There are so many different types of pizza out there it’s hard to know what to expect when you are in an unfamiliar place.
There are the famous types of pizza, New York Pizza, Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, and even California Pizza. But I had no idea that in different areas of New York State, the pizza is different.
Pizza in the Finger Lakes region has thick crust and is cut into squares.
I have had many, many different styles of pizza over my lifetime. Growing up in the Finger Lakes area, Waterloo, NY to be exact, we ate thick crust pizza. The crust was over an inch thick, with tons of little air holes, and was crunchy, especially the bottom. It was topped with a thin layer of sauce and cheese and then whatever toppings you want. It was a rectangle shaped pizza, cut into square pieces. There were outside crust pieces and inside pieces with no crust.
When chain restaurant pizza became popular they all seemed to have a similar style which I would say was a traditional style pizza. Unless the chains tailor their styles to the region they are in (like Pizzaria Uno), I thought they served “normal” pizza. Chains like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesars’ and Papa John’s have very similar sized pizzas. They have fairly thick chewy crust, substantial layer of sauce, decent amount of cheese, then toppings. Of course, Pizza Hut original pizza was a thick and greasy crust with tons of sauce. These chains give you a round pizza cut into triangle slices.
The Rochester, NY area has what I would call traditional pizza. Even the local pizza places match the chain restaurants.
Buffalo style pizza has a soft chewy crust, a solid layer of cheese and fresh toppings.
Then I experienced a new kind of pizza. I met my hubby who is from Buffalo, NY. I love Buffalo pizza. It has a thick, chewy crust, but it’s soft and can easily be torn off. It has a pretty good layer of sauce but the cheese is very different. Buffalo pizza has a solid layer of cheese on top. All the shredded cheese melts together to form a delicious solid layer of cheese. And the cheese itself in Buffalo just tastes different. Yummy.
All these different pizza places have pretty standardized sizes. Small is good for one person, medium could be split into 2 portions, large would easily feed three people, maybe 4 with nothing leftover and a sheet or party pizza is a big, rectangle of pizza cut into squares that could feed, well a party.
So, what is Saratoga Style pizza??
Saratoga Springs pizza is much like New York style with long, foldable slices.
Saratoga Pizza reminds me a lot of New York Style pizza. It’s a thin crust that bends when you pick up the long slices. It’s always round, cut into big triangles where the tip hangs off the edge of your paper plate. Many people fold the slice the long way to eat it and some people use two hands, one on the back crust and one under the middle of the slice.
There is definitely a difference across New York State when it comes to types of pizza. Saratoga Pizza may be shaped the same but the taste differs from place to place, be sure to try all of the local pizza places to find out which ones you like.
Are there other types of pizza in New York State that I missed? What are your favorite pizza places in Saratoga Springs? Let us know in the comments below!
How to know what size pizza to order in Saratoga Springs. Small, Medium, Large, Sheet? Seems pretty simple right. Well read on…
Pizza is a quick and easy meal to call up, order, pick up and eat. Right?
On moving day to Saratoga Springs, I thought it would be a nice to get pizza for the movers. They drove from Rochester to Saratoga and were going back to Rochester after they unloaded. So I Googled pizza places in the area of our rental house and found some close by. I called and ordered 5 large pizzas with various toppings on each and one with just cheese. I figured IF there was any left over the kids, hubby and I could eat for dinner or snack.
I was shocked when I went to pick them up! It cost over $125 and I had a ton of pizza! I ended up with what I would call 5 sheet pizzas! I’m sure when the lady told me the cost my mouth fell open.
Pretty much since then I have tried hard to order pizza correctly. I still get it wrong.
Here is where it gets tricky to order. In Saratoga Springs, you don’t order by small, medium, large. You order by inches. I learned the hard (expensive) way, so now you can learn from my errors. What you would order from the national chain pizza places, small, medium, large, and sheet pizza, CAN coincide with the specific inch sizes here in Saratoga. You just need to know what you’re looking for.
What does it look like?
Pizza sizes in Saratoga Springs
The size you order will depend on how many people are eating and if you want pizza leftover. If you have had pizza at the national chains base the size you order on the sizes they serve. Or just go with the classic 18″ pizza and enjoy!
Stromatolites at Petrified Sea Gardens are among the oldest fossils ever discovered
If you are looking for interesting things to do in Saratoga Spring, how about stepping back in time further than the Revolutionary War? And it’s no cost at all. Saratoga Springs is famous for it’s history and culture, but I had no idea it was this old!
Did you know that New York State used to part of a tropical sea? Yep, there is evidence of sea life from the Cambrian Age right here in Saratoga Springs NY. The Cambrian age is the first age of the Paleozoic Era and according to Wikipedia ranged 541–485 million years ago. And right here in Saratoga Springs NY there is rare evidence of the beginning of life.
This Geologic discovery of fossilized sea life is known as the Petrified Sea Gardens. I found information online that says that this ancient area used to be a cool tourist place. The Petrified Sea Gardens in Saratoga Springs NY were first discovered in 1922 with a tourist area opened to the public in 1924. Throughout our modern history the area has been recognized as a National Landmark and a National Natural Landmark. It seems that the public access park closed in 2006 and is now on private property. It’s really sad that I missed such an amazing public park.
There is still good news! There is a small area right off the road where visitors can still enjoy the fossilized creatures and stand in an area that is over 485 million years old.
Standing on fossils created 500 million years ago
The life forms that are preserved at the Petrified Sea Gardens in Saratoga Springs are called stromatolites and are the oldest evidence scientist have of any life on earth. These stromatolite communities used photosynthesis and because oxygen are the bi-product of photosynthesis, these communities are believed to be the cause of Earth’s atmosphere being changed from carbon dioxide rich to the oxygen rich we have today (article from Indiana University Bloomington and an article from the University of California Museum of Paleontology).
Stromatolite communities are still being formed in Shark Bay in Western Australia.
Hoyt Quarry in Saratoga Springs was
Just a little more proof that this used to some kind of ocean or sea is limestone. Limestone is made of of mainly coral and shells of long-extinct sea creatures. Right across the street from the Petrified Sea Gardens is a historic area involving limestone.
The Hoyt Family owned part of a large limestone deposit which runs around the southern Adirondack Mountains. This quarry was used to extract limestone in order to burn it. Because the soil in the Saratoga area is so sandy it was poor quality for growing crops. By adding limestone ash to the soil farmers were able to neutralize the soil making it better for planting.
Right near the road is a sign explaining the quarry. Just down from that sign is another sign that explains that you are looking at the remnants of an old limestone kiln. I Googled the temperature at which lime is burned and it is 900 degrees C or 1652 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remnants of the Hoyt Family lime kiln where limestone was burned to be mixed with soil to improve the soil quality.
That is a substantial temperature to reach, I would think it was even harder to get a fire that hot in the late 1800’s. If you don’t mind getting scratched by plants and possibly trespassing on private property the limestone quarry still exists. There is a slight path to the left of the lime kiln which takes you back through the woods. Soon you will come to a beautiful cliff of what I guess is limestone.
The large cliff towers over you. If you get up close to you can marks in the stone which may have come from the extracting process.
Standing in the Hoyt Quarry off of Petrified Sea Gardens road in Saratoga Springs NY
It’s definitely a cool historic place to visit. 500 million years ago history. Even though the real museum or park is gone, there is still geology to be found in the Petrified Sea Gardens near Saratoga Springs. And to see the lime kiln used in the late 1800’s and a lime quarry which is still there, nice way to spend an afternoon. If you look up Petrified Sea Gardens or Lester Park Saratoga on your maps app or gps, it will give you directions to get to this cool place. It doesn’t really have an address, but if you are driving along Petrified Sea Gardens road you will see the little “park” on the side of the road.
Have you been to the Petrified Sea Gardens in Saratoga? Did you get to go to the tourist park before it closed? Do you know of any other cool geological places in the area? Let us know in the comments below!
There is a mysterious place in Lake George NY which has spread around the internet. Is it Supernatural? Man-made? Coincidence? Or just Luck? You decide. Take the short trip up to Lake George and try the Mystery Spot out for yourself.
When you stand in a specific place in downtown Lake George whatever you speak is echoed back to you. This acoustic phenomenon has been making people wonder if it is fact or fiction and of course, what is the cause?
It is pretty easy to find The Mystery Spot! Take your time walking around the beautiful small town, looking at all the shops and food places. Soon you will find the Lake George Visitor Center on the corner of Canada Street (Route 9) and Beach Road. Just east of the Visitor Center Building is a large sitting area with benches and a beautiful stone wall. As you walk to the benches you will see a large blue lake painted on the concrete patio. Town of Lake George is depicted in the cement compass next to the painted Lake George Lake.
You’ll notice what look like railroad tracks inset in the concrete. These tracks form a compass on the ground running North, South, East and West and converge together in the middle.
X really does mark the spot here in Lake George. You will see that the metal of the X is more worn than the rest. Here is the mystery spot.
Stand right there, on the X and face Lake George. Then say something. Loud or quiet. What do you hear? It’s really cool.
Of course we had to experiment. If you move away from the spot, you don’t hear the echo. If someone stands close to you they can hear your echo, but when they talk it does not echo. (Ok, the person next to you does echo if they are unbelievably close to you. Like cheek to cheek close.) If you turn in any other direction, you do not hear the echo.
On the ground near the painting of the lake are these small round metal discs with a town on each one. The discs represent the towns around Lake George. The painted lake with the discs around it depicting the towns is cool by itself.
So, what causes this strange acoustic phenomenon?
Some people think that the echo is simply your voice bouncing off the rock wall that is behind the benches. But if that’s the case wouldn’t a voice create the echo standing anywhere in front of the stone wall? Why does it only work in that one place?
If you look it up online, you will read about a legend tells of a Native American God who stood on that spot to share his wisdoms with the mountains, lake and landscape. Or maybe he created the spot to increase the sound of his voice so when he spoke all could hear.
Or maybe it’s just a really cool place to stand and enjoy some fun acoustics in a wonderful place in the middle of a lovely small town. Whichever you believe, go check it out. It’s cool not matter what the cause.
So what do you think? Have you visited the Mystery Spot in Lake George? What’s your theory on the acoustic phenomenon? Tell us all about your experiences in the comments below!
The beautiful, handsome, huge Budweiser Clydesdales are visiting the Saratoga Springs area in mid-August.
They are spending time at the Warming Hut in the Saratoga State Park for the Stable Viewing. Then a few appearances around Saratoga including Lake George, Troy and the Altamont Fair.
The Warming Hut is located right off Avenue of the Pines close to the Broadway entrance. Look for Clydesdales signs with arrows pointing to where to turn. Visiting these amazing horses is free.
There are stables set up for all the horses where visitors can walk around and see them all. There is plenty of parking in front of the Warming Hut and in the grass areas around it. Visitors can walk around and view the horses, the truck, and the carriage the horses pull for appearances.
Here’s what the Budweiser Clydesdales’ schedule looks like:
Aug 16, 10 am – 7 pm – Stable Viewing
Aug 17, 10 am – 5 pm – Stable Viewing
Aug 18, 10 am – 2 pm – Stable Viewing
Aug 18, 4 pm – Full Hitch Appearance, Lake George, NY
Aug 19, 10 am – 5 pm – Stable Viewing
Aug 19, 6 pm – Full Hitch Appearance, SPAC Grounds
After visiting here the horses are off to the Philadephia, PA area. So whether you like the Thoroughbred Racing or the Beautiful Budweiser Clydesdales, Saratoga is definitely a great place for horses this August!
Did you visit the Budweiser Clydesdales while they were here? Where did you see them? Share your pics on Facebook! Tell us what you thought in the comments.
I have been asked about how people who struggle to walk distances, tire easily, are in a wheelchair or on crutches or have any other situation which makes it hard to get around can still have a great day at the Saratoga Springs Race Course. Whether you are planning a trip for a handicapped friend or family member or you are looking for information for yourself, here is what you need to know for someone who is handicapped to enjoy “The Track”.
A day at the Saratoga Race Course involves quite a bit of walking. The betting windows and food/drink vendors are spread all around the backyard grassy area as well as all through the buildings. For someone who doesn’t easily get around that is potential for an exhausting day without much fun.
The Saratoga Springs Race Course does not offer wheelchairs for rent or to borrow. If you have a wheelchair, please be sure to bring it. There are multiple ways to assist someone who has trouble walking for any sort of distance. Some walkers have a seat built in so you can sit and rest whenever you need. Wheelchairs and mobility scooters are a good idea. Knee walkers/scooters that help people who can not walk on one leg are a great idea to bring. There are wheelchair accessible seating in the Grandstand and Clubhouse.
Saratoga Springs Race Course has three escalators for patron use.
Walk into the Grandstand near Gate A.
Inside the Grandstand behind the carousel (now called Easy Goer and Fourstardave).
Accessed from outside, Copper Roofed Escalator between Grandstand and Clubhouse.
Elevator for Each Side
Both the Grandstand and Clubhouse have an elevator. The Grandstand elevator is a freight elevator located in the center of the building behind Fourstardave Restaurant and faces the track.
The elevator for the Clubhouse is on the edge of The Porch area near the entrance to the Clubhouse. This elevator also faces the track.
Use the Handicap Drop-Off Areas
The main Handicapped Drop-Off area is on Union Ave in front of Gate A. Pull right up to the curb and park for as long as you need to assist the person who is handicapped. There are many benches near the drop-off, some in the shade where the person can sit, relax and wait there for whoever is parking. Once everyone is together, walk in through Gate A or Gate B depending on where you are going once inside.
There is another handicap drop-off near the Gate off of Nelson Ave. To get to the drop-off, take Nelson Ave and turn onto Frank Sullivan Place, which is a one-way street. There is a huge taxi lane but you can drive up to the curve to drop someone off. It’s not labeled as a Drop-Off but there is a lane you can pull up to and drop off people.
There are no benches available at this gate, so having that camping type portable chair would be great.
Parking for Handicapped Patrons
There are a few parking areas which are labeled for handicap use only. If you enter the free, public parking lot from East Avenue (near Union) there is a handicapped parking area on the right.
Bring a Portable Chair
For people who get tired out while walking, bring a fold up camping-type chair that you carry on your shoulder. I have also seen people with chairs that have backpack straps and today I saw a woman who’s cane unfolds into a little stool. Whenever you (or the person you are walking with) needs to stop and rest, just take out the chair, set it down and sit. Once you feel up for more walking, you can tuck up the chair and be on your way.
Go in the Closest Gate
If you are heading to the Grandstand, the Top of the Stretch, or picnic tables at the playground use the Handicapped Drop-Off area on Union Ave then head through Gate A, the Grandstand is in front of you.
If you are going to the Big Red Spring, Reserved Picnic Tables, Festival Tent or a wooden picnic table your party has claimed in the backyard, use the Handicapped Drop-off area on Union Ave and enter through Gate B.
If you are going to the Clubhouse, The Rail Pavilion, the Suites, or the Paddock Tent, the closer gate is Gate C/D off Nelson Ave.
Depending on where your party claimed their picnic table in the backyard, you could enter through Gate A or B. See if someone who knows where the table is located can tell you to which gate the table is closest.
Do you have any information or tips to share to help make going to the Saratoga Springs Race Course easier for folks who are handicapped? Please share in the comments.
Pokemon Go! is rocking and rolling in Saratoga Springs! We have learned some things about the game that we want to share with other Trainers in the area.
Power Drains Quickly, Plan Ahead
Pokemon Go is an awesome App and great fun to play. And because of that, it drains your battery very quickly. Carrying a fully charged power brick with you as you play is a great way to keep your phone on while you’re walking around. You can buy extra batteries for some devices and switch them out as they get low. Get a good car charger and charge while you are driving to favorite Pokestop or while sitting in the car.
Up Your Trainer Level
As you gain XP you will level up your Trainer level. You can get XP in different ways:
Each Pokestop gives you 50xp, even if your backpack is full
Each Pokemon you catch gives you 100 XP
You can get extra XP for skillful throws (nice, great, curve ball)
If the Pokemon you catch is new to your Pokedex you get more XP
Each Pokemon you Evolve gives you 500 XP
Each time you catch a Pokemon you gain 100 Stardust
Different Pokemon require different amounts of Stardust to level up
Gain Stardust from Evolving Pokemon and Hatching Eggs
Gain Stardust from Battling Gyms
Stardust is universal and is used on any Pokemon
Poke Gyms will be 1 of 4 colors
Blue – the Gym is owned by Trainers in Team Mystic
Yellow – the Gym is owned by Trainers in Team Instinct
Red – the Gym is owned by Trainers in Team Valor
Gray – the Gym is unowned or just been beaten
you can try to get one of your Pokemon in the Gym quickly and take it over
Training your Pokemon
If you are on the team of the Gym color you can go into your gym and train. This means you get to battle against the Pokemon placed in the gym. Battling the Pokemon in your gym will not hurt them or reduce their HP. It will, however, reduce yours. Be sure to use a potion after training in a gym to keep your Pokemon at full health. Training in a gym of your color will help the gym become stronger.
If there is space in your gym, place one of your favorite or powerful Pokemon in there. You will get 10 coins for placing a Pokemon, pick those up by clicking the Shop and clicking the shield in the top right corner. You can only collect coins every 21 hours.
Battling your Pokemon
If you find a Gym that is NOT your color, you can hop in and battle. When you begin the battle the game will automatically choose your 6 highest level Pokemon. You can change them if you want. Then press GO and start your battle. You will battle each Pokemon in the Gym. If one of your Pokemon faints, the next in the list will automatically jump in.
If you defeat all the Pokemon in the Gym you can claim the Gym as your own. You need to place a Pokemon with FULL HEALTH in the Gym. If your most powerful Pokemon just did the battling, go to your items, choose a potion and click the Pokemon with low health until it is full again. Then you can place it in the Gym.
Pink Confetti Means the Pokestop is Lured
Lures can only be placed on a Pokestop. The idea is that for 30 minutes Pokemon will be drawn to that Pokestop. Hang out by a Lured Pokestop and wait to see who appears. The Pokemon being Lured will not show in the Nearby Window but just appear. You can place one of your Lures or enjoy the benefits of someone else’s Lure.
Walk Around to get the most from an Incense
You can enable an Incense which will draw Pokemon to you and you alone. The best way to utilize an Incense is to walk around. If you just stand still it doesn’t seem to bring the Pokemon to you as well as when you walk. We have not found any benefit to hanging out near a Lured Pokestop while Incensed.
Everything you need to know for successful visit to the Saratoga Springs Race Course
This is our 2nd summer living in Saratoga. Last summer we were here for “Track Season”, but I was never brave enough to check it out. I didn’t know where to park, where to buy tickets, where to walk in. I was afraid I would wear the wrong clothes or not fit in.
So this summer, I will learn everything I need to know about how to go to the Race Course and share it with you! I will be able to give you all the information you need to know to have a successful trip to the Saratoga Race Course.
The Track Season for 2016 runs from July 22nd to September 5, with Tuesdays being closed. The first race each day, also called post time, is at 1:00pm. Then the races run about every half hour after that. Some days have 11 races and some have 9.
Entrance to the Park
It costs $5 or $8 for entrance into the Park. This allows you to walk all around the grounds including throughout the Grandstand building. You can enjoy the shops, boutiques, art vendors, food vendors and the races. There are jumbotron type TVs and smaller TVs under red and white striped umbrellas out in the backyard. If you pay $8 entrance to the park, you also have access to the clubhouse.
You can purchase admission ($5 or $8) right at the gate, cash or credit. Just walk to a turnstile, there will be a admissions clerk waiting to help you.
At the ticket windows/box office at Gates A and B you can purchase:
Reserved seats in the Grandstand
Reserved seats in the Clubhouse
Reserve a table at Fourstardave Restaurant
All of these can also be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com. Just print your ticket and bring it with you. You can also call NYRA directly to buy tickets over the phone at 1-844-NYRA-TIX.
Another thing that I learned is that almost all of the wooden picnic tables in the backyard area are available to the public, but they are on a first come first serve basis. The Park opens at 7am so people can claim a table. They put down table cloths or chairs or coolers to show that the table is claimed. Then at a certain time before gates open for the day, the Race Course announces that it’s time to leave and everyone who came in early leaves to come back in once the gates open.
There are many, many wooden picnic tables in the backyard area. It’s better to use a patterned tablecloth instead of a solid color because it will be easier to see your saved table. Great tip: Tie balloons of a character, symbol or specific color to help you see your table from afar and help others in your party find you easier.
Bring your Cooler
Coolers are allowed at the Saratoga Race Course. You can bring your own drinks, including alcohol, but no glass is allowed. You can bring your own food but you can NOT bring any sort of cooking or heating equipment. The Race Course asks that you do not bring coolers inside the Grandstand or Clubhouse buildings,the entire Backyard area is a great place for coolers.
I assumed that there would be a no smoking policy anywhere at the track, but that is not the case. The rule at the Race Course is that if you look up and see the sky, you can smoke. The track does not allow anyone to smoke if they are under any type of awning, covering or roof.
To access the free WiFi at the Saratoga Race Course, look for “NYRA” in your WiFi list, it’s the only option I have on my list.
Parking is a tricky topic. There is free parking across Union Street, but it is a crazy long walk! You can park in closer lots, but for a fee. NYRA has a page with information about the different places to park and the fees. There are places to park all around the track. People who live near the track charge people to park in their yards. It might be a good idea to drive around a bit before you decide where to park.
I hope you enjoy your day at the Historic Saratoga Race Course! If you have questions while you are visiting, the staff is very friendly and helpful.
Pokemon Go at Saratoga Race Course, is really Pokemon No
Saratoga Track Season: the busy 6 weeks in July and August where the environment of Saratoga Springs changes into a hugely busy tourist town welcoming visitors from all over.
Track season is upon us. How does track season play into the Pokemon Go fun? The answer is, it really doesn’t. It is hard to find Pokemon inside the gates of the Saratoga Springs Race Course. You would think that Pokemon and Horses would go well together, but here they just don’t.
There are 3 Pokestops at the Saratoga Race Track:
Saratoga Springs Race Course Entrance Sign
This Pokestop can be reached from Union Street while walking or driving by. The large Saratoga Springs Race Track sign in the front of the track is a Pokestop. Since there are often kids in front of the gates selling waters during track season, this Pokestop is often Lured.
Stepping Stone Flower Pot
There are 2 stepping stones with flowers in the Saratoga Race Course Park. The one you want is near Gate A. If you walk through Gate A and continue towards the Grandstands there is a large vase of flowers on the right. The vase and the rock platform it sits on is a Pokestop. If you are coming from somewhere else in the park, the Pokestop is in front of the Grandstand, near the Time Warner Pavilion and near Gate A.
The Big Red Spring
Another Pokestop at the Saratoga Springs Rack Course is the Big Red Spring. This spring is in the far corner of the backyard of the track behind the Paddock area. It is believed that taking a sip from the Big Red Spring will bring you good luck. I have found some tasty springs in Saratoga, this is NOT one of them.
Catching Pokemon at Saratoga Race Course
As for catching Pokemon, you can’t. When walking through the Race Course area, there are no moving leaves, no Pokemon popping up and the nearby list is nearly always completely blank.
The only time Pokemon appear (for me) at the Saratoga Race Course is when someone puts a Lure on one of the Pokestops. The Pokestops are Lured often and I have caught Poliwags and a Goldeen.
Let us know what Pokemon you have seen or caught in the Saratoga Race Course? Is your nearby blank? Can you only find Pokemon when there is a Lure set? Help all your fellow trainers by leaving us info in the comments!
Saratoga Springs is a hot spot for playing Pokemon Go! There are many awesome Pokemon sites in the Saratoga Area. There is an overwhelming amount of Poke Stops all down Broadway and in the State Parks. (more…)