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Saratoga Springs, NY was once the epicenter for vacationers from New York City taking long baths and strolls away from the noise of the city. Just look at this article from July 1899 issue of The New York Times describing Saratoga as “one of the leading fashionable suburbs of Greater New York”. Today the prestige of Saratoga has shifted away from a gambling and leisure capital for millionaires, but the sophisticated grandeur is still present everywhere you turn. I drove up to capture the city’s beautiful details and meet some of its passionate residents who are restoring and redefining Saratoga Springs today.

The city is ready for visitors with clear and minimal signage
One of the most common themes in the city’s urban details is horses — an homage to the city’s rich horse-racing history and the nation’s oldest horse race track
Even the fence at local Starbucks follows suit
Bike parking, but with a horse head

Local hydrants are painted bright yellow

A unique setup around most trees on Broadway
An enamel house number

A unique construction of many handrails in the city made out of single piece of metal

One of my favorite buildings in the city, on Broadway, built in 1871
Menges & Curtis, a recently restored apothecary dating back to 1800s
The interior at Menges & Curtis features original medicine cabinets
The new owners of the apothecary just started digging through the basement and finding unique artifacts — like jars and mixers
Tile flooring at Menges & Curtis
Northshire Bookstore, a recent addition to the city’s cultural landscape gives an extensive and curious selection of new book titles
Magazine rack at Northshire Bookstore highlights a handful of literary publications
Inside Uncommon Grounds, a local coffee shop and a place of gathering
I ordered oat bagel with lox — delish

Coffee beans roasted on site
Lyrical Ballad is one of the most unique vintage bookstores I’ve ever been to — hosted inside a building once used as a bank, it spans little rooms and corridors until you get completely lost among some 100,000 rare and first edition book titles
A corridor at Lyrical Ballad leading to the original cault door of the bank

An original page from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, a publication based in Saratoga Springs from 1855 to 1922 and published by local resident Frank Leslie. Throughout its decades of existence, the weekly provided illustrations and reports—first with wood engravings and Daguerreotypes, later with more advanced forms of photography—of wars from John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry and the Civil War until the Spanish–American War and the First World War.
A few of the many hundreds of unique bookends collected at Lyrical Ballad
One of the most exciting renovations in the city is the Adelphi Hotel, originally built in 1877 and reopened in 2018 after an extensive makeover

See my favorite places in Saratoga Springs and save them to your Google Maps

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy city details as much as I do, consider getting my special postcard set featuring 50 of my favorite photographs of city details and street artifacts from my journeys.

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Designer & photographer based in New York City