Over the past couple of weeks a few things have brought to my attention just how much I love living here, in Saratoga Springs in New York. Now, just a little background first, I'm originally from New Jersey (Tenafly to be exact) and I moved to New York for college and have been living in New York state ever since. I moved here, to Saratoga, almost four years ago now but I had been in deep love with Saratoga long before that. I used to come and visit, we would shop, go out to eat, have drinks, go to the track, I was head over heels for it here. When it came time to find a place to settle and get down to the business of raising my family Saratoga Springs was at the top of my list. Last weekend a friend of mine from college came to visit, and as we were walking around downtown she kept on pointing out all of the great places she wanted to try. We weaved in and out of shops, stopped for a bite to eat, hit up a local photography studio opening, and chatted about the perks of living here. She asked if we had yoga studios and I said "Which kind of yoga?". I told her how we had Hot Yoga, kids yoga, Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Bikram, Barkan, Anusara, meditation, yoga for pretty much anyone who wants to do yoga, we've got a studio for you. We also have spinning, Pilates, mommy and me classes, Hula Hooping classes, dance, Zumba, kickboxing, belly dancing, step classes, EVERYTHING!
We've got a State Park right next to downtown where you can walk your dog, jog, run, bike, golf, play tennis, cross country ski, ice skate, play hockey, swim, camp, hike, picnic, play on a playground and so much more. You can check out the opera, the ballet, jazz, TONS of amazing shows at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center or see a performance at the Homemade Little Theater.
We have our VERY OWN Children's Museum! How many places can say that? We have a Public Library that has dozens of family programs for all age groups. We have so many fantastic preschools to choose from, plus a free preschool program, not to mention our fabulous public schools.
Want to eat? Take your pick from Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Irish, French, Mexican, Spanish, the best fried chicken you'll ever have, we are spoiled for choice by all of these amazing restaurants. Want local food? Many of the restaurants use local food on their menus already, and we also have an unbelievable farmers' market that runs all year long where you can get local produce, milk, cheese, eggs, meat and even more.
I know some of you aren't crazy about the "tourists" in the summer, but want to know a secret? I love them. I love when the city gets all full of new people and the sidewalks are bustling and there is live music pouring out of the open windows, events happening every weekend and new people to meet. I love hearing the ballerinas chatting at the Adelphi in the summer, I love seeing friends who come up to watch the world class racing and polo, I love watching our city pull out all the stops to put on a good time for everyone. The fact that our downtown was recently named one of "America's Greatest Main Streets" in the May 2012 edition of Travel and Leisure Magazine came as no surprise, we have an awesome downtown, and there is something for everyone on offer.
Some of you may call me a Pollyanna about Saratoga, but the fact is here on Mamatoga I talk about what I love, and I LOVE YOU Saratoga Springs! I am full on head over heels in love with you and I DO care who knows it. My kids get to meet Santa on Broadway in the winter, swim at a historic pool in the summer, attend amazing schools and free educational programs year round. I get to check out art, music, Saratoga Reads!, ArtsFest, SPAC, the track, polo, amazing food, shops, businesses and meet some fantastic local people. I had my baby in your hospital, I love walking through your parks, I love Yaddo and Beekman Street and the museums, I love our YMCA, Chowderfest, First Night and the Firecracker Four; our horses and all of the fabulous friends I have met here. What I really love though is the support that this community gives to each other. All of the runs, fundraisers, and special events show just how much we all want to support each other's causes and our community. Watch below for the love song to go along with my love letter. The weather is starting to warm up, and I can't wait for a nice long summer romance with you Saratoga, here I come...