Guess what? I’m working from home today. It’s possible that, in the next week or so—or dare I say, month or so—we’ll all be working remotely more often (or “remotely working,” depending on how good the episode of Law & Order: SVU is playing in the background). And if you’ve ever worked from home for a decent stretch of time—I did so for more than a year—you’ll know that your productivity will go sky-high, along with your acute sense of ennui.
What’s a better way to cut through the boredom than with a good, solid, well-reported long-read? I’ve curated a list of 10 of the better ones we’ve published throughout the years.
(1) Into Africa: How Saratoga’s The Giving Circle Is Fighting Poverty Around The World
We’re truly blessed here at Saratoga Living to have Lisa Mitzen writing for us. Her and her husband, Ed, have made it their mission to help solve the mounting homeless problem in Saratoga Springs—and go beyond our borders to fight poverty in the developing world. In this story, Lisa talks about her friends at The Giving Circle, who are doing important work in Uganda.
(2) Saratoga’s Water
Just watching Managing Editor Natalie Moore research this story, go off on interviews for it and write it was a joy. Actually getting to read the finished product? Priceless. No features writer that I know of in the Capital Region ever tried to distill down why Saratoga’s water is and has been so important to our city. That’s why I truly believe that this is the definitive story on Saratoga water to date.
(3) Man, Does The Capital Region Love Its Tribute Bands Or What?
This one still ranks in my top 5 favorite stories Saratoga Living has ever published. Contributor Daniel Nester nailed Upstate New Yorkers’ obsession with tribute bands—not to be confused with cover bands. Every upstanding citizen in these parts should know the difference!
(4) The Power List: The 14 Most Powerful Names in Saratoga Horse Racing
As a staff, we had countless meetings about this feature, in which we literally ranked the top names in Saratoga horse racing. (The top slot went to Trainer Todd Pletcher.) We ended up whittling a massive list down to 13 names, plus a 14th Power List Hall of Famer, Marylou Whitney. As the story goes, the list hit saratogaliving.com (and newsstands) on the actual day we lost the “Queen of Saratoga.” The comments section on this story and our previous tribute to her became a makeshift memorial to her on social media in the days that followed.
(5) ‘Low-Fi’ At 25: Celebrating The 25th Anniversary Of The Figgs’ ‘Low-Fi At Society High’
If you’re a fan of live music and Saratoga, you need to get to know The Figgs yesterday. They’re everything that’s great about rock and roll music—and a completely homegrown band. It took me over a year to write this definitive story of the band’s breakthrough album, Low-Fi At Society High, which dropped in 1994.
(6) The Boys Of Mechanicville: How Five Friends From The Same Small Town Went On To Conquer Their Respective Worlds
Besides being the most-read story on saratogaliving.com of all time, “The Boys of Mechanicville” is a serious read about five of the most important men in modern Saratoga history. I’m not giving anything else away. You’ll just have to read it.
(7) 18 Women Musicians From Upstate New York That You Should Be Listening To Right Now
Call this one a “long-listen.” I started with 8 über-talented musicians and expanded the list to 10 more this year. Have Spotify? Make a playlist and set it as your work-from-home soundtrack. And don’t forget to buy these amazing artists’ music, too: touring musicians are going to be hurting with all of the show postponements.
(8) Jackson’s Journeys
Time to get out that hanky; this one’s a major tear-jerker. Managing Editor Natalie Moore wrote this feature profile while six-time Adirondack 46er dog, Jackson, was still in the land of the living. She went back in and paid tribute to him after his passing. All dogs go to heaven. It’s true. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
(9) Brothers José And Irad Ortiz Are Horse Racing Phenoms. Isn’t It Time Everybody Knew That?
The definitive story on jockey brothers José and Irad Ortiz, who annually are among the top jockeys at Saratoga Race Course.
(10) 10 Most Memorable Upstate New York Advertising Jingles
Sing any of the singable ad jingles on this list while you’re washing your hands. Hey, anything’s better than “Happy Birthday,” at this point.