Saratoga Weekend: Top 10 photo opportunities
SARATOGA SPRINGS When people visit New York City, the Statue of Liberty is a traditional stop for an op — a photo opportunity.
In Boston, Faneuil Hall Marketplace attracts photographers who want shots of their friends next to the metallic rendition of Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach.
Distinguished Abraham Lincoln — who sits in stony silence — is a natural choice for tourists in Washington D.C.
Summer in Saratoga Springs offers diversions in sports, the arts and nightlife. It also offers 10 solid places where people can pose for photographs. Or eye the subjects all by themselves for digital color compositions. Here are a few places on which to focus, as Saratoga visitors prepare to sign off for another summer.
Saratoga Race Course is a smart place to start — thousands start there just about every day in late July through August and early September. A popular photo stop is the “ring of jockeys” outside the clubhouse entrance to the race course, the entrance close to Frank Sullivan Way. The dozen three-foot-tall statues, all painted in vivid blues, greens, yellows and pinks, hold signs that tell fans which horses won the big races during the previous meet. There are also beds of red and white begonias to consider.
Leaving the track at dusk will give photographers the proper time and light for Siro’s restaurant on nearby Lincoln Avenue. The restaurant, which has been around since the mid-1940s, switches on its neon blue sign before horse fans leave the track. The sign, above the cobalt blue awning that covers the restaurant’s front sidewalk, is a sure azure shot for astute photographers.
People who love flowers will love the Saratoga garden at Union Avenue and Circular Street — just down the street from the race course. White, purple, red and pink petunias are in the mix. So is a miniature waterfall. And, for bird lovers, a large bird “mansion” on a pole above the flowers.
Kids love horses. In Saratoga, they can even ride one. The ponies inside the Congress Park Carousel on Spring Street at Putnam Street are smaller and slower than the runners on Union Avenue, but kids who ride for $1 don’t seem to mind. Neither do their parents, who often bring cameras to click and catch a painted pony on the spinning wheel ride.
Photographers can pick up an easy daily double after they leave the Congress Park Carousel. The Hathorn Spring is located right across the street. The water source that workman Samuel Freebern discovered in 1866, while digging an excavation for Congress Hall, is housed under a white wooden shelter. The front path is lined with flower beds. And the water, carbonated with a high mineral content, is free. So have one on the city.
Horse of a Different Color
Horses are only blue when they lose — but not the horse on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Spring. This guy, the deep blue “Horse of a Different Color” statue in front of the G. Willikers toy store, is decorated with musicians and singers. People come up to take a closer look every day, some with cameras. Bobbie Moore had a camera with her earlier this month, and asked a Gazette reporter to take a photo of her, her husband Don and the blue stallion. “It’s fun, we love the horses,” Bobbie said. “We love Saratoga, we come up here all the time.”
Time Has Come Today
The Adirondack Trust Co.’s big, bronze-colored clock at Broadway and Church Streets is an enduring city landmark. Restored in 1979, the clock can give passersby the time and give photographers a souvenir shot of downtown Saratoga Springs.
Few swimming pools are as classy as the Victoria pool in Saratoga Spa State Park. Built in 1935 and restored in 2005, the pool complex can hold 350 people. Brick structures that feature arched colonnades and lion water spouts are part of the package, but the cool water is the key component.
People who enter Saratoga Spa State Park from Route 9 will drive, walk, run or cycle down the majestic Avenue of the Pines. The pine trees that line the pavement are tall and green, and will impress visiting photographers and ecologists.
The Saratoga Spa State Park also has aerial attractions — small geysers. The “Island Spouter” and the “Polaris Spring” are accurately described as “spouters,” but according to the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center, the Geyser Island number is the one locals call “the Geyser.” An island of hardened minerals surrounds this spring, which is located off Loop Road.