With Dominick and Carolyn Purnomo. Photo by Joe Putrock, Special to the times Union.
Last night I attended my first Saratoga “event,” the 21st Annual Newton Plaza Siro’s Cup. I was thoughtfully included in a friend’s group and during a very busy week, it was the thing for which I was most excited. What to wear? Could I forsake peer comfort with foot comfort and wear flats? Accessories were key and I wanted to feel put together from head (day 2 hair, flat ironed and sprayed) to toes (freshly pedicured in a gorgeous shade of pastel sea foam). I knew I needed to feel confident in my appearance and went with a whole Goddess
of Reading look. I think it worked.
The showers through which I had driven in Albany had completely disappeared and the air in Saratoga was fresh and comfortable. The fancy cars, Maserartis, Rolls Royces and my dream car, a 2 door Porsche, were parked on display and the whole thing felt about as swanky as you can get when you’re essentially walking barefoot from your own wagon parked in a grassy field.
Inside the party there was an almost overwhelming sense of stimulation. People were ON. The multiple bars set up attracted what seemed to be the most outgoing cliques of friend – there was a definite (and deserved) sense of holding court. The clothes, the makeup, the hair…there was so much to absorb. Fashion-wise, it seemed that anything went. Naturally, there were Nantucket Reds, seersucker and linen adorning the guys and dresses in every length and color on the women. There was a lot of jewelry, along with a fair amount of serious suntan.
A constantly flowing river of attendees were carried on a current of cocktails. People seemed happy and there were many outbursts of laughter to be heard. The “first party of the season” feel to it made for an excellent vibe. It was fun. I loved seeing my favorite Pirate Girl and am so psyched the she has taken up residence for the season, like the ballet or the writers of Yaddo. There were other hospitality folks there – the generation II Purnomos, Matt Baumgartner, Michael Cocca. It was nice to see them being on the receiving end of hospitality for a change.
Many familiar faces were in the crowd. I mean, I’ve worked in local restaurants for long time and have probably served thousands of people. I had a couple of moments, though, of feeling mildly out of place amongst a crowd who have far more lucrative investments than merely budgeting carefully and buying consigned clothes. A couple of times I greeted attendees I knew from one restaurant or another and I wasn’t recognized without giving my name or context. Do I look that different? Am I invisible as a server? Have I gained weight?* Am I aging poorly? It was a little awkward to navigate.
Gnocchi and shaved truffles
The scene, though, was captivating. I could have walked, marveling under the star-filled sky, for even longer, but my belly demanded food and I don’t like eating standing up. I headed to 15 Church and got exactly what I was looking for – something delicious and indulgent to eat and sip and the welcome of friends I’ve worked with over the years. I wish Saratoga was closer.
Burrata, tomatoes, basil
*no charge for that peek inside my head.