A blend of all things equestrian, Adirondack and design, the fashionable Maddie Hogan is Saratoga Springs' newest full-time resident. The marketing strategist tells us why she's looking forward to her first official holiday season in town.
1. Tell us about your earliest Saratoga memory.
My earliest memory of Saratoga is standing on the rail at Saratoga Race Course with my dad when I was in kindergarten. I grew up on the Outer Banks in North Carolina and my parents would bring my siblings and I up to our family's lake house on Lake George for the summer. Since my dad is from the area, he would bring us to the track to teach us about racing, local history and would walk us around the barns. In high school my family moved back to upstate New York and I feel so fortunate to live in a place that played big part in my summers growing up.
2. The Saratoga Social was created to highlight the work of our local nonprofits. Which organization is most important to you?
As a lifelong equestrian and lover of anything equine related I have to say equine organizations are the most important to me. There are so many in the area but The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is an amazing organization that saves race horses that are no longer able to compete on the track. My last horse was a retired racehorse who was the most amazing horse in and out of the show ring, had the best personality and was such a large part of my family. It's such a rewarding feeling knowing you are giving a horse a second chance.
3. Which spot in town serves your favorite drink or dish?
Where to start... we have so many great places. During summer months you'll find me on the Sperry's patio enjoying the seafood tower and a gin martini. During winter, Sperry's is still at the top of my list with the beef carpaccio and red wine. As for the best cocktails in town... hands down One Caroline.
4. As a newly minted Saratoga Springs resident, what are you most looking forward to experiencing this holiday season?
Being able to walk everywhere! I previously was a weekend Saratoga resident, and now that I'm here full time, I cut my commute time down from 2 hours every Friday afternoon and Monday morning to maybe an hour total every week. I'm excited to enjoy Victorian Street Walk this year and get in the spirit of Christmas. Seeing all the decorations going up around town makes me so happy. It's such a beautiful city and even prettier during the holidays. Hopefully we'll get some snow soon!
5. What's the first app/website you open in the morning?
For me it's Instagram. I'm obsessed with interior design and fashion and love seeing what is going on around the world in the design industry. I couldn't tell you a famous celebrity but I can tell you my favorite interior designers and what the trends are. My blogroll list takes a full day to read. I follow politics closely and consider staying informed is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself. The Apple News app is great because I have my notifications set up and it allows me to save articles I want to read if I'm out running around. And now that it's college basketball season and being a Carolina girl at heart my ESPN app gets a lot of use... go UNC!
6. "I consider Saratoga's greatest hidden gem to be..."
All the hiking and running trails we have right outside our door! It's amazing that we live downtown but 2 minutes from our door you can feel like you're in the High Peaks. I can't wait to snow shoe and cross country ski in Spa Park this winter. I can spend hours running and hiking through the park. The Northwoods trails at Skidmore are also a recently found gem and I love going hiking through there. And once a Lake George girl always a Lake George girl you can't beat the accessibility to the hikes on the lake.