If you are the literary sort or know someone who is then the Lyrical Ballad is the place for you. This is an antique bookstore for those who collect first and special editions and for those looking for a special gift for the most particular reader. Lyrical Ballad is located at 7 Phila Street. Hours are 10am -5pm. Call for more information. 518-584-8779
Spa Fine Art Gallery: 376 Broadway in Saratoga Springs
The Spa Fine Art Gallery is only one of many wonderful shops in downtown Saratoga Springs. We are very proud of our beautiful and very walkable downtown area. I encourage everyone who visits my hometown of Saratoga Springs to simply walk around downtown and have a look around. Over the next few days I will be highlighting some of what I think are the best shops in Saratoga. The Spa Fine Art Gallery is only one of them.
A Perfect Summer Night In Saratoga:
If you want to make the most of your time in Saratoga this summer than you must go to Fasig-Tipton this evening and then get yourself to Siro’s for a late dinner after the horse auction. The public is most welcome at the Fasig-Tipton pavillion on East Avenue but you should probably secure a reservation at Siro’s. Siro’s will be open very late this evening.
Fasig-Tipton will be at capacity but it is such a thrill to see the spectacle and theatre that is the very essence of the horse sales. You will be dazzled by the expensive horses and well dressed ladies that make an appearance here. It’s quite a show and not to be missed. No admittance fee to get in Fasig-Tipton. Get there early. If you have won big at the racecourse bring your winnings as Siro’s is expensive.
Below is the menu for Siro’s. The Chef this year is Joaquin Melo. Cheers.
There Is Still Room In Saratoga For You:
There Is Still Room In Saratoga For You:
Getting a hotel/motel room in Saratoga Springs during racing season is very difficult if not impossible this time of year. However I still see rooms for rent and homes for rent right in Saratoga proper. You could peruse websites but your best bet is to drive around the East Side of town (there are other rentals available in the outskirts of town also.) If you must be in town for Travers Weekend there are still rentals available and since there is vacancy you are in a position to negotiate price. Happy Hunting. These two places listed/pictured below are still available. One is located on Nelson Avenue near Lincoln and the other is on Madison at Ludlow. Cheers.
See And Be Seen At Victoria Pool:
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Saratoga Springs and the fast pace of the racetrack I suggest going to Victoria Pool. It is one of those ‘must go’ places while you are in Saratoga especially if you are in town for a short stay. Victoria Pool is located in the beautifully tranquil Saratoga State Park.
It is open every day from 10am-6pm and it costs $8 to get in. There is a bar and Catherine’s on the Park Café serves sandwiches, salads and other lite fare for your day at the pool. Insiders tip: There is only a 344 person capacity at the pool and it gets crowded very quickly. If you can’t be there by 10:30am try coming back about 2-3pm when the crowd starts to thin out. You may also bring your own chair and picnic lunch. Enjoy!
Sunday Strolls in Saratoga:
The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation presents fun, informative and relaxing strolls around Saratoga Springs. We have been very fortunate this summer with some gorgeous days and mild temperatures that make for perfect walking conditions in our picturesque city. The price for members of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is $5 and $8 for non-members. If you buy a package of 4 walking tours you get a FREE one. The walks are 90 minutes long and the tours are rain or shine. Here is a list of the upcoming walking tours:
August 10th– Post Time (A tour of the racecourse)
August 17th – The Gut (the center of downtown Saratoga Springs)
August 24th – Historic CongressPark
August 31st– Queen Anne Architecture (Circular St. and Union Avenue)
These walks usually begin at 10:30am. Call 518-587-5030 or go to www.saratogapreservation.org for meeting locations.
Fasig-Tipton Horse Sales in Saratoga:
Last night began the horse sales at Fasig-Tipton located on East Avenue at George Streets.
The next sale is this Saturday August 9th and Sunday August 10th for the preferred NY Bred Yearlings. For more information regarding the Fasig Tipton schedule http://www.fasigtipton.com
At its very core Saratoga Springs is a horse and buggy town which makes getting around town by car during racing season increasingly difficult. As the days and weeks get closer to the Travers Stakes race which is held this year on Saturday August 23rd there will be less and less personal space to be had in our beloved city in the country. I hear a lot of out-of-towners as well as locals express concern about not being able to get a cab during the race meet.
Getting a cab in this town at peak season can be problematic but here are several tips to make getting around town in a cab easier for you and your friends.
Editor’s Note: As upscale as Saratoga Springs is NOT ALL TAXI COMPANIES ARE CREATED EQUALLY. Some cab companies are quite nice and others are merely sub-standard. Feel free to shop around and get price quotes. Some taxi companies inexplicably hire drivers who are NOT familiar with the area. Do your homework and ask around. You want a driver who knows the area and can direct you to other areas of interest during your stay here in Saratoga.
Tip #1: If you are a large group in need of a cab (when I say large I mean 6 people or more) you will need to reserve a cab in advance. For any big event such as a Dave Matthews concert and for the TRAVERS Stakes race you should make reservation weeks if not months in advance. Some companies require a deposit. If you haven’t made your reservation for TRAVERS weekend this year you should probably do so right after reading this blog post.
Also, most cab companies do NOT have a 12 passenger vehicle but will tell you that they do. Here is the million dollar question you should be asking when inquiring about a 12 passenger vehicle: “How many seat belts does your vehicle have?” The number of seat belts in the car has is the number of passengers is it LEGALLY allowed to hold. Period.
Tip #2 Taxi’s are Not Stationed at Your House:
Keep in mind that whatever cab company you call they are NOT stationed right outside your house. I cannot tell you the number of times that a large group calls a cab company for 8 people and then complains when said Cab Company tells them it will be 20-30 minutes on a busy Saturday afternoon during racing season. It also isn’t unusual that for a large group the wait time can be even longer. PLAN AHEAD as cabs are not stationed outside your house especially when you live on the outskirts of town.
Tip #3 Make It Easy For Everyone Involved:
I wish I had a nickel for every time I was asked by a prospective customer who called me and said, “Can I get a cab?” You can get a cab much more efficiently if you tell the dispatcher WHERE you are and HOW MANY PEOPLE need to be picked up and WHERE you want to go much faster than having the dispatcher play the 20 questions game. Just sayin.
Tip #4 When You Are At The Track:
Enter and exit by the CLUBHOUSE gate. There is a TAXI STAND at the CLUBHOUSE gate. You can pick and choose the cab you want. Enough said.
Tip #5 Be Ready
You want your cab to arrive on time and cab drivers want their customers ready to go as well. If you are a large group please make sure EVERYONE is ready to go. (Inevitably there is always someone in the group who is still in the shower and still getting ready) Please make sure this isn’t you.
Tip #6 NO EATING OR DRINKING IN THE CAB:
Any respectable taxi driver keeps their cab clean and if the cab is an extension of anyone’s living room it is an extension of mine and I can’t keep it clean if I allow passengers to eat and drink in my cab. And… there is NO CONSUMPTION of ALCOHOL in taxi cabs. Yes, I know some cabbies break the rules but I am NOT one of them. It is against the law to consume alcoholic beverages in a cab and I am not losing my taxi license for you. I had a woman (surprise, surprise) in my cab last week who was very upset when I told her she wouldn’t be allowed to bring her cocktail in my cab and she bitched and complained for the duration of the trip but the law is the law. She said, “I made this cocktail special for this trip.” Oy! Please, for the love of god, don’t be this customer.
Tip#7 TAKE CARE OF PERSONAL BUSINESS ON YOUR OWN TIME
I picked up a group recently and we were heading to the track when one woman (always female) demanded that I stop at Walgreen’s ‘on the way’ to the Racecourse so she could pick up a…wait for it… a prescription! Never mind that I had back- to- back appointments in the cab and that Walgreen’s was clearly not on the way. When this group made their appointment they never said anything about making an additional stop (which ALL cab companies frown upon during racing season) Don’t be this customer.
Tip #8: HAVE YOUR MONEY READY:
I cannot stress this enough. You need to figure out who is going pay and how you are going to pay BEFORE your taxi arrives. Is everyone in your group paying individually? Is one person paying for everyone? Are you going to pay in advance, by credit card or cash? Not all cab companies take credit cards so you really should be having this conversation with your group before hand. There is nothing worse for a cab driver than having a group feign surprise when its time to pay for the cab service at the end of the ride. (keep in mind that you can’t get on a plane, train or bus without paying before hand) and it will only be a matter of time before the ‘honor system’ of cab rides will be a thing of the past.
I’m Nancy Muldoon for Inside Saratoga. Below is a list of taxi services. Disclaimer: It is not an endorsement of any company. Thank you and safe journey my frie
Dad’s Cab: 518- 488-1755
Upstate Green Cab: 518-956-0332
Stevie’s Cab: 518-290-4905
Saratoga Taxi: 518-584-2700
Hybrid Taxi: 518-698-4122