I grew up in the 'Burbs. I say that with a twinge of sarcasm sincealmost everywhere in upstate NY is considered either Suburbia or farm country. There are a few true cities in the Capital Region; Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs (just summarizing - not intentionally excluding.) Having spent my tween and teen years growing up in Ballston Spa I'm biased in saying that Saratoga Springs is by far my favorite city in the area. To be honest I haven't found too many small cities that can compare. For me, Saratoga Springs encompasses what every small city should strive to be/have; community driven, friendly residents, beautiful architecture, history, delicious restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, not to mention several famous landmarks (Saratoga Battlefield and the Saratoga Race Course to name a few.) My love affair with Saratoga runs deep!
After over 10 years in the Suburbs (Malta) we uprooted the family to downtown Saratoga Springs. We had been contemplating a move for quite some time waiting for that perfect opportunity to arise and that it did, in a fixer-upper on Regent St. So, here we are and it's an adjustment. Let me preface by saying that I'm in love with the change. I adore our old house, creaky wood floors and all! And I know in 6 months-time the renovations should be close to complete and we will be more settled into our city life. But honestly, it's still a pretty big change. I like our neighbors - but adapting to living 10 feet away from your next door neighbor as opposed to 50 yards away in the 'Burbs takes some getting used to. It reminds of the scene in "Big" where the two boys are talking to each other through their bedroom windows. We're that close. I guess I'm just accustomed to my privacy and also protective of my children's privacy. On the other hand I get a huge kick out of waking up in the morning, going down in the kitchen to grab some coffee and waving to my neighbor through our kitchen windows. A cup of sugar is only a few steps away (or a wine opener in our case!) Another adjustment for the family is the traffic and noise. Thankfully this was just minor. The traffic on Regent St. is minimal and the noises, well, you get used to them just as you do any house noises. One such noise we were super excited to hear were the fireworks on New Year's Eve. A quick walk out the front door onto our porch and low and behold, we have the ultimate porch view for Congress Park Fireworks. New house bonus!
As I sit here writing and thinking of other city v. country living comparisons all I can come up with is how lucky we are to have found this house in the town we love and how much I can't wait for the girls to grow up here. I would be remiss if I didn't say that I also cannot wait till the summer to take full advantage of our location. I see Friday night Happy Hour cocktail sessions with family and friends on the front porch, walking downtown to meet up with friends, riding bikes with the girls and Chip around the Eastside, a leisurely walk to the track to catch the 1st race or down to the Farmer's Market and family picnics in Congress Park...just to name a few. In my opinion this city has the best of both worlds and I for one couldn't be happier about it.
Renovating Regent Hi – my name is Wendy Lawrence. My husband Chip, our two girls Chloe (4) and Maddie (3) and I just moved into quite the fixer-upper in downtown Saratoga Springs. Considering how busy our family is (and how disorganized I can be) I decided to start a blog to document this huge transition in our life. Chip and I are both from Ballston Spa but lived downtown for about 10 years after we graduated college (separately as friends J) The last 10 years we have lived in a lovely home in Malta but we were always keeping our eyes open for a project downtown. Chip found 210 Regent and the rest is history. All the renovations have been done by Chip, myself, family, friends and some sub-contractors but by far this has been a labor of love for Chip and I. The blog covers everything from before and after pictures to adjusting to life in a new, still under-construction home.