A Horsey Birthday in Saratoga SpringsSunday, August 22, 2010
Just spent a few days in Saratoga Springs, NY -- a curious assemblage of horses, over-the-top hats, and spring water spas. Friday was so sunny I just had to buy a hat -- and where else but at the art supply store (only in Saratoga can you find hats, sundries, stationery and art supplies sharing retail space -- at Soave Faire). Had time for a quick sketch of Broadway, the main drag:
Then it was off to a polo match, with the Saratoga Polo Association. And yes, we actually did go stomp the divots at halftime.
Saturday we went to see what for many people is the main attraction in the area -- the racetrack. Had never been to one before, and our visit confirmed that the whole racing culture is not for us. When we went to the gate and asked how to get tickets for the seats close to the actual track, the guards kept assuming we wanted to bet or to eat, both of which can easily be done quite far from the actual track due to the ubiquitous simulcast video screens. Seriously, people? Picnicking in front of a television?? If you take the trouble to go the racetrack, don't you want to see the action LIVE? Like I said -- this culture is not for us. People kept saying how beautiful the thoroughbreds were; frankly they just looked exhausted to me. And why people dress up in fabulous hats and outfits just to sit on the dust-laden seats eating ballpark-worthy junk food also escapes me. I know, I know ... tradition.