And Mother Nature teases us with a little bit of spring in January just before dipping those temperatures nearly 40 degrees just in time for Chowderfest. Meanwhile, here’s what one Saratogian is thinking:
* That crane working on the new Bonacio building on Broadway (422 Broadway, “The Lillian’s Lot”) sure puts a smile on my face. It’s just nice to live in a city that is always bustling no matter what is happening elsewhere. Is everything perfect here in the Spa City? Of course not; but it’s pretty darn wonderful in my book, especially comparatively speaking.
* In my posting last week I mentioned the new Capital Grand condos project showing signs of life over on Lake Avenue next to the Parting Glass. Over on the West side, I haven’t been down Division street since the former Ellsworth Ice Cream Plant was razed, and it was a shock to see that large lot so empty, save for some piles of rubble. The project, yet another multi-unit residential plan, includes 17 duplex type townhomes and one retail establishment. Well it seems that numerous developers are betting on Saratoga, and that’s a good thing.
TheSaratoga Farmers' Market in Division Street School on Saturdays
* I went to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market this past Saturday. When I first moved here in 2006, the winter version of the Market was in the Salvation Army building, and the vendors were few and the atmosphere was almost morbid. Not so anymore; the winter Market may not be as well-attended and downright fun as its summer counterpart, but it’s still a lively atmosphere that has its own (upbeat) identity with many vendors selling a variety of wonderful, and local, products. If you haven’t been to the winter Market in a few years, give it a go and you will likely enjoy the experience.
Snacks at the farmers' market
* Margarita and I tried getting into Max London’s for brunch on Sunday, but the place was packed. There was a 30 minute wait(!), and there wasn’t even room at the bar. We walked down to Wheatfields and the place was nearly empty. The food was fine but unexciting to me. I respect Wheatfields because it’s a quality place that has stayed in that tough business through the ups and downs, and even expanded down in Clifton Park. I respect it, but I never crave it, and my description of my experience there on Sunday could best be described as staid.
* There will be three Kentucky Derby prep races held this Saturday, February 2nd, and one of them is the Grade III Withers to be held at Aqueduct at 4:18pm. The other two are the Grade III Sam F. Davis, at Tampa Bay Downs at 5:23pm, and the Grade II Robert B. Lewis out west at Santa Anita Park at 5:03pm (Eastern time). Past winners of the Withers include Man O’ War and Bernardini, and last year’s Robert B. Lewis winner was a then virtually unknown horse by the name of I’ll Have Another. So for a little more than an hour of your time, you can see some darn good horse racing, and perhaps a future Kentucky Derby Winner.
* Staying with horse racing, it was good to see jockey Ramon Dominguez moved out of intensive care. Dominguez, who seemingly receives riding titles like I receive credit card offers, suffered a skull fracture January 18 in a spill at Aqueduct. Tell me again why the 49-year-old jockey Gary Stevens came out of retirement?
* I’ve been to the new-but-not-quite finished Putnam Market twice since it reopened. I like the change – they partially flip-flopped positions with Putnam Wine Market. Read more here.
Around and about:
* Click here for Saratoga Arts’ e-update for February.
* PJ’s Bar-B-Q (I still can’t get myself to call it Bar-B-QSA) will be a first-time participant in Chowderfest and has Superbowl take-out packages available. Maestro’s also has a Superbowl special, as does Jacobs and Anthony’s.
* Here’s the February newsletter from the Saratoga Regional YMCA.
* Wild Birds Unlimited has a 10 day bird food sale going on.
* Longfellow’s is hosting a Gluten Free Dinner Paired with Gluten Free Beer and Hard Cider on Thursday February 21, 2013 at 6:30pm. This came to me in an email, and I can’t find a link on their web site or Facebook page, so keep checking there if you are interested.
OK folks, that’s it for now. Have a great weekend and I hope to see a lot of you at Chowderfest.
ON THE WIRE