Archive for the ‘Visitor Tips’ Category

Dinner and Hockey

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Last night was dinner at Raul’s Mexican Grill on the round-a-bout in downtown Glens Falls and an Adirondack Phantom’s hockey game at the Civic Center. Raul’s is a small restaurant that serves a Mexican/fusion, rather than Tex/Mex style of dinning, which wifey and I prefer. As I said, place is small, so at times it’s hard to get a table on a walk-up with no res. So far, I haven’t had a bad meal and have tried something dif each time we have visited. We were joined by son Eric, and his friends Jay and Kara. After dinner, we all headed over to the Civic Center to catch the last game of the season between Adirondack and the Albany Devils, Adk won 4-1. The hockey is very uptempo like today’s NHL, this is the AHL, one step below the bigs. Adk is the Philadelphia Flyers top farm team and Albany is naturally the Devils farm team. Funny, my sis and her hubby, the captain, are rabid Devils fans. To them, the hated rivals are, naturally the NY Rangers, and….the Flyers (my sis almost got into a flight w/a Flyers fan in the ladies room one time when we were at a game at the Devils old arena at the MeadowLands). By coincidence, the Phantom’s moved here from Phila when their arena was torn down to make room for parking for the Flyers new arena, and the Devils around same time moved their farm team from MA, back to Albany, just 50 miles apart makes for a heated rivalry and the game shows it.

Eric and Tani chating at Raul's

Eric and Tani chatting at Raul's

In it's previous life, Raul's was a barber shop on the cornor of downtown, now a round-a-bout.

In it's previous life, Raul's was a barber shop on a corner in the center of downtown, now the round-a-bout.

The game

The game

A Phantom's power play

A Phantom's power play

They score a power play goal...

They score a power play goal...

April Fools!!

Friday, April 1st, 2011

After all the hype about the pending nor’easter, the storm wimps-out and is downgraded to only a couple of inches. Hey, I’ll take it. For those of you visiting the area, and looking for something fun to do, there is a Brewfest this Saturday 4 – 8 at the Queensbury Hotel in downtown Glens Falls. Here’s some more info on the brewfest. Also, check-out the VisitLakeGeorge web site, it’s whitewater rafting and maple sugar season. These 3 are your best opportunities if you are looking for something to do this weekend. It’s too early to hike the Adirondacks, you can get info from the Adirondack Mountain Club on that.

Fall Foliage Update

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

It is looking like the foliage will¬† peak 1 to 2 weeks early. I noticed on this morning’s flight, that the colors are coming on strong, just since my Monday morning flight. Those of you who want to view the foliage at or near it’s peak, will need to schedule your flight withing the next 2 weeks. I have plenty of space available on my weekday flights, the weekends are full until the 9th. The color should hang on through the 3rd weekend, but after that, it probably will be over. Here is what it looks like around peak foliage around here –

One of the views out in the flying area

One of the views out in the flying area

Peak color from up high

Peak color from up high

The way it looks right now out there!

The way it looks right now out there!

Peak foliage up close

Peak foliage up close

What peak foliage looks like on a late afternoon flight.

What peak foliage looks like on a late afternoon flight.

A fall foliage engagement flight

A fall foliage engagement flight

Downtown Glens Falls

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Downtown Glens Falls has been undergoing a bit of a renaissance as of late. Toward the end of the recent boom, some of the Saratoga development money moved north to where they figured the next “it” place would be, Glens Falls. A couple of condo projects opened with much fanfare, but did about as well as most condo projects did at the end of the boom, and went back to the bank. No matter, there are many other positive things happening for downtown. Many of the old store fronts have recently been purchased and the buildings refurbished. A number of new shops and fantastic restaurants have opened in the last couple of years, and are doing well despite the condo bust. I will take you on a tour of my hometown, show you some of what’s happened, and highlight some of my favorites.
On a recent rainy Saturday, our friends, Rick and Roseann Pollock from Burlington VT, came down for a visit. Tani and I took them to downtown Glens Falls for lunch. We ended up at The Chocolate Mill on Glen Street. The Chocolate Mill’s pastry chef, Jessica Vollkommer, was recently named one of the top ten pastry chefs in America by Dessert Professional magazine. If you visit the shop and check-out the pastry counter, you will see why. But frankly, while the food is good and the pastry is beautiful to look at, I prefer the place we go to over in Salem, Steininger’s. Afterward, the ladies went shopping, there are some nice boutique type shops that have been opening in downtown, and, Rick and I went to Davidson Brother’s Brew Pub to enjoy a fine craft brew, or two. We decided that on their next visit, we’ll eat lunch at Davidson’s, more our speed-so to speak! Later we walked around a bit to show them all that’s happening downtown. We took them by our favorite place in downtown for dinner, Bistro Tallulah. I have never been disappointed with a meal at Tallulah’s. Right across the street is downtown’s newest restaurant, The Blackwatch. I haven’t eaten there yet, but the chef is well thought of. The chef, Jason Baker, features a local farm-to-table approach to the menu as well as a chef’s tasting menu. I do plan on checking them out soon and will add a bog on our experience. One of the better things to come to downtown, is the Adirondack Theatre¬† Festival. ATF runs a six week season from late June through end of July and is the only professional summer theatre in the Capital District, Saratoga and Adirondack region of upstate New York. They typically feature 3 mainstage productions, including a late night cabaret. It’s worth checking it out if you like the theatre. Another good place to eat is The 132 Glen Street Bistro. Chef Kevin Bethel opened his doors early, before much of the recent development happened in downtown. Kevin features good food in a casual atmosphere at a reasonable price. It’s been a favorite of our’s for a long time. There are many other things happening downtown such as museums like The Hyde. The Hyde currently is featuring a show of Andrew Wyeth works, has in it’s permanent collection such famous artists like Renoir, Rubens, Seurat, Picasso and Rembrandt, to name a few. There also is a children’s museum, The World Awareness Museum, and a local history museum, The Chapman. There is also Coopers Cave, that was memorialized in James Fennimor Cooper’s classic American novel, Last of the Mohican’s. There is a viewing platform of the “cave” under the bridge that spans the Hudson River between Glens Falls and South Glens Falls, on the SGF side of the river. As a kid, we used to play on the rocks, dive into pools and crawl through the cave. You can’t get there anymore, sorry. That’s all for now on this trip.

Outside the Chocolate Mill Cafe and Raul's Mexican next door. Raul's has good Mexican according to the chef/owner of Bistro Tallulah.

Outside the Chocolate Mill Cafe and Raul's Mexican next door. Raul's has good Mexican according to the chef/owner of Bistro Tallulah.

Inside The Chocolate Mill Cafe

Inside The Chocolate Mill Cafe

Rick & Roseann waiting on lunch

Rick & Roseann waiting on lunch

A wet view north on Glen St/Route 9.

A wet view north on Glen St/Route 9.

Looking west on Hudson Ave and the Round-a-bout. Hey, it was a big decission whether to have a round-a -bout. Also you are looking toward The Mill Condominiums, you can rent an apartment from the bank if you want?

Looking west on Hudson Ave and the Round-a-bout. Hey, it was a big decission whether to have a round-a -bout or not. Also you are looking toward The Mill Condominiums, where you can rent an apartment from the bank if you want?

Looking north on Ridge St or 9L

Looking north on Ridge St or 9L

Our fav downtown eating establishment

Our fav downtown eating establishment

The Wood Theatre on Glen St, where ATF holds it's shows

The Wood Theatre on Glen St, where ATF holds it's shows

Saratoga Springs

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Saratoga Springs is just a half hour south of Lake George, and a half hour north of Albany, the Capital District. Saratoga has retained it’s Victorian era charm, which was it’s early golden age. What originally attracted people to Saratoga was the horses at it’s race track, and it’s many mineral springs. Today, Saratoga is a happening place, with many fine restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues. Saratoga Performing Arts Center, or SPAC, is the area’s best know entertainment venue that draws nationally famous artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and the Philadelphia Orchestra, NYC Ballet, the Dave Mathew’s Band, and the annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival. Saratoga Springs is also home to Yaddo, a 400 acre artists colony founded by Wall Street financier Spencer Trask and his author wife Katrina. Since it’s inception in 1900, Yaddo has been home to 60 Pulitzer Prize winning authors and one Nobel Prize winner. Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote and David Sedaris have all been artisis-in-residence.

The Yaddo

The Yaddo

An early spring tour around Yaddo gardens with our friends, the Leahy's.

An early spring tour around Yaddo gardens with our friends, the Leahy's.

Congress Park in center of Saratoga

Congress Park in center of Saratoga Springs

Spit & Spat fountain in Congress Park

Spit & Spat fountain in Congress Park

Park statuary

Park statuary

more Park views

more Park views

One of Saratoga's many mineral springs

One of Saratoga's many mineral springs

The Bread Basket Bakery across from the Park on Spring Street - yummy!

The Bread Basket Bakery across from the Park on Spring Street - yummy!

View down Broadway/Rt 9, Saratoga's main drag

View down Broadway/Rt 9, Saratoga's main drag

The Adelphi, the last of old Victorian area Hotels left standing that used to line Broadway

The Adelphi, the last of the old Victorian era hotels that used to line Broadway

Wifey's favorite kiddie shop for grandson Milo - Zola Kids

Wifey's favorite kiddie shop on Broadway for grandson Milo - Zola Kids

Best coffee shop on Broadway - Uncommon Grounds

Best coffee shop on Broadway - Uncommon Grounds

Two of Saratoga's institutions, Hatties Chicken Shack and Lina's Coffee House on Phila Street. Celebrety Chef Bobby Flay challenged Hattie's chef Jason Alexander to a fried chicken "throw-down" for his Food Network TV show.

Two of Saratoga's institutions, Hattie's Chicken Shack and Caffe Lina, on Phila Street. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay, challenged Hattie's chef, Jason Alexander, to a fried chicken "throw-down" for Flay's Food Network TV show. Lina's coffee house was a venue that launched careers of young folk artists like Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and Don McLean, who is said to have composed his "American Pie" while sitting at a table at the Tin & Lint Bar on Caroline Street.

The Beekman Street Art's District. Interesting off-Broadway shopping and restaurants

The Beekman Street Art's District. Interesting off-Broadway shopping and restaurants

Saratoga has a vibrant Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings on High Rock Ave.

Saratoga has a vibrant Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings on High Rock Ave.

Another market view

Another market view

Our favorite place to eat in Saratoga, Maestro's on Broadway, next to The Adelphi

Our favorite place to eat in Saratoga, Maestro's on Broadway, next to The Adelphi

Scallions on Lake Ave, next to The Parting Glass Irish Pub. Scallions is great for a lite meal

Scallions on Lake Ave, next to The Parting Glass Irish Pub. Scallions is great for a lite meal

Trip to Fort Ti

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Wifey and I decided to make a trip north on a beautiful Friday and have a picnic on the grounds of Fort Ticonderoga, which overlooks Lake Champlain. Fort Ti is a place we used to bring our boys when they were young for picnics and expose them to the living history of our area. Fort Ti’s history dates back to the French and Indian Wars of 1754 to 1763 between the English and French, that in 1756, erupted into a world wide conflict known as the Seven Years War. Both the British and the French made claims on area territory in a struggle for a North American Empire. A little bit north of Ti is Crown Point State Historic Site, which holds the ruins of the largest fortification built by the British on North American soil. Both forts played a part in the American Revolution of 1775, providing canon and ordinance for General Washington’s campaign against the British in Boston. There are car ferries that provide transport across Lake Champlain to Vermont at both forts.

Entrance to Fort Ti

Entrance to Fort Ti grounds

Into the Fort

Into the Fort

Overlooking Lake Champlain

Overlooking Lake Champlain

The Kings Garden

Wifey's main attraction at Fort Ti

Wifey's main attraction at Fort Ti

Wifey checking out the veggies growing in the soldiers Garrison Garden

Wifey checking out the veggies growing in the soldiers Garrison Garden

Into the Kings Garden

Into the Kings Garden

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The way out

The way out

The old Pavilion, built as a private residence by the Pell family in 1826, later converted to a hotel in 1839 to receive the early "heritage tourists" that travelled by steamboat to visit the ruins of Ft Ticonderoga

The old Pavilion, built as a private residence by the Pell family in 1826, later converted to a hotel in 1839 to receive the early "heritage tourists" that travelled by steamboat to visit the ruins of Ft Ticonderoga

Park in the Village of Ticonderoga which was once the site of an early International Paper Mill

Park in the Village of Ticonderoga which was once the site of an early International Paper Mill

The car ferry on Lake Champlain between Ft Ti and Shoram Vt

The car ferry on Lake Champlain between Ft Ti and Shoreham

That's it for this trip!

That's it for this trip!


Martha’s Dandee Creme

Monday, May 31st, 2010

When I was a kid growing up in So Glens Falls, we had a favorite place to go for popsicles and such, Engwer’s (sp?) Market. It was a small neighborhood type market that was typical to the day back then. The owner, Mr Engwer, had a saying he would repeat when we came for our ice sweet treats from his cooler, “You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream”. Anyhow, a time honored soft ice cream place around here for locals is Martha’s Dandee Creme that is right across from The Great Escape Six Flags amusement park on Rt 9. If you have a itch for soft ice creme, this is as good as any.

Martha's Famous Rooster Sign

Martha's Famous Rooster Sign

Six Flags Great Escape Park is just across Rt 9

Six Flags Great Escape Park is just across Rt 9