help business celebrates grand opening tonight on Broadway
SARATOGA SPRINGS — This evening, the Life Stylized Success Center celebrates its grand opening from 5 to 10 p.m. at their location at 444 Broadway, just above Wheatfield's restaurant in suite 302. 
The life coaching center offers a variety of classes, programs and events to help both individuals and businesses empower themselves and succeed in their personal lives and the workplace.

Life Stylized Success Center was the brainchild of Oswego native Sierra Sullivan, who recently returned to Saratoga Springs with husband Ron Smith from their previous home in Los Angeles, Calif. 
Sullivan and Smith teamed up with Saratoga native Karen Carey and her husband Kevin Carey to form the partners behind Life Stylized Success Center.
Smith hails from a longtime background in the Calif.wellness coaching business and along with Sullivan's publishing background for Ray Magazine, a west coast lifestyle publication, the couple hopes to bring a new energy to Saratoga's self help community.
Sullivan was also an active member in creating the first Saratoga Women’s Fest in March 2011.
Karen Carey has also spent years in the life coaching and wellness business and in a statement said she was excited to bring west coast and east coast wellness together here in Saratoga Springs.
Tonight's event features drinks, appetizers and provides guests the opportunity to learn more about Life Stylized Success Center's various programs and opportunities.
For more information, visit www.lifestylized.com or call Sierra Sullivan at (323) 788-5853

Keller Williams now open at 38 High Rock

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Earlier this week, Keller Williams realty celebrated its new location at the 38 High Rock Condominium complex in Saratoga Springs.
Before the move, Keller Williams operated from an office just off Route 50 at 3 Maple Dell Drive. The new office space is twice the size as the previous and will occupy 2,730 square feet of space. The 38 High Rock offices will initially house 75 real estate agents serving Saratoga County and beyond and the company plans to take 25 more staff members on board by the end of the year.
Mike Hoffman, principal of Turf Hotels, which owns the neighboring Hampton Inn and Suites hotel, welcomed Keller Williams at a special housewarming ceremony as 38 High Rock's newest retail partner and commended Keller Williams Operating Principal Janet Besheer for the expansion, which will help the company cater to more real estate clients especially during track season.

Besheer and the local Keller Williams company planned to expand, but were waiting for the perfect space. When she saw the opportunity at 38 High Rock, Besheer jumped at the opportunity. 

Keller Williams, located on the ground floor, joins Jacob and Anthony's restaurant as the second retail partner in the 38 High Rock condominium, retail and hotel complex. 

The new offices also feature an advanced training room with high-tech art audio and visual equipment that will aid the company as it develops new commercial and luxury home divisions.  

For more information visit www.kw.com/kw.


The Beresford Gallery returns to Saratoga for 31st year; Motivational program leader partners with local businesses

 The Beresford Gallery returns for 31st season in Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Beresford Gallery will re-open this Friday, August 5, in the Shoe Depot building at 385 Broadway in Saratoga Springs.

Based in Unionville, Pa., the gallery exhibits annually in the Hamptons, Wellington and Saratoga Springs as well as in Florida during the winter months.

Founded over 40 years ago, the Beresford Gallery specializes in sporting-themed paintings, statues and sculptures — with a Saratoga specialty in equine and racing centered work.

This year marks the Beresford’s 31st straight year exhibiting in Saratoga Springs, but it’s the gallery’s first time in a new location within the Shoe Depot building. Throughout the 15 day stay on Broadway, the Beresford will feature artists painting at the gallery and customers will have the chance to commission their own personal piece by a Beresford artist.

The gallery will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. between August 5 and 20. For more information stop by 385 Broadway or call 583-4523.

Local motivational speaker Coach Johns brings aboard more Saratoga business sponsors
SARATOGA SPRINGS — President of the Act With Respect Always program Rich Johns (also known as “Coach Johns”) recently announced a new partnership with several Saratoga Springs-based businesses.

After teaching and coaching in the Saratoga school district for nearly 40 years, Johns founded the Act With Respect Always campaign. He travels to schools across the Capital District giving presentations and holding workshops to teach students the importance of leadership and character education both in the classroom, as well as on the athletic fields. 

This month, Johns announced Act With Respect Always’ most recent local business partners: Adirondack Trust, Scotty’s Exit 16, The Stadium Café, Saratoga Springs Lieutenants PBA, Cudney’s Cleaners, Saratoga Honda, Saratoga Springs Firefighters, Holiday Inn of Saratoga, Saratoga Strike Zone, Turbine Services Limited, Saratoga National Bank and The Hampton Inn.

Acknowledging the importance of these recent sponsors Johns stated, “Having the addition of these fine groups as part of our ‘endorsement team’ helps us to spread this importance word about respect.”
The new business advocates join a long list of Act With Respect Always sponsors including local businesses like the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club and Roohan Realty.

For more information visit www.actwithrespectalways.com.