Thursday, July 16, 2015

Inside Saratoga Has Moved:

Greetings from Saratoga Springs.

Inside Saratoga has moved to

I hope you will join me there for all the latest happenings in Saratoga Springs. Enjoy the summer!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Visit My New Blog:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

a la prochaine:

As of this month I have scribed this blog for FIVE YEARS! Yes, it is hard to believe.  As much as I have loved writing this blog it is time to move on.

I have interviewed many local luminaries and elected officials. I've had my critics; some of them honest and most of them not. I am stepping away from the political arena to do other things. I haven't stopped writing but I have the opportunity to write about other things.

I have lasted longer than any other local blogger in Saratoga Springs. For those of you who falsely believe that 'anyone' could write a blog, I strongly encourage you to write one, sign your name to and lets see how long you last. I'll be generous and say you could last a few weeks to a few months.

 My enemies have been vetted and vanquished.  There is nothing more to prove here. I do want to thank everyone who has given  me the opportunity to interview them for CITIZEN NANCY. I want to apologize to those people that I wanted to interview but was unable to do so for a variety of reasons. (Mostly time constraints) and I appreciate that so many of my fellow Saratogian's understand the value of alternative media. Thank you for all the story suggestions and emails regarding our beloved city. I can only hope that some other local writers step up and start blogging as there is always lots to write about in Saratoga.

So.......essentially.... your favorite revolutionary...CITIZEN NANCY has left the building.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Inside Saratoga This Weekend:

There is a lot going on in and around Saratoga this weekend. The prom will be held at the City Center this evening. Skidmore graduation is Saturday. The Auto Museum is having their annual auto show in the Saratoga State Park and in B-Spa on Sunday the Iron Roost on Front Street is having their 2nd Anniversary. If you want to get away from the hordes of crowds in downtown Saratoga Springs I strongly suggest that you have breakfast/lunch at the Iron Roost. B-Spa is becoming the new Saratoga and new and interesting businesses (not chain stores) are popping up all the time. The Iron Roost will be giving away free coffee and they are having contests and prizes and their waffles are to die for. Happy Anniversary to the Iron Roost! Enjoy the weekend and be safe. - Citizen Nancy

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Renee Moore: Founder of Solomon Northup Day: Updated as of May 17th:

Local resident and native Saratogian Renee Moore began bringing attention to one of Saratoga Springs most famous residents, Solomon Northup in 1999. Renee Moore is the founder of Solomon Northup Day. The Solomon Northup story, Twelve Years A Slave has brought even more attention to our beloved city when the movie by the same name won Best Picture at last years Academy Awards.

 Even though the Visitors Center currently has copies of still photos from the film there are no artifacts that belong to the family of Solomon Northup. Ms. Moore wrote to Plan B Productions (Brad Pitt’s production company) who has legal rights to the film and respectfully requested props from the film. Plan B productions never even responded to her letter.

 There is only one historical marker for Solomon Northup, Saratoga’s most famous African-American resident and it stands in front of the Visitors Center. Renee Moore, founder of Solomon Northup day claims that there should be more. Ms. Moore believes that there should be another marker in Congress Park and perhaps a statue and much more in our local Visitors Museum. I cannot help but agree.

When I touch upon the often talked about graphic violence that Twelve Years A Slave, I ask Ms. Moore if she found the film difficult to get through?

“Difficult to get through? Only white people are shocked by [graphic violence] it because they have no point of reference. The movie is calm in comparison to the reality of it,” [slavery] said Moore. Moore has seen the film three times.

 As with most films, even with true stories the director/and or writer fictionalizes certain aspects of the story for various reasons. I ask about the accuracy of Steve McQueen’s (Director) picture and John Ridley’s screenplay adaptation.  Moore had an issue with the fact that Solomon Northup had three children in real life but only two in the film version. “By leaving one child out you end up excommunicating a whole line of descendants.”

What Moore did like about the film was that it depicted the accuracy of how Northup was rescued. He was rescued by Henry B. Northup, a lawyer in Hudson Falls, New York; (Sandy Hill in the movie) who was also the nephew of Northup’s former owner. Moore thinks of the rescue of Solomon by Henry Northup especially poignant. “Slave and Master brought together by another generation are significantly important.”

Slavery is most often associated with the South but Moore said that the Northern States including New York were rather complacent in their views about Slavery. “Wall Street was the financial center of Slavery.” said Moore. Moore claims there was an auction block at the South Street Seaport.

Citizen Nancy: Should 12 Years a Slave be required reading in the Saratoga Springs schools?

 Ms. Moore: “It should be required reading everywhere.

 On January 1st 1808 importation of slaves became illegal but that only increased the likelihood of the abduction for freed northern slaves. Many former slaves were abducted in the North by unscrupulous white people looking to make money quickly and took advantage of blacks who were vulnerable.

In spite of Ms. Moore founding Solomon Northup Day and educating local Saratogian’s and others about the story of Solomon Northup, she has never been paid to speak which is rather shocking considering that Ms.Moore is a graduate of Skidmore College. Moore credits some local luminaries for being supportive of her work for the community.

She credits former Mayor J. Michael O'Connell who was the first Mayor to support the event. Former Mayor Ken Klotz, (who Moore said was involved in the very early days of the Solomon Northup Day project), current Mayor Joanne Yepsen, Accounts Commissioner John Franck, Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan and former Senator Roy McDonald.

Moore is also appreciative of Audrey Thomas and Barbara Thomas of the League of Women Voters.

After fifteen years of heading the Solomon Northup Day celebrations Moore decided it was ‘time to pass the gauntlet.’ Skidmore will be hosting it this summer.  Professor Paul Calhoun, Professor Timothy Harper and Rochelle Calhoun (no relation to Prof. Paul Calhoun) will be in charge of the festivities that take place beginning July 19th with a meet and greet of the descendants of Solomon Northup. It is free and open to the public.

For more information please go to

Moore began this project to show the history of Slavery and to ‘encourage young people to work for freedom and justice throughout the world.’



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Major shake ups in Saratoga Springs eateries:

The exec. Chef walked off the job yesterday at The Hilton and the entire kitchen staff walked out of Sperry' a few days ago. Let's hope Sperry's gets it together before racing season begins. Summer in Saratoga, never a dull moment.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Food Trucks Tomorrow at Saratoga Eagles Club:

If you are looking for something different to do tomorrow this is your chance. Various food trucks will be basking on the lawn of the Saratoga Eagles Club tomorrow from 12 Noon to 6pm. The Eagles Club is located on Crescent Avenue. Last year they had the food trucks there and it was a big hit. Get there early to avoid the crowds. Read more about it on Ashley Dingemans foodie blog called

Enjoy the rest of your Saratoga weekend.


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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Matt Veitch Tonight at The City Center:

Our city Supervisor Matt Veitch will be hosting a presentation at the City Center tonight at 7pm. The meet and greet begins at 6pm. Matt will be speaking about the City Center and its 30th Anniversary and how it came to be and why it is located where it is. He will also talk about Saratoga's urban renewal and will be highlighting the town leaders who contributed to its inception. Matt will also be showing pictures of Saratoga's magnificent buildings of the past and telling you about the history.

Holiday Inn is catering the food and drink for the meet and greet.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Annoying Passengers For Cabbies:

I have driven a cab in Saratoga Springs for the past two years and I have to say it has been the most interesting job I have ever had. As a writer it is a dream job as I will never run out of writing material. This summer will be my last ‘term’ as a cabbie. Like any job it has its pros and cons but if you really want to experience how your fellow Saratogian’s really are in all of its ugliness and glory; go drive a cab.

  1. Those Who Keep You Waiting:
This customer is annoying because they call ahead and make an appointment and then they are never ready when the cab arrives at the appointed time. This isn’t just bad form it’s rude. Good cab companies will give this customer an ultimatum and if they still keep their cabbie waiting then they are cut loose. Cabbies are paid by the call and pay for their own gas so if you are not in the car they are not getting paid. (There are passengers that have gone through every cab company and are no longer able to get a cab.)

  1. The Haggler:
This passenger is pandemic in the taxi industry. They are quoted a price at the beginning of the ride but when the cab pulls up to their destination they believe that they can now haggle like a grandmother at a garage sale. The price the driver quotes you is the price you will pay. The End.


  1. The Divas Who Hold Your Cab Hostage:
This is the call where you pull up to an address to pick up four people and two will get in to ‘hold’ the cab and then another person comes out. Now you are waiting for the last person (the high-maintenance chick) to get in your cab. I usually tell them if the person isn’t in my cab within two minutes I am pulling away from the curb. (This usually happens during Racing Season.) Women are usually the culprits of this scenario.


  1. The Self Entitled Passenger:

 This passenger used to be exclusively associated with…wait for it…SKIDMORE but oh how times have changed. This passenger could just as easily be from Jefferson Terrace or Allen Drive. They call and want a cab ‘right away’ and when you get there two or three minutes later they are of course not ready. When they finally make an appearance they want to make three stops instead of one (they told the dispatcher nothing of the sort) and only want to pay for one stop. I’d like to say that this individual is an anomaly in the taxi industry but I don’t want to lie to you.


  1. The Quasi-Socialist:
Rich kids have always had a reputation for their aversion for paying for things and many (not all) certainly pander to this stereotype. These types (mostly liberals) ostensibly believe in redistribution of wealth as long as it’s not theirs. This type of passenger is a thorn- in- the-side for most local cabbies and if you’ve ever wondered why so many blue-collar people are not aligned with the Democratic Party, this is why. Pay your cab fare or get out of the cab. Enough said.


  1. The Crack Run:
I would like to tell you that this scenario is rare but sadly it is not. Drug addiction is probably the number one reason of the degradation of American Culture. It is sad but I don’t have much sympathy for the addict and I have less tolerance for ‘rehab’ which is quite the racket here in America. Here is how the scenario is played. The cabbie is accosted somewhere downtown by someone who has to get to…Schenectady…immediately. But this individual doesn’t have the money for cab fare but his or her ‘friend’ will pay on the other end. I am sure you can guess how the story ends; I got burned and I had to pay the fare. Luckily this person, the son of a local home builder has since gone to jail for doing this sort of thing one too many times.


  1. The Drunken Elected Official:

 Just kidding. I had you though, didn’t I?



  1. The Downstater:
This passenger is a complete pain in the ass because they believe that anyone from the New York City area is far more intelligent than those who are from Upstate. If one more punk kid tells me they are from ‘the city’ when he is really from Staten Island he or she will be left dazed and confused at the curb. Thank you and have a nice day.


  1. The “Artiste”
As a writer I do have an affinity for creative types as I know how difficult it is to be an artist in a society that doesn’t fully appreciate an artist unless they are making millions of dollars which is unrealistic at best. However, I don’t know when artists started behaving like self-entitled investment bankers but sadly they have. Most of them would be better suited if they had their own shuttle that ran directly to Purdy’s and back to ‘artiste headquarters’. Thank god another cab company has the contract for the high maintenance Yaddo residents. These people are never on time, never tip and are incredibly rude because they are ‘important.’ The notable exception was the lovely Kaui Hart Hemmings who I had in my cab three times last summer. She is the author of the highly acclaimed, The Descendents. If you get her in your cab this summer consider yourself lucky.


  1. The Freeloader:
This person is known as your local loser, and one who constantly expects a free ride every time they get in your cab. Most cabdrivers pay it forward to those who really need a break but this isn’t that passenger. This is the person who wants to stop at Stewarts to buy cigarettes and beer but doesn’t have the cab fare. Just as they’re those people who are barred from certain bars in town they are also barred from cab companies.






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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Do Something Good:

There is quite a lot to be angry about in America but I think what we ought to do is take a moment and reflect on what is good in our lives. No matter what your situation is there is always someone who could use some help and loving kindness. I recently made a trip to the Saratoga County Animal Shelter and it breaks my heart to see so many animals who would just like to live in a caring home and be loved. The Animal Shelter relies on donations and volunteers. You could donate a couple of hours a week at the Shelter petting the cats and/or walking the dogs. You could adopt a pet also. If you have been thinking about volunteering, please consider the Saratoga County Animal Shelter. Below are some pictures of cats who would like to be adopted. Aren't they adorable?!

The Saratoga County Animal Shelter is located at 6010 County Farm Road in Ballston Spa. The phone number is 885-4113

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Bistro: At The Courtyard Marriott:

Hotel Restaurants were once synonymous with subjecting hotel guests and jet-lagged business travelers with bad food and mediocre service; but thankfully that seems to be a thing of the past. The Courtyard Marriott here in beautiful Saratoga Springs has revamped their lobby to create an open, attractive dining area called The Bistro. They serve Starbucks signature coffee drinks as well as serve breakfast and lunch. There is a nice variety of sandwiches on the menu and in spite of The Bistro only being open for the past four days their roast beef, havarti and horseradish sandwich is getting rave reviews from guests. Most of the menu options are just under $10.

I met with Caroline Freeman, the Director of Sales at the Courtyard Marriott who graciously showed me around and allowed me to take pictures without an appointment. One of the talking points for the public to eat here is the parking lot. “You can park here to here and then walk downtown to shop, said Freeman.”

The décor is easy on the eyes with a blue and gold color scheme and there is a small library for guests to enjoy on the other side of the lobby. The booths have what Ms. Freeman calls ‘media pods’ which include a personal television with its very own remote control.

The best part of the Bistro is that it is open to the public which is one of the smarter decisions that hotel restaurants have done for themselves in recent years. Saratogian’s are always looking for new places to see and be seen and the Courtyard Marriott is the newest place in town to do that.  Happy Hour is from 5-7pm everyday.

 Ms. Freeman introduced me to Chef Tom Gulbrandsen who runs the kitchen and is in charge of all catering events in their very own banquet hall next door. The Courtyard Marriott is located at 11 Excelsior Avenue here in Saratoga Springs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Death In Our Saratoga Family:Father Neil Draves-Arpaia:

Native Saratogian Neil Draves-Arpaia died yesterday of Cancer. Father Neil was a passionate spokesperson for all things Saratoga. He was an entertaining story teller. He used to entertain me and my cousins by making up songs about Saratoga and its inhabitants that would always include businesses in downtown Saratoga (where inevitably his stories would take place) His antics were well known and he and many of my relatives got into plenty of trouble during their formative years.

He used to regale me with stories of how he and my mother would get into trouble. One time he went into one of my mothers classrooms during high school and told my mothers teacher that "There has been a death in the family." My mother burst out laughing and put her hand over her mouth to muffle the sound. The teacher thought that my mother was crying and allowed her to leave the classroom. They ran out of the school and into Neil's car where they proceeded to joy ride all the way to New York City. The trip was ill planned as they ran out of gas just outside of New York City. Neither Neil or my mother had any money and Neil was reduced to calling his uncle to come and get them. Neil was always good at having the time of his life wherever he was.

It was Father Neil who didn't mind telling me on occasion that I needed to get out of my own way.  Father Neil was a warrior and who often created enemies by speaking truth to power. That is something I certainly appreciated about him. Father Neil and will be missed by many. His death is a huge loss to the city and everyone who knew him. Rest in Peace Father Neil.

The link below is the interview with Father Neil in August of 2010

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This Saturday On Talk Saratoga:

Gordon Boyd will be Rick Thompson's guest on Talk Saratoga this Saturday at 8am on WSPN Skidmore Radio. 91.1FM

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Please Give to Empire State College:

Empire State College is a non-traditional College that supports working people to obtain a degree while working full-time. Empire State does not have the luxury of endowments as other Universities and Colleges do. If you would like to donate to Empire State College to help assist working people like myself go back to school and get a degree please give into the urge. Thank you. Info is below.

Make your gift today at or call (518)580-2965
You may choose to donate a financial gift of any size.
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