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Booking Around

There are a lot of booking opportunities in our area, besides Old Saratoga Books of course, and here are some of our recommendations:

Lyrical Ballad Bookstore - Run by one of the nicest couples you'll ever meet, John and Jan DeMarco, this antiquarian bookstore has been in business for over 30 years at 7 Phila Street in downtown Saratoga Springs (right off of Broadway). Lyrical Ballad is a labyrinth of great books, with strong sections in the arts, horses, children's fiction, and dance. The shop is located in a former bank and the expensive stuff is located in the bank's former vault. The shop is open seven days a week. For hours and directions, call them at 518-584-8779.

The Village Booksmith - 223 Main Street (Route 4), Hudson Falls. Located about 1/2 hour north of Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville. This is a great shop located in two adjoining former houses with tons of books in all subject areas. The owner, Cliff Bruce, is another wonderful colleague with a gentle, funny personality. He is also a magician, so there is and extensive magic section with books and props. Hours: Wed-Sat 11-5. Call 518-747-3261 for more details.

Owl Pen Books - Open seasonally from May through October, Owl Pen Books has two big barns full of used and rare books. Owners Edie Brown and Hank Howard have lovely gardens all around and welcome book browsers to pack a picnic when they visit. Owl Pen Books is "tucked in the hills" at 166 Riddle Road, Greenwich, New York and it is best to call ahead for directions at 518-692-7039.

Literary Landmarks

Cooper’s Cave - At the northern edge of the village of South Glens Falls, underneath the bridge that crosses into the City of Glens Falls, lies Cooper’s Cave. An area extending into Cooper’s Cave was recently opened, overlooking the rushing waters of the Hudson River. The Cave was a site that inspired some of the scenes in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel “Last of the Mohicans”. You can visit Cooper’s Cave from Memorial Day to Halloween, 9 am to 8 pm. Admission is free.

Yaddo - Yaddo is an artist and writer’s colony founded in 1900 by philanthropists Spencer and Katrina Trask on their 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs. Yaddo is located on Union Avenue, just at Exit 14 of Interstate I-87. Residencies are offered to writers, filmmakers, musicians and other artists, during which they are pampered with food and laundry services that allow them to work undisturbed. Writers that have stayed at Yaddo include Truman Capote, Elizabeth Bishop, John Cheever, Louise Erdich, Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Lethem, A.M. Homes, Chester Himes, Bernard Malamud, Flannery O’Connor, Grace Paley, Dorothy Parker, Tillie Olsen, Sylvia Plath, David Foster Wallace, Eudora Welty, and many, many others. While the rest of the estate is off-limits to the public, you can soak up the atmosphere in the Yaddo Gardens from 8 a.m. to dusk each day. If you would like a guided tour of the gardens and learn a little more about Yaddo history, you can do so for $5.00 on weekends from June to September. Find out more information at http://yaddo.org/garden/guidedtours.asp.

Grant Cottage - High atop Mount McGregor in Wilton, New York is a rustic Victorian cottage where President Ulysses S. Grant spent the last weeks of his life writing his memoirs. Grant was suffering from mouth and throat cancer, probably due to his constant cigar smoking, and he was desperate to finish up his two-volume memoirs in order to provide some income for his family after his death. Grant died at Mount McGregor in 1883 and the house is preserved exactly as it was after his death with dried funeral bouquets in the parlor, and Grant’s couch in the sitting room where he stayed up most nights, writing through the pain. The Grant Cottage is a State Historic Site open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. You go to a parking lot at the base of the Mountain and then catch a ride in a State Corrections vehicle up to the Cottage, as it sits on the site of a low-security prison. To find out directions and hours, call: 518-587-8277 or go to this website: http://www.artcom.com/Museums/vs/gl/12866-82.htm

Other Area Attractions:

The Hyde Collection - There is a jewel of an art museum in the city of Glens Falls, which houses the amazing art collection of a former lumber baron. There are paintings by Winslow Homer, Raphael, Rembrandt, Titian, Botticelli, medieval tapestries, ancient Greek sculptures, and then there's the library! You will probably set off an alarm if you are like me and want to crane your neck to examine the leatherbound books more closely. Here's the website for hours and directions:http://www.hydecollection.org.

Caffe Lena - This historic folk music venue is known for having Bob Dylan onstage when he was just beginning his career. Caffe Lena is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization with a year-round calendar of interesting concerts. It can be cramped, especially when the waiters are squeezing in orders of food and drink between sets. Caffe Lena is located upstairs at 47 Phila Street in Saratoga Springs. A listing of upcoming concerts and events can be found at:http://www.caffelena.org/.

Saratoga National Historical Park - If military history interests you, this site, where the various Battles of Saratoga took place in 1777 and where the American forces got their first significant victory, is a great stop. You can visit the Battlefield visitors center for an historical overview throughout the year, but it is only in the Spring and Summer months that you can drive or bike around the battle site, tour Philip Schuyler’s home and climb the Saratoga Monument obelisk. For more information, check out the Park website: http://www.nps.gov/sara/index.htm.

The Tang Museum This contemporary art museum is located on the Skidmore College campus, in a beautiful woodland setting at the north end of Saratoga Springs. Skidmore also has lots of great classical, jazz, dance and other concerts and lectures at night, so you can check out their calendar at: http://events.skidmore.edu/ecal.


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