As of late, I’ve taken to taking walks through the neighborhood. It’s one part hoping to loose those last couple stubborn pounds, one part attempting to get just enough sun so’s not to appear dead, and one part enjoying the interaction with society. And I’ve found a good route. It’s 1.6 miles, approximately 4,000 steps, and it takes about 45 minutes to walk by myself, longer if I’m with Kyle. (He has short legs.) It runs through what for me is the essence of this town, and many of the things I love about it. And today, you’re all going to come with me. These are some of the interesting and amusing things that I see everyday on my walk, exactly as I walk it everyday. (All pictures were taken with the camera on my HTC Incredible. I know, it’s that fucking incredible.)
So this is where my walks start, at my front door.
Walks usually take place in early evening, around 6 or 7. (Pending rain, extreme heat, or a Scrubs marathon.)
This is the exact spot that as Kyle and I were walking to the 4th of July fireworks last week, a creepy guy tried to sell us glow sticks.
What made it creepy? Might have been the fact that he waited until we’d passed him to ask. Might have been the fact that he had a little smile on his face. Might have been the fact that he asked, “Wanna glow stick?” in the same voice that one asks, “Want some heroin?” or “Wanna buy a Mexican baby?” I don’t know, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
This shopping cart used to be precariously hung atop a street sign.
Now it’s in someone’s yard. I’m not saying the same person put it up and took it down, but I do believe that the inspiration and courage came from the same place.
Either a band practices in this house, or a single guy plays the drums along with his CDs, because there is always very loud rock and roll music coming from this house, heavy on the drums.
(Either way, they’re not very good.)
This is the street sign the shopping cart was hanging on.
It’s actually a pretty busy intersection.
I wish this picture had been taken at night, because then the blue neon really shines. For those of you who can’t tell, that’s a law office.
That was apparently decorated by strippers. I think the neon means they’re classy.
I love, love, love, this building.
It makes me wish our building had a fire escape. And a ballet studio on the first floor. (You know what, scratch that last bit, I know what dancer stank smells like.)
This is the local chain of grocery stores here in Saratoga. This particular location is known as The Ghetto Chop.
That’s because if you come back in 7 hours, you’ll also be able to purchase reasonably priced crack in addition to groceries. It’s a one-stop shop!
Okay, these signs?
Are everywhere. All hand-painted on cardboard. I don’t know what hosting a student from Spain entails, but I have a sneaking suspicion it requires rubber gloves and my bank account number.
This fountain makes me so sad.
They went through all the trouble to build this fountain, it’s flanked by lovely red and white geraniums, and…that’s it? That piddly little squirt? Poor, sad little fountain.
Saratoga, like many cities, does the “painted animal statue” thing all over town. Sort of like Decatur’s cows, or Pittsburgh’s t-rexes. (Yeah, I didn’t think Pittsburgh was much of a t-rex town either.)
They’re all painted by local artists, which is kind-of cool. But they’re really hard to climb on when you’re drunk, which is not cool.
One of the best places for drunk food ever!
Luckily, they open at 4am. Which is conveniently the same hour the bars close.
If we leave Saratoga fat and broke, it will be the sole responsibility of this specialty food store.
When things get hot and heavy with the husband, I close my eyes and fantasize about a piece of their chocolate cake dipped in their seafood bisque. Does it for me every time.
During the day, it’s a great collection of restaurants specializing in a variety of foods. At night, (September through June,) it’s a row of great bars, perfect for relaxing over a pitcher with friends or chilling over a pint, with a fun club or two to keep things interesting. At night, (July through August,) it’s a great place to count douche bags and hookers.
Uncommon Grounds, a fabulous coffee shop. When we lived closer to downtown, we would often walk to the coffee shop for Italian Sodas.
However, if you want a shot at the crazy-comfy couches by the fire, get there early. Every night at around 8:00, two gay guys come in, order tea, sit in the comfy chairs, and silently listen to their iPods while they knit. They don’t talk, and for the life of me, I don’t know what they’re knitting, but they’re there every night, without fail.
Awesome huge Borders where I can browse books to buy on my Kindle and use the bathroom without having to buy anything.
(But don’t mention the Boarders around some of the older locals, they get real pissy about it…killing the small-town charm, and such.)
Best. Frozen. Yogurt. Ever.
That is all.
(Seriously, though, we’re here at least twice a week. Soooo fucking good!)
This is the very first restaurant Kyle and I ever ate at in Saratoga Springs.
We got into Saratoga at 9:00pm after driving all day. (Okay, so technically the very first place we ate at was the Taco Bell, but this was the first good place we ate at.) The next day, rather than tackle the 24′ truck full of crap, we explored downtown, and this is where we ate. Right at that table on the right, by the sidewalk. It was yummy, and walking around downtown made us excited about our new home.
Fancy pantsy hotel that I’ve never seen a single person go in or out of.
Personally, I think it’s just a facade to make downtown look fancier.
Domino’s that for the life of me, I have no idea how it stays open.
I mean, this town has a million family-owned New York-style pizza joints, many better prices than this chain. With so much deliciousness around, who eats Domino’s? I mean, really? Domino’s?
This is our favorite of the Saratoga horses.
Sure, it would be better if those were all beer caps, but pop is neat, too.
Our old street, and our old house.
Sometimes, I like to flip the house off, in case one of the two angry bitches are watching, (and in general principle.)
This specialty food store makes absolutely killer subs with hand-crafted deli meats and homemade cheeses.
However, the first time Kyle and I went there the monkey scrotum behind the counter made fun of my stutter, so I found another sub shop that doesn’t make fun of the way I talk. We only go to Roma if Kyle really begs, and then I make him say my order for me, because I’ll be damned if I give that greasy butt plug any ammunition.
If I’m talking to someone I like and they ask whereabout I live, I tell them that my street is right across from Pope’s, the Italian restaurant.
And if it’s someone who’s annoying, I ask them if they’re familiar with the location of the Planned Parenthood.
These are some of the pretty houses that are being built on our street.
Aren’t they fancy? Such neatly tended lawns. And it looks like they sit next to a forest of some kind. Maybe elves live there!
Okay, or maybe it’s just a lot overgrown with weeds.
I like it because it’s full of lovely wildflowers. I think the neighbors like it because it acts as a buffer between their neat, modern properties and…
our house! Which while it may not be “fancy” or “classy” or “up to code,” it’s home. Which is a good place for someone who’s just walked a long way to take off her shoes, pet a kittie, and drink an ice tea.