Displaying items by tag: neighbors
Q. What is it that you do at Schuylerville High School?
A. I was a football coach at Troy for 30 years and I have been here part-time for the last five years. I teach a couple of business classes in the morning and I coach football.
Q. How was your season this year?
A. It was a great year! We ended up 11-2 and we lost in the state finals which is about as good as it gets with the exception of winning it. We were state runner-ups!
Q. What made you decide to come back and coach after you were retired?
A. When I retired from teaching, a buddy of mine owned a sports marketing business and I traveled around with him for a year and a half. Then he sold his business and I knew John Bowen, the head coach at Schuylerville, for many many years. John asked me if I was interested in coming on board and coaching. I told him I was, but I didn’t really want to be an outsider to the boys. I said if there was something down here that I could do part-time I would be really excited about it. Doctor Sherman, the superintendent, had called and said that they needed somebody for the business learning lab and somebody to teach business learning classes so that’s how I fell into it.
Q. Do you live in Schuylerville?
A. I actually live in Saratoga.
Q. How long have you lived there?
A. My wife and I moved up there eight years ago. We raised our kids down in Ballston Lake and they went to Shenendehowa, so we’ve been in the Saratoga County area for over 35 years.
Q. How many children do you have?
A. I have two grown children and two little granddaughters.
Q. What are your holiday plans?
A. We’re going to try and spend a ton of time with family and friends.
Q. What is your favorite holiday movie?
A. Wow, Home Alone. When my kids were younger, they loved it. I think I’ve probably seen it a
Who: Jeff Goodell, Award-Winning Author, Energy and Environment Expert and Contributing Editor to Rolling Stone Magazine
Q. How long have you been in Saratoga Springs?
A. Sixteen years.
Q. How has the city changed during that time?
A. I like the progress in Saratoga and the changes that I’ve seen here. It’s become more prosperous, but it feels healthy and alive. I love the mix of nature and culture: I can go skiing at Gore, hiking in the Adirondacks and get on a train and go to Manhattan. I do wish there was more live music, besides SPAC.
Q. You grew up in California. How have you adapted to the change of seasons in the Northeast?
A. I always think of myself as a westerner, so I can’t figure out how I’ve spent the last 30 years on the east coast – but for work, at Rolling Stone, it’s the place to be. I do miss the west, but I travel so much so I get there a lot. And I like cold weather, too. I’m a freaky California guy. It still feels exotic to me: Oh, look, there’s snow!
Q. You spent some time with President Barack Obama in 2015 for a Rolling Stone interview piece. What can you say about the former president that people may not know?
A. That time with Obama seems very surreal now, even though it was only a couple of years ago. I spent three days with him in Alaska and we spent a lot of time together. The thing about Obama that struck me was his essential humanness. He was so unpretentious in how he carried his power, the way he treated me and the way he treated people around him. There was no sense of: I’m the President and you’re not and so what I have to say is more important than what you have to say. That may sound like a such a simple thing and a cliché, but it was very powerful and true.
I spent a couple of hours talking with him about climate change and it was just amazing the degree to which he was engaged in the conversation – not checking his watch, not looking for aids to help him. He’s a very intellectually serious person.
Q. What are you working on now?
A. I literally just finished a story about the new EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for Rolling Stone, it’ll be out in a couple of weeks. And I am planning a trip to Antarctica in January, where I’ll be for two months with British Antarctic Survey scientists who are looking at the melting ice sheets there.
WHO: Daniel Chessare
WHERE: Just off Broadway,
Where he plans on opening a Jewish deli next month.
Q. You’re a chef?
A. I am. I’ve been working in town for a very long time. I worked at Scallions for about nine years, I was a sous chef at the Wine Bar of about a year-and-a-half, and I was the head chef at Merry Monk for almost two years.
Q. Is opening your own business a goal you were always working towards?
A. I didn’t at first, but after working for other people for so long, I felt like I was ready to work for myself.
Q. When do you plan to open?
A. The first or second week of July, hopefully.
Q. Why a Jewish Deli?
A. Saratoga doesn’t have one. In a town that has so many restaurants you have to get super-specific with your business. You need to be very niche and a Jewish deli is something Saratoga doesn’t have.
Q. Are you Jewish?
A. On my mother’s side of the family.
Q. What are some things you’ll have on the menu?
A. Corned beef, pastrami, smoked salmon, potato pancakes, matzo ball soup, and then we’ll do the more obscure stuff like chopped liver and tongue, and knish and stuff like that. We’ll be doing breakfast and lunch, probably closing around five o’clock every day.
Q. Knish is obscure?
A. Around here it is. Where can you go downtown to get a knish?
Q. Where are you originally from?
A. Jersey. My family moved up here in ’97 or so, but my step-mother’s family is from up here.
Q. So, you’re pretty familiar with Saratoga?
A. Oh yes, I started washing tables and busing tables at Little India when they were on Broadway when I was 17, then I worked at Professor Moriarty’s when I was in high school and just worked my way up.
Q. What’s the biggest change in the city you seen since that time?
A. Condos and offices everywhere.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. I read a lot of books, and sometimes I make video games on the side. My college degree is in video game design.
Q. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
A. Jeffrey Goldblum.
Who: Bill Cole.
Where: Phila Street.
How long have you had a woodwind shop?
Forty years. I started out in Watervliet and about 15 years I moved up to Saratoga Springs.
How did you get into the business?
A teacher encouraged me to go to school for music. I was drawn to one program specifically that taught band instrument repair. Music instrument technology trained you how to fix instruments: woodwinds, brass and strings. When I got out I started my own shop, temporarily. Forty years later, here I am.
It's a niche market, isn’t it?
Even within my field I have a niche. Most music stores go after the big school accounts, and although I’m very happy to work on school instruments, I’m really targeting the pro horns. So, I get customers from across the country. It’s a special market and one I enjoy.
Have you ever had a brush with fame?
Over and over again. I have a book, about 300 pages, I hope to write it someday of all the things that have happened over 40 years. You’re standing right here next to Garth Hudson’s saxophone; he’s a friend of mine and we’ve had a lot of correspondence with Garth and The Band. Dave Matthews Band – we work on Jeff Coffin’s instrument when he comes to town. Chicago. Jethro Tull. Those are the big guys, but the real honor is working for the professional musician who’s playing (locally at jazz clubs) – because you know their passion for playing is so important. To be a part of that is great.
Do you play?
I don’t play professionally. Both my son and I play when we fix the instruments, but our job is to fix them; their job is to play them.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
An engineer or an architect. To this day I look at the buildings that are going up and I just marvel at them. I’ve always had a passion for that.
What are some of the best things Saratoga Springs has to offer?
When I have customers who come into town for the first time and looking for some direction about what to do, I tell them go to SPAC, have a picnic, and on the way back go to Congress Park and visit the museum; they’re going to get some nature, they’re going to get some history and then all you have to do is walk down the street and see the beautiful buildings that have been built, the beautiful buildings that have been restored. Saratoga just has something for everybody.
Who would portray you in a movie about your life?
I would say Johnny Depp, ha. He would have to shave his head and gain some weight – but I think he could nail it. Plus, he’s one of my favorite actors.
Who: Staff Sergeant Alaine Sueme.
Where: Marine Corps Recruiting Sub Station, Saratoga Springs.
Last week, you sprung to action when witnessing a two-car collision in front of the supermarket on Weibel Road. What happened?
I was walking out of the grocery store toward my car when I heard a loud screeching noise. When I looked, I saw a dark gray SUV have a head-on with another vehicle, go off the road and hit a tree.
What did you do?
I took off running towards the car. It looked like those people were going to need help.
What did you see when you got close?
I was only 30 meters away but when your adrenaline kicks in everything happens in slow motion. I saw the windshield shattered, the air bags deployed, and a person in the driver’s side with her head against the steering wheel. I called out to her, ‘Ma’am, ‘ma’am, are you OK.’ Very timidly, she said she was. I opened the driver’s side door and began asking her first-responder questions: what day is it? Do you know where you are? When is your birthday? She answered them all, but she was very dazed.
Your training provided you the tools you needed?
I’m CPR-certified, and I’ve taken a combat life saver course. Training as a Marine, we go through a lot of life-saving techniques. At that point it was second nature. I was thinking: I need to get there as fast as I can, because someone’s hurt and I want to make sure everyone’s OK – provide CPR, or first aid if need be.
What was going through your mind at the time?
I was looking at the way she was responding and what injuries she might have. There was a welt on her chest from the seatbelt. The vehicle was smoking at that point, so I wanted to get her out of the vehicle as a fast as possible. Her nose was a little bit bloody. I asked her: Does your head hurt? Does your neck hurt? She said no, so I determined it would be OK to remove her from the vehicle. I sat her down on the grass and stayed with her to make sure she was OK.
Have you heard back from the woman?
I told her my name is Alaine so I don’t think she knew I was a Marine.
Where did you grow up and what helped shape you creatively?
I was born in Dallas, Texas, and moved to Saratoga Springs when I was around 10 years old. My earliest memories include my mom taking my brother and I to art museums, and driving around in the front seat of my dad's pickup truck, because the backseat was too full of construction tools. In large ways and small, my mom and dad would always put me at the intersection of inspiration and the possibility to make something... so I was off to a good start.
I couldn't read or write until I was around eight because of a learning disability, and that was incredibly discouraging for me throughout my time in school. As a result, I always gravitated towards expressing myself through art in some capacity.
How does the creative process work for you?
It's incredibly unpredictable. Sometimes things will begin to crystalize after I've been sitting with the guitar for a little while, and other times fully formed choruses will erupt in my head - lyrics and all. I've written songs in the car and in the shower, but many of them were born in the middle of the night on my bedroom floor. Just in case, I always try to carry a notebook with me.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned traveling around the world?
The world is on your side, if you'll let it be. People want to connect with one another and help each other. When I've trusted that, and approached others with kindness, curiosity and enthusiasm, I've heard beautiful stories and had incredible conversations and have made wonderful friends. Even when bad things happened, they only opened up more room for the good in people to flourish and be seen.
On Sunday night, your homecoming will be celebrated with a concert at Caffè Lena. What can people coming to the show expect?
It's been about two years since I've played a proper show in Saratoga, so I want it to be a blast for everyone, and unique. I'll be playing songs new and old. I'm toying with the idea of playing the first song I ever played at Caffè Lena's open mic when I was 17. It might be a little embarrassing, hahaha. I attended the open mics religiously as a teenager. I would sit with other musicians in the greenroom and they would teach me cool things I could try on guitar, or we would talk about a song I was working on. The whole night is going to be really special to me, and I'm hoping everyone feels that.
Folks attending will also be given a CD with an exclusive preview of your next record.
Often we only see the finished product, and Caffè Lena is where I learned to value and fully engage with the process of writing songs. The process of writing was made so special because of the people I met there, and I thought it would be fun and appropriate to share a work "in process."
MaryLeigh Roohan will perform at Caffè Lena at 7 p.m. on Sunday June 25. Tickets are $14 general public, $12 café members and $7 students and kids.
Who: Dave Patterson.
Where: Congress Park.
What are you doing today?
Taking a group of fourth-graders from Geyser Road Elementary School on an outside tour of Congress Park. When my group is finished, we’re going to switch with Jamie Parillo – he’s the director of the Saratoga Springs History Museum – and he will take the students on an inside tour of the history museum. This is part of the fourth-grade program on local history.
Where are you from originally?
Originally from South Boston. I’ve been living in Saratoga for about 40 years now. I used to be president of the history museum, and I used to teach a course on local history at Saratoga high school.
How has Saratoga changed in the 40 years since you’ve been here?
It’s changed quite a bit. The buildings have been sprouting like flowers, but way back in the day, in the 1880s, there were buildings over there (on Broadway) that were taller than they are now. As a matter of fact, the largest hotel in the world used to be right across the street from this park: The Grand Union hotel. So as big as Saratoga is getting now with the buildings, it pales in comparison to what it was in the 1880s.
Student question: How long have the springs been in Congress Park?
One of the first springs discovered in Saratoga Springs is called Congress Spring – right over there. A man named Nicholas Gilman found water bubbling out of the ground and brought his friends to it. Because he used to be a member of the Continental Congress, they named it Congress Spring, and it was so important that this whole park used to be called Congress Spring Park.
Student question: How many springs are there?
We have 17 today. At one time, we had just over 200.
Student question: How is Saratoga with the pollution?
Saratoga’s been pretty lucky because we haven’t had a lot of industry that would create pollution. Probably the biggest polluter in Saratoga Springs would be the automobile. Of course, 100 years ago we had horses and carriages - and horses have their own kind of pollution, if you know what I mean, so you had to keep the streets clean.
Student question: Are any of these places here haunted?
The building right behind you. Did you ever see a show called “Ghost Hunters”? Well a few years ago they came in and said there were spirits right in the museum here.
Student Response: Awesome!!!
Who: Joe Deuel, photographer, sound man.
Where: Caffè Lena.
You’re a native Saratogian. How long has your family been here? What did they do?
I’m the fifth generation. And everyone in town knew my dad. He was a pro bowler in the ‘50s and had a photo studio on Phila Street. Later, he ended up being the manager of Saratoga Bowl and Hi-Roc Lanes. I kind of grew up in bowling alleys.
How long have you been interested in photography?
I always had a camera in my hand, from the time I was eight. It was a cheap little thing and I was always shooting pictures. Later, they had a photo club when I was in junior high – it’s the Lake Avenue School now - and the first time I saw a print develop, that was it.
Do you remember the first time you came to the café?
I was in 12th grade and came here with two friends from high school. This was late ’72 or early ’73. Utah Philipps was recording his album called “Good Though!” That was my introduction to Caffè Lena. Utah turned out to be a real influence, a real teacher.
You have been the sound man at Caffè Lena for several decades. How did that start?
I came here to do the dishes one night and got wrapped up in the place. Someone asked me to do the sound one night for Peppino D’Agostino, the Italian guitar wizard. I helped him turn a few knobs, then Lena kind of stuck me on it and there was no getting out.
What are your lasting impressions of Lena, who died in 1989?
Lena was pretty complicated and fascinating in a lot of ways. I remember I’d go out on Thursdays and buy all the groceries for the weekend and come in and do sound and wait tables at the same time. On the days I wasn’t here I’d asked her, “Why don’t you call me, so I know you’re OK, or if you need anything.” So, she’d call me every morning. She was like my alarm clock. The first thing I did every morning was get a phone call from Lena, and we’d chat. It was sad when that stopped.
You have probably had many a-brush with fame?
This town’s crazy because with SPAC here. You can be sitting in Desperate Annie’s and the guy sitting next to you is Donovan. A friend of mine was sitting in the Parting Glass once, and Tom Waits walked in - still wearing his bum clothes from (filming the movie) “Ironweed,” and they were about to boot him out of there. Robert Plant came in one night. This town’s full of funny things. The first time the Talking Heads played at SPAC, the band showed up at the Bijou where we were watching Fear of Strangers, who were a great Albany band. I was wearing my Harley jacket and my Ramones T-shirt and Jerry Harrison walked up to me, laughed and said: Nice shirt. That cracked me up. We ended up chatting for a little while.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in Saratoga Springs during your lifetime?
The bottom line for me is that I can’t afford to live here anymore. One thing I always looked for in apartments was how far the walk was from the café, because I was here all the time. Now it’s a 10-mile drive for me. It was such a threadbare, defunct town in the ‘70s. The stores on Caroline and Phila were pretty much shut down. There were some old stores on Broadway that had been there forever, then the mall came and that made it worse downtown. There were some great places I miss to this day, like Mabbett’s and Farmers Hardware. Even though the town now is gleaming and successful it’s gotten a little too precious. I think the ‘80s, when things started to come around, was a wonderful time here.
Who: Ruth Crotty.
Where: Congress Park.
Q. What are you doing today?
A. Painting. My composition is down this stream, picking up the reflective light and catching some of that beautiful willow tree.
Q. Why did you select this location?
A. I’ve been over here the past two days scouting out locations. My studio is at the Amp Galleries, but the morning light here is quite beautiful.
Q. When did you first come to Saratoga Springs.
A. We just moved in to town a year ago after living between Ballston Spa and Galway. We lived on a 85- acre farm for 44 years. When I first got married we in Saratoga Springs. That was in the early ‘70s. Having lived in the country, we drove everywhere. My goal now is to use my car only once a week, if I have to. I love being able to walk everywhere. I like the availability of everything.
Q. What was it like living in Saratoga Springs during the 1970s?
A. It was basically boarded-up at that point, but we still loved it. The bones of the city, you know? To me, it was aesthetically pleasing even back then. I love the architecture, the homes on North Broadway, the grand scale of the 1800s that was still here and still very much intact.
Q. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A. I always wanted to be an artist. I’ve painted since I was 10 years old and I have a bachelor of fine arts degree from Tyler School of Art in painting.
Q. What are some of the other arts you’re interested in?
A. I like classical music and opera. I love “Carmen.” When I paint in my studio that’s the one that really get my juices flowing. My favorite film? I love “Casablanca.”
Q. Is there something you would like to see more of in the city?
A. To me Saratoga is idyllic. I like the walkability of it. There is so much: the restaurants, the arts and SPAC, the influence of Skidmore. To me, this town has everything. And the track. I like that it’s here for six weeks. I know August is busy and it could be annoying when you’re trying to do things during the day with the extra cars and the people, but to me, I like that excitement.
Neighbors: Snippets of Life From Your Community
Who: Dawn Oesch.
Where: Saratoga Sweets Candy Co., Washington Street.
Q. What are you doing today?
A. I’m making bunnies. Chocolate bunnies, and Tall Bunny - the big guy is 2-1/2 pounds.
Q. Where are you from originally?
A. Lake Placid.
Q. How long have you been in Saratoga Springs?
A. Nineteen years. I love the city more than anything. Moving here, I loved that it had the same charm as Lake Placid, but on a bigger scale.
Q. How has Saratoga changed over the years?
A. We’ve been getting more commercial with more big-box stores coming into our area, which is a little scary. There’s room for everybody, but you don’t want your quaint town to turn into Everyday U.S.A. because you can go anywhere and see these places. So, keep it to the minimum we have now. No more thank you.
Q. What’s the best thing about Saratoga?
The people who live here. Some say this is a tourist town, that money falls from the sky, but any business person will tell you it’s not like that, especially when they first open. What makes it is the locals. I love that I know their names and what they want. That’s the best part of it.
Q. What is the biggest challenge you personally face?
A. My dogs destroying the garbage can every day. I have two dogs, both beagle mixes: a beagle basset I rescued last year who’s three or four, and Sawyer – a six-year-old beagle border collie who’s stubborn and smart I’ve had since he was a puppy. With the garbage can, I even have a lock on it and they still get into it.
Q. What is the biggest challenge you face business-wise?
I’ve been here for 19 years and I love my little store. This is my baby and I would like to be here for another 19, but our landlord sold our building, or is in the process of selling it. We can possibly go in the new building (when completed), but where do you go while they’re building the new building?
Q. Tell me a joke
A. My favorite is a knock-knock joke. It goes like this:
Q. You are active in regional theater?
A. My favorite theaters to work in are Home Made Theater in the State Park, and the Local Actors Guild at the Arts Center.
Last fall I directed “Shrek The Musical” at Home Made Theater. We had a cast of 32 and a tech crew of 15. There was a three-week run and it was awesome. The next thing I’m going to do is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” That has a cast of about 50. that will be next spring, so I can start planning now. I’m a planaholic. I like to be uber-organized.