The Times Union's Cheryl Clark seemed to like what she found at Duo on South Broadway in Saratoga Springs. You can read the review here. You can also read comments about the restaurant and the review on the T-U's Table Hopping Blog.
Second quarter City and county tax payment are due this coming Wednesday, June 1, 2011. You can drop your payment off to city hall or get the envelope postmarked (not a meter mark) by June 1, 2011 to avoid late fees. Click here for the tax payment page on the Saratoga Springs city web site.
Tax payments may be mailed to the Commissioner of Finance, PO Box 328, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-0328 or hand delivered to City Hall at 474 Broadway. The tax office is located on the first floor of City Hall, first door on the left when entering from Broadway. The office hours are Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All checks should be made payable to COMMISSIONER OF FINANCE.
An entry in The New York Times Horse Racing blog "The Rail" notes that The Belmont Stakes could have as many as 16 entrants (the maximum allowed) in the race on June 11th. The highest number of entrants previously was 15 in 1983. The entry also had some other interesting items about The Belmont and horse racing - even how The Preakness Stakes is being used against Vermont's Governor.
I stopped by the Saratoga Springs Farmers' Market last week and as usual it was a great experience. There were a few notable changes from last year and I guess it's good to have it change a little from year to year. One thing I noticed was that there is now fish brought in fresh on Friday night from Pura Vida Fisheries out on eastern Long Island. I won't be able to make it to the market tomorrow, but I will try to get there early next week and get some nice filets from the vendor. Pura Vida is owned by Captain Rick Lofstad and in the video below he discusses his business and the joy he gets from delivering fresh fish to customers. It was a pretty interesting video and I enjoyed hearing about where the fish comes from and how it is processed.
I also bought some Jeruselum artichokes and fiddleheads - two new vegetable sfor me that's for sure - from the Kilpatrick Family Farm, which is one of my favorite vendors there. The fiddleheads, pictured below both at the farm and then in my kitchen, were sure kind of weird to look at, but anything that strange looking has to be nutritious, right? I sauteed them up with some oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic as Drew Kerr, yes that Drew Kerr, who helps them out on the weekends, told me to. My wife and I enjoyed them, although Margarita sure gave me a strange look at first when she first saw them lol. They sort of had a brussels sprouts flavor.
I haven't cooked the Jerusalem artichokes yet - they can be used similarly to potatoes I guess. I'll let you know. So get to the farmers market and try a few different items - no - a few different fresh and locally grown items - and you'll not only be feeding you and your family some high-quality food but you'll also support the local economy.
If you didn't catch Saratoga Performing Arts Center President and Executive Director Marcia White's latest post on her T-U blog, she has a great video on there that previews SPAC's 2011 season. I am a fan of Marcia White's, but she has her nitpicker's that comment on that blog that are never happy. Don't ever forget SPAC was at best a dysfunctional organization and arguably much worse prior to Ms. White's arrival there, and it seems like some of the old guard is still holding a grudge for her crashing of the party and consistent success. She is extremely competent and has our local jewel staying out of deficits and other problems that plagued the previous SPAC administration and had it in the headlines for the wrong reasons. I will post the preview video below, and you can read Marcia White's blog entry here.
I called CDTA yesterday to find out when the Route 471 bus would return to service and was disappointed, at first anyway, to find out that the route was discontinued and would not be returning this year. Just when I was about to hang up and write an ugly missive about CDTA not promoting the route properly etc. the CDTA employee I spoke to told me that part of the route would be covered by a rerouting of the Saratoga Visitors Trolley, aka Route 875. Hmmm, I thought to myself, this has potential.
In previous years the trolley, which runs during the summer months, went from the Hall of Springs, along Broadway, and up to Skidmore College. Well the Hall of Springs start made some sense, as well as of course taking the trolley up Broadway, and I did see some riders going to and from Skidmore last summer, but this rerouting, which will exclude the Skidmore loop, will likely be a great improvement.
First of all, Skidmore may have summer classes and other activities and functions in July and August, but certainly not the crowds that either track gets. And yes, riders could take the #471 bus between downtown and the track (or the #473 bus to the Casino and Harness Track) but "Saratoga Race Course" and "city bus" just don't go together, and the 471 route was underutilized even during track season. Let's face it, many track attendees aren't ever going to take a city bus to the Saratoga Race Course, and I don't blame them. I'm a big supporter of public transportation, but everything has its place. For many, a day at the track is a reason to dress up and enjoy a fun and perhaps even regal experience. The city bus isn't fun and it certainly isn't regal, but the trolley, at least on the fun part, is a home run.
The trolley will go from the Hall of Springs, up Broadway, east on Lake, south on Circular, east on Union Avenue, south on Nelson (with a stop at Wright Street near the Clubhouse entrance to the track) and on to the Casino. You can click the schedule and map here; service starts this Sunday, May 29th. I think this route will be a hit and may even alleviate parking problems downtown by allowing people to keep their cars at the tracks and catch a ride. I commend CDTA for this move, and I hope demand is so great that the authority has to add more trolleys here in future years.
Finally, don't confuse the CDTA Saratoga Visitors (blue) Trolley with the privately run Horsin Around (red) Trolley. Horsin Around is a good option for an event or those going somewhere with a group. From Horsin Around's Facebook page: "Great things happening for the Summer '11 season - trips to Lake George, Saratoga Lake, ghost tours with Dave Pitkin, Pub Crawls, hiking/waterfall tours, countryside picnics & more. Season Begins - weekends in June...fulltime- July 1st." You can find Horsin Around's web site here. See you on the trolley!